Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Mookie, the Sunday Heads-Up, the BBT3 and FTOPS #20

Well another Wednesday night come and gone, and another jerkoff donkey winning the tournament I shall never win. No, I mean seriously, Jerkoff Donkey (JD) Schellnut took down the Mookie on Wednesday night, winning his second BBT3 Tournament of Champions seat in a couple of weeks as he joins the ranks of multiple-event winners with his performance. JD's win also brings the total maximum number of entrants in the ToC down to an even 50, and at this point I think it is very fair to say that everyone's expectation value from this tournament has increased noticeably now with 5 fewer seats than what there could have been. We've had a couple of repeat winners in the previous BBT series, but nothing like 5 seats from the series-ending ToC gone already with still something like 10 events remaining in the challenge. Shrinking the total field by nearly 10% is a big boon to everybody who was won their way in to the ToC like me, and while I have stated here many times that I hope every great blonkament player wins his or her way in, I don't actually mind if the number of total seats shrinks due to multiple winners. I'm still hoping I get to add my own name to that list of multiple event winners before the series is done in a few more weeks with the usual Big Game finale event.

Speaking of the BBT3, some of you may have seen that at long last full tilt has posted the details of the big write-in contest for the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments III. And I have got to say, it is pretty fucking cool. This isn't for a WSOP or satellite seat or a prize package as with previous BBT write-in prizes, but something I think a whole lot cooler. The write-in winners will get to be a "pro" blogger for the Main Event for full tilt, writing directly to the "From the Rail" blog on the full tilt site for I believe a week at the end of the WSOP Main Event. To the contrary of some predictions and complaints I have read in other blogs to the contrary, Full Tilt will be putting the winner up in a hotel for the entire WSOP ME stay, providing round-trip airfare to and from Las Vegas, plus $1000 of spending cash for the trip. And you will get to blog the Main Event for the WSOP. I'm very into it, and I think it is a much, much cooler idea than writing one's way in to a seat, a WSOP package or anything similar. To me, those poker prizes are things that one should win in a poker tournament. But if you win a write-in event, you should win a writing package, not a poker package. So I think that kicks ass. And, directly from Al himself as well is that all the bloggers who submit write-in entries will get their link on the FTP site even if they don't win. So that is more goodness for all of us out of the BBT3 as far as I am concerned.

There is another thing out there I am really remiss in pimping this week, and now is the time. Fellow blogger and April BBT3 POM runner-up Loretta8 has started a brand new weekly private blogger tournament, called the Sunday Heads-Up, and the first such event will be this coming Sunday evening at 9pm ET on full tilt. The password for this event is "shovemonkey", and it s a $26 buyin tournament featuring full tilt's brand new heads-up format. As you know if you've read here for any significant period of time, I am a huge fan of heads-up poker, and I fancy myself to be a solidly better than average hu opponent, so I look forward to adding this tournament to the list of blonkament titles I have put together in my online poker career in due time. And to having tons of fun playing in it along the way. With the originality of the heads-up format among all the other blonkaments, and just the right buyin I think of $26, I predict big things for the Sunday heads-up, and I am already registered in there as of right now. So should you, go show Loretta some love and sign up for this tournament early so we can get a handle on how many of you donkheads are man or woman enough to battle it out heads-up for the ultimate bragging rights.

So what else? Oh yeah -- me! I cashed again in the Mookie last night, surviving four suckouts on the night while coming up with exactly zero of my own, and eventually busting out in 10th place on the final table bubble when I ran KQ at a 5-handed table into pocket Aces. It was only the fifth time on the night that I ran a strong hand into pocket Aces, so I guess I can't complain, right? Considering the venue, I will call this one another nice run by me. Unlike many of the previous Mookie tournaments I've played, including a few where I made deep runs, I actually played very well in this one, going two up and two down in four allin preflop races, and as I mentioned surviving a host of suckouts to still have a nice stack going when we got down to around 13 or 14 players remaining. But first it was my top pair solid kicker slamming into Chris Hanel's AA with I think 13 left and me at a 6-handed table, folllowed by the aforementioned KQ < AA on the final table bubble that finally did me in. I defy anyone to run four strong hands into pocket Aces and get sucked out on four times while sucking out not at all and do much better in a blogger tournament, or in any tournament for that matter. But I made the money once again in a BBT3 tournament, I played great poker overall, and who knows, maybe Mookie over there in Austin is getting a little nervous about our ongoing prop bet now after all. For a couple of months Mookie must have outlasted me in every single Mookie we played in, but now I bet I have run deeper than Mook for at least a month straight if not more like 7 out of the last 8 tournaments or some shit. I don't know if normally-tight Mookie is loosening his standards or if he is suffering from the same kind of suckouts that I normally face in this event, but for whatever reason lately out of the blue I am feeling like I might actually be the better bet in the battle of the two guys who both will probably never win another Mookie tournament.

