Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Running Bad, and Hot Hand #11 (Part III)

It's happening again.

Since my big 5k+ win in the nightly full tilt 30k tournament last Thursday evening, I am once again playing like total donkey. And I'm consciously watching myself do it too. I mean, I'm pushing allin preflop very early in tournaments with AK or 44 against one raiser. I'm calling sufficiently large bets on the flop with hands purely on the come. And I'm reraising allin on the flop with top pair, even when I pretty much know I'm beat. I'm not exactly doing this as a suicide mission, but rather I just tell myself "awww, it's only an $8 satellite, and maybe he'll fold his better hand." And let me tell you, "maybe he'll fold his better hand" is not where you want to be when all your chips get into the middle in an $8 online satellite tournament.

It's all part of a very familiar fucking pattern with me, one which I've written about before here on several occasions and which torments the shit out of me since I know it's coming and still seem utterly unable to do a damned thing about it. I win a big tournament, I make a big huge score in an mtt online, and for the next couple of months, I play like an arrogant fuckass at the tables. I make moves just like the ones I've described above. I managed to hold it together after my big bracelet race win a few weeks back, and I was so effing proud of myself for that, but I guess this 30k tournament score on the heels of the bracelet race is just too much for me, that it's just made my head too damned big for its britches. It's very frustrating. I want to play good poker. I mean to play good poker when I sit down to the virtual tables at night. But then something happens, and I suddenly watch in horror as my hands are clicking on the wrong buttons, clicking "call" when I want to muck preflop, clicking "raise" when I want to fold to a continuation bet on the flop. It's really terrible, and I am just mired in the throes of it right now. I'm at my worst at the poker tables lately, and I know it. And I don't seem to be able to do a damned thing about it.

Of course, it doesn't help that I'm running into one of the worst patches of luck I've ever experienced over the past week or so. Those two always seem to coincide for some reason -- when I'm playing my worst and not making the smart moves that have led me to the mtt success I've had as a poker player, that always seems to be the same exact time that all the 2-outers and 3-outers are hitting against me, and all the perfectly refuckulous flops are falling to give me a second-best hand while giving my dominated opponent the unknowable near-nuts at the same time. It's the perfect storm of frustration, the confluence of bad play and bad luck that always seems to strike me after a big win and render me utterly powerless to stop. I hate it.

Let's see. Last night I played in the 8:30pm ET $8 rebuy satellite into the 30k, as well as the $14 sat at 8:45pm ET. In the rebuy sat, I doubled up early and was near the top of the leaderboard, but eventually down to 11 players left with the top 7 winning seats and me in 6th place, my AQ on the button lost to a donkey in the big blind who called my allin with pocket 4s. That's a scary bad call -- knowing you are basically exactly 51% to win or 20% to win -- for a guy who desperately needed to hold on to his chips at that point near the bubble, but when you're up against me right now the 4s are definitely going to hold. In the 8:45pm ET version, I busted maybe 15 minutes in when my pocket 9s were busted allin preflop by an uber fucking donkass who called my preflop allin with -- get ready for it -- King Jack. Offsuit. Now obviously I am a fool for allowing myself to get allin preflop with pocket 9s that early in the tournament, and there is no doubt that that is true, and that is the bad play part of my recent trend in online poker for sure. In this particular case there was a preflop raise and then two callers of the raise ahead of my 9s, and I thought I might be able to push everyone out even though I figured I was surely racing against at least one opponent. Still a fully donkish play on my part just 15 minutes into a tournament in which generally bad players and bad play are rife. But putting that aside for a second, to even think about making that call (everyone else had folded) with KJo in a tournament is beyond comprehension. I mean, I can't imagine how horrible I would have to be as a player to even take a second's pause before mucking that garbage hand against all that action. But there you go, there's the bad luck element coming into play. He calls, I'm laughing, and then the Jack on the river (of course, it's always the river at times like this) takes me from laughing out loud to instead steam pouring out of my ears.

At the same time was the 8:30pm WWdN tournament, where I started off nicely, chipped up a bit, and then found pocket Aces UTG no more than 15 or 20 minutes into the event. I limped, a move I make quite often with Aces UTG (only UTG, btw), especially since I had limped and even limp-folded from early position several times already at this table. Of course nobody raises and like 7 players see a flop of I think KJ8 rainbow. Knowing it is still highly likely that I am ahead with no straights or flushes possible on this flop, I bet out the size of the pot, and get only one caller. I put him on a King, and when the turn is a harmless-looking offsuit 4, I bet the pot again. This time he raises me probably 2.5 times my original bet. Yes, I have no doubt I'm beat. There's the horrible luck again coming into play. And yes, I made the call anyways. There's the bad play. He flips up?

