Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Calm, Gentle Post About FTOPS Event #4

I've played a lot of poker in my day. A lot. A veritable fuckload, if you will. And as most of you know, for most of the past year, my online play has focused primarily on multi-table tournaments. So I've taken my share of bad beats over the past year or more. Fuck -- who are we kidding? I've taken way more than my fair share of beats, as is the case with most of the successful poker players I know of. But my point is, after a start to my relationship with the chat box on pokerstars, for the past year I've come to accept the bad beats in key spots in mtt's as just part of the job description if I play mtt's as much as I do. As such, it is rare these days when I let a particular bad beat bother me for more than a short while -- 2 minutes, 10 minutes, maybe 30 minutes tops in most cases. At worst once in a long while I will have to just turn everything off and go to sleep -- a good sleep (even a bad sleep) never fails to erase the bitterness, the hopelessness and, most of all, the anger that I generally feel after suffering the worst of my mtt bad beats.

Until today.

This morning, after last night's FTOPS Event #4 6-max no-limit holdem, I am still heartsick about the way my run ended. I've detailed the fucking regoddamdickulous beats I've suffered almost exclusively in nearly every mtt I've played in over the past few weeks. For at least the last two posts I've shown myself getting 2- or 3-outered on the river to lose a nice stack in the nightly 25k guaranteed tournament on full tilt, which is also not an aberration when looking at my last few weeks in that tournament. I was very clear in yesterday's posts that I knew I was going to get bad beat out of FTOPS Event #4 last night. Yet somehow that foreknowledge has done absofuckinglutely nothing to alleviate the feeling I still feel even this morning, even after the Hammer Girls slept entirely through the night together in their room for the first time in quite a while. I was hoping late last night that I would wake up feeling ok and looking forward to tonight's FTOPS HORSE tournament, and given the full night of sleep I would have almost guaranteed that outcome. Instead, I woke up and the very first thought that popped into my head was "Did that card really hit the river last night?" Seriously guys, that was my fucking first thought in my groggy head this morning. "Can I go back and see what the real river card was now?" Sorry. Thank you, come again.

Now I don't mean to blow this too out of proportion. I wasn't heads-up for the FTOPS title. I didn't even make it to the cash bubble (unlike this motherfucker -- Smokkee you are on a fucking roll man and I freely admit to being jealous as hell -- or even this guy, who also cashed in the 140s in the FTOPS event in addition to winning the hilo mtt at midnight last night). But I was going to. I was supposed to. I played so well in this thing, and I was so in tune with my opponent's heads and was making impeccable reads. What's that? You want some proof? OK check this hand out, we're maybe 30 minutes in or so, and I call a preflop raise with pocket 2s. The flop comes Q72 rainbow, and I lead out with a bet purposefully designed to look like a steal when I really have just flopped trips:

My opponent minraises my 200-chip bet to 400 chips, into what is now a 900-chip pot. So what do I do here?

Continue the charade, that's what. I smooth call. Whatever he has here now, he has got to think he's ahead. And then here's the final nail in the coffin. The turn is a raggy 3, the perfect card for me to completely form the certainty in my opponent's head that I am weak:

God I can be evil at the tables sometimes. And Bam! it works:

And I double up early. That was vicious of me. I mean, just look what he had in the end that he put me allin like that (nice minraise on the flop btw, asshole!):

Total domination. And it was that kind of night for me. I waited for my good hands, and when I moved at pots I moved decisively and made people do just what I wanted them to do. I got sucked out badly on in the earlygoing as well in this one when a King hit the turn and the guy with K9s beat my pocket Jacks, losing two-thirds of my stack in the process, but even then I was just so on, I fought my way back.

It was at this point that, in retrospect, a very ominous thing happened. I was also multitabling in the 25k guaranteed tournament while the FTOPS was going on, and in that tournament I lost nearly all of my good-sized stack early on in this situation where we had just gotten allin on the flop, and I knew my two pairs were best:

As you can probably guess, the river was a Jack and I was basically eliminated from the tournament there (actually I wasn't eliminated until my opponent nailed trips on the board with QJo to best my pocket 9s, but we won't even get into that one). So another crippling river beat to take me out of another 25k guaranteed. That is, oh, about 150 straight horrifying beats in these big mtts. I mean, it sounds funny to say, but I can't win a fucking 19-to-1 shot to save my fucking life right now. How the fuck can that be? Seriously! I'm like 0 for fucking 5 in my last 19-to-1 shots at the river. What the flying fuck!

