Friday, February 24, 2006

A Lot to Catch Up On

OK first things first: The two WWdN blogger tournaments since my last post. First, all I'll say about the East Coast tourney this past Tuesday night is that I went out second. No, that's not a misprint and I really meant to say "in second", I was actually the second person out of the tourney. When the hand started, no one else was out yet in fact, such that when I busted I thought for sure I was going to have the dubious distinction. But luckily my boy TacTix from the growing Calgary poker blogger contingent somehow managed to bomb out just seconds before me so I got to leave shamed, but not emotionally ruined. Incidentally, I basically blame myself and a good play by an unknown opponent that did me in -- on the flop I had top pair (8s) and a paint kicker, but I failed to perceive my opponent's slow playing of pocket 10s, which eventually cost me all my chips. Kudos to the nomad who outplayed me on that one.

***As an important aside, props go out to our esteemed host Wil Wheaton for his 23rd place finish at the WPT invitational in LA. Congratulations, Wil, on that showing and in outlasting all the other celebs in the tournament. AND of course on mentioning the bloggers in your bust out interview, as reported by Pauly.***

Back to last night's WWdN tournament, sans Wil due to his asskickage in LA. I had already been playing great poker through most of the evening, being on a 5-hour binge since Mrs. Hammerplayer left for the ballet (ha ha!), so I entered the tournament feeling great, determined and expecting to final table for the second consecutive West Coast WWdN. Things started off in that direction for me, as I played tight but aggressive early, stole a few pots where I knew others were weak, and then I made a huge allin bet on the turn with a board of K944 and me holding just 97, but I had had a read all hand from my single opponent that he did not hit the flop and was just playing two high cards. He called me with AQ, obviously not believing that I had hit the flop either, and I doubled up early. In fact,
you can see for yourself just how hot I started off just 19 minutes into the tourney.

Even after that first hand, though, my Hand of the Night was still yet to come. About 30 minutes after the screenshot above was taken, I was then in 3rd place in the tourney with 30 players remaining, and I look down to find KK in middle position. Now, those of you who know me or read my blog know that, basically, I am just a deceptive kind of guy. I'm always a threat to slow play, or to set you up for a future move, etc., and sometimes I almost do that to a fault. So here, when it's checked around to me, I give the customary 3 or 4 second hesitation, and then I bet out 2.5x the pot. Those paying attention at the table would already know that this is a bit lighter than my usual raise of 3-5x the BB, a la Dan Harrington. This of course is done to give someone a reason to call my bet, or better yet, raise me so I can go allin on their asses. Anyways, some unsuspecting poor sap, a guy named CoryTV who happens to currently be in 2nd place in the tournament (ie, one of the few guys who could actually double me up) falls right into my trap, and not only sees my bet but moves in on me. I quick call and triumphantly flip over my pocket Kings. Now I know here in the story is where you're expecting me to tell you he showed me Aces. Nope. The Guy I Dominate confidently flipped up his 10-10, and I was an 80% favorite to hold a Monstrous Chip Lead in the WWdN, an almost insurmountable lead.

ThenA10CameOnTheFlopAndIGHNJustLikeThat. There. I said it. All one word so I got it out as fast as possible. Everyone at my table was there to see it, and it was pure ugliness. Yes we had a new chip leader, but it wasn't me. Un fuggin real. Congratulations to Pastamancer who took it down in the end.

Next, I ventured into the world of live poker this week for the first time in several months. I got together with my old poker crowd on Wednesday night for a couple hours of cash game dealers choice, followed by a nlh tournament, the usual staple for these guys. It was fun, except for one major issue: the dealer's choice tournament turned into just one 2-hour long orbit of Omaha high, and that was it. Between telling stories, watching the tv and ordering and eating dinner, we only ended up playing 9 hands of Omaha before the cash game portion of our evening was done. Fortunately, I played ubertight with my cripey hands, and then when I held Q-10-x-x on a flop of 89J with two clubs, I moved in on the flop with the nuts at the time, and got called by not one but two flush draws. My nuts held, and I tripled up in the cash game playing Omaha high. My luck in the nlh tournament was not as good. I was short stacked through most of the tournament, and eventually the blinds ate away at me and caused me to move in blind from the BB in 4th place out of 4 remaining players, with the top 3 getting payouts. The SB called my raise, and she flipped over Q6s, I terrible hand to call an allin with. I flip my hand over for the first time and find....AJo! What a thrill. I've already estimated that I'll be just a few chips shy of third place after the double-up, but then a 6 comes on the flop, and no help to me, and IGHN. That one was really annoying. So I missed the money by 1 place in the tourney, I tripled up in the one orbit of Omaha high cash game, so in all I made about 100% profit on the night. Sadly that only amounts to $5, but hey it's not about the dollars so much as the percentage profit, right?

