Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rant Follow-Up

You know those days when you read over the post you've just written, and you just know you've hit a goldmine? That was me yesterday. I must have read, reread and re-reread that post at least ten times during the morning and again in the evening. I absolutely love the fucking thing. With me this level of rant is so infrequent, you just have to sit back, enjoy and appreciate it for what it is. Even Waffles himself couldn't bring himself to comment on that rant, so you know I did something good.

As you can tell, there is a lot of frustration surrounding my poker play these days, in particular nlh tournaments. I've done quite well in my non-holdem poker pursuits -- although even those have been a source of some frusrtating happenings of late -- but my no-limit holdem tournament game, for the second time in this calendar year, is in a prolonged slump. The three cashes in a week in the 25k guaranteed tournament on full tilt a month or two ago are now such a distant memory, that I barely even feel the drive to play that 25k anymore, after being determined along with some fellow bloggers to make that thing our biatch there for some time. Although I still make some final tables, the blogger tournament circuit has been kicking my ass lately, in situations where it seems far more often than not that I am going down despite being ahead to some varying degree when the chips go into the middle.

So yes, there has been a lot of frustration welling up within me for quite some time with respect to my nlh tournament game. All that frustration boiled over again yesterday with my fun rant about Wes when he called my allin reraise preflop with AQs, ran into my pocket Jacks and then naturally found a Queen as the first card on the flop to knock me out once again when I was ahead. I have a lot still to say about that issue, so I'll get to that shortly. But first let me say for the record, I'm fine if any of you, or all of you, don't think Wes's move was "donkey". Frankly I'm surprised at all the focus in the comments on the question of whether or not this was "donkey" or was not "donkey". My point is Who Cares if it's officially a donkey move or not? "Donkey" is just a word. It's no different from calling the move "bizzlebub" or "snaff". It's just a bunch of letters combined together to make a sound. If you don't think it's "donkey", then I'm fine with that. As I mentioned in yesterday's rant, I am pretty sure Wes called because he figured I was putting him on a naked steal and thus was restealing with nothing. And he did have AQs, not garbage, which he had reason was a better hand than what I would normally put him on when he steal-raises preflop from the cutoff.

So fine, I don't care, maybe what Wes did was not a donkey move. I don't care. As I mentioned a few times in yesterday's post, I wasn't just talking about Wes yesterday. I was more talking to all of you zobos who have made these kinds of allin-call-with-just-dominated-overcards moves against me, basically every single one of which has managed to spike the card they need to beat me out of blogger tournaments. I'm frustrated about it, and I'm pissed about it. Yesterday's rant was not really me talking specifically about what Wes did -- which I freely admit, was easily the least bad of all the silly stoopid allin calls I have suffered from of late -- but rather just the culmination of all that frustration about a large number of worse calls than that that are just plain hideotic.

Now I'd also like to address some of the comments to yesterday's post, of which there were many. First off, Pokerwolf and Tripjax both commented on how horrendous my general attitude towards nlh tournaments is. You're right. 100% absolutely positively correct. I agree that I probably need to change that before I can start winning these things again, though I suppose under the right circumstances I could see winning again even when I don't expect it. The thing is, I'm not changing my game at all because of that bad attitude and pessimism I have towards surviving in these things, so I don't think the attitude issue is that huge of a deal. For me, I've always known it's bad when you start actually changing your game -- overbetting the pot to chase out the drawing donkeys, not raising preflop with Aces since you already know they're going to get cracked, etc. -- because of what you "know" is going to happen. That's not me. Look at my play, I am still consistently getting in with the best hands, and when I don't, 9 times out of 10 it is just a pure donk play on my part, but not one that is motivated by my seeming knowledge that it's going to turn out badly. Anyways, I appreciate those comments, I mostly agree and I certainly acknowledge that it's true, my attitude towards nlh tournaments is despicable and not helpful these days. Guilty as charged.

