Monday, May 22, 2006

WPBT Gemini -- All That Multitabling Finally Paid Off!

>>bdidde: hoyazo, you have won the event overall now.
>>bidde: regardless of what happens.
>>bidde: congratulations.

>>hoyazo: awesome! does that mean i can start playing aggressively now?

      -- Chat conversation, 4 players left at both final tables of the WPBT Gemini event on Sunday night

I'll be honest here. Every time you've ever seen me playing poker online -- every time, whether it's the WWdN, the Mook, DADI, a wpbt event or any random evening on the girlie chat thing -- I've always been playing at least one other game at the same time. You may not have known it, it may have been on an entirely different site, but I am always multitabling. Like Waffles, one is just never enough for me at any given time. I'll play the party 40k and the ftp 17k at the same time. Many Tuesdays I'll play the WWdN and the Rebuy Madness simultaneously on pokerstars. Or it's a stars 180 sng and a $10 satellite to the partypoker million. The point is, I multi-table Every Single Time I play online poker, and that means that last night's two-table wpbt event, set up once again courtesy of Byron, was just a run of the mill event for me. Frankly, it wasn't a question for me of two-tabling the event, so much as it was merely determining which two tables I would be playing on that night (OK I admit it, I also played the party 40k during the Gemini event with my buddy R, but went out early when AK lost to mf'ing quad 2's, and yes the guy called my 4x preflop raise from first position with his 22 in last position, what else is new). I don't know if that actually had anything to do with my performance in the two-table tournament on Sunday or not, but I know the lack of pressure and the stark familiarity of the whole multi-tabling thang certainly didn't hurt.

Here was my starting table for the two events:

I say for the two events, because apparently through some unplanned glitch, pokerstars started off the original table setup for both events using the exact same starting table at each tourney. So, I had the extreme luck to begin both tournaments with the likes of our esteemed host Byron, Waffles, Veneno and April (just to name the people I recognized) sitting with me. Lucky me. That makes two straight tournaments where I had Waffles at my starting table, which is something I always enjoy. W and I chat a lot on the girlie thing, and we seem to have similar sensibilities about poker and things in general. We get along well and I can't ever imagine us being pissy with each other, even given Waffles' depraved sense of humor. Anyways, so I entered the tournaments cautiously, knowing some of the competition, and I was determined to push ahead with another dose of "moderated aggression", which is the codename I've given my new blogger tournament strategy as of last week's revelation that I've been playing every tournament I'm in, from the 1-table sngs to the blogger tourneys to my MTTs, as if they are the 2500-entrant party 40k. That was clearly a loser's strategy, and since making this change to tone things down a bit, I busted out embarrassingly early from the WWdN on a series of stoopid beats, but then proceeded to cash for the first time in the Mookie tournament, and to win the WWdN NOT as well. So I'm running hot playing a little closer to the vest (I think I even folded a couple of hammers yesterday!), and I was hoping to make some noise and inch ever higher up the WPBT standings, which I've mentioned previously in the blog I actually care about.

I'm going to take you through the big hands I played on my way deep into the money in both of the Gemini tournaments. For organization's sake, I was originally going to run through one tournament in full, and then the other in full. But as I started to craft that post, I realized I was losing something in the translation. The hectic nature of running back and forth, reraising 6x with the Hammer at one table while the other one counts me down, typing some trash into FatBaldGuy, and then quickly jumping at the last minute onto the other table to hoy CJ, all that pandemonium is not accurately reflected with separate posts. So I'm doing this the right way. Au naturel.

Things started off slow for me, on both tables actually. I was slightly up in Tourney 2, and slightly down in Tourney 1 for most of the first 30 minutes or so. My first big hand occurred in Tourney 2, where I was dealt 7s on the button:

I did my standard 4x steal-raise, and Waffles knows me too well to respect that raise one little bit given my position. He calls. Now I've got him where I want him. He is fairly sure I'm stealing, as he should be. I'm actually not stealing, which is the beauty of playing a style that can appear reckless at times, although rarely actually is. He has raised me up a small enough amount that I can happily call with my pocket pair and see if the flop helps. And I have to figure I'm in a great position here, as far as what Waffles must think I have right now. He knows I play 72o, 95o, KTo and AA all exactly the same way from the button in steal position -- a 4x raise. And I know he knows that. So my range of hands for him is any kind of good cards. J9o I think he'd even call my 4x raise with. So I'm ready to move aggressively on the flop with my 7s if I have to, because I think I've got him beat. And if he has anything good, I know he thinks he's got me beat too.

