Tuesday, June 02, 2009

BBT4 Ends, and ToC Odds

It was another fabulous Spring weekend for the Hammer Family in New York, which meant plenty of time outside with Hammer Wife and the kids, and, of course, plenty of time alone with my new grill. And boy did I grill up a storm. Just this weekend, the outdoor cooking menu included hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, filet mignon, asparagus, french toast, and, the piece de resistance, barbecue chicken and shrimp kabobs with peppers, onions, tomatoes and pineapples. The wonders of outdoor grilling are still shocking me almost daily, and I find myself wondering how I could have managed to make it more than three decades in this world without ever having experienced the luxury of my own grill. These days it seems like almost every night (and day) I am either thinking of what to prepare next, shopping for the next grilled meal, or out there actually cooking up over the open flame. Over the next week or two I will be looking to reproduce the delicious barbecued chicken from my kabobs for an entire meal, in addition to hopefully firing it up for some lobster tails and, eventually, a nice rack of barbecued ribs so I can feel like a real grillin machine.

Aside from the time with the family, there was poker. Lots and lots of poker. Aside from one brutal day (thank you full tilt), I continued assailing the heads-up sitngos on three different poker sites, and made such a nice chunk of change doing so that I eventually stepped up to buyins I have not spent much time playing, eking out a small profit in the process and causing myself to further wonder just how high you have to move up before donkeys aren't reraising allin preflop with A9o and the like. And then of course there was the BBT4, which ended with a bang on Sunday with Don's last Big Game, as well as with the Asshat Frat Crew hitting Buddydank Radio in force, which I have to say was once again a good time. Performance-wise, I of course skipped the ghey Brit thing as the timing could not be worse, but I managed to hold on through more than 2/3 of the field in the Big Game before finally losing a race -- to Tuscaloosa John, natch -- to bust in I think 13th place overall out of 41 runners. I can't complain about the results I guess, especially when you consider that I didn't make a single good play in the entire night's tournament when it comes right down to it. I had the extreme pleasure of being gifted a courtesy double-up late in the first hour when I was dealt my only premium hand of the night (over several tournaments and several hours, mind you) in pocket Aces, I flat called a re-reraise preflop from a guy I can't remember and then proceeded to call his allin on the raggy flop, to which he sheepishly flipped up K5o unimproved. But other than that, my stack barely climbed above that mark over the ensuing two hours and in the end I was left with a preflop allin against the mighty pocket 3s, which held up as has been common for me over the course of the BBT4, and IGH just out of the final table. My story in the Big Game Mulligan was eerily similar, where I lasted to the final table before losing two out of two races and then eventually getting called when I raised allin with 12 outs twice and failed to hit. Natch. On the night overall, I ended 1 for 5 in race situations, and for those of you who haven't figured this out yet, that is simply a recipe for disaster, from which no success can be expected given how push-festy these things always become as the end approaches given the structure and the starting stacks.

Again, not that I'm going to complain overall about my results in the BBT4. I'll have more on this later in the week, but overall I will have finished solidly in the top 20 in BBT points for the second straight BBT series, this one while missing over 30% of the total events due to prior engagements, and while running pretty piss-poor horribly over the entire stretch overall. What's more, I managed to cash for more than $1230 over those 39 events, which I think translates to an overall BBT4 ROI of about 119%. Again, given how generally horribly I have run throughout the BBT this time around, these are all figures with which I am extremely pleased overall. But dam have I run poorly. I would estimate that I probably ran about 20 percentage points below mathematical expectation overall over the series, meaning that my dominating favorites won only maybe slightly more than half the time, I raced at about a 30% clip, and my 12-outers hit at more like a 20% success rate. What can I do about that, I don't know, but suffice it to say, I am not running well in the blonkaments overall, and I won't have a shot to win one of the two 10k WSOP prize packages available in next Sunday's BBT4 Tournament of Champions unless I find a way to make something happen for myself.

