Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Blogger Razz, and More on the FTOPS

Congratulations out to Gary Cox for winning this week's Blogger Skill Game in razz. For me the game surely lived up to its reputation as the most hated and frustrating of all the major poker variants, and given some of the play that I saw on a few tables that I had open, I really have to hand it to Gary for busting out with the win here. Razz with bloggers -- especially for a $12 buyin -- is something I wouldn't really wish on my worst enemy, and surviving through that minefield to claim victory is something really worth relishing. Hopefully Gary didn't strangle anyone or break too many computer screens along the way, because ooooo weeeeee razz can be painful. And it was last night. As bad as some of the plays I made were in the tournament, the stuff I saw was like button mashing at its finest. Dayummm. Effing razz. 'Nuff said. Wtg Gary.

So today is Mookday once again. I think I mentioned this last week but Mookie and I have finalized our prop bet for the Mookie this year -- whichever one of us wins the tournament first at any point during 2008, the other has to buy the winner in to the next three months' worth of Mookie tournaments. It's a good bet, with a reasonable incentive for one of us to try to finally win this thing. Not that I haven't won for lack of trying. I played in 39 Mookies in 2007 and came up with 4 or 5 final tables, three of which were top-4 finishes and all of which I thought I had a good shot of winning. But in general, as I've written about here ooooh maybe once or twice, I have had some baaaaaaaad luck in the Mookie. My ass gets kicked into oblivion in some new and creative way just about every time I sit down to play on Wednesday night. And yet still, like a wounded dog from Michael Vick's compound, I keep coming back for more, week in and week out. So I will be there tonight for the Mookie at 10pm ET on full tilt (password as always is "vegas1"), and you should be too. We had a great crowd as I recall last week for the biggest gathering of blonkeys this side of Las Vegas in December every single week, so let's see if we can come up with another big crowd today as well. And of course don't forget to fire up Buddydank Radio, where he and IT will join forces once again with Don and I believe I saw that Peaker is going to be a guest host this week as well to bring you the most fun you'll have on the radio until, well, at least next Wednesday.

And speaking of Miami Don, let's everyone make a real effort to get into this coming Sunday night's Big Game, willya? I can tell Don is getting nervous that no one will show for this thing, but I know that's not going to happen. I know $75 is a steep price to pay for many of you to play with a bunch of blonkeys and get eliminated by some jackass calling an allin on the turn with just a flush draw, etc. But the Big Game is really fucking fun and it's a great part of the blogger private tournament tradition, something I really hope is not going to be a BBT-only tournament like it was for a lot of 2007. And I've said it before and I'll say it again: with the 9:45pm ET token frenzy tournament available to all of us on full tilt, where you pay just $14 + $1 for a chance to win a $75 token which is awarded to the top 19% of finishers out of what is usually around a 120-150 runner field, there really is no excuse for all of us not to be in there every night this week taking our shot at a Tier II token for use in the Big Game this coming Sunday night at 9:30pm ET. So, as I have done in the past, I will be playing the token frenzy every single night this week at 9:45pm ET, and I hope all of you who are available will join me in winning a token and then immediately using it to register for the Big Game. Frankly, I don't see how anybody stays away from the token frenzy whenever all these juicy FTOPS satellites are in town like they are as of this past weekend -- the $75 buyin sats are always significantly better bangs for your buck than the lower-buyin sats, and at the end of the day for many of the larger-buyin FTOPS tournaments like the $1000 buyin FTOPS #10, they really only regularly offer Tier II buyin satellites in any event. So please I invite you all to join me in the nightly token frenzy tournament on full tilt every night between now and the Big Game on Sunday, and for those of you who are in to these kinds of things, I will definitely post here every day with who among the bloggers won their token the previous night, including a link to everyone's blog who made the cut the night before. So I look forward to seeing you there, starting tonight just 15 minutes before the Mookie.

If my calculations are correct (and they might not be), our boy jeciimd should resume the action for Day 2 of the Aussie Millions starting sometime in the evening on Wednesday EST. For those of you who don't know, the BBTwo champion started up in the Aussie Millions on Day 1a, had a few big hands but followed the proper strategy of playing tight on the first day of a 5-day tournament with 90-minute blind rounds, and stayed close to his 20k starting stack throughout most of the day. Then, on the second to last hand of the night, jec was lucky enough to find AA. Even more lucky (for him) was that someone else at the table happened to have KK at the same time, and fast forward 1 minute to see that jec had doubled up to just under 50k in chips heading into Day 2. There were three Day 1s to accomodate the field of I think over 800 players in the Aussie Millions, and Day 1a saw them play the 280-some runners down to I think 91 players remaining, with jec squarely in the middle of the pack and looking for some more action on Day 2. My advice to jec for Day 2 is pretty much the same as Day 1 -- play tight. Not only is that jec's game, but it is still pretty much the proper strategy even for Day 2 of an event that only saw 6 blind rounds played in all of Day 1. In reality you probably need to loosen up just a little bit since the blinds (and antes, if those kick in yet) will start to mean something especially around the later rounds on Day 2, but tight is still right for the most part on a day where a lot of the uber fish have already been weeded out. But as someone who has never even survived until the second day of a major poker tournament myself, I congratulate jeciimd very genuinely for a job well done. Keep making us proud Dr. J!!

