Thursday, April 10, 2008

Donkin' It Up in the Mookie

I was all set to write up the second part of the first part of my SNG turbo ring strategy post today, but given the number of "sorry"s and other feelgood emails and girly's I've gotten today, I guess I have to mention the Mookie. I'll get to that next SNG post yet my pretties. Maybe.

Anyways, thanks to everybody but honestly, you don't understand. For those that don't know -- most of you I am sure -- I did final table the Mookie last night for just the second time this year. I was in the slight chip lead for most of the time between around 20 players left and maybe 8 players left, although by the time we were four-handed I was in a slight last place and I ended up pushing allin preflop on a reraise with my J5o against LJ's AK. Obviously rereraising allin with ATC is not the way I want to end a rare Mookie run for me. And yet, I wasn't even the least bit down when I lost that hand and exited in 4th place for $97 and a nice confidence boost in a tournament where historically, in a word, I blowbigfatass. And you know why I wasn't down when I busto'd myself?

Because I played like ass. The entire night. This was not one of those nights where I was killing and really deserved to win, and those are the ones that kill ya for a while afterwards. I played like a donkey as far as I can remember throughout the entire Mookie tournament this week. I ignored my own sworn advice and played loose and idiotic early, getting lucky to double up against someone maybe with AK against his AQ early or something like that. Then I basically stole 850 pots on my way to the final 25 or 30 players, when the blinds really started kicking in and the M's were dropping off the cliff. At that point, with just a little over twice the starting stack and in the middle of the pack, I must've had three or four hands over a 10-minute span where I was in the blinds or in late position with a strong hand (say, ATs or better), and saw the action before the flop fold around to someone in a stealy position with one of those 1500-chip stacks who was now desperate enough to just push in with ATC. I called my way to the top of the leaderboard over a very short period of time simply by being dealt lucky cards behind late-position shorties pushing with ATC, and miraculously all four of them held up.

That's it. That is the sum total of my chip winnings on the night. I had people commenting all over the place how I was going to donk out because I was raising every third hand for hours (I was). I played maniacal poker, got lucky a bunch without ever actually sucking out, and I made it all the way to the final table with some chips by doing just that. I doubled up early with AK over AQ, then I stole 85 pots, and finally I lucked into four pocket pairs or strong Aces in succession against late-position mid-shorties pushing with ATC and all four held up.

So I was laughing my whole way to the final table. I knew I didn't deserve to be there. Not on this night. It's a great reminder though for me of what it actually takes to actually final table this silly thing. You guys with two or three (or seven) Mookie wins ought to have your online poker cards revoked for what that says about you.

But anyways, what I'm trying to say is that yeah it was a god awful move me pushing in in that spot with two shitty cards like J5o. Just understand -- and I've said this before, though I'm not sure that I've done a good enough job of explaining my feelings on it -- I pushed with hands like J5o like a hundred times in the Mookie this week to even be there at the end. I do think I had exactly one premium hand dealt to me, AA or KK as I recall, but otherwise that I can recall my hands were pretty bad. I played that J5o hand at the end exactly like I had played seriously 18 or 19 hands before that one right in front of you all. Every time I steal-raised, I had carp. Every time I restole, I had carp. But no one called me. My only other decent pot early other than the AK > AQ hand was very early in the tournament against jeciimd when I won a hand at showdown with the Hammer, having raised preflop and raised on the flop with it as well when I flopped Q97 or some shit like that. But that's the kind of hands I won almost all of my pots with on the night -- shitty cards or just positional setups where I had to call and my favorite held up**. I didn't play one hand well all night, my reads were off -- including obviously on that last hand with LJ -- and I had no place being around. So it never feels bad to me to bust after a night like that. And yeah, again I make no excuses for pushing J5o against LJ after she had already reraised me. She indicated that she had a hand, and I figured I know LJ really wants to win the seat, I'm not getting any playable cards here, and LJ loves to resteal in tihs kind of spot, so why not see if I can make her lay down. Bad play and bad decision on my part. But just take it from me, it doesn't feel all bad to me like apparently it did for many of you out there. When you're pushing and reraising with hands made of pure smelly garbage for an hour and having chips just luck into your lap time and time again while you're doing it, it never hurts all that bad when you finally get caught.

