Thursday, March 30, 2006


The poker gods are owning me lately. I don't know how to explain it. I've lost my last four or five MTTs all by silly, stoopid beats, most of which were significant leads for me with very few cards to come. I have been playing really great poker lately, and yet I have very, very little to show for it. And normally this is where I explain how *Insert Favorite Online Poker Site* is fixed, but in this case it is happening to me on pokerstars and full tilt, and even I can't believe they are both fixing things at the same time.

Last night I began with Mookie's tournament in the Big O Poker room on pokerstars. There were 21 entrants. I did very well at first, stealing my way to a few quick wins, and then busting a fish with my two pairs AQ on a flop of AQ9 rainbow. Can you guess what he had that he raised me all-in on the flop? JJ. If that ain't a guppy then I don't know what is. This got me out to third place early, where I stayed until making a bad play against one of the other chip leaders. I was convinced my 2nd pair was the best hand by the action thus far, and I was wrong. This dropped me down to last or second to last place of the remaining players, while others continued dropping out. With 14 players left (and me in 14th place), I was dealt AJo in middle position, and the guy right in front of me just calls after 3 folds start off the preflop betting. I read him for a low ace, and seeing my AJ, I figure this is a great situation for me to double up. So I move in, figuring he will call with his big stack almost regardless of what I have. I'm right, he calls, and flips over....A7. I'm styling. Then this:

Whaddya say IGHN? Thank you for owning me, Zeus, thank you for owning me, Hera.

Meanwhile, at 10pm ET I decided to use one of my easily-won $26 tokens on full tilt to play in the nightly 17k guaranteed tournament. I start off great, make a great read and am quickly up in the 2000 chip area. A few hands later I bust a player who moved in on my AK with his AJs (I love people who regularly call raises with AJ) and I'm well into the top 10% of the tournament's 787 entrants. I can tell this is going to be a good tourney for me, I can feel it in my bones. I'm thinking what kind of stereo system I'm going to buy with my share of the 17k.

Then an interesting thing happened. I am dealt AQs in the cutoff, with blinds of 20/40. It's folded all the way around to me, so I raise 3x to 120, hoping one of the blinds might put me on a steal and not a solid, playable hand like I have, and maybe play back at me where I can reraise him back again after much fake deliberation. The SB folds, and the BB just calls. I figure the BB was just defending his blind, but hoped he had something he might be willing to play with. The flop comes A73 rainbow. For me, a near-miracle flop unless he lucked into two pair, or if he was slow-playing AK preflop, in which case I'm about to get smushed and more power to him for the deceptive play. My opponent checks a little too quickly, and I can see the thoughts in his head: "I don't want to talk about my hand yet, but do you have an Ace?" I check back, my thoughts lying back to him: "Nope, no Aces here. If you have a low one, or better yet a mid-range one, please bet me."

The turn comes a J. This time, my opponent thinks: "Damn you didn't fall for my slow-play on the flop, but now I definitely don't think you have an Ace, so I'm going to bet you out of this pot right now", and he throws 600 chips into the 260 chip pot. Now, while I might have been a little afraid that he held AJ (and had just turned two pairs), once he made that big bet, I knew he didn't have 2 pairs since only a fool would play those two pairs that fast on the turn. So here's where I figured this guy must have the Ace I'm desperately hoping he has, with a kicker lower than a Jack. As I review his betting, I'm so sure of this that I move in on him, because with his big bet I figure he actually does have a solid Ace, just not as high as my AQ. He thinks for a short time and then calls me and flips over his cards. I was right about what he had, and my whole setup in this hand had worked to mf'ing perfection. I just forgot one small fact:

The poker gods are owning me lately.


Blogger Guin said...

Ignore the poker gods... they can only play with you if you let them tilt you!

You are having great reads and getting people to commit themselves with less than the nuts. I think large MTT's have been described as a minefield. The 15-20% chance suckouts kill you. Remember that 2 out of 10 times you will lose when you are way ahead ... but it could happen 10 in a row!

Now for us less computer oriented bloggers... can you let me know how you take all those screenshots.

9:58 PM  
Blogger mookie99 said...

Thanks for coming out to play last night. Next time you will need to come equipped with the Kevlar cup. That's the only defense against some of these donkeys :)

10:31 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Hey Guin. I use a program called Screen Hunter. I downloaded it for free from I think You can just do a google search for "free screen shots" or something like that and I'm sure find some options to use as well. As I recall, had tons of free screen shot programs. I like Screen Hunter and like the functionality it provides, and it's exceedingly easy to use.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

Print Screen is my friend.

What are the benefits of using third party software like Screen Hunter? The ability to screenshot only the active window or what?

12:20 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Matt, I'd say there are two benefits for me. Not having Photoshop or any other image editing software, I wasn't able to find a program that would let me save, resize and post to my blog my screenshot pictures that I obtained just by hitting "print screen". Screen Hunter enables me to do that. Also, Screen Hunter is good in that it lets me choose to screenshot either (1) the whole screen, (2) just my active window or (3) a square area which I can set at the time of taking the screen shot. So for me Screen Hunter is the thing that enables me to put all these screen shots up on my blog. I know if others have image editing sw, then just the regular "print screen" feature is enough, but that didn't apply to me.

12:34 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

damn. you have been taking it on the chin lately. Some muthereffer's cannot fold an Ace regardless of kicker. hope things turn around for you.

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are in that "even out period". Every time that you have a suckout go your way, means that your prolly gonna get sucked out twice. You just hope that the ones that happen to you happen when your playing very low limit.

3:43 AM  

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