Tuesday, June 05, 2007

MATH Recap and a WSOP Question

Last night the Mondays at the Hoy tournament returned with a vengeance, busting out with an impressive 51 runners, just a few short of the all-time record, making up for last week's Memorial Day-shortened roster. And with the size of the event back to normal since the BBT began, my starting cards also were back to normal, which is to say, they sucked. In fact, by the time I busted I had seen just 9% of flops, which those of you who play with me often will note is literally about a third of the flops that I'll usually see in an event. Once again, though, tight preflop play basically forced upon me by horrible, horrible starting cards actually worked to my benefit, helping me to last deep into the field for my best MATH run since before the BBT.

Another trend that continued in this week's MATH, in fact to the greatest degree I've seen yet, was that play overall was incredibly tight. What do I mean by that? Well, let's just say that at the end of the first hour, out of 51 players, just 7 had been eliminated by the break, two of which happened on the last two hands of the hour as it is. That is just sick when compared to how these blonkaments usually run when the BBT points are not at stake. As a result it took noticeably longer to reach the 26 players left plateau where the BBT points would begin, which was good because it gave us just (barely) enough time to blind out Waffles, who was a no-show after I personally offered him an individual bounty for taking me out, just one or two players before the BBT points kicked in.

As my starting cards were generally terrible, I had to improvise as usual and make a lot of plays with shit, which led to me showing (and winning with) six hammers on the night, including one huge double-up with the best starting hand at showdown just when I was in danger of dropping into the trouble zone as we neared the points bubble.

So I've got the hammer in the big blind, and ChapelncHill open-limps for the 120-chip big blind from middle position. Byron limps as well from the small blind, and so naturally I play the hammer the only way it should be played:

Only Chapel called, and then we saw this flop, a kick ass one for my hand obviously:

As you can see, I opted to bet out just over half the pot here, hoping Chapel would have something worth playing. He smooth called me on the flop. I'm lovin' it. Then when a great scare card hit the turn, I went for the gusto:

and Chapel quickly called with my ultimate nemesis hand:

With a lot of outs for Chapel, the harmless 6 of diamonds fell on the river and I had nearly doubled for my first big hand of the tournament just about 80 minutes in to the game. This hand got me into the top 5 or so of the remaining players, and about 10 minutes later when CJ pushed another sooted JackAce into my only pocket Aces of the night from utg, I somehow survived the suckout and my stack soared into first place of 30 players remaining. As I endured another 30 minutes then of absolute nothing starting cards, I went into the 2nd break in 3rd place of 22 players left, all of us already receiving BBT points in the top 26 players in the field.

The third hour began much like the first two hours played out, with me getting almost no good starting cards. In fact, through the first 30 minutes of the third round, the only even semi-premium starting hand I found was JJ, with which I had to call a raise preflop, and then when the flop came 874 with two suits, I ended up leading out big on the flop to try to figure out right now if I was beat, and my opponent mercifully folded, lifting my stack to over 14k and at its highest point thus far in the tournament.

Then the card death continued, which forced to me steal blinds and antes with abandon (and with totally nothing cards) repeatedly, which unfortunately also increases the variance higher than I would like it to be. As a result, two failed steal attempts later I suddenly found myself down to 10th place of 11 players remaining, and once again forced to push in with shiat:

This one was not called somehow even for just another 4k in chips against the nicely-stacked small and big blind. Even crazier was this steal-reraise attempt that I felt compelled to do with any two paint cards:

which even more miraculously was also not called:

despite it costing the the button only another 25% of his stack and only around a third of the existing pot. Mtnrider must have really had nothing in that hand to have folded facing those kind of pot odds, which was great in that it set me up with over 18000 chips again and put me in good position to be able to play for at least a while longer and make a run at the final table, which arrived just a few hands later with me in 9th place out of 9:

Once the final table arrived, I won a couple of key races for the first time in as long as I can remember in a blonkament to get into position to win, but to be honest it was the folds I made behind the scenes right around this point that are the real story to how I got myself into that position. For example, here is a fold just before the final table that I debated calling but I'm quite sure I made the right move against a hand I was surely behind:

Similarly, here I am again folding big sooted connectors on a very short stack to try to preserve my chance to make a run rather than pushing in with a hand that I feared was likely dominated by a preflop reraiser:

