Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another Mondays at the Hoy Rant (Waffles This Is For You)

[Begin rant]

Goddammit people! I'm serious about this. This recockulous donkeycalling has got to stop. I mean, where did you fuggin people learn to play poker anyways? Not from my blog, you didn't. I've detailed here many times -- way, way too many times -- how I've been eliminated from a blogger tournament because I raised (or even re-raised) allin preflop, got called by some clown not only holding just two overcards, but holding two overcards that are not AK but which do have at least one Ace or King included, making them very much subject to domination by the exact kinds of hands that are going to be reraising them allin in the first place anyways. I don't know how many times I can say on my blog that calling allins preflop with easily-dominated hands (assuming no short stacks, tilting players, etc.) is bad tournament poker. It just is. It's a fact and there's nothing you or I or anyone out there can do to change that. If you go through life calling preflop allins with Aces that are not AK, with KQ and KJ, etc., you're not going to be a successful no-limit holdem tournament player over time, at least not while you're making a practice of making calls like this.

If you couldn't tell, it happened again to me last night in Mondays at the Hoy. I had done well, made a few great poker plays, fooled some people but good and had amassed a decent stack. I had just lost a decent sized pot, bringing my stack down to maybe 2/3 of average with 11 players remaining out of the 18 players who started the latest MATH tournament at 10pm ET on pokerstars. Blinds are 50-100, and I'm sitting on a little over 1800 chips, when I look down to find pocket Jacks in the small blind. I'm even happier when I see Wes the Big Pirate raise it up 4x from the cutoff in front of me:

This is great. Now the pot is already about a third the size of my current stack, and with an aggro guy like Wes raising it up from steal position, and me holding pocket Jacks in the blinds, this situation is just custom made for me to add nicely to my stack. Given all the overcards to my Jacks, I clearly want to take this pot down now while I'm sure I'm ahead, rather than watch an Ace fall on the flop and then be forced to fold to a continuation bet from aggroboy. So I move it allin, hoping and expecting a fold from the guy who is highly likely not to have anything allin-callable when he open-raises 4x from the cutoff position:

Wes immediately goes into the tank. He is clearly agonizing over this call, which makes it more obvious than ever that I am ahead. It is obvious he does not want to call, but as his time runs down near the end, he makes the crying call and just decides to take his chances with....

Ace-Queen. Sooooooted. Once again, another blogger making an allin call before the flop with a hand that he absolutely, positively must believe he is behind with at this point in the hand. Naturally, the flop contained a Queen, and IGH in 11th place instead of moving on with a large stack into the final table:

Of course. Now I'm going to say something here, and it's going to be very direct. Normally I try to avoid slamming on specific individuals on either of my blogs, because I'm not that kind of guy, but in this case I am most definitely not directing my comments specifically at Wes. Readers here will note that I have complained about this exact sort of donkeycalling (and the concurrent overcard spiking on the flop, turn or river to reward the donkeycalling, which -- let's be honest -- is the real problem here) on several occasions in the past, and with several different bloggers I like. Wes was just the latest in a long line last night, and I want to be clear here that I am not commenting in the least bit on Wes's overall play or his poker playing abilities. Wes has made countless blogger final tables, he won the Party 40k as I myself did earlier this year, etc. So the guy obviously knows how to play nlh, and play it very, very well. I'm not trying to dispute that in any way. However, this play last night was utterly hideotic (yes I just made that word up, and yes it is a combination of hideous and idiotic. Enjoy.).

For the umpteenth time, but with a bit expanded of a discussion, I want to review this play that ended up eliminating me from Mondays at the Hoy last night. Or rather, that ended up letting pokerstars eliminate me from Mondays at the Hoy. Again. So Wes puts in a standard raise from the cutoff with AQs. This is clearly a good play. He's a known aggro guy preflop, especially from steal position, and he's put in his standard stealy-looking raise with a hand that is actually fairly good. I like the play, it's clearly the right move. But then I move in on him from the small blind, and Wes is put to the test.

Notice first my stack size. As I mentioned earlier, I was sitting on about 2/3 of the average stack size at the time, so I was short, but not very. I was nowhere near the desperate stage where I'm likely to push with anything. My M is well over 10 still at this point in the tournament, and in an online blogger event like this, nearing the final table, an M over 10 is actually quite fluffy. So I am not close to desperate here, and there's no reason to believe I'm pushing with nothing. So when I reraise a preflop raiser allin, let's try to put me on a range of hands here.

