Monday, August 04, 2008

Rally Shirt

Well I didn't really talk a lot about my own poker play last week due to some more significant life events going on with me, but when I last wrote about it a couple of weeks back, I was mired in a sea of bad beats and bad play. As primarily a tournament guy, running bad is as bad as it can possibly be. I think this is because the structure and pace of the tournament basically forces people to take action with hands they might not otherwise push with in a cash game, and as a result I constantly find myself in situations where I either am a big favorite with all the money in the middle, or at least where I should be a big favorite if not for some gheyness involved in the hand somewhere like the dreaded "pokerstars flop" or running Kings into Aces situation. Unlike most people, I can't stand getting beat out of a tournament early on, and in most cases I would almost still rather prefer to run to the bubble and then lose rather than bust in the first half-hour in a bad beat. To me, the journey as opposed to the result is most of the fun, and I like a run through 1000 players in the 50-50 and then busting just short of the money more than I appreciate full tilt having the courtesy of just running my KK into AA in the first few orbits. Maybe it's just me.

Anyways, a couple of weeks back I had taken a huge number of bad beats more or less in succession, and let's just say that is effing sucked and leave it at that. But last weekend, something interesting happened -- as I was digging through my closet and my sea of white t-shirts that I wear undernearth my shirt almost every day of the year, I came across my good old full tilt shirt that I got from the full tilt booth during my first World Series of Poker back in 2005. I hadn't seen this shirt in several months, and frankly I had forgotten all about it until it showed up in my hand there from buried deep on the top shelf. Anyways, I put that bad boy on, and let's just say that, with the exception of a very very ghey last night, the past week has been very very good to me poker-wise. I can mention a couple of the highlights here, but as far as I'm concerned it's all too far in the past at this point to write a whole lot about.

Starting at the beginning, a little over a week ago, as I was preparing to give my notice that I would be leaving my current job in a couple of weeks, I final tabled the 50-50 tournament on full tilt, my 5th or 6th final table in this tournament just this year. After being the chip leader from 27 players left down until around 13 or 14 remaining, I made two aggressive plays against short stacks I read for just trying to hold on for the final table, losing with AQ against 66 and then with 99 against AK, leading me to enter final table play in 4th place of 9 stacks left. In the end, I busted in a very disappointing 6th place given my recent chiplead, netting me $1750 or so, but I know I left probably a couple grand on the table by being incorrectly aggressive in a spot where every short stack who busts before me would translate directly into more cash into my (virtual) pocket. Basically, the highly aggressive chip leader, at the time one of 3 players at the table who could bust me, raised under the gun with 6 left at the 5050 final table, and I decided to push allin on a sizeable reraise with my ATs. The F-head instacalls with AQo -- the very move that has cost me countless runs in the Mookie at an even more shorthanded final table -- and I'm done. Now I can't kill the guy for that call, but #1 I would never have made it with the chiplead, and #2 like I said it's just frustrating that everyone else seems to win when they overplay AQ big time, and yet I don't seem to win much with it even when I play it correctly. Oh well, can't complain about another 5050 final table, but as always it was a bittersweet moment to bust out without winning this thing or at least nabbing one of the big top-3 cash payouts. Next time perhaps.

In Mondays at the Hoy last week, which turns out to be the very last MATH tournament of all time, longtime blonkament crusher Surflexus was the fitting winner, taking down the $168 first prize as he won the shootout and became the final MATH champion.

Meanwhile, earlier that weekend the power of the shirt change was in effect for me as well, starting with that 5050 final table and continuing through several FTOPS satellite wins, so many that I really don't remember the exact numbers. I know I have won at least four seats to FTOPS #1 after the past week, as well as entries into a few other events that I've unregistered for because some combination of the game or the time don't work for me. I have also remained registered for a number of the other FTOPS events to which I have won seats thus far and which I do intend to play. That includes my usual haunts including FTOPS #1 $216 buyin nlh which goes off this Wednesday evening at 9pm ET, my usual spot in the Sunday $322 buyin nlh tournament as well, plus a few other fun ones. My crowning achievement FTOPS-wise so far has been winning my second attempt in the nightly 10:20pm ET satellite for a $165 buyin into the $1060 buyin FTOPS event, which I nabbed here early last week:



Another fun event that I will be playing in the FTOPS for the first time -- and in fact this is the first time I have ever seen this event in the FTOPS so it may be the first time they've ever run it -- is a new $322 buyin tournament in "Mixed Holdem", which is alternating rounds of limit and no-limit holdem. I won this in the very first satellite I ran over the past week in this event, and even though limit holdem can be quite very ghey, as an alternating structure with no-limit sprinkled in there, I found it acceptable if not somewhat enjoyable even. In the satellite I played to win this seat, I took a brutal beat early on the river, only to lay a sick bad beat on the same player heads-up at the final table when dominated to take the big lead, going on to win it the very next hand when this guy tilt-pushed and I called with A5 vs. his Q3o. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Delicious limit holdem.

Later this week I will take a full look at the upcoming FTOPS, which once again begins this coming Wednesday evening on full tilt, and take a look at which events I plan to play and which I plan to buy in to direct as opposed to satelliting in to. After an awesome last week and thanks again to the wonders of $T, the account is really flush with cash and there's no reason I shouldn't be able to buy in direct to any of the events that I don't qualify for via satellites online. I'm also looking really forward to the nightly megasatellites starting up on Tuesday evening at 9:45pm ET, as these things tend to be some of the easiest money available as far as us mtt guys are concerned.

And don't forget, no more MATH for those of you who missed my announcement at the end of last week, so don't go looking for it on full tilt and then send me a nasty email or leave the messy comments on the blog. I know it's the right decision though, because honestly I feel nothing short of relief that I don't have to pimp this thing, play this thing or write it up tomorrow.

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5 Comments:

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There is a Doyleism: Dont go broke with a Queen in your hand. How many times have I/you gone broke with AQ running it into AK etc. Phil Ivey has busted out of more WPT titles with that hand then anyone else. Yet it is overplayed big time.

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