Monday, April 21, 2008

The Blonkaments and the BBT

The BBT3 rolls on this week with another 6-max nlh tournament in Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt:

Same time as always: 10pm ET on full tilt. Same password as always: "hammer". See you there as we begin the first full week of the second half of the BBT3 tournament challenge. Tonight's winner will get the cash payout from this event plus a coveted seat in the series-ending BBT3 Tournament of Champions, in which two 12k WSOP prize packages and two more 2k WSOP prize packages will be awarded to the top four finishers. Hard to beat that for a freeroll. And all you have to do to play is to win one of the BBT3 events. I won my seat last week in Stud Hi-Lo in the Skills Series. Have you won your ToC seat yet?

I barely played poker this weekend, only playing a bit on Sunday after donking it up for about an hour and a half in the donkament last Friday that I think I saw my favorite punching bag NutzCarson take down, congrats to him. I have suckout-eliminated that guy from the donkament more times than I can count, so it's nice to seem him avoid me entirely and then go on to victory in my absence in a tournament that is always a fun, laid back time for everyone.

Speaking of fun, laid back times in blonkaments, I have made no secret here over time of my distaste for blonkament competitions like the BBT in anything but slight moderation. After a couple months of most of our regular "good time" events being tied to a points race, I have spent weeks barching here in the blog about how it ruins the fun of the games, it changes the way people play from trying to have a good time to trying to hold on for dear life due to some arbitrary line in the sand picked by the tournament organizers. It really does impact negatively the spirit of our games I think after a sustained period of time, and again I have made no secret whatsoever of my happiness at the end of every single BBT challenge that has been run, to just be able to go back to everyone having a good time in the blonkaments and not playing it like there is so much on the line with every allin, every suckout, every elimination and every double-up.

Similarly, again I made my feelings known when the BBT was brought back late in 2007 for the BBT2, that I thought it was too soon, and in general it just wasn't the right time to basically clog up our last two months of the year of private blogger tournaments like that after already having eaten up three months earlier in the year with the first BBT. Now, I know why the BBT2 happened when it did -- basically we knew there was going to be 40 grand of free stuff related to the WSOP coming at us as a group for the BBT3 if the BBT2 tested well, and full tilt essentially made the BBT2 a part of the package because they wanted to pimp the Aussie Millions challenge. So the decision was made to go ahead with the BBT2 even though the timing was probably not ideal, but it was done for the sake of getting the prizes for the BBT3 to be at the incredible levels they are today.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the end result of all this was as I had feared. We took five out of 12 months of the year in 2007 and tied them up with two separate BBT challenges, under conditions in the blonkaments that I myself have publicly complained about on like a hundred occasions. Maybe some people -- in particulare those who've been part of the community for less than a couple of years here -- aren't bothered in the least by the BBT, and I like that and respect it and have no issue with it. But it bugged me, significantly by the end of it all, with both BBTs during 2007. It really changes the nature of our weekly games in a noticeable way. And it wasn't like it was because I couldn't win, as I am significantly profitable for the three BBTs overall and have won three individual events outright. But it bugged me, it really did. I love a challenge like the BBT, and I strongly suspect that running it once a year for a couple of months would be much better (or less poorly) received by the group as a whole than taking up half the year with it. But changing our regular games from times to just have fun and chat some old friends up to the majority of the time being overshadowed by the underlying prizes available, the "points" structure, etc. has not in my view had a positive effect on the games overall.

Add in the BBT3 now, and that will make 8 out of the last 12 months where our private blogger-hosted tournaments are now part of the week-to-week competition of the BBT and not just a chance for people to come out and have fun. And some people, in particular (understandably) those who were around like I was playing in the regular private events for a long time back before the BBT, before the WPBT, when just getting together and donking it up was the whole point and it seemed like far fewer people acted like monkeys in the chat and got worked up on our blogs about particular suckouts or eliminations or bad hands, are not happy about the change. And like I said, I can understand it. Personally, I think a couple-month challenge one time a year or so is more than fine -- I think that sounds like a really great idea, personally -- but more than that I think obviously really weighs on some people who miss the days when these games were not taken so seriously and people just didn't care so much. I always thought this ever since the BBT was started up early in 2007, I have been perfectly public about that feeling here in the blog and elsewhere, and I guess in the end those of us whose names or whose tournaments are associated with the BBT should expect to be on the receiving end of some criticism or ill feeling from those in the group who are not happy about the very clear changes that the BBT has brought about in our private games.

And that's the most ironic thing to me about some of the stuff that's been said about me over the past week or so -- I actually agree more than most out there with most of the sentiment that has been raised lately, be it about the BBT specifically or about the attitudes of several bloggers playing in the BBT tournaments generally. Although I can't say that I agree exactly with the sentiment involved, a part of me did enjoy the "Circles of blogging hell" posts because, frankly, I have had numerous conversations, both live and in the girly, about the "new crop" of bloggers and how on multiple occasions I have been disappointed in how certain things have gone down, the intentions of some of the people involved and just generally their attitudes about poker, about other bloggers and about things in general. I may not have been at the first few live gatherings in Vegas, but when I joined the group it was still fairly small, at least compared to what it has become nowadays. I easily have the perspective to see how things have changed over the past few years since I started getting involved first in reading poker blogs, then in playing in the private tournaments and eventually to creating my own blog in Autumn of 2005. And in general to be quite honest I can't say that attitudes are improving, at least compared to what I would ultimately like people to act like to each other.

