Tuesday, February 05, 2008

MATH Recap, Yesterday's Comments, and Same Old Pokerstars

For starters, thank you to everyone for your comments to my questions from my pokerstars 50-50 busto hand yesterday. Interestingly, this is the first time in forever that I received mostly people agreeing with the way I played the hand, and yet I actually have more doubts about the way I played this one than most of the hands I profile here. But that's why it's so great to have the blog to analyze hands and situations just like this.

In general, I like the preflop call once the second opponent came in. Interestingly, Bambam indicated that he would fold there precisely because of all the interest being shown in the hand before the flop, but I do think that is the wrong way to play it and the wrong way to look at it, though I recognize that this is just my opinion, and not stone cold poker fact like most of what I say here about the game. Heh heh. But to me, with a speculative hand like 97s or any suited one-gapper like this, for me I only want to play this in a multi-way pot. If the player to my right had not called as well from the button, I know that I would have folded my 97s here. No reason to take a speculative hand like this heads-up against just one opponent, because that significantly limits my ability to get the large payoff that I need when I play hands like this.

Once the flop came down, I had surely hit a big draw so I don't really mind my playing it somewhat aggressively from that point either. In fact, in general I really do think I played this hand just right, but for one big point. This late in a major mtt -- we were down to the final 90 players and well ITM already -- I usually tend to slow things down a bit, and try to conserve chips and really wait for my spots while there is actual money to be made by being a little patient and trying to wait for the really strong flops. Here I flopped a large draw, but no made hand, and while I know it is close I still have my doubts if I made the best play given the situation at the time in the tournament. An hour in to a 1000-person mtt, this is the way I would want to play my hand, and I think that's what most of the commenters were reacting to in Monday's post. But at this point fairly late in the tournament, I at least think it becomes a much closer decision. I'm not a huge fan of just smooth calling the 9000-chip bet on the flop with a plan to push on the turn like some of the commenters suggested, because that is a play that you can only even consider making if you put my opponent on a flush draw. And given the smallish preflop raise and the smallish flop bet, and the fact that I myself held two diamonds, there is just no way in hike that I could put him on any kind of a draw on that flop. Generally flop callers can be put on draws, but a preflop raiser who then bets out smallish on the flop as well, it is very hard to put them on precisely a draw, especially when I am holding a big piece of both the straight and flush draws availalbe out there. So to me, just calling the 9k on that flop would be classified as spewage of over a quarter of my remaining stack with no made hand whatsoever. That's just not the way I play. But while I do like my preflop call with two players, a lot of blinds and antes in there and 97s, I think a good argument can be made for me just folding my big draw and living to fight another day.

Dammit, why can't I just have hit one of my billion outs and not have to be having this conversation here? Someday, someday. And btw, thanks as well for the comments about the play my opponent made. Try as I might, I cannot see his play as anything but a poor decision at poor odds on his part. Once I check-raised him allin, he should be thinking he had just the 9 flush outs. His 3 is an undercard to the board, he cannot possibly think his Ace is good for 3 more outs given the preflop and flop action from me, and there is a pair on the board which creates the possibility of a boat by the river which would beat even his flush. At best realistically speaking he could see himself as having approximately 9 outs, and I don't think he quite had the pot odds for that call on this board. More than that, even in a close decision with the odds at this point, you could not pay me enough to make this call here. Why even take a roughly even-money gamble pot odds-wise when you can just fold and keep 35,000 chips and still have a nice-sized stack for later in the tournament, rather than take a 70% chance of failing to hit and being eliminated with 90 players left? So thank you confirming what I already thought with your comments, but this guy made what I call a bad play, and I was the victim. Ah well.

This actually brings me to something I wanted to discuss today as I have been playing more and more poker tournaments at my old stomping grounds pokerstars lately. The players at pokerstars are simply clearly worse than those at full tilt. This is something I actually cannot believe I am saying, but I have little doubt that it's true. Yesterday I put up a hand history from the pokerstars version of the 50-50 where I got called down by KJo unimproved for a large pot-committing bet on the flop, and today I want you to see this, from the Very First Hand of the stars 50-50 on Monday night (notice we are just 1 minute and 14 seconds after the stated beginning of the tournament, which actually makes this the second hand we played, but still):

