Friday, December 19, 2008

Bodonkey II Tournament of Champions

So Thursday night was the Bodonkey II Tournament of Champions, and if you haven't heard, the real blogger crusher Chad swarmed all over everyone early and often on his way to taking down the $T2000 first prize.

I played quite well in the tournament, slowly but surely building my stack for about 90 minutes straight, but ran into an unavoidable cooler hand where Miami Don limped from his small blind and I checked from my big blind holding 73o, and we saw a flop of 332. Fast forward about a minute, and we were allin, and with Don being the shortest stack in the tournament at the time, there was no possibility of me folding here. Turns out he held Q3, so in blind vs. blind we each had a 3 and the two case threes both flopped. Not much you can do about that, in that I might as well excise my own testicles if I'm not getting it all in on that board. That one took away half my stack, and somewhere around the end of the 45th hour I busted with top pair to an Aposec's overpair.

In the end Wonka made it to heads-up against Chad, but Chad entered hu play with close to a 5 to 1 chip lead, and there was very little Wonka could do to counteract the Tony Soprano tidal wave. I believe it was somewhere during the 114th hour of play when Chad sealed the deal and took down the $T2000 first prize, leaving the $T500 consolation prize to Wonka after a game well played.

Chad's victory means that a bunch of us can cash in our $25 bets on Chad at 10 to 1 in the Bodog sportsbook for a cool $250. I'm not sure who made up those odds to begin with or why, but my lord that was downright silly. 10 to 1 against a guy who is the clear skill leader in the field, on a massive roll and having won the last two regular-season Bodonkeys already as it is. That is the silliest thing ever.

For next time, although I enjoyed adding to my profits related to the Bodonkey overall (it will be about a 250% ROI if you throw in the $225 profit on the 10 to 1 bet on Chad), Bodog should do a better job with the odds. There are two easy suggestions here. First, just wait until all the participants in the final tournament are known before posting any odds or accepting any bets. I wager that almost no bets were placed as it is prior to this week anyways, so they won't be missing out on anything, but I for one would be really annoyed if I had bet on, say, cbags or Buddydank a couple of weeks back, only to find out now that they never even played in the final event. They should just wait until the final roster of players is known -- I mean, you can always pencil me in since I crush Bodog blonkey fields like a peppermill -- but otherwise just wait till the end and then you can open the betting with odds on each individual playing. This will keep the bettors happy, will create more options and lead to more betting and more vig for the sportsbook. Imagine for example a last-longer bet with me vs. smokkee. That one woulda garnered some solid action for sure, and I can see it going either way given our respective playing styles. Or imagine a prop bet on who would drop the most hammers in the tournament. This is the kind of thing that a more inventive and understanding mind could have dreamed up easily for prop bets to really get things going with the ToC.

And the second way to improve the prop betting would be to consult with someone who honestly understands odds and the way that the participants actually play the game. None of the five guys I listed at the bottom of the odds in my post from Thursday were ever serious contenders in the Bodonkey final, which is not surprising because I know their games. I'm not saying I'm the only one, but I would be a great person to help set the odds because I know how these guys play. It is painfully obvious that the actual odds for the Bodonkey final were concocted by someone who doesn't understand things, from the very beginning. Somehow most of the least likely winners were given the absolute favorite odds in the tournament, listed at 73 to 10, which is 7.3 to 1 or basically a little bit better than twice the odds of the "average" player's if 14 players of equal skill all sat down to play randomly-assigned cards. Now of course no one knew for sure when the odds were posted just how many runners would finally be in the ToC, but at that time they basically did know that we were looking at 13 or 14 total runners. How do a small handful of guys with (literally!) zero mtt wins between them all rate as twice as likely to win the final against ostensibly the 14 best players in the field, according to the tournament host? Gotta get some people involved who understand math, odds, and the particular players in question to make more sensible predictions on that front.

