Friday, June 20, 2008

Riverchasers Win Again

I won another Riverchasers tournament on Thursday night, in highly improbable fashion. This one was funny like most anytime anyone wins an RC event, in that I recorded a sickening suckout early when purposefully playing like a donkey, and then I got crizznushed late and entered final table play well in last place and with literally less than 10% of the first place player's stack. Then I stole like a crackwhore, got lucky with position plays a few times against shorter stacks, and before I knew it it was over. For the first time I can recall in a long time, I won a blonkament where I never had a chip lead or anything even remotely close to the chip lead until the very last hand of the entire tournament. With 28 players the field size was similarly small to the other events of the past week, but big enough to still be interesting.

Here was the gross early suckout, against one of the original good bad girls of poker, Joanada. This hand occurred maybe 15 minutes in to the Riverchasers tournament on Thursday, where Jo raised preflop and I reraised with AKo. Standard stuff for me early in blonkament action. She called and the flop came down JTx, giving me three Ace outs, three King outs and four Queen outs for the inside straight. I checked, Jo bet out smallish, and I went for the allin reraise with lots of outs. She instacalled and flipped up pocket Tens for the well-played set, and suddenly my overcard outs were nil:

Ahhh, but the river. That lovely, lovely full tilt river:

Bloom. Doubled up the Riverchasers way -- by overplaying the most overplayed hand in poker just to try to donk someone with a pair. Or a set, as the case may be. And FWIW, I apoligized to Jo for a good five full minutes in the girly. Someday I hope to progress to where I no longer feel guilty when I suck out on someone. Lord knows I have about another 3 or 4 billion of those coming to me just to even shit out.

Still, I called a lot early, which is totally opposite to normal approach to the blonkaments, as I was still trying more to suck out on someone a bit I guess than to actually hold on to my stack. In the first 25 minutes of the tournament I flat-called before the flop with 43o, 32s and 98s among other hands. I also got donked pretty hard by a well-played hammer by blonkament crusher surflexus. But I got him back near the end of the first hour, when I picked up the hammer in middle position and open-raised 3x the big blind to 150 chips. Surf called, and I c-bet into him on an AKx flop, which he also called. I checked the raggy turn card, willing to give it up to a likely bet from surf, but he checked. I then bet the pot on the river and got to take down the rare hammer river foldout hand to end the first hour in 6th place of 18 players remaining with 5,749 chips.

Early in Hour 2, I once again overplayed AK as I still had not quite lost my intention of playing like a donkey. I know I've mentioned this before, but it is sick how often that particular strategy leads to a victory in the Riverchasers more than any other event. This time I again open-raised 3x the big blind from middle position, but then I faced a smallish reraise and an allin re-reraise behind me:

Knowing this is a poor spot to push with AK and that I was obviously behind at least one of these players, with at least one or two of my Aces and Kings also probably out, I still went ahead and pushed. I then begged for the call with all caps in the chat, but snarf didn't bite, claiming he folded QQ. I ended up allin against pocket 8s heads-up for a big pile of chips, and I flopped a King to get the big bounce up to 3rd place of 16 players remaining.

In this position in the tournament, I should probably have been playing a little bit closer to the vest, focusing a bit more on protecting my stack than on insisting on taking on races for big portions of it, but I just could not keep out of my own way. At one point I called an allin reraise from someone who I knew thought I was stealing with my late position open-raise. I had A9s, but I felt I had to call because I know from my blog that my own perceived range is so wide in my opponents' heads, and that perception therefore actually forces me to call more with a much wider actual range, with hands just like A9s. I turned out to be up against pocket 4s and I did not catch, losing a third of my stack in the process. Later I would push my shortish stack allin with my A3o from utg, which DDionysus instacalled with his KTo, and promptly flopped a Ten to take that one down. After this hand, I found myself down at the bottom of the leaderboard, in 11th place of 11 players left.

