Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Donning the Green Jacket at the Hoy

My god. Did I just post that ghey ghey title? I am so embarrassed.

But you know who isn't embarrassed this morning? Miami Don and 23skidoo, who each agreed to an even chop with nearly identical stacks of what was a $396 prize pool for the top two spots last night in the weekly Mondays at the Hoy tournament at 10pm ET on pokerstars. How could mere bloggers be playing for stakes so large, you ask? Well, because we play a $20 buyin at the Hoy on Monday evenings, and last night we had a huge upswing in attendance, with the final roll reaching 31 players after last week's previous high of 22. And at $20 a pop, that made for a prize pool of $620, paying the top five positions and including payouts of $248 and $148 for the top two finishers. I don't know about you, but to me that is some serious coinage for some bloggers to be fussing over. So anyways, Skidoo and Don agreed to an even chop with a $50 transfer from the winner to the loser, and then Don went on to take down the event, which I will get to shortly.

One thing I love to do lately is post who the first donkey out of these blogger tournaments was. I feel permitted to do that because lately it's been me going out early, and I've been all over my own donkishness more than anything. Well, last night's first-out watch did not disappoint. Any guesses who went out first? I'll give you a hint...it was a he, and he went out holding T2s. I bet I could give you 30 guesses and you might not get this one right. But I would. Because I'm onto this guy, as I posted after last week's MATH event.

That's right, Mr. Used To Be Tight himself was the first one out last night, and I heard he was holding T2 when it happened. Apparently he made top pair on the flop and couldn't get away. Now does that sound tight to you? Din't think so. Stop thinking it, stop saying it, and stop playing it. Gary, you're turning more and more into Waffles every day. Imagine what you'll be like a year from now!

Anyways, my starting table was tough as is always the case in Mondays at the Hoy. I managed to chip up little by little early by stealing pots from Mowenumdown and Hoff. Then i got my first elimination, when I hoy-reraised Mow with pocket 3s when I was fairly sure he had just two high cards. He called my hoyage with a questionable KQo holding, and the hand ended up almost as planned:

Nice to see KJ back in play with the bloggers, and we hope to see you again next week.

My next big hand occurred about 30 minutes later, when I was dealt pocket Aces in MP and raised it up 4x, getting calls from both GScott, a typical final tabler in these blogger tournaments, and Surf, who is the typical winner of late in these events. When the flop came a raggy and pairy 6-6-3, I decided to bet the pot with my overpair Aces in a situation where I had to figure I was ahead given my preflop raise (who calls a 4x preflop raise holding a 6 or a 3?), and GScott folded, but Surf concerningly smooth called. Could he have a 6? Sure he could have called my preflop raise with 66, or potentially 33, but it seemed more likely to me that he was playing a medium pair, ideally one that is an overpair to this very low board. This especially seemed more likely given that there are so many more pocket pairs Surf could have than just 66 or 33, so I felt from my read as well as from the math that Surf was more than likely on a pocket pair higher than the board, but lower than my well-hidden pocket Aces (I play all my hands this same way so it is not possible to put me on Aces at this point in the hand). It occurred to me that if I tread lightly, I could get most of Surf's stack, depending on just how high his pocket pair is. Normally I would disregard any possibility of a high pocket pair because he did not reraise my 4x raise preflop, but then this is Surf. The same guy who busted me last week from a blogger event with QQ that he limped with from MP. So I wasn't putting anything past him. The turn came an offsuit 2, another rag, and a great card for me I figured since I had put Surf on a pocket overpair. And that was where the real deception came in, with one of my favorite moves.

Usually when I have a strong hand, I will lead at the flop. Not every time, no, but most of the time I will move at the flop. This is good because I have a strong hand, but it also helps disguise my many steal attempts as well, where I also make it a point to move at the pot on the flop for roughly the same sized bet in relation to the size of the pot. Here that's exactly what I did, and I got one call from Surf on the flop. Putting him on a hand that I was actually ahead of, when the turn card came another rag, I decided to play like the bluffer who had gotten his bluff smooth called on the flop, and now just wanted to check it down with what was probably just two high cards, a low pocket pair, etc. This is Level 3 thinking. What does Surf think I have? So far, I raised 4x preflop, and I bet the pot on the flop. Now I'm checking on a raggy turn card after Surf smooth called my bet. The way I've played this, he has got to be thinking I have nothing good. So with what I think is still an overpair to the board, I am hoping Surf will now be like the aggressive guy that he is, and move at the pot that he has to think he is leading right now. This play works all the time in online play, and can work even against the best players who are always looking to catch the guy who bluff-bets at the flop but then refuses to put in any more money after he gets called there, unless he nails the turn or river card hard, and it works especially well against aggressive players who are always trying to take a pot away whenever they sense weakness in their opponent. Flash one of these guys a little weakness, and they like to go for it. Surf did not disappoint:

and when I paused for effect, and then reraised him allin (Surf had cleverly bet 888 chips such that I could not hoy-raise him), Surf was obliged to call due to the pot odds, and to what he held in his hand, which he had to believe was the best hand at the time:

and I had knocked Surf out. Surf, I officially forgive you (kind of) for the suckout of my Queens last week, and I would like to commend you for being the first player to fashion a betting strategy that successfully defends against the hoy. Bet one more than half your chips remaining, and you cannot be hoyed. It is of course best to crack that move out when your opponent is not holding Aces, but in the end Surf lost with KK to AA and it's hard to blame anyone for that situation.