And getting caught I did. While I got to watch every player left at the final table suck out at least two or three times on the night just while I was at their tables, I was busy running in to pocket Aces not once, not twice, not three times but four times on the night, each time allin and each time where I had been holding a good hand at the time as well. One time was around the end of the first hour with my AK preflop, that sucked. The next time early in Hour 2 was again with AK, this time my allin reraise on the King-high flop when the guy showed me Aces (that is always fun times). A third time I got allin preflop against Aces was (luckily) against a fairly short player when I held the chip lead with around 21 or 22 players left and I held JJ, and then there was the big hand that got Waffles his huge stack. Here, some shorty had pushed allin with a stack that was small enough for him to be pushing basically with ATC from his position, so I reraised him allin to isolate with my pocket 7s before the flop. Smartly, Waffles woke up behind me with pocket Aces and he tripled up at my expense. But I like the play there with 77. Some people referred to that hand last night as a setup, which I do not agree with since I only had a pair of 7s and could easily have gotten away from that mediocre hand at best. But I do believe I played it the proper way and just got very unlucky with Waffles' Aces, and as I reviewed the hand history this morning I know I would make that play in that spot again. What can I do.

So on the night I ran AK and JJ into pocket Aces from shorter stacks than mine and survived. I also ran the 77 into Waffles' Aces preflop when I (I think) correctly reraised to isolate a shorty push with ATC. And I ran AK into AA as well on a King-high flop. And that's not even counting the not once, not twice but three times I pushed allin into AK. One time early on I lost to another shorty, one time my JJ held up, and then there was the brilliant last hand where I rereraised J5o right smack into LJ's AK. Sweet night, huh? So for running allin to AA or AK a full seven times and yet somehow still lasting to 4th place, believe me when I say that I am really pleased with my performance, and I bear no ill will about anything related to last night, and I was pleased to see two people I like battle it out heads-up for the title.

On the topic of ill will though, I will say that during a deep run in the elusive Mookie like this where I was in such good shape chipwise earlier on and even early at the final table, you really find out who your friends are. Some of the people in chat really belie their true feelings for me when they chat. I am always amazed and how redonkulous some people's haterism is, and yet how readily they display this ugliest of qualities right in front of a whole group of bloggers in the game and on the rail. For the first time I have to say I really get what Gary Cox was saying in a post last week about the dumbest part of the asschatters in the BBT3 tournaments is all the veiled statements they are making to put down other players, yet which they are acting like no one really gets the rudeness of. I mean I've got people who have literally never won a single no-limit holdem mtt in their entire lives sitting on the rail and making fun of me for pushing with J5o when they *think* I'm not there to defend myself. Guys who literally haven't won an nlh tournament in their entire lives -- make no mistake, because they definitively have no clue about how to play a final table, how to push with nothing and be successful, what it takes to actually win an mtt. They know nothing. Literally. They literally wouldn't know a good poker play from a bad one in a meaningful tournament context. But suddenly, when they think I'm gone, there they are -- on the rail, because they called off their chips with 33 instead of surviving to 4th place to push allin with Jack-high, or on the rail because they don't even have the bankroll to play an $11 event -- commenting on how bad my play was, etc. Keep it up guys, you really show your true colors when you do. And people notice it and what it says about the kind of person you are. So keep it up.

The heads-up battle between LJ and Waffles was entertaining for a bit, if not a bit tight for my tastes. Both of them wanted the win and the ToC seat so bad, you could just feel it watching the two of them battle it out. The key hand in the hu battle came early, however, when LJ called the river for half her remaining stack and to go down 5-to-1 in chips on an AJ234 board with three clubs. This was a board where two clubs had flopped, I believe Waffles checked, LJ had bet out and Waffles had called the flop bet. Then the third club hit the turn, Waffles had checked again and this time LJ checked behind, only to see Waffles bet out large on the river. My point in this is just to say that he played his hand very much as if he had been on a flush draw and then had hit his flush on the turn. Anyways, not being seated at the table at the time, I could never see what hand LJ called Waffles' 20k+ bet with on that river, but he showed a 5 for the 2nd nut straight and went up something like 105k to 20k in chips at the time, a deficit from which LJ never really recovered. She did a great job fighting back and doubling up from a short stack a few times, but LJ was never able to get a real chip lead back and ended up with her A5 falling to Waffles' KJs maybe 20 minutes later or so. But I am still trying to figure out what LJ called so many chips on that river with, given that she lost to the second nut straight and obviously therefore did not have the flush either. I will have to guess it was two pair with the Ace and one of the low cards, maybe with the Ace of clubs too so she knew Waffles was not on the nut flush when she made that river call. But in the end that was the hand that did her in, Waffles showed his straight and eventually that chip lead carried him to the win.

