Monday, June 12, 2006

Mondays at the Hoy (MATH), and Hoyazo = Donkey Redux

First things first. Once again tonight is our weekly online home game on pokerstars. Come one and come all, if you dare:

What: Mondays at the Hoy. NLH Tournament
When: Mondays, 10pm ET
Where: Pokerstars, "Private" tab.
Buy-In: $20
Password: hammer

Second things second. I'm happy to finally put this up on the blog:

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars
World Blogger Championship of Online Poker

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

code: 7330476

There is a much longer story to this than I would have ever thought. Long story short, Hammer Wife has consistently let her opinion be known that it is just downright unseemly to be playing poker on Fathers Day afternoon, instead of just spending the time with one's family. My points are several. #1, I would love to spend and will of course be spending the entire day (from 5:45am or so on, when the older Hammer Girl generally gets up and starts screaming "Mommaaaay! Daddaaaay! until we pick her up) until 4pm ET with my family. So, to suggest that playing in the World Online Poker Bloggers Championship in the late afternoon is somehow the equal of choosing poker over my family on Fathers Day (or any day, for that matter) seems really silly to me. #2, it's not like I'll be heading out to the track, gettin' juiced, smokin' cigars and just hangin' out with the boys, having Daddy's Time or anything like that. Rather, I will just be sitting in my room on the computer, the door open I imagine most of the time, and I have already offered to help put the older Hammer Girl to sleep when that happens (usually around 7pm ET -- as if I'll even still be in this freeroll donkfest three hours into the event!) and just to sit out of the tournament during that time. The girls and Hammer Wife are more than welcome to come in, talk to me, etc. Now I'm not trying to equate that with me spending "quality time" having a picnic or going to the zoo with my wife and kids. But, don't try to equate it with me heading out to Vegas for a weekend of hookers and blow, either. I'll be right there, I'll be talking to whoever wants to hang with Daddy, and again we're only talking about a couple of hours while the kids are awake in any event. And lastly, although not leastly to me, this is Fathers Day. Shouldn't I be entitled to do what I want on this of all days? I mean look, again I'm not trying to say I should be entitled to do whatever I want, but whatever within reason? I think so. On Mothers Day, I more than encouraged my wife to go out, get a spa treatment, or do whatever she wanted. I even went out and bought her a gift certificate to a spa, and gave her a few certificates good for IOUs where she could go out for any reason and I would take care of the kids. So on Fathers Day, what seems crazier to me is someone telling me I can't do something like this. It's Fathers Day for crying out loud!

So tell me, I would be really interested in hearing everyone's opinions on this. Am I right or wrong on this? Am I being unreasonable here? Is the Hammer Wife right? So anyways I'm going to register for this tournament, and try to avenge my late-first-hour suckout loss from last year when I first created this blog just to be able to play in this event, and then we'll see how much I actually get to play, which will depend of course on how much I'm needed to help around the house. Which I've already indicated I'm more than happy to do. Let me know your thoughts on this.

In other news, I am currently in a poker funk. You all knew it was coming, I knew it was coming, everyone knew my red-hot streak from May and early June was not going to last forever. I was never the hubris type to think it could never end. I knew it would end, and it has. I've been getting cripe cards lately, in cripe situations, and I've been playing like a donkey to boot. Much of my donkness comes from frustration of constantly having to fold preflop to reraises or even re-reraises, or having to fold largeish pots when I miss the flop and get bet at strongly, etc. Some of it though I will just have to take pure credit for myself. As far as I can tell, everyone goes through these phases when they just find themselves making certain moves at the tables, that they know they didn't used to make, and which are killing them. Then it just becomes a question of recognition of these opportunities, and acting (or not acting) appropriately on them in the future. It's almost mind over matter at this point. I think I've demonstrated to everyone, most of all to myself, that I know how to play this game, in particular the large MTTs. I see myself donking around at the virtual tables lately, and it's almost like I'm watching someone else do it, like I'm not really the one in control, clicking the buttons, bluffing away with absolutely nothing early in a tournament. I watch myself the way I played this weekend, and I can't even believe I'm the same guy who won over 12 grand last month with a couple of huge tournament scores. But it's me, it's really me.

In case you don't understand exactly what I'm talking about, let me give you a stellar example of my recent play from Sunday night's Bracelet Race on ftp. Lots of bloggers were in this one, including cracknaces, Weak Player, probably Smokkee though I don't specifically recall seeing him now that I think about it, and Change100, writer of what has long been one of my favorite blogs to read. Change was seated at my first table in the Bracelet Race, and I am so glad that she got to see this play, live and in the flesh (sort of).

