Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hoyazo = Donkey

That's right everyone, come and find me on pokerstars soon, because I am playing like an absolute donk these past few days. I've certainly taken some bad beats as well, but in all I've been playing when I'm not at my best, and the results have definitely been predictable.

In a nutshell, about a week ago Hammer the Youngest stopped sleeping through the night at 7 months of age. Not the "waking up at 2am for 5 minutes" kind of non-sleepage, but rather the "up every effing 45 minutes during the entire night" kind. The worst kind. As a result, my wife and I have been getting about as much sleep as Waffles locked in a room full of horny Japanese dominatrixes wearing schoolgirl uniforms. And since I have very little ability to stop playing regardless of my mood, I've been playing when I am way too tired and just generally feeling frustrated, and the results have defintely shown up in my game.

First, another shoutout to Jordan for setting up the NYC blogger homegame this past Friday evening. Without getting into the details, I picked up QQ once, and otherwise not a single playable hand in the entire night. Yet I stole pots with abandon, made a couple of big calls on flops which helped me somewhat, a lot of fun bluffs, and ended up busting out in 5th place in our 9-person tournament when I stoopidly pushed on the button preflop with 94o against who I thought was a weak limper in early position. Turned out he called me with AKo, and IGH. In the cash game I also didn't see a single playable hand, so had to resort again to bluffery and thievery to sustain myself, until I hit top two pairs on the turn with KJ on the same card as another player there hit a flush. I couldn't put him on the flush, though, since I had made sure to give him poor odds to draw to his flush with my flop bet with top pair 2nd kicker. Thing is, this guy ended up fishcalling that bet with just a jack-high flush draw and no other hit on the board, so when he made his flush on the turn I moved in on him because I figured he couldn't be so out of it to have called with just a flush draw. So even though I got donkeyed out of a buyin on that hand, again I clearly played it correctly. But the results for the evening were not good despite my smart play.

The tiredness factor really began to set in on Saturday, when I played a 180 sng on pokerstars and was doing quite well. I had outlasted Weak_Player and Garth already whom I didn't even know where in the tournament, and those two joined in along with Jules and Mr. 180 sng himself, Waffles in railbirding me as I progressed deep into the tournament. With 20 people left, this hand happened:

This fishclown moved me all-in on the flop with just top pair Queens and his smelly 3 kicker. But then on the effing river he took the pot down, taking my money that would have had me in the top 2 of the remaining 20 players. I was furious, and because of my level of fatigue and frustration, I got pretty damn steamy pretty damn fast. Then, to top it off, I played back against an obvious stealer from the small blind, and ended up allin preflop when my opponent turned over this hand:

I know why this happened; the guy was in the SB and looked 100% like he was stealing when he raised preflop after I limped with my AJo. I let fatigue and tilt convince me to put him allin, and he took a lot of my chips. Then the exact same thing happened on this hand, 5 hands later, against another small blind who had been steal-raising in this exact situation all night long:

I'm sure you won't fail to notice how my starting hand requirements seem to be dwindling with each play -- again, that is fatigue talking. And that hand knocked me out of the 180 sng, squarely on the bubble in 19th place with the top 18 getting paid.

By this point I was fully cognizant that I was playing like donkey, and I knew it was lack of sleep and just general moodiness that resulted from the lack of sleep. But did I stop playing until those conditions could be eliminated?

Sunday night's big game was the MissT74 WSOP satellite, playing winner-take-all with 22 other opponents for one seat to a $1000 WSOP event this summer. A lot of MissT's players and friends tend to be RGPers, so I figured I would be up against a bunch of cerebral poker studs who have been playing for a long time and have developed a certain layer of logical understanding of the game that I don't usually run into. Instead, I found a level of competition very similar to the players I run into regularly in the other blogger tournaments in which I play, albeit a little bit tighter as a group. I once again my stole way to some early chippage, and then won a very nice pot against a couple of short stacks to vault into first place among the 17 remaining players (including busting the gracious tournament hostess herself):

About 25 hands later, I had my Aces cracked for a large pot that really hurt me to lose:

but then I made up for that with a two-out suckout of my own on a short stack to stay alive:

Eventually I made the final table (albeit in 8th out of 9 players left) -- I was at the final table from which one winner would win a WSOP seat! Technically, this was by far the closest I had ever come to actually attending the World Series of Poker. But I had a lot of work to do to overcome 7 stacks larger than mine and win the tournament buyin. I played a smart game, pushed and stole as required, and managed to chip up into 5th place out of 8 players remaining. Then, with me in the big blind, the button raised big when it was folded around to him, and I reraised solidly with my AJo, against a guy who had stolen repeatedly and folded to reraises preflop from the button. He quick-calls me and flips over A4s against my AJo! I was about a 3.5-to-1 favorite to become the new chip leader at the table with 6 players left and a trip to the WSOP on the line!

