Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Clap it up, everyone! I finally got my just-desserts.
I've been playing in the weekly blogger tourneys off-and-on for months. It occurred to me yesterday that it might be time to do a new list of the weekly tournaments, but I'll just direct you to THIS POST, which gives you most, if not all, of the pertinent details. Just note that the time for the WWDN Not (Thursdays) has been changed from 11:30pm EDT to 10:30 to accomodate East Coasters.
Last night was Mondays at the Hoy, a tournament hosted by the hammer-player himself, Hoyazo. Hoy has become a well-deserved force in the blogosphere because of his impressive MTT success and his ability to explain his play with precision and copious amounts of illustrative screen shots. I've always been impressed with what he is able to do, and I would strive to be more like him as regarding post content, but realistically, we all are what we are. Whatever the case, he's got the HoP seal of approval.
Before playing the Hoy, I enjoyed some of the ole' Leak, playing Chinese Poker at Nine.com. I actually reloaded there after I withdrew most of my funds and busted the rest on that silly Asian card game, but I reloaded up to $20 just to play some more. I lost it all last night. The game is more Pai Gow Poker than Hold'em, so you are predominantly relying on luck and cards to carry you through. I had neither.
I joined SLB159 for some $25 max NL at Stars and won a couple of bucks there. It was then that I saw the clock (9:50 pm) and decided to enter the Hoy. One of the things that makes the Hoy stand out is the higher buy-in. Realistically, $20+2 is about the right amount for the blogging crew, but a history of $10+1 events has made $10+1 the norm. It also helps budding players with small bankrolls join the fray. The Donkeys Always Draw Invitational tournaments, for instance, will likely remain $10+1. But it's refreshing to play in a tournament where the stakes matter a little more and the payout matters a whole lot.
Last night, there were 20 players. First place paid $200. I started out fairly loose. With 20 players and 9-seat tables, we were spread across three tables and my table, if memory serves correct, have 6 players. I also had caught some early cards, and was able to play position well. 6-person tables have a lot more in common with 9-person tables than they do with heads-up or three-way games. A good rule of thumb is to play the game like you are at a full table and the first three players folded ahead. In this way, UTG actually is MP, and you can make slightly more plays. But don't fool yourself, because MP is no CO or Button, so you still have to play conservatively.
I have had problems in the past in blogger tournaments, mostly because of my impulse to make plays and bluffs. I did the opposite, raising almost too much when I had hands. 22 hands into the tournament, and I had already won 7, most without a showdown. I could tell that I was not making friends at the table, so I decided to play into it, making wiseass comments and acerbic statements wherever I could. I guess Buckhoya must have gotten annoyed (moreso by my play, I am sure, which was erratic), because he offered a last-longer bet a hand after I dropped from 2200 to 1500. I had the hammer in that hand and my opponent would not let go of his cards, so I had to fold on the river after bluffing pre and post-flop. Buck probably sensed weakness, so he asked, "high, last longer bet for $10?" It was a hand later when I noticed. I looked at his 980 stack and typed, "with you?" I couldn't believe that he would be brazen enough to make a last longer bet when I had him outchipped. Before I could let him recant, I answered my own question, "done." I was not certain if the bet was officially made, but as far as I was concerned, there was an offer and an acceptance. Buck didn't respond, so I kept quiet about it, and went about playing some poker.
I dipped down to 1200, and Buck dipped to 650 or so. I tightened up, but just a tad, knowing that I could still utilize the short-handed format. This was one of the longest tournaments I have played, given the amount of players, and maybe one player (slb159) went out in the first hour. Wifey Kim was tired and decided to hit the sack. Like the good husband I am, I joined her to bed and we chatted for a bit. I thought about the game running in the other room and my dwindling stack. I also thought that it was a crappy move sitting out (at this point at or near 2k) when Buckhoya was likely trying to survive. However, family (and wifey Kim, especially) comes first, so I took my time.
