Sunday, May 13, 2007

MATH Pimp, PT and PAHUD Questions, Play It or Lay It, and 7 Random Things

Monday again! Yep -- time for another Mondays at the Hoy tournament on full tilt!

The Battle of the Blogger Tournaments rolls on into its sixth week today with the latest MATH tournament at 10pm ET this evening, password is "hammer" as always, and all are welcome (except "loose1" on full tilt -- you donk!). Last week was a new MATH record at 54 entrants for a total prize pool of $1296, and plus another $108 that goes directly into the BBT prize pool including the end-of-year BBT Tournament of Champions freeroll for the top 50 BBT point getters plus anyone who has played in at least 20 BBT events. So tonight is a very good night for all of you to get started on lifting up those BBT numbers, because as it stands now it looks like we're going to have a pretty hot freeroll going on in a couple of months. And even if you haven't played in any of the BBT events so far, the point totals are still low enough that you would be very close to the top 50 BBT spots if you won just the MATH tonight, so it's not like it's anywhere even close to too late to get the benefit of starting off your BBT quest today.

And speaking of the BBT, don't forget that this coming Sunday night is the next Blogger Big Game, hosted by Miami Don. Remember, this badboy sports a $75 or Tier II token buyin, so this is your last week to accumulate yo'self one of those snazzy tier II tokens to buy in to what was over a $3500 prize pool event the last time around in April. In furtherance of this goal, I will once again be beginning my week long assault on that 9:45pm ET token frenzy tournament on full tilt, the one where you buy in for $14 and the top 18% or so of finishers in the tournament, usually in the neighborhood of 120-150 entrants total, emerge with a $75 token.

OK, now as far as my poker this weekend, I will begin by saying that I donked again in FTOPS #1 on Friday night. I don't know what it is about these FTOPS events generally. I play quite well in mtt's as a general rule, but over now three full FTOPS series, I have officially cashed in 2 out of 11 events. That is just not acceptable behavior, not when I'm focusing on qualifying for these things or buying in with cash at high buyin levels. Not good. I never got anything going on Friday, topping out at around 3200 chips (3000 starting stacks) early on before making a terrible call for a lot of chips when I knew I was beat early in the second hour, and then about three hands later trying to bluff a guy I knew I couldn't bluff. I played like total and complete ass. And I don't even mean ass like "donkey". I mean like someone's actual, living ass. Hopefully I can turn that around starting tonight, where I will be playing in the $216 buyin supersatellite into FTOPS Event #4 tonight. The supersat goes off at 6:30pm ET, so I'm leaving work early and everything to go play online poker! Yay! And hopefully I will be among the top 19% or so of finishers in the 6:30pm supersat, so that I can play in the 9pm ET FTOPS #4 $1000 buyin nlh tournament. So tonight, if all goes well, I'm looking at the FTOPS #4 supersat at 6:30pm, the FTOPS #4 at 9pm, the token frenzy at 9:45pm and then of course the Hoy at 10pm ET. Hopefully I can see a bunch of you in all these things tonight. And congratulations to Chad as the only blogger I saw cash in FTOPS #1, ending I think in 165th place out of over 2500 players, and in fact the only blogger I think I saw cashing in any of the FTOPS events over this weekend. Much more blogcashery to come this week I hope I'm sure.

Anyways, back to the weekend of poker. No big tournament scores to mention, but I did move up to the 2-4 tables, and right now at least I don't foresee myself going back. The play is definitely up a noticeable notch from 1-2, in that the 2-4 guys at least know when to fold. The difference between having $200 at stake and having $400 at stake is really noticeable when I actually played 2-4 this weekend, and I am just much more comfortable in the knowledge of my opponents generally speaking at 2-4 than I ever have been at 1-2. And the best part is, even though the general level of the competition has improved slightly from 1-2, there are still the same total donkass mofos playing $400 nl as there are playing $200 nl. I sat at a 2-4 table with one of 'em this weekend with cmitch, and he and I took turns raping the guy of a nice-sized stack until I finally left up a buyin and a half when I realized I was getting too aggro with the guy, trying to isolate on the monkey every time he moved at a pot preflop, almost without regard to the actual cards I was actually holding. But there are guys all over the place like that, even at 2-4, and that's who I'm looking for when I sit down to the cash tables.

OK, so about my move to 2-4, this weekend I finally decided to take the plunge and go get Poker Tracker and Poker Ace HUD. I downloaded both products, but I'm having some trouble and I would love if anyone has any suggestions for me to fix the problem with either Poker Tracker or PA HUD.