So I should have known right then and there what was coming. I guess I had managed to delude myself enough as I started playing so well in the FTOPS that maybe I had outrun the poker gods after all, at least for tonight.


First this great preflop allin call by me:

brought this lovely flop:

I mean HOW THE FUCK DO I COMBAT THIS KIND OF SHIT!!!!! Now I know that one in particular is not a huge statistical suckout or anything. But just let it be a Queen or Jack on the flop then. To flop a flucking nut straight, it just seems so fucking obvious, so deliberate. Doesn't it?

And then, the piece de resistance from last night. With about 10 or 12 other bloggers watching on the rail, I present to you my first silent screenshot movie. I'm still too pissed to even bother with the commentary along the way. You'll be able to see exactly what happened for yourselves, just follow the screenshots in order:

You tell me what did I wrong here. YOU TELL ME MOTHERFUCKERS!! What the FUCK was I going to do to avoid THIS one? Tell me! Come on! Tell me now! What the FUCK?!!! What kind of a fucking donkeyass mofo would possibly call my 3x preflop raise with the Q9 to begin with, let alone moving allin on me like that when a much smaller bet would also only have been called by a hand that has him crushed. That play, like the other beats I have suffered and showcased here over the past several days, is one of the truly worst nlh tournament plays I've ever seen. Any time some clown makes a huge push bet with a non-nuts hand, such that the bet will only possibly be called by someone who has the bettor beat, then you know you're dealing with a mother fucking rank amateur shitbag donkdick poker player. How the fuck could this guy even scrape together $216 to play in this thing? Because lord knows he didn't win no satellite into this event, not playing like that he didn't. How the FUCK did this guy have 12,000 chips at that point in the event? How many other monkeysuckouts did this assshit perpetrate on other players in this tournament before he came to my name on the list?

And more importantly, what the fuck did I do to the poker gods to deserve this motherfucking treatment?!!! Seriously, I'd love to know. I would undo it if I could. Frankly I would do almost anything that doesn't involve hurting another living being if it would appease the gods. Again I'm not looking for any kind of extra credit or good luck here. I'm just talking about getting just a little bit less bad luck -- oh, you know, maybe just enough to, say, win a fucking 19-to-1 shot at the river maybe once in a while. FUCK once in a while. Right now I'll settle for ONCE. ONE 95% favorite to actually win a hand for me in a big spot in an mtt. Okay, is that too much to ask, assholes?

Anyways, like I started off this post saying, I am not at ALL in a good mood this morning, and the sting of last night's latest in a long line of bullshit suckouts is still bothering the piss out of me. Strangely in fact, for the first time I can ever recall, this shit actually bothers me more this morning I think. With me supposed to play in the FTOPS events tonight through Friday, something is gonna have to give between me and those assclowns upstairs who decide what cards to produce on the river for us all.

Let me turn this over to you guys. I'm serious here now. Please, please, somebody tell me in the comments what you think I can do today as a gesture of sacrifice that could turn this thing around for me. I've got FTOPS HORSE tonight, pot-limit holdem tomorrow and razz on Friday. PLEASE somebody suggest something I can do to lift the curse that has obviously befallen me. Most of you must have faced this situation before in your poker-playing careers. What have you done that's worked to stop the bleeding? And don't tell me to play other poker games. I play them all, I win at them all, and I'm getting sucked out on in tournaments in all of the games. I need something else, something I am betting is superstitious and totally non-scientific in its nature, to give me a quick fix or at least a reprieve from the ire of the poker gods and goddesses. Please, somebody help me, before tonight's HORSE event. Please.

Quick edit: I just want to throw in a classic line from one of the best pure poker players I've seen among the blogging community, from his blog this morning:

"There’s nothing like having a crack-whore parade around in a cutoff shirt with her back tattoo exposed."

Amen to that, brotha, amen to that.


Blogger Jordan said...