As a result of these folds, even though I backed into the final table in last place, I was able to win my first key race when I made this move that I know a few of the guys around the table found questionable on my part:

The thing is, wonka was open-raising from middle position so at this point in the tournament I knew that his starting hand requirements to make that raise were lowered somewhat. Obviously I got lucky to be racing with a dominatable hand like A9o, but the bottom line as I explained in the chat was that my M was down to 3 at the time, and I felt there was enough of a chance that wonka was raising from that position without a pair and maybe even with an Ace with a lower kicker that I figured I had to go for it. In the end here was the final board for the hand, which saw me hit one of my overcards on the turn to propel me up to 3rd place at the final table:

But I barely had time to enjoy my new 3rd position, as just two hands later I lost 11k of my 23k in chips to Jordan when I open-raised from the button with ATs. When Jordan pushed in his short stack for another 5k or so in chips, I knew I had to call not only because Jordan plays these things so aggressively but because I knew that my raise would look like a steal to him, so his hand requirements would be quite low for the push. Well, I was wrong as Jordan flipped up TT and I could not spike the Ace, which dropped me right back down to 12k in chips again, back to 8th place of 9 remaining players. Blech.

Luckily, I found Queens a few hands later UTG+1, and when UTG pushed his short stack allin for 9k in chips, I obviously moved in as well and hoped that the biatches could work for me for once in my fricking life. They did, but that was more I think because utg turned out to have 87o, I guess fearing the blinds which were about to decimate his short stack over the next two hands. In any event I was back to 3rd out of 8 and in good position to make some moves in my first MATH final table since the BBT began.

Meanwhile, I continued to try to lay down even my stronger hands when I felt that the action ahead of me indicated that I was likely beat. I really wanted to cash in this event if at all possible for my first Hoy cash of the BBT as well, and I figured calling an allin with a dominated hand was just not the way I wanted to go out. So, I laid down that bastage hand called the JackAce here to Jordan's UTG+1 open-raise, which I still wonder if I might have been ahead of anyways given how aggro Jordan can get in these things:

Then 3 hands later I got the JackAce again, and I laid it down again, this time to a reraise of my raise:

This one I felt more sure about, as why is Jordan going to reraise me big when I had open-raised from middle position and when there were still three players left to act behind him. This move just screamed of AQ or AK or a nice pair to me, so I dropped that hand as well, even though it left me in 6th of 7 players left, with just the top 6 making cash payouts on the night.

Meanwhile, I was stealing like it was my job, as I've shown you above some of my bigger laydowns but believe me when I say I received no premium hands at the entire final table so had nothing to do but steal, steal and steal some more. I hate playing like that but at the same time there is just no other way to give yourself a chance when the blinds and antes are this high late in an online tournament when you aren't being dealt any cards to speak of.

I had a big hand here when I faced this allin raise from shortstacked wonka holding a not great hand, but I figured I had to take a chance sometime since I wasn't getting any cards:

In the end I knew that wonka was pushing allin there was basically literally any two cards, so I felt compelled to call with my KTo on the assumption that I was ahead. In the end, I was ahead and in fact dominating wonka's hand, but it took a nice river resuck for me to win the chips since wonka managed to flop two pairs over my one pair despite his being dominated when I made the call preflop. Nonetheless, this got us to the money positions, with me in 2nd of 6 players remaining.

About 6 hands later I finally got Jordan allin against a big hand of mine, when he raised preflop, I reraised allin with AKo and he called me with pocket Jacks. Amazingly, I won another race in this spot, giving me two big race wins and a resuck at the final table of the MATH!

I still can't believe how odd it felt to be winning two races at the final table of a blonkament. I will say without hesitation that I 100% definitely have not won two races in any blonkament in recent memory -- certainly since the BBT began and probably going back a ways from there as well. But I did manage to win them here, with this last one against Jordan vaulting my chip stack up over 61k, giving me a huge chip lead even over 2nd place Vinnay way down at 33k. Was I actually going to win the MATH?

