Monday, January 14, 2008

FTOPS Back in Da Hizzy!!

Don't forget, it's Monday night, the start to a new week and thus to a new week of blogger tournaments on full tilt, beginning with tonight's 6-max MATH tournament at 10pm ET:



As always with my private tournaments, the password is "hammer" and I look forward to seeing everyone there if you can make it. We're only in the second week of the MATH for 2008 and there was a four-way chop for first place in our first tournament of the year, which means no large payouts to any one person and therefore nobody has a big head start on anyone else on the 2008 moneyboard. Btw still no updates on a prize for the 2007 moneyboard leaders, but I'm still working on it and I will let you know here as soon as I know anything myself.

So the big news from my perspective this weekend is that FTOPS VII is back in the hee-ouse! This quarter's Full Tilt Online Poker Series will last from Wednesday, February 6 through Sunday, February 17, including a record 20 different events and culminating once again in the February 17 Main Event, a no-limit holdem tournament with a $2 million guaranteed prize pool. In keeping with my poker goals for 2008 as well as some of my biggest successes in past years, I plan to play as many of these FTOPS tournaments as I am able, focusing of course on the games which I view as my best and where I have had the most success in the past.

As with past FTOPS series, I like to look at the entire schedule early on and determine which events I know I cannot play or which don't really fit into my normal schedule, and especially which events I would really like to play so that I know which ones to focus my generally successful tournament satelliting efforts. As such, here is the entire FTOPS VI schedule:

Event #1: NL Hold-m - $200 + $16, on Feb 6th at 21:00 ET - $750,000 Prize Pool

Event #2: PL Omaha Knockout - $240+ $16, Feb 7th at 14:00 ET - $100,000

Event #3 HORSE - $500+ $35, Feb 7th at 21:00 ET - $300,000

Event #4 PLH - $200+ $16, Feb 8th at 14:00 ET -$150,000

Event #5 LH - $200+ $16, (6 max) Feb 8th at 21:00 ET - $150,000

Event #6 PL Omaha - $500 + $35, Feb 9th at 14:00 ET - $250,000

Event #7 NL Hold ‘em Rebuy - $100 + $9, Feb 9th at 16:30 ET - $400,000

Event #8 NL Hold ‘em Knockout - $120 + $9, Feb 10th at 14:00 ET - $150k

Event #9 NL Hold’ em - $300+ $22, Feb 10th at 18:00 ET - $1,000,000

Event #10: NL Hold ‘em- $1000+ $60, (6-max) Feb 11th at 21:00 ET- $1,000,000

Event #11: Limit Omaha Hi/Lo- $200+ $16, Feb 12th at 21:00 ET - $200,000

Event #12: NL Hold’em - $300 + $22, (6-Max, Rebuy) Feb 13th at 21:00 ET - $1,000,000

Event #13: HA (PL Hold ‘em and PL Omaha) - $200+ $16, Feb 14th at 14:00 ET- $100,000

Event #14: Razz - $200+ $16, Feb 14th at 14:00 ET - $100,000

Event #15: NL Hold ‘em - $200 + $16, (6 max) Feb 15th at 14:00 ET- $150,000

Event #16: Stud - $200 + $16, Feb 15th at 21:00 ET- $100,000

Event #17: NL Hold ‘em 2-day - $2,500+ $120, Feb 16th at 14:00 ET- $1,500,000

Event #18: PL Omaha Rebuy - $100 + $9, Feb 16th at 16:30 ET- $300,000

Event #19: NL Hold’em Knockout - $240 + $16, Feb 17th at 14:00 ET- $300,000

Main Event: NL Hold ‘em - $500 + $35, Feb 17th at 18:00 ET - $2,000,000

Taking a quick look at this schedule, the first event that jumped right out at me as a supremely fun tournament to play was FTOPS Event #2, a $240 pot-limit Omaha tournament which will feature a $40 knockout bounty for every player eliminated. Now, even though PLO tends to be a brutal game of suckouts and redraws, I have said here many times that it is a game I enjoy playing in a tournament format probably even more than good old-fashioned no-limit holdem, which is really saying something since nlh is the game that brought me to online poker in the first place a few years ago. It is also a game I have performed very well at in the somewhat limited time I have spent playing Omaha tournaments, so that also adds to the mystique, along with the knock format which I think will be especially fun in a brutal and fast-moving game like PLO. The one problem with this tournament? It is on a Thursday, a work day, at 2pm ET, making it basically impossible for me to play due to my day job. But then the solution hit me all at once: Fuck my job. My manager wouldn't know leadership if it bit him in the ass, and he couldn't manage his way out of a paper bag over the past couple of years. So, to repay my boss for all of his tremendous efforts, all of which have essentially worked to my and my company's detriment, I will either be taking the whole day off or at least the afternoon off. Yes, to play online poker. Deal with it.