K4. Now he's not at all a donkey here, in that I let him limp in for free from middle position (not that I would have even put up 30 chips with that dog of a hand preflop, but I can't fault the guy for making the play for that small bet that I myself made possible by not raising with my Aces UTG). Nonetheless, my Aces are still a favorite over any other hands on this flop with no straights or flushes possible, and I knew by his lack of reraise that he hadn't nailed the flop hard (this is a blogger type as opposed to a wwdn donk that also tend to populate Wil's weekly tournament on pokerstars, so I've played with him several times before). Then the turn just has to be a five-outer 4, completing the unlikely two pairs for my opponent and setting me up for another hilariously bad call on my part where I knew -- I absolutely knew -- I was beat but of course I donkeycalled it anyways, at that point mostly just so I could make it official and write about the beat here on the blog today. That's just the way things are going for me lately.

I also played the 9:45pm ET Token Frenzy that I wrote about yesterday on the blog last night. I was very happy to see a bunch of bloggers in there, which I take as a very good sign that people are making a concerted effort to qualify for this Sunday night's Big Game, hosted by the blogtournament specialist himself. I myself played, and in fact as I recall I had a blogger at each table I was seated at through the event, starting off with Buddydank and then eventually moving over to a table with cmitch. And btw, out of the blue yesterday cmitch's blog started loading on my work pc after over a year of being consistently blocked by websense. Not sure how many people read cmitch on a regular basis, but he is a very accomplished cash and mtt player (witness his 10th place finish in the 19k guaranteed on full tilt just last night) over a long period of time, and has lots of great hand analysis on his blog which makes for a really great read. As I've written about here many times before, I do about 99% of my blogreading at my office during the day, so being able to add cmitch to the daily reading list is a major plus for me, and you should go check his blog out if you haven't yet, or if you have previously been unable to view his blog due to dorkwork restrictions like I have at my office.

Anyways, although I eventually busted in the middle of the pack from the token frenzy (another fucking big blind special, just par for the course for my night last night and really the entire last week), it was great to see so many bloggers in that thing last night trying to get in to the Big Game this coming Sunday. And congratulations to Al as well as to new blogger Wippy for both winning their Big Game tokens in last night's frenzy. Lost permitting, I plan to be in there again tonight, at 9:45pm ET, taking my next stab at winning a $75 token for this Sunday's Big Game which is also part of the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments challenge, and I encourage as many of you as possible to join in again and continue our blogger assault on the $14 buyin tier II token frenzy tournament this week on full tilt. At one point last night while that thing was filling up, it looked more like a blogger tournament than a regular public full tilt tournament with all the bloggers signing up early. Let's try to get even more bloggers in there tonight. Remember, it's $14 to buy in, and about the top 18% of the field will leave less than two hours later with a $75 token in their account. Let's do it tonight! And if you're lucky, you start out at my table, because I am playing like a complete fuckass lately and I'm getting horrendous luck to boot, so me chipas es su chipas or however someone would say that if they knew how to make those verbs and pronouns plural in Spanish (as I, obviously, do not).

OK, so back to Hot Hand #11. Yesterday we left off with me betting out half the pot from the small blind after nailing top set on the turn of 67TK with my slow-played pocket Kings, and then my opponent in the big blind raising me on that flop from my 100 chip bet to 400 chips, making it 300 for me to call, and I asked what you all would do in this spot. The comments I received were somewhat varied, starting with one or two bloggers suggesting that I just call this raise here, and then check the river in the hopes of inducing a bigger bet at the river from my opponent. A few other guys proposed a more of a slow-raise approach, suggesting I re-pop it here to 900 or 1000 chips to try to either take it down right now, or to induce a call or reraise from a clearly worse hand than my top set. I think the majority opinion, however, was to just move it allin here, in the hopes that this guy actually has hit something big and will be willing to dump off the rest of his stack to me. The thinking here seems to be that since my opponent has reraised me fairly big here, and since I have the near-nuts, why not make the biggest play I can and hope he will have to call since he likely has something big to be making the raise here to begin with.

