Monday, February 28, 2011

Treachery and Deceit In Survivor Poker

Donkey Island Event #5, the multi-entry nlh blonkament this past Sunday night, was a lot of fun as expected. Attendance was a bit lower than I had hoped it might be for one of the most fun and truly impactful poker tournaments in years, but with 81 total entries I guess it is hard to complain. I bought in for the maximum 4 entries, and I played fast and loose, freed from the need to play safe early in a push to win individual immunity thanks to my untimely ejection from Donkey Island last week. Although I got off to decent starts in three of my entries, they were ultimately destined for losing a race, losing a race, and getting sucked out on as a dominated favorite allin preflop, and I never had an impact on the outcome of the game as I pushed a lot of edges, deliberately took on a lot of big stacks and good players, and played highly aggressive poker start to finish. I think my deepest entry went out in 20-somethingth place, and I eliminated three players total among my four entries. Not a strong result from me, but then, I wasn't the story from that tournament -- the story was Survival.

Once again, Team Fish lost the team immunity challenge on the night. I've been saying it for weeks -- the blogger tournament skill level on the two teams simply does not balance out. Who has been kicked off from Team Fish so far probably isn't helping matters either in terms of guys who can survive in a last-longer format, but even from the getgo as I've been saying all along, the long-term blogger tournament success on Donkey Island is squarely focused on Team Donkey, and the Fish have been getting summarily wiped up, being outlasted by multiple entrants from Team Donkey each and every week of the series. Having already been forced to eliminate three members from its 8-person team, and with iaatg having won the individual bounty immunity already on the night, the Fish were faced with another crucial vote-off, having to choose between SmBoatDrinks, VeryJosie, xkm or Dawn Summers, and in the end it was Dawn who was voted off.

I suppose it gives me the slightest bit of gratification to see my grand plans generally continued on with Team Fish's elimination decisions even after my own elimination last week by the very same people who voted out Dawn on Sunday night. I'm not sure why that is. I mean, it's certainly not a vendetta I have against Dawn or anything. I like Dawn just fine -- I just think you make yourself an easy target if you skip out on the first three "challenges" we have in the form of team tournaments on Donkey Island, especially when your team goes down in flames hard in two of them as a result. But Dawn should have and would have gone instead of me on that night if she had not won herself personal immunity, so I guess that's why it just feels kind of "right" to me for Dawn to be out in the following tournament. In any event, the next event is the final event of team play during Survivor Poker, and that one should be interesting if the Fish manage to lose another one there and have to really start trimming the fat and drop it down to three players. I have a feeling I know who will be out if that happens, but obviously I wasn't really on the inside with my own team so what the hell do I know.

Speaking of which, I have gotten a lot of questions from people over the past few days asking about the specifics of my vote-out the other day. Although it is lame on some level to admit, I'll just go ahead and lay out generally exactly what happened last Wednesday night, but to be clear, yes I got straight-up double-crossed by my teammates in a very direct way. I guess I don't see the need to use actual names of anyone from the team, or to attribute any specific action to any one person, as that doesn't seem right to me in terms of their own ability to keep doing what they're doing in the game, but suffice it to say that a number of people on Team Fish had indicated their joint intention somewhere during the beginning of the tournament time that Dawn Summers would be voted out if it came to that, and I do believe (though clearly, I could be wrong) that would have happened if not for Dawn nabbing the individual immunity by knocking out Wolfshead early in that night's Dank tournament. Within literally seconds of Dawn's winning immunity, I received two notes from other members of Team Fish discussing who would be voted for instead of Dawn since a vote for Dawn would now equal a vote for oneself. I was asked my intention on a few occasions over the next hour or so, and I provided the same person as my intended vote to multiple members of Team Fish. At one point there was even a group communication -- one that included confirmation of a sufficient number of votes to ensure success -- including myself and the majority of the existing Team Fish roster at the time, indicating that the group would be voting in the manner agreed upon.

I went to bed around 11:30pm or so, having sent in my vote for the designated person to Buddy, fairly confident to be honest just based on how the events of the night had transpired. I mean, of course I would have been most confident if Dawn was eligible for elimination, as not showing up for three tournaments made her easy fodder in everyone's mind, which was borne out by her near-unanimous elimination this Sunday night. But the thing that really had me feeling confident I would survive another couple of tournaments (because I thought I was covered on that night, and then I figured -- correctly, it turned out -- that Dawn would go next) was that the team had contacted me -- not the other way around -- the very minute that BDR broadcasted about Dawn's winning immunity. Two different members of Team Fish, within literal seconds, asking what the new plan should be and here is what they thought, etc. So it wasn't even like I was initiating this stuff and might have come off as desperate or something. These people came to me with a plan, we had some mutual individual discussion and then some group discussion, and a plan was agreed to by a number of teammates. I have the emails to prove it -- there was literal agreement from again enough members of the team to ice the vote, to vote for the same specific person on the team.

