Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Droppin The Hamma

As those of you who have played with me often know, I play the Hammer (7-2 offsuit for the uninitiated) almost religiously. I won't get stoopid with it, but I'll raise or even reraise with it preflop, and of course I always show it. (In fact, why would one ever play the Hammer without showing it? Hmmmmmm.) Anyways, I love what a shown reraised-with Hammer does for my table image. Most people seem to try to avoid showing their bluffs. But I love how many more calls I get generally when people know I wield the Hammer like a sword.

Why am I telling you all this? Because last night I had my best-yet Hammer experience. I've played the Hammer hundreds and hundreds of times. But almost every time, I'm making everyone fold preflop because I just about always raise with it, unless maybe I'm in the BB and there are several limpers to me. So I barely ever get to see a flop with the Hammer, let alone a full board, and almost every time I am seeing a flop, I know before it comes out that I'll be insta-checkfolding, because the only time I'm in that situation is where someone else called my preflop Hammer raise, indicating a strong hand and one that I can't possibly hope to actually compete with once a flop is out.

Anyways, so last night I'm playing another of those Tier 1 $8 sngs with 18 people on full tilt, with the top 5 receiving a $26 token. I think this is the easiest thing to cash in in the world. Even easier than the $6 sngs with 18 people that give $26 tokens to the top 4. Anyways, with the blinds at 50/100, I look down to find the Hammer in the cutoff position. There's only one limper to me, and especially with this guy limping not from early position, I don't put him on much of a hand. Maybe A-x suited, maybe KJ, who knows. So I put in a Hammer raise to 300. This guy, stubborn as a donkey, calls with what turns out to be Q-10s, which he surely should have folded. What does he think I have that he can beat? I'm raising him preflop with J-9o? Criminy.

So the flop comes 8-3-K with two diamonds, a total bust for me as usual with the Hammer. He quick-checks, a sign that can mean strength in a good player, but I had played with this guy already for a bit, and he was the donkiest donk that ever donked, so I figured him to be weak. I checked behind him nonetheless with my 7-high Hammer and no hit on the board. Then the turn brought a 2, a card which I figured gave me the lead with my pair since I had pegged him as weak earlier. I make it a real point to trust in my instincts on my reads as long as I'm taking all information into account and am constantly updating my impressions based on any new information I receive along the way in a hand. So, when he checked again to me, I took my pair of 2s on the turn and bet him 800, slightly more than what was in the pot at the time. He mulls it over, and then inexplicably (but deliciously) calls with his Q-10 suited, with none of his cards and none of his suit on the board through the turn. This is just the kind of donk that plays in these Tier One sng's on full tilt regularly, and you only need to finish in the top 25% or so of them to get your token for much cheaper than the $26 that everyone else pays to play in the ftp guaranteed tourneys. Anyways, the river brings another 2, and I am SURE I have the best hand, but don't know what this guy has that he would have now called two large bets from me with. So, with about 2300 in the pot, I figure I'll tempt the donk with another pot-sized bet. So I go with 1600. A little light of the pot, but enough to make him think I might be stealing. Well, wouldn't you know it, the donkey called me again with his friggin Queen High. (Does this guy think he is Phil Ivey or something?)

And here is my taunting of him just a few seconds later, because I couldn't resist after that donkified move:

I ended up coming in first place in that $8 sng, so I got another token that I can use to bust out early in the first round in the nightly 17k guaranteed tourney on ftp some night this week. That's how I roll.

One other piece of poker news from last night -- I finally took the plunge and did a $5 heads-up match with Veneno on ftp while I dominated those clowns in the sng above. We had been toying with the idea for a few days, and since I dominate at hu, I figured why not, I can use the $5 I win from Veneno to cash in the next $5 MTT Turbo tourney on pokerstars tonight at 10:39pm ET. So we started up, and in the first few hands, I bluff-reraised Veneno and got her to fold preflop (and proudly showed her my bluff, 4-high as I recall), and she reraised me and got me to fold once preflop as well (I assume she was bluffing as well). Veneno was probably up 20 or 30 chips when I get dealt 88. A great hand hu by all accounts. Veneno acts first, and she raises the blind from 20 to 60 chips. I pause and then reraise her to 200. Here I'm figuring I just bluff re-raised her and showed it, and I'm about to use my duplicity to trick this chick into re-reraising me this time because she'll figure me for another brazen bluff. My plan works laughably well, as she moves allin on me, this just maybe 6 or 7 hands into our hu match. I smile smugly to myself, type in the chat "sure hope you have a pocket pair, Veneno!" and then call. I just wish I could see her face when she sees that she just got duped by me, set up by my previous bluff, and is now a dog with just two overcards to my pocket 8s.

The thing is, it didn't work out quite that way. One of us did get set up, but it wasn't Veneno:

She flipped KK, and IGHN. A bad way to start things off with a heads-up specialist. But I'm not going to feel too bad about that. I played it right and I put on a great move. The cards just set me up. And I'll get my money back from Veneno and then some, I'm not going to worry about that.

Hopefully see you all in the latest WWdN tonight. Isn't it about time I cashed in one of these things?


Blogger iamhoff said...

Beautiful! Every now and then the gods smile and reward the hammer. Very nicely done. That donk was likely ripe pickings after that, due to the hammer-tilt he was now experiencing. Hey! New term! Hammer-tilt. When you put somebody on tilt after showing your winning hammer bluff.

11:47 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Not as long as I have something to say about it.. heh.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Waffles, I think it's time that I busted you out of one of these blogger events. I would even trade that in exchange for cashing. You've been very close to getting bounced by me recently, but the odds and jokerstars' "random" number generator has prevented me from getting that chance with you.

Your time is coming my man.

Seriously, come look for me on the Yahoo IM (sandlerm) some time and we can do a 45 sng together or something. I'd love to take you out heads up for the big payday.

1:03 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

I love those guys in the $8 sng's. Q-high?


1:37 AM  
Blogger drewspop said...

That is excellent. btw, I posted about a lovely hammer hand from last night in live action no less.

Hopefully I will make it to the WWdN in time tonight. See you then.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

I'm going to do my best to play the WWdN game tonight. Hope to see you there.

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading your post about the Tiers on FT, I signed on and won the very first one. I have to agree, these seem to be easy pickings. I am now in my second one and with 16 players left I have the chip lead.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Won the second one too. Thanks for turning me on to these!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Nice work, Mowen. Yeah sometimes I can't believe I ever used to pay the full $26 to play the ftp guaranteed tourneys. The Tier 1 sngs pay such a high percentage of the finishers, all you have to do is not play dumb, get a normal amount of cards, and not get sucked out on, and you basically can make it every time with those three factors.

Anyways way to go man. Now the trick is to use those tokens to win the 17k guaranteed nightly tournament. That part I haven't been able to master yet. :)

11:47 AM  

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