Wednesday, May 03, 2006

How Not to Slow Play in the WWdN, and a Different Kind of Victory

After my first full tilt final table a few days ago, I went into this week's WWdN tournament with my confidence high. Unlike last week's WWdN/DADI when I was mired in a breakout of complete and utter donkey, this week I am back to playing my usual game, and have seen solid finishes at the tables as a result, including another cash in the partypoker 40k guaranteed tournament on Monday evening:

Now I know that 203rd is nothing great (my $18 profit from 3 1/2 hours of play confirms that), but I did outlast 2373 other players to get to this point, and I did get busted when I was a small favorite preflop with a pocket pair against two overcards, so I only really mention it to illustrate that I am indeed back from the donk and ready to play some solid poker.

Although my starting table at the WWdN last night was not the feeding frenzy of sharks that I got stuck with at the DADI last week, it still included its fair share of poker blogging heavies (and their wives). And be sure to notice the comment about me in the chat before the game even started:

I am continually amazed when the bloggers refer to me as a "maniac". I mean, so what if I started off winning 3 of the first 4 hands last night with nothing. So what if I won 6 of the first 9 hands without holding more than middle pair at any point during that span. So what if I thieved my way to taking down 11 of the first 24 pots at a full table, without any pocket pairs and nothing better than ATo at any time? Does that make me a maniac? I just don't get it. But that is how things started off for me, as I let my confidence take over whenever I was sure that the table was not enthused about a particular board. I was lamenting to myself about 7 minutes into the event how I had only seen 8% of the flops due to my poor cardage, when suddenly the standings on the lobby refreshed, and this happened:

Wil, we hardly knew ye! I don't know about you, but the prospect of knocking out Wil, a guy I know I have more skillz than, is definitely one of the latent driving forces in me showing up for the WWdN every week. Yes I love the cameraderie, and yes I would play even if Wil stopped naming the tournament after the previous week's bounty winner for eliminating him, but I definitely want to bust his ass every single time I play in the tournament. So to see him go out first like that, well, it was disappointing to say the least. Apparently Wil had just been saying that he refuses to call off his entire stack before the first break, but then went and called an allin bet with TPTK, and lost to a flopped 2 pairs. Oh well, go get 'em next week, Wil!

So as the tournament wore on, I continued receiving almost no cards whatsoever. I got one pocket pair in the first 88 hands, and did not see an Ace with higher than an 8 more than the one time I mentioned above. I had nothing to work with, and yet I still managed to remain in the top 15 or so right from the beginning thanks to my thieving ways. My favorite hand of the entire night (this will show you how few big hands I got to play because of my total card deadness) was that one pocket pair I did receive in the first hour, which happened to be pocket 10s in the big blind:

Godard in middle position raised it up 3x preflop, but my notes indicate that Godard has demonstrated a clear penchant for stealing with 3x raises from even early-middle position, so I gave not much credit to his raise there:

Weak Player's call of the 3x raise was a bit more concerning to me, but my notes indicate that Weak will make some, well, weak calls preflop in this kind of situation. So when the action got back around to me to call the 60 chips, instead I did this:

This is a favorite move of mine, to put in a big raise at the end of an orbit of betting preflop when there are a bunch of preflop limpers or callers of a smallish raise. This move can be very effective against a table where there are not any "tricky" types who are apt to put moves on people, to slow play, and to be quicker than normal to consider that I might be putting this move on them with a less than stellar hand (believe me, the last thing I wanted to see was anyone re-reraise or even call my 450 reraise with the pocket 10s, as I would not have been able to call any re-reraise nor to play aggressively on almost any flop with any callers of my reraise in the pot). Against a trickier, fourth-level type of poker player like BadBlood or SoxLover, this kind of play won't be a long-term money winner, because these guys are (1) apt to hold a strong hand when they make the 3x raise preflop from MP to begin with, and (2) more than able to put in a reraise with an equally not-strong hand (or in Sox's case, with the Hammer even) if they put me on this type of hand, figuring me for holding cards that are strong preflop but look pretty terrible once you take it to a flop and beyond. But in this case, it worked:

Sadly, this was just about the highlight of my day in the WWdN, because that's what happens when you get very little in the way of playable cards. I never got above 10% of flops seen in the entire event, which for me means I really was not able to play my game and did not get my normal share of playable, if not good, starting hands. And, the biggest problem with not getting good starting cards also happened to me in the WWdN: when you finally do get a big hand, you simply don't want to let it go.