Look, Hoy, I don't mean to kick a man when he is down, but I want to give my opinion on the AA hand. There was one way that you may have been able to save yourself. If you raised bigger on the flop, you could have pushed him out or at least not induced the raise all-in from in. You can't control how the donkeys play. You can only control your play. As Felicia once said, in tournaments, you want to protect your big hands, as opposed to cash games, when you want to exploit them. There, you could've protected the AA. Now, that's not to say that the poker gods aren't shtupping you, but I don't know how to appease those fuckers. All I know is that you can only control how YOU play the game, and the rest is up to your opponents and the fickleness of luck.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

That AA hand could have easily just ended up being a blind steal. If you had raised it up more pre-flop, ya, you may have just stolen the blinds and be complaining that you didn't get any action. You played it the way I would have. You wanted some action, not a lot, but once all the chips are in - you're at the mercy of the cards (and the fate of the poker gods). Like Jordan said - you can't control what a donkey will do, other than ensure they will be labeled a donkey forever in your notes.

11:10 PM  
Blogger jeciimd said...

First off, I want to wholeheartedly DISAGREE with high's comments...there was NO way to save yourself in this spot. A bigger preflop raise would have been giving away too much information and we all know--and high exploits this as good as anyone--information is king. After the flop, this donk is playin his high pair until the board shows him otherwise.
Now, having been on the rail for most if not all of your worst beats in recent memory, I think I've run out of encouraging/sympathetic euphemisms.
So I propose this...DONK BACK. Donkey play, although maddening to those of us who favor a tight-aspiring-to-be-aggresive style, can be strangely liberating.
It occurs to me that in most, if not all, of the bigger tournies I've done well in, there was at least one donkey play that saved or propelled me. So fight fire with fire....raise up that KINGJACK suited against a tight early raiser, ride that back door draw to the shore. Stay in the pot long after all your instincts have screamed for you to fold. can continue to play solid poker and hope for the best.
It ain't pretty, but sometimes it works.
HORSE quit wafln' and focus.

11:11 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Tell Jordon to Shut the Fuck up. That will appease them. Jesus Jordon you really are not advocating playing poker like a woos woos because "Ohh he may have some outs"... Hoy did what Hoy does best: Extract every little tiny circle object from your stack. This is how the game should be played.

Now if anyone know's who abducted Hoy and put this whiny SirF pussy bastard in his place let me know.

Look man, I have no problem with you crying about your hands. However you are really moving in on my territory. I mean I tolerate Slb because he is not as lovable or good at whining as I am.. but you! Wow! You have the essence. Where Slb says he was bad beat when his KK lost to AJ s00ted when he limped in to a 6-way pot you actually have hands here. The pain is genuine and a GOOD poker player can related. Only thing I do not understand: Does this not happen to you all the time? It does to me.

I am starting to think that whatever curse the poker gods have put on me is spreading to people I know like the plague. If I IM you you should immediately turn off the girlie chat and run and spray yourself with disinfectant. I have a few spare tinfoil hats too.

Anyway if someone tells you how to stop this pain let me know because I could use an extra strength dose.

11:16 PM  
Blogger John G. Hartness said...

Okay, I'm a tournament DONK, so take anything I say here with a grain, nay a shaker, of salt.

But why go broke with one pair? If your read is that the player is a donkey, doesn't the possibility of him calling preflop with QJ occur? Of course, he didn't, and you were ahead when the money went in, but did the money have to go in there?

I'm just asking (and applying my Nomex undergarments).

To appease the poker gods? Donk off a couple buy-ins at a micro-limit cash game playing every bad hand that you can think of for 20 minutes prior to the start of the tournament. To beat the donk, you must channel your inner donk. So take a little while and play the micro-limit NLHE tables for a little bit as a sacrifice.

Good luck!

11:35 PM  
Blogger jeciimd said...