I played the Dookie as well, the $10 PLO event at 11:30pm ET, and I had my absolutely standard performance, something that has happened almost exactly like this in most of the Dookie's I've been in over the past several weeks. I played great, made no mistakes and doubled a couple of times to amass a big stack by the middle of the final table in what was a small 13-person field. Eventually though, history repeated itself as I once again ran AAxx into KKxx and lost to PokerBrian322 who eventually won the tournament. I have got to stop this nasty-ass habit of getting cocksucked out on by the eventual Dookie winner in a hand where I am well ahead when the money goes in. I don't know why I care so much but phuck if I haven't lost the Dookie to the eventual winner three or four times in the past month and a half or so when I got in with Aces against some lower unsoooted shitpair and still managed to lose in a big pot. So ghey that PLO game is.

Lastly, on Wednesday night I also sat down to my second attempt in a satellite to Friday night's FTOPS #20, the 6-max limit holdem tournament that I have played in the past couple of FTOPS series. As I've mentioned many many times before, in general I cannot stand limit holdem as a tournament game, but in 6-max format for whatever reason I find it much more bearable. As a guy who spends probably 80% of my time at online poker focusing on no-limit holdem games, there is something refreshing and fun about limit in small, shorthanded doses for me. Yes, nlh offers the most freedom and flexibility in how to play any given hand, but there is a certain enjoyment I get from playing my big draw strong on the flop to buy a free card on the turn one time, and then checking my big draw on the flop before betting out on the turn to go for the steal the next. With the options limited somewhat as compared to no-limit games where you can bet any amount you want, at any time, it can actually be more fun I find to cycle through those options for similar hands at different times to keep your opponents guessing and keep them on the defensive.

Anyways, all this is a long way of saying that I played a $75 buyin satellite -- just the buyin level I love, as I was writing about earlier this week -- where the top 4 out of I think 22 runners would win seats to Friday night's $216 buyin FTOPS #20. And I won it, and did so fairly easily. The more limit tournaments I play, the more I force myself to learn and remember how much playing tight matters, and how the way you win in these things is twofold: (1) make a big hand or two at the final table to give you the stack to withstand and hold on for the win, and (2) avoid playing big pots with marginal hands early, so that you are still alive at the final table to hit the big hand(s) described in item #1 above. That's really the secret. Don't act too looptid early on with hands you shouldn't be getting too involved with, don't chase too much on the expensive streets at draws that might not win even if you hit them, and if you know the game you can survive deep where a couple of big hands in the right spots is all it takes to win. That's just what happened to me in the FTOPS satellite on Wednesday, and as a result I am currently registered to play on Friday at 9pm ET and am looking very much forward to it.

Anyways, Lost again tonight, so once again no Riverchasers is likely for me today, but you should be there as the next seat in the BBT3 Tournament of Champions will be awarded to the victor. Btw how fucking awesome has Lost been lately, huh? I defy anyone who is a fan of the show to tell me they are not enjoying this season, the flash-forwards, and the almost weekly roll of surprises and answers that the writers are dishing out. I know the decision to only run what, 35 or so more episodes before ending the series, has helped tremendously in this regard, as has this whole move of showing us that some of the islanders actually survive the crash and return home, so for that I am tremendously thankful to the writers and producers for keeping things going at such a high level for so long, even when other formerly popular shows like Heroes and some other shit simply fall by the wayside. Don't forget to check in with Julius Goat on Friday for one of his famous Lost writeups, as there is just no one any better than him at that stuff. Have a good Thursday everyone, just one more day till the weekend!

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Blogger Luckbox said...

$1000 and a hotel room for a week's worth of work on the WSOP? I made $500 a day, plus hotel for 11 days of work two years ago. Sounds like a raw deal to me.

I suppose if someone just wants a free vacation to watch the WSOP that might be fine for them... but blogging the WSOP is damn hard work. It's not going to be a vacation. It's grueling. I wonder what kind of requirements FTP will have.

1:11 AM  
Blogger change100 said...

Seriously, ditto on what Luckbox said. A hotel and $125/day per diem? That's a goddamn joke.

At bare minimum, even an inexperienced blogger would be paid around $2,000 for that amount of work in addition to the accommodations and per diem. A pro like Luckbox or myself would command $4K-$5K for that amount of time and the hours involved.