Here was the setup. This is the 91st hand of the tournament, and I am dealt KK in early position, my first truly strong hand of the night other than the pocket 10s from earlier. Those of you who know me and my play will know that as a rule I do not slow play my big hands, in particular before the flop, and doubly in particular online, and triply particular on pokerstars. However, in the blogger tournaments where I know most of the players at a given table know me, have played with me several times before, and probably keep detailed notes of my play, I will slow-play a big starting hand maybe 1 in 10 times. Just to keep everyone honest. The smart, observant players will make note of the fact that sometimes I slow play a big hand, and that is what I need people thinking so that they don't read any weak bets by me as automatically meaning I don't hold a big hand. So, I haven't slow played AA, KK or AK for a while against the bloggers, so in early position I bumped the 150 blind up to 300. A 2x raise for me is very rare, and I only raised it at all in an attempt to maybe get the Ax people to fold and lessen the chance of an Ace flopping and ruining my hand. Only ZeemJr in the big blind called my raise for another 150, and the flop came (mercifully) with three unders to my pair of Kings in the hole. Keeping with my semi-slowplay, I bet out 450, about 2/3 of the pot but less than my standard continuation bet on the flop:

Zeem thought for a moment, and then called my 450 chip bet, bringing the pot to nearly 1600 chips, and making it quite sizeable for where we were at in the tournament at that point.

And when the turn card came, I was reminded once again of Why You Do Not Want To Slowplay a Monster on Pokerstars:

So, my opponent had just called my bet on a Jack-high flop, and now another Jack has hit the board. I'm not going to give up on this hand just yet, so I bet out another 450 chips. Zeem quickly raised me to 1050 chips. At this point I have to figure he had called me on the flop with a pair of Jacks, and now my gloriously slow-played overpair of Kings is obviously beat by trip jacks. So what do I do with the information that I am obviously beat thanks to a luckysuck turn card courtesy of pokerstars?

I move him all-in of course! Don't ask me why, I think the answer is just that I'm a stubborn ass who tilted when the turn F'd me so hard. I have no other explanation for this move. Zeem of course quickly calls me, and flips over the oh-so-fishy QJo:

and IGH in 32nd place out of 65 entrants. A terrible donkorific way for me to bust myself, but what can I say. I donked, I knew I was donking right as I did it, and I paid for it.

One other item, I don't know if you all are familiar with Joe Speaker's blog, but yours truly won the contest this week to guess what kind of car Joe just purchased. To be honest, I don't know a thing about Joe other than reading his blog, but I know he is recently single, and I just went and looked at some cars that are reasonably priced, and yet "in" enough for a man of Joe Speaker's obvious coolness factor, and I arrived at the Infiniti G Coupe. Turns out Joe bought the G Sedan, but Damn how much closer can a man get than that? Go check out Joe's blog for a more detailed discussion of the contest and how everyone arrived at their guesses. So, with me donking it up halfway through the WWdN on Tuesday, having my buyin paid for with $10 from Joe was basically my big victory for the day yesterday, and I look forward to returning to the tables tonight, including hopefully playing in Mookie's weekly tournament tonight at 10pm ET. See you there?!


Blogger mookie99 said...

I think Wil went out with KK vs. AQ and maybe all in preflop. The other guy flopped a Queen and then turned an Ace.

See you online tonight.

1:33 AM  
Blogger iamhoff said...

Yeah, Wil got kinda bad beat. Oh well. Don't you hate it when your slowplaying gets caught? Oh well. So it goes, when you're an unpredictable maniac! I keed, I keed! Nice pick on Joe's ride, btw. My GF wants the G coupe when it's time to get rid of the Acura. Very nice ride.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Meek said...

Mookie is right. Wil had KK vs AQc. There was a raise, re-raise, a re-reraise, and all-in and a call. Wil meant to go all in, but left 100 behind, meaning he actually called - even though it was pretty much an all in.

I'd like to know what is behind that "N" on DeadMeek, but the answers are probably hidden in my poker tracker database anyway.

3:23 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Hah Meek, I don't recall offhand what my notes on you say, but one thing people should know about me is that I am an extensive note taker about any and all opponents I ever play with on any table online. So, since I play so often with the bloggers, I end up having quite a bit of noteage about most of you guys from all of the blogger tourneys. I recall from last night that I have 3 or 4 notes on you, mostly about your tendency to try to steal the blinds from the steal position or even one spot in front of the steal position with a raise of around 3x the big blind. I don't recall anything else major in there, but I guess the exact details of my notes will have to rest in secrecy with me forever....

Thanks for the comment man, it was fun playing with you last night.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

You can't fault Zeem for his play here. Calling a min raise from the BB with QJo is more than reasonable and hardly fishy. After your semi-weak bet on the flop, you can't fault him for calling that either. The turn just made his decisions that much easier. Bad luck, but not bad play.

11:31 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

online poker is rigged. stoopid pokerstars.

11:53 PM  

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