And then I woke up in the morning, grabbed the iPad from next to the bed, and read I think on Heffmike's blog that I was voted out. And near-unanimously too. Apparently around the end of the Dank when Team Fish was offishially eliminated once again and knew it would have to vote, there was some dissension within the ranks that had initiated the discussions with me earlier in the night and had participated in the majority-group vote and decision. Ultimately it isn't important who specifically the dissension originated from, or whether it had been pre-planned or simply more of a spur-of-the-moment thing -- suffice it to say that the group of people I was in discussions with clearly included more than one person with whom I had had overt friction in the past. Be it on my or their blog, in someone else's blog's comments, or even in the chatbox of our weekly games going back way back when, I was essentially "forced" to ally with people who clearly have exhibited some Hoy Haterism in the not too distant past. There just wasn't any other choice. I tried to be as careful as I could about who I allied with as a result, but ultimately this is why I said all along that a guy like me has zero shot, no shot whatsoever in a format like this. It's fucking highlarious fun for almost any group of 3 or 4 or 5 bloggers to vote Hoy out in a snivelling, mutinous, back-room deal in the wee hours of the morning. Come on -- you know you would love to participate in that! So I did the best that I could, but I was fighting an uphill battle right from the getgo on Donkey Island, and every night I survived by hook or by crook was like a gift.

So yeah, that's how it happened, guys. To remove all rumor and conjecture, yes I was straight-up double crossed by my teammates. A majority of the team contacted me during the tournament and initiated a discussion on who to vote for, a decision was made and agreed to in writing by all, and then all of them but for me set up a late-night meeting after the fact where it was decided unanimously by the persons in attendance at this meeting that I would in fact be voted out instead.

Now, to be clear, and very much unlike the first two guys who got voted out of the game, I hold absolutely no grudge whatsoever against my teammates who voted me out. I suspect that ultimately has a lot to do with my expectations level for myself coming in to this tournament -- I imagine that both Numb and Al thought they had the tournament skill and the popular vote to avoid eliminations for some time, probably throughout all of team play for that matter, whereas I literally lost money on a prop bet that I would be voted out in the very first event where Team Fish had to vote someone out. But whatever the reason, I'm not going to sit here and repeat what's been said multiple times already by eliminatees, that I won't forget what these fuckers did to me, that you can be sure I will vote against those aholes when it comes time for the final vote at the end, etc. In reality, I never thought I would last even for three tournaments, and I had fun goofing around and chatting with some guys I haven't really chatted with before, which I know I never would have done if not for Survivor Poker, so that's another plus. But the truth is, I harbor no ill will at all towards anyone on my team, I knew that the exact kind of backstabbery that did happen to me last week was going to happen much sooner than later to me no matter what I did, and I actually find myself still rooting for my former teammates on the Fishies as we move each day deeper into the Survivor Poker series. And to be clear, I would love to vote for one of them if they manage to last down to the bitter end on Donkey Island -- I definitely plan to vote for the person who I think deserves it the most, and I know there's gonna be a whole lot of shenanigans to happen between now and then so it's not worth speculating on that just yet, but I certainly will not hold against any of my teammates the fact that they calculatedly contacted me, cold-bloodedly lied to my face, and then mutinously plotted against me behind my back after I was fast asleep, awash in a veil of false confidence.

I'm already looking forward to Wednesday's Dank tournament, the final tournament of the "team play" portion of Survivor Poker. If the Fish can just win that one, they can stem the bleeding and enter the merge with 4 players versus Team Donkey's 6. Somehow, going in to the merge down 6-4 seems a heck of a lot better than heading in down 7-3. In the former, the ex-Fish people might have some chance of weaseling their way in to the larger group's consensus. But just like it was easy to find a consensus along the earlygoing for those who had not been showing up on time or at all for all the games, I expect it will not be difficult for the ex-Donkeys to come together to vote out those last 3 surviving Fishies if they head in with more than a 2-to-1 disadvantage in people after the merge.

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Blogger Josie said...

On the slim chance I make it to the end, when it's time for you to vote, just remember one thing:

I <3 Hoy! (but don't tell Waffles)

10:08 PM  

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