Anyways all this is a very long way of saying how unfortunate I think it is that some of my actions over the past week have rankled some feathers of other bloggers. It isn't the first time by a long shot, and it surely won't be the last. I make no apologies for anything I have done given the circumstances -- I think the particular circumstances of last week's chop clearly say what I want them to say about that whole thing -- but it's not like I am happy when I see guys I respect being pissed at something I did, even if it does not really have any direct effect on the people involved. Oh and btw, to those who still haven't figured this out -- I am an egomaniac. I'm a pompous ass. It's like my defining characteristic. So every time I read a comment where people complain about that, I kinda laugh a little inside. I thought that by making that the explicit tagline of my fucking blog, this would help spread the word so that readers are not surprised by what an egomaniac I come off as in the blog. I guess that still isn't working. Oh well, I'll deal with it. And of course, everyone can make their own decisions about everything they do, but I also kinda laugh when someone shows up in my comments and insults me, my writing and my blog in general, and then I check my stats and I see that person having hit my blog 841 times in just the past year. 841 hits in a year? I must be doing something right for somebody.

OK that's enough rambling for a Monday here. I'll see you tonight for Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt!

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Blogger Astin said...

You egomaniacal pompous ass!

Oh, hold on... that describes 85% of the bloggers out there (I'm probably off by around 15%).

1:03 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I am obviously fairly new to the blogging scene. I've started blogging about a year and 4 months and that's also about as long as I have read poker blogs. Having said that, I think I am respectful of other bloggers (esp the ones that seem to have been around for a while) and since everyone seemed to have taken me in with open arms, I try to do the same with others that come my way.

Having said that, I never got to experience the so called small fun gatherings... I am one of those guys that hadn't shown up to a single bloggament until BBT3 started this year. I guess to me, as fun as poker is, it is about competition. Coming out to chat and to have a good time is fine but as soon as the cards are dealt, I want to win. I am very competitive and so I like the BBT. There's more on the line and it makes it worth it. At the same time, if you see me at the chat tables, as long as people are responsive, I think I am fairly chatty. I mean a lot is on the line but then again, it's not a life or death matter, nor is the amount life changing. I mean sure, it's a nice chunk of change or potentially a great experience but again, it's not like your first born child is on the line or anything.

I mean in the end, poker is part hobby, part job for me. I can only play 4 tables at a time and if nothing more is on the line, I feel that I can't justify playing let's say in a $10 mookie for a chance to come in 1st and take down $200 or whatever that first place prize is. The time/benefit ratio doesn't justify my playing in it. But that's just me. I know I treat poker a little too seriously but that's what I do.

It's unfortunate if BBTs are ruining whatever blogger atmosphere that used to exist but for a guy like me, it's great that it evolved into something so great that more and more people are joining. I've also met people through blogs and like you always mention, now I look forward to blogger gatherings (and I am extremely bummed that I can't make it to the summer one this year).

I've read a lot of things about your chop too. Now I personally don't agree with chops for the TOC seat. But on the same token, the deals that were offered to you or ScottMc is a great deal that would be stupid to turn down. I just wish there was a no chop policy in place. But given the circumstances now, I don't blame you. I just hate that there's nothing to prevent the chops since I think there's value in fighting for the seat, even if it's through ridiculous luck or suckouts or whatever. But that's just me. Again, it's not like you or Scott asked for a deal so I don't know why people are personally attacking you guys. I think the ones offering the ridiculously good deals should be questioned to why they even play in the first place but not the ones who take the deal since the deal itself was basically a nobrainer...

Plus you having haters is nothing new right? Clear sign of how big and influential you are.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Hoy!!! It meant a lot that you dumped your chips like that just before the final table to make sure you wouldn't accidentally roll over me at the final table.

Your ok in my book.

I can't really comment on the BB3, because I don't play in it(lack of talent and funds). But from the outter edge of the inner blog circle, it seems like a pretty good thing.

2:12 AM  
Blogger ScottMcM said...

hey if you and I get heads up in the TOC do you wanna Chop?

2:43 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Alan, FWIW I agree with you about the competition thing, and some of the old schoolers and me will just have to agree to disagree about the badness of me focusing on winning the blonkaments that I play in. But I am like you, when I sit down to play one of these things, even if it's with a bunch of friends -- sometimes especially because it's with a bunch of friends -- I am definitely in it to win it. It is obvious from some of the commentary this week that my (and others like me) focusing on winning in the blonkaments is viewed as a negative development by some of those guys who used to play in these when it was really just about donking it up and laughing and not really trying to win. But I can live with that, I think it is fine to care a lot about winning any poker tournament I play in, so like I said they and I can agree to disagree there and that particular aspect I am more than fine with. Plus I see those guys trying hard as hell to win when they play in these things as well, so that particular aspect I just don't sweat.

And btw I would be completely down with a no-chop policy for the BBT ToC seats. But since that's not where we ended up, to judge me at this point for agreeing to a chop with a guy who could not play in the ToC really misses the point in my book. But hey that's just me.

And Scott, I would love to chop with you but I think I want to win outright so I can put the extra seat on ebay.

3:12 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Self-knowledge is an admirable trait.

3:17 AM  
Blogger StB said...

I must respectfully disagree with your comment Hoy. I think most everyone tries to win these tournaments. Especially with a nice prize on the line. Sure when the BBT3 isn't going on it may be more carefree play, but not during this series.

Just like when Iggy (God rest his poker blog's soul) set up tournaments to send a blogger to the WSOP, everyone playing was trying to win. The only ones donking were those who couldn't make it to the Series and wanted to donate to those who could. They let it be know before the tournament what they were doing.

It has never been about who was winning these tournaments, or if you were winning, or about chopping. Chopping the TOC seat was not right IMO. That was the issue I had and that others- not all- agreed with.

It was never suppose to be a personal attack on you. I apologize if that is how it came across. Best thing you can do is win one outright and title a post Fuck You StB. So let it be written, so let it be done.

8:17 PM  

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