Also at my table about an hour into the MATH tournament was the lovely Carmen, who has begun her new job at the MGM in Las Vegas and seems to be enjoying it (at least more than her last job!). Unfortunately, my time with Carmen was cut short when Mungo nearly busted her with his Kings:

Before I was able to put the finishing touches on Carmen myself, your friend and mine Waffles moved in on the flop with just an open end straight draw (in case you're wondering, that is typically a donkey type of move), and his 3-to-1 shot did not hit:

All the while, once again lingering with a growing stack was GScott. This is a guy who to my knowledge still does not have a blog, and yet the guy seems every week to be sitting at the final table in the cash positions, and uusally with a big stack to boot. Yesterday was no exception, and GScott helped amass his huge pile early by eliminating Hacker59 when his flopped top two pairs bested Hacker's lower two pairs:

Here was another pot I liked. Guin, who spent much of yesterday asking me how he can know which opponents to re-steal from with large bets, then goes and does this to me yesterday:

That's how, Guin. So glad you learned that from me.

Around the middle of the second hour of play, I started to behave like ShadowTwin's personal ATM, a trend that would persist even despite my best efforts to combat it. First, I called this bet:

Anybody know why? If so, please email me at pokerpinhead at donkeys got com.

About 20 minutes later, I did it again when I called an allin bet from Shadow with this hand on the flop:

Anyone? Anyone?

While I was donating to the Shadowtwin foundation, drraz busted Smokkee when he got the better half of a race against the Smokey one:

while SoxLover started building a big stack of his own by first eliminating the Suckout Artist by making a keen call with A9 against l'artiste's A8:

and then following that up 3 hands later by eliminating Guin with KK over Guin's QQ:

in a hand where Guin could not realistically have gotten away from the hand given the way it played out.

Shortly before the second break, I managed to get a bit of revenge against Shadowtwin, when I flopped hidden trips (5s), and then got him to call this bet on after the turn card made a club flush possible:

Since he just called but did not reraise me, I felt fairly sure that Shadow was on a draw, most likely an Ace-high club flush draw. I have not seen Shadaw check the made flush in this situation, and did not think this was the first time I would see that. So, acting on my intuition, I hoyed him on the river:

and Shadow wisely folded. This time, Shadow, I had it. Next time, who knows?

Still short stacked, I did manage to double up against Sox when I got him to call this bet:

with this hand:

Not a bad call on his part, given our relative chip stacks, and this at least bought me a few more minutes of existence as we neared the final table.

Then this hand went down, with just 11 players remaining in this week's Hoy tournament. I'm dealt pocket bitches, and I decided after just Sox limping in ahead of me that I would reverse hoy Grupper, more for the heck of it than anything else:

Only Shadow, my nemesis for the night, called my hoy raise, and when the flop came another raggy and pairy 262, he led out for 1000 chips. I can't possibly put him on a Two or a Six after he called my fairly large preflop raise with already one limper in ahead of me, and if I know Shadow, he would have reraised preflop with AA or KK, not just called my preflop raise. So I have to think I'm ahead here. With substantial pot odds already in place for Shadow to more or less have to call me, I push-raised with what I was sure was the best hand at the time:

Shadow called, and flipped up the highly questionable:

Even though I was way ahead (about an 85-15% favorite, if my mental calculations are not far off), something just hit me as very wrong all of a sudden. I honestly felt like I have already lived through this exact situation on pokerstars many times before. In my head, I knew I was going to lose. I didn't know how, but I knew it was coming in this hand. Two overcards, one of them will hit in the last two cards. Always does. Only this time it didn't. Here was the final board:

And Shadow rides off into the distance with my sizeable stack thanks to my old friend Runnerrunnerrunnerrunner. What a fucking asshole that guy is. So IGH in 11th place overall, far before my time just like last week in this event, as I continue to search for my first cash yet in my own tournament. Sick.

Here is your final table from the latest MATH event:

First to go was my brother Aqua, who fishcalled an allin reraise from Shadow with a very dubious hand that I have written about many times on the blog and was left with a pittance of a stack:

Aqua, and all you others out there in blogland, never forget my mantra that applies to most typical nlh situations: Only a fish calls an allin with AJ or AT. Only a fish.