Looking at the slate of satellites for this tournament, the ones that jumped out at me immediately are these $33 + $3 PLO sitngos, with the top finisher out of 9 runners being awarded the FTOPS #2 seat. So, being the entreprenurial guy that I am, I solicited some PLO-loving bloggers on Friday night, waited two hours for one of these sngs to fill, and then I played in my first one. After getting sucked out on twice and sucking out on KOD once, I found myself in 2nd place out of 3 remaining (these particular sngs are winner-take-all). At that point I ended up pushing preflop with a decent but not great starting hand, got called by a high pocket pair, and that pair ended up making a set on the flop so IGH in 3rd place. One attempt, one strike. Then on Saturday night this weekend, everyone's favorite PLO blogger was up for the challenge once again, and this time our satellite filled from just us two to nine players much more quickly. Fast forward about 40 minutes, and I was heads-up with Bayne himself, with me at close to a 2-to-1 chip lead, and I got in ahead of Bayne's medium-pocket-pair hand and actually had a favorite hold up against him to take it down:



So that was $72 spent, and I was qualified for FTOPS #2, a $240 knockout PLO tournament. Good stuff, good investment.

Next up on the slate was FTOPS #9, a $322 buyin nlh tournament hosted by Erick Lindgren, for which full tilt has been running some good mtt satellites on a nightly basis -- in particular I like the $75 buyin mtt sat at 10:10pm ET every night. Again, and you will find this to be a pattern with me, I strongly prefer the larger-buyin satellites (if your roll can afford it of course), because although everyone would of course prefer to play into these things as cheaply as possible, the cheaper the satellite buyin, the harder and more rare it is to win your way in through that low-buyin satellite. Personally, with the roll I have and the success I have had over time in satelliting in to larger-buyin tournaments, I prefer to take what I consider to be the second- or third-level buyin satellites, ranging in the $40 to $75 range depending on the size of the underlying tournament. For example, with this nightly $75 buyin satellite into the $322 FTOPS #9, that basically means that 3 out of every 13 players will win their seats. If your roll can withstand it, this is the kind of ratio you want to see in your mtt satellites, because having to win outright out of 30 players in a $26 satellite into the same $322 buyin FTOPS #9 is about 100 times harder to pull off than just finishing in the top few spots out of 13 runners.

Anyways, I tried this tournament on Friday night as well, the first night I really started seeing these FTOPS satellites back on the tournament tab on full tilt, and I flamed out early with I forget what. It wasn't a good play by me whatever it was, as I do not recall getting sucked out on in that spot (I only took about 435 suckouts this weekend, costing me I would estimate maybe 10 grand in winnings, so it was a good weekend overall for me and a highly lucky one as well compared to the way I usually run). So I also tried it again on Saturday night, a satellite in which cmitch and I both made it to the final table around the end of the first hour of the nlh event, albeit both with short stacks. And when I say I had a short stack early at the final table, let me show you what I mean:



195 chips, with 8 players remaining and the top 3 getting seats to FTOPS #9. 195 chips. This was the result of a really bad call by me on the previous hand where I had called an allin from a similar-sized stack to my own on an AA7 flop against a guy whom I had not read for a strong hand when he called my preflop raise out of the blinds. I agonized and then eventually made the allin call holding pocket 6s, and he flipped up some garbage like KJ or KT for the higher two pairs, and I was mega-crippled like you see above.

After this point, however, began one of the greatest comebacks in poker tournament history, right up there with Jack "chip and a chair" Strauss in the World Series of Poker back in 1982. Starting with less than two big blinds in my stack, and with cmitch the next closest stack at over 1300 chips, I began by doubling up twice with two high-card hands that held up in showdowns to give me at least a little bit of breathing room. At some point cmitch and I think one other player dropped out, and I was then in 6th place of 6 but was right up around 1000 chips. This gave me just enough chips to get the players behind me to fold with allin bets from me once or twice, allowing me to chip up even further. About 25 minutes after being down to 195 chips, I was actually dealt a real hand for the only time at the final table, taking JJ and doubling through the next-shortest stack once again who got allin with an Ace and a kicker lower than my Jacks. From here it was just play good-timing poker, pushing aggressively whenever no one else had shown any strength while being sure not to get stuck calling anyone's allin with an inferior hand, and I was able to survive to the bubble when one of the big stacks got caught with a straight against another big stacks' trips, bringing us down to four players, with one short stack and the other three of us in good position to win the FTOPS #9 seats. The shorty made a bad move and made things easy by pushing allin on the very first hand with what turned out to be 63o, getting called by AQ and that was all she wrote -- over about 90 minutes I went from 195 chips and in a distant last out of 8 players remaining to this:



BOOOOooooooooom! So getting in to FTOPS #9 is in the books. That one is the first Sunday of the FTOPS, and it's at 6pm ET but I can make that happen with Hammer Wife. The Hammer kids don't really stay up that much past 6 anyways most days, and she can finish that off on the night in exchange for something good I can figure out to throw her way. Hammer Wife tries to act like she isn't in to this whole poker thing, but she's good like that. So anyways, this one was $150 spent for a $322 buyin. Wish it was less, but I'll take it.

