Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bloggers, and the 25k

First off, a couple of quick blogger-related administrative poker items. Everyone stop by fellow blogger and good guy Blinders' blog today and congratulate him for winning this week's WWdN tournament, Blinders' first WWdN win and possibly even his first organized blogger tournament victory, at least that I am aware of. Blinders did an excellent job of hanging around, making moves where necessary but otherwise generally sticking to his self-proclaimed uber-tight style for the first couple hours of the event. Once the final table hit, however, Blinders really started stepping things up, got much more aggressive, hit a few big hands and before you knew it, he had amassed a large chip lead with just 4 or 5 players remaining. From there it was just good solid play and no big risks, which Blinders executed almost to perfection to take down his first WWdN crown. So congratulations again to Blinders, and go check out his blog and see what the man has to offer.

Secondly, I would be remiss if I did not mention another big success that a fellow poker blogger (and Blinders' co-worker, as it turns out) recorded this week, and that man is none other than often-cited-on-this-blog Smokkee himself. Smokkee, whose nlh tournament play seems to have been energized by his big live tournament win at the Commerce Casino in LA a couple of weeks back, followed up his 2nd-place finish in this past weekend's Blogger Big Game by taking second place a couple of nights (mornings) ago in the full tilt 16k guaranteed tournament, for a whopping $3687 and change payout! Way to go Smokkee! This guy is just on an incredible tear, and you should go read anything and everything he has to say about nlh tournament poker.

Lastly, a quick callout as well to Iakaris for winning his first FTOPS seat in a satellite this week. Iak played his way in via satelite to FTOPS Event #2, which is the $200 buyin, 500k guaranteed no-limit holdem tournament on Sunday, November 12. 500k guaranteed -- so that means the winner ought to be taking down somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred large. One hundred large. Life-changing money for just about any of us. That shit kicks ass, and I'm psyched that Iak has realized the value of taking some time in the evenings to satellite one's way in to these FTOPS events. I imagine the biggest reason fulltilt has decided to run the FTOPS again in November after just finishing the last one in August, is that no one really knows what the state of online poker will be like by next August. The 270-day waiting period for the enabling regulations under the new UIGEA will have passed by that time, and for all anyone at fulltilt (or any of us) knows, U.S. players could be having a very hard time making available the funds to be playing much online poker by that point. So I bet fulltilt figures why not take advantage of the huge influx of U.S. players from partypoker, and get in another FTOPS before the proverbial shizz hits the proverbial fan. My point is, I mention this because I think this highlights another great reason to try to play our way into as many FTOPS events as we plan to be able to do now. Because you never know if we'll even be able to play them next August, or if there will even be a sufficient base on U.S. players left by that time to even make these large guaranteed prize pool events feasible for the online poker sites. So Iakaris has a nice writeup on his blog about his first FTOPS satellite win, and I suggest you all stop over there, congratulate the man, and while you're there, take a tour around the archives of one of the most descriptive and interesting writing you'll find on any poker blog, anywhere. You have my word on that last part.

OK on to some other things. Last night I ended the night about break-even, which is to say that I lost about $100 playing various tournaments and satellite events on full tilt as well as my usual $5 turbo mtt on pokerstars, but then managed to end the night with a nice two-table run at 5-10 and 8-16 razz to finish probably up just 10 or 20 bucks on the day. I'll take it. I missed the WWdN again, as these days 8:30pm ET is just not happening for me with the Hammer Girls' newly-revised sleep schedule (and I use the term "sleep" loosely, as there is sadly very little of that going on these days with the Hammer Baby). I hate missing that thing, but lately as I said it just doesn't fit in to my schedule and I'm certainly not about to let an 8:30pm poker tournament get me to tell the Hammer Wife that she'll have to handle the girls for the evening. Not without wearing full body armor anyways.

At least I did get to play the 25k guaranteed on full tilt, and for once was not interrupted at any point by any family members, but that was mostly because of what happened on the first or second hand of the tournament. I limp in from late position with AJo in my hand, and the flop comes KTx with two hearts. My lone opponent in the big blind checks, and I check as well for a free shot at my draw to any one of seven outs (three Aces or four Queens). I call and the turn card is beautiful, the Queen of hearts. Yes it does put three hearts on the board, but I've just made a broadway straight, the highest possible straight that can be made on this or any board, so it's hard for me not to love my hand here. At this point my opponent bets out the size of the pot, and after thinking it over for a bit, I elect to call instead of raise. I reasoned it is highly unlikely that he just happened to limp in with two hearts in his hand, and that more likely here my opponent is just betting a heart draw, that maybe he has a decently high heart so he knows he's drawing to a near-nut flush on the river, in addition to whatever else he might have in his hand right now.

The river comes, another blank, and at this point my opponent leads out for around the size of the pot again, and again I go ahead and make the call, assuming I've got this one wrapped up. Naturally, he shows me J7 of hearts, and I made my straight on the turn with the exact same card that my opponent made his flush with, after a limped-in pot preflop. Disgusting. Yes I could have laid that down to his big betting when the third heart fell, but come on now. Those of you who play this 25k with any regularity will know how donkfestian the first hour of this thing is. If you fold to everyone representing a flush -- especially in a limped-in pot preflop and doubly especially by the big blind who just checked his option and voluntarily committed no chips with his starting hand before the flop -- then you are doubtless leaving a ton of equity on the table, and as most of you know I just don't play that way. It was fun too because when I sat down at the 25k, a few seats to my right was Smokkee, and he got to see me donk away almost all my chips like that, while I got to watch (1) Smokkee double up when a true jackass bet, raised and reraised him preflop with just QJo, which was of course dominated by Smokkee's superior starting hand for a true donkorama, and then, just a few short minutes later, (2) Smokkee called an opponent's allin with AQ when his opponent held A7 on a flop of Ax7, and then promptly Smokkee turned a Queen once the chips were in the middle to double-up again. I guess Smokkee didn't get too far in the tournament or it would presumably be on his blog this morning, but who knows maybe later today we will get to see the results of this. But dam I would love to have a 25k experience start off for me like that. Instead, every now and then I even get that kind of thing where I flop trip Queens and get a guy with just TPTK to put me allin, but, instead of Smokkee where the guy just rags out and hands over his chips, in my case invariably my opponent hits his own higher trips on the turn or river, and IGH early.

OK last thing real quick, I've got a fun new feature going on Cardsquad today, so please jump over there and check out the first installment of What's He Holding?, where we will review and analyze an opponent's actions to try to put him on a hand or a range of hands. Today's hand is from the early stages of a no-limit holdem tournament, and I look forward to lots of thoughtful and insightful interactions in reader comments to this new article over at Cardsquad, so please stop by and give your opinions.

See you tonight at the Mookie, always the most fun and lately easily the biggest of the weekly blogger tournaments. This is one that I never like to miss, and especially since I'll be winning it this evening, you will want to be there to see it all go down.


Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I predict a quick exit for you. I base this on all of the brutal suckouts and whiny posts you have been making lately. The poker gods will not give up the chance to step on you some more. Please look for the most painful situation you can possibly be in and be aware they are going to get you. Good luck.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I like your prediction, Waffles. If I'm lucky, some donkey like you can call my allin with JJ with your A4s and then hit your Ace on the river to do me in. Nothing would make me happier in fact.

See you tonight for some good times.

5:37 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

thx for the props Hoy.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Why is it everywhere I go these days I am reminded of A4?

Thanks for the shoutout brotha...gonna try for event 6 tonight.

11:36 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

It was good of you to live up to my prediction.. at least I was 1 for 3 tonight.

1:06 PM  

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