Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Busting Huck, Negreanu's 6-Max Philosophy, and WPBT In Vegas

The last few nights have been kinda weird for me online. As I have written about several times before, immediately following a big mtt win for me online, I tend to play like a total asshole for some time as my hubris-filled brain typically has needed some time to come back down to earth about my own play and the size of my roll in order for me to play my best poker again. I have tried everything I can think of in the past to counteract this tendency, but to no avail as each of my biggest mtt victories has been followed up by a good couple of months of worthlessness. First there was the cooler that lasted basically all of last summer right after I won the party 40k, and since this was my first "major" mtt win online I don't even think I realized how my inner donkey had taken over until sometime near the end of the summer. Then it happened again last winter after I won the pokerstars $11 Rebuy Madness in September, where I didn't win another major mtt until New Years Day of this year. Even after my big HORSE win on January 1, it took until late March for me to win this bracelet race tournament on full tilt. Generally speaking, I have just not played good, solid or smart poker at all after big wins, so this week I've been trying really hard to take it easy after winning my way into the WSOP last week.

I was happy to see that I came in 2nd in the Hoy on Monday night, my first real night of play after winning my WSOP seat on Friday, as just not tilting out early like a hubrisian asshole was enough to satisfy me, let alone actually cashing and playing well enough to win if not for the luckbox to top all luckboxes flopping nineteen boats and 14 nut flushes in just a couple hours of play. Similarly, I played solidly again in Tuesday night's WWdN, lasting to the top 20 out of 59 entrants, and only going out when my allin raise with K♣Q♣ was called on a flop of T♣7♣5♠. My opponent flipped up pocket Jacks, a call I can't begrudge anyone from making with the overpair there, but leaving me with a full fifteen outs, all of which failed to hit despite my roughly 55% chance of winning that hand on the flop. But my point is, I played well again and did not donkarooni which was nice.

Other than these blogger tournaments, I have purposefully been taking it easy online for the past few days, opting only to play one other bracelet race since Friday (not even sure why, to be honest, but we'll get to that), and then I was back to my 8:30 and 8:45 satellites into the nightly 30k guaranteed tournament on Tuesday night as well. Long story short, I donked out of the rebuy sat when I ran top pair on the flop into pocket Kings, but in the $14 turbo sat at 8:45pm ET, I managed to consistently build my stack and then held on to final table the event and win my entry into Tuesday's 30k guaranteed. In the end, I was too tired to make the deep run that I wished I could have in the actual 30k, but I did last into the top 50 out of 317 entrants, and more than that, I had the opportunity to bust my first-ever full tilt pro after having sat at the table with numerous of these guys in my days on full tilt. Maybe 30 minutes into the 30k, I was up around 5000 chips from the 3000-chip starting stack, due mainly to three perfectly-executed stop-and-go plays with top pair good kicker in the earlygoing, and then at the top of my table shows up none other than 2000 WSOP winner Huckleberry Seed.

Huck was already on a bit of a short stack when he arrived, sitting at the time on around 1900 chips, and he did not play many pots as the action began with him at the table. There was the typical annoyingass observer chat going on that seems to follow any time one of the name pros is at your table, but otherwise things were pretty uneventful, and Huck was playing pretty tight. Maybe 10 minutes after he sat down, I open-raised a pot 3x from UTG+1 with pocket 9s, and Huck then called from the SB and the BB called my 3x raise as well. We saw the flop three-handed:

As you can see, the action was double-checked to me, and I opted to bet the pot, my standard flop move when I believe I am ahead and/or want to represent that I am ahead. I didn't think either of the other two players had played their hands so far like they had pocket overpairs -- no reraise preflop and no bet on the flop either -- and therefore the only hands I realistically had any concern about were AQ or KQ. Going with the odds of all the possible hands that these two players would have called with preflop and checked the flop with, I figured my 9s were most likely best, so I bet it out as you see above. Huck sat for just a few seconds and then pushed allin for his last 1745 chips. The big blind folded, and I was left to contemplate what Huck's move meant there.

First I considered again the pocket overpair possibility. Although I could certainly see Huck smooth-calling my raise preflop with a high pocket pair, and even maybe checking the flop with the plan to checkraise me after I put in my continuation bet, the fact that he moved it allin with his checkraise screamed out to me some form of weakness. Many donks out there might do the allin checkraise with JJ or QQ, but a real-life professional like Huck Seed, I reasoned, would likely instead opt for a more reasonable reraise of, say, 3x my bet in the hopes of getting me to call. So I just wasn't putting the guy on the overpair here. And that left just AQ or KQ as far as reasonable holdings for Huck to be on here given that he had smooth called my preflop raise from the small blind. Would he make this allin reraise with AQ or KQ? Maybe. Actually I think with AQ, that hand is still strong enough to probably have warranted a reraise before the flop (remember this is 6-max holdem here), and probably also strong enough to not push allin here. The KQ was the only hand that I really believed fit well with everything Huck had done so far, and knowing that he was a professional player and not some online donkass mofo really helped me narrow things down like this. In the end I just decided that the likelihood of specifically KQ in his hand was sufficiently low that I had to make the call. So I did:

and Booooooooom!:

My first ever full tilt pro elimination! And of a former WSOP Main Event winner no less. Does that mean that I am going to win my own WSOP tournament when I play this summer now? It does, doesn't it? Now, am I correct that knocking Huck Seed out of the regularly-scheduled nightly 30k guaranteed tournament automatically nets me the $109 buyin in cash into my account, right? I know full tilt has this policy of getting the buyin for any scheduled mtt in which you knock out a full tilt pro, but I guess I don't know all the details as I haven't ever read the small print. How long does it usually take full tilt to pay up on these bounty payouts, does anyone know from personal experience?