So, while I'm taking all this into account, the flop comes:

Waffles leads out for 270 chips, a pot-sized bet. I figure I want to raise him now with my monstrous top trips, but I want him to think that I'm still just making a move with a crappy hand that I started off trying to steal with. I bump him to 750, and he basically had to call/raise my 750 bet at that point, but he had already kinda figured out I was slow playing. Waffles knows me too well.

So that one at least got me a few chips to play with in Tourney 2, while I was still kinda lounging in #1, down around 1300 and draining.

Next hand of note was in Tourney 2 when SoxLover got raped with his pocket Aces by a river special by StB:

Ugh. But believe you me, that was just the beginning of the suckoutage to come. And meanwhile, I was still lounging around in Tourney 1, and in Tourney 2 I had just taken a bad flop to drain me of about 70% of my stack by someone who had hit a sick flop to take me down (I don't remember the deets). Then the luck factor really kicked in for me on this hand, just before the first break. Can you look quickly and tell who won this hand?

Here I moved in for my tournament life on the button in Tourney 2 when it was folded around to me and I held A4o. Unfortunately, the big blind had A8o and called me, and I got no 4 on the hand, nor any straight. Yet, somehow I tied the hand as we both played the board thanks to three cards all higher than my opponent's 8 kicker. Lucky, no doubt. But never fear, I would be repaid tenfold later. Meanwhile, I did manage to squeak into the first break in both tournaments, but you can see in these images where my current standings were if you enlarge:

Tourney 1:

and Tourney 2:

Shortly into Round 2 of the Gemini tournaments, I had a nice moment, again on Table 2 as you can see I did next to nothing in Tourney 1 for a long time thanks to complete card death. Anyways, first I hoyed my buddy Guin:

and then slammed the board, and got to smack talk him up good before (nearly) doubling up:

So this at least got me back to a barely respectable stack at least in Tourney 2, so I had something to play for again rather than just waiting out the top 50% just to snarf up a few more wpbt points. Anyways, after what seemed like a year of no cards whatsoever, I finally get pocket 10s in Tourney #1, and at that point, I was not going to play them slow as I figured it would probably be another 50 hands before I saw anything even remotely playable. Long story short, I standard-raised, got reraised allin but by another short stack, and figured I was probably slightly ahead and called. Turned out I was way, way behind:

But then pokerstars brought me another early birthday present:

I don't know what to say to this other than that I have about 100,000 of these stored up and coming to me given how often I get fishnailed in online poker play, so it's not like I could possibly feel bad or embarrassed about this happening. I never want to knock anyone out on a bad beat, but it happens. And again, if you watched these tournaments to the end of both, you can draw your own conclusions about the luck factors involved overall. F pokerstars, at least we all can agree on that. And, I now had a respectable, playable stack in both of the Gemini tournaments, for the first time all night.

Speaking of bad beats against me, how about this mf'ing gem, now back in Tourney 2, against Kat, another good friend. I raise preflop from EP with pocket 5s, and Kat calls me from the BB to see the flop of 542. Kat moves in on me fairly quickly, and of course I call with my trip 5s, and she flips:

Final board on this hand:

MOTHER FUCKING FUCKERS POKERSTARS!!!! I HOPE YOU ALL DIE YOU FUCKING PIECES OF SHIT!!! Nice hand, Kat btw. Back down to a smallish stack in Tourney 2. Two suckouts for and two suckouts against so far. For those keeping score (like me).

About halfway through Round 2, here is Waffles busting out of Tourney 1 in a nice situation for a blogger event:

A nice run for Waffles, who at least didn't allow himself to be tilted by me like he did in the WWdN Not last week.