I've covered this several times here in the recent past, as I seem to be falling victim to these donkeycalls much more often than my fair share, but here goes. If you have sat and played with me any amount of time -- which Wes certainly has -- and you're paying any attention at all, then determining my range of hands here is actually fairly easy. I might be likely to reraise with 2/3 the average stack here with any pocket pair, or perhaps with AK. Possibly AQ, but not likely. If you've paid attention to my play, you know that there is no way I am pushing here with AJ or any worse Ace. NO Way. It is clearly either a pocket pair or AK. Period.

Let me repeat this point, because to me it is of utmost importance. If you have played a lot with me like most of the bloggers have, then you should know with a fair amount of certainty that I am not pushing here with AJ or worse. Period. Every time some donkeycaller donkeycalls me preflop and then donkeysucks me out of a tournament, I find myself writing here about their expectation on the hand, and I always seem to get the same response. It's time that I address that response here. First, the expectation point one more time. If you know how I play, then you know the odds of me having a pocket pair in this situation are probably, say, 90%. And the odds of me holding AK is maybe 10%. If you want to throw in a few percentage points for AQ, feel free. I would be very unlikely to make this move with AQ, but if you want to say I might, I'm not going to spend any time arguing it because the odds of that have got to be very low. And there is zero chance of me making this move with AJ, AT, or any Ax, KQ, KJ, etc. Zero chance, guys. I don't play that way, and I never play that way in any blogger event. So, the odds are about 90% that Wes is a 49% dog, and 10% that Wes is a 20% dog. Why the phuck would Wes ever call under those circumstances, with me nowhere near desperate, and with Wes's stack only a couple hundred higher than mine at this point in the tournament? If you know what you're doing, you know that you are at BEST a 49% underdog in this hand! Why are you calling with that? Is your self control in these blogger events really that poor?

This is the key point I'm trying to hit on here. Every time someone donkeycalls me out of one of these tournaments, I rant about it here, and they all say the same thing. "I've watched Hoy play", they say, "and this guy raises with anything." They all claim that they thought I might just be pushing soooted connectors, or just pure bluffing based on position, or just pure bluffing for no good reason at all, just to pick up some chips. "I've seen Hoy make this move many times before with nothing," they say.

Bullshit!! Please don't use me to justify your donkeycalls anymore, because that's just what it is. A justification. You're playing in a blogger tournament, and you want to act like a donkey and make a donkeycall, so you just did it, and got rewarded by futhermucking pokerstars, what else is new. I have a lot of respect for Mattazuma, who did this exact thing to me in last week's Hoy, I ranted about it, and he took responsibility for his play on his blog like a fucking man. Check it out for yourself. He admits it was a donkeyplay, he admits he didn't think much about it, and he admits that if he was really thinking about it properly, he would not have made the call of my allin preflop raise with just his KJo (my god I still can't believe that fucking call). All of which are true, btw.

To all you donkeys out there who like to justify your donkery by saying things like "Hoy could have been raising there with anything" -- you have the biggest problem of all, guys. Because I do not play that way. You're making that up. I'd love to see the last time I pushed allin preflop with nothing, when I was doing fine in chips and nearing a blogger final table. Show me please. Until then, accept this: If you play a lot with me, and you think I would allin reraise a guy who's already raised it up preflop, when I've got a hand worse than AQ, then you are not observing my play sufficiently. And that is a very dangerous thing. If you think this, then you are not paying sufficient attention to what's going on around you, and you will get burned by that over time, regardless of how pokerstars chooses to reward your donkery in any given instance.

Playing very good poker requires, among other things, a real precision of memory and extreme attention to how your opponents like to play the game of poker. If you want to play at a high level, you need to know how the guy three seats to your right likes to lead with AK when he does not make anything on the flop. You need to know that when the guy two seats to your left smooth calls on the flop, he usually has a monster hand. If you are not paying attention to this stuff at all, or -- worse yet -- if you are relying on incorrect assumptions as to how your opponents play certain hands -- then you are doomed to fail in tournament poker, and you will have no one to blame but yourself.