I also want to address again this issue of the whole pot odds thing. I understand fully the argument made by people who say they always use pot odds, for every individual decision, and that is enough for them to always make the right call. I do not agree with this, but I can understand and accept that others view all decisions in that way. And it's not like I am disputing the math that says that, once Wes had already put the 450 chips into the pot and I was only raising him another 1400 or so, so that his pot odds are technically enough at that point to justify him calling my allin reraise, even when he knows (or should know) that he is behind any hand I am reasonably raising allin with at that point in time. But the thing is, I simply don't think that just blindly using pot odds for the second decision (whether or not to call my allin reraise) is necessarily the most correct (tournament-wise) way to make that decision under all circumstances. I will use the example I gave in the comments yesterday to make my point:

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 a blind steal attempt while holding pure trash cards. Now I go allin from the bb 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 750 chips he bet with his shizz hand to begin with. So yes, you can choose to look at the second allin-call-or-fold decision as an independent event with independent pot odds which dictate a call or near-call here. As many of the commenters explained, I don't have much to argue with that decision if that's the way you want to look at it. But I will also say that I definitely do not look at it that way. Why would I ever call off my last 950 chips -- even with 750 chips already in the pot from my stack per my preflop steal attempt -- just because now, counting the 750 chips I foolishly put into the pot already in this hand, now I have the right pot odds to put in my last 950 chips. I'm telling you, I like to win nlh tournaments, and I would not make that call. I wouldn't make it even for one second. Period. I'm folding. I got busted, I got caught on a naked steal attempt with nothing, I got allin reraised, so why now would I compound the mistake of my original preflop raise by now using the pot odds that are so swayed by that original steal attempt that they now dictate I should call off the rest of my chips. This is not a cash game, it's a tournament, where I can't buy back in once I get busted. So why would I call of my last 950 chips with a 3-to-1-against hand, where if I lose I am eliminated from the tournament? I wouldn't. But that's just me, according to a lot of the comments, and I accept that. I just don't agree with the theory that following pot odds for each individual decision in a hand in a freezeout tournament is necessarily the best thing to do at all times. 'Nuff said me thinks.

Going through some more of the comments, I replied in a comment yesterday but I just want to say it again here. Several people pointed out that I "bring this action on myself" because I play such an aggressive game. I went out of my way to address this point in my rant yesterday, but I know I was pissy and obviously therefore did not get my point across sufficiently. So let me be clear -- I understand of course that when I play aggressively over time, I invite people to play aggressively against me because they put me on a wider range of hands, and therefore that they are justified in playing a wider range of hands against me. Nonetheless, and this is the point I tried so hard to make yesterday, I absolutely do not play so aggressively that I could be anything but ahead of Wes's AQ there, period. If you think I might be reraising allin there with no good starting cards, then I think you sound more like someone who is relying on other peoples' statement that I play very aggressively, rather than on actual experience of actually seeing me actually reraising allin with a crap hand like that preflop. So Yes I play aggressively, but No I do not regularly make allin reraises of preflop raisers with hands that are behind AQ.

Another comment that popped up a couple of times yesterday, and which I also tried to address in my rant post, is that I am well aware that the real problem here is not the alleged "donkey calling" I've been facing. As Duggles very well explained in his comment, I love those donkey callers being out there. I want them out there calling my preflop allin reraises with their KQs and KJo and A9s. The real problem here is not those donkey calls. It's pokerstars consistently rewarding the donkey callers by spiking them just the card they need when the community board hits the felt. So yes, I agree with that sentiment. You would most certainly not be hearing this stuff from me if I had won 5 of my last 6 races when someone unthinkingly called with KJ against my allin preflop raise. As is often the case, pokerstars once again proves to be the root of all evil. Well, them and full tilt, meaning the only two sites I play any significant time at these days.

To Windbreak247, yes I'm quite sure you're right that maybe Wes "just wanted to gamble" when he made that call. See, here's the thing. I'm not about controlling the decisions that anyone but me makes when I'm playing poker. Not once, never. I want you to do whatever you want to do. You want to play the blogger tournaments and not take them seriously and just call the first time you know you're up against a race situation for all your chips, of course it's your right to do so, and I wouldn't possibly have a thing to say about it. If you play the blogger events and "just want to gamble", more power to you. But, please keep in mind the corollary to that very much correct idea: if I choose to rant about a bad play you made while you were in "let's gamble" mode, I can do that too. That's all I did here. A play was made that I do not believe is close to the best interests of the guy who wants to win the Hoy, so I come on the blog and point that out. I defend to the hilt Wes's and anyone else's right to play however they want to play it, of course.

