Monday, June 05, 2006

Pokerstars Private Home Game Tonight; WPBT and Another Run in the 17k

I'll be back later with a real post with updates on all the weekend pokering. For now let me just say that tonight is my weekly online home game, and anyone who is interested, we would love to have you. And, anyone who joins should also consider playing in the full tilt 17k with me, which starts at the same time (10pm ET), so we can all multitable together (for some of you, I know you'll be doing this tournament anyways...). I've cashed in four in a row of these things, so no way I'm missing out on free money until I get reminded at least once that it's not just free money to play in a tournament with 950 other players and a $26 buyin.

Anyways, here's the information on my private homegame tournament tonight on Pokerstars:

What: Mondays at the Hoy
Where: Pokerstars, "Private" tab
When: Monday June 5, @10pm ET
Buy-in: $20 + $2 -- NLH
Password: hammer

I was thinking about making people just guess the password, and I'm sure some of you sicker minds out there would have gotten it sooner rather than later, but I want to make it easy for people to sign up if they're interested. We're making the buyin $20 because we want the money to be a little more interesting than some of the other regular blogger tournaments, and we may or may not change the game from time to time to keep things fresh. But for now there it is, this will be our 3rd or 4th Monday night game and we're looking for a few good men who are willing to contribute $20 to having a good time and getting hoyed by me.

Are you playing?


This weekend I didn't play much poker after gloriously final-tabling the full tilt 17k guaranteed on Thursday night / Friday morning. As I am conquering these large tournaments that I've been playing with some regularity for quite a while, I am left with a void, looking for something else to get into in the world of online poker. I discussed this a week ago after I won the partypoker 40k guaranteed, and I was faced with the same feeling this weekend after dominating the 17k, something which I had originally planned to take up several weeks of my online poker attention.

I feel like I've proven, to myself and just in general, that I know my way around a large MTT. At first I was into the $1, $2 and $3 buyin MTTs on pokerstars. That was last year. I cashed in a number of them, although to be honest my record in MTTs has been better, not worse, since I moved up somewhat in limits. I began late last year to dabble in the $5 buyin MTTs on pokerstars, to some success. Then I started playing in $10 MTTs on stars and on partypoker, and have had multiple big hits and some sweet final tables in those events. Lately as you know I've been into the nightly $20-$26 buyin events on party and full tilt, to much success in both. It seems to me that, not only can I get higher payouts in the larger-buyin events, but my performance on average actually seems to improve, the higher the buyin event in which I play. And let's not forget that I've played in the one party millions event in mid-February, where I am 1 for 1 in cashing in that event as well.

So, with all that in mind, I made the next big decision regarding my online poker career this weekend: It's time that I focus a bit on getting into the really large, million-dollar-guaranteed tournaments, ones which party and pokerstars each run every weekend. When the WPBT HORSE event started last night, I was very excited to learn that DoubleAs and Lucko were both then still alive in the pokerstars million guaranteed tournament from earlier Sunday afternoon. I opened up both players' tables and watched them play, and I will admit, the jealousy was palpable. Although both players were eliminated from their respective tourneys, both also finished well ITM and each received a nice payout for their efforts. Both DoubleAs and Lucko complain a bit in their blogs today that they played for so long and only got a "minimal" type of payout for their efforts, but I'm not that kind of guy. If I play for 6 hours, end in 30th out of 5200, and get paid back $1600 on my $215 investment, I will be thrilled about it. Maybe when I've done that 500 times it will be boring, but for now that's where my next goal lies.

To accomplish this, I don't plan to pay the full price to buy in to these events, though my roll could certainly accomodate that after the hot streak I've been on recently. So, you can expect to read about a series of imllion-dollar satellites I'm going to focus on on both pokerstars and partypoker. It will be hard with my schedule to squeeze in too many games at 4pm ET on Sundays, but that is something which I'd like to try, as I've continually seen improvement in my performance and my financial results as I've moved up the buyins and continued to refine my MTT game.

In the meantime, I'm not going to forget where I came from. I'll never forget my roots. And as a perfect example of that, last night I multitabled another ftp 17k tournament at the same time as I played in the WPBT HORSE event. This would be my fourth entry into the 17k since declaring my 17k Challenge to final table that event last Tuesday. So, my fourth entry in six days, with the first three all resulting in cashes -- 21st place, 79th place, and then my 5th place finish last Thursday evening. So I didn't see how I could stay away from this tournament again on Sunday night since I had chased in my last 3 of these events, despite needing to finish in the top 90 players out of what has averaged between 9000 and 1050 entrants over the past week. This thing has been my virtual ATM over the past week, netting me almost $1600 in profits in three tries since last Tuesday, so I had to get in there again.