I got my first big stack of the night in either tournament in Tourney 2, when I hoyed Lucko (you may recognize him as the winner of Iggy's WSOP tourney earlier this year):

and induced him to double me up with his top pair medium kicker against my overpair:

Almost simultaneously with this first large win in Tourney 2, I doubled up and eliminated SoxLover in Tourney 1 when he moved me in with this hand, and I felt compelled to call, knowing how aggressively Sox plays the game:

With these two big stacks (over 6000 chips at both tables after the above hands), I was able to continue playing my game until reaching the final table in Tourney 1, which got there about 20 minutes before Table 2:

I entered Tourney 1's final table in 2nd place out of 9, and I was one of only three people at the final table in Tourney 1 who were still alive as well in the final 14 in Tourney 2. So I was pleased about that but figured I still had plenty of work to do, and I should at least focus on the making the money with me starting so high up in stack size here on Table 1's final table (only the top 5 spots paid in each tournament).

As we moved to the third hour of play in the Gemini tournaments, we were still with a nearly full final table in Tourney 1, and down to 10 players in Tourney 2, the final table bubble. This is where Lucko became an absolute pushmonkey. I must have folded to an allin from him 4 or 5 times myself with starting hands I might otherwise have liked to play. But eventually I had to call him down with my ATo, and I caught him pushmonkeying bigtime:

But then pokerstars decided on the turn and river that our move to the final table would be delayed for a short while:

MF'ing F'ers! But then it happened on the very next hand:

And I had made the final table in Tourney 2 as well:

this one, in 8th of 9 places, thanks to that recockulous runnerrunnerrunnerrunner flush for Lucko to keep me from being top few in both tournaments at the time. Oh well, as I said, the suckouts which had now already twice outnumbered the times I'd sucked out on someone in this tourney, were destined to get much, much worse, to a downright silly level by the end in fact. And notably, myself, Smizmiatch (don't know your blog, sorry) and DoubleAs had all three made the final table of both tournaments. I was determined to outlast them, at least in Table 1 where I had a solid stack.

I hoyed Kat on the second hand of Round 3 in Tourney 2's final table after the second break, preflop when I was dealt QQ in middle position. I just needed to make this look like I was a short stack trying to double up early or steal some blinds to get back into contention, and Kat had a hand barely good enough to make the call:

Kat clearly agonized about calling this bet for a long time, but since I did have that one chip left, I coerced her in the chat with some help from some others at the table, and the hoy eventually had done its worst once again:

Sorry, Kat, but don't feel bad. The hoy does that to everyone. You don't realize it, but from the minute I moved 'em all in but one chip, you were destined to call. You had to. Nice play. So, with now a fairly large stack in both tournaments, I defiintely pulled back a bit, and let the others bust each other as much as I was able without losing too much ground. I still pushed in the only way that I know how, but definitely reined in it a bit, a good strategy for early final table play if you have a stack. Here was Miami Don busting from Tourney 1 on a very close call:

On the money bubble of Tourney 2 (down to 6 players remaining), I had taken a few more beats and made some ill-advised raises that left me entrenched in 6th place out of 6, so I knew I need to make a move there if I was going to make the money in both of the Gemini events. And push I did just a few hands later in Tourney 2, when I found pocket 9s in first betting position preflop, I hoyed. PresDLee reraised me allin for my last chip, and we flipped:

Dammit! But then this flop hit the board, and actually held up for me:

A few hands later, Prez was back in the pot with his short stack on a steal move, and I called him down:

and I had made the money in Tourney 2, and was down to 8 left in Tourney 1. And speaking of Tourney 1, I lost this hand when we got allin preflop to keep us from the money spots in that tourney for another few hands at least:

So, a few hands later I ended up taking out Fishy McDonk on this hand to make the money after all in Table 1 as well:

So, in the money in both tournaments, at this point I'm just trying to do as well as I possibly can money-wise. I was already the last one standing in both tournaments, I didn't feel like I had anything else to prove, but I was looking forward to at least making a real run at taking down Tourney 2 given that I was chip leader with a nice stack and just four players remaining. [Somewhere in the distance, pokerstars chuckles, softly....]