PokerStars Game #15065488814: Tournament #76072570, $50+$5 Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20) - 2008/02/04 - 21:31:14 (ET)
Table '76072570 56' 9-max Seat #3 is the button
Seat 1: maximum8282 (3000 in chips)
Seat 2: Titantom32 (2990 in chips)
Seat 3: gigagambler (2970 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 4: hoyazo (2980 in chips)
Seat 5: FMA ED (3030 in chips)
Seat 6: Tobins2008 (3000 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 7: iropeudope (3000 in chips)
Seat 8: teqbuster (3030 in chips)
Seat 9: mig.com (3000 in chips)
hoyazo: posts small blind 10
FMA ED: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hoyazo [8h 9h] I love these kinds of hands as you know.
Tobins2008: folds
iropeudope: folds
teqbuster: folds
mig.com: folds
teqbuster is sitting out
gigagambler is connected
gigagambler has returned
maximum8282: folds
Titantom32: folds
gigagambler: raises 40 to 60
hoyazo: calls 50 Later in a tournament I might fold 98s into a heads-up pot, but this early and with these deep stacks I clearly have a nice opportunity to gamble against a late-position raiser who could likely hold just about anything here.
FMA ED: folds
*** FLOP *** [4h 2h Kh] Bingo!!!
hoyazo: bets 100 Betting cuz I'm a Man. But not too big, cuz I don't want to lose this guy, and I'm well past the point where I can't handle having to lay this thing down to a four-flush on the turn or river.
gigagambler: calls 100
*** TURN *** [4h 2h Kh] [7c]
Tobins2008 has returned
hoyazo: bets 340 A little more this time, let's try to milk this a li'l more and see where the river brings us.
gigagambler: calls 340 Nice!
*** RIVER *** [4h 2h Kh 7c] [4c]
hoyazo: bets 880
gigagambler: calls 880 Notice the lack of any pause on his part for any of these calls. No raising, so I know my flush is ahead, but no pausing before calling down half his stack on hand #2 of the tournament now either.
*** SHOW DOWN ***
hoyazo: shows [8h 9h] (a flush, King high)
gigagambler: mucks hand
hoyazo collected 2780 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2780 | Rake 0
Board [4h 2h Kh 7c 4c]
Seat 1: maximum8282 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: Titantom32 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: gigagambler (button) mucked [Ac Jc]
Seat 4: hoyazo (small blind) showed [8h 9h] and won (2780) with a flush, King high
Seat 5: FMA ED (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: Tobins2008 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: iropeudope folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: teqbuster folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: mig.com folded before Flop (didn't bet)

So there you go. Calls me down for half his stack on three separate streets without hesitation with AJ unimproved on an all-suited flop when he had NONE of that suit. Is this even possible? I swear to you this does not happen on full tilt, and yet I have gotten off to nice starts and fairly easy doubles in almost every mtt I have played on pokerstars over the past couple of weeks on plays marginally like this one here. Just wow.

Now for those of you wondering whether pokerstars has gotten any better about the recockulous, redickulous redonkulous suckouts that have made the site famous over the past several years, I present to you my elimination hand from the stars 50-50 last night, which sadly is also not an aberration anymore than that earlier double-up I just showed you is. Keep in mind this is down to around 300 players left from the 1300 or so who started on Monday night, and my stack is around 40th place at the time as I am doing great like I have been in most of my pokerstars tournaments of late:

