Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunday Heads-Up, Big Game, and a MATH Change

Howdy to everyone on a beautiful sunny Monday morning in New York City, where it seems that summer has finally sprung as we head into June in the city. I spent the weekend battling it out along the Jersey turnpike (and various and sundry other attempted workaround routes) with beach goers and other daytrippers that is so common in summertime in this part of the world, which sucked when 85-mile drives turn into 4-hour whinefests with the three Hammer women in the car. My back was killing me so bad after my overly lengthy return trip on Sunday evening that I opted to unregister from the Big Game at the literal last second because I knew I would not be able to focus for a long period of time, which I was not.

First off, we did not get back from NJ and get the kids in bed until about 9:25pm ET on Sunday, which meant that for the third out of three weeks, I had missed significant time from at least the first round of the new Sunday Heads-Up blogger tournament. This time I was spared the indiginity of blinding out of a heads-up match by being awarded a bye in the first round of the 6-player field as I attempted to defend my title from last week when I overcame a 1500-3000 starting chip deficit in my second round match on my way to victory. This time around, I had already missed my entire first round bye by the time I sat down at 9:25pm, and my second match, which once again had started with me at a 1500-3000 chip deficit (so ridick), was already off to me having blinded down to around 1200 chips. Awesome.

So I'm down like 3300-1200 chips when I first sit down, and while I'm thinking how ghey this all is, I manage to chip up one or two hands while saying hello to my opponent. Within maybe 10 hands or so I had doubled through him, I would love to tell you with what but I can't remember. Maybe my AK vs his underpair or something similar, I just don't recall. It wasn't a suckout though, that I do know. Anyways I don't recall any of the specifics, but just like last week in this tournament, once I got in a groove I amassed chips in big bunches, playing aggressive with top pair type of hands, primary draws and even bluffing hard in a few spots, showing some hammers, stuff like that. Within maybe 10 minutes I had won all 4500 chips and ended the match, propeling me to my second consecutive heads-up final in this event as we both sat down at the final table with 4500 chips apiece.

I was not familiar at all with my opponent in the finals, who I'm quite sure has never played a blogger tournament before from his name. But just like my opponents last week, this guy just played way way too tight. In heads-up nlh, I believe it is almost never appropriate to open-fold preflop, even a 62o type of hand I like to call with and occasionally raise with just to keep 'em guessing. With just one opponent I find the pot odds are basically there with any two cards to try to flop a pair or better and see if I can win some chips. He did not start out open-folding much preflop, but for a long time every single time he just open-called preflop, I would raise him 4x or 5x and he would fold. Many of those times I kept flashing him utter shit hands like Q6o, 53s, 97o, etc.) when I made this move, hoping I could pick up a big hand in that spot and get me some chips. As with my prior-round opponent, eventually I got in with AK vs AJ and doubled through to take a big chip lead, and then we played back and forth for a good 30, 40 minutes with me up roughly 6000-3000 chips almost the entire time. Finally at some point I got him really short by continually raising every time he open-limped before the flop and stealing lots of pots with flop bets that went uncontested, and eventually he pushed into my ATs with his Q9o after like 130 hands with me already up about 5 to 1 in chips at the time. I held and I took it down:

So that is two in a row in this biatch. Not sure why more people aren't playing in this thing. I guess it may be the redonkulous starting chips policy, which really is inexcusable of full tilt. Is there no way this can be changed? Maybe we should just consider lopping this thing off at the closest lower power of 2 number of players -- 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 and that's it. I don't love that option at all either, but no way you can be starting people 1500-3000 in second round games, even if the 3000 guy had to play an extra match. That shit is gizzney. I would probably try the lop-off method and see if that works better. With some better pimpage there is no reason we can't be getting at least 16 if not 32 every week for this thing IMO. I guess my domination may be keeping people away as well, but that's not going to last forever. Months maybe. But likely not forever.