First off, my Poker Tracker is not working. Let me start from the beginning. I downloaded PT, and then followed the tutorial instructions in going to my full tilt client under "Options", choosing "hand history" at the bottom, and then checking the box saying "Save my hand histories". The default filepath for where to save those hand histories to came up as "c:\ProgramFiles\FullTiltPoker\HandHistory\", but when I looked at "my computer", there were actually no sub-folders within the "FullTiltPoker" folder in my Program Files. Thus, I went into "my computer", opened the FullTiltPoker file, and created a new folder inside called "HandHistory". My thinking was this would then automatically save my hh's from full tilt right to this new folder I created inside of the FullTiltPoker directory. So, in the end this is what my full tilt options window for hh's looks like:

But, when I click on the "Open Folder" button from this screen, it opens up the "HandHistory" subfolder in the FullTiltPoker directory, but it just says "The folder is empty", and clearly no hand histories are loading into it. That sub-director is in fact empty, even though I've chosen it as the folder to save my hand histories to per the above screen shot.

Anybody have any idea what I'm doing wrong here? I really want this shiat to work now that I've taken the plunge. Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated! I should also disclose that I am running on Vista, but I've followed their instructions and elected to run the program as administrator (I double and triple checked this over the weekend already) so that is not the problem here.

Also, on Poker Ace HUD, I can't any stats to upload or show at all on-screen. I am correct that HUD relies on poker tracker being present and running concurrently on the system in order for HUD to do its thing? If so, then that explains my problem. If not, then my PA HUD ain't working either. I have configured HUD to show the stats next to the players on my screen, but the numbers are all just N/A right now, and again it is not receiving any hand histories analyzed from poker tracker if it needs them to run properly. Again, if anyone can make any suggestions here I would be most appreciative, although as I mentioned above I suspect that no poker tracker means HUD won't run properly either, but I just don't know that for sure.

With my desperate plea for help out of the way, I'd love to do a new feature here at Hammerplayer, which I'm cleverly calling "Play It or Lay It?" This is actually a theme that I started last week with a post where I show you some preflop action and a decent starting hand for you, and ask if you would lay down your hand or play it against the action you're seeing so far before the flop. So, here is today's "Play It or Lay It?" hand:

We're playing 6-max nlh with $2 - $4 blinds. We have the biggest stack at the table, although most of the other stacks are big enough to be worth going after under the right circumstances. We are dealt JJ on the button. UTG folds and UTG+1 limps for $4. The cutoff folds, and action is to us with the pocket Jacks.

I think this is a fairly obvious raise here, so I raise it up to $18, to try to win it right here or at least get heads-up against the initial limper with most likely the best hand going in:

To my surprise, the small blind smooth calls the $18 by throwing $16 more into the pot. The big blind folds, but then the UTG+1 player, who had originally limped in for $4, now suddenly reraises big, making it $68 to play:

Now the question: Play it or lay it? Are you calling / reraising here, or does the reraise in the face of a sizable raise and a call of that raise before the flop sufficiently scare you enough to lay down your Jacks? What's your move? You can skip down to hear my thoughts.

After struggling for a bit, I laid this hand down here:

In cash games at limits I care about I just do not like to call big preflop reraises from guys who limped from EP already before the flop, unless I have a hand that is going to play very well after the flop. Basically, in my experience the EP-limp-then-reraise-two-raisers-and-callers-big-preflop move almost always means one of three or four things -- it's either Aces, Kings, AK, maybe Queens. Think about it. Is that guy going to limp from UTG+1 with a hand like 7s, and then respond to a big raise and a caller of that raise from guys who were not at all priced into the hand by reraising it up big with those 7s? Highly doubtful. Similarly, is he going to limp with a hand like AJs from UTG+1, see a big raise and a call of that raise, and then put in a large reraise to nearly $70 with a hand like AJs? Also doubtful. In my experience, the EP limper who then reraises strongly a lot of action in front of him is usually sitting on a real big hand. So, I reasoned that probably at best my pocket Jacks are a 51% favorite over two overcards, at least one of which is about 95% likely to show up on the flop as those of you who play medium-high pairs as often as I do will attest, and quite likely my Jacks were a sufficient underdog. What's more, if that flop comes raggy and my opponent does not bet out on the flop, I could get hit for a bigger loss by having to fold to a large reraise on the turn if I lead out to try to take the hand down after the fourth card hits the virtual felt. So I opted to just lay it down. What do you cash gamers think of that move?

Anybody curious what these two guys had who were still going at it when I laid this down here? Rather than spoil it for you right on the blog, just click here if you want to see that final screenshot.