OK so I mentioned earlier in the week that I wanted to find the time to take another look at the full schedule for FTOPS VII and determine which events I really want to play in, and which I am unavailable to play in, and that time is now.

For starters, as usually is the case, FTOPS #1 is a standard $216 buyin nlh tournament on the first Wednesday night of the series. This is one I definitely want to play in. I've cashed I think once out of four tries in this particular event to start the previous FTOPS's, and I expect to be in there again. Before Tuesday night I did not see a single satellite available to FTOPS #1, but I think I might have seen a $10 rebuy sat that started for the first time on Tuesday evening, so I may get me some of that over the next few days and try to get in on the cheap.

FTOPS #2 is that juicy $256 PLO knockout tournament that I already qualified for. It's at 2pm ET which really blows, but hey an afternoon off from work is going to feel real good at that point in time.

FTOPS #3 is an awesome $535 HORSE tournament at 9pm ET on Thursday the 7th. I am all about this one, though it is going to be a real bear to qualify for with all the limit poker donkeys out there. I'm almost tempted just to play one of those super turbo 100-chip satellites to this thing like I did last time around, because those will almost be an easier way to qualify for a $535 event than playing limit poker with a bunch of chasedonkeys who can't even spell O8 or stud, let alone play it. But I definitely hope to be in this thing come that Thursday night, hopefully right after I take down the afternoon PLO knockout tournament for 50 large in cash.

FTOPS #4 is the normal first-Friday FTOPS $216 event in pot-limit holdem. I've played this in the last five FTOPS series, but this will be the first time I do not, as this event is also at 2pm ET this time around (those Euros sure do love them some pot-limit poker) and I won't be skipping out early two days in a row from work just to play online poker. Even if the other lazy shitheads I work with probably won't be in either day anyways.

FTOPS #5 is $216 6-max limit holdem. Super fun format for me, and I already qualified in my first shot in a $75 buyin 6-max sng where the top 2 finishers won their seats. Bring it.

One of the coolest events in the entire FTOPS VII schedule is Event #6, Saturday February 9 at 2pm ET, which is the $535 PLO 6-max tournament. Normally I would kill to be in this thing, but that Saturday afternoon is no good for me as I am out to an early dinner at Tao -- the original in New York, not the knockoff in Vegas -- to celebrate the 30th birthdays of my little brother aquaverse and his fiancee. I'm sure PLO boy will be in this one, and I am jealous because it is going to be a real riot playing that big at a shorthanded PLO table.

FTOPS Event #7 is also later on that Saturday evening, which unfortunately means I also won't be playing due to my dinner plans. But that event is a $109 rebuy nlh tournament. I don't play the FTOPS rebuys, because although I have satellited in to them on many occasions in the past, I just don't like going into them knowing that I don't really want to afford to play them the way a rebuy really needs to be played, with at least the ability and willingless to rebuy 3 or 4 times if I get donked out early. So no rebuys for me, and I really don't mind not being available for this one.

Now on Sunday the 10th are two really cool FTOPS events, beginning at 2pm ET with FTOPS #8, the $129 knockout 6-max nlh tournament. I would love to play in this thing and still might try to give it a whirl, but the real problem is that Sunday afternoon is just not a good time for me family-wise, and it's probably not worth pushing things more than I already tend to do a little bit during FTOPS time. So probably no Event #8 for me this time around.

However, I will definitely be playing in FTOPS #9, the $322 nlh tournament on Sunday at 6pm ET, which I already qualified for with that recockulous comeback from 195 chips and 8 players remaining a few nights ago. This is a biggie, with a $1 million guarantee, and I will definitely be there. So already ducking out early before the kids' bedtime to play this tournament, the chances of me being in there for Event #8 at 2pm ET this same day are probably near nil. Too bad, but when I win 400k in the evening it will all seem like a blur anyways, right?

FTOPS #10 is a big one on Monday the 11th at 9pm ET, the $1060 buyin nlh event and the second-largest buyin of all the tournaments that are part of FTOPS VII. This one also has a $1 million guarantee, and I qualified for it this past weekend, so I will be playing for a million-dollar prize pool on two consecutive days in early February, something I'm really looking forward to. Despite my concerns voiced earlier here in the blog about the long-term EV of me playing in $1000 buyin events, I am definitely making a run here in the FTOPS and let's see how far I can get into this field, which may or may not be as strong as the usual Monday 1k field that I wrote about previously.

