Friday, May 30, 2008

Looking Back at the BBT3

So. With Thursday night's Riverchasers tournament now in the books, I find myself looking back over the BBT3 and trying to assess the landscape. I am looking very much forward to this coming Sunday night, when Miami Don's Big Game will roll into town for one last gasp for everyone who has yet to win a BBT3 tournament like I did to get your place in the upcoming June 7 BBT3 Tournament of Champions. But to me, it feels like the series is already over with RC this week, and it has me feeling nostalgic already. Plus, might as well get this post in ahead of all the end-of-BBT stuff we'll be seeing next week. As usual, I get the distinct sense that my feelings here at the end of the three-month challenge are different from most of you out there, so why not share it here and let some monkeys people get their hate on, right? It is a Friday after all.

If you recall, after the first two BBT tournament series, man was I fucking drained. I was pissed. Nobody could enjoy the BBT more than I do, but I like really taking trying to win seriously. I'm proud of that, of course, but it does increase my stress / agita during BBT season every time it happens. And by the end, I have always been so effing happy to see it go. The constant focus on not coming out and playing LAGgy tonight because of leaderboard points, or everyone else folding to the money back in the first BBT and not just coming out and playing poker. The change in the atmo in the private blogger tournaments is palpable when the BBT is in town, like it's all a lot more serious, a lot more meaningful. Personally I do not play much differently whether it is BBT time or otherwise, but I can say as a fact that many of the other players in these events do, again in particluar when it comes near the "points bubble" as well as very early in the tournaments. Anyways, in the first two BBTs, I enjoyed myself immensely but at the same time I could not wait for that shit to be done by the end. I made no secret of it here on the blog, so it's not like I'm making any earth-shattering claims here. I know my sentiments have been shared by many, who I'm sure all love the BBT overall just like I do, but who have written about sharing similar feelings to my own after a few grueling months of several-nights-a-week pressure tournament poker. And I've seen the exact same stuff written about several times over the past few weeks here as the BBT3 comes to a close. But you know what?

I think I'm going to miss it this time.

I really think I am. For the first time after a BBT series, I'm not even itching for it to be over. I'm flat-out enjoying it. I'm enjoying the play in the games. I'm enjoying watching guys like Lucko and Tuscaloosa Johnny absolutely crush the field by final tabling and making the points with dramatic consistency. I'm enjoying the chase for the ToC and for some seriously fatty prizes coming up next weekend. Maybe most of all, I'm enjoying the blog posts that are generated by the seriousness of the BBT tournaments -- the rants and the more analytical stuff. Frankly, I think just about the only truly +EV poker blog posts over the past few months have been those about play or plays in the BBT3 tournaments, while otherwise I think it's been a pretty dready time for quality blog posts, other than maybe Iggy who I am happy to report is officially back and better than ever with his ubers and his actual focus on actual poker again over at G&P.

"OMGWTF what did he just say? Did he just say he likes the posts on poker blogs about the BBT3 tournaments? Even the rants?"

Yes. Even the rants. I've said it before and I'll say it again. For the first time out of any of the BBT series, I personally believe people have acted more or less completely appropriately throughout. On the blogs, in the chat box, everywhere. So the BOOOOOOOM thing got started. But who the fuck is gonna tell me they actually care about getting BOOOOOOOMed? Give me a break. Yeah some people in the chat called other people bad players. BFD. So some people posted some rants about horrible poker players making some bad plays in BBT tournaments again them. Boo fuggin hoo.

Yes, there were and continue to be a few posts and a few blog comments from people who are upset, some with good reason and others with less good reason. There have been a few posts and comments that maybe should not have been posted as written, from some surprising corners of the poker blogosphere. But really, it hasn't been a problem, not from my end anyways. And not for the vast majority of you out there, from what you've been writing on your blogs. And to me that's great. People have not been assholes and for the first time at the end of a BBT challenge, there's no pull inside me for the series to end just so people can stop taking themselves so seriously. I am very happy for this.

I'm sure another reason I personally have derived a lot of enjoyment from the BBT this time around in particular is that I have played well throughout the entire series. Scott Fischman took me out in 3rd place in the BBT3-opening Big Game a few months back, winning me basically my buyins for the entire series right in the very first event. That was key. But since then, I must have cashed a good 8 or 9 times in the BBT3 tournaments, including something like four separate times in the Mookie which has been a rare treat for me. I've made a lot of money overall in the series, and I tromped all over the Stud 8 event in the Skills Series to win my seat in the June 7 Tournament of Champions.

I remember in the BBT2, the first time we did a ToC format for the grand prize, I was very frustrated by the end. And I'm sure in no small part that was due to my inability to win a BBT2 tournament and play my way in to the ToC. That feeling sucks. By the second half of that particular two-month challenge, I did not want to miss a tournament for any reason, lest I be sitting out the night my proverbial number was going to come up, and I put a lot of pressure on myself on each and every event to make this one the event that I would win. After trying hard as shit but repeatedly coming up empty, and because I do choose to make a concerted effort to play winning, profitable poker in the blonkaments, it really wore away at me as the challenge rolled on.