It's funny to me as well -- this has come up in the comments a few times on my posts -- that people think of this blog as a place where I try to show how clever I am and all the great moves I put on people. To me it is impossible to believe that people could think this about the blog, given the largely nothing but bad beats and donk play on my part that are detailed here almost exclusively over the past 6 months plus, but I guess people remember what they want to remember from a blog, and those "strategy" and "clever" posts I guess are some of the more memorable moves. But I am certainly not trying to use my blog as a vehicle to make me look clever, to brag about my play or anything like that. I use the blog to detail my daily adventures in poker, and when I see something interesting in a hand, or more often later during my hand analysis and hand reviews of the big hands I've played, I will often post the hand itself here, or at least some discussion of it. That's all. I guess I need to be more cognizant of the light that my posts generally tend to place me in. I certainly don't think I'm all that clever, and I have never intended the blog to be a place where I show how clever I am to everyone else. Sucks to be misunderstood in that way but que sera sera, I don't really give a phuck if you couldn't have guessed that.

One other quick point about bad beat stories: I like them. If I'm the only one, then so be it. But I like to hear bad beat stories as long as they're truly bad beat stories and not beginning with things like "so I called a small raise preflop with K8o...." I'm not saying I would enjoy discussing nothing but bad beats for the next 20 years of my life. But I am saying that I enjoy hearing about bad beats, and I enjoy posting about them if there is a good story involved. You know the routine, it's my blog and I can post whatever I want, yada yada yada. People generally seem to like what I have to say here, so I plan to continue doing my thing as only I know how. So thank you to everyone for every time I've been told how lame it is to post bad beats, every time I've read how you should never talk about bad beats, and every time I hear how I owe someone money every time I mention a bad beat. I like that shit, I'm probably going to keep posting them as I feel like doing so, and unfortunately for some of you, that's that. I accept that I am apparently different from many poker bloggers and many readers of poker blogs, but so be it. I yam what I yam.

OK I think that is enough for today. I will definitely be in the Mookie tonight at 10pm ET on full tilt (password as always is "vegas1"). So should you! Hopefully Wes will be there and I hope he takes my ass down on the exact same play as the one from the Hoy. Wes is a great tournament poker player, and it would be an honor to be eliminated by him twice in one week from blogger tournaments. I'm the deadest money around these days, so please hope you're at my starting table, because I'm probably not lasting long!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Hoy no matter what is the actual correct play in that situation, you certainly got all the bloggers talking about and discussing it, so well done for that! Although you have, to some degree tried to back-track, IMO you definately seemed to be having a pop at wes for his play, when in actuality it was a culmination of things (in NLHE) that finally caused you to "blow your top" and poor wes was on the recieving end. I think the other bloggers just wanted to make the point that it was not as bad as you made it out to be. I enjoy reading your blogs and you are no doubt a very good player, but this is down to the "Poker Gods" and you somehow need to appease them (and sacrificing wes AND his AQ SOOOOOTED might work!! maybe you need to look at other styles of play to try and not get into the coin-flip situations as often. Anyway mate, all the best and keep pushing on.

4:48 AM  
Blogger SoxLover said...

You may want donkey callers, but you don't want callers like Wes. He made a correct call that was plus EV against the range you could plausibly have had and against the actual hand you held.

You are correct in wanting him to fold as that +EV came from you and no one else.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Jordan said...

As I said in my very late comment on the original post, you are too good to be worrying about situations like this. I know you are frustrated, but take a look at your annual winnings and realize that in tournament poker there will be LONG stretches where you do not final table. You had some great success this year, but don't expect it to be constant and forever. Sadly, tournament poker doesn't work that way. What I'm really curious about is how your cash game is going? I betcha its going well, isn't it?

5:52 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

if i get AQsOOOted in the mOOK tonight, i'm insta-pushing!

6:27 AM  
Blogger BigPirate said...

Just saw this which is suprising as Hoy is usually a daily read. Haven't read all the comments yet but wanted to respond. Been real busy and will continue to be so for a while so may not get back for a while to see follow-up responses so please feel free to e-mail me if anyone has any questions about the hand.

My thought process as I remember it:

AQs in LP. Woo Hoo! Raise it up!

Hoy re-raises AI from a blind, "Hmmmm. . ."

Hoy is a fantastic player and has good notes on me.

He knows I will raise here with crap but I don't have crap this time.

