Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back to Poker (long), and With A Happy Ending, Even

Before going further, I just want to tip my three or four readers off to CK's great post discussing relative hand strengths in Omaha (aka 4-card Bingo, or alternatively, Omatard) here, especially, how a given hand in Omaha is not nearly as powerful a hand as it is in hold'em. A great analysis on the subject. Thanks for the thoughtful post, CK.

I don't even remember how I went out of the Skillz PLO game. I know I picked up a lot of good draws early, which I had to fold after whiffing and lots of potting by others. Very few premium pocket pairs. I think I ended up going out about 40th or so?

The reason I can't recall is because I was, and still am, on enormous tilt from two things. One is FTP's $10+1 90 runner KO Turbo SNGs. According to Official Poker Rankings, ever since I won my first ever attempt at this thing a few nights ago, I'm 0-fer my last 13. Which still leaves me up in $$$, but that's not the point. The tilt comes not from not cashing, but from the four consecutive events where I was within one craptacular table from the final table (only 9 pay), and in each case but one, got rivered when I was at least 75% or better to win when chips went in, finishing 15th, 16th, 15th, 14th, and 17th. So gross. The fields are, in fact, soft as hell, but those contributed to me going twenty tourneys in a row without a single cash, and this was after moving up to take advantage of my early hit.

But the real tilt last night came from the Bodog Blogger Tournament last night. I really wish I can remember the name of whom I'm talking about, because I'm not familiar with them previous, and they have NO points, as far as I can tell, but I digress. We're down to the last 27-29 players, with 15 getting precious points (my real motivation), and 9 cashing (with the next five getting buyins back), when I raise 3x late position PF. And this asshat calls out of the big blind. Fine. I got a fix for that -- a flopped Broadway (GIN!) No, I don't slow play, but I bet about 1/2 pot for value. As I recall, he shoves. I call. He's crushed. I'm counting my soon to be top 6 chipstack, when he runner runners perfect for the chop on the river.

Ugh. But that's cool, there were antes, picked up a few. The very next hand, I find QJs, and open raise 3.5x the big blind. (Not the strongest hand, but I like open-raising suited Broadway connectors in this spot. Cutoff or hijack, I can't recall. Aaaaand, he calls. Flop gives me four to a flush, and a gutshot, and top pair. Aaaaaand, he goes all in! He's got me covered by a very slight margin. I've got about 35,000,000 outs, so I call, and find he has nothing but three to a flush, and ye olde OESD. Which wasn't really, because the top end of his OESD fills in my higher gutshot.

Naturally, he hits the bottom end. On the river. And IGH. My god, it felt like Riverchasers must every week. All I really really want is a seat in the final Bodog tourney for the ME seat (where asshats like this guy will never be), and I'm denied.

Still -- I almost have to thank you, because your tilt made me money. How? Because I just couldn't leave well enough alone, and I sat for a $3.30 90 player KO, took it down for 2nd. At the same time, I was playing my first ever $5.50 HA MTT (rotation of pot limit HE and PLO), and took it down in 1st:

(pasted for posterity, because 1st places are rare birds, indeed, for me)

And...for the creme de la creme....drumroll for tilt play...

I dumped over 20% of my Bodog bankroll, at 11:30 PM (mountain time), into Bodog's $4.5k guarantee rebuy tourney. Obvious signs of tilt include the following:

1. Staring a rebuy MTT when it's already your bedtime.
2. Playing a rebuy where the initial buyin is 8% of your bankroll.
3. Rebuying after losing your stack, for another 7% of your bankroll.
4. Doing this rebuy when it's already after your bedtime.

But I managed to survive rebuy hour, and in fact, was above average stack after hour 1, which started with 108 runners and ended with about 85, with 18 paid. Naturally, I added on (another 7% of my bankroll).

