Tuesday, April 21, 2009

BBT4: Midway Review

Just look at that. Not even half a day after I call the man out for never winning the Mookie, Vinnay turns around and wins his BBT4 Tournament of Champions seat in the weekly Monday night RC/PPI game. I played in this one, as I will continue to try to do with the other weekday BBT events because, frankly, I like money. But as hard as I find it to play in these blogger tournaments when the BBT is running generally, with everyone all screwed down and trying extra hard for the big win, it is about 85 times harder for me when I've already won my ToC seat. Try as I might, I just can't really find that extreme will to win that is necessary for anyone looking to make a deep run in any of the private blogger tournaments.

Normally I could still be pushing hard for a top leaderboard spot, but given the structure of the series this year, I simply cannot play in a full fifth of the events that run, since they occur on Sundays, and in the afternoon at that. And given that the leaderboard prizes are all based on cumulative points only, and with no prize for the best points-per-event or something that would otherwise even out the disparities in events played among the participants, it just doesn't make sense for me to play "for the points" or to even play in any event where I don't think I have a decent shot at making some cash. Playing 20% fewer tournaments that everyone else at the top of the leaderboard is a handicap that I'm not interested in even trying to overcome. I have two investors in me for the BBT4, and both of them are fully comfortable with my decision not to kill it to try to play the Sunday tournaments. Those just don't work for me and in the end my investors already got what they wanted -- a nice profit on the series itself, and a ToC seat with a chance and some large buckos.

So here just past the midway point of the BBT, I thought I would take stock of what I'm looking at so far. There have been 32 events total, of which I have been able to play in 23. It looks like we've got one person who has played in every single event so far, and another three or four who've played them all but one. That is quite a feat, in particular again with a Sunday 4pm ET regular weekly event running this year for the first time. In my 23 BBT4 tournaments, I have 8 "in the points" finishes in the top 25%, 5 times in the money, and 4 final tables. More immportantly, one of those final tables was the Mookie last week, which I won for my first time ever, nabbing me the poker achievement of a lifetime in addition to my seat in the BBT4 Tournament of Champions coming up sometime in June I suppose.

So ok, I got the most important part out of the way, I am already in the ToC. But how am I really doing as compared to the other people who are playing in the series? My four BBT4 final tables is fewer final tables than just about anyone else in the top 25 of the BBT4 overall leaderboard through 31 events, so that's not necessarily so good. 1Queensup1 leads that category with an amazing 10 final tables in 27 events before this week's RC event. That right there is pure domination. In ITM finishes, my 5 top 25% runs again have me below just about everyone ahead of me on the leaderboard, indicating once again that I am not consistently cashing the points in these things like many others are. Once again, 1Queensup1 is killing the field in this stat, cashing in 33% of the BBT4 tournaments he has played with 9 ITM runs.

Taking a slightly more macro view, let's look at total "in the BBT points" finishes, where once again I have recorded 8 in 23 tournaments. Top 25% of the field basically 35% of the time I play, which is not bad, but nothing to write home about given the fields involved in these events. Again, the Man so far is clearly 1Queensup1, who has finished in the top 25% an astonishing 13 times in 27 tries. Obviously I am nowhere near that. Sure I have played fewer than 75% of the BBT4 events, but really the bigger issue for me on this stat is that I simply never spend one second thinking about making the points. I just don't play that way, and it shows in my results. I'm sure at least a few of my mid-tournament bustouts could have been turned into BBT-points-limpins if I had chosen to forego any realistic chance of winning in favor of fold-fold-folding, but why? For 38.5 measly BBT points? Nah, that's just not me. But then I don't win BBTs like some of you out there, do I?

So, all this is good for me sitting in 11th place overall out of nearly 300 players who have suited up for at least one tournament in the BBT4, and about 45 who have played in at least 20 events thus far through the series. 11th place is a good if not great showing, one that I have to be pleased with I think since I don't think I've been playing particularly well, and since again I am missing more than 25% of the events so far. If I really want to how I am playing relative to my peers given the BBT points structure, points per event is probably a better overall judge than cumulative points, which will automatically adjust for the greater or fewer number of events that different people have played. I have long been a fan of the points per event stat in the BBT, and in fact have long felt that something should be awarded to the leader in this stat at the end of the BBT, with a solid minimum of events played of course. In BBT4 points per event, I am at 28.5, which I don't know anything about on its own but which is good for 7th place overall so far among those with at least 20 tournaments or at least 2/3 of the total events run so far in the BBT4. 7th place overall sounds very solid and tells me I'm doing a good job in what I am trying to do with the BBT4.