AA or KK? No way. He can min-raise or call and I am going to make a big bet on the flop no matter what. Then he can break me.
AK or AQ? Maybe.
JJ-88? Very possible
22-77? Maybe. A shaky maybe.
Axs? Maybe.
Broadway suited? Maybe.
Tee-total crap? Maybe.

In his notes I am sure Hoy has noted the times he has pushed me off of raises with re-raises. I love to fold. Maybe he has crap and is going to show the Hammer. My raise looked like a steal and he knows I will lay down many hands if he raises me.

Well, first thing is I gotta do some math.

Against the widest range(QQ-22, AJs+, KJs+, QJs, AJo+, 72o ), I am a favorite.

Against a tighter range (88+,AQs+,AQo+,72o), I am not that far behind.

Even when I included AA and KK (which I have completely discounted in my mind), I am within reason to call from a math perspective. The pot odds were there for a call against my perceived range. (I include 72o as a possible hand not as an indication I feel Hoy is a maniac, only because I feel as though I must assign some probability of a pure bluff there.)

Simple call right?

Ahhh! Let me look at my tournament equity. If I fold here, I have T1850 left and can wait for a more opportune time to put my chips at risk.

But wait. We are five handed and the blinds are coming around fast. I may not get a better chance. It's a long way to the money (only 3 paid I think) and it's a $20 tournament. I'm playing a NLHE cash table, an O8 table, another MTT with another getting ready to start. It might be pretty stupid to fold this hand. As a bonus, Hoy loves this hand. He posts about it all the time. LEt me type in the chat box "Hoy LOVES this hand!" Crap, won't let me coz he is all-in. Oh well, looks like a call to me. Can't be a pussy if you want to win. Hope I'm right.

Bottom line. That bet looks as though he does not want me to call. My job as a poker player is to dissappoint him.

Please leave my brain and come back to the present.

The actual hands we held gave me a 46% chance of winning. I had to call T1430 into a T2230 pot. A correct play in hindsight and a more than defensible play at the time.

I strive to make easy decisions in MTTs. I play too many to obsess over every hand. I usually get my chips in ahead. Sometimes I don't. I am usually pretty close if I am behind though. The key is that I thought there was no way I was dominated. If I had given Hoy ANY reasonable chance of having AA, KK, or AK, I would have folded as I did have enough chips left to play.

I have many friends like Hoy. They like to vent. It doesn't bother me a bit. I am tickled it has prompted so much intellignet discussion. I play such a vanilla game, it's a treat to see some controversy.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoy, I think you have something with your resistance to pot odds in a tournament. For a while, I've had the intuition that pot odds don't really apply in tournaments, but I haven't seen a good argument yet one way or the other.

Wes mentions "tournament equity" in his comment, and I think that concept needs more fleshing out.

I'm going to see if I can put together a tournament equity calculator to test my gut instinct. I'll post here if I get it online, or at least determine something of note.

(BTW - New reader of yours, and I'm enjoying the thought-provoking discussion.)

9:39 AM  
Blogger BigPirate said...

Pot odds always apply in tournamnets. They ARE sometimes outweighed by tournament equity though. I have written at length about tournament equity on our home game website and may try to post some on the blog soon.

9:50 AM  
Blogger CC said...

Pot odds, schott odds. You haven't discuss tilt equity or implied immortality odds. How else can a donk like me become famous unless I can call your re-raise shove with KJo and make it out the other side?

10:33 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

In your 73o example, folding compounds the mistake, not calling IMO.

Oh and nice job destroying me in the Mookie tonight. I like my bloggers weak and tight. I am not used to seeing plays like that in these events. Very well done.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Jebus! I get all caught up acting like a doc again and miss all this?!?

Not much to add, except to note that I think Fuel's line is closest to my own take: I think a fold of AQs is justifiable, but I don't despise the call. Fuck are you running bad though. Which brings me to point two.

I don't mind my friends complaining about bad beats and running bad. I take exactly the opposite tack that Daddy does in the saying Trip quoted.

What the fuck is the campfire for if not to sit around with the boyz, drink beer and grimace at the day's battle wounds? Perhaps I'm just new [school] enough that I haven't reached the critical threshold yet, or perhaps it's that I actually want to know what the fuck is going on with my friends. If poker sucks, if a hand hurts and it feels bettah to get it out of yer system - so the fuck be it. Where's the crime? Especially when said beats are written up with humor and sufficient outrage to make me chuckle out loud.