The ToC is better with Waffles in it, is it not? I'm sure LJ will have her day soon enough. And for me, yes I had my second-deepest ever run in the Mookie last night, tying with my last 4th place finish in the middle of the BBT2 last year. But don't shed a tear, I played like a blogger all through that thing and was just happy to be there at the end along for the ride. If I had won the Mookie this week that would have been the single greatest embarrassment to the institution of the Mookie that there ever was. Take it from me.

Riverchasers tonight, don't forget the earlier start time of 9pm ET. As always, the password for Riverchasers on full tilt is "riverchasers". See you then for another Lost-free Thursday.

**PS just FYI, yes I really do love it when a blogger spends just not an entire tournament, but an entire past few years of blogger tournaments, pushing with ATC from beginning to end, constantly getting donked out early from these things, and then calls me an idiot for calling his ATC push with an uber short stack with my K6o. More stuff for you guys to please keep doing in the chat. The entertainment value alone is almost worth the $11 buyin. Thank you.

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Blogger lj said...

i was a tiny bit surprised to see the J5, but that shove forces me to fold a lot of hands, and fwiw i don't think it was bad at all. still not sure if i should have called your iso shove w/ TT (i raised, shortie shoved, you re-shipped) when you had AQ (shortie had A4?) and you guys both rivered the straight against my flopped set. either way, it was a flip, but not sure what to do w/ TT there...

there was no J on the board in that hand w/ waffles. flop came T23, two clubs. i bet, he called. turn was worst card ever, Ac. check, check. river 4 and his 55 runner runnered a gut shot against my JJ. i should have check called the river, and not led out, and i've thought a lot about whether i should have double barrelled on the turn, and don't have an answer.

as for hu match being tight, waffles was calling practically everything, and it's tough when every hand is 94o, 63o, 23o, etc. perhaps i should have been more aggressive w/ my crap hands, but i'm not sure.

you'll win the mookie eventually, and it's gonna feel fantastic.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Wow LJ. Surprised you called that hand with just the pair of Jacks. I really had him on a flush when he bet the river, and either way I would think for that many chips you might put him on at least an Ace. Did you think you were calling to win or was it a crying call there? Either way him making that straight at the river was a bad break. You played better than he did heads-up overall I thought, all except for that one hand that got you in too deep a hole to recover in the end.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

FYI until the last two hands I never shoved without 88+/AJ+. I got called at least 10 times by hands that I had crushed. So why not shove in these things? Surely it maximizes value. And - if LJ hadn't sucked a 7 on me I probably have a 50/50 shot of winning.

Still my issue is not how you got to the final table but rather why you chose to spew it off (and/or risked spewing it off) when you realistically had a chance to win and get the monkey off your back? That's all.

12:19 AM  
Blogger DuggleBogey said...

It's not like J5 is in that bad of shape against AK, but I'm kind of with Fuel...The dream seemed to die so suddenly it was just kind of shocking.

I guess I thought it was destiny.

12:34 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

You might be able to make a case for LJ playing AS WELL as me the entire end game but better? How do you come to that conclusion?

As far as your J5 move.. Just bad timing man. I appreciated the skill it takes to make that play. The only thing I would say against it is that LJ is likely to call with most any hand she re-raised you on. You explain it by saying you thought she wanted a TOC seat and would fold and I totally buy that explanation and have no problems with your jam.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Waffles I did not mean to degrade your performance last night at all, sorry if I gave that impression. LJ lost most of her chips on that hand when you rivered the gutshot on her, where obviously you played that one better than she did, but the rest of the way I thought she played a really great small stack and twice managed to get allin ahead as I recall and double up. And then she got in ahead again at the end and you finally got the card you needed.

For the record you obviously played really well last night, including heads-up. Just glad you got your seat so we can look forward to more rantage, ToC style.

