Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Poetry In Motion, I Heart Donkeys, and ATC


You are the man
You are my other country
And I find it hard going.

You are my prickly pear
You are the sudden violent storm
The torrent to raise the river
To float the wounded doe.

It never ceases to amaze me the utter shit that the New York City MTA insists on plastering all over the subways as part of their "Poetry in Motion" series of billboards in the train cars. Like I want to be subjected to this crap in the morning when I'd already much, much rather still be in bed, or at least not being smushed into oblivion as it is and basically forced to keep my head up and look right at this thing as there's not even room in the car for it to be level with the rest of my body. And then I'm staring right at this drivel. Wtf is this thing even talking about? "You are the man"? The Wilderness is the man? "And I find it hard going"? Huh? What's going on here? "You are my prickly pear"? That sounds like something Captain Tom said to Brandi Rose or whatever her strippername is, not fancy poetry. To me this whole thing reads like somebody who desperately wants to be good at writing poetry, probably thinks they are good at poetry, but in reality is just a jassack who has seen enough poetry to know how it usually reads, and is just mimicking something they read earlier that they liked. Now I know there's going to be donkeys out there who write and tell me how beautiful this is and what a Phillistine I am. OK I admit it, the Hammer Wife would definitely say that, and will say it to me tonight if she reads this today. But I'm sorry, I really wish I didn't have to look at this crap on the subway in the mornings. Why can't they put some Def Leppard or Guns n Roses lyrics up on the subway for everyone to read, instead of this crap?

"It's So Easy"

You get nothin for nothin
If that's what you do.
Turn around bitch I got a use for you.

Besides, you ain't got nothin better to do.
And I'm bored.

I mean, if they can make the choice for everyone to put these crappy poems up in the public subways that I really can't stand, then why can't somebody choose the stuff that I like to listen to once in a while and plaster that all over the trains, and make everyeone else suffer through that too? I solemnly guarantee you that about 15 million more people have paid to purchase the GnR album with that wonderful piece above in it than have ever paid for the collected works of Lorine Niedecker. But no. Instead it's always some crap about nature, or flowers, or love or some other shit like that, and in five years in the city I've never been anything but disgusted by any of the Poetry in Motion that I've seen on the subway. Blech. Bad way to start the day, let me tell you.

So let's see, last night was a nice n frustrating night of poker, that is for sure. I satellited again into the nightly 30k guaranteed tournament on full tilt, this time in the 8:30pm ET $14 rebuy satellite where as usual I only did one rebuy, and actually it ended pretty funny. With 9 players left on two tables, and the top 8 finshers winning the seat, I find K8o in the big blind. The small blind was the shortest stack left in the tournament with an M of under 2. Blinds were probably 800-1600 at this point, with probably 150-chip antes as well, and he had around 4500 chips left, in contrast to the tournament average of probably 12,000 and my own stack of around 10k myself. So the action folds around to this shorty in the small blind -- his handle was "loose1" if you ever find him again in a multitable satellite tournament like this -- who is obviously in big trouble if he doesn't make a move right now, and he makes the rather obvious allin push of his last 4500 or so chips. Now, with a hand like K8, and knowing for a fact that this guy has to push with anything right now, I go ahead and make the call, assuming I'm ahead with K8o, a better than average hand against a totally random two cards which I know he is on. He flips up 76s or something, hits a 7 on the flop, but my 8 ends up making me a straight on the river, he is eliminated, and the rest of us win our seats to the 30k. Par for the course, right?

Until "loose1" shows up at my other table, the nightly bracelet race (I ended in I think 19th place out of 140 players, but like all the $26 races it paid only one spot so I wasn't really that close to anything big), and starts harrassing me in the chat. For once I actually decided to entertain his inane rantings, because I know I made the right play and I just wanted to see what this donkey had to say about it. All he could keep telling me was "Didn't you realize that if you missed there, you would then be the short stack in the tournament? Why would you call there when you could just fold your way into winning a seat? Why take the risk?"

Now, I don't know how many of you play these mtt satellites as much as I (probably very few of you is my guess), but it was really funny how pissed and worked up this guy was. I kept trying to explain to the guy that when I have a good chance to eliminate the last guy in the tournament before the payout spots, and I have a very good chance of having the best hand when the other guy pushes allin out of clear and total desperation, it's got to be a call. As I told him, it's the easiest call in the world in fact. And what's more, this business about me just being able to "fold my way into a seat" is utter garbage. I've busted on the bubble of these mtt sats way more times than I care to count -- most recently just two nights ago as I wrote about yesterday when two friends at the table collaborated to keep their short stack in and bust me instead as the next shortest stack after the blinds came around to me -- and the bottom line is, only a guy with, say, 2 or 3 times the tournament average stack can truly "fold his way into winning a seat". Me, with just twice the short stack's amount of chips, and an M of only around 3 myself, to suggest that I could fold my way into the tournament is laughable. In these online mtt sats, by the time you hit the final ten or so players, everybody basically has a low M and basically everybody has to play it fast near the end from that point until the seats are paid out, or you're toast. If you think you can coast in when the Ms are that large and there are just, say, three players left to be eliminated, then watch out because you're the one who's going to be eliminated.