I did hit one more luckout in the two tourneys, this one on Table 2, down to four remaining, when Lucko reraised me and I called him preflop with this:

But with this board at the end:

I had "sucked out" a tie with a medium Ace for the second time in the Gemini tournaments. Nothing earth-shattering, but I was definitely behind going in in both situations, so I could certainly stand to have lost both times. This brought my suckouts in my favor to 4, and the suckouts against me to 4, overall in the Gemini event. Last time I saw anywhere near .500 on the night.

Starting three hands later in Tourney 2, when this hand:

saw a King and a Jack flop (YOU MOTHER FUCKERS!!!). I was beside myself at losing my chance to nearly double up like that. Unreal. Sorry no screenshot of this (take it from me, I wouldn't make this beat up), but I was too busy launching nuclear warheads all over the Earth to have the presence of mind to Print Screen.

I got back the chip lead briefly from Lucko in Tourney 2 on this hand:

but then this allin, again with the aptly-named Lucko:

quickly became this on the river:


Back on Table 1 (after I snipered at cars driving by my apartment for a few minutes after the last Lucko suckout), I nearly eliminated Joe Speaker when he pushed with this meh hand, and ran into my powerhouse pocket 2s:

and I then took out Joe for good a few hands later when I flopped two pairs:

So, at this point, I was sitting pretty in 2nd of 3 in Tourney 1, and 1 of 4 in Tourney 2, having sucked out on someone four times and having been sucked out on 6 times to that point in the two tournaments. What a roller coaster ride, and it was only going to get worse from there.

Lucko went out 2 hands later in Tourney 2 on this hand, also a river suckout in favor of Jason Spaceman:

And then Spaceman sucked out again on the river against DoubleAs, and we were down to two in Tourney 2:

Meanwhile, on Table 1, I pushed with AJ, and ran into the oh so glorious final table pocket Aces:

and a few hands later, I was out in 3rd place in Tourney 1, for a nice $57 and change profit:

and all the while I was still battling it out heads-up with Jason over on Table 2, where the suckouts were about to rise to a flat-out not believable level.

First, here is me pulling one out of my ass on the river to stay in the match with Jason when I knew as I called it that I was outkicked, but something in me just said awfukkit anyways:

I can imagine what Jason must have been feeling when this river card hit. I've felt it many, many times, and would again and again over the next few minutes. This would be my last good (or even just so-so) luck of the heads-up match, and luck is a bad thing to be completely without at the end of a long tournament.

Over the next several hands, I identified Jason's apparent betting pattern preflop, and started reraising him to steal back his preflop raises. Eventually I clawed my way back to the chip lead. And then there was this hand, not a huge favorite for me, but the second time already in heads up play where I had Jason allin, had the chip lead and was the favorite in the hand when the chips went into the middle:

which turned into this on the flop:

Then, just two hands later, I should have won the tournament again when we both got allin again, with me again in a sizeable chip lead, and with me a major favorite of over 4 to 1 in this hand preflop:

which before I knew it turned into this on the flop:

and I had failed in my third attempt to put out the smaller stack heads-up with the favorite hand. FUCKING POKERSTARS YOU FUCKING FUCKERS doesn't even begin to describe what I was feeling when that flop showed.

"Luckily", I got my dominating chip lead back for the fourth time as my Aces held up a few hands later when Jason called me allin on the flop with just a flush draw (how he didn't hit is flush is being investigated by the FBI and Scotland Yard, no leads yet but I'll keep you posted):

Very next hand, Spaceman tilted allin again, this time with Q9 and another significant underdog to me, and I was once again in position to finally take Tourney 2 down:

But, of effing course, this was the board there:

and AGAIN I was forced to continue, now after four beats with favored hands and the chip lead against my opponent allin. As far as I'm concerned, this was already more than any mere mortal should have to endure to win a tournament. But never fear, here is the very next hand, where Jason this time puts me allin and I call with what I expect to be a superior hand against probably any Ace or any two face cards:

Want to guess what this board was? How about this:

That's now FIVE favored hands, one of them same-card dominating and another pair-over-pair dominating, where I had lost in a situation where I would have won the tournament if the odds had followed along with the math in any one of them. It was really amazing, as I review the screenshots now when I'm writing this. I can't believe I didn't win this fucking tournament, I really can't.