Fuel, denying the image that you most obviously have among this crowd at this point is not going to help you to win in these things. I'm just saying. Your image is what it is, and claiming that you only pushed jackace and pocket 8s or better last night #1 is factually inaccurate as per the two previous hands right before I called you with my K6 when you clearly ATC pushed, and I'm sure several other times on the night, and #2 does not actually get to the actual image that you've actually garnered for yourself over time with these monkeys.

Imagine if I open-raised from the button at the final table, someone reraised me allin with AQ and I called them with AJ and lost. Imagine what you would think of me if I claimed in that scenario that how could anyone think their AQ is possibly ahead of my raising range there, I've played tight all night. It's a total non-sequitir man. You've spent the past 3 years playing ATC all night long in most of these things, and that is your image at this point. That's not an image you can make go away by claiming it's not true, any more than I can claim I never steal the blinds without a strong hand. It just is. That's all I'm getting at man -- the sooner you realize, accept, and most importantly, adjust to what your true image is in these things, the sooner your results will improve. Just my two cents, ymmv.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Donkette said...

I'll say this once again......


12:57 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I am not going to get into this conversation with you Hoy because I honestly think LJ played great. If you want to ignore when I got her all in with no pair no draw or maybe 3rd pair vs my kings and she runnered a flush then you think what you want. Game could have been over there easily. I really do not see where she played better than me overall HU. Same. As good. Well. Excellent. Sure. Not better.

12:58 AM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

GG Hoy! GL getting that Mookie monkey off your back eventually. (GL getting the haters off too!)

1:07 AM  
Blogger lj said...

don't mean to hijack comment thread here, but ftr waffles i flopped an oesd when you had KK. not saying the suckout wasn't brutal, but if even one card is different on that flop there's no way i'm putting more money into the pot w/ T5o.

1:09 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Waffles, don't take your day in the sun and spend it creating controversy where there is none. It sounds to me like you and I are basically 99% in agreement. Why focus on the 1% difference?

You dominated, you are the best poker playing blogger after Donkette, and let's just leave it at that, ok? Two Mookie wins -- you must be good!

1:19 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Sorry to get that hand wrong LJ. lol. I did not even notice the straight draw at the time.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Waffles is a lucksac. I have proof.

Hoy, well said about Fuel. Fuel, I think that's worth thinking about here.

1:28 AM  
Blogger $mokkee said...

anyone who plays 55 like it's AA is a donkeroo.

it's the god honest truth cuz that's how i lost half my stack against Vin (sb vs bb). then I went on to open shove with 99 and ran into Kat's JJ.

note to Fool55: 55 will always suck donkey ballz. no idea why i ever had faith in that junk hand.

presto junkoooo

2:04 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Plus I thought it was K6s. Maybe it was the same color. Does it matter? You were getting 2:1. Against a shorty that couldn't really hurt you. Folding would just be retarded considering the range. K high could very well be good enough. If anyone thinks folding is the right move there, you really don't know your tournaments... and hell, I know I'm a tournament donk but even I know that!!!

2:09 AM  
Blogger Shrike said...

Alan, you think Fuel thinks people pay attention to his image in bloggaments? lol!

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How you blast J5o into someone who hasn't folded in 12 years I'll never know.

That was your Mookie to win. Disappointing to me from afar to say the least.

2:59 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Don, I'm not saying LJ is the most foldalicious player I know, but I have personally watched her play quite tightly at the later stages of not only some but basically all of her mtt's lately. I really thought she would lay it down. Bad read, obviously if I had known she had AK I would have run like the wind.

But you are not giving LJ the credit she deserves if you say she does not fold. The old LJ maybe that was more true about, but not the new LJ who has won like 20k or whatever in tournaments this year.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Wwonka said...


Congrats on the deep run.

You will win one of these sooner or later. I mean if waffles and I can then you certainly can close the deal.

Waffles and I will Represent at the WSOP.


4:12 AM  
Blogger BamBam said...

To quote,

"And people notice it and what it says about the kind of person you are. So keep it up."

I think it's fair to say, that this does not just apply to this one situation. I believe it's becoming far more apparent every event now, that the D-bag watch is clearly on.

And IMHO, that's a very good thing.

As always, good to see you at the tables.

11:03 PM  
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11:40 AM  

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