Speaking of blogger tournaments, so the BBT3 is done as of this weekend's Big Game, won by a new name maneki something after he overcame a more than 3-to-1 chip deficit to Julius Goat from early on in heads-up play. So Goat ends up missing out on a BBT3 Tournament of Champions seat after he failed to win an event like I did last month in Stud-8, but don't worry the man gets some nice parting gifts as a result of his participation in the BBT3. As in, something like $2700 won throughout the series, after only playing in about half the tournaments. Goat dominated the Big Game throughout the BBT3 and that was enough to give him a couple of largeass cashes and easily take the crown for the most money won in the challenge, which as my readers know is the way I personally would always evaluate success or failure in these things. Personally I think things like BBT points are kind of silly when you can already just count total profit from the series, which takes into account final-two-table and final table finishes, how deep into the final table you run, and overall wins in a nice little formula as far as I'm concerned. So to me, Goat is easily the best player not to nab a ToC seat, but take it from me, winning a tournament to get in there is hard to do so I'm sure Goat and his $2700 of winnings are going to be just fine. Although I imagine a lil' bit pissed this morning after his good cards went completely dry for almost the entire heads-up battle.

So, with the BBT now over with, I thought about making a slight change to the regular Mondays at the Hoy tournament that runs tonight and every Monday at 10pm ET on full tilt:

No, the password is still "hammer" and the format is still going to be 6-max nlh, which I have been enjoying and I think many of the players have been as well. I am all about a little variety in our weekly games, and some shorthanded holdem is a fun weapon for any poker player to have in his or her arsenal. But what I did change for this week is the prize structure of the tournament.

In the past, I have always had the MATH pay out at full tilt's regular payout schedule, which usually ends up paying the top 8 or 9 spots during BBT time, and maybe top 5 or 6 outside of the BBT. But as most of you know if you read here with any regularity, I am all about satelliting into larger events, and more than that, I am really all about getting bloggers into the big events so that one or more of us can make the Really Big Score. Well, I've decided to put my money where my mouth is this time around, and I have set up the Mondays at the Hoy tournaments for June, starting with tonight's tournament at 10pm ET on full tilt, to pay out in increments of $216 for buyins to the weekly Sunday afternoon big guarantee tournament on full tilt. So this week, we will pay out as many winners as we have $216 in the prize pool, and the winner will be automatically registered for Sunday at 6pm ET's 750k guaranteed tournament on full tilt.

Although I have considered something like this several times before, I would never have done it in the end before the advent of $T on full tilt. But now, if you are not available for the 750k on Sunday afternoon, or even if you are available but you choose not to sink $216 into that event, you can just go and unregister and you will receive $216 in $T for your use on full tilt as you desire. But my hope is that, by playing in the Hoy, some people who would not normally have participated in some of the bigger events can get their chance and maybe make some noise. I plan to follow on the blog here the people who play in the Sunday tourneys after winning their ticket through the MATH, and my hope is there will be some great stories from the next little while here as I explore my ultimate dream of getting some blogger(s) into a situation to win a huge phuckload of cashish. So come on out tonight for Mondays at the Hoy at 10pm ET on full tilt and let's get it on, 6-max nlh style, for a shot to play with the big boys in the 750k guarantee on this coming Sunday afternoon.

See you tonight for Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt!

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Blogger lj said...

does green = donk?

1:15 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

No. I don't color code. For whatever reason you are the only people I have comments on anymore among the blonkeys. I don't remember yours specifically but it's nothing major. "AQ Fonkey" or something like that. ;)

2:18 AM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Just fyi... Loretta did take action after the first 'Sunday Head's Up' and had Full Tilt limit future entries to 32... as this was believed to solve the problem, BUT, the tourney hasn't gotten 32 entrants since week one. (Not sure what the reason is for the tiny turnouts, although I am positive it's not related to fear of Hoy's dominance.)

3:14 AM  

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