First off, I want to wholeheartedly DISAGREE with high's comments...there was NO way to save yourself in this spot. A bigger preflop raise would have been giving away too much information and we all know--and high exploits this as good as anyone--information is king. After the flop, this donk is playin his high pair until the board shows him otherwise.
Now, having been on the rail for most if not all of your worst beats in recent memory, I think I've run out of encouraging/sympathetic euphemisms.
So I propose this...DONK BACK. Donkey play, although maddening to those of us who favor a tight-aspiring-to-be-aggresive style, can be strangely liberating.
It occurs to me that in most, if not all, of the bigger tournies I've done well in, there was at least one donkey play that saved or propelled me. So fight fire with fire....raise up that KINGJACK suited against a tight early raiser, ride that back door draw to the shore. Stay in the pot long after all your instincts have screamed for you to fold. can continue to play solid poker and hope for the best.
It ain't pretty, but sometimes it works.
HORSE quit wafln' and focus.

11:39 PM  
Blogger jeciimd said...

not sure why that happened...sorry to clog up the screen

11:42 PM  
Blogger BadBlood said...


I like the way you played each hand on this post. Maximum fucking value. If you have to play where you're worried about the 2-3 outers, you're costing yourself chips all the time.

With that said, damn those are sick fucking beats. Here's what I would do. Play a SNG like a total lagtard. Get the donking out of your system.

Then go take hammerwife and hammerkids out to a nice dinner, assuming you can get back in time for the tourney.

Have a beer at dinner too.

Then just play your game.

11:57 PM  
Blogger TripJax said...

You've won two big tourneys playing your game. Keep playing your game and you will get back to the top of the mountain. I don't see any real need for change...

12:10 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Jordan, I love ya but what you're saying in your comment there is -- I think -- just plain silly. If you don't realize that I very much wanted to get this guy to commit all his chips in this spot, then I guess we just have a difference in our tournament strategy, and I'm fine with my strategy if you're fine with yours. But to suggest that I should have tried to make him fold on the flop when I was sure I was ahead, rather than try to get him to give me all his chips, then you and I are just on opposite wavelengths about what my goal is in this tournament. I had him by the balls, I led him to the poisoned well, and now you're suggesting that I just let him go away without drinking. Nope, not for me and IMO not sound mtt poker. Obviously my best possible outcome on this hand is to get him allin on that flop with me a 92% favorite. If you're suggesting that I should want to take the smaller pot down because I fear his 8% hand, then you and I are just on different pages here.

Falstaff, I like your comment much better. I knew full well there was a chance he had flopped two pairs with QJ here, but based on my read of him and the idea I knew I had planted in his head with my wimpy preflop raise, I felt it was far more likely here that I was ahead, and probably dominatingly so.

And Falstaff, I absolutely love your idea of donking in a microlimit game for a short while before tonight's FTOPS event. I am TOTALLY doing it man. Come join me on full tilt, I can hopefully get on around 8:30pm ET or so and play some microlimit for a bit. I'm going to put all these fucking donkeys to shame when I play $.01 - $.02 tonight. Just TRY to push me off an inside straight, you just TRY it.

Thanks for the suggestion!

12:12 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Blood, I'm with you on the sng idea as well. So the consensus so far seems to be, sit down at a low-limit cash game or sng, and play just like the fuckbags who keep sucking out river shitcards on me for a bit before the tournament. Any other suggestions out there? I am so definitely going to do this tonight, as well as Blood's other idea of having a beer (or five) before and during tonight's run in HORSE.

Keep those suggestions coming please!

12:34 AM  
Blogger Chuck Turner said...

I do have to admit that there's times when im playing MTT that i get a feeling. Call it the call of the donkey. I know im beat and i know the guy im up against knows im beat yet that feeling comes on hard and it just seems like the time to let the donkey take over. More often than not (80/20) the donkey side wins and wins the pot.

I know this doesn't help your feelings on being betrayed by the poker gods, but not all donkey moves are made by perpetual donks.

Last time i pleased the gods i did just what Fal suggested only problem was the reason i think it worked is that i had a friend with me and didn't tell him i was putting on my donkey suit for the day. So there was an extra victim for the gods to nibble on.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your run is exactly the reason I hate fucking MTTs, its gimmick donkey poker at its finest/worst.

The answer is obvious my friend, "Cash is King."

12:49 AM  
Blogger Keep it simple said...