But if you've read here for a long time, then you know the number I am, as always, most focused on in these things, and in poker in general for that matter: dollars and cents. And in this statistic, with $994.36 won in 23 events, I am in 5th place on the moneyboard so far for the BBT4, and at a point that is well into the realm of profitability even if I played and failed to cash in every single remaining BBT tournament, which I won't be playing in anyways. Of my 23 events played, that includes two Big Games for a total spend of $75 and $78 or $153. Eight RC's for $26 or a total of $208 in buyins. Six Skillz events for $66, and seven Mookies for another $66. That's a grand total in BBT4 buyins for me of right around $493 or so. So I am up about 5 hundy for the series, plus the BBT seat, and of course not even counting any massive $1 bounties on Skills game knockouts (there haven't been many, trust me). So overall, I have played 23 of 32 events, am in 11th place on the cumulative points leaderboard and 7th in points per event. I am in 5th in money earned, and my ROI for the series is about 102%. And of course the ToC seat. I don't know how I can't be happy with that overall. Here's hoping that the second half of the BBT4 goes even better than the first for me. I swear I've got another two or three Mookie wins in me just waiting to bubble out now that the seal has been broken.

Real quick, I also wanted to take a brief look at who has already qualified for the BBT4 Tournament of Champions, which has got a loooooot of strong players already at first blush. There is of course March leaderboard winner 1Queensup1 and current April leaderboard leader Shabazz Jenkins, as well as Heffmike and Tuscaloosa John, the only two guys with multiple wins so far in the BBT4. Lucko and Chad are also already awaiting the rest of the Toc participants, which is always a scary thought for any blonkament players. We've also got longtime bloggers Bone Daddy, Jordan, jjok, Joanne, Miami Don, StB and BDR host Buddydank, who among them have won a ton of blogger tournaments over the recent past. Former WPBT live tournament winner F-Train has a BBT4 ToC seat. Former Bodonkey regular season champion smokkee is in there as well, along with a handful of other qualifiers so far who have all demonstrated their ability to win a tournament against a bunch of other bloggers all looking to scratch and claw their way to victory.

Who to look for to win ToC seats in the second half of the BBT4? I like NewinNov to nab a seat, as he always seems to be hanging around late in these things and has the game to get it done, and is playing well so far in BBT4. Twoblackaces is also a pretty good bet to be in the TOC come series-end is my guess, based on his very solid record of blonkament wins over a relatively short period of time. Evil Wonka is also a good bet to win his way in, and I would add PirateLawyer to the list as well, especially given the existence of the weekly Skillz event and Mookie where PL tends to excel the most. I could see Columbo finding his way in to the ToC sometime in the next month and a half despite a rough beginning for him to 2009, and I would not be surprised if NumbBono also finds his way in after winning 50 Mookies and several other blonkaments over the past year or so if I recall correctly. JD Schellnut is another guy who seems to find a way to win the big blonkaments just often enough to get in to the ToC, and I would say the same thing about Astin who often likes to sneak in late to the series-ending blowout tournaments, often with the help of his Ace-changing machine that can change any hole card to an Ace with one click of a button on his ftp poker client. Lastly, I would guess that at least one of LJ and Bayne, two players with little BBT4 success to show for several tournaments played in so far, will end up in the ToC. LJ alone has probably won the most cash outside of the BBT out of anyone who has entered even one tournament since the BBT4 began, and it is likely only a matter of time before she busts out with a big BBT win of her own this time around.

Whoever is in it, the next 6 weeks should be a fun ride for all who participate. Especially given the shrinking fields as we enter into the second half of the tournament series, it is now easier than ever -- literally -- to win your ToC seat in the BBT4. So far in three events this week, we've had two in the mid-30s and then Monday night with 42 runners. This is without a doubt the best shot anyone has ever had of getting into the ToC quickly and easily, so don't go wastin' it!

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Blogger cmitch said...

:( No TOC yet for me. Maybe.... one day....

10:35 PM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

March was a month to remember, April not so much but the 2 times I have pointed/cashed were a 1st and a 2nd. Congrats on your ToC.

And thanks for the 2 days of props Hoy, just trying to make my way to Vegas for my first shot at the big boys, although I'll settle for a Mookie win ;)

2008 World Champion Phillies!!

10:47 PM  
Blogger Astin said...

Now if only I could find where I put that damned Aces switch...

2:45 AM  
Blogger lj said...

ha. vote of confidence appreciated, but unless i can keep myself from three bet shoving T5dd into JJ i'd bet against me for sure.

3:39 AM  
Blogger TuscaloosaJohnny said...

Good call on Columbo! That didn't take long.

8:43 PM  
Blogger columbo (at eifco dot org) said...

How very funny that you mention Numbono and I and we went heads up last night at the end.

12:50 AM  

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