So it's early on in the tournament, probably about 30 minutes into the first round. There are a total I believe of 242 entrants, with the top 2 receiving WSOP $1500 event seats, and the next 9 players receiving cash payouts ranging from several hundred down to like $50 for 11th place. I got nothing in the earlygoing, and only managed to steal three or four pots with nada. I was down to just over 1100 chips from our starting stacks of 1500, thanks to a few reraises preflop to which I had to fold my only semi-strong cards, because I wasn't dealt an actual good hand in the entire tourney despite watching three players turn over pocket Aces in the first 36 hands I saw. That's when I look up to find 72o on the button.

Now if you've played with me at all, you will know that I just about always play the Hammer, and just about always for a raise preflop. In this case, on the button, I was definitely planning to play unless there was a ton of action ahead of me that clearly indicated a big hand. In this case, there was not. Instead, it was folded around to the cutoff, who then put in a standard 4x preflop raise from what is definitely a stealy-looking position. Blinds were 15/30 at the time, so he raised immediately in front of me to 120. Here, I knew the guy was in steal position and put in a stealy-looking raise. So I made a significant reraise, a move that I make no apologies for, and which to be honest works about 90%+ of the time when I use it situationally like in this case:

He of course reraised me when it got back around to him, and nobody else was left in the pot:

and by that point I felt pot-committed so I called for my last 300-some chips. And, of course, lost:

Now let me tell you the piece of the puzzle that I left out, the part that makes me an uberdonk. You may notice in the shots above that I already had a note in place for pistolpete, the guy to whom I did the Hammer reraise move here. What's more, I specifically read it right before putting in my preflop reraise with the Hammer in this hand that ended up eliminating me from the Bracelet Race before it even got fun. Here's what my note said, which was based on specific information that I personally observed while playing with this guy:

"s1" and "s2" refer to the positions to the right of the button (the cutoff) and 1 seat to the right of the cutoff. So, here I am desperately trying to tell myself what I've already figured out previously about this player. It's just like when Bill and Ted came back in time to the Circle K to warn themselves about what they'd already lived through in the future ("Bill, strange things are afoot at the Circle K"). I was trying very hard to give myself the benefit in the future of what I already knew to be true at some point in the recent past. But, just like with Bill and Ted, I failed to heed my own damn advice. What, did I not trust the source? Couldn't authenticate it? Why would I ignore my own fucking advice? But that's the donkey in me lately, right there, pure as the driven snow. A guy raised it up 4x from the cutoff. Whereas normally I might put a guy on a steal here, and reraise with almost any two cards, in this case I've already left myself a note that this particular player typically does not try to steal pots, and that when he raises from a stealy-looking position, he has tended to actually have a hand in the past. I noticed this clearly enough and significantly enough in the past to warrant my actually making a note on it, which means I saw it, and then confirmed it a second time at least, before making the note. So my non-donkey self told my donkeyself not to try to re-steal from this guy if he steal-raises from late position. Then he steal-raised from late position, I looked at my note, and promptly told myself (I consciously remember this) that this time he is stealing anyways, so I put in the large reraise, easily pot-committing me at that point regardless of what he had in his hand, and consequently I ended up in the pot with 72o for all my chips. Now let's put aside here what a donkass call he made, calling my allin reraise with just A5s. He is a clown (and believe you me, that's been added as well to my note on him, and he unsurprisingly went out about 12 spots after I did in the tournament on Sunday night). But I'm the bigger clown. Much bigger. Without that note on that particular opponent's play, my Hammer reraise is questionable, and probably not a move that most of you would ever make. But, it is a move that I make all the time. And I personally find it to be justifiable in this situation. Not that I'm saying this is the clearly preferable play or anything -- I am well aware that this is a highly aggressive move -- but I have a highly aggressive game and this kind of play frankly has become commonplace for me nowadays. But making this move when I specifically knew this guy was likely to have a big hand....Can anyone even offer an explanation for this?

See you tonight at Mondays at the Hoy!


Blogger SugarlandStump said...

Ya know, it's funny your note say that about him. I was in that same tournament & he came to my table right before the 2nd break. He was 3 to my right & one of the chip leaders, and I saw him stealing with ALL sorts of hands. Saw him raise & get called with 34c, T3o, & a couple other cripe hands. Matter of fact, I think this guy made the final table because he knocked me out in 10th!

10:52 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

Hey pops,
I think Dad should be able to do wutever he pleezes on Father's Day. I mean c'mon it's just an online tourney.

