Tuesday, May 06, 2008

MATH Recap, and Going to Las Vegas

This week's Mondays at the Hoy featured 61 runners, making for a cool $1464 in the prize pool and a slightly larger event that we have had over the last couple of weeks as the battle for the BBT3 Tournament of Champions seats continues to heat up heading into the last month of the challenge. Here are this week's eight cashers in the MATH:

8. $51.24 katitude
7. $51.24 Chippy McStacks
6. $80.52 heffmike
5. $117.12 Evy35
4. $161.04 hellory
3. $212.28 TuscaloosaJohn
2. $307.44 PokerBrian322
1. $483.12 bdidde

I passed out more or less right after my own elimination in I think 14th place on the night, so I cannot comment intelligently at all on what happened after that point. What I will say though is that our winner this week, Byron, sucked out when allin on I think four separate occasions just in the maybe 30 minutes or so I spent sitting at a table with him. There were at least two times allin with a shitty pair against a higher pair preflop only to flop a set, one other river suckout, I think to make a straight against two pair or trips or something, and then the time he rivered a 7 after calling my preflop allin with his Hammer. Not that that last one is really a suckout, but you get the drift. But from the writeups it sounds like the suckouts ended there and Byron just played his normal solid game from there and through the final table for the victory. Glad to see that another good guy will be joining me in the BBT3 Tournament of Choppions Champions, and I look forward to adding some more dead money to that field in this week's blonkaments instead of continually making the ToC field tougher and tougher on an almost daily basis. Maybe Lucko can win three or four more ToC seats and keep some other people out of there.

On the good news front, I played very solid poker on the night, my first night back at the tables for real in two weeks. Though I was definitely tired as balls by the end of my run in the MATH sometime after midnight, I did not have that urgent need to donk and sleep as I have in each of the past couple weeks' worth of blonkaments. I actually played good poker, both in the Hoy as well as the one other tournament I ran on the night, a $10 rebuy FTOPS #1 satellite that I should have had the chip lead in if not for a ghey suckout (talk about things I haven't missed over the past few weeks!). In the MATH I managed to pick up a couple of hands on the turn and river, getting paid once or twice by other two-pair type of hands, and I also floated very effectively against the right players whom I know know how to fold. With all the aggressive players I had sitting with me on the night, ranging from MATH-killer Columbo to twoblackaces, Evy and Byron to name a few, this necessitated my calling some preflop raises and even some action on the flop with not much to work with in my own hand. But my instincts were on all night, which frankly surprised me after two weeks of no real poker at all to speak of, and the whole thing felt very natural to me. So I would rate myself as ahead of the game given how I expeted myself to play after this poker layoff and with quite a bit of fatigue still lingering, and that is all goodness. Especially with my trip to Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker now coming up in just a few short weeks.

So we should talk about that. As I mentioned yesterday, my ongoing bout with mono left me with tons of time to just sit and think over the past couple of weeks, and I did so with a vengeance. One of the things I focused quite a bit on was the right time for me to go to Las Vegas this summer. As I had mentioned previously here in the blog, the second weekend of June is much better for me than the first weekend for a few different reasons, reasons which only increased upon learning that my older brother L is also planning to be out in Vegas over that second weekend. My brother and I have been going to Las Vegas together since we were in college, drinking up, smoking weed in the stairwells of the outdoor parking garages of all the big resorts in town and just generally partying it up in a manner befitting of a true "What Happens in Vegas" story. These weekends in Vegas have taken on a special meaning in my memory and truly remain some of my favorite memories of all time, whether with my family or otherwise. Now that I am married with children and all that, those times in Vegas with L are basically only a thing of the past, as we never get out there together anymore and really never just get to hang out and rage like when we were kids in the olden days.

Anyways, back to this year's Vegas trip. So after proclaiming how much better the second weekend of June was for me, some things happened. Falstaff announced that the first weekend would be the "official" weekend for the poker blogger gathering, which really bummed me out. I knew it was possible for me to make it the first weekend of June still, but not only does that weekend not work as well for me personally given some things I have going on here at home, but the WSOP tournaments available that weekend do not appeal to me either. Yes there is that shorthanded nlh event that I cashed in last year, but as I've mentioned here before, 6-max is just not my game right now like it was a year ago at this time. I always told myself that if I'm gonna drop a couple large on a single poker tournament, then I want to play exactly what feels most comfortable to me at the time. I promised myself that last year after I went out and played so well in the 6max event, given that 6max is what I had been playing almost exclusively for a few months before the WSOP in 2007. Well, this year 6max is not my game anymore, and the idea of going and dropping 15 hundy on a 6-max tournament next month has never really sat well with me.