At this point, I just figured phuckit, and I started stealing like crazy. I steal-raised allin almost every single time the action folded around to me for a long span, literally pushing in five times out of 10 consecutive hands here:

Even despite all this stealing, I could barely stay ahead of the advancing blinds, and when the 10th place player finally busted out, here I was at the RC final table, still in last place:

With me still in last place and nowhere near the leaders at this final table, I did what I know best and just continued stealing and playing like a maniac with a bunch of marginal hands but in spots where I felt I could get maximal leverage and would have maximal fold equity. So, for example, I did the allin raise-the-limpers move here with a very marginal hand that is likely behind if I get called, and not possibly far ahead even if it's not behind:

Everyone folded, and I chipped up a bit. Then, over the next 12 consecutive hands, I once again steal-raised allin in 6 of them:

It was purely ridiculous, really, but somehow once again I failed to get called in any of these, some of which I am obviously going down and out of the tournament if anyone steps up with the call. At break #2, I found myself in 4th place out of 7 runners left (top 4 would get paid) thanks to all this stealing, but take a look at twoblackaces' stack there in first place:

So we all knew we had our work cut out for us, especially with that huge stack sitting in the corner of tba who has been on quite a blonkament run recently. Luckily for me, early in Hour 3, I was dealt AQ and AJ in rapid succesion, was able to raise one and reraise the other, both allin once again, and win both before the flop. This gave me a bit of breathing room at least as the blinds advanced to 300-600 with a 75-chip ante, leaving most of the bottom of the field with an M of 6 or fewer. Making our task all the more fun was this hand, when tba's pocket Queens held up against AK in the hands of the second place chip stack, giving tba an even sicker stack:

There you can see tba holding over 60k of the 84k total chips in play, with an incredible 7 times (more than 7 times, actually) my second-place chip stack with five players remaining. That right there is a sick, sick beating, one that would require a lot of luck for any of us to have any chance of coming back. I got some of that luck though pretty quickly once we got down to 5-handed, as first Pirate Wes pushed into me with ATC based purely on position, and I was lucky to wake up with a big hand and called:

And then just a couple of hands later, snarf pushed allin from utg and on a short stack, a move which I do not tend to trust and I therefore called his allin for a third of my stack with my A7o, and got lucky once again to both be ahead and to hold up on a 62% or so hand I would estimate:

These two-high-cards-vs-two-low-cards or one-high-one-low-vs-two-middle-cards types of hands, all coming in as somewhere in the neighborhood of 60% favorites, end up being probably the single biggest determinants of how an aggressive player like myself ends up in the blonkaments. No way anyone can completely avoid these types of showdowns as the blinds climb and everyone is pushing from all directions, and when you're in there as much as I am, clash is inevitable, so I really lucked out in these two spots to get two smaller players' stack sizes added to mine as we moved through the bubble and into 3-handed play. Chip stacks were around 63k for tba, 15k for me and 8k for DDionysus. Still lots of work to do, and since I could literally not care any less about third, second or even first place money in the Riverchasers but instead care only about winning the thing outright, I just went right back to overpushing allin almost every time I perceived myself to be ahead, regardless of the amount of chips in the pot.


And here is one of my better moments from the RC this week:

Again with the allin over-raise. I just didn't feel like negotiating stack sizes and planning my bet amounts accordingly when I was this far out of first place. In this particular situation, commented asked in chat that I must not have an Ace to make a bet like that (I had raised preflop). I responded with "so clever", which I immediately regretted in fear that he would call because of it, but mercifully he folded and I got to show my third and final hammer of the day:

Still well less than half of tba's stack, but at least I was creeping back little by little. All that was wrecked though when tba took out DDionysus a few hands later, leaving me heads-up with 24k in chips against tba's 60k. I can't stand when I am at a chip deficit and then 1st place takes out 3rd place instead of me in 2nd place taking out 3rd place, but that's what happened last night. If I could have offed DDionysus instead of tba, then we would have been very close to begin the heads-up portion of the tournament, but instead all my work disappeared as I was right back to less than 2-to-1 in chips when #1 took out #3 himself.

Still at the big chip disadvantage, I opted to continue not considering stack sizes or bet sizes and instead to just overpush every time I thought I was ahead or could generate a fold. Not sure how else you can overcome a chip deficit like I was facing, especially against a solid player like tba, without just brazenly pushing him around and hoping I can get him to make a mistake, so that's exactly what I tried to do. The only thing I had going for me was that I know that secretly tba really likes winning the blonkaments just like I do, so I figured he would likely play a bit tight with the chip lead here in an attempt to preserve his surplus and his chances of winning with a big hand. Thus, I stole and pushed all over the place once again:

(this one I wanted to make appear stealy like all the others after I had been stealing so much through not just the shorthanded portion but really the entirety of this tournament).