To be honest, I tend to like that last approach, in situations where I feel my opponent clearly has a strong hand, and it's something that I do all the time when I am in that position of having Aces when I think my opponent has Kings, or having top set on the flop when I think my opponent has bottom set, etc. However, in this spot, I just didn't get the feeling yet that my opponent really was necessarily on a huge hand. The raise to 400 chips here, to be honest, felt more like a steal to me than anything else. I mean, it's hard for me to expect this guy to have any kind of a big hand on the turn here given the lack of a preflop raise (so probably KT or any pocket pair is out since against just my small blind limp preflop, he might probably have raised me right there with those hands), and it's not like he committed a huge portion of his stack with his raise. Although 400 chips is a raise of the size of the pot, due to the lack of a preflop raise and the checks from both of us on the flop, the pot is still small now relative to the stack sizes of both myself and my opponent, and thus I was more of the impression that this player didn't necessarily have anything great in his hand yet. Given that, I opted not to go for the allin move, which again I would be very apt to do if I had a better read of real strength from the guy with the way he had played this hand from before the flop until now. At the same time, I also opted not to just call his bet here, as I think he has committed enough to the pot that there is some likelihood of him feeling tied on enough to call a little bit more, and given that, I would be remiss if I didn't go for those extra chips now. Plus as an added bonus of reraising here, the pot will be that much bigger after the river comes, meaning that if he does call a reraise from me now, then he may be that much more apt to call some more chips into the pot on the river, including maybe his entire stack. His raise was also small enough in absolute terms on the turn card here that I did not want to just call in case he was semi-bluffing me with just a flush draw and an overcard or something like that, and then hit his flush on the river because I let him draw to it for just 400 chips instead of getting him to lay down with a reraise here.

So, I didn't want to just call in this spot because I wanted to get some more chips from him invested now when I believed he was willing to do so, and I didn't want to move allin on him just yet because I was afraid he wasn't strong enough with whatever he had to call that. So, I ended up going for the reasonably big reraise, enough to show him I mean business and make any draws laughably fidiotic for him, while at the same time keeping it maybe just barely small enough that if he is on something like top pair or two pairs or something, he might be willing to call my reraise as well:

No sooner had I congratulated myself for making this reraise here and for getting this guy tied on with my slowplay from the very beginning of the hand, that my opponent responded (fairly quickly, btw) to my reraise with this:

The allin re-reraise on the turn. KT76, two suited cards, with me sitting on two Kings in the hole.

Anybody folding here? Why?

Assuming no one is folding, I will tell you that I did call his allin raise here, quickly in fact as I got this fugger to do exactly what I wanted him to do from the moment I first checked the Kings before the flop. Anybody want to guess what he was holding? Think back to all his moves from before the flop, the check on the flop on a T76 board with two suits, the pot-size raise on the turn of KT76 with two suits, and then the quick allin re-reraise on the turn after I had reraised 3x his raise on that same flop with the top set on the board. I think I will hold back the final screenshot showing what he had until you all have a chance to venture your guesses. I think a hand like this is an excellent exercise in hand-reading as far as reviewing all the actions at every stage in the hand to put a player on a holding or range of holdings. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and I'll get up here tomorrow with the final results of what this guy had in his hand.

Tonight, token frenzy at 9:45pm ET, and then the Mookie at 10pm ET (password is vegas1 as always) as the BBT rolls on tonight. Everybody come out and play in this thing, as I bet we're on track for more than 80 players in the Mook as the big blogger tournaments all look to be setting records for participation and interest with the onslaught of the BBT. And oh yeah, one other key point -- in light of Miami Don's utter and complete destruction of the blogger tournaments over the past couple of weeks, I am officially laying a bounty on Don's head for tonight's Mookie. I want to tie this bounty to the BBT in a good way, so given what I've been calling for this week in attacking the token frenzy tournament, I am hereby laying a $15 bounty on the head of Miami Don, so whoever eliminates the Don from tonight's Mookie tournament will receive a $15 transfer from me on full tilt, enough to pay the $14 buyin plus the rake in one of these tier II Token Frenzy mtts later this week or weekend on full tilt. So, knock Miami Don out, and I personally will pay you to play for a token into Sunday night's Big Game to help shake things up even more in the BBT. Hopefully that will be just the incentive needed to make some bloggers show some sack in the face of Don's relentless aggrodonking ways tonight at the Mookie. See you then!

