Monday, August 21, 2006

Back For Good From Vacation

Yes that's right, I'm back! No I didn't forget all about the blog in my time away, but I just ended up not posting at all while I was gone last week. But don't think for a second that I wasn't working for you guys while I was whittling away at the pc late at night on the West Coast. Rather, I wrote about five different posts while I was gone, and they will just be going up throughout the next few weeks as I finalize them and find the right time to post them up here. They're all in draft form as of now, but you'll be seeing them soon.

Before I forget, I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things at tonight's Mondays at the Hoy tournament, where I will definitely be playing:

Again, this is a weekly tournament that I host every Monday evening at 10pm ET on pokerstars, under the "Private" tab. The password as always is "hammer", and the buyin is back to $20, as I once again apparently screwed up last week when I set this thing up in a rush before I got out of New York last weekend. I saw from my West Coast perch that drraz cashed again last week. What a joke. Jeciimd also chipped in with another cash as well, showing that my non-blogger poker guys have generally been decimating the poker blogging crew in the weekly Hoy event. I continue to anxiously await my first cash in the Hoy in what must be 12 or so attempts at this point, and in the meantime I look forward to knocking drraz out myself, even if the man does have his chat privileges restored after a month-long hiatus to think about his bad behavior and foul mouth. So I would love to have you come out and join us tonight for the latest Hoy tournament at 10pm ET -- even if you've never played before, tonight with the summer doldrums here is a great week to get started and jump right in to our tournament, where the winner almost always takes down more than $200, and all the payouts are normally considerable for the stakes that most of us play on a regular basis.

On another note, I want to re-invite all of my readers out there who have not yet signed up to join my NFL Pick'em league on Yahoo! As a reminder this is free to join, although we may consider over the next couple of weeks adding a buyin for whoever is interested in adding a little degeneracy interest to the pool, and it basically involves picking the winner (straight up) of each NFL game each week during the regular season. So far I have 25 entrants, easily my largest group in several years of running a Pickem league, and I have to say it really adds a lot of fun and excitement to the NFL season, even if you're not so into the whole fantasy football start-em-or-bench-em type of pursuits. Anyways, it's a large group consisting of many fine bloggers and non-bloggers so far, and I'd love to have you join as well -- In order to join the group, just go to Yahoo! Pro Football Pick'em, click the "Sign Up" button (or "Create or Join Group" if you are a returning user). From there, follow the path to join an existing private group and when prompted, enter the following information:

Group ID#: 9684
Password: hammer

Yahoo! will send you a confirmation with further details once you have completed the registration process.

Yahoo! Pro Football Pick'em

Anyways, upon my return I did see that Pokerstars officially added HORSE, HOSE and Razz cash games to their offerings, something which I sampled frequently over the past several sessions. Not only do I no longer hate Razz, but I'm actually really enjoying playing it, and I've found that I am actually quite comfortable and skilled at it due to its Stud aspects. Remembering the discards and up cards, playing deceptively, knowing when you're a lock to have the best hand right now (all things I've written about last week in draft form and will be posting shortly), these are all right up my alley, and it all comes in very handy when playing any form of Stud game. Omaha 08 continues to be my weakest game as of right now, but I am happy to say that I have cashed in my last five HORSE sng's on full tilt, so I am getting there slowly but surely. I've only won once in those last five sng attempts, but lately I am really into playing a $10 HORSE 1-table sng whenever I have 90 minutes or so to mess around, and I've had very good odds of making the final three cashing players of late as I continue to hone my skills at these games.

I also donked out of the ftp 30k and the party 40k last night, so everything is back to normal already since my return from vacation. And btw, did you all notice what I just typed there about ftp? That was no typo, the 10pm ET nightly guaranteed tournament last night was up to a 30k guaranteed prize pool. This is becoming tantalizingly close to the party nightly 40k event, and yet party is supposed to be this big huge 800-pound gorilla in the online poker industry? I find that very interesting that party has been offering this 40k tournament unchanged every night at 10:20pm ET for months and months on end, and yet just in the last five months or so, the ftp nightly guaranteed tournament at 10pm ET has gone from 14k to 15k to 17k to 20k, and now the weekends are up to 30k. Very interesting, and I applaud ftp for sticking with this event, and with whatever strategy they are using that is clearly helping them to build and market their largest nightly guaranteed event as successfully as they have been. At 1200-1400 players or so, it is still a much more accessible and winnable tournament than the party 40k anyways, as it still remains only about half the size of the party 40k.