The action moved quickly, and within a short while we were down to the final 5, all 5 of which received nice payouts in this, the largest Mondays at the Hoy tournament yet:

Congratulations to SoxLover, Don, 23skidoo, the ever-present GScott and drraz for cashing in this week's event, including drraz making his third cash in the last three weeks. And take a look at Miami Don way down at the bottom there, with less than a quarter the stack of 4th place, and more like an eighth of the stack of the other three players. Remember that shot.

First, Don manages to stay alive with this straight against Sox's trips when the turn card made them both a hand they liked:

4 hands later, Don rides a dominating hand to victory over drraz who got a little too happy with A9:

Drraz got much of that chippage back with this double of his own off of Ski when both players got it allin preflop:

and Don doubled up again with another preflop domination, this time over Ski as well:

Sox continued to stake his claim to the $248 top prize in this event by eliminating GScott once and for all on this hand, when GScott moved in his short stack on the flop with a flush draw that never filled, and he happened to run into TPSK (top pair second kicker) for Sox, who made the obligatory call:

Two hands later, drraz made a tremendous fishcall against Ski that ended up costing drraz the rest of his chips as well:

And then there were three.

The very next hand turned out to be the Hoy Hand of the Tournament. It wasn't long, it wasn't pretty, and there wasn't a whole lot of strategy involved. Don saw a cheap flop with 76s, and managed to nail two pairs on the flop, at the same time as Sox made once again TPSK.

They got it allin on the flop, and Don took down the pot of the tournament, giving him a massive stack, all the way back from the guy with 1/8 of the three chip leaders' piles just 15 minutes earlier, and leaving Sox basically crippled as a result. Sox hung on valiantly, but in the end Ski busted him when he called Sox's allin flop bet with just Ski's Ace, and ended up being ahead of Sox's King-high:

It was at this point that Don suggested the chop of the remaining prize pool, to which Ski readily agreed. With the decision made that each player would receive a spiffy $198 from the prize pool, it became all about the glory and not the cashish at the end, and the two combatants fought it out like champions. Despite the lack of money at stake after the chop agreement, heads-up probably lasted a good 15 minutes, with both players briefly having leads and with several lead changes as the players started off very close to even when heads-up play began. Eventually, Ski and his flopped 2 pairs ran smack into Don's flopped flush, and that was all she wrote:

Again, thank you to all the players, and congratulations specifically to our five cash winners, and to 23Skidoo and Miami Don for each winning $200 on the night. I look forward to next week's Mondays at the Hoy with baited breath, this group's last chance to amass reads and notes on each other's play before the live Summer Classic tournament on Saturday morning, July 8.

See you all tonight at the WWdN! Pokerstars, 8:30pm ET, password as always is "monkey". I'm sure I'll also be in the 9pm ET Bracelet Race on full tilt, so if you're around, stop by and say hello to me there as well. Or better yet, play and try to outlast me!


Blogger Donnie (aka Shadowtwin) said...

So it was 5's, and here I was the one all worried about the flush. Good thing I folded though, it sure is tough to lay down top two pair on a board like that.

The other hand (you know the one, where my superior intuition managed to catch you bluffing with the useless Queens), I was hoping to get you to fold. I also would most certainly not have reraised if I had been holding kings or aces, not in general, and certainly not from the blind. As long as someone raises it sufficiently to get the blinds out of it, I won't raise it any higher -since I was the blind in that situation it wouldn't have been necessary. My thinking, however, was that since you were clearly trying to bust the short stack, you would make that pre-flop bet with two less than premium high cards, K-Js for example. In fact, I was far more worried that you would flip over the hammer than anything else. As I look at the play that I made through the eyes of your blog, I realize that I made a pretty horrible move there; betting less than half the pot, and only a third of my stack, just screams "weak". Ahh well, you live, you suck it out with the runner-runner-runner-runner flush (thanks pokerstars!).

But, seriously. Why does anyone ever play Queens anymore? You have busted out of two recent tournaments with them that I can think of (when they were highly favored), I busted out of the WWDN with them last week and busted out of the ftp 17k with them last night (both big favorites). Hell, you could flop quads and it would be all but guaranteed that the other guy would hit a royal flush. Effing Queens.

3:38 AM  
Blogger StB said...

I took out GCox with J 10. We flopped trips. And I was worried about my kicker being bad...

4:05 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

I'll tell you why StB plays Queens Donnie - so he can crack my Bullets pushed and called preflop on (of course) the Rivah...

But no, I'm over it...really...

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great recap! Thanks again for hosting. Ill try to make it every week.

7:20 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Umm.. Yeah, pushing with a draw, or calling of most of your stack with a Q and an 8 kicker, you decide.

12:17 AM  
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Yo, Hoyazo.

Do you have your RSS feed turned on for your blog? I'm trying to subscribe to it via Bloglines, but it isn't working.

1:51 AM  
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9:47 PM  

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