Monday, April 07, 2008

Beatin' Down on the FTP Pros

Don't forget:

Another Monday, another 6-max nlh Mondays at the Hoy tournament on full tilt! As always, the virtual cards are in the virtual air at 10pm ET on full tilt, and the password is "hammer". One $26 buyin is all it takes to take a shot at winning a seat in the BBT3 Tournament of Champions coming up in a couple of months at the end of the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments 3. Although I may be a bit late as I am being taken out by a law firm we use quite a bit to see the Yankees open up a can of whoopass on the Rays tonight, when I am back I will be in it to win it.

Speaking of which, my plan going in to this weekend was to take it easy from poker, and to try to find a way to get my confidence and my A game back after a few weeks of playing largely like dog. I did a great job early in the weekend with the first part, only jumping in for maybe 15 minutes (and probably 20 rebuys) in the Friday night donkament, and not playing a lick on Saturday after full tilt miraculously went down right while the later final four game was going on. Barely playing any poker therefore over the weekend, when Hammer Wife went to sleep early on Sunday, I sat down to play some poker and to work on part II of my weekend goals -- getting my confidence back. I need to get back to how I was playing a month or two ago, I want to start building that roll once again, heck I even want to represent in the BBT3 for the existing active poker bloggers, who thus far are being outright outclassed and embarrassed by the field. And as I'm struggling to figure out what to play to get that confidence boost I really feel like I need, suddenly I see the perfect mark just sitting in a heads-up $110 turbo PLO sng, waiting to be preyed upon:

Yup. Scott Fischman. In the flesh (not really). In one fell swoop I can take down an FTP "pro" in a game I love to play for stakes that actually matter to me, and at the same time I can avenge all of my blogger brethren for the myriad sphincter rapings foisted upon us by Fisch a month ago in the first Big Game to kick off the BBT3. I had to go for it, and we sat down to play some pot-limit Omaha high, as I said one of my favorite games to play in a tournament format.

We traded small pots for the first few hands, but then early on I got myself into a real pickle by overplaying a hand I had no business pushing hard with at all after the flop. But giving Scott his credit, he played it in such a way to make me believe I was ahead every spot in which I bet in the hand. Scott has raised the 30-chip big blind to 90 preflop, which I called with a run of low cards, a possible flush and an Ace. It's obviously not a great hand but Fisch had been raising most hands before the flop so far and I know I can't just keep folding to his raises without seeing a heads-up flop all night. Anyways I flopped bottom two pair, I decided to bet out and he called. When the turn did not help me I checked and he checked behind, making me think my two pair was probably ahead. Then when the river came an Ace, now giving me top and 4th pair, I concluded from the previous action that I was likely ahead and that Fisch might call with a lower two pair, so I bet out the size of now sizable pot. He called with this:

and while you're at it, go look at what he called my flop potbet of 180 with. Wow, does he think this is the BBT3 or what? So just like that on that bad read by me I am down 2310 to 690. Blech.

I did manage to double from 480 chips to 960 a few hands later when Scott called my 2nd-nut straight at the end with 45 (the ass end of straight):

So now I remained down in chips, 2040 to 960. At this point in time I am still scrolling through the sng boards after having seen Fisch in there for PLO a few minutes earlier, and the next red pro I see seated is another $110 turbo -- my favorite stomping grounds these days for sngs -- and once again in Omaha, but this time the game was O8 and the pro was this guy's mortal enemy Lee Watkinson:

I figured, I'm already taking on one ftp pro here, why not make it two and try to really get some confidence back from these guys.

OK, so back to Fischman as I got off to a decent stack early in the O8 sng with Lee Watkinson. Within the next five minutes or so I had an almost exact repeat of the earlier hand where I once again made the second-nut straight on the river, I bet out the size of the pot for 240 chips and once again Fisch called, doubling me up again this time with top two pairs on the flop:

So now I was down only 1640 to 1360. Fighting back baybeee.

My first big hand occurred next, at the 30-60 level when I was dealt AAxx with one of the Aces sooted. I raised preflop, Fisch called and we saw a lovely lone Ace on the flop. I decided to mix things up a little bit against a known aggromonkey and checked behind on this non-scary flop -- not my usual move I know:

When the turn brought a non-threatening 4♥, Scott bet out the pot for 360 chips, likely taking the bait from my flop check, and I just smooth called after a short delay, figuring if I raise here he puts me on AA and folds on this not too scary board. On the river I just went for the allin and he folded, putting me up 1915 to 1085 chips for my first lead in the tournament.