Bad beat stories are so out they're back in kids, I swear. They are, in fact, the New Black.

1:17 PM  
Blogger GrayCalx said...

"Donkey" is just a word. It's no different from calling the move "bizzlebub" or "snaff".

Try telling that to Micheal "Kramer" Richards

10:24 PM  
Blogger BigPirate said...

For the record. Hoy and I ended up next to one another at the FT 25k for a long while last night(me in SB, him in BB). I had AQ three times in that span. All three times we were in the blinds and there were no limpers. The first time I raised 3.5 and he folded, the second time, I raised 3.5, he re-raised AI and I folded as it was not a good spot for me. The last time, I was short and went AI. He called with A6 (justifiable against me in that spot and with my chip stack v. his) and I doubled up.

We got split up after both making the money and he was still in when I went to bed. Hope it ended well.

One thing I was thinking this morning in the shower about the MATH hand: I only call Hoy there with TT+, AQs+, and AK. I think that is probably too tight a range from a math perspective but it is my play there with the amount of chips I hvae left. ANY fewer chips in my stack and my calling range goes up.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

I guess I put more weight behind a player's attitude than you do, Hoy. I'm one of those types of people that, if I'm struggling and I'm in a shitty mood, I don't play poker. Thinking back to when we were hanging out in the Yahoo chat room last week, I can sum up your attitude in the chat with one sentence:

Yeah, I'll play in the 25k, but I'm dead money.

Why the hell do you play when you're not feeling it? I can roll with "I want to hang out and play with my friends", but why else set yourself up to get more pissed off and dejected if things don't work out? In other words, why not take a break?

I'm not advocating totally quitting tournaments, but scaling back on them when you hit a big slump might be a good idea. From the sound of things, you've done that with the 25k already.

I personally believe that if I'm not thinking "I can win this thing!" or "Let's see how things goes. I might have a shot", then I shouldn't be playing. That's me, though, and I don't know if your brain works the same way.

About people thinking about how you use your blog to be clever and such:

People remember good things more than they remember bad things. It's human nature. Plus, a lot of your strategy posts are about advanced moves and such. Food for thought.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

wwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...this is fun. Maybe I should get back to work, but that is not fun.

Do these guys really break out their poker stove in the middle of a hand, and calculate these odds. NOPE, more people goffy off at work.....

I think what all our statistical friends are really saying, is calling with Ace Queen suited an inbetween hand (They claim to use statistics to support it, but they are really goofying off).

Let's establish some blogger man law, calling with pairs (44+), AK is acceptable, AQ suited is for debate, and KJ is for "Chinoxl009" (obsure other wes reference).

2:39 AM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Oh, I forgot the point of my last comment.

I think your aggressive style of play tends to widen our cuddly communities calling range on you.

This is to your favor, since we lump your range into a single group, where you will raise or re-raise with anything. BUT, here is my point, it is coming, your "all in" range is much tighter.

I didn't figure this out until I called Waffles all in bets 3 weeks running, thinking he pushed with the same range he raised with. (Thus my conversion to a cash player away from bloogers).

The good news/bad news is that your all in beats will get your money in front, but create more suck outs opurtunities.

There, I figured it out, now back to work.

2:49 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Btw pokerwolf, you asked why do I play the 25k when I feel like I'm dead money? Answer: did you see the run I had the other night in the 25k? This was one day after this rant post, and I came in 16th out of 1535 players for my best score there in months.

This is of course not said to brag, but rather to illustrate the point I tried to make in my follow-up rant post. I actually can be successful in tournaments, even if I feel dead moneyish going into the thing. Maybe I'm different from other people in that regard, I don't know, but it's da troof.

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoy congrats on the run in the 25k.

I totally can say that my image of you is that you aren't that aggro at all. TAG sure but most of the time I just try to avoid playing against you unless I have a hand.

Reading your strategy posts have given me a greater mix to the madness that is my game so keep them coming.

One thing that I am glad you got to mention again is that the AQs was one of the better hands people have called with. KJ and worse hands are ones that I try to avoid calling with now (not just against you but overall).... so you are getting through to us!

All of our games are improving and that is probably the reason you aren't getting the results you want as often in blogger events. Lots of talent in most of those events and you aren't relying on luck as much as a player like myself to finish high in an event.

4:29 AM  

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