So one more time, because it bears repeating: If you believe I would reraise a preflop raiser when I am holding AJ or worse, then you definitely need to raise your level of attention to what's going on around the table when you're playing. Period. I suppose that Wes's motivation last night might be more based on the fact that he made his hand look like a steal attempt preflop, and since I am in fact known to reraise a blind stealer with nothing from the blinds on occasion, he might have thought his AQs was ahead here. I still say even with that justification it is a poor call given my likely hand range, but that probably had a lot to do with Wes's decision in particular last night, and if that is the case, then I will change my opinion of that particular call from "hideotic" to just "really bad". But in general, these guys who claim I could have had anything with my allin reraise, so they'll just call me with KJ or KQ or QTo and hope they win it, those are pure donkey moves. Plain and simple. You are playing like fucking donkeys!!!

And one more time -- if you want to donk it up, in a blogger tournament or otherwise, be my guest of course. But please, I beg you, don't use me as the justification for your donkeyplay. Be a man. Take responsibility for and ownership of your donkey play. Smokkee will admit when he's made a donkeycall. Mattazuma obviously as well, he knows where he's at in his game, and I respect that. Lord knows I take responsibility for my own bad play, and I rarely if ever try to blame someone else when I've made a donkeyplay, as evidenced all over this blog.

If you get only one thing out of this blog post, let it be this: Please, for everloving god, please stop calling preflop allins from non-short stacks with just two lousy, easily-dominated overcards. It's bad tournament poker, against me, or against anyone else I can literally think of among the entire blogging community. Think about this -- when was the last time you saw an awesome poker player like a Blood or DoubleAs or Iggy or CJ call a preflop allin with a nice stack against another nice stack when he was holding AQ, AJ, KQ, KJ, etc.? Anybody ever remember me making a call like this? Think about it, guys.

[End rant.]


Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Welcome to Occam's Razor, Hoy.

Here's the problem: You play an aggressive game. That means that people will be more likely to call you r all-ins because they know you've been playing a variety of hands.

Jordan has the same problem. That's why his switching usernames with Gary was so effective.

On top of that, the only reason you're complaining about this is because you've been handed the ass-end of variance. If you had come out on top of half or so of these races, there's a decent chance you'd be happily pointing out how your hand held up with screencaps galore.

Part of your problem (and yeah, you have a problem) is that you expect this stuff to happen before you even start playiing. Your chat in the Yahoo chat room when you played the FT 25K bears that out. You didn't sound competetive at all. You sounded defeated. Negative. You didn't expect to win or even believe you had a chance to compete.

That's a deadly attitude to have, Hoy. It needs to be fixed. How? I'm not entirely sure.

I'm going to lay this point out again so I make sure you don't miss it: Your style of play sets people up to make these calls. It's actually what you want to happen because you're ahead when they money gets in the middle (which is why you're so pissed about the whole situation, of course). It's not a bad thing, but it's obviously damn frustrating.

Kudos to you for trying to get people to stop their bad habits. That's commendable. But, make sure you realize that people are playing against you this way partially because of your own style of play.

12:40 AM  
Blogger GrayCalx said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:47 AM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Nice rant, Waffle worthy.

I agree with the wolf, I made the same donkeylicoius call 3 hands earlier with Ace King to CJ, since I put him, and you, and a wider range of cards to push with. (I was also short and knew better, so it does not directly correlate with your hand).

With T1800, you were both below average and I could reason his call as a chip up or go to sleep type of play. Not a sound strategy and I'm sure Wes folds in live action for a high buy in.

Lastly, I would lean more towards you holding 9s or jacks all in, then aces or kings, where you might slow it down a touch.

You’re a victim of your own success, which is a complement, since I hate having you to my right.

1:03 AM  
Blogger L'artiste said...

But but but they were soooted...

Quit the donkaments yo!

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoy Vey, what a rant.

I am not one to speak, seeing as I was the first one out last night and I have been tilting off my bankroll on Stars ever since. I only have two three things to say:

1) You should expect the donkeycalling. Accept the fact that even good players who know you and your style will donkeycall you once in a while (or every time). Donkeycalling is a part of poker, for good or bad. It sucks to be on the short end of the stick but you just have to accept it.

2) You could have gotten away from this hand by calling and folding on the overcard. Kind of a passive play but you live to fight another day. He has you covered and if you expect the donkeycall to come, then why risk your tournament here?

3) Learn to expect it from PS. I have. I actually am inclined to call with a hand I KNOW is behind because of all the awful suckouts I have seen on this site.

1:21 AM  
Blogger DuggleBogey said...

Everyone please ignore Hoy (who needs to stop calling himself "hammer player" if he's going to stick to this story.)

I want, I require, I NEED your donkeycalls in order to succeed.

Please continue to donkeycall.

Thank you for your patronage.