The other unfortunate thing about the Bodonkey IMO is the structure of these tournaments. Now I'm not saying that I support super-turbos or anything, but the bottom line is that the structure of the events are all too slow in my view. There's a reason we don't play 15-minute blind rounds and 2500 starting chips for other blonkaments, and it's not because the Bodonkey has figured something out that the rest have not. Rather, it's because a slightly faster structure is much more fun, more action-producing, and leads to less boring play, featuring fewer players just waiting around to get smacked with the deck, which is perfect for a blogger tournament with a paltry buyin. Change those 15-minute blind rounds to 12 minutes, and that alone would make a big difference.

But as someone who has played in most of the Bodonkeys in both tournament series so far, I can say that I do not even close to speak alone when I say that the structure should be sped up somewhat. Many of us feel the same way. And keep in mind, this isn't some kind of "sour grapes" thing coming from someone who can't figure out how to win with the slower structure. I've won four out of about 30 of the Bodonkeys that I've played, and I surely can appreciate the attraction of a slower-structure event. I have written extensively about the 50-50, the 100k and the 250k on stars and how great the slower structures of these events are. But there's a key difference -- those tournaments have $55, $162 or $320 buyins, and they feature prize pools of between 50k and a quarter million dollars. Harrahs has the WSOP Main Event running with two-hour blind rounds and an incredibly slow structure that is totally befitting of a tournament of that size and significance. But when a bunch of blonkeys get together to drop hammers and sling chips for $11 apiece with prize pools in the very low triple-digits, trying to pretend we are playing the WSOP ME structure seems a little silly, and it doesn't really work in my view. Sure I understand how to and have been successful at winning with the slower structure, but that doesn't mean it's preferable. It may be preferable for the tournament host or a few other of the players, but as I said above there's a reason the other blonkaments don't use that kind of structure as a rule.

All this said, I had fun with the Bodonkey this time around for sure. As I mentioned yesteday I didn't really pay much attention for the first half until drawn into it by the typical haterism from other bloggers, but once I did, just like the first time around it proved to be quite fun. To tell the truth this was the first time in some time that I actually looked forward to playing with bloggers on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and I remember being amazed this past Wednesday that I literally almost forgot to register for the Mookie with the Last Chance Bodonkey tournament running that same night. There is a definite opportunity here in my view to turn this tournament into something bigger than it currently is. Some of the changes I have highlighted above would surely help drawm some more people in and make the events more attractive options for everyone involved. But this was a great series, and the addition of the $T to the top finishers is the one thing that really distinguishes the Bodog from all other blonkaments out there right now. With a little skill it is fairly easy to turn a solid profit in the series, and to have fun doing it at the same time. Thanks to Bodog and to everyone who was involved in bringing this to us, and I look forward to the next one with much anticipation.

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Blogger Chad C said...

AMEN, bodog structure sucks, even with 5K chips its still shove monkey endings..... Why not just make the 12 minute rounds and normal stacks?? End the luckfest sooner!

2:51 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Personally I don't mind the 2500-chip stacks, but 15 minute rounds is just not what the vast majority of bloggers want to play for $11 buyins. Even with 12-minute rounds means that we pick up an extra round ever hour. 10-minute rounds would be even better probably. 10 minute rounds with 2500 stacks, now you're talkin.

3:00 AM  
Blogger APOSEC72 said...

ka didn't bust.

I busted you with an overpair of 9's to your 7-6.

Frankly, I like the deep-stacked format, despite the wild swings we started having when we got down to 6.

4:00 AM  
Blogger WillWonka said...

I also have to say I like the deep stacks. Especially for the finals. Yep, it makes for a boring middle part of the tourney; but it is what it is.

Whatever it is, you just have to adjust to the structure and playing different structures is fun as some people do NOT adjust.

4:04 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

How can you say the bottom five had no chance? I had a top 3 stack w/ 5-6 left.. If things went differently I easily could have won instead of just placing fifth. Dumbest comment in a long history of dumb comments.

10:26 PM  

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