Thursday, December 18, 2008

Betting on the Bodonkey

So another Bodonkey series is in the books, and once again I managed to turn a decent profit (so far) for my investors of nearly a 100% ROI. In the end I played in I think 14 of the tournaments in the series, missing one or two due to unavoidable work issues, and I managed to come up with another strong showing. Actually, it's funny because as per usual with me in these blogger tournament series, I seem always to start off slow as I never really take these things seriously until it's nearly too late. Even with the first BBT where I ended up taking fourth place and winning myself a Wii that I have played during many of my deep mtt runs over the past couple of years, if you recall I went on a tear late, winning two of the final three events to jump from around 25th on the leaderboard to 4th all within the past few weeks.

The same thing happened to me in BBT2, where I was never able to make up for my early slow start and I ended up missing the ToC. Same thing again in the first Bodonkey, when I did literally nothing for the first 6 or 7 tournaments before busting out to win two of the final 10 or so along with a few other final tables along the way. Same story in the BBT3, where I ended up around 10th on the leaderboard but only thanks to a strong second half after I donked around for the first 20 events or so of the series, only reaching the points in a small handful up to that point, while the guys who ended up at the top of the leaderboard were "pointing" in about 80% of the tournaments right from the start.

So here we were a couple of weeks ago, with me having failed to reach the points -- something which to this day I have never spent even one tournament thinking about, probably to my detriment on these leaderboard things -- in any of the first seven Bodonkeys this time around. Then I got called out publicly in some other blogs for my poor performance, which I solemnly guarantee you would not have changed if not for these statements, and all of a sudden per my usual M.O. I decided it was time to play. What ensued was a streak of destruction rivaled for me only by my Bodonkey performance last time around and a few of those other BBT streaks I've come up with over the years. I strung together a 1st, a 4th and a 6th in just the final 6 Bodonkeys this fall, amassing enough leaderboard points to be in position to sneak in to the top-11-only ToC with a strong performance in the final tournament on Tuesday of this week. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as I ran top and bottom pair on the flop into middle set, which made both of us boats on the turn, sending me to the rail early, ending I think in 17th place on the leaderboard.

Bring on the Bodonkey Last Chance tournament, which was on Wednesday night. This was a new idea among the blonkament series challenges, with the top 3 finishers in the Last Chance Tournament winning entries into the ToC. What was most interesting to me was that they opted not to allow those who were already in the ToC to play in the Last Chance tournament, and to only permit entry by those who had played in at least three of the Bodonkeys this time around. In the end this meant we had 28 runners, with the top 3 winning seats, and with the 11 best performers overall during the short series already eliminated from the field.

Without getting into the details, suffice it to say that I played like donkey during the first hour, managing to use a few well-timed and lucky bluffs to eke my way back to exactly the starting stack of 2500 chips at the end of the first break. In the second hour I chipped up early and often, nabbing the chip lead around 90 minutes in and really barely ever giving it up again throughout. By the time the final table hit, I was either the chip leader or close to it, and in the third hour I poured it on with a couple of nice breaks and some solid deceptive play to amass a huge stack to the point that it was never even in doubt for me during the final half hour or so. I had around half the chips in play when down to five players remaining, and luckily things broke such that there were three big stacks and a few very short stacks left at the end, so it was pretty clear who was going to get the seats and we didn't have the usual tightass bubble play that can last forever in these things before the last three were left standing, including myself. In the end, I have to attribute my Last Chance win to the one awesome suckout I came up with on the river in the middle of the second hour to stay alive, and a whole bunch of good cards. I don't recall Aces or Kings all night, but I must have been dealt AK an uncharacteristic 8 or 9 times. This enabled me to raise and reraise even more liberally than usual before the flop, as well as to win some key dominating hands late and eliminate players from the final table. I don't think I've seen so many AK hands in one tournament in as long as I can remember, to tell the truth. I'll take it, and you can find me tonight where I belong in the Bodonkey ToC.

Special congratulations to my girly chat crew of myself, Chad and Miami Don, who between us basically ended this thing a few weeks ago in winning the final five Bodonkeys of this series and nearly half of the overall tournaments in the challenge. The three of us will be in the field of 14 tonight in the Bodonkey in the race for the T$2000 first prize. Not that I would do anything big with the T$2000 anyways. Chad of course will turn that into $20,000 in mtts in about a week, but I'll just donk it off as I have never quite had success on Bodog other than running through the field in both Bodonkey series. And btw if you haven't seen what Chad has been doing on UltimateBet, you should go check out the screenshots at his blog (while it lasts). This is an mtt run that only Chad could come up with.

OK so before I go, a quick look at the Bodonkey prop bet odds for the ToC tonight at 9:05pm ET. Here are the odds posted like three weeks ago now by Bodog in the sportsbook on the winners of tonight's tournament:

smokkee -- 73/10
CarnePicante -- 8/1
APOSEC72 -- 8/1
salex77 -- 73/10
23skidoo -- 10/1
MiamiDon -- 8/1
wilwonka -- 9/1
Newinnov -- 10/1
PokahDave -- 73/10
cbags -- 9/1
TonySoprano -- 10/1
BuddyDank -- 31/2
FishEater2000 -- 73/10
Field (Any other player) -- 4/1

Interestingly, as these were posted a few weeks back, some of the players with odds listed above are not even in the ToC in the end, including Buddydank, PokahDave, cbags and Skidoo.