Speaking of which, part of what I want to spend this week doing here on the blog is reviewing each participant in the ToC and giving my personal assessment of their chances of nabbing one of those two WSOP packages on Sunday night. This is similar to what we did on Sunday night on BDR, but I thought I can give my own thoughts in a little more detail and without drunkass Don's hideous oddsmaking to distract you all from what I think about the players. This is way too much for even me to write in one post, so my plan will be to review the 43 ToC runners' chances in groups of roughly 8 per day, starting with today. I'm not going to group people into different classes of player or other breakdowns like we've seen elsewhere, but rather just take them all in random order and give my unbiased and objective thoughts on each's chances of taking down one of the two grand prizes in the ToC.

So, let's start with the first guy in alphabetical order:

125Will. Buddy revealed last night that this is a multiple account for another blogger, which I can't say I am a fan of in the least, but I do like the guy in question and I respect his poker skills overall. That said, I also do not think that no-limit holdem is 125Will's best game, although he has recorded some decent wins at the game. With 43 runners in the ToC overall, and thus an average of 21.5 to 1 against winning one of the two big prizes for the player of "average" skill, I would put 125Will right around that average level, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 to 1. The combination of no-limit not being his strongest game combined with him not playing regularly with such a large prize on the line make it no more likely than roughly average that he finishes in one of the top two spots.

1Queensup1. What more can you say about the job that 1Queensup1 did in the BBT4? Greenfish ended up the overall points leader in BBT4, recording 15 final tables in 52 BBT4 events, 33.5 BBT points per event, and a whopping $2290 and change won to make him not only the overall points leader but the overall cash leader as well. It was more or less a total decimation of the field in the BBT4, ranging over nearly every single event in the entire series, and in the end I just don't see how Queensup is not the overall odds-on favorite to win his way into the WSOP ME via the upcoming BBT4 ToC. If average is 21 to 1 against winning one of the two grand prizes, I'm thinking Queensup is probably somewhere around 5 to 1 to finish in the top two. On the radio on Sunday a couple of the AFC guys kept quoting odds lower than this, but I just don't see how anybody is better than around 5 to 1 when they still need to outlast 40 of the other 42 donkeys playing in this thing.

actyper. I don't really know a whole lot about actyper, other than my original notes on him from a year or so ago where I had indicated that he actually knows how to play this game a little bit. That said, actyper only played in 6 of the 56 BBT4 tournaments overall, and that makes me think his chances of winning another are not as great as those who have more recent experience playing four or more times a week with their blogger brethren. Plus, his one win came in the ghey Brit thing, which is barely worth mentioning when compared to the kind of stress and the pressure knowing what will be on the line in next Sunday's ToC. With all this, I see actyper as somewhere around the average, maybe 23 to 1 against winning his way into the ME on Sunday.

Aposec72. Aposec has been playing with the bloggers for some time now -- I feel like I recall seeing him as far back as the old WWdN tournaments on pokerstars -- and I know Chad last night mentioned thinking that Aposec is tighter and more solid than most of the bloggers in the upcoming ToC. I have not quite had that experience with this particular player -- not that I have noted him being bad, but he's not one of those guys I think of as particularly dangerous among the crown who has qualified for the BBT4 Tournament of Champions. Aposec played in 19 events in BBT4, not enough to have amassed the experience that could be the thing that pushes someone over the edge on a big call or fold late in the ToC, and more than that, in those 19 events Aposec managed to amass just 15 BBT points per event. Personally I just don't see what compels me to give Aposec better than average odds to win a seat in the ToC. Let's say 28 to 1.

Asphnxma. F-Train qualified real early for the ToC in the BBT4, and I actually think this cuts against him as once again I think a lack of familiarity with the players in the ToC can only hurt one's chances of surviving what is sure to be a grueling, tough field. In fact, F-Train has barely played any blonkaments over the past few years, and, as far as I know, he's not by a long shot a no-limit specialist in any event. I think F-Train's game is more limit poker than no-limit, and frankly I don't even know how much he really plays the game these days as a rule. So the guy does not know the styles of most of the bloggers he'll be up against in the ToC, he does not play many tournaments, and he does not play much no-limit as it is. All that does not bode well for his chances of winning his way into the ToC in my view. 30 to 1.