1:28 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Wolf, Bone Daddy and all, i understand completely your statement that I bring some of this on myself by playing an aggressive game.

But, I think you've missed the main point I am trying to make in this post here (and I know it was a long-winded rambling rant, don't get me wrong, so I probably could have been clearer). My main point here is, as a matter of fact, I do not play that aggressive, period. I agree and brazenly admit to playing an aggressive game, for sure, but I do not reraise allin with a fine stack size with AJ or worse. Pretty much ever.

And wolf btw clearly my attitude about the big nlh tournaments is terrible lately, no doubt you're right about that. It probably needs to change if I am to succeed again in these things anytime soon. But I think I'm probably going to need to see a little love from full tilt and pokerstars before I can start believing I'm not going to get effed again. Sucks but true.

1:53 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

If you are pushing 77+, AK & AQs, he would be mathematically right to call. If you are only pushing TT+ and AK, it is a bad call, but not massively. Not a good call IMO, but not really a donkey call either. The KJo must have been pretty ugly though.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Hoy - I fully agree that making big calls with two high cards or a low pair is generally folly. It is ALWAYS correct to fold and look for another spot unless the pot odds are just too compelling or your stack is sub 10BB.

So we look at the pot odds in these situations.

Wes is calling 1430 into 2330 so is getting 1.63:1 on his money.


AQs vs JJ or lower is behind 1.17:1 down to AQs is even money against 22.

AQs vs AA (7.00:1), KK (2.16:1), QQ (1:92:1) is ruin

Better Aces (also ruin):

AQs vs AKo is behind 2.30:1

AQs vs AKs is behind 2.48:1

Blending this range on poker stove comes out 57.5%:42.5% or well within 1:63:1. I know it sucks, Wes knows it sucks to call but AQs is not KTo or 44.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Fuel and Lucko, I don't know how to address your math arguments specifically -- and I'm a big math guy so I'd like to do so if I could -- but all I know is, if you really know that I have at least AK or a pocket pair, then getting allin preflop in that situation is, in my view, very poor tournament poker. Sometimes it's not just about using the pot odds argument to justify putting in the rest of your stack because you've already committed 450 chips with a hand like AQ. But I highly doubt you're going to convince me that it made sense for Wes to call off the rest of his chips when his hand was either a 20% dog or a 49% dog at that point in time. Bad tournament poker.

And yes, I take your point about AQs being pretty good among the donkeycalling hands. I'm still going to call it a donkeycall because he had to be behind when he called my allin reraise, but you are surely correct that AQs is far better than the call with KJo (which I have lost to on at least three occasions just in Mondays at the Hoy this year).

2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What fuel55 said, plus figure in the near certainty that you wouldn't play AA or KK this way, and the pot odds make his call the correct play. AK or QQ would be the biggest concern here. Otherwise it's truly a coin flip and he's getting way better than the right odds to call.

This seems to be the point you consistently ignore when ranting about these calls. If you're playing to win, you sometimes are going to have to make calls when you know you're behind but the pot odds are compelling. You ranted once about me making a call when I was getting 4:1 from the pot and was likely to be about a 2:1 dog. One of my other moves in that hand may have been questionable, but not the final call. The pot odds made it a near certainty.

Just because someone is behind in the hand doesn't make them a donkey for calling.

2:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was basically going to write what patch wrote, but his comment posted between the time I was done reading the others and clicked "Leave A Comment".

I was just wondering if there's any validity to the argument that "maybe he just wanted to gamble"? Sure, that's the last thing the loser wants to hear after the cards have fallen, and one of the biggest cliches in poker, but he can basically take you off AA, KK, and possibly even AK & AQ (based on this rant), so all he's really afraid of is QQ, and even then his ace is live. Everything below that is at worst a coin flip.

Sometimes if you want to win you have to make a play. And whether you've got 20BB or under 10, a coin flip's a coin flip. Now naturally pot odds should be the first consideration, if you're not priced in, its officially a bad play. But beyond that, its based on a read, a gut feeling, and a willingness to gamble.

2:55 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

While it is ENTIRELY correct to fold AQs here is also entirely correct to call given the pot.

3:08 AM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

I wish Wes would chime in here with what he thought you had. I'm curious to see if you being in the SB was a factor to him calling or not.

Hoy, you keep saying "AK and a pocket pair". So, would you pull off this move with 77-22? I can understand if you're making this move with AK, AA-JJ only that it's a bad call on Wes' part. But, if you're pulling this off with lower pairs Wes' call becomes more of a coinflip.