OK before I go for a Monday morning and remind you one last time about the MATH and the token frenzy tonight, Donkeypuncher tagged me late last week with this "Seven Random Things" meme that's been going around the blogiverse lately. Now, you may not know this about me, but I don't like memes at all. I'm trying to quit. No seriously, I'm not so into the whole idea so I don't plan to forward this on to anyone. But since I write not too much about my own personal life, I thought I would indulge myself and come up with seven random facts about myself as per he who punches donkeys's suggestion. So here goes:

1. As a middle-schooler I won the NJ stock market game with two friends of mine, beating out over 2500 other schools in New Jersey to take first prize. As I recall we profited from buying shares of Sony (shows how long ago that was!), as well as from United Air Lines being bought out at the time by a larger rival (I think that deal never ended up happening). They drove us up to a banquet right outside of New York City up in North Jersey, and Cheryl Tiegs was there handing out the awards certificates. Crazy. I'm sure she's really into the middle school math geek types.

2. I have never had any pet of any kind whatsoever, not even for a day. The Hammer Parents still talk about "Speckles", their collie who they got during their first year of marriage, and who by not ever being properly trained, managed to ruin generations of petless life for myself and my brothers. So I never had a dog growing up, nor a cat, and probably due to the lack of any other pets in my life as a child, not a hamster or a guinea pig or a snake or even a fuckin turtle either. Nothing. Nada.

3. I absolutely love game shows. And infomercials. And I've seen 'em all too. Hammer Wife goes crazy sometimes because late at night or early on a weekend morning sometimes I'll just sit around and surf the tv for infomercials or game shows, which I can then watch for hours on end. Needless to say, Hammer Wife isn't so into that. But if anybody needs an indestructible, perpetually self-sharpening new set of knives or a great guaranteed formula for making money in the stock market, I'm definitely the guy to ask.

4. I have run several different websites over the past 12 years or so, with this blog just being the latest in a long line. In the past I have had a sports website, a couple of lawyers' websites, a financial information website and a few other random ideas as well -- really all blogs, just before we called 'em "blogs". I ended up turning the financial information website I ran several years ago into a business, making investment recommendations a few times a week to my subscribers in exchange for $30 a month. Good stuff and a nice little side income for a time, but in the end just more trouble than it was worth.

5. I was the guy who called the ambulance when Reggie Lewis, former captain of the Boston Celtics, died on the campus of Brandeis Univeristy in Waltham, Massachusetts back in the summer of 1993. I was working at Brandeis for the summer, and I was in the gym watching Lewis when he shot a free throw, and suddenly kinda fell back real slowly until he keeled over onto his side. I ran over immediately and within a few minutes had called the ambulance, which eventually showed up and pronounced Reggie Lewis DOA at the nearby hospital. While I still lived in Boston I used to get calls almost every year at the anniversary of his death from news reporters and such looking for an inside scoop or an interview, since my name and number were on the police report.

6. I'm a real northeasterner at heart. I have lived exlclusively in one of Boston, New York, Philadelphia (where I'm from originally) and Washington DC during the past 15 years straight. And I have no plans of changing that anytime soon, as I am liking New York after five years still far more than any other city I've ever lived in. I feel like I'm as much a "real" New Yorker as anyone who's lived here far long than me, and I think most people who know me would agree with that (and it's a compliment in my mind, regardless of what you out there might be thinking about it).

7. Lastly, I once "quit" my law firm for a month and drove the nearly two hours to Foxwoods from Boston every day for four weeks, to see if I could hack it as a professional gambler. This was some years ago, and the games of choice at the time were blackjack (counting cards, of course) and craps (I had a great system, of course). Not miraculously, after four weeks of making up excuses to get out of assignments and calling in sick to the office, I begrudgingly had to accept that I was not going to make a profitable living playing small-stakes blackjack and craps, even if I did count the cards at blackjack. I think I recall losing something like $800 over the course of the month, which wasn't bad given the number of hours I was logging playing what essentially amounted to -EV games, but no way it was enough to make me think I could do that long-term. I was disappointed, and surprised to tell the truth, because I would have committed murder if it would have gotten me out of the law firm environment and I had to accept that it wasn't quite time for me to leave yet.

Hopefully that gives you all some nice insight into Hoyazo's World. While you ponder all that, please remember to sign up for tonight's token frenzy at 9:45pm ET on full tilt to start winning your Tier II tokens for Sunday's Big Game. And come rail me on my way supersatting in to tonight's FTOPS #4 event with the $1000 buyin. And of course I'll see you tonight as well in Mondays at the Hoy!!

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Blogger bayne_s said...

Have seen treetopallin limp early then shove in tournaments with pairs as low as 66. haven't seen if he plays cash differently.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Blinders said...

The poker Ace hud will not work properly until the hand histories are properly stored on your hard drive. There is a setting in HUD that is the minimum number of hands someone must have before the stats will show on the screen (20 or something like that). No reason to look at stats for someone you only have 5 hands of history with.