Anyways this guy yelled at me for probably a good 15 minutes in the chat of my bracelet race. I tried to set him straight, but like most of the longtime online poker donkeys, he was far far too stubborn to even open his mind and listen to what I was saying, let alone to try to understand me. And as a result, he will continue to flounder, while I satellite into a large buyin tournament of some kind just about every single night of the week because I know how to play these things. And the best of this whole episode was, at one point he comments to me how bummed he is that I'm not sitting at a cash table right now because he'd like to join it and win my money. To his obvious dismay, I offered him to find a table with an extra empty seat and let me know where he was, and I would happily sit with him and school him on cash games too. I haven't been writing about this because I don't want to jinx it, but I've been playing a good deal of cash recently and have been winning in small amounts almost every night of late, so I was looking forward to seeing if this guy was as donkish at nlh cash as he was at late-stage mtt satellite play. So after mouthing off to me about playing cash with him in the chat, when to his surprise I actually offered to take him up on it and give him his chance for "revenge" (as if I personally did anything to him), he wimped out of his own challenge! What a pussy. So everyone do me a favor -- if you ever run in to "loose1" on full tilt, stop by and let him know in the chat that hoyazo says hello. I heart donkkees.

Alright today I wanted to chat briefly about this whole "Any Two Cards" thing. A whole lot has been written about ATC recently -- and even more has been played recently -- by a number of different bloggers about how they like to play ATC when nearing the end of nlh tournaments. Now, IMO from what I've seen, I think this is a largely overused and misunderstood theory of end-game tournament strategy, and I have seen far, far more bloggers blow big leads at the final table using this strategy than I have seen win with it. In fact to be honest, the only time I've ever seen this work in a blogger event was way back last year sometime when Lucko really abused the field at the final table of some big blogger event -- maybe the DADI WSOP satellite or something if they even held one of those last year -- by basically calling and raising with ATC when he was on a monstrous stack nearing the bubble in this event. Otherwise, I don't have to list the names -- you all know exactly who you are -- but I've seen a great many of you out there play basically ATC nearing the end of blogger events, and it almost always fails you. Let me give a real-life example here and see what everyone thinks about how to play this one:

You're in the 18k guaranteed nlh tournament on full tilt, which started with 400 players and is now down to just 54. 40 spots will be paid, and there are 6 tables with 9 players each remaining. Blinds are 1500-3000, with 150-chip antes, and you are currently in 2nd place of 54 people left, with a chip stack of 44,200 chips. You are seated in the big blind.

UTG folds, and UTG+1 goes allin for his last 12000 chips. Everyone else folds around to you in the small blind. You look down to find 96o.

What do you do here? Do you fold this normally weak hand? Does the fact that you have a large stack mean that you would take a call here and see if you can get lucky? It costs you only another 9000 chips to see all 5 cards on the board, and with just 12,000 chips left in his stack, the UTG+1 player could be pushing here with a very wide range of hands. There's no one else left to act, so you needn't fear any further raises from anybody or any need to drop any more chips into this hand. So do you call or fold here?

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and then I will post my own once everyone has had a chance to comment.

Tonight is the Mookie at 10pm ET on full tilt, one of my stated goals to win for 2007. But with another exciting Lost episode coming up tonight -- The John Locke Story We've All Been Waiting To Hear!!! -- I will probably once again miss out on this fun blogger event (password as always is "vegas1"). I will try to get into the Dookie at 11:30pm ET if I am able, and if I can win some nice coin at the cash tables after Lost is over, I might even buy in directly to the midnight ET bracelet race, which I do not expect to be able to satellite into tonight at the risk of missing my favorite television show of the week, and really one of the only things I watch regularly anymore on tv. That will depend on whether I can win the $200 either at nlh cash or at some razz or hilo cash, all of which have been solidly profitable for me over the past several weeks as I've slowly made my return to the cash tables. And this despite a stacking at 1-2 nlh in just a few hands last night with Blinders when my QQ ran into KK on a totally raggy board, and I could not get away. Somebody tell me why the fuck I ever play QQ again?

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I'm no where near successful in my tournaments as I am in cash games but I still consider the ATC to be a very good concept if you know how to use it. I think that's the big IF that a lot of people miss out on. And personally, I think the ATC works better, not against short stacks, but against moderate stacks. So, to answer your question about the situation, I would fold and wait for a better spot where I could do the raising instead of the calling. I'd much rather be in a situation where a moderate stack raises and I reraise with position (assuming I have a big stack) because most moderate stacks would not want to get involved with someone who could bust them that close to the bubble.

9:22 PM  
Blogger crazdgamer said...

Assuming 1500 starting stacks, the average stack is 11,111 (just under 4 BB's). I guess this is a really tight tournament? Or there are a lot of short stacks waiting out the bubble?

Normally, I'd say fold the 96, but with the average stack so... horrible compared to yours, and you'd have 35K left after the call (almost 12 BB's), a call is not out of the question.