One more thing to consider: You guys are both 2/3rds of average with 11 people left. It's highly possible that Wes thought his AQs was a coinflip and that he was willing to risk losing all of his chips for a good run at the final table. The payout structure for MATH makes that thinking a possibility since only three people cash. Whether that's "good poker strategy" or not is debatable.

Hell, looking at how you wrote it, Wes tried to steal with a pretty good hand and you pushed. Then, he had to decide if you were trying to push him off his hand or not. It's entirely possible he thought you were trying to prevent him from stealing your blinds later.

Dammit, Wes! Comment on this hand already!

3:13 AM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

My main point here is, as a matter of fact, I do not play that aggressive, period.

To follow up on this thought, we're not talking about how you actually play, Hoy. We're talking about how other people think you're playing. Remember that most of your strategy posts and your screencap posts talk about moves you put on people and how clever you are. That's the face that you're presenting to the other people that you play. We don't see the standard, ABC poker that you play because you don't post about that sort of thing much in your blog. It's "Look at how I suckered this guy into calling off his stack with a min-raise" or "Check out the donkey call this guy made because I strung him along".

Something to consider, I think.

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it is ENTIRELY correct to fold AQs here is also entirely correct to call given the pot.

Yeah, I guess my post made it sound like it would be a mistake NOT to call. That wasn't actually my intent.

Neither the call nor the fold are incorrect in this case.

3:53 AM  
Blogger jjok said...

I've seen you make this move many times before with nothing......you could have been raising there with anything......

oh wait......I just finished your post. Scratch what I just wrote.

Sorry about the bust man.

3:54 AM  
Blogger Wes said...

Maybe it's just in the Wes genes, but I would have called with AQs getting close to 2:1 since you should be reraising very light against my ultra-aggro game from CO (which I have seen reraise me lightly). Perhaps the pirate is not as aggro as me though and you don't reraise as liberally against him.

3:56 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I do think it's funny that some people will blindly serve as slaves to pot odds like some of the commenters are saying here. This idea is almost worthy of its own blog post. Sometimes, in a freezeout tournament, you ought to be willing to accept that you are obviously behind in a hand and therefore must fold, even if your too-large bet preflop now makes the pot odds slightly in favor of throwing in the rest of your chips on a donkey call. As with this situation last night, the only reason Wes might have had so-so pot odds to donkeydump the rest of his chips like this is because of the bet he had already put in preflop with a hand that he now knows he is behind with. Blind slavery to pot odds like this does not a winning tournament poker player make IMO.

4:15 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Let me expand on my previous comment about not being a slave to pot odds in allin situations in tournaments. Let's say, for example, that Wes had been sitting on 2000 chips, and that he decided to kick it up to 750 in the cutoff when holding 73o. Just for shits and giggles. Now I go allin for my last 1700 chips. Wes now has to call 950 chips to win 2600. It's nearly 3 to 1 for him to call. Are you going to call there too then, since chances are that his 73o is somewhere close to 1 in 4 to win the hand? I can only hope the people in my nlh tournaments always say yes to call there because of the pot odds. The very same pot odds that are only even remotely close for him because of the foolish 750 chips he bet with his shizz hand to begin with. Blindly following pot odds in situations where your own bet with a not-great hand now makes the pot odds calculation almost correct is not IMO the best way to evaluate every allin decision like this in nlh tournaments. I would certainly admit that I was caught and fold that hand there to the reraise lickety-split, and live to fight another day.

Just my two cents, and I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts, in particular from the more math-oriented among us.

4:25 AM  
Blogger Wes said...

I always follow pot odds, and what I think I am against a person's hand range (aka PokerStove that bitch). There are arguments for situations where it is +chipEV to call, but -EV in tournaments, but I am too lazy and don't really give a fuck about tournaments so I try to make my decisions easy.

4:34 AM  
Blogger TripJax said...


If you put yourself in a situation to be a 51% - 99% favorite, well, you've just put yourself in a situation that you can still lose. No guarantees in poker folks. Obviously you want to put yourself in situations where you are ahead, so don't let my above statement be construed. You are doing what you have to do to get your chips in the middle with the best of it more often than not.

Poker is like driving...you can control your own actions and drive perfectly, but that won't stop you from getting creamed by the dude who spills his coffee on his lap or the lady talking on her cellphone (generalities here folks).

You gotta shake this shit off and move on or you will never get back to your winning ways.