Speaking of 6-max holdem, I finished that crappy Daniel Negreanu book over the weekend, the one that might as well be called Not Really Poker Wisdom But Actually Poor Advice for Anyone But Total N00B Hold'em Players, and he does make one point near the end of the book that I think is spot on. In his brief section on short-handed poker, Daniel makes the point that ring game nlh is about trapping and winning big pots, while short-handed poker is much more about winning the antes. As someone who has spent about a million hours just this year playing in satellites and in large buyin 6-max nlh tournaments on full tilt, I think this is a very insightful and spot-on commentary about the differences between no-limit holdem at a full table or a short table. Part of the reason that I have done so well in these 6-max events this year is that I am constantly putting in those raises to take down the pots before the flop whenever possible, and I do much less trapping than I ever do at a full ring nlh tournament. Sure it's fine to see a flop once in a while with my KK or QQ in the 6-max tournament, but in general I am basically always raising with these hands and always hoping to take it down before the flop, and move on to the next hand with the chips I've won from this one without taking the chance of having my big hand busted. Well said, Daniel.

Lastly, I want to mention here again the WPBT gathering in Vegas this summer. As most of you should know by now, the dates we are meeting are slated for the weekend of June 7-10. I would love to know how many of you out there are in fact planning on going out for that weekend. I will definitely be there, and I will be playing my WSOP event during that time as well, although I haven't quite figured out exactly which day I will be arriving, where I will be staying or, most importantly, which WSOP event I am going to play in. Anybody else out there planning on playing in any WSOP events over that second weekend of June? I think I mentioned this briefly earlier in the week, but on Thursday, June 7 at noon is the 6-max nlh event at a $1500 buyin, something which I would obviously love to play in due to my penchant for 6-max play this year. The other event I have my eye on is on Saturday, June 9 at noon, which is the regular $1500 nlh tournament. There is also a $2500 HORSE tournament that begins on Saturday night at 5pm, but that event is probably a distant third behind the other two events I mentioned above as far as what I am most likely to play in. Anybody have any thoughts as to which of these events I should pick for my first WSOP bracelet? Anyone planning on playing in any of these themselves?

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Blogger FishyMcDonk said...

Dude, do the HORSE tourney. SO much more fun. Too much donkey kong going on in the $1500 NL ones.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I've considered it, Fishy. But then I've got to put up $2500 to play limit poker with a bunch of donkjacks who will call me all night long with nothing but shitty draws and then hit them on the river because in limit I can't price them out of making those calls. Do I really want to subject myself to that?

Not to mention, one of the HORSE games is O8, and you know about my skills (or lack thereof) at that game....

9:58 PM  
Blogger BigPirate said...

I am interested in all of those tournaments mentioned. As for my status, it is a definite maybe still with hopes of confirming by the end of April.

10:18 PM  
Blogger John G. Hartness said...

I'm planning on landing on the 6th (because I'm a degenerate) and either taking the redeye out Sunday night or the 4PM out Monday afternoon (far more likely). I'll be at the Orleans, since I was the one that did the room block.

And Big Pirate will be there if I have to pack him in my carryon!

11:04 PM  
Blogger lim said...

takes a few days for FT to credit your account for knocking out a pro.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate the feedback as this is my first time with this particular form of payout. I just know that I logged in this morning and did not see the credit there. I will keep an eye open over the next few days and assume it will be credited shortly. Thanks again.

11:51 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i luv playing with a bunch of donkey kongs. an NL event is the only way to go.

cya out there.

12:15 AM  
Blogger CEMfromMD said...

Hoy, play in the 6 Max. You have bene playing well in that, and knocking Huck Seed out in a 6 Max should be a sign. If I get my Braclet Race win I plan on playing that one myself

12:33 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

I'm planning on doing Vegas, and seeing how many aces I see there. I'll probably be getting in late Friday night and taking the red eye out Sunday, so I'll have to pack the degeneracy tight.

Which means the only WSOP event I could even consider signing up for would be the NLH. Just don't see myself doing that unless I win my way in. $1500 is a big chunk to lay down just to prove that I'm a donk.

1:21 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah Astin, I would never pony up 1500 big ones to lay on a donkey poker tournament. I only play any of these things if I win my way in, no doubt. $26 on a donkeyfest on full tilt is one thing, but $1500 just to get my Kings donked by 76s 90 minutes in, that ain't happening.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Irongirl01 said...

I plan on being out there the 6th thru the 10th or 11th. I wont direct buyin to the ladies WSOP but I may try a satellite or two at the RIO for them and see what I can do providing I dont take one down on FTP.

6:27 AM  
Blogger KrazyBangs said...

After I busted E-Fro on time I had to email support@ftp and let them know the tourny time and date, and also what size shirt you wear... it has a picture of Waffles with boxing gloves on it. But the buy in is usually there the next day.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

hey hammer, I was eyeing those 2 events also, I think there is a pot limit stud on Monday, I have to check my list.

I'll let you know what 2 I'm playing as soon as I figure it out. I was eyeing that weekend without knowledge that the WBPT was that weekend too.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


How long did it end up taking to get the payout? I busted a pro last night.

Thanks, see you at the MATH.


6:48 PM  

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