I have no idea how that guy puts all his chips in with A5s preflop. I would've folded to your preflop reraise but, that's just me. The only thing i would suggest is reraising a little less so you're not pot committed maybe 3x his initial raise. it shows enuf strength without being committed. Dude, you go outta your way to note players actions. i only do that when i see sumthin real funky happen.

Trust your notes and trust your instincts. you'll be fine.

btw, i like the title to tonight's "MATH" tourney. thx

11:26 PM  
Blogger StB said...

I was thinking about this yesterday when I realized PStars scheduled the event for Fathers Day. I wondered if it was intentional or not. I figured they had the perfect way to reward a dad who plays poker.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Littleacornman said...

When I started reading your post I thought Fathers Day worked differently in the USA! It's the one day in the year where you shouldn't even need to ask to play poker.It's Fathers Day!!!

12:25 AM  
Blogger FishyMcDonk said...

Re: the re-raise with 27o. Why did you do it? It's because you think you're the shit now. Like you have been lately, I was on a great run March-April. Because of my great *results* I was convinved I was the BEST player at the table. These guys are all fish and with all my fancy moves I can take anyone down. You start doing things you wouldn't ever have done pre-$10K win. You almost have to forget you ever won anything and go back to being the TAG player that made you a winner in the first place. Or just blame the cards. It's always the cards' fault.

12:59 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

I suggest rereading some of your recent posts (the one where you took down the 40k is a great one) to reacquaint you with the guy who reraises 72o successfully on a regular basis. Most of us already know that about you and still don't want to tangle unless we're packing serious heat.

Negative feedback dominates the brain in a way positive feedback doesn't. Win 10k? Great = back to work. Get bounced being clever in front of people you respect = you are playing like a donk.

Seriously doubt there's anything wrong with the master plan. Confidence, as in so many things, is key. Stick to your game, brotha - yer tearin' it up.

One last equation: Father's Day = we do what we'd like to. Very reasonable position (hope so, cause I'm taking the same tack).

1:23 AM  
Blogger Jordan said...

As for the PokerStars tourney, let me suggest this. I understand your position, and I don't think it is 'wrong'. HOWEVER, I'm not playing in the tournament because the prizes are crap for what will surely be a huge pool of players. Do you really want to play 5+ hours to win an iPod? Now add that it is on Father's Day and its really just crappy. I don't know. Really, after the first 10 prizes, the rest are poop. And you can only use the first 10 if you are able to go to Vegas.

The other thing is, what about your kids? I don't know. I don't have kids. But seeing as how the tournament has shitty prizes, why not just play in one of your usual MTTs after they are in bed.

Hey, you asked for the opinions, so don't get in my face just because you don't like it!

As for losing, welcome to the club. I think bad luck begets bad play. Sounds like that happened to you. Good luck moving forward.

And I am going to try my hardest to make it to MATH.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Jordan, some very interesting comments. No doubt the prizes aren't great, and even more doubt since it is so ungodly unlikely that I won't be around 6 hours later to receive one of them. But for me, it's more the glory than anything else. I would love to be able to say that I won the world online bloggers championship of poker, or whatever the heck this thing is called. And it's freakin Fathers Day, so I still can't get over how I should not be able to do what I want, when what I want is just to play an online tournament at 4pm. Big deal.

BUT, on the flip side, shouldn't I be allowed to play in a tournament on a Sunday afternoon once in a long while? I've played in exactly two tournaments on weekend afternoons since I started playing online poker last year. Two. One was this bloggers online championship on stars a year ago. The other was the party millions in this past February which I satellited into. Try as I might, I am unable to feel bad about playing twice at 4pm on a Sunday, over an entire year. Is that really so terrible?

Also, Fishy, I love your comment and there is definitely more than a little to all that. But you have to understand, I've always been a reraiser with the Hammer in the right situation. Since long before my big win last month. I've won by bluff-reraising with nothing more times than I could count over the past, say, six months. And also, I've played well since after my 10k win. I won $1400 coming in 5th place in the full tilt 17k one week after the 40k win. I've gone down to the wire in last week's Mookie tourney, won two WWdN Not's, and lasted till 4th in my own Mondays at the Hoy last week. So I'm not sure this can all be traced back to just having a big win. That said, to deny any connection between that win and some of my current donkness is probably unrealistic as well.

Thanks to all for the comments. I welcome any other thoughts.

2:34 AM  
Blogger iggy said...