About 10 minutes later and we were down to 3-handed, just myself, Vinnay and Jordan, with me in the chip lead for most of the way. Vinnay managed to grab the chip lead from me a couple of times with some good play and with me laying down 88 on a board of J32 when he bet big both before and then again on the flop, and then with me laying down A3o to a possible preflop steal from Vinnay as well. Eventually, when I put in what seemed like my 10th consecutive steal-raise preflop, this time with K7o, I basically knew Jordan was going to push over the top of me. I just knew it before I even made my move, and I had already decided I was going to call his push with the K7, a better than average hand with a King-high as well as a decent kicker, and so when he did in fact push I made the instacall not knowing what to expect from his hand:

Luckily, this time my 60% hand held up as well:

and suddenly I was an 85k - 68k chip leader heading into heads-up play with Vinnay at the MATH!

Amazingly, heads-up play lasted all of one hand before we both got all in. I found AJo on the first hand, and I just smooth called from the small blind because as I mentioned above Vinnay had been playing so aggressively over the last several minutes at the final table, and I figured I had a good chance of being able to come over the top of him on a reraise after he hopefully raised my preflop limp:

Vinnay obliged:

and I went through with my plan to reraise him with my monstrous heads-up hand:

Even when Vinnay re-reraised me allin here:

I absolutely instacalled, never even considering for a second that my JackAce could be behind on hand #1 of heads-up play against an ultra-aggressive final table opponent:

Boooooooooooooom! I was nearly a 4-to-1 favorite to win my first Hoy in nearly 3 months.

But this JackAce, my fucking nemesis hand of 2007 for sure, had other plans:

Really. Fucking. Sick. I am the first to admit that this beat completely took the wind out of my sails, and I quickly moved in with low connectors on the next hand to just put me out of my misery, which Vinnay obliged, sending me off to a second place finish in this week's MATH after being this fucking close to taking the thing down:

What a filthy fucking sick way to lose after over 3 1/2 hours of dominating play and a great, great run at the final table. I mean, it's one thing for me to have won two 50% hands and a 60% hand on my way to heads-up play. But losing a roughly 80% favorite hand on the first hand of heads-up play with my opponent allin is a real pisser. Nonetheless, I will certainly live with the result and I am very pleased to have made another appearance on the MATH cash payouts, something I never thought I would see again since the BBT began and the MATH fields swelled to an average of over 50 players.

So congratulations again to this week's cashers in the MATH, with Buddy and Newin both adding to what are already top-5 BBT point totals in another impressive performance for both players:

6th place: BuddyDank $73.28
5th place: NewinNov $97.92
4th place: Patchmaster $134.64
3rd place: Jordan $183.60
2nd place: Hoyazo $269.28
1st place: Vinnay $465.12

And you know what this means, don't you? Let's take a look at the updated 2007 MATH moneyboard after this week's results:

1. Hoyazo $849
2. VinNay $775
3. NewinNov $677
4. Iggy $641
5. Astin $616
6. Columbo $606
7. Bayne_s $579
8. Tripjax $561
9. Julius Goat $507
10. mtnrider81 $492
11. scots_chris $474
12. Fuel55 $458
13. Otis $429
14. Miami Don $402
15. Blinders $379
15. Chad $379
17. Pirate Wes $372
18. IslandBum1 $357
19. ChapelncHill $353
20. Zeem $330
21. Mike_Maloney $326
22. cmitch $312
22 oossuuu754 $312
24. Waffles $294
25. Wigginx $288
26. ScottMc $282
27. Manik79 $252
28. Wippy1313 $248
29. Byron $234
30. RecessRampage $224
31. Omega_man_99 $210
32. lightning36 $205
33. Buddydank $197
34. Jordan $184
35. bartonfa $180
36. 23Skidoo $176
37. Santa Clauss $170
38. Iakaris $162
38. Smokkee $162
40. NumbBono $156
41. lester000 $147
42. DDionysus $137
43. Patchmaster $135
44. Pushmonkey72 $129
44. InstantTragedy $129
46. Ganton516 $114
47. Gracie $94
47. Scurvydog $94
49. Shag0103 $84
50. PhinCity $80
50. jeciimd $80
52. Alceste $71
52. dbirider $71
54. Easycure $67

So it was a big, big week for the MATH moneyboard, as Jordan and Patch both entered the list for the first time this year with impressive, aggressive performances all the way deep to the final table. And even bigger is the fact that all three of the top spots on the current MATH moneyboard shifted after this week's tournament, with Newin climbing to 3rd place on the list with his 5th place finish last night, and with Vinnay riding this week's MATH victory all the way up to 2nd place on the moneyboard as he powered well over $700, nearly a full hundy more than Newin in 3rd place.