PokerStars Game #15068072902: Tournament #76072570, $50+$5 Hold'em No Limit - Level VIII (200/400) - 2008/02/04 - 23:36:08 (ET)
Table '76072570 74' 9-max Seat #3 is the button
Seat 2: strazin (20235 in chips)
Seat 3: hoyazo (17147 in chips)
Seat 4: SJR48 (13327 in chips)
Seat 5: shannonmacs (9772 in chips)
Seat 6: pbdrunks (15474 in chips)
Seat 7: popfurf (11841 in chips)
Seat 8: AAAA316 (16490 in chips)
Seat 9: oregon (12050 in chips)
strazin: posts the ante 25
hoyazo: posts the ante 25
SJR48: posts the ante 25
shannonmacs: posts the ante 25
pbdrunks: posts the ante 25
popfurf: posts the ante 25
AAAA316: posts the ante 25
oregon: posts the ante 25
SJR48: posts small blind 200
shannonmacs: posts big blind 400
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hoyazo [9s 9h]
pbdrunks: folds
popfurf: folds
AAAA316: calls 400
oregon: folds
strazin: raises 900 to 1300
hoyazo: calls 1300 Not a big raise, very easy for me to call and hope I flop overpair, or especially a set.
SJR48: folds
shannonmacs: folds
AAAA316: calls 900
*** FLOP *** [8d 9d 8s] Or a boat!!!
AAAA316: checks
strazin: bets 2400
hoyazo: raises 2400 to 4800 Minraise. Not my usual move but in this case I wanted to leave my opponent, who had raised a limper preflop so I was hoping he had an overpair (which no one can fold on stars, EVER) enough to think that he could get me to fold with an allin rereraise. It's actually a good strategic move on my part I think to think about stack sizes in this way when you can put your opponent on a particular type of hand that is hard to lay down and when you know you have flopped a monster with the overboat. If I raise him to 10,000 there, he could still push for value but he will know I am not likely to lay down given the size of my remaining stack, so the minraise was my preferred move in this particular spot.
AAAA316: folds
strazin: raises 14110 to 18910 and is all-in Bingo again!!!
hoyazo: calls 11022 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [8d 9d 8s] [Qh]
*** RIVER *** [8d 9d 8s Qh] [Kc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
strazin: shows [Qd Qc] (a full house, Queens full of Eights) OMMMMMMMMFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFG.
hoyazo: shows [9s 9h] (a full house, Nines full of Eights)
strazin collected 36344 from pot
AAAA316 said, "wow"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 36344 | Rake 0
Board [8d 9d 8s Qh Kc]
Seat 2: strazin showed [Qd Qc] and won (36344) with a full house, Queens full of Eights
Seat 3: hoyazo (button) showed [9s 9h] and lost with a full house, Nines full of Eights
Seat 4: SJR48 (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: shannonmacs (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: pbdrunks folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: popfurf folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: AAAA316 folded on the Flop
Seat 9: oregon folded before Flop (didn't bet)


OK so back to Mondays at the Hoy this week. We had another nice showing with 30 runners coming out for this week's MATH, making for an even $720 prize pool. I managed to be the second one out on this night, busting in 29th place out of 30 players when I flopped a set of 3s on a 753 all-suited flop. I bet nearly the size of the pot since I can't let someone stay in to draw to the four-flush for free and since I know someone will call any size bet like this with just the four-flush. The turn is an offsuit raggy 6. I of course bet nearly the size of the pot again, this time expecting the four-flusher to fold, but instead I get called again. Nice. The river also raggy and offsuit 9, leaving no possible straights or flushes on the board. I move allin for now what is less than the size of the now large pot, and am instacalled by a turned set of 6s. Delicious! But at least it's been a good week or so since a blonkament crushing elimination like that, so I can't complain. I guess.

But four people did manage to survive the minefield this week and bring us three out of four brand new first-time cashers for 2008's Mondays at the Hoy tournaments. Those four lucky winners are:

4. $72 -- Pirate Wes
3. $144 -- pureprophet
2. $216 -- astin
1. $288 -- Tripjax

And here is the updated 2008 MATH moneyboard, including this week's results:

1. surflexus $488
2. fuel55 $445
3. astin $366
4. Jordan $332
5. twoblackaces $298
6. Tripjax $288
7. Donkey Shortz $215
8. VinNay $203
9. buckhoya $150
9. Miami Don $150
9. Mike Maloney $150
12. pureprophet $144
13. chitwood $127
14. bayne_s $112
15. thepokergrind $95
16. bartonf $89
17. Pirate Wes $72
18. Hoyazo $67

Thanks to everyone who came out and played this week, and I look forward to seeing you all again next week for Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt. And speaking of full tilt, don't forget tonight is the latest Skill Series event on full tilt at 9:30pm ET, which tonight will be stud hi-lo, one of my longest-playing and favorite games. See you then!

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Blogger Chad C said...

I got two outted four times on FTP yesterday, clearly FTP is more rigged :)

1:52 AM  
Blogger Jestocost said...

Yeah, FTP clearly would never give a win to a 9-1 dog and certainly not ever bust anyone who was a 9-1 favorite over two opponents combined.

Oh, wait...


2:11 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Obv. I did not mean to say that ftp is not rigged. All the sites are rigged. Against me.

But nothing is worse than pokerstars. You know that you both know it's true.

2:34 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

How can Chad have already forgotten me river one-outing him on PokerStars Saturday?

5:45 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

Because it was $10 Bayne, and frankly I expect suck outs like that from you and others in bloggaments.....

6:26 AM  
Blogger crazdgamer said...

It's not so much that you got two-outted, but that you were actually behind PF (you, of course, didn't know this), made second-nuts by hitting YOUR two-outter, and the obligatory two-outter resuck for your opponent comes later.

Standard two-outters are textbook. Stuff like this is what PokerStars is made of.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good hand. But it’s easier to understand visually:


The hand can be embedded right in your posts.

9:28 PM  

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