As has been happening with some regularity during my recent run in these nightly guarantee events, I managed to double up early when I severely manhandled this guy when I knew he had trips that he wouldn't be able to get away from:

Here is me slow-betting him for the second time (first time was on the flop when I bet out just half the pot and he flat called with his top pair Kings). His reaction was exactly what I was looking for:

And when I saw him raise, I knew my read was right that he held trip Kings. So, figuring he would not let go of his hand (in particular if he had the high kicker I was putting him on), I did the only sensible thing I could. I hoyed his ass:

He got allin, and showed me just what I wanted to see. Well played to me, and a nice early double up to help get me started on the path to the promised land:

I managed to double up again near the end of the first hour of the 17k. I have KK, and I get just one caller as I force him to put in chips on every street as nothing but raggy undercards flops to my pocket Kings. He keeps sticking with me, and then on the river he bets 1500, enough to put me nearly allin. I reraise for my last 50 chips, bringing the total pot to 5600 chips, and 50 to my opponent to call:

What happened next?

He folded! He would later claim this was a mis-click, but trust me I saw how he played, and I had him beat with my Kings. He didn't even try to deny it when I told him I was sure he was beat. But what a weird way to get my second double up during Round 1 of the 17k. I'll take it, that's for sure.

Then came the card death. This was another legendary streak, such that I literally don't have a single interesting hand to show you from the next 90 minutes or so, until the middle of Round 3. Yes I raised almost every time the hand was checked around to me preflop anywhere in the last few spots before the button, and yes I should probably be tried by Eliot Spitzer for repeated larceny all through the next few hours, but positional steals was all I did for the next couple hours in the 17k. Fortunately, that was enough to enable me to limp along until this:

scoring me my 4th cash in 4 tries in the 17k in the past week! And in this case, the cash could not come fast enough, as I hadn't see a truly playable hand in nearly two hours by this point in the event. Things were so bad that when I looked down in the big blind to find 86o and had two large raises and calls ahead of me, I still went ahead and pushed in, hoping I might at least have two live cards, hopefully a counterfeited Ace in both of my opponents' hands, and a longshot to triple up:

But it wasn't meant to be, despite my read being right and me having two live cards to try to get lucky with:

and IGH in 67th place overall:

For another solid cash in the event:

4-for-4 and counting, guys. No way I can stop investing in this thing every night, at least not until I fail to cash once. Right now I am making the 17k my bitch almost every single night, and I hope to continue that streak tonight as well, in addition to my weekly homegame also at 10pm ET.

Lastly, and real quick, last night was the latest WPBT event hosted by Byron. As usual it went off without a hitch and was a blast -- this week's tournament was a HORSE event. As my longtime readers will know, Limit events really cramp my style, as I really am a no-limit specialist, but at the same time, I've played all of these games quite a bit, and expect to be able to cash in the top half of the field in any kind of mixed event, given my poker history, which really only includes a focus on holdem over the past three or four years, out of a nearly 20-year career of playing poker in various forums.

I'm not going to show any screen shots of this event, mostly because I feel like limit events don't lend themselves as well to my form of summarizing the hands. My main goal in a limit event like this, where I know going in I'm not nearly as much "in my element" as I would be in a normal NLH or PLH tournament, was above all else to survive past the halfway point of the 33 entrants into the event, netting me further WPBT points and helping me to climb from my 14th place perch in the WPBT standings as of my Gemini event victory two weeks ago. And I'm happy to say I did just that, eeking my way into 13th place out of 33 players before finally succumbing to a good draw in stud hi-low that, of course, failed to hit on either the high or the low side:

I am proud to report that this latest finish last night was enough for me to squeak into the top 10 in the WPBT standings for the first time this year. I am psyched to have claimed my rightful spot in the top ten tournament players of the poker blogging community, and it is a spot which I don't plan to relinquish in the future.

And congrats to CJ for winning the entire WPBT event, and inching himself up to 14th place in the latest WPBT standings:

The Up For Poker boys sure have been hitting some big scores of late among the big blogger tournaments, so kudos to them, and to CJ, for another fine finish this weekend.

And with that, I am off to upload. Again, come join us tonight for my private home game on pokerstars (see information up above in this post) -- we're really looking to get a nice bunch of regular or semi-regular players who can get hoyed, play the Hammer and just generally talk some mean trash in a high-skill game combining aggression and finesse to produce the big winner every Monday night.


Blogger smokkee said...

i'm in. i saw you cashed in the 17k again last night.


12:27 AM  
Blogger drewspop said...

I will try and make it. Monday night is the night I play live live each week though. It will just depend on how far I go in the live tourney I guess.

I will plan on it going forward though because my live game is switching to Wednesdays but real close to my house so I will still make the Mook!

1:24 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah Smokkee I saw you went out last night in 181st or something I think. You've been getting pretty close to the money every single night. I have been getting just lucky enough at the right times, and have really been able to capitalize on my few good hands when they have happened. Sometimes I think that's what doing well in MTTs is all about -- sticking around as long as possible, and just making sure you double up on your few monsters during the tourney. Then you get to the last 10% or whatever, and it becomes a total pushfest of course.

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