I personally wouldn't do it. I would like a face card in my hand, as UTG+1 is probably pushing with Ace-rag, so I'd want to have at least one card higher than his rag just to have better odds. A call wouldn't be out of the question though.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

I have to agree with Alan. I'd rather raise the guy all-in with 96o than call with it. I'll fold and wait for a better shot.

9:41 PM  
Blogger The Poker Enthusiast said...

Why would I want to double up this guy. I would be dropping about 20% of my stack on the chance I'm behind 40-60. This is a clear fold to me. I want to use my chips to put people off of hands not to call with marginal holdings. Fold this and steal his blinds later.

11:06 PM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Clear fold.
Scenario described is flatter chip distribution than I would expect. Pot odds are 2:1 and you would be gambling 20% of your chips on what is best case 3:2 (A + less than 6) but there are too many 2 overs and overpairs possible to justify call.

11:29 PM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

I also fold here. But what happens if the bet comes from CO or Button? Is it still a clear fold?

11:55 PM  
Blogger bayne_s said...


Friday I felt like berating person who knocked me out of Bracelet race satellite in chat box but did manage to restrain self.

8 left 7 seats, me being severely shortstacked I felt his call from BB after two other callers with AT was an acceptable play.

His betting after hitting 2 pair on flop seemed particularly moronic as if one of the other callers was sitting on KJ my AQ was dead and his betting would help prolong seat bubble.

The dilemma faced is do you really want to educate competitors on better strategic play?

Do you gain more by people behaving more logically and thus predictably or is greater gain exploitation of poor play in long run.

I will of course taunt "loose1" if I see him.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Bayne, I can usually tell within just one or two messages in the chat whether someone is geniuinely interested in learning something about the game (roughly half a percent or less of online poker players), or rather is part of the other 99.5% of players who really just want to spew donkey venom without listening to a word of response from me. Frankly, I find that I don't mind giving my thoughts to either type of person. The 99.5% won't listen to a word I'm saying and will just blindly continue to beileve they are right, and then wonder why they keep losing money week after week, month after month. And as far as the 0.5% who actually care to get better and really analyze their play, if I really minded helping those people then would I really be blogging every day and giving my strategy thoughts and such here?

All that said, for all the reasons you mentioned you will never, ever find me voluntarily bringing up to any player that they're playing badly or what what they're doing at the tables is wrong. It's just that if someone else brings it up, probably 90% of the time I ignore it, but on occasion when what they're saying is especially donkorofic or especially interesting, I might engage briefly just to see which kind of effhead they are.

3:00 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

I think I go with the "raise with 96 but don't call" philosophy in this case. But even then, it isn't an automatic raise. As usual, I MIGHT call if I think the raiser is very loose. Of course, 96 is THE hand that follows me everywhere (despite what you may believe about aces). I see it all the time, and fold it regularly.

The ATC philosophy seems to stem from ICM, which is generally applicable to late stage SnG's (but late stage MTT's might work as well, especially if it's not a deep payout structure). Since I have a problem with the assumptions behind ICM to begin with, I can't be too solidly behind ATC in anything other than a bullying capacity.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Blinders said...

ATC are gold in the end game of MTTs, but this is not the situation in your example. First of all, the table must be short-handed. Pushing with ATC at a full table (from early) is just retarded. Secondly, you push with ATC, you don't call with ATC unless you are priced into some shorties push (40/60). The concept is the first in vig from Harrington. Short-handed, you can be pretty sure you are not against a pair, so the first in vig makes up for the possibility that you are a 40/60 dog against the callers live and better cards. If you read Harrington closely, the math clearly supports the ATC argument.

As for last night, this is one of the tougher adjustments to make when switching to cash games. Play for big pots with big hands, manage the pot size with hands like 1 pair (even an over pair). Raise it preflop, make your c-bet, but don't get into a raising war on the flop if you just have a pair. In an MTT it is correct to go to the felt in that situation because people are simply more aggresive, and you just can't be putting them on better hands all the time. In a cash game people are generally more careful. A reraise on the flop usually means a pretty good hand, that can beat a pair. When I get it all-in with just a pair, it is usually because I have been controlling the betting the whole way, and am reading weakness. If I just got slow played, oh well. Ratchet down the aggression just a bit with overpairs and manage the pot if you can, and your cash game will improve.

3:52 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Blinders -- thanks for the cash game advice. My one comment about it though is that the guy who stacked me completely ignored your advice there, and in fact played the hand 100% the same way that I did with his same hand -- just one overpair. He just got luckier than I did by one card rank, and won my stack. What a dinkhead.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Blinders said...

I put you both on bigger hands then what you guys had based on the action. I was not paying attention preflop, but alot of the time it all goes in preflop with QQ vs. KK (not sure who just called a raise preflop). Lastly, you need to be careful against the people who have you covered. If he starts the hand with less than $100, I am perfectly happy with how you played it. Also, it was one of those tough borderline type of hands. If he flips up JJ you look like a genius, so don't feel too bad. These are the type of hands where the money is made and lost in NL cash games.

6:32 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i picked up quads with QQ last night.


7:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home