A few hands later saw another very similar hand, as Fisch raised preflop and I called with TTxx double soooted, a fairly strong hand I would say in HU PLO. I mean, obviously you have to be careful with it because it's generally not making anywhere near the nuts, but it's a decent made hand for hu play and has some nice flush possibilities as well that are winners far more likely hu than they ever are in ring PLO play. So again I lucked out and flopped top set, and this time I again check-called the flop, hoping aggro Scott will commit on the turn here:

I checked again on the turn, which made a flush possible with the 9♥, and Scott checked behind, I think suspecting I had hit my flush after just calling his bet on the flop. So, I jumped out and put him allin on the river, playing upon the flush I figured he had me on, and he instafolded. In retrospect I'm not sure whether I should be happy about that outcome or not, but at the time I was very pleased with the play as it put me up 2425 to 575 and within striking distance of ending this thing.

After I doubled Scott up when he raised me preflop and I put him allin with my sooted Ace and middle pair but then lost to his higher Ace, I was up around 2100 to 900 chips once again when I once again flopped top set, and Fisch bet into me again on that flop:

Once again, I opted to pause briefly and then smooth call, hoping to take advantage of Scott's known aggro nature. The turn card brought an awesome Ace, and Scott bet out for 480 of his 670 remaining chips. He had 190 left, making both him and I obviously committed for his remaining chips if I call this bet, no questions asked and no thought needed. And yet, I decided to go for the smooth call just to be a dick, knowing he pushes blind and I call blind on any river:

Just to be a dick. Score one for the bloggers!!

I won the hand:

and then my favorite part of the story is this:

Which is Fischman insta-declining the rematch. I mean he didn't let that thing sit up there for 2 seconds before clicking on decline. It felt good, I have to say. I woulda taken him again too, and he knows it. Also, flopping top set three times in a 20-minute sng didn't hurt either.

OK so one ftp pro down, one more to go in the O8 sng with Omaha afficionado Lee Watkinson. As I mentioned I had gotten off to an early stack in this thing when I turned a boat and topped someone else's trips, and I was able to nurse that stack all the way down to the bubble fairly easily, until here is me eliminating 4th place on an obvious pot odds call for me out of the big blind vs. a shorty to get down to the top 3 cash spots in the sitngo, still alive along with Lee and some other guy.

I entered ITM leading the three of us in chips with around 5200 to 4500 (Lee Watkinson) to 3800 for the 3rd place guy. Shortly into 3-handed play, my computer crapped out and I had to restart, although I was able to quickly jump on to Hammer Wife's computer, where I had very thoughtfully loaded full tilt some time ago into a hidden folder that she does not even know exists. But, I do not like to use the screenshot facility on that pc, so no screenshots until picking up here shortly after I eliminated the 3rd place guy as well, leaving me heads-up against Lee Watkinson for the sng win, with me up in chips 8200 to 5300 or so:

Lee just kept raising before the flop every single time I limped from the big blind preflop, indiscriminately it seemed. It was quite obvious, and I was a bit surprised that he would play so predictably, but for the most part I folded to these raises. But his complete lack of discretion or thought about it made me chuckle inside. Just give me one hand lordy, just one hand! I kept thinking to myself. I countered by raising myself preflop with some far less than stellar hands, and then pot-betting allin on the flop to steal without regard to the cards in question, and I was able to hold my own and retain my decent chip lead for a good 5-7 minutes of heads-up play to end the sng.

Here I called Lees' allin on the flop with what I figured were 15 outs to the high half of the pot between my oesd and the flush draw. With the odds I was getting, this seemed to be a good call in this spot -- in PLO it would be easier but it complicates things in O8 a bit since I likely have to split half the pot if any low card falls on the turn or river. Any of you Omaha chuckleheads out there disagree with me calling here?