I will say this...I enjoy reading your posts whether they are strategy, personal, or rants. Still, I hope in the near future I am reading about how you pwned the $30k guarantee or how you took a tough beat, but it was "merely a flesh wound" in the grand scheme of things. I know you hope the same things, but tilted is no way to get there.

I will now quote (in length) a wise man from days gone by. Don't take his words the wrong way...I didn't. His words can come across harsh, but the point of it all is silky smooth. I have this hung in my closet so I see it every day when I'm getting dressed in the morning and when I'm changing into casual clothes for some pokery action. Whether I play poker or not, it seriously does help me when I am steaming about anything in life.



Enough bad beat stories already.
Fucking Christ, nobody wants to hear how you're running bad.

Whining like a spoiled little cunt won't get you anywhere.

It's poker. A fucking stupid little card game that everyone's playing now.
Every single book you've read and every hand you've played online or at your brick and mortared brickshack gives you a whopping 54/46 advantage over Joe Q. Public.

This means that 46 times out of 100 you're gonna piss and moan like a spoonfed cunt when Joe Q. cracks your aces at a $25NL table.

Is this the opportunistic angle you've been searching your entire life for?

If it is, at least be smare enough to use protection.

Bonus Code: IGGY

Tilted is no way to go through life. Put a fucking stitch in your gash.



To show you I'm not kidding...here is the actual picture on my wall...


And with that, I end this lengthy comment. Again, don't take it the wrong way. I come in peace. : )

Until next time, Hoy, and everyone whe reads this, May The Felt Be Wit You


4:40 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

Okay... time for my two cents.

Wes knew he was racing. If he was unlucky enough to run into AK, he was ready to go home (or suckout). But really, you don't make that play with AA or KK. Maybe QQ... but even there, he's probably willing to play.

You have to win races to win tournaments. PERIOD. I'm not saying I make the same play as him. Sometimes it depends on the circumstances.

I can tell you that I made a worse play last night. After being card dead, I open raised with KQo. I got re-raised, the kind of re-raise that screams monster... but I pushed anyway and lost to AA.

Wes is a hell of a tournament player. I respect his play immensely, especially playing a number of live tournaments with him. He can be as tight as they come. He saw a hand he was willing to battle with, raised with it, and was ready to race for all his chips if it came down to it.

It's a tournament play, not a cash game play.

It doesn't make him a donkey.

4:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally, I too follow pot odds, unless there are clear indications that chip equity and tournament equity are very different. But that's not to say that I think everybody should.

Because I want to be able to make these calls comfortably and without concern, I don't play tournaments where I'd be annoyed at losing a buy in having made that call and losing.

On the other hand, if one knows that losing a big pot, and seriously damaging ones stack, as a result of a "pot odds" call in a marginal situation will cause tilt and spewage, then the call is wrong. It's sort of a reverse implied odds decision extended beyond the current hand.

4:45 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

CJ, to clarify, I tried to be as clear as possible in my post that I know with certainty that Wes is no poker donkey. I think his tournament record basically speaks for itself, and far be it from me to characterize anyone, let alone someone with the level of tournament success that Wes has had, as a donkey in general.

I still think this was a terrible call that had Wes basically putting in almost the rest of his stack when he knew he was behind. Even very skilled players make donkey plays sometimes, and I think this was one of them.

And you're right, CJ, you did make that bad call last night, I remember it well now. The thing is, if I had your suckingout powers, I might make those calls more often too. Wes does not have those powers, normally.

Was that sick or what the two times in probably 5 hands when you called from behind, needed a Queen, asked for a Queen, and then got a Queen, both times on the river? It's so CJ.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only person I'd fold to in that situation is Gary or Felicia.

This isn't a cash game, races are part of the tournament.

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, hoy, you're saying you think it's a donkey move to call all-in if you think you're behind, regardless of the pot odds or how close to a real coin flip the cards are?

5:54 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

Hoy, i'm sure you won't like my response and probably already know what i'd do in Wes' spot.

if i bet out 4x and you come over the top all-in from the blinds, i just can't put you on a premium hand. since wes is betting from LP, it looks like a basic steal move. he probably realized you read it as this and didn't put you on a premium hand he was dominated with and was willing to gamble.

IMO to get deep in a tournament, you need to gamble and win races. grinding out small pots is not gonna get you to the top of the board.

i wouldn't call it a donkeycall.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You keep talking about the "way that you play". You forget that many players will take a coin flip shot to double. Wes may have thought that he was ahead. There were only three hands (AA,KK,QQ)that he would be a huge dog against.