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Blogger crazdgamer said...

Let's see... I definitely know your opponent has the case king. Figuring out the second card is the trick...

I doubt he goes all-in with a shitty kicker, so K2 -> K5 are out of the question. K6 and K7 are maybes. He may or may not bet the flop with a pair and then light up when he hits 2 pair. I doubt he has K9 -> KJ. KQ against the SB is approaching raise-worthy pre-flop, and I think we can rule out AK since that's definitely a raising hand pre-flop, even in the unraised BB.

I'm going to say K6. He gets all his money in drawing dead.

P.S. Triple post?

11:22 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i'd have to put this guy on any two pair at this point.

will we know the results by friday? this is one phucking drawn out hot hand post dude.

getting sum mileage outta this one.

11:33 PM  
Blogger bayne_s said...


There are only 3 possibilities I can see from the way you have been running.

Kc8c, Kc9c or 8c9c.

Kc7c I think he bets the flop.

11:36 PM  
Blogger manik79 said...

Can we just get to the outcome already!!! :)

he has the nut flush draw!

11:37 PM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Oops have looked back and seen you had Kc.

Still will guess 8c9c or K8 K9 off, just don't know if this is a cold deck story or fonkey beat story

11:39 PM  
Blogger WDYLL said...

Ac9c or Ac8c...i'll go with A9

12:02 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Thursday you can see the results. Certainly not trying to piss anyone off, I just thought it would be fun for people to try to figure out what he's got here. I would put them up now but I don't have that screenshot teed up yet so it will have to wait until tomorrow at this point.

And yes, I've removed the quintuple post goofup, sorry bout that. Effing blogger.

12:05 AM  
Blogger NewinNov said...

Hot hand #11, sorry for coming to the party so late. Free card on the flop with a potential "made" str8 and flush draw? No, no, no. You could be drawing dead already. He has 89o. He gambled that you didn't have a flush draw as you only limped and checked behind you. He reraised you because he thought your bet may be a semi-bluff flush draw bet. IMO, he has the str8.

12:35 AM  
Blogger jeciimd said...

When we discussed this hand in the girlie chat, I had missed/forgotten the part about the 2-flush on board. So..Im gonna go with QcJc or Jc9c as opposed to the monster under the bed; so you're ahead--call.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

First, on your WWDN recap, you say the turn was a 4 then the river was a 5-outer for two pair. If he's holding K4, wouldn't that be a boat?

Anyways, I don't think he's got the case K. I could see him on a slowplayed two pair here, like T7 or 67.

Based on the way he's played this hand, I could see 89 as well, but then why would you use this as a Hot Hand post? To demonstrate how you slowplayed KK only to run into the flopped nuts?

Final vote: 67. He's hoping you have TP or he's trying to push you off a draw, thinking his two pair is good.

1:06 AM  
Blogger Doog said...

Since everyone here thinks two-pair, I'm gonna take a different tactic. I'll say he has rediculously slow-played Aces, and he was playing the same 'don't scare the opponent away' game that you were. When the K hit the turn, he felt compelled to value bet. When you raised, he put you on a pair of Kings or perhaps taking a stab with second or third pair on a 'scary' King turn. You're far ahead of his two outs, and he gets a reminder of why its a bad idea to slowplay Aces.

1:21 AM  
Blogger cmitch said...

Thanks for the props. I really don't know why my blog would load now and wouldn't before. (Possibly the template change due to my computer probs - like I mentioned last night)

I like the bounty on Miami Don. Good luck tonight.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Matt, sorry for the confusion. What I meant to say was that my pocket Aces were ahead of my wwdn opponent's K4 on the KJ8 flop, until he hit his 5-outer on the turn with the 4 that came on the turn (not the river). That 4 on the turn was the 5-outer that I was referring to, in that he had three 4s and two other Kings as the only cards to beat me, and one of those five cards hit the board to crack my (admittedly slow-played) Aces. I'm neither the first nor the last guy to have Aces cracked, and I certainly have nobody to blame but myself when I let 7 players in to see a cheap flop with me, but it's still a very nice example of how bad I've been running recently to lose with AA to K4 when the King hits the flop, I know the guy is on a King, and then the turn gives him two pairs. Dam slow playing Aces.

1:56 AM  
Blogger BrainMc said...