Then my brother let me know he also would be in Vegas on the second weekend and not the first, further adding to my annoyance and discomfort with the idea of that first weekend in Sin City. Then some bloggers acted like babies at my expense, for only maybe the 1000th time in the past few years I've been doing this, once again disappointing me and reminding me that no matter how much I think someone in this group is my "friend", in reality they're not my friends and in fact, most likely they are haters like so many others out there, all making me feel even less like bending over backwards to get together with the large group. Then Mookie or someone linked me to the fact that Falstaff announced that there would be no live blogger tournament this time around like there has been at every other previous live WPBT gathering. And then I got sick. All this stuff happened within the span of maybe two weeks or so, and every factor seemed to sway my decision away from that first week of June.

While sitting home in bed, contemplating my own death and the decisions I've made in my life, the choice became clearer and clearer to me if I ever recovered from this illness: I'm going to do whatever the fuck I want to. Not what some blogger(s) who would trash all over me out of frustration whenever the fuck they want to want me to do. I don't want to play the World Series event that I don't like, just to be there the first week of June. I don't want to piss my family off by leaving at a time that is not convenient for them. I don't want to miss out on a chance to be in Vegas for a few days, away from the family and all of those "real" obligations, with my brother for the first time (and probably the last time) in years. I'm sitting there in my bed, wondering if I'm going to die, and it all just became crystal clear to me that right now in my life is my time to do what makes me the most comfortable and the happiest when I get out to Vegas next month. Nobody is into hanging out with the big group more than I am, don't get me wrong, but this year I made known what weekend would have worked for me, and frankly I think would have worked better for everyone especially given that there's not even going to be a live blogger tournament this summer, and in the end the group chose a time that simply is not convenient for me for a great number of reasons. Then I got slammed on infant-style by admittedly a very small group of bloggers, and then I got sick and realized how much I deserve my Vegas time for me and not for people who are not really my friends and many of whom secretly wish me ill.

All this is a long way of saying that this past weekend I officially made my Las Vegas plans for June. I am going out on Wednesday night, June 11, and staying until Sunday morning June 15. So I will be missing the "official" live blogger gathering, if you can even call it that. I don't know how many people are going anymore to the summer get together, which seems to have shrunk noticeably each of the past few years since I've been going, and without a live blogger tournament even scheduled for that weekend, in some ways it almost feels like the summer gathering has officially become a thing of the past this year.

Now, to be clear, I think it sucks that I may miss out on meeting / hanging out with some of you, be it for the first time or otherwise, because I won't be out in Vegas during the weekend of June 6-8. I hate that aspect of things because I have had an absolute blast the last two summers when I've been out there with the larger, albeit shrinking, group. I already know that some of the people I am really looking forward to meeting for the first time or hanging out with for the umpteenth time will be there during that second week of June, and frankly that factored greatly into my decision to stick with the weekend that is much better for me for so many reasons. And let me also be clear about one thing -- any of you who are out in Vegas between the 11th and the 15th, I want to see you. I would love to meet up with anyone and everyone who knows me, wants to know me, reads me, hates on me, you name it. I love the live blogger gatherings, and just because I won't be there during the "official" unofficial get together this year doesn't mean I don't want to see anyone. I would love to meet up with any or all of you, whoever is in town while I am there, and I sincerely hope you will take me up on that offer. I will write more about those plans as they get closer, but for now suffice it to say that I have already bought my plane tickets, and I will be out in Sin City from late night on Wednesday, June 11 through early morning on Sunday the 15th. Hopefully as many of you as possible will be around to catch up and I will happily buy you a beer. Sadly with my mono lingering it is unclear if I will be able to drink any libations of my own while I am out in Vegas, but I guess final tabling the $2000 buyin WSOP nlh event over three days while I am there will keep me pretty busy and pretty sober anyways, right? More on that later.

Don't forget Razz tonight in the Skills Series. Man I hate razz, with a passion. But I've been doing much better in the Skills games since making an adjustment a few weeks back, recording maybe 20 knockout bounties in just the past few weeks, and who could forget of course me dominating my way to winning my BBT3 Tournament of Champions seat in Skills in Stud8 a few weeks back. So hopefully I can stay alive for a little bit at least tonight in Skills. And of course if you like to blow donkeys, there is always Smokkee's blowdog tournament Tuesday night at 9pm ET as well.

So before I go, I basically was completely shut out from the whole poker blog scene for two weeks while I've been sick. Can anyone tell me, were there any great posts on any blogs over the past two weeks that I just can't miss?

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Blogger Astin said...

The "decision" to have the "official" gathering on the first weekend is all kinds of bad in my opinion. I can't blame Falstaff though, as he wasn't planning on organizing anything - it was just the weekend he was going, and everyone else decided to latch on because they're all too lazy to organize it themselves.