From my own experiance with Jacks I have began playing them the same way that I play pocket 8s. You had a bit of bad luck, but I wouldnt call Wes's play a horrible one.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Smoke, believe me I have no doubt whatsoever about what you would have done in Wes's spot. ;)

9:08 AM  
Blogger Blinders said...

I don't see this as a donkey call. You are not going to push like that with AA or KK. Against your range and with the 900 in dead money in the pot, you almost have to make that call with AQs in a tournament. Especially with the sizes of the stacks at that point in a tournament.

Its just one of those things that happens late in an MTT. You have to raise with AQs, and you have to call the push afterwards. The call is +EV and you need the chips to try to win it, so there are two big, valid reasons to make that call.

10:01 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

Yes, my two AQ plays were sick. Although they were in very different situations. I had significant chip advantages over my opponents and was compelled to call knowing it was likely a race I could afford to lose.

In Wes' case, the more I look at it, the more I believe I would have made the exact same play without thinking I was a donkey.

How could he not race in that position? His alternative was to fold and find himself in push-or-fold mode without any guarantee of getting a hand as good as AQs.

The tourney was in a relatively late stage. You can't grind forever. Racing to climb the leaderboard is important.

I've won plenty of tourneys, and none of them came without winning some races.

Like I said... he could easily eliminate AA and KK from your holdings. If he ran into AK or QQ, that's bad luck, but he still has outs. Anything else, and he's either racing or ahead. It's a move I probably make.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see both points of wiew on this, but IMO I think that wes is still in a decent enough position with 1,800 chips to fold this hand (against a tighter player) and wait for a better spot, but with the information from your own blogs etc you have made it clear that you like to slowplay or min raise with both AA and KK so chances are wes is not putting you on either of those hands and in that case he knew at worst(for him) you held AK or most likely, a smaller Pocket pair. That information then gives him good reason to make the call and take the race, if he loses he is still not out (although severly crippled), but if he wins he has a good chance of making a decent run at the final table. You have gotta stop taking these bad beats/suckouts so personally Hoy and start thinking in a more positive way, maybe some anger management........... ;-) Chin up!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoy, think about this from the famous poet (and poker play) Kipling:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Use it as inspiration and start to handle the beats man!

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a tough one Hoy. I understand your position and would agree it is a bad call early in a tournament. However, this one is roughly midway through the field. What we don't know is how the table was acting before the play was made. We don't know how many times you may have played the Hammer on someone.

You even point out that Wes is agonizing over making the call. That tells me he was thinking it through and putting you on a hand. He processed what he has seen you do in this tourney as well as others and made the call. I wouldn't call that a donkey move at all. Quick call? Yes. But he tried to figure out what you might be moving all in with and went for it. He probably had a nice expletive out of his mouth when he saw your jacks.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Donnie (aka Shadowtwin) said...

If I was in the position he was in, I probably would have made that call as well. My reasoning for it would have been pretty simple: If you had one of the hands that truly had me dominated (AA, KK, AK), I would expect that you -probably any good player- would want me to go to the flop with you. The push would have made me absolutely certain that you didn't have one of those three hands. The only hand I could put you on that would really have dominated would be QQ, anything else would be a coinflip (give or a take a percent) and it would come down to whether I wanted to race.

That is not even considering that the initial bet could have been read as a blatant steal attempt, widening the range of hands that I could have put you on.

That said, if I was in his position and you put in a 3x re-raise I would have probably agonized about it, but eventually folded. In that case I probably would have put you on a hand that had me dominated.

Perhaps it's faulty logic, but knowing that you want to extract maximum value if you have a premium hand, and assuming that your push here is to get me out of the hand, I would almost have had to call it.

But then I am prone to make donkeycalls.

9:49 PM  
Blogger CC said...

I don't think I think enough about these decisions obviously.

Wes was getting 2:1 on his call, yet he was 50/50 to win (either he was going to win or he wasn't). That's an instacall, right?

Or maybe I don't understand all this pot odds stuff too well.

Tuff beat, brutha. Sorry I was in the air during the tourney.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

38 comments, I think you hit a nerve here.

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has been one of the best posts and most interesting comment threads I've seen since I started blogging (in July). It was the first time I read through a post and really disagreed with the point of it, and I think the discussion through the comments was riveting as well. I think it brought up a very good point that has been discussed from standpoints of adherence to pot odds in tourney vs. cash and tourney beginning vs. end game. Most seem to agree that in this situation the call was right, but it was also discussed when it was indeed a donkey play.