Every one of the above hands drew a fold from tba, whom I believe I was right, he was in fact trying to preserve his lead more than many of the other bloggers out there likely would have. Finally after this last hand, tba typed "ok hoy" into the chat, indicating I figured that he was tired of being bullied and it was time to play some pokah. Me likey. And me likey even more when the shit set up exactly how I wanted, as just one or two hands after tba's "ok hoy" comment saw me hit a huge turn card to make the ignorant end of a straight on the board. I raised:

and then tba surprised me by pushing allin on the reraise:

I gave it quite a bit of thought here but eventually decided, still at a chip deficit, that the possibilities for tba holding top pair, two pairs or most likely some combination of a straight draw and something else were just too great for me to fold here. I definitely feared a higher straight a little bit, but I had to make the decision here at crunch time with so much of my smaller stack already invested in the pot and with the turn card having made me a pat hand unlike a lot of the hands I envisioned in tba's reraising range given his frustration at my recent bullying. So I made the call and I saw this:

I avoided a few outs and suddenly I had a 76k to 10k chip lead. When tba pushed in his last 10k on the very next hand, I thought it over and opted to call with Q9s. It was not my best move, but I literally had tba on ATC here, and my Q9s is ahead of the average starting holdem hand, and the sootedness put it over the edge for me. I am nothing if not a soooted donk of course. Anyways I proved to be up against T7s, a decent call for me after all given the stack sizes involved, and mr. sooooted donk himself hit a flush on the turn to Take It Down:


At the end of the day, the $130 and change I won from this, my sixth or seventh lifetime Riverchasers victory, almost completely covered what I lost playing these recockulous 300-chip super turbo sngs newly available on full tilt on the night. If you like turbo poker, that shit is like crack right there.

OK that's all for today. The RC victory will take precedence over the continuation to the early-tournament drawing hand I profiled on Thursday, which I will get right back to on Monday because I think it generated some good discussion and analysis as usual. Until then, don't forget Kat's donkament tonight at 9pm ET on full tilt, password as always is "donkarama". Not sure if I make it out for that today or not, but as always I will be there at least in spirit. Have a great weekend everybody.

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Blogger KajaPoker said...

Congratulation! It's getting harder and harder to beat 6 and 29 people fields in the blonkaments these days. especially since everyone has 3 accounts. So you're really playing either heads up or a single table SNG at this point.

Well done though. A win is a win.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Luckbox said...

I can just imagine the venom that would be spewed had Hoy and Jo been switched in that story. I doubt Hoy would have bought that "Jo was purposefully playing like a donkey." Sometimes you make a bad play and you get caught. That's what you did, and then you got lucky. I know the feeling... I always get lucky!

11:35 PM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

I didn't look at the hand history but I'm pretty sure I was the one that pushed allin with the K-10o. Maybe I raised and you re-raised then I pushed? I forget as baby tilt was rapidly decreasing my concentration....nice win though...

12:45 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Might've been, Dave. You know me and hand histories. No difference in the end, I got in a little bit ahead and lost the hand. It happens, I sucked out hard early on Joanne to even be there.

Fun hanging out, you know I know all about how baby tilt can be.

2:39 AM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Congrats on the RC win!

A late comment regarding yesterday's early tournament hand scenario... love the topic of discussion as I seem to see similar situations all the time. I was incredibly surprised to see so many proponents of the check-raise in that spot, as I wouldn't consider taking this line assuming there's too high of chance of running into AJ, QQ-AA, etc, and drawing from behind with lots of my nice early stack at risk. And myself, contrary to other opinions shared yesterday, would prefer actually leading out on the minraiser to have a better chance of narrowing villains' range, while giving me a shot at taking down the pot now. (A 1/2 to 2/3 pot bet likely gets A7, 88-TT to fold here.)

I should clarify that if the flop was 7s5dAs (instead of Jack) I do NOT lead out on the flop as there's too many Ax holdings within your opponents' ranges here, (especially at the low buyin level,) and I would rather take the 'wait and see' line that MiamiDon described in this slightly different scenario.

Just this donkey's $0.02

3:45 AM  
Blogger ElSnarfoGrande said...

Well played last night Hoy. I was praying for an A-rag to get you at that final table, but alas my 8-2's and 9-3 were not enough to call with.

Supposedly folded? Here ya and I'm curious what you do in that situation.

3:47 AM  
Blogger Zeem said...

Crush FTW! well done, sir.

7:04 AM  
Blogger PokerGuy said...

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3:20 PM  
Blogger jjok said...

grats man.....well done

8:39 AM  
Blogger jamyhawk said...

Very nice win. Congrats.

9:40 PM  

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