Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Short Night in the MATH, and FTOPS Turbo Tonight

70 runners came out for Mondays at the Hoy this week, as the crowds have been growing a lil' bit for the Hoy over the past few weeks as the BBT3 boils down to its last three weeks. 70 contestants once again means the top 8 finishers are paid out, with a total of $1680 in the prize pool for the tournament. So our winner once again will clear over $500 of pure profit for their efforts in my weekly 6-max nlh tournament.

Man did I have a short night in the Hoy, busting near the bottom of the pack after exactly 36 minutes of play. A couple seats to my right was Tuscaloosa John, who as most of you know has been crushing the BBT3 so far with his typically TAGgy brand of tournament poker, and Tusca got off to a shortish stack early, I don't remember how. But as a result, he was stealing more liberally than usual from his button and even cutoff as I recall. I took advantage a couple of times, including flopping top pair no kicker and checkraising him out of a pot on the flop with a rare minraise from me. My kicker was literally a 3 so I did not want to stay in that pot for any more chips than my minraise committed me to on the flop, so I got lucky there I suppose.

But then my focus on Tusca's stealing got me into big trouble, a leak in my game that I simply have to get better about. I'm working on it, but sometimes I put too much stock in what I know to be true about the way someone plays, without giving enough credence to the fact that everyone picks up monster hands sometimes. So anyways, Tusca steal-raises from his button yet again, maybe the 6th or 7th time he had open-raised in that position already on the night, and I opt to smooth call from the small blind with K6s. The hand is nothing great of course, but it's soooted and frankly I figured ahead of or very close to Tusca's stealing range here. The big blind also smooth calls. The flop comes K87, I think with two of a suit, but not my suit. I could lead out into a nice-sized pot for the early part of this tournament, but instead I figured I know Tusca's game and he is going to c-bet here if we just check to him, and then I can checkraise him good and he'll have to fold to my top pair. So I checked, the big blind checked, and as planned Tusca bet around two-thirds the size of the pot I think. Perfect.

Now I look at the stack sizes for the first time in the hand. Clear mistake #1 by me not to have been hyper aware of this already. But Tusca's 1600 chips (starting stacks in the MATH are 3000) means that any raise I put in from Tusca's c-bet will clearly commit him. So I am going to just push allin if I raise at all -- might as well maximize my fold equity, right? So then since I'm just now on the flop realizing that I'm playing for a full half my stack, I pause to re-evaluate the hand. I have K6 on a K87 board. Sure someone could be in there with two pairs or top pair with a higher kicker, but what are the chances? Tusca has been stealing almost from the beginning with 90% of his hands into unopened pots on the button. I just flopped top pair. And, Tusca hasn't really shown any real strength so far in this hand at all -- no reraising or anything, just a steal-raise from the button and then a standard c-bet. Odds are strong that, given my top pair, he does not have top pair and I just have no reason to believe he has anything else ahead of me. So, I go for it and move allin. Tusca, because he is a Man, thinks for a while before calling allin with? AK. Top pair top kicker. Suh-weet read, Hoy wtg. Half my stack down the drain, bad play and bad read by me, way too early in the tournament to make a move like that with a nice stack.

But never fear, I got my chance to double back up pretty soon afterwards when maybe one orbit later I picked up pocket Kings, I believe again in the big blind. Awesome. Even better is that I think it was Chip who opened utg with a minraise. The utg minraise, coming from a solid player like Chip especially, screams out like a strong hand to me, one just begging to be called or reraised. If this guy has Aces to my Kings with me on a half-stack now, then so be it I am going home. But otherwise I viewed this as a great opportunity for me against a hand that I am likely between a 65 and 82% favorite over. So when the action folds around to me, I take a page out of this guy's book (never thought I'd be saying that) and did the ol' over-raise for value. Chip had raised preflop from 50 to 100, and I pushed in for my last 1500 or so from the blinds with my Kings, fully expecting the call. Chip instacalled, and amazingly it wasn't Aces -- it was pocket Queens. At least I had made a great read to follow up on that terrible read against Tuscaloosa John earlier.

So I'm allin preflop with my KK against cem's QQ, looking to double up back to 3000 chips and get a new lease on life in the MATH after the disastrous hand with Tusca. But the flop came Q89, the river brought a Jack and I could not resuck the inside straight or higher set on the river that I so meritoriously deserved, and IGH. Early. At 10:36pm ET. So it was a night where I made one bad read for a large pot in an over-aggro situation, and then got slammed by the odds when I got myself into a very good situation after a very good read by me. I guess I can live with that, but the past two days saw me play bad and run even worse, after a nice week getting back into the poker swing last week after a couple of weeks away from the game and away from everything but sleeping. For example, the past two nights in the 10:45pm ET FTOPS ME megasat have seen me bust out both times within the first half-hour of play with AKs allin preflop against one time KK and one time JJ. Now, those are both not the worst examples of bad play out there, but the bottom line remains that I am forcing the issue by getting allin in 20 minutes before the flop against raisers and reraisers with AKs. This may be a perfectly great play two hours in to this tournament when the Ms are shrinking and desperation is on the rise. But 20 minutes in, I can make that play if I want to I suppose, but I can't complain when I lose the race (or am dominated like in the first situation). I am just not playing my A game, and I'm running poorly picking up AKs vs KK and AKs vs JJ and losing KK to QQ and stuff like that. It's a bad combination for an aggressive player like me, and one I need to right before I really leak my roll as a result.

Here are some people who did play well enough in the MATH to cash this week:

8. $58.80 -- RNallin
7. $58.80 -- peacecorn
6. $92.40 -- que31dawg
5. $134.40 -- actyper
4. $184.80 -- Wadzilla
3. $243.60 -- Blinders
2. $352.80 -- PokahDave
1. $554.40 -- Shabazz Jenkins

So Shabazz Jenkins, whom I understand to be quite a good player in his own right outside of the BBT3, has finally won his BBT3 Tournament of Champions seat here in the 13th to last event of the tournament series. Shabazz is yet another strong entrant to join in the ToC over the past few weeks, and will only further limit each of our respective expectation from that tournament overall by winning his way in. But as I've written about before, with all the $28,000 just in WSOP prize packages being awarded in the Tournament of Champions, I personally think it should be hard as hell to win, which means getting in as many strong players as we can into the field.

Well that's all I have for you today, as I continue to struggle with my game and my decision-making in the early part of the mtt's I've been playing just lately. In addition to the latest BBT3 Skills Series tournament tonight at 9:30pm ET (password as always is "skillz" and it is open to everyone, I think tonight might be HOE?), I think tonight is the night of the one FTOPS tournament I already qualified for, which is the $216 Turbo nlh event hosted I think by Mandy B, another of the dubious red FTOP pros as far as I'm concerned. So that will go off at 9pm ET, with my guess that the whole thing is completed within 2 1/2 or 3 hours given the redonkulous late-game structure of these turbo events. I'm just hoping to make it through a couple hours or so, which is my estimate of how long it should take to run to the decent money payout positions. And of course there is the Blowdonkey tonight as well if that's how you roll, also I believe at 9pm ET, over on that "other" poker client. So lots of excitement tonight for those of you who like to donk it up ToC-style with the bloggers and/or are interested in a $216 crapshoot
tournament, turbo-style. See you tonight for all the fun and festivities.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home