Thanks to Hoy and everyone for their insight. I certainly took a pile of great information from all of it.

2:33 AM  
Blogger Jordan said...

I haven't commented yet, so let's do this:

#1, Have you considered that maybe you are so revered (particularly in the Hoy) that players are willing to come at you for a cointoss just to knock you out?

#2, I think you past MTT successes may have created your own expectation to keep doing as well as you were doing. A lot of your posts lately have been about your terrible luck. I feel ya, brother. I've been there. Now, work through it, damnit, and more importantly, learn to accept it. Hoy, you are too smart to get yourself so worked up over losing a cointoss or even a 80/20 suckout. Be the poker player you are meant to be and stop worrying about short term luck. You have mad skillz, and no one is going to doubt it, so don't worry about losing because of bad luck.

4:07 AM  
Blogger SoxLover said...

Very late in the game, but here's my two cents.

I don't play nearly as many MTTs as you, but I am honestly surprised you think this was a bad call. Given that he could fold and still have 1855, I'll grant it's not insane to fold, but I think if anything calling is clearly the better play.

You say in a comment above: Sometimes, in a freezeout tournament, you ought to be willing to accept that you are obviously behind in a hand and therefore must fold, even if your too-large bet preflop now makes the pot odds slightly in favor of throwing in the rest of your chips on a donkey call

First of all, how is 4x with AQ suited a "too large" bet? The answer is, only so if you are going to fold it every time you are popped. You raise it first to take down the blinds but second to get money in the pot with what is quite likely to be the best hand at a 5 person table when you bet. If you are going to fold every time someone pops you, why bother waiting for a hand like AQ?

In this situation, the call is pretty much automatic in my book given the size of the pot and the stacks. As has been pointed out, against the range, the pot odds are compelling, not marginal--and this is even assuming you are never ever ever putting a resteal bet here, which I'd have to call bullshit on.

The only justification for folding is that he can survive it and maybe wait for a "better" spot. But if he follows that logic, why bother opening the pot in the first place? Are you advocating AQ as a foldable hand in an unraised put 5 ways on the cutoff? Really? You need to accumulate chips and this is a good spot to do it.

How I see this from his point of view: hmmm, AQ suited in LP, probably the best hand, plus EV to bet.

Oh crap, Hoy pushed!

Oh well, not the worst hand heads up, hope he doesn't have aces, everything else I'm either way justified in calling or not desparately far behind, +EV to call. COME ON ACE COME ON QUEEN.

That's about it.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Sox, nice comment (although I do not agree that Wes was right to make the call, if he is trying to win this tournament). You forgot the last part though -- "Ok whew, there's the Queen as the first card on the flop, thank you again pokerstars you fucking donkeylover's paradise!"

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to get to this thread so late... first of all I am sure that Hoy knows that I make that call 100% of the time.

Why? Because like Wes I am sure that with a LAG image you think we might be stealing. 88-JJ is sort of the hand range that makes sense with AK-AJ being a real possibility as well (5 handed and against aggro player). AA-QQ would put me in a much worse spot and I am amazed that no one thinks you would push with it.

This is a 5 handed table as well which really adds to the value of hands. You aren't adjusting your hand range for the current table situation? At a full table AJ and AQ might not be hands to re-reraise with but 5 handed I would figure you would open up the game a little.

In my mind when you are against a much better player (thinking from my point of view and not Wes's) going for a coin flip isn't that bad. Think of it this way... no matter what two cards we have preflop, my odds post flop are not good when playing you. Give us the same starting cards and we whiff the flop, probably ends with me losing the hand even with position. All the star bloggers have mad post flop skillz that run rings around me.... but preflop we are almost even (the majority of the time - I still think you push AA-QQ in this situation). For that reason put me in a race with you *every* chance I get to move me to the final table (and eliminate a solid player) with chips and a chance to win it.

That is why I either donk out early or go deep in most events against bloggers... grinding it out to end up being the bubble boy isn't my style (Kat on the other hand...).

Now if you play a hand like this earlier in the event I agree that it makes no sense, but now we are two away from the final table playing short handed. Those conditions give me the green light to race.

4:03 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

You're missing the point ... this guy is so used to playing against crazy, maniacal players in regular tournaments he forgot where he was for a second and without even thinking he called. Could happen to anyone.

12:27 AM  

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