Anyways, I missed everything, and Lee won the high and the low with AA2x. I was now down to Lee 10,000 chips to 3500 chips. Great:

On the very next hand I got it allin preflop with A26x heads-up and still managed to only split the low end when I ran into another A2 and some better high cards. That sucked. I then went down 11,750 to 1750:

I pushed in on the very next hand for my last 1750 chips, and I managed to beat out a hand that had to be ahead of me here -- I had a pocket pair, but he held three overcards to my pair, a higher flush draw and a better low draw. Nonetheless, I was back to "only" being down 10k to 3500 in chips again:

At this point after sucking out a small loser to double back up to 3500 chips, I got real aggressive, and with the chip lead hu Lee got really passive, much moreso than I think he should have. He folded two hands to me preflop in the next several, and folded as well to my preflop raises two other times when I held KJTx with three spades, and 78TT with three suits. I gradually fought my way back to nearly even in this way, mostly due to Lee's pussyness in not playing hands and not calling preflop raises without premium-looking cards with the chip lead. Eventually, I guess this got to Lee in some way, as out of the blue he started making what I thought were some very questionable plays.

Here is Lee Watkinson calling an allin preflop reraise from me for half his chip-leading stack with what?

QJT7 rainbow? What did I miss here? Did we suddenly switch to playing PLO? No, that can't be it because this would be a drivel call in that game as well. But in O8 it is near disaster. I'm still trying to figure out what happened there, but in any event I was suddenly back up 9800 to 3700 chips.

Just three hands later, perhaps still thinking about that redonkulous allin call by Lee, here I reraised him allin preflop with a pretty shiatty hand. I figured Lee was raising with literal shit before the flop, that we had already ascertained, but obviously I was wrong as he called with a strong hand, and won:

Bad play by me. Dammit. And just like that I am down 9400 to 4100 in chips again. Dammit. Did I say that already?

Five hands later, I am still down 8400 to 5100 in chips, and then Lee gets caught again making a move that I just don't understand. He has a nice chip lead, and he raises preflop, which I reraise allin for just another 1500 more chips:

and pot odds I guess dictate that Lee "has" to call with?

K964 with three suits, the only sooted pair being the 6-4. Wow. My better hand ends up making a boat and I am now once again up 10,200 to 3300. Wheeeeeeeeee!

On the very next hand, Lee moves it allin preflop and I am faced with this decision, knowing that if I fold, I am still up 9000 to 4500, and if I call and lose, we will basically be right back to even:

What would you Omadorks do here? I can make a low, albeit not a strong one, and I also have some decent straight possibilities plus the heart flush draw. But to be honest, I basically put Lee on any four cards here, as he had been raising quite a bit whenever he was behind, and he had just lost that big pot to drop him down to a more than a 3-to-1 chip deficit, leaving him with less than three big blinds. So my hand was not particularly strong either way, but it was 2100 to me to call into a 4500-chip pot, and in the end I was getting more than 2 to 1 for a hand that I figured had to be much better than 33% to win, so I made the call.

I made a straight on the turn to beat his KKxx with no suits:

And I took down the sng, including the $497 first prize!

So, from a confidence perspective, this was good weekend and Sunday was a strong night for me, probably the best from this point of view in a few weeks for me. Now what can I do with this new-found confidence? Well, for starters like I said I will probably be arriving late, but you can look for me at the MATH tonight to see if I have bounced back at all as a result of beating down on the full tilt pros over the weekend. I have definitely been playing more 6-max these days as I mentioned last week in preparation for a possible 6-max run in the WSOP in June, and I am feeling quite comfortable with it, so you never know. Hopefully I can keep the ball rolling and continue to build on this confidence boost from here.

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Blogger Bayne said...


I like Lee.

Busting Lee in Omaha carries more pride than busting Chip Jett in NLHE or Fischman in anything.

Generally I don't like drawing to high only for a big pot in O8 after 2 low cards flop HU. exceptions are when 2 of A23 are on flop. QJT7 in O8 with no post flop play is gambling

11:51 PM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

I can only imagine that beating TWO pros in one evening is a great way to increase confidence! Nice work Hoy. Enjoy the Yankee's game and good luck at the MATH. (And good luck getting home at a decent hour for your tourney!)

12:00 AM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

sweet revenge. very nice.

do you get bounties on both of them? because that would mean you get a double payout on your HU. you pay 100 to win 200, awesome!

2:00 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I do not believe full tilt awards pro bustout bounties for sitngo play. Only regularly-scheduled mtt's as I recall.

Still, it was fun times busting them both.

2:26 AM  
Blogger $mokkee said...

nice job Hoy.

2:42 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

From Full Tilt: "Remember, Full Tilt Poker offers a bounty for busting any red pro playing in any
scheduled real money tournament with 30 players or greater. You can collect a bounty matching the tournament buy-in (not including tournament fee) up to $200."

Nice job, hoy!

3:51 AM  
Blogger Loretta8 said...

nice work hoy

5:29 AM  

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