When I strolled back to the living room, I was down to about 1750. Buck had about 1500, but in a short period of time, I was at 1600 to his 1800. I was one of the shortstacks at the table with 50/100 blinds, at least, but played smart. I stole where I could with less-than-optimal, but still respectable, hands. It was all about position. I believe I may've pushed on a hand on a stone cold bluff, sensing weakness, but that may just be a hazy imagined memory. I do recall that I was surprised when I checked the table lobby and found that Buck (who was at another table) had busted in 14th. Mentally, I thought I was freerolling. It was only now that I just realized that it was a $22 buyin and not $11. Whatever the case, I loosened up a bit and started getting into the groove. I also had a great time playing with Jules from Loving (& Loathing) Poker. I give her a lot of credit as a player, and I was fortunate to steal a couple of her position raises, but otherwise keep the hell out of her way.
I'm probably at my best when the blinds get high and the stacks are short. This is where I tend to get ultra-aggressive, largely because of the Rule of Ten. As a result, I began to chip up. From 2nd or 3rd shortest stack, I made my way into the middle of the pack. We were 1 hr and 45 minutes into the tournament and down to 7 or 8 players (from 20!). The players were all fairly evenly matched, both in chips and skills, due, I'm sure, to the fact that the same players show up week in/week out. Overall, though, the quality of player is impressive.
As more people dropped out, I found myself moving toward the chiplead. When we were down to 5, I was the leader, but 23skidoo was on my immediate right and was constantly nipping at my heels. I did my best to knock him down whenever I could, since I saw that he was going to be some of my hardest competition. Jecil (I'm not even going to try to remember all of the letters in that screenname) and TrophyHubby were the shorter stacks, located on my immediate left. I raised preflop with A6 only to have Trophy push all-in with TT or thereabouts. I called, since he was shortstacked, and dropped from 10k to about 6.5k, with a slight chip lead over skidoo. The very next hand, it is folded to me and I raise with J8o. This time Jecil decides to push, and rather than fold, I called him too. I believe he had about 2k in chips, and a loss would not cripple me. He had AQo and I turned an 8 to knock him out.
To the untrained eye, it looked as though I sucked out. Well, I did. But it isn't as simple as that. I was willing to gamble it up because I felt fairly confident that Jecil did not have a pocket pair. I was chipleader, and could afford a weighted cointoss in this situation. I took my chance, and it paid off. After that hand, I was back to the chipleader, on the bubble.
I believe I next took a chunk from skidoo. Trophy was running on empty though and took fourth. Skidoo was next, and it was me v. LifesAGrind heads up. By this time, it was well past midnight, and my memory was in the crapper. I had a decent chip lead and was able to bully myself into a position of dominance. I believe that Grind may've worked back some and sucked out on one hand (or not??) but eventually, I took the Hoy and the $200 first place prize ($178 profit!). It was a much needed win, and a boost to my bankroll.
Now, I am aimless at the tables. I really need to move onto my next bonus, DreamPoker through PSO. I don't have high expectations for the room, but the 6k in PSO points will afford me at least a $50 gift certificate to Absolute Poker, and maybe even a $100 gift certificate to Party, if I can muster up another 1k in PSO points via referrals. In the meanwhile, I find myself wandering the poker realm trying to decide just what to do. I guess for the time being, I can't go wrong with the blogger tourneys. Until then, make mine poker!
posted by Jordan @ 11:19 AM,
- At 1:43 PM, jeciimd said...
Nice post today--just 2 things:
(1) You limped, not raised preflop against me; and you're right for the read/tourney position the money was right so i can't fault the play
(2)the screen name is "jeciimd" - you might want to remember it.
Congrats on a well deserved victory.
- At 2:30 PM, HighOnPoker said...
My apologies, jec. I've never been accused of having a great memory. All I know is I've played with you often enough, and sometimes the string of letters lose me after the fourth one. Whatever the case, you played well. Thanks for the congratulations.
I may have limped. Either way, the analysis stayed the same after your push. I was in good shape against any non-pair, given my deep stack. I might not make the play again in the same spot, since I could've hurt myself badly, but I felt like gambling. Good game.
- At 2:33 PM, cc said...
Wish I'd been there, Jordan. Great job, and hope you're doing well.
- At 2:52 PM, C.L. Russo said...
congratulations on the win. Maybe the start of a heater?
- At 4:11 PM, Raveen said...
nice job on the ur first win man....