Then this flop came in support of my dominating favorite hand:

He flopped a fucking flush with a dominated hand to send my dreams of the World Series back on hold for another year. What an effing animal to even make that play. I was and still am furious. That WSOP buyin was mine for the taking, and I was really controlling that table, and then this. F Pokerstars, F Tony Sopran0 (oddly enough, winner of last night's DADI V tournament as well, so congratulations you donkeyass mofo!), F it all.

It is against this backdrop that I entered the DADI tournament on Monday evening. I had been playing like pure donkey, suffered some horrendous and devastating beats, and was still tired out from another sleepless weekend. Funny thing is, I started off the DADI by winning the first five hands played at my table, staking me to a 7th place start out of the 78 entrants in the tournament. People like Jules, Byron and DNasty at my opening table just had to sit and watch me steal, steal and re-steal my way to 6 early hand victories without showing down any of the garbage I was actually playing.

Still though, my donkness quickly got the best of me, as I started to push too hard with less than optimal hands, and another favorite donkey move of mine these past couple of sleepy days, to "force" myself to read someone for a bluff when there was no actual reason to believe they were bluffing. The classic example of this was when I crippled myself with this donkey raise on a flop with which my cards did not connect at all:

He of course reraised me allin, and I had to fold. I figure he had at worst A9 (that would make him a fish), or more likely two pairs or trips. From this point on, I struggled to get back to respectability but never really recovered from my donkness. I did manage to double up once on a second-nut-flush made on the turn, and then again after donking off some more chips when my top and fourth pairs bested someone's second and fourth pairs, but in the end, I moved in on the flop with an open end straight draw on a flop that was highly unlikely to have hit my opponent's hand:

got called by KT, and IGH in 66th place out of 78 entrants. And congratulations to Lifesagrind who wins the bounty of the poker chip shower curtain, which I will be sending out this week, as well as to Mr. Sopran0 who took down the entire DADI tournament for the big victory, one day after busting me from the WSOP satellite after I totally abused him preflop.

One quick point on this: throughout this post I've referred to myself and my recent play as donkeyish several times, but never as "fishy". Fishy means playing weak, like one of these pussies who lets me begs me to bet them out of every pot on the flop in the 70% of hands where they don't hit anything worth defending, or it means making a call on the flop at poor odds with just a draw, because you don't know what you're doing. It's important for my own personal edification that I clearly state that I have not been playing like a fish of any kind these past few days, and did not again in the DADI on Monday night. I'm not sitting around making dumb calls and waiting for people to take my money. Instead, I am over-aggressively giving my money, and that to me is not fishy. It donkish. And donkish is me lately.

But watch out everyone. Monday night was my first good night of sleep in days. Mrs. Hammer and I have finally agreed to just let the Youngest Hammer put herself back to sleep unless she really goes nuts screaming, and as a result we got about 6 or 7 straight hours last night for the first time in a long time. So I should be back on the tables tonight and ready to take everyone's money. So many donkeys, so little time....


Blogger Jordan said...

Great write-up. Thanks for playing and an extra thanks for putting up the bounty.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Garthmeister J. said...

As a fellow donkey (though I prefer the term "lemur") I salute you!

Amusing we both took heavy damage (mine was terminal) with KQ s00ted. *sigh*

11:59 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Damn man, I thought I was gonna get some good link and it just goes back to my blog.. curse you!

1:07 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Ha ha ha sorry Waffles, you'll have to find those pictures on your own. Lord knows there will be sites dedicated to whatever your particular fetish is. Aren't there?

1:16 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i'd rather go down swinging than fishin'.

i might play the WSOP $2k satellite along with ya. I like the $75 satellite better tho, much better odds (29-1 vs. 83-1).

I've been using my $26 tokens in the 18 player sng. Top five get $75 tokens. 6th gets $57. They're much like the $8/$6 sng's. Maybe a little tighter. You're aggressive style would do well there. They also have an $11 single table for the $75 token.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

No one would ever dare to call you a fish! And yes, I wish that I had *anything* early on yesterday to take a bite back with, but your time will come (insert Vader's Theme here).

4:28 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

BTW. i noticed you left $1 behind on your bet in the last hand. was that so you had enough to enjoy a cold mountain dew on the rail?

5:30 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

No, Smokkee, but your eye is indeed keen. I do purposely leave $1 behind with most of my allin bets on pokerstars. That's because I want to be able to talk smack to the victim while they ponder handing over their chips to me, and ps doesn't allow chat during an allin situation (dont ask me the possible justification for this move). I'm all about psychological warfare man, and that $1 is often enough to megatilt someone with my pompous banter. You should try it sometime, it can be very liberating on pokerstars.

6:24 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

hmmm...pretty cool tactic.

8:34 AM  

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