So the list of the actual TOC Qualifiers includes smokkee, MiamiDon, TonySoprano, salex77, Newinnov, APOSEC72, CarnePicante, willwonka and FishEater2000, all of whom have the odds listed above, plus five other runners which comprise the "Field" bet above at 4:1 odds: nzgreen, CEMfromMD, myself (17th on the leaderboard), numenor (33rd on the leaderboard) and stb (41st on the leaderboard).

To me, there is obvious value on the field bet. Much like my bet on the Phillies to win the World Series earlier in the fall, whether the bet ends up paying off or not, I see clear value in the Field bet in the Bodonkey ToC. 4 to 1 odds to bet on 5 of the 14 runners in the ToC, two of whom finished in the top 10 on the leaderboard, plus myself and two other players certainly capable of winning? Slam Dunk:

Single Bet Details (reference #131219837)
Field (Any other player) 4/1 Poker Which of these online poker bloggers will win the "Online Poker Blogger Final" to be hosted in the Bodog Poker room on December 18th, 2008 at 9:05pm ET? - Moneyline
Thu@9:05p (Blogger Leaderboard can be found at, $25 max wager, all bets have action) Risk DetailsRisked US

Otherwise, I thought I would take a minute and redo the odds from my own perspective on each of the listed and active players in tonight's Tournament of Champions:

TonySoprano -- 5/1. I don't know how Chad can not be the individual favorite here. He won two of the final 4 Bodonkey tournaments, and he is absolutely killing it online in general. With 14 total runners, he's gotta be a heck of a lot better than 7 to 1. I would expect to get a lot of action if I offered better than 5 to 1 on him to take down the T$2000 first prize. At 10 to 1 in real life, that is the steal of all time and again some obvious value for those looking to drop a quarter on donkey poker.

The Field (any other player) -- 5/1. While the most favored individuals in my book are not in the Field bet, taken as a whole this grouping has got to be given serious consideration to win the ToC. There are just too many good players who have shown an ability to consistently run deep in this series, including two who finished in the top ten on the overall leaderboard, and the total group comprises 5 of the 14 runners overall. Gotta be at most 5 to 1 if not lower in my book or it is easily worth betting on.

MiamiDon -- 6/1. Don too has been killing it lately, winning I think 17 Mookies and several of the Bodonkey tournaments just over the past few weeks. The incredibly slow structure of tonight's ToC (5000 starting chips and 20-minute levels, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) definitely works in favor of a patient player like Don, and he has already shown that he can crush against other bloggers in this series.

Newinnov -- 13/2. Newin seems to always always in the hunt in the Bodonkey, and through two Bodonkey series I'm sure has won the most tournaments in total. Newin is maybe not quite as hot as my two individual favorites tonight, but to count him as anything at or below average would be redonkulous in my view.

willwonka -- 13/2. 6.5 to 1 seems about right for Good Wonka, who always seems to be in the thick of things, and who very quietly is one of those guys who plays his strong hands deceptively enough that he really understands the key concept of extraction when it comes to amassing chips in these things. He's gotta be better than average chance of taking down the first prize.

smokkee -- 10/1
CarnePicante -- 8/1
APOSEC72 -- 9/1
salex77 -- 8/1
FishEater2000 -- 8/1

For the rest of the field, I am not sure what made three of them the original odds-on favorites about halfway through the Bodonkey series, but it's not so much of a slam against them as just that I don't think their chances are as good as the other players I listed above. Any one of them could obviously win the tournament, all five of them having finished in the top 11 players over the entirety of the Bodonkey II, but they just don't seem to me to be quite as likely to win as the others I mentioned above. I understand that Smokkee is going to be away for the beginning part of the tournament, and even though the slowass structure will surely enable him to have a playable stack left when he does start, beginning the tournament with half a stack is definitely not conducive to his game. Aposec sucks out on me too much for me to rate him higher than this. Waffles obviously has the skills to win it but I'm not sure he's done much of anything just lately in blonkaments, as he might have shot his wad a bit too early with a hot stretch in blonkaments about 3-4 weeks ago as I recall.

So there you have it, my view on the real odds for tonight's ToC for those of you interested in making any prop bets.

So the ToC is tonight at 9:05pm ET, and it is a freeroll just for the 14 players listed above. Remember, the Grand Prize winner tonight will receive T$2,000 + a $100 online casino credit.

Other prizes are as follows:
2nd place finish: T$500
3rd place finish: T$250
4th place finish: T$100
5th place finish: T$50

With those 5000-chip starting stacks and 20-minute levels, the Over / Under on the tournament's end time tonight? 2:45am ET.

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