Monday, January 07, 2008

New Year, Housekeeping, MATH Pimp and Another Shot at the Big Time

Back in the office on a Monday for the first full week of the new year, so that can only mean one thing:



Mondays at the Hoy is back again on full tilt! 10pm ET every Monday night, password as always is "hammer". Any and all are welcome, whether you've played in 10,000 Hoy tournaments before or if tonight is your night to lose your Hoy virginity. We love n00bs in the MATH tournament, and as I've mentioned here before first-timers have had an uncanny amount of luck or skill in finishing high up the leaderboard in this tournament, so come one and come all to try your skill against the best of the best in the world of poker blogging. The buyin as always is $26 or a tier I token on full tilt, and the game is 6-max no-limit holdem. And since it's a new year, that means we will start up a brand new MATH moneyboard for 2008. 2007's moneyboard was won by Columbo in a stunning performance fueled by several big cashes late in the year including in the large-field BBT events. Columbo eked out cash and tournament player cmitch as well Bayne who crushed the first BBT earlier in 2007, so kudos out to Columbo for a truly impressive performance and the well-deserved of King of the MATH for the past year. Tonight we start a whole new moneyboard for a whole new year, so here is your chance to make a name for yourself early and often in the first blogger tournament of the new week every week.

Btw I am still working with full tilt on a possible reward for the top finishers on the 2007 MATH moneyboard. I will be back within a week or two with the details of that but there may (and I repeat, may) be a little something in the works on that front. It won't be anything huge but I would like to give something back to the guys who performed the best and helped make the MATH the fun tournament that it was during 2007. I'm looking at a small freeroll tournament for the top portion of finishers or something similar, but a few of the details are still to be worked out so we'll see what happens. I will let everyone know right here as soon as I know anything on that front.

So, today I was going to start my new turbo sitngo strategy post, but I'm not quite ready for that yet so that will have to wait another day or two. Hopefully when it comes it will be applicable to most of you and written in such a way that most of you will be able to make use of it if you so choose. But in the end I was up a little too late last night playing these turbo sngs and a few satellite tournaments as well. More on that in a minute.

So our boy jeciimd is off to Australia today for his two-week package that will culminate in his playing in the Aussie Millions nlh tournament starting on Monday the 14th. For those of you who don't know, this is a 7500 AUD buyin tournament, and it is a 5-day affair, plus three Day Ones split into three days. So the whole tournament runs from Monday the 14th to Sunbday the 20th if memory serves. I think I mentioned this earlier, but jec has literally never played a live tournament in a casino in his life, and in fact has never even stepped foot in a casino at all other than one short evening jaunt during college to Atlantic City. That in my view is not good and creates a number of additional issues for jec as far as feeling comfortable at the tournament that I wish did not exist, but we all have to deal with the cards we are dealt and this is jec's situation. I spent some time this weekend and gave jec my last-minute pep talk. My advice essentially amounted to be comfortable, dress comfortable, bring snacks and drinks you like if you can. And play tight. Not that jec of all people needs it, but this is a fucking 5-day event. I told him there is no excuse for him all of people, who rarely to never makes moves early as it is, to get allin on any flop without at least top two pairs. Period. I told him this is true for Day 1 at least, and maybe Day 2 as well. Jec bought part of me for my run in the World Series of Poker last year, and I went ahead to cash, so I have returned the favor and bought a similar-sized piece of him this year for his run at the Aussie Millions. And never fear, the biggest instruction I have jec was to blog blog blog godammit. As I mentioned the tournament doesn't start until next Monday Australia time, but jec says he plans to be online by this coming Wednesday. I will of course post any updates I hear here about him here as well.

So, I am off to a pretty good start with my goals for this year. First and foremost, one primary goal of my blog, something that I did not even list in my 2008 goals post but which has always been pretty much the reason I am here doing what I do every day, is sharing poker information and experiences. While I think I've done a fine job of doing so in my own right on the blog, my blogroll over there on the left is sorely out of date. So later today, I will be correcting that problem by adding a bunch of new links to the roll, in no particular order. A number of these are blogs I read with some frequency but just have never added them to my roll for some reason, a few of which I could have sworn were there in fact but I was surprised to see they were not. Some of them are old bloggers taking a new stab at writing regularly about poker, and some of them have been doing this for some time and have started doing a great job of regularly updating, so I am adding them here. I apologize to those whom I have left off for all this time, as well as to those I of course am forgetting with this new update. I've never been the type to just list every single blog out there, as I really want my readers to be able to click any link on my blogroll and be able to get reasonably current, regularly updated poker stuff, but it is high time to expand things quite a bit and today is the day that finally happens. I will be adding those links throughout the day on Monday, and I will probably even mention them specifically over the next couple days once I get all the new links up over there.