And that reminds me of another thing about the party 40k. When I won this tournament back in April or May (I forget which), which had the exact same $22 buyin then that it has now, there were 2,343 other players, and I took down $9,737 and change for first place. Nowadays, when there are 2300 or even 2400 players, first prize is only in the $8700 range. What gives? These days even when the party 40k draws 2600 or more players, the first place payout is only in the upper $9000s. Why would they do this? It still seems to be paying roughly the same number of people as it always did (say, 13 or 14% or so), so I just wish I understood what happened to make this tournament pay out less to the top spots. Sometimes it's almost like partypoker is seriously trying to drive away its players. I mean, anyone who's played there for any siginficant period of time already knows full well how awful and slow the party software has become, and how long it's been like that. Now they are paying out less to the top spots in their major MTTs as well? Why would they do that? Never mind the fact that party has completely sat out of the entire HORSE, Triple Draw, etc. movement among the major online poker sites. And now with this whole annoying "Monster" campaign and how many of the tables and sngs are related to this thing that I have no interest in. I mean is it me, or does partypoker just not care much about what its players think? Somebody got a little too comfortable at the top a year or two ago maybe? They need to inject some new blood into the management of that whole setup at partypoker me thinks.

So I guess no bloggers made any big runs into the FTOPS over on full tilt last week? It sucked but I was away from the first day to the last day, returning only in time to watch Smokkee and jeciimd play in the main event on Sunday but not make any major noise in the end. That's too bad. I really think the hardcore poker blogging community could use another big score on a major scale, something like what Ryan did for the group several months ago at the LA Commerce Classic. Hopefully we can get something else like that soon. Anyone out there trying hard to get into the WCOOP events on pokerstars these days? Those I also have a problem with -- I mean, the days themselves are fine, I'm going to be in town, etc. But who the hike from the East Coast or even the entire eastern three-quarters of the United States can make it home in time for a 3 or 4pm ET start for all of these events? Again I ask who is making these decisions? Full tilt is the online poker site that I use that really "gets it" the best. Which shouldn't be surprising to anyone since it is owned, operated and managed by the poker professionals themselves. When Clonie Gowen isn't getting 90% naked for promotional materials for ftp (and oh how I wish I could see that other 10%), she and her cohorts including Ivey, Lederer, Gordon, Hansen, and now Barry Greenstein to name a few are hard at work figuring out what they (and thus we) would like best, as poker players and as customers of a site like ftp. And the result is the best-run, best-designed, and overall (I think) best online poker experience.

One other quick item -- Sunday evening saw the bloggers league fantasy football draft, and I dominated it big time. The league includes Kelly (the commissioner), Surflexus, 23skidoo, Chris, Raveen, Miami Don, Mookie, President Dave Lee, the immutable Waffles, JJ, myself and some non-blogger dude who lucked into the first overall pick in the draft. Anyways I got stuck with the 6th pick, probably about tied with 7th as the single worst spot in the draft order since at least the later picks get to pick twice in rapid succession with every round. Yet still, I managed to come up with a truly dominating team for even a 10-team league, let alone this 12-team league full of blogging types. Of course my work does not allow me to access my fantasy football league from work, so I can't remember all of my players, but I do know that my team consists mainly of Edge James, Cedric Benson and Chris Brown at runningback, Larry Fitzgerald, Hines Ward and Joey Galloway at wide receiver, Kurt Warner and Ben Roth at quarterback, Jason Witten at tight end, a good defense and two good kickers. I killed in this draft, and I look forward to crushing the competition and taking down the $70 first prize, as well as all the immeasurable glory, for winning the bloggers league this year. You can look for updates throughout the season right here on just how bad I am dominating this field.

OK that's it for today. Just checking in to say I'm back and better than ever after another rejuvenating week-long vacation, my last extended travel of the year, at least as of right now. I will be back to my every-day posting as of this morning, never fear. And as a preview, tomorrow I plan to post Part II of my earlier post on playing middle pairs, this time covering how to play them after the flop, as well as some other posts on fun aspects of Stud games, as well as an entire column devoted to the good and bad poker books I have read in my day. I'm very glad to be back, and I will end this now so that you can go join my NFL Pickem league, and I'll see you at Mondays at the Hoy at 10pm ET tonight on pokerstars!


Blogger surflexus said...

Hoy, It was a fun time winning last week, but it would have been better if you had been there.....looking forward to tonight.

12:41 AM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Hey, Hoy. Is there going to be a pool for your Pick 'Em league or is it just for bragging rights?

Don't expect Party to care about its customers or anything. They're too busy focusing on opening new parts of their casino to worry about poker players.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I am looking to have a buyin for whoever is interested in the NFL Pickem league. I'm going to give a few more days for people to sign up, and then I will open the discussion here for what the buyin and payouts should be. I'm thinking $10-$20 for whoever is interested.

1:58 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

can't wait for the season to start.


3:33 AM  
Blogger C.L. Russo said...

I signed up for the pick 'em league. It's the "Baker League," correct?

I'm down with a buy-in, the prize money will help out with my vacation plans this year.

7:19 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home