But not this time around. Like I said, I won my profits for the entire series in the very first event. I won my ToC seat around the middle of the challenge, removing that monkey from my back after failing to win a single BBT tournament over two months in BBT2. I have felt very little pressure for very little time in the BBT3, and it shows in my overall happiness with the series. In fact, that leads right into I think the biggest reason I am so pleased with the BBT3 -- I have not taken it too seriously, for the first time out of three of these challenges. I haven't been actually mad about anything I've seen in any tournament, any chatbox, any blog, anything as it pertains to the BBT. I did not put undue pressure on myself in any of the events, even before I won the Stud 8 tournament to officially nab my spot in the ToC. I have even regularly skipped events whenever I had other plans, including most of the Thursday Riverchasers tournaments during the challenge as a result of Lost running original episodes pretty much all throughout the series, and this is something I skipped regularly again even before winning my ToC seat. I had no interest in participating in a large-dollar prop bet with Lucko, but I've really enjoyed watching that big bet and some of the donkeys who had the cojones to even pay up for that thing. I've even had a very profitable challenge overall when it comes to my own side bets on particular players' ongoing BBT3 performances. I understand that I have made some good money for some of the other regular BBT players as well through this series, so glad I could help those of you who had faith in me and my own play. I don't think there is any coincidence that my play has been so solid over the past few months given that I am not taking these games too seriously and that I am maintaining a light attitude about the whole thing. I only wish everyone could view it the way I do.

I, for one, will officially go on the record as saying that I am not at all sick of the BBT this time around, and that I will definitely be sad to see it gone here starting next week. I definitely will not miss the huge fields in our regular weekly tournaments, but the increased attention overall to what we do in our blogs that the BBT has brought is obviously well worth the increased participation, and once again we've seen some new blogs spike up as a result of the challenge which is of course always a great thing. I have no need whatsoever for a BBT or other crazy prize package in order for me to take the blonkaments seriously. But it sure has made this whole thing fun as shit, knowing that some 47 of us will be duking it out next Saturday night for $28,000 worth of prizes in a freeroll on full tilt. How can that be anything but awesome, whether you have a seat or not? Last time around, I watched the BBT2 ToC from the sidelines but still enjoyed myself immensely as my buddy jeciimd powered his way to victory and to the 18k Aussie Millions prize package. I can't wait for that to happen again next week, and this time to get to be a part of all the fun. a 28k freeroll paid to the top 4 spots out of 47 runners, many of whom are poker suckcocks? I'll take it any day of the week.

I don't want to spoil anyone on the Lost finale from Thursday night so I won't include any real details, but I will just say this: I found this episode to be quite a letdown. In fact I felt like I got almost no information of any value whatsoever, and the episode seemed like it was going nowhere fast for a lot of the time. Maybe it's just me. I will be watching it again tonight so perhaps my opinion on that will change, but in general it was certainly not the huge cliffhanger or anything like everyone had been claiming who had seen the pre-spoilers. I just love how off most of those things end up being most of the time. The Lost haters talking about how the show "jumps the shark" in the final few minutes by showing who was in the coffin? Does anyone care now that you know who was in there? Why would we care? Big deal guys, B F D.

Check out the donkament tonight at 9pm ET if you're around. You can't beat a $1 rebuy with a bunch of monkeys for Friday night pre-bars entertainment, if you're into that sort of thing. I am probably not there this particular night due to some other things I have going on in the evening today, but I suppose one never knows. And check back here next week for some more BBT retrospective, and I will also plan to give a little more color to some of the people I think have a good chance of cashing in the Toc, and some that I don't. Otherwise, I hope everyone has a profitable weekend, and maybe I'll see you out on the virtual felt. Just stay the F away from me at the 1-2 6-max PLO8 tables on full tilt. I am crushing.

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Blogger Poker Brian said...

I think the coolest thing was the actual island itself, other than that it was just ho hum.

Or maybe its because last season's cliffhanger was SO good that they really couldn't top it? I mean we go into next season with no real new plot devices (i.e. flashforwards) and some people lived, some died, big whoop the show still goes on.

I am all for Desmond getting a spinoff though, mark my words on that one! ;)

10:21 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

If you keep saying you "WON" a seat maybe one day you will believe it. Go buy another seat so I only have to play 46 people please.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

How can anyone not appreciate your ability to so subtly stir up shit? Chad does it with a sledgehammer, you use a rock polisher.

2:02 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Just like Andy Dufresne.

[morganfreeman]wish I could tell you that Hoyazo fought the good fight, and the Donkeys let him be. I wish I could tell you that - but poker is no fairy-tale world. He never said who did it, but we all knew. Things went on like that for awhile - poker life consists of routine, and then more routine. Every so often, Hoyazo would show up with fresh screen shots. The Donkeys kept at him - sometimes he was able to fight 'em off, sometimes not. And that's how it went for Hoyazo - that was his routine. I do believe those first two years were the worst for him, and I also believe that if things had gone on that way, this place would have got the best of him. [ /morganfreeman]

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

I am glad my many talents as a blogger are not overlooked by some of you guys. It's nice that the little things get appreciated once in a while.

2:59 AM  

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