Here is the part where I say again how much I adore Bodog. You see, the tourney fields here are soft, even at the $20 level, and as I found, at the $20R level, as well (at least late at night). Lots of weak/tight play, certainly enough hands shown down that would embarass me to have to take to the felt. And unlike those fuckers over at FTP and JokerStars, the nice folks at Bodog haven't yet let me know they possess a doomswitch. My hands pretty much play mathmatically correct (e.g. my 81% AA actually hold up around 81% of the time; my draws hit about as often as they should, and my races are actually races, and not blown engines at the starting line).

So I'm heartened by the fact that if I play the cards I know I'm capable of playing, I may not always win, but I'm winning about as much as I should, which is proving to be a +ROI proposition. And once we're down to three tables (1 off $$$), and I finally start catching real hands, even though I'm like 24th of 27, I know it's just a matter of time before good things happen. By the time we sit for final table (at 2:53 in the motherlovin' mornin'), I'm 3rd in chips:

Final table bubble boy was in the chatbox obnoxiously going on about what a bad player chipleader hectk1 was, and as play proved, he was right. Big time. This cat is horrible, yet I won't begrudge him. He took out player after player after player, usually by calling 3-bet shoves with an unsuited A-rag, and either hitting a 3-out A, or a 4-flush, or something obnoxious. But not against me, because this was one occasion where it really only made sense to play big hands, and they weren't forthcoming for a while. hectk1 is the kind of player who, with blinds 3,000/6,000 will open shove over 200,000 chips with 22 or 33. My kinda player.

So we get down to four players, I'm about 3rd in chips, and I pick up AA under the gun. I choose to call. hectk1 raises, I shove, he calls, with something like a sooted paint+rag, and next thing you know, I'm 2nd in chips, and only about 20% behind the fishdonk. Unfortunately, that was as big as my stack got. A couple of hands later, with three players left, I pick up sooted A2 and make a standard button raise, which fishy calls. Flop comes something like 762 rainbow, with one spade. He checks, and I know I'm ahead (because he overbets every time he hits a flop or an overpair, the dude knows nothing about value). I want to see where I'm at, but want to show strength, so I bet about 60% of the pot. And he actually raises me.

Now, I know I'm ahead, because I've sat with this guy for about 50 hands and have him down cold. But I don't feel like I can shove because my hand really isn't strong. And, there's at least some chance I'm behind to a K7, or an A4o, or any of the crap he'd call preflop raises with. So I call. And the turn comes an 8 (not a spade. And he shoves. Gack. Well, here, I think I pretty much have to fold, because there's just too many hands that beat me here. Aaaand, hectk1 flips over T2. He shoved with bottom pair and a gutshot. NH, sir. I folded what would have taken me to a massive chiplead. Mostly because the difference in $$$ between 3rd and 2nd was huge, and folding left me with nearly the same chips as 2nd place.

In retrospect, my mistake was either not raising more PF (since the fish doesn't seem to understand ideas behind bet-sizing), compounded by not betting more aggressively when I knew I was ahead, but only marginally. Maybe the latter's not really that large a mistake. Still, I have to say I was outplayed by the worst player at the final table on that hand.

Anyway, I'm out two hands later. The very next hand, I get AA in the big blind. Donkey calls, small blind completes, and I instashove (trying to sell it as a tilt from the fish showing his previous raggy hand). But no one calls. And the very next hand, I shove K8 soooted from the small blind and, you guessed it, hectk1 (I keep his name in bold so that you can remember to sit down at his table if you see him) calls with his Q7o, and hits QQ on the flop. Funny thing is, I can't really fault his call there, because I'm shoving ATC in that spot.

Nevertheless, my rollercoaster night ended with my 2nd largest ever MTT cash (not even 1st would not have matched my $1800 from a couple years ago). Not even close to Hoy, Lucko, or LJ levels, but still:

Have I mentioned how much I love Bodog?


BWoP said...

Thanks for the pimpage, and CONGRATS!

$mokkee said...

tilted perseverance pays off. nice cash.

lightning36 said...

Nice cash, bro. You are one tough mf at the table.

lj said...


Scrupboy said...

veddy nice! ...remember I tried the shove with AA after a big beat (to appear on tilt) and got called and lost.

Keep it up Mondo!