Then on Sunday night, having already won my way into FTOPS #2 and #9 earlier in the weekend, I was focusing on another tournament that I really enjoyed for the first time in the last FTOPS series -- FTOPS #5 in 6-max limit holdem. This is another $216 buyin tournament, and it is scheduled for Friday evening, February 8 at 9pm ET, a time when I pretty much always play the FTOPS as this last night of the first week of FTOPS has traditionally been saved for pot-limit holdem, but this time around it will be shorthanded limit. As I've said here many times, I really can't stand limit holdem for its donkchasey nature, but if you adjust properly, find a high enough buyin so that it keeps out at least the abject fonkadonks, and play is shorthanded I find that this is an enjoyable game for someone who has read and practiced a lot of limit holdem strategies and techniques. For this tournament, I very quickly located the best satellite for my roll, which was once again one of these second- or third-level buyins of $70. Since the underlying FTOPS #5 is 6-max, the sng satellites running for it are also 6-max which I love and which makes good sense, so for a $70 buyin you get to play a sitngo with 6 players, the top two of which will win their seats to FTOPS #5. Me likely. So, fast forward about two hours in this, my first attempt to satellite in to FTOPS #5, and skipping over about 4 suckouts that each threatened to cripple me in various ways and at various times in the sat, and here you go:



So, it was a highly fruitful weekend for me on the FTOPS front, winning my way into FTOPS #2, #5 and #9 with a total investment of under $300 to win seats worth $256, $216 and $322 for a total of nearly $800. So not only am I in to three big tournaments that I really want to play in, but I've done so at a very low cost relative to the cost of just buyin in direct, which of course is the whole objective all along of playing in these satellites to begin with. Later in the week I plan to discuss the other FTOPS VII tournaments I am looking to play my way into, and which satellites if any are out there that look the most attractive to me to do so.

One last thing:



That is me winning another donkament this past Friday, my first of 2008 and my third blonkament victory already in just the first couple weeks of the new year. In this one I was in 12th place out of 15 players with 5500 chips -- just one late-hour double-up above the minimum rebuy + addon after I sat out for the first 40 minutes or so of Monkey Hour for the third straight week to have dinner and watch a little tv with Hammer Wife. I very quickly doubled up with AQ over AJ at the beginning of Hour 2, and then managed to ride that medium stack to the final table. I had a blast at the final table taking out all the entire tuckfard nutz boys one by one by one, including my own personal punching bag NutzCarson on the old favorite "counterfeit" bad beat when my A8 beat his 88 on a QQx99 board. Sorry Carson, I am sure you'll get me back one of these days in this thing! Anyways, it was $60, but again as with all the blonkaments it is far less about the money and more about the fun and the pride. And with a goal of winning 15 blonkaments in all of 2008, to have already knocked out three of 'em in just a couple of weeks is a very good start for a guy who takes setting and meeting my goals very seriously when it comes to poker.

See you tonight at Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt!

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7 Comments:

Blogger Chad C said...

You should just play non-mookie bloggaments and quit your day job. The rest just seems like a waste of time :)

2:26 AM  
Blogger actyper said...

Nice job!

I'm going to aim for #1,5,8,9,19, and ME. Not going to play all but whatever I can sat in, or buyin to the lower ones.

For satting, I also like the mega sats usually the night before, or a turbo a few hours before. Usually 100 guar seats or whatever.

good luck!

4:07 AM  
Blogger corron10 said...

king of satelites!

4:12 AM  
Blogger BamBam said...

Hoy pwns Carson !

That sir... is all there is to say about that!

lmfao !

Man I wanted to go heads up with you. Just to piss my brudder off totally.

3rd...schmurd.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Ryverrat said...

Great job Mr Hoy. As mentioned in a previous post comment it would be great if you could write a satelite strategy post. You seem to kill these things.

Good luck in FTOPS.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Carson said...

Great Donkament Hoy. You played solid and deserved it... cept for the chips that you took from me, you didn't deserve any of those.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Iak said...

Im with Chad. That is statistically pretty incredible. 15 is now looking very doable...

7:01 AM  

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