Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Mookie

Well, I played the Mookie tournament again last night, and I had my best performance in a blogger tournament in quite some time. Three weeks or so at least. I made the final table, again my first blogger final table in the better part of a month, and I played great poker with what was truly one of the worst sets of starting cards I've ever received through an entire holdem event. I ended up going out I think in 9th place, but made my appearance at the final table. So then why am I so pissed off about it this morning?

Here's why. My exit from last night's Mookie tournament was very similar to what CC has been doing to me lately in multiple Mondays at the Hoy tournaments as well. Someone (I don't remember who but I think it was chilldyl) raised it up preflop from middle position in a stealy-looking way, and so I reraised allin from a fairly short stack with me holding AQo. Given the way chill had been playing, it was obvious that he didn't need to be holding anything particularly good to have raised in that position, and so I felt there was probably a good 85-90% chance that my AQo was best at the time. Everyone else folded, and then this is where the donkey kong comes in. Just like CC has done to me a couple of times in the recent past, even though in this case it should be fairly obvious that his hand is no good, chill went ahead and called my allin anyways. Yes he had more chips than I. But not so much more that it justified losing 25% of his stack on a hand that was not only clearly behind, but likely dominated by any combination of AJ, AK or KQ I had, and behind any pair, any AQ or AJ as well. He didn't have nearly enough to justify donkey calling my allin bet like that. Especially when he flipped over his hand:

King-Jack. Offsuit. Now I've asked it before when CC has eliminated me from blogger events with I believe this very same hand under these same circumstances, and I'll ask it again now: How the Eff do you call an allin with KJ? Sooted or unsooted, what's the difference? You basically know that you are most likely behind, probably a good 40-50% chance that youre dominated and no more than a 20% dog to win the hand, 15-20% chance that I have a pair in which case your odds are at best 49% of beating me if I have a low to middle pocket pair, and almost the entire last 30% chance is that I have at least an Ace, and am therefore approximately a 3 to 2 favorite over your hand. The EV to chill of him calling in this spot has got to be significantly negative, since there is almost zero expectation of him being ahead. What did he think I was moving in with there? K8o? J9? Come on.

And see, then this is what happens. I flip my AQo to his KJo, and of course I'm thrilled. I'm about a 3-to-2 favorite, and any Ace should bring me victory. But instead, chill flops a King. Then while I watch in horror the turn and river cards, now desperate for an Ace to hit instead of just hoping one hits, the man makes another King just to add insult to injury. It's disgusting. A guy calls my allin with KJo, and as if that wasn't bad enough, he then hit trips to best my AQo and IGH in 9th place, short of the money positions.

And then, to really add insult to injury, my brother Aquaworst ends up going on a tear and coming in second place overall in the Mookie tournament, just one week and one day after he took down the WWdN and eliminated Wil in the process. How does this happen? I mean, I sat and watched Aqua yesterday get pocket pair after pocket pair after pocket pair. Aces, Kings, Jacks, Aces, 9s, Aces, AK, AQ, Aces, and it just went on and on and on. Even at the final table, and even when Aqua had no hand to speak of, that's when his limped 73o would turn trips on a 77K flop. And his opponent would have AK on that hand, to really make it easy. I mean, I haven't seen luck like that in many, many months in any tournament, let alone a blogger event like this. Look at last night as a great example. I never got a pocket pair above 8s dealt to me in 191 hands total. I never saw AK. The AQ I went out on, after getting allin well ahead preflop, was my only AQ of the evening. I made that final table last night on nothing but bluffing, and stealing, and lying, and pure heart. And still I go out in 9th place to a donkey call of my allin raise preflop with KJo. King Jack offsuit! I still can't believe it.

Before I end this, a few other poker items:

I received my advance copy of Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book earlier this week, and finally sat down to start reading it yesterday. If you recall this was something that I harrassed Phil's press manager (or whatever she was called) for until she agreed I could give her my mailing address and she would send me a copy. I'm only through the first chapter or so, but I will say that I am a bit disappointed to see that Phil seems to have gone the way of Dan Harrington in his recently-released Volume III book on holdem. Basically, these guys exhaust all of their (admittedly great) poker advice and strategy in their first book (or in Harrington's case, first two books). But then they realize how much easier and more dependable it is to make money as an author -- when you basically just bust your ass writing a book, but then you sit on that same ass for the next ten years and just get royalty checks in every week -- than it will ever be to make money as a poker player, and these guys end up wanting to put out another book even after they've basically run out of important poker strategy to impart. So what do they do? They make another book, but just make it a set of example hands from real live play that the author has seen, either live or on television. This can be fine, but I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with Harrington Volume III in this regard. I am hopeful that I won't have the same reaction to the Little Blue Book, but it does appear to be just a rehash of a number of examples that illustrate the points mostly covered in the Little Green Book, which I still say is one of the better handful of poker books I've read in my day.

One other quick item and then I'll end this for today. A guy I work with actually knows Jamie Gold, the current chip leader and the WSOP Main Event final table, fairly well from his college days in New York, and the word is that this guy was an absolute "sleazy, scammy scumbag" to use my friend's exact words. Not that this will come as a tremendous surprise to anyone who's been following this year's Main Event and the less-than-flattering coverage of Jamie Gold's demeanor and behavior at the tables. But apparently Gold always had a scam going back in the day, and was always trying to get others to participate in his scams with him. In fact, as I understand it, what Gold was specifically known for more than anything else was borrowing money from his "friends", and then simply never paying them back. And I'm not talking about borrowing 85 cents to get an ice cream from Mr. Softy on the corner of Broadway and 57th Street. Rather, I'm talking about convincing his friend to give him $1000, which Gold then quickly went and paid half of to one of his entertainment clients, and kept the other half for himself. And he never paid his friend back. Not a dime. So right from the mouth of someone who used to know him well, Jamie Gold appears to be as repugnant in reality as he has seemed over the past several days of poker action at the Rio in the WSOP.

Middle pairs in Holdem post is coming tonight, guaranteed. Just about done now, just needs to have the screenshots checked.


Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

It was fun playing with you last night, man. It sucks the way you went out, but it's better than how I busted. Looking forward to the middle pairs post.

2:44 AM  

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