One of my other big goals for 2008 that I did write about the other day is giving myself a shot in some more of the big-buyin tournaments. This is another one I am off to a solid start in so far this year. For starters, I played in this past Sunday's 750k guaranteed tournament, qualifying in on Saturday night via a sweet $75 buyin turbo sitngo where the top 3 finishers won their seats. I would win my way in to this thing every weekend in that very same turbo sng if I could play every Sunday evening. Overall I spent more than I would like getting in to this thing, but less than the $216 buyin so that's all good overall. I won't have much time to play at 6pm ET on Sundays for the most part as that is prime dinner/bath/bed time in the Hammer household, but I was happy to get in on the first 750k of the year, and I had a nice experience playing in it.

Since writing down last week about my unsatisfactory cash-payout mtt performance during the second half of 2006, I have noticed that I am playing more focused in the few mtt's I have played. Hopefully that continues for a little while here at least, and I think it is sad and very telling that I could so easily notice the difference that a little more focus and tightness has meant for my large tournament game, but that is still a good thing for the present and near future overall so I'll take it. I have been lasting longer in my few large mtts this year, and that extended to the 750k as well on Sunday where I got nothing early, but instead of pushing things I waited around with the double starting stacks of 3000 chips until I found some favorable situations. Never dropping below around 60th percentile in the remaining field from the starting size of over 4100 runners, eventually I doubled up when a shorty pushed TT into my QQ around the middle of the second hour, and then I chipped up nicely again around the end of Hour 2 when I won a big pot against top pair with pocket Aces. From there I managed to drop a little, gain a little back, drop a little and gain a little back, mostly holding ground as the number of players remaining continued to drop. Sometime either late in Hour 3 we crossed the 1000 players remaining threshold, with me sitting in around 600th place after having made a large laydown on a resteal. Basically, the button on a big stack open-raised the size of the pot before the flop, and I repopped it 3x more to around a quarter of my existing stack with AQo. The button thought, asked for time and eventually pushed allin. I spent maybe 10 seconds before folding. No way I go out here with AQ. I kept asking myself, what are the chances that this guy is pushing here with something like AJ or AT? He had a nice big healthy stack, and he knows I can basically knock him out if I have AK or something, let alone any pocket pair which I would be ahead if not significantly ahead of him with. Why would he take the chance this early with this big a stack of ruining his entire run? Answer: highly unlikely that he would. So then the question became, with just under a quarter of my stack already in the pot, was it worth me calling his allin in the hopes that he did not have AK, AA, KK or QQ -- all hands easily representative of the strength he was showing here -- just to be a slight dog in a race situation? Answer: not to me, not with still a just around average stack left over even if I folded. I never asked the guy what he had and in the end I don't really care. What I am concerned with is the process to my thinking, and I feel confident that my thinking was sound in that spot. This is a way of thinking about chip stacks and big decisions for most of your stack in tournaments that I see as key for anyone serious about running deep in these things. The primary goal is always to survive, and to survive with enough chips to make it worth your while to continue. I still had it, and the chance of me being up against QQ-AA or AK, and thus having a very poor shot of remaining alive in the tournament, or almost surely being against a lower pocket pair and still being less than 50% to remain alive, it was just not the right spot for me at that time.

Sadly, with just under 1000 players remaining, and my stack at the lowest it had been in a good hour or so, I made a bad play following up on what I think was a solid tournament play in laying down the restolen AQ preflop that I described above. I called from the blinds with QTs into a five-way pot, and the flop came down JT4 with two hearts. The action checked around into what was already a large pot thanks to the big blinds four hours in to the 750k and the 5 players in, and then the guy on the button put in a smallish bet, which to me just reeked of weakness and an attempt to steal a big pot. But I made the mistake of forgetting all the other three players in the pot other than the button and myself, and the fact that there were eight other hidden cards in their four other hands, and I went ahead and raised it allin with my middle pair and Queen kicker. In a 2- or even maybe 3-handed pot I think this is a fine if not strong tournament move, in particular when I don't have a medium-large stack. But with five players in the hand, I should have known that (1) the odds of someone in the hand having made top pair were somewhat high -- gotta be better than 50% though I have no calculations to back that up (any of you pokerstovey or mathy donks want to give that one a try?), and (2) none of these guys were going to lay down top pair to my allin reraise. So I raised it to allin, and one of the guys who had checked the flop to begin with to my left went and called my bet. The original bettor was in fact weak and folded, but I knew I was behind even before he flipped up the KJ for top pair King kicker. I did not hit a miracle and IGH in 900-somethingth place, about 500 spots from the cash in the 4100-some runner tournament. This was yet another example of a bad tournament poker decision and is exactly what I was talking about in my goals post from the other day as far as needing to get my late-stage tournament game in order. Final tables, I feel supremely confident after killing the sitngos these past few months. But getting from the late stages to the cash, normally a strong situation for me, has seen me plagued with bad decisionmaking and that is why I need to play some more of these things to get back that experience that I have been missing so much from only playing these multi-seat satellites which generally offer a very different balance of decisions heading into the bubble time.