Holy crap, I've un/officially made it to Hoy's page with a "he's not at all a donkey here" play. Thinking back, the preflop call was iffy, but I only played the hand because of the small amount ($30), limpers, and I had the button for an easy fold on the flop if necessary. Obviously I didn't figure you for AA and thought I was ahead on the flop. With the second pair on the turn, I was only worried about 9,10 and was actually hoping you had A,K at that point. I still had to sweat the river to avoid the higher 2 pair. Thanks for not bashing the play as I know I got lucky. It's always a fear to donk it up to you and then have to read the "reviews" the next day. I really tried to play well last night and took a few too many nasty hits after all the money went in the middle. Iak did the nastiest on me with his flopped trip 7s rivering a flush against my flopped trip kings. No way to avoid this, I raised preflop, he called and we both hit our cards. He was the shorty and pushed on the flop, so of course I called. Runner, runner and flooosh, I'm down to 1/3 - 1/2 the starting stack. I did think of your 5K write up that pointed out you have to have enough chips to take hits like this to make it deep. I was proud that I was able to build back up but after it happened 2 more times, the blinds put me in the push / fold mode and it finally caught up to me.

2:14 AM  
Blogger slb159 said...

Ha, I think I said in my last comment to repop it 1K or reraised I was pretty close.

In honesty, I thought you'd shove here, but I guess I was always.

Maybe see you at the token frenzy...if not, gl.

2:16 AM  
Blogger APOSEC72 said...

I'm guessing probably 9-8 clubs, between Jacks, sixes, and clubs he'd think he could have enough outs to chase it, thanks to limping in. Probably not Q-J because it's possible he bets something pre-flop instead of limping in for free.

Like the call for the bounty.

2:16 AM  
Blogger StB said...

Ever think of taking a break?

2:31 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Stb, I do think of taking a break sometimes, but it's really not what I feel like I need. I mean, I still want to play at night, I want to be in the Mookie and I want to play the bracelet race tonight, etc. Maybe that is the better answer, but in the past I've just never seen any actual improvement just from taking a break. I know this seems to work for others but for me a break has never yet been the answer.

Maybe I should though. But I won't.

3:03 AM  
Blogger Buddy Dank said...

At this point I don't think he has the case king. I'd really only put him on 3 hands. Big Slick, Rockets or 89. But that's just because that is how I would play those hands.
I get trapped by trips often...

See you at the Mook!

5:19 AM  
Blogger Buddy Dank said...

Oops, I guess if he had big slick he has the case king. I still really think he has AA.

5:21 AM  
Blogger James said...

Hi - I read your blog and think it's great. Now I play draw games mainly but like to read about holdem. I have been reading some of Rizen's articles about the squeeze play recently. I wonder if I could make a point about the guy calling your 99 allin with KJ. Now, this guy could easily have recognised that you would be capable of pushing allin versus a raise which is called by 2 others with a wide range of hands. He might even be thinking small pair. Then if he sees that he calls you, he might easily summise that he isnt much worse than 40/60 to win a huge pot as long as no-one else calls (which they may not after seeing two allins). I'm not a holdem player - but it seems to me (and please tell me if i'm wrong) that his call MIGHT just not be the biggest donkey play that you suggested. - a thought by a novice.

love your work

5:53 AM  
Blogger lj said...

my guess is 98o, but now i'm also thinking flush draw. he checked flop, maybe hoping for free card, and maybe thought he could win the pot w/ a small raise on turn? (or maybe he has Kx clubs and also caught a pair). he could have AKc and decided not to raise in bb hoping to keep you, this is fun! have been really enjoying your blog lately, i'm relatively new to the party.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I think he's pushed with the straight and flush draw. However, the pocket aces is an intriguing one - it does make a lot of sense.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Everyone is seeing the monster under the bed of 98o (probably due to the lack of action pre-flop and on the flop), but I'm taking a completely different angle:

He has 66 or 77 for the set. I'm leaning more towards 66 because it's the weaker of the two hands. He hit his set on the flop and he's hoping that the King on the turn hit your hand and now he's moving in for the kill.

As an alternative to not playing at all, what's stopping you from playing some micro-limit NLHE cash games to blow off some steam? Go play .01/.02 or .05/.10 NLHE and blow off some steam and let out your inner fonkey! The max buy-in for .05/.10 is ten bucks! Go get it out of your system and then go back to playing at higher levels.

7:34 PM  

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