Not to mention that for a regular guy or gal with a regular job, this would mean either (a)lost wages or (b)sacrificing valuable vacation time to work for free!

If anyone looks at that as a super-cool Vegas vacation, they seriously need their head examined. Or at the very least to talk to someone who has covered the WSOP before.

This is NOT A PRIZE. This is Full Tilt exploiting bloggers.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Wwonka said...

You said I won my seat but it should Be I made a Deal for my seat.

You didn't win it so get it right.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I guess it's a whole different perspective for people who are used to getting paid to write for a living. And I can understand that I guess. Just for me, and the probably 15 or 20 admittedly non-professional-writer bloggers I've chatted with about this prize, getting a free flight, free room and $1000 spending money all for the right to be published for a week on the full tilt blog? It's a slizzam dizzunk.

2:50 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

1) BBT deal. To a professional writer that commands a better deal than FullTilt is offering it is an insult.

2) If I was at a job where I had a large vacation balance but had aspirations of writing professionally I would think of it as more of an intern/trial gig for both parties.

3) If I was Goat I would do it entertain everyone and see if writing exposure led to big things.

LMAO that JD's initials have stuck

3:15 AM  
Blogger crushmastac a.k.a. CheckinMyAA said...

heh a lot of defiance in today's post.

3:43 AM  
Blogger change100 said...

If Goat wanted to cover the WSOP, any poker media outlet with two functioning brain cells would pick him up in a heartbeat and pay him what he's worth. Guy's got serious chops.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Luckbox said...

I wish I could stress this more... unless the working demands of FTP are less than I would imagine... this can in NO WAY be considered a vacation.

It's LONG, LONG, LONG grueling hours.

Now, if all FTP requires is one post a day on the action... then by all means, take your vacation if you've got the time and enjoy yourself.

But... my guess is that there will be bigger obligations than that. If you don't mind working 12 hours a day, at $125/day (that's about $10 an hour), then jump all over that.

I'm just saying that you shouldn't allow yourselves to be exploited. If you don't mind being exploited and think this will be fun... just be prepared for it to not be nearly as much fun as you think.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

We should find out from ftp at least generally what the obligations are expected to be. I am expecting a brief post or two a day on the blog and that's it, as opposed to running around getting chipcounts and hustling the way that you real journalists do for 12-15 hours a day. I don't have any reason to believe that is what ftp is looking for, so I assume what makes the most sense until they tell me otherwise. I will try to find out more information and maybe post what I find here.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Gnome said...

"Lost" has been good, but don't count out "Heroes" yet just because it's been off the air for a while and the short second season wasn't as good as the first. I find to "Lost" to be lacking in strong themes. The mystery is interesting, but why should I care about what happens to these characters? I'm still watching, but I don't know if the show will ever pay off on its early promise. It isn't that we won't get answers; it's that I'm not sure we'll get satisfying answers.

1:55 PM  
Blogger AlCantHang said...

Jesus Christ, I have to come out of semi-retirement to respond to comments?

One goddamn post a day. That's all FTP wants. One friggin' post.

They aren't asking for the expertise of Pauly. Just giving someone a chance to go to Vegas for the Main Event and have some fun.

That's why the hell I put blogging "pro" in quotes.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Luckbox said...


It would have been good of FTP to spell that out. Really blogging the WSOP ME is damn hard work... and certainly worth more than the $1000. But if all they want is a post a day then, like I said, go enjoy it if you've got the vacation time.

4:17 AM  
Blogger The Captain said...

Greetings to all—

I just wanted to take a minute to clarify exactly what the Write Your Way To The 2008 WSOP is all about.

The thought behind it all is that if someone is interested enough to enter the contest, that they would most likely enjoy sending off a daily blog post on what’s happening – from their perspective. Our goal is to give someone the chance to cruise around the Main Event, have a good time, and then tell us about it. Rather than epic journalistic coverage, we’re hoping to get some entertaining stories that folks will enjoy.

Rest assured, this is not a contracted position or any form of employment. In fact, there isn’t any contractual obligation on the part of the winner to actually post. Like I said, if a blogger is interested enough to enter the contest and then goes on to win, the thought is that they’d enjoy sending reports from the field about what’s happening in the Main Event, their thoughts/opinions, and whatever misadventures they hopefully get up to. That’s it.

There’s already plenty of professional coverage by all facets of the media, especially the blogging community. This will be one person’s chance to go to the Main Event, have a good time, and post on it courtesy of Full Tilt Poker.

Hopefully that clears things up.

Have a fine weekend.

The Captain,
Poker From The Rail

9:21 PM  

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