Anyways, about ten hands later, I have once again clawed my way back into the chip lead. When I bet out at the flop with just third pair medium kicker and got reraised allin by Spaceman, I decided to go with my read that led me to lead out in the first place, and called with what I thought was the best hand. I was right:

and then I was wronged. Another 17% longshot on the river:

That's six times in heads-up and counting, and this one was clearly the crushing blow, knocking me down to a more than 10 to 1 chip dog. I was emotionally depleted already, consumed with rage against pokerstars and anyone else I could think of. As I've said, this was just too much for me to bear at the time, not six beats with favored hands to essentially win the tournament with any one of them.

And the tournament obliged, ending in very fitting fashion as my favored hand with two cards to come:

became this -- where else but on the river:

and I was mercifully out in 2nd place in Tourney 2:

In the end, I made a $91 net profit on my 2nd place out of 43 players in Tourney 2, combined with my $57 profit from 3rd place in Tourney 1, and in the end I obviously am extremely pleased with my performance. But as those of you who have been in situations anywhere near approaching what happened to me heads-up in Tourney 2 will know, I am still pissed. Really. Fucking. Pissed. About what happened to me there. One or two of those beats, ok. Three of them, maybe, I guess, although we didn't play heads up for that long. But six of them? Come on now.

Congrats to Spaceman though, as well as to FatBaldGuy for taking down Tourney 1 in the end. And special thanks goes again to Byron for setting this up. Despite what some critics have said, I think and thought from the beginning that this was a brilliant, fun and creative idea that fits in perfectly with the spirit of the other wpbt events.

And an extra special shoutout to the Hammer Wife, who knew I was playing a tournament that I was very interested in, and so when the youngest Hammer Girl woke up at around 11pm ET, my wife instantly snapped awake, jumped out of bed, and went to take care of it. Even though she had just asked me and I told her I was down near the bottom of the remaining players in both tournaments. Even though, in the end, it is just stupid online poker and this was our baby awake and needing to be attended to. Even though she doesn't like gambling, pretty much can't stand online poker, and really wishes I didn't play as much as I do. The Hammer Wife just got up and took care of things, letting me keep my focus and obviously to very good results. That's where I got to suck out and hit the miracle card on the river -- in the game of life. Cheesy but true.


Blogger drewspop said...

Hey Hoya, great job man. Very impressive to finish so high in both these things.

8:05 PM  
Blogger mookie99 said...

Congrats on the big overall win last night. You must have caught what surflexus had...on fire !

10:42 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

to even make two blogger final tables is huge. nice play in both events.

1:34 AM  
Blogger drewspop said...

Just came back and I think I know your problem. You have to talk nicer to Pokerstars so they help you at the end when it counts.

Just a suggestion ;)

1:36 AM  
Blogger Gnome said...

Congratulations! I'm glad I never stopped trying to steal your blinds, but you had me worrying (I'm smizmiatch on Poker Stars but Surly Poker Gnome on blogs).

1:47 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Drewspop -- problem is, that was the nice stuff I said about pokerstars after last night. I left all the bad stuff out, not wanting to offend anybody.

2:38 AM  
Blogger GrayCalx said...

Hoy, congrats on the two ITMs. Avid reader, just finally wanted to stop in and say hi.

I was watching the 2004 Ultimate Poker Challenge on dvd this weekend. On disc 2, some guy hoyazos someone with his all-in. In fact the dealer specifically asked him if he meant to throw in his last chip before letting the player call him.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

congrats...awesome perfomance
I was SNGing so missed you hoying Kat - classic!

see ya Tuesday

2:42 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

Congrats - got to sweat some of your amazing performance in the game of duelling suckouts! Great job!

3:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice run Hoyazo.

What I admire is you examining your game of late and shoring up small self-discovered leaks. It's obviously been paying off.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Well done last night. A great accomplishment.

6:50 AM  
Blogger doubleas said...

Nice writeup Hoyazo and good work in the tournament

12:53 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think that it is amazing that you can play two games at the same time. I struggle to play one game. I am certainly that most of the people at price per head services can only play one.

1:03 PM  

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