And who is that guy up on top of the moneyboard up there?

Hey one more quick question for everyone -- so I'm leaving for Vegas on Wednesday night, with the plan originally of playing in Thursday's 6-max WSOP $1500 buyin event at the Rio, in addition to Saturday's straight nlh $1500 buyin WSOP tournament as well. Now a number of other bloggers appear to be playing in the Venetian deep stack $550 buyin nlh tourney on Thursday at noon instead, and I was debating whether I should scrap my WSOP plans and play at the Venetian instead. What do you guys think? Should I do that? The argument is that the fields are much smaller, the structure is much better and frankly the likelihood of cashing is much higher in the Venetian tournament than anything I'm going to find this week at the WSOP. But then again, it's not the WSOP, and when I win at the Venetian I won't be getting a WSOP bracelet or anything like that -- just about $50 grand in cash instead. So what's a degernate poker player to do? What do you guys think I should play?

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Blogger VinNay said...

Thanks for hosting Hoy. Sorry about the suckout. I'm gunning for the top spot now. BTW - the links to my blog are wrong - its runner-runner-rebuy.com, not runner-runner-rebuy.blogspot.com.

11:45 PM  
Blogger VinNay said...

Thanks for hosting Hoy. Sorry about the suckout. I'm gunning for the top spot now. BTW - the links to my blog are wrong - its runner-runner-rebuy.com, not runner-runner-rebuy.blogspot.com.

11:45 PM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

My feeling is play at the Venetian.

Possibility of playing in a tent if field is too large is small factor, but Harrah's telling Rich Brodie that he is no longer welcome is galling.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Buddy Dank said...

Nice turnout last night. Congrats on 2nd even though it was suck out mania last night.

11:53 PM  
Blogger jeciimd said...

Let's review....
1)Going to Vegas during WSOP...check
2)Buyins already covered by bracelet race wins...check
3)Devoting much of the last few months to honing your 6max game...check

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

You can jet down to AC for a smaller buyin tourney just about all year round. The series is only once a year. And I KNOW you don't play to cash, you play to win, no matter which one you choose.

Go for the bracelet.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Vinnay, the links are fixed. Sorry 'bout that.

Nice playing last night, suckout or otherwise.

12:52 AM  
Blogger NewinNov said...

And who is that guy up on top of the moneyboard up there? LOL.

The WSOP of course. Make blogger history. Agree with jeciimd.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Patch said...

Great MATH this week. It was a nice welcome back to cash in one of these after my little break from poker.

You mentioned a few times how disciplined you were in laying down hands. I have to concur. I noticed this and even mentioned it in my blog before reading your entry. Laying down the big hands where you figure you're behind is one of the toughest things in poker. Keep playing like that and you should do very well at the WSOP. Best of luck.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great, great job Hoy. If in fact you didn't have any cards that is not a tournament I would win without question. Or even place for that matter.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

I'd say play two $550s at the Venetian, and then take some of your mad mobnies profits over to the WSOP and run for the bracelet. You can have the best of both worlds, really.

3:50 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

WSOP and its not even close.

4:22 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

Lucko, you donk..... Hoy, how could you not play the $500 on Thursday and the $1000 on Friday at Venetian with that money? Two shots at big money with better structure and smaller fields. 1st place is the last $1K event was over $90K and the structure kicks the living crap out of any pre lim event. Play Venetian, and its not even close!!

9:48 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Whats up Hoy. I won one of my bracelet packages with you and we chatted after the tourney. I was planning on playing the Thursday event and the Saturday event, but decided to just play Saturdays'. I would rather take some winnings and play several more smaller events around town. I may play Thursday's Venetian tourney and will be playing the $250 horse tourney at Binion's on Friday at 2. If for some unforeseen reason I'm not at the final table on Monday, I will play Monday's tourney at the Venetian. GL

10:16 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

that's a hell of a dilemma you have their Hoy.

i'd play the Venetian $550 tournament on Thursday. it has an awesome structure and a smaller field. then, play the WSOP Saturday event. this way u can get your WSOP fix.

10:35 AM  
Blogger WindBreak247 said...

You gotta play the 6-Max, Hoy. Its your specialty.

8:46 PM  

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