The truth shall set you free. For the most part the only way you are losing is when someone sucks, ala Phil Helmuth, if luck wasn't envolved, I (you) would be the best player in the world and never lose. However, since about the only way you lose is on those suckouts, there will be no end. In fact, there will be so many more, that your problems are only beginning. Take heart in the fact that your play is excellent and the next win for you is just around the corner. And, it might also help to take your keyboard off you puter, grasp it with both hands, walk outside, and smash it into the nearest tree and then jump into the air and smash it some more. OBTW, make sure another keyboard is handy. Good luck, I think my advice will solve your immediate problem.

1:29 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

that was one sick way to go out of last night's event. i was happy to see you hanging tuf up to that point. you played every one of the hands you posted fine. obv, you want a donk to commit all his chips as a big dog.

i haven't played a 6-handed MTT before. i expected the play to be aggressive and somewhat donkified. which it was. i even found myself making some donk plays. luckily, i had enuf chips to withstand all the donkery and got deep.

i really expected the play to be slightly better in a $200 buy-in event.

i was wrong.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Mike Maloney said...

I'll echo the donk-playing. Ever since I read Iak's blog post about how he did nothing but donk up a tournament and how fun it was, I've discovered that it is fun to do every once in a while. It certainly helps keep the sanity.

If that doesn't work, I say you sacrifice Iakaris to the poker gods. No one has to know.

And if that doesn't work, listen to Don.

2:13 AM  
Blogger jjok said...

Dear Hoy,

Your rant made us laugh, we were happy to oblige you....


Poker Gods


I'm sorry about your troubles of late.

That's a sick beat man. You got your money in as a HUGE fave....what more can you ask?There's nothing anyone can say or do here to justify what happens. Your funk is rivaling no one I've seen in the tourney scene......I can only hope that the luck (bad luck) turns around and rewards you with a big score.....which I guarantee it will.

2:25 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Glad I waited to really truly savor what I KNEW was gonna be a classic HAMMAHPLAYAH post.

Anyone, I mean ANYONE who doesn't WANT the chips in the middle in that situation is not going to final table many MTTs. That is as good as its likely to get - he's drawing to six outs with two cards left. The fact that he's a retard is not the tragedy - the fact that retards have jointly worked some very dark magic on Hoy time and again is the tragedy.

Thurday: PLHE - see you at the final table. [not that i have the slightest fucking clue how to play it...]

p.s. Mike - you are a funny bastard, I have to give ya that.

2:31 AM  
Blogger L'artiste said...

Well, they don’t call ‘em Donkaments for no reason!

This is pretty much why I don’t play these things too much (even though I should). Investing so much time only to end up getting fucked in the end by some maroon who figures his third pair no kicker is good enough to call an all-in flop bet and manages to hit trips on the river to crush your flopped top two pair is just...

Okay, I’m projecting a bit here but you get the point. Long run and all that jazz, you’ve already won tens of thousands of dollars playing these things this year alone, plus probably a couple more thousands playing cash games. You’re a winning player, life is good, etc.

2:53 AM  
Blogger CC said...

That might have been me playing one of my other accounts...tuff beat, hoy.

3:23 AM  
Blogger slb159 said...

That was sick Hoy. I was watching at the time and got a little irked myself when the guy actually said, "sorry man" in the chat.

Sorry for what? For being a complete idiot? For your information, he donked off his chips in classic fashion as expected.

Aside: Waffles, when the heck have I EVER limped KK? If you can cite this somewhere, I'll send you the buy-in for tonight's mookie.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recite the line "Poker IS gambling" after a beat.

Skill gives you an edge and greater EV then your opponent, not a lock to win in poker.

You already know this, so just remind yourself of it when those x < 5 outers hit.

4:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just fold the AA preflop. You should have known it was gonna get beat anyways. Since when does AA hold up for you anymore?

PS. For the next Hot Hand, I vote Omaha Hi-Lo or Razz.

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crappy way to go out. Although I prefer your exit to my demise any day of the week :)

6:41 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Ha cracknaces, that's funny because I'll take your ITM finish every day of the week over mine, AND twice on Sunday. But point taken.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are taking some rough stuff Hoy. Like I say I have a quote on my blog from the famous "Gigabet" all about the game of Holdem and its good stuff. I hope it helps ease the pain and bring you a new lease of life.

12:33 PM  
Blogger ugg said...

You may have to sacrifice a chicken or donkey to the poker gods in order to appease them.

8:46 PM  

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