FTOPS #11 on Tuesday the 12th is $216 Limit O8. I know very well how to play O8, but as I've said many times I really don't like the game and I know a luckboxy game when I see one. So I may play in this thing, but really only if I qualify in a supersat or maybe I will try once or twice to get in cheaply to it via satellites. It's not a priority for me, O8 is for luckdonks for the most part, I know that.

FTOPS #12 is another $322 buyin nlh tournament, this one in 6-max format, but it is a rebuy. Especially at that buyin level, I'm not even remotely interested.

Thursday the 14th sees a return to the 2pm ET tournaments for the Euros out there, starting with the $200 HA Event #13. I would love to play this event and HA (half pot-limit holdem and half pot-limit Omaha) is one of my stronger games, but again I won't be coming home early from work more than the one time to play online poker, so that one is a no-go for me.

Later that Thursday night is the $322 razz tournament for FTOPS #14. I've played this one in the past and I have had some success in razz tournaments in general, but I am really hoping I do not play in this thing. Razz always ends up tilting me before too long, first because of the recockulous runner runner runner boats I end up drawing to, and second and more powerfully because of the unbelievable lack of skill that I see most other players exhibit in this, probably the easiest and the most formulaic of all major poker variations. So I doubt I will make a serious run or commit any serious cash to qualifying for razz that night.

Friday the 15th brings FTOPS #15 which is another 2pm ET event, this one a straight-up $216 6-max nlh tournament. This is just the kind of tournament I would like to play in, but alas it is 2pm on a Friday so no-go for me.

Friday night is FTOPS #16, a $216 stud tournament. I haven't played much stud high in my day, but I know how to play it well and I suppose I could see myself spending a little bit of cash trying to get into this thing for less than the $216 pricetag. It's still not a huge priority for me but it is something I will keep on the radar screen as a potential tournament to play.

FTOPS #17 is a rehash from an earlier FTOPS series, the $2700 buyin two-day nlh tournament. It starts at 2pm ET on Saturday, and as much fun as it would be to play in, I won't be making an effort given the time of day. Weekend afternoons are family time and I am happy to keep it that way for the most part. Hopefully some bloggers will find their way in to this tournament, though, because the $1.5 million guarantee is juicy enough to be worth taking a shot at.

Later on Saturday is FTOPS #18, a $109 PLO Rebuy tournament. I'm not in to FTOPS rebuys of course, but there is an off chance that I may try to play this thing. Probably not though. Definitely not a priority.

Sunday, February 17th at 2pm ET is the second-to-last event of FTOPS VII, Event #19 which is another $256 tournament, this one a nlh knockout event. Once again I would love to play in this thing, but Sunday at 2pm ET is not good for me, in particular with the Main Event coming up that evening at 6pm ET.

And that brings us to the final tournament of FTOPS VII, the Main Event, at 6pm ET on Sunday the 17th. I have played this two or three times before, once donking out at the end of the second hour, once suffering a sickening suckout just short of the money, and once running all the way to 100th place out of 4700-some runners for a nice four-digit score, so I'm looking forward to playing and playing well this time around. I was unable to play in the ME from FTOPS VI due to other plans, so I'm definitely looking to get a piece of that fluffy $2 million guaranteed prize pool next month. Look for me in various satellites as I definitely plan to find my way in to this thing.

So overall, it looks like my big remaining priorities with respect to this FTPOS are: FTOPS 1 ($216 nlh), FTOPS 3 ($535 HORSE) and FTOPS 20 (Main Event, $535 nlh). I've already played in to the four other events I am really interested in -- FTOPS 2 ($240 PLO KO), FTOPS #5 ($216 LHE), FTOPS #9 ($322 nlh) and FTOPS #10 ($1060 nlh), so that is a good thing, but the two $535 events I have on my wish list are both going to be really tough to find my way in to, so I want to get started as early as I can for both of those. Look for me in the FTOPS satellites over the coming nights, in particular for the three events listed above, and hopefully I will see some of you in there as well.

Don't forget the Mookie tonight at 10pm ET, or that token frenzy at 9:45pm ET for a chance to see your name, in print, right here tomorrow if you win your way in to Miami Don's Big Game tonight!

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Blogger GaryC said...

Thanks Hoy, much appreciated.

Wasn't much skill involved, just caught a few cards at opportune times, kind of like always.


6:39 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Where is the strategy post on how to play turbo PLO SNGs?

6:47 AM  
Blogger SubZero said...

HOw much is FTP paying you Hoy? ;-P

4:45 PM  

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