Now on to last night's non-WWdN poker action. As I mentioned above, the wife went to the ballet, leaving me to put the baby to sleep and then with little choice other than to play some solid poker all night long. On the bad side, I played in four different 18-person $6 buyin sngs on full tilt to try to get one of the top four spots' $26 token to get me into the winner's choice tournament satellites, and I failed to cash in any of them. Closest I got was out in 6th place on a bad beat, but bad beats killed me throughout those sngs and I came away from that empty handed.

I also played both of the pokerstars $5 buyin tournaments on Thursday evening. The first was regular speed and started just after 8pm. I was aggressive as all get-out, and stole TONS of pots. There were 1563 entrants, and I made the cash at around 10:30pm ET, still in the top half of remaining players. I held firm, tightened up a bit but remained aggressive once we were in the money positions, and when I picked up AA I managed to get not one but two allins ahead of me before pulling down a big pot and vaulting me near the top of the leaderboard, where I remained through several levels of the payout structure. Eventually as the blinds ate away at me, I moved in in late position with A-10s with it folded around to me, but the big blind called me with KK and I was done. Still, I was very pleased with my performance:

Out in 47th out of 1563 players, for a nice little payout for my efforts.

While the $5 tourney was going on, I got a broadcast message in the chat feature for the Turbo $5 tournament that was starting, so I went and joined that one as well. The large $5 and $10 buyin events at ps have always been my most successful big tourneys online, so I like to get in as much as possible when I can, and the Turbo event is particularly fun but also very demanding because of just how quickly the blinds advance (every 5 minutes). There is no room for taking it easy with big hands -- you have to get in there strong preflop and definitely make a move when you hit the board big, because you just don't have very many chances to chip up before the blinds eat you alive. Anyways, to make a very long story short, that turbo $5 tournament had 1633 entrants, and:

I ended up in 51st place in that one as well, for a larger payout since this one did not use the fish-friendly 20% payout structure that so many of the large ps tourneys seem to subscribe to nowadays. In that tournament I lost almost my entire stack when I got in with QQs against my opponent's AJ, but then the fishmonger sugged out a straight on the river and I was basically crippled. It's a tough way to go, but fighting it out to the end of these big turbo tournaments is such a crapshoot, the horrendously poor beat just didn't bother me nearly as much as it often does in the regular-speed tournaments.

In all, I've been up to lots of pokery goodness lately and wanted to share some of the stories here.

The wife is going BACK to the ballet again tonight (yippee!), so look for me, hoyazo, on pokerstars, full tilt AND party, starting at around 8pm ET. I'll be playing some more $26 token sngs on ftp, the 40k guarantee on party, and probably my usual gamut of pokerstars sngs and big tournaments.


Blogger drewspop said...

Hey, sounds like a pretty good night. I jumped into the $3 nightly 7pm on PS last night and played nothing until I got JJ (about 25 minutes), raised big, got called, Q high flop was checked to me, overbet the pot, was called, pushed on the next rag and was railed when the dude hit a third 10 on the rivaa. Sucks to lose that way but go hard or go home in the 2000+ people tourney's right?

3:21 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah that's the way it goes sometimes. For all the good stories I have of doing well in the big tournaments online -- and there certainly have been more of them lately as compared to my first few months on online play -- I couldn't count how many tournaments I have entered but then busted myself sometime during the first round.

Although I have to say, it doesn't really sound like you played those Jacks exactly correctly. I like the big preflop raise, but once the Queen came on the flop and your large bet was called, I would have considered getting into checkorfold mode as quickly as possible.

4:04 AM  

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