So after my nice performance but then bustout in the 750k, among other things I decided to continue to pursue my big-buyin tournament goal and play in the $100 buyin satellite to the Monday 1k on full tilt. This one has 24 runners, awarding 2 seats plus $280 cash for third place. The tournament took more than three hours overall, and there was a lot of shit in the middle there including me getting sucked out on three times including a real beauty on a 3-outer with just one card to come in the first hour to knock me down to under half of my starting stack early on. Nonetheless, I perservered, and here was the result of it all:



BOOOOOooooooom!!! So I will be playing again in the Monday 1k this evening at 9pm ET on full tilt, which I am once again very excited about as it is a $1000 buyin tournament. This will be my 4th attempt in this tournament in the year or so it's been run on Monday evenings, with a couple of poor performances and one hideous suckout just short of the money in my first three runs in this thing. But I said I wanted to play more of the big buyin tournaments, so here I am with a solid start to that in 2008 so far with the 750k this past weekend and now the Monday 1k tonight. And the way this satellite to the 1k ended was pretty sick too -- check this out:

So after leading the entire way from 7 players left down to the bubble with 3 players left, I finally took the inevitable bad beat, moving allin on an Ace-high flop with a slow-played A9 and being called by a slow-played AT, which had me down to just over 5k in chips while the other two players had more than twice my chip stack. Then, after I had chipped up a bit but was still in 3rd place of 3 remaining with about 8k to the other two players' roughly 12k in chips, this flop and turn came up:



Obviously, with the huge raise up there from the big stack for almost all his chips, he's got to have a 2, right? And I'm thinking the guy on the bottom also had to have a 2 to be betting 5100 chips to begin with in this spot. Don't you think? Well, take a look at this setup hand:



Boooom! I would like to feel bad for DIAMONDJIM555 there at the bottom of the screen, but after watching him call allins within the last four or five players with J4o and JTo on two separate occasions from a good-sized stack, he had it coming and I am quite sure that the best two players left won the 1k seats. Of course then this guy at the top right of the screen who won the 1k seat with me kept telling me I had to thank him. He wouldn't even push allin for a while, he just kept folding preflop and demanding thanks from me for busting the other larger stack to get me into the top 2 and winning my seat. Of course I had to be a dick so I just kept typing in "thank you full tilt" instead of thanking him directly, as if it was him somehow who created that wonderful setup hand for me, enabling me to play in my fourth lifetime Monday 1k tournament tonight on full tilt.

And this is where the rubber meets the road with my goals for 2008. In 2007, I won plenty of satellites, but I did a piss poor job for the most part of turning them into actual cash winnings. I have gotten sucked out on recockulously in many key spots for sure, but still. Monday night will be my second big chance already of 2008 in a large-buyin tournament with a huge prize pool, and in a relatively small field. Like I wrote about in my goals post last Friday, this is where I either start turning all these satellite wins I seem to be able to generate with relative ease into some actual cold hard fucking cashish, or I keep wallowing in the mire of lots of satellite wins and little cash wins to show for it. So not only is Monday night my night to get a head start at the top of the 2008 MATH moneyboard just like it is for the rest of you, but it also is my time to shine in a nlh tournament where any cash at all will mean a nice four-digit payout to me. Feel free to come and rail me in that starting at 9pm ET, but otherwise I'll see you tonight at 10pm ET for Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt!

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9 Comments:

Blogger Mondogarage said...

Good luck tonight, Hoy.

I haven't yet decided whether to play bar poker tonight, or fire up a couple Stars or Bodog tourneys (busto on FTP right now), but if I am home playing online, I will be sweating you.

Having a blogger take this down would be so sweet, and with a lot of the top online players in Aussie right now, in an opposite time zone, the field tonight may be a bit softer than usual. Perhaps.

1:37 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

gf with AQ. if there's one hand i despise, it's that one right there. the QTs jam is not bad IMO. the entire table played the hand pretty weak pf and it turned out to be a coin flip. that guy faded a lot of outs.

GL in the 1k tonight.

1:38 AM  
Blogger CC said...

New goal: post 1k screen shots in 2008. Maybe that is a slam dunk; if so, 2,008 screen shots in 2008.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

Shhh. People read your blog. People not folding AQ preflop is money for everyone.

I think I knocked two people out of an SnG last night when I pushed with aces pf against their raise and re-raise with AQ and AJ.

Anyway, unless he's sneaky, no way he had aces there. KK,QQ or AK possible for sure though.

4:02 AM  
Blogger cmitch said...

GL tonight!!!

4:11 AM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

I just read about this in an interview with one of the online pros. He said this move of hitting the time bank and then shoving usually means Aces. In any case, AQ is not a hand you want to bust with, so good fold there.

Good luck tonight in the 1K. Your big score is coming. You really should do us all a favor and write a satellite strategy post. You kill those on a regular basis. That is one thing I am eager to learn to do this year.

4:14 AM  
Blogger jusdealem said...

Best of luck to you in the 1k. Thanks for stopping by and for the add. :)

Sorry to say work screwed me out of playing that tournament...I knew I should've just called in sick. I'm officially on work tilt today.

12:58 PM  
Blogger corron10 said...

Are you ever going to go back to 9-hand MAThs????
If its 6-max, I will need to practice more....

11:26 PM  
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9:19 AM  

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