You should not need to have pokertracker for the hand histories to be written to your hard drive, and you do not need to create the folders where they go. FullTilt does this automatically. You can play for years w/o tracker and accumulate stats, then when you buy tracker you tell them where they are at, and it processes them. My guess is this is a Vista issue, as it probably does not like the idea of a web app. writing to your harddrive w/o express permission. Can't help you with the Vista stuff, but like I said FT should be writing to your HD even if you don't have tracker, so this is not a tracker issue.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Hoy, I set my PT up long ago, it seemless works, so I'm no expert at fixing/and setting it up anymore. IF you send me an email (, I'll send some screen shots of my PT setup screens which might help, but you might start with some of the min hand requirments in HUD, since stats won't show until the min hands are statisfied, I think the default was kinda high if I remember. Also, you can email questions directly to both PT and HUD, and they will actually respond with suggestion.

12:29 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i like the JJ laydown. vnf

12:49 AM  
Blogger Gnome said...

Yes, PA Hud is entirely reliant on PokerTracker to function.
Hand histories will only be stored after you selected the hand history option in Full Tilt (which you did). Have you played hands on Full Tilt since you checked that box? They should be showing up.
Please e-mail me if you need help.

12:54 AM  
Blogger StB said...

I don't like the laydown. In fact, my experience has been the opposite. If some guy limps then comes in with the big re-raise, they do not have a big hand. Sure it still happens but most times it seem they have 7s-10s. I would take a flop and play from there. Of course, the guy behind you with the KK may have re-re-raised after you called the re-raise which would have been trouble.

1:26 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yes Gnome I played about 300 hands last night in cash games after checking that box. For some reason my hh's are still not being saved to my hard drive. Still not sure why that is.

I will definitely check it out again tonight and see if I can figure it all out. Very pissed though not to have the stuff working already.

1:26 AM  
Blogger Sean McCulloch said...

On pokertracker, I'm pretty sure that "place to store hand histories" (the thing you have pictured) means "place pokertracker moves hand histories to after processing them". So that folder should be empty until you start loading hands.

I think the way pokertracker works is by finding hand histories in the "regular" place the poker site places them, then analyzing the found hand histories, and then moving them someplace safe for permanent storage.

If you want, I can check my setup in more detail when I get home later.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Buddy Dank said...

About your hand history problem in Vista. This is most likely a security setting that you could spend hours trying to find and fix. The UAC is really annoying.
Quick fix! Change the folder to something you know you have rights accessing. My suggestion is your Documents folder as that is what I use and it fixed the problem for me.
But if you really want it in that folder and are more interested in tracking down the security issue then I would start by turning off the UAC.

1:57 AM  
Blogger cmitch said...


I just emailed you the directions that someone walked me through when I was having a problem with setting up PAHUD on my new computer.

You need to get PT working which should be an easy fix - play a few hands and then close out your table.

Open PT then click File/Import Hand Histories/Tournament Summaries. Click Select Files to Import. Browse for the correct folder and select the C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Handhistory\hoyazo. The FTP software doesn't say that it is saving the file into a hoyazo subfolder, but it probably is. Import a few from here and it will probably be the default next time.

Now go to File\Auto-Import FTP HHs and make sure C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\HandHistory (doesn't need the hoyazo subfolder) is selected by clicking the Hand History Fold Location button. You will need to use the start timer so that it imports hands while playing.

Hope this fixes it. Of course, you might have to throw all this out the window since you are using Vista :)

2:08 AM  
Blogger Chris Double said...

Make sure in the Full Tilt Poker client you change in the menu, 'Options', 'Hand History...'.

In the window that appears you should have the option to save hand histories checked. The default folder it has should be fine. It will be created and populated with hands the next time you play/observe a full hand at a table.

Point PokerTracker to that folder. Poker Ace Hud will then start to work.

4:03 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

I like the fold.

Either you are:

1) Dominating a total pushmonkey with low/med suited connectors, lower pair, etc.;

2) Dominated by an overpair;


3) Racing against one or more overs.

Obviously, Option 1 is great. Option 2 sucks. I don't see the point in taking Option 3 if you think your skills give you an edge.

And you have somebody acting behind you who already called 4.5x bb. So the best you could hope for would be Option #1 from the pusher and Option #3 from the caller. Seems like you're racing anyway.

As it turns out, you had Option #1 and Option #2.

And you know to go looking for that pushmonkey next time you play.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Pseudo_Doctor said...

sorry this is short cause im swamped with school work....loved the fold think it was a pretty easy one cause i would put him on AA Or KK no prob. Secondly crazy that u called the cop's for lewis tonight

8:52 AM  

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