Hey Hoy,

Been an avid reader for a while and occassionally had the pleasure of sitting across from you at a WWDN. I have two young girls (ages 4 and 2) and have to basically resort to playing after they go to sleep. I have made the pitch to the wife about playing in some of the large guaranteed tourneys on Sundays, but as you have mentioned in previous posts, this is very difficult as the tourneys usually start while the little ones are still awake.

With regards to your dilema on Father's Day, I have had that discussion with my wife many times and I have used your arguement pretty much word for word and basically received the same response you got from my wife. FWIW, I would ask you if you want to use up one of your "every once in a while Sundays" to play in the Father's Day tournament or would you rather save this for one of the $1M guaranteed tourneys on Party or Stars? Not sure if this helped but I can certainly empathize with your situation.

Good Luck

2:40 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Hey Iggy! You are so right, I have had the debate internally as to whether or not it makes sense to "waste" a Sunday chit on the bloggers championship. Long story short, I don't foresee myself playing in these Sunday events very often given the current state of affairs, so I think I'd rather play in the bloggers championship, which is just a one-time thing, as opposed to playin in just one party millions per year or something, which is not going to be a cost-effective way to eventually make a final table in one of these things.

And, secretly, I was hoping to maybe play in the party millions on the same day as the blogger tournament. You know, if I'm already going to be online anyways....

3:01 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

Okay, I'm laughing. First off, I have to congratulate all of you poker playing dads for finding the right balance to be there for your family and indulge your poker habits (addictions) simultaneously.

Yes, it's Fathers Day and yes in the manual it SHOULD mean that you are able to do whatever you want. But Fathers Day is also something special for your kids - a time wherein they are reminded to count their blessings for having great parents who will sacrifice their pastimes to be with them. I'm sure most kids gets excited about the plans they are making to spoil you - doesn't matter if it's hand-made cards or an afternoon of monopoly. They will remember the day as well.

Now, depending on the age of the little Hammers, they might be burned out of Daddy time by 4:00 p.m. ::grin::

Yes, I'm obviously taking the distaff view here, but it's ONLY a freeroll versus time with your kids. And yes, if you do end up playing the freeroll, make sure you play one of the big Sunday cash games at the same time. Father's Day is only once a year.

On a different note - it's 50/50 on making the Hoy today. At a morning meeting and if I can get back in time, I'll be there.

4:52 AM  
Blogger biggestron said...

I'm in the same boat as you Hoy, albeit I don't quite have 12K in wins on my resume. Those long weekend tournies suck up time and always leave me with a guilty feeling from not spending more time with my wife of 10 years son of 3.8 yrs. I've tried the same rationalization: that I'm at home and available, but I'm really not - I try to keep as much focus as I can on the game. 5 minute breaks cannot be considered quality time. Top that off with my general pissy attitude after getting busted from a tourney (especially where I was close to a nice score) and it starts to become a negative force in the home. Playing through 1000+ MTT's becomes more of a job than a fun hobby, in my mind - and it makes bubbling all the more painful! I've got no advice, I guess. I'm playing in the pokerstars freeroll, but if I bust early I won't be terribly upset.

I'm going to try to make it to your Monday night Hoy events, but I won't be there tonight - timing has been difficult so far to make it to any of these weekday events that start at 7 for me (Pacific time).

6:16 AM  
Blogger StB said...

I think Jordan misses the point that you got so eloqently. First off, the amount of dead money here is amazing. A large chunk of these players would even be logged in. It should be an easy skate for a bit as long as the old lady with the gardening blog doesn't suck out on you.

The reason to play is not the prizes, but the prize. To take this puppy down would be something worth bragging about. Then your kids can go to show and tell and talk about how their daddy is a donkey trainer.

11:40 PM  
Blogger NewinNov said...

Great post. I also started a blog just so I can enter blogger tournaments. Not really a blog yet, more of a short journal. I agree that you should be able to do what you want, within reason, on Father's Day (Hallmark Day #6). Plus you are even going to help out during your day and be available for part of it. What more could she ask for? Of course this is easy for me to say because I don't know yet if I'll get permission to play the PokerStars WSOP freerolls that take place on Sunday, especially since I've bombed in them the past two weekends. Agree that your play with the 72 was a bit donkey-like but not completely out of line. But since you had the note, I'd have to say bad call. But how could he call with his hand? Incredible. But nothing seems impossible anymore when someone trys to steal the blinds with A9o and you call, flop trips and bet out and he catches a runner, runner straight with his "9". Sorry about that, just venting. Thanks again for your post.

11:49 PM  

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