Bone Daddy. Eric is a good guy and someone with whom I have spent some time in Vegas over the past couple of years. Despite enjoying the occasional superdonk play, BD knows the game and has shown over time an ability to win a blogger tournament if he gets a lil bit of cardage to get him started off early with a nice stack. BD can also be deceptively tricky if you're not careful, which should serve him well again if he can pick up some good cards or solid flops in the earlygoing on Sunday. That said, BD tends in my experience to get a little jumpy early if things aren't going his way, which I think is borne out by his only making 5 final tables in 32 BBT4 events, the fewest of anyone who finished in the top 26 on the final BBT4 leaderboard. Given that he will have to end in the top 2 spots in order to win the big prizes, BD is a dangerous person if he gets some chips, but he's likely to have a long row to hoe in order to reach the promised land. Overall, out of respect for his sneakiness, I will say 19 to 1 for Bone Daddy.

Buddydank. Buddy is a good player as his BBT4 performance has shown, but dayummm the guy is tight as hell. And tight does not generally do well overall in the blonkaments, especially given how aggro some of you donkeys can really be. That said, Buddy played in 42 events and made 10 final tables, winning won and nabbing $930 cash along the way, so the guy has demonstrated skills in these things. And more than that, with the 12 minute levels and super stacks that the ToC features this time around, Buddy will have more time than usual to wait out the pocket Aces and pocket Kings that Buddy plays almost exclusively (and seems to receive far more than his fair share of). I think his skill combines with the structure of the ToC to create a decently better than average shot for Buddy to win one of the 10k prize packages, I would say somewhere around 14 to 1 against for the illustrious BDR host.

Columbo. We said it time and again on the radio show on Sunday night, but Columbo is a guy whose game has improved noticeably over the few years I have been playing regular blogger tournaments with him. Unlike many of the other players in this year's ToC, Ray is also someone who tends to actually analyze his play a lot more than most people I know. I picked columbo to win a ToC seat about halfway through the series, and most of those same reasons apply to giving him a somewhat better than average chance in the upcoming ToC. That said, the one thing that prevents me from picking columbo too strongly is his experience in getting real deep in the BBT4 events -- in playing 53 of the 56 events in the series, Ray managed to amass only $292 and change in cashes, which tells me that he can make the top 25% for the points, but that he has been playing a little bit too tight in the early and mid stages of these things to allow himself the opportunity to start building that all-important big stack early. Balancing everything out, I still think columbo is a better than average shot to win one of the ME seats in the ToC -- let's say something like 16 to 1.

Cracknaces. This will be the last donkey I will review today. Other than the top 5 on the BBT4 leaderboard, Chad is without a doubt the best chance there is of nabbing the WSOP ME seat. Not to mention, he's probably the single best chance of everyone on the board to actually do well once he gets in to the Main Event in any event. In addition to being an all-around very solid poker tournament player, Chad makes some of the best on-the-spot decisions of any tournament player I watch regularly, and I know he has the drive to win at least as much as anybody out there. Like me, Chad's biggest issue in the ToC will probably be getting some good cards to play with, and not tilting when the inevitable happens, but if he can get off to a big stack early, he is sure to be a force to be reckoned with as the tournament wears on and the pressure increases. Add to this the fact that Chad is experiencing one of the best runs of his entire career just now -- including winning outright the Mini Series of Poker #3 event in Limit O8 this past weekend, followed up by a near miss for a WSOP ME seat in a full tilt free roll, and then a 12k cash in the pokerstars 100k guaranteed just while the Big Game and Big Game Mulligan were going on. Even if he is playing 9 other tournaments at once during the ToC, there's no way I'm laying Chad at worse than 7 to 1 to win the big one.

OK that's all for today. Another batch of 8 or 9 ToC runners coming tomorrow. For now, it's off to the grillhouse to see what's in store for me in the world of outdoor cooking tonight.

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Blogger Chad C said...

Blinders is the spot on favorite.... Oh wait Mr +EV didn't make it??

10:59 PM  
Blogger BWoP said...

I am just now starting to pick up the grilling kick. Yeah, took me about a year . . . but I'm lovin' it.

2:27 AM  
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1:00 PM  

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