But the tournaments are worse, the BBT TOC and freeroll are that weekend, and really, how many people are actually going to be attending?

Me? If I go down at all in June, it'll be 12th-15th. There's a few other people down that time as well... hell, it might turn out to be a bigger gathering than the "official" one.

I still won't be dropping a couple G on a WSOP donkfest though. Unless I actually get around to winning my way to one, which isn't going to happen.

9:56 PM  
Blogger CC said...


10:33 PM  
Blogger lj said...

the second w/e is also when i'm planning on being in vegas, although i haven't gotten as far as booking a flight yet. sounds like there will be a small blogger crew there then as well.

very glad you're feeling better, just be wary of taking it easy for awhile. i think i told you how a few months into mono i was feeling better and spent one afternoon in the city. got home and it was back to my bed for about three weeks. :(

12:01 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Astin, I agree 100% for the record, I am not "blaming" anyone for anything. Anyone setting up these gatherings knows what an effort is involved in making it happen and I am nothing but appreciative of any such efforts made on my and others' behalf. The generosity of some of our fellow bloggers is really staggering when you think about it.

Just saying, the first weekend really doesn't work for me this year. Sucks.

12:19 AM  
Blogger BWoP said...

See you the second weekend in June!

12:55 AM  
Blogger Irongirl01 said...

Hoy be true to yourself. I never begruded your chopping the tourney. In fact as I related this whole brouhaha to a none blogging friend he thought the whole lot of us needed to grow up. I for one think some of us take ourselves way to seriously and this reminds me of High school cliques. As I said to the nonblogging poker player " chopping has been a part of poker for years and will be for years to come"

Mind you I had a similar scenario when my sub won a TOC seat for me in my live league and people pouted that i shouldnt get to play it because Trent won it for me. As it was I opted to get my hair done because I had enough of the tomfoolery in that league.

Well have to hook up and a live tourney in AC or Foxwoods. Live play is my focus now and I havent committed myself to the TOC at all.

Im passing on Vegas this year but no youll do well

1:27 AM  
Blogger BamBam said...

Well as luck would have it HOY, it seems I'll be able to hook you up with your "favorite punching bag" during your trip if you're interested.

There'll be a group of us there between the 9th. and 14th. and I'm sure you and Carson have 'something' you could discuss.

More later and glad you're feeling a bit better. I'm sure it was rough.

1:36 AM  
Blogger My final out said...

Glad to hear you are feeling a little better Hoy. I am a long time reader who happened to start a blog for some crazzy reason. Just wanted to say that as far as the chop goes, there is absolutly no shame in taking a chop. The goal to any of those blogger tourneys is to win a seat to the TOC. You got yours. It makes no difference how you got it. Congrats on the seat and GL in Vegas.


1:41 AM  
Blogger VinNay said...

I'll be there the second weekend as well, and it seems there will be a nice sized group of bloggers around that weekend. Maybe someone should start a email list of second weekenders.

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any of you who are out in Vegas between the 11th and the 15th, I want to see you.

Your fav. punching bag will be there June 9th to 14th along with many of the other TuckFards. I hope we get to sit down and have a drink or two. In fact, it's one of thing I'm looking forward to.

2:15 AM  
Blogger cmitch said...

I definitely want to meet up with you - hopefully you can drink again by then. I'm going to be in LV from 6/9-6/15!!!! Weeeeee - WSOP Donkfests right around the corner!!!

3:06 AM  
Blogger $mokkee said...

i guess your priorites would become crystal clear while battling thru a case of mono on your death bed.

how can RAZZ be part of a "Skillz" series???

just sayin'

7:48 AM  
Blogger The Monster Stack said...

Dominating the Stud 8/B? Ha! LOL.

12:22 PM  
Blogger jessica said...

You raised the excitement of poker tournament. wish you good luck have fun with all the blogger gang and with your brother.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Rita said...

Hi.. I see your an expert in tournaments.. Do you know something about tomorow s tournament in Barcelona by 888.. I saw on their website http://wpc.888.com/?sr=993465
that they are givin a 17000 dolares award to who gesses who the winner is going to be.. Any tips on who I should vote for?

8:48 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Wow - interesting that so many are going to be in Las Vegas the second week in June.

I actually have a unique trip scheduled then: a trip to Las Vegas that I promised my 11 year old daughter. I have designated it as a (shudder) non-gambling trip.

If there is a gathering on the 11th or 12th, I might just pop in for a cold one ...

10:17 PM  
Blogger Francase said...

I am not sure when I might be out, as I will probably be combining it with visiting my father after bypass surgery (shudder) nearby, so we might gather in Vegas. I'm not sure when, though.

The second weekend may work out better for me, but I'm not sure yet. Looks like there will be a sizable crew.

9:43 PM  

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