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Creativity Gone Awry

Every DADI, GCox, Trip and I strive to bring you something extra. In the past, it was bounties, followed by team bounties, revenge bounties, free prizes offered by sponsors, and even a seat to a WSOP event. This time, however, there wasn't much to offer. Dbrider offered some stuff to give away, but sponsorship just wasn't interesting anymore. We looked for something else, and came up with some simple bounties for Trip and I, but there wasn't anything new.

Yesterday, when G, Trip and I were sending emails back and forth in preparation for DADI X, someone came up with a fun idea: we would swap accounts and play under each others names. The goal was to have fun, and it was fun. I was given the role of Gary, and if you know Gary and my style, it's like day and night. Gary is uber-tight, whereas I play a more aggressive game. So, the play was to goof around about being uber-tight, make references to Keystone Light, and sound like a backwoods hillbilly. I even inserted smiley faces and winking faces to players here and there, something G would never do, so that he would look like a pansy 12 yr old girl. We joked about how I'd get much more respect under Gary's cloak, but, being me, we didn't necessarily expect anything to come of it. On paper, the plan was to play as each other, make fun of ourselves in the process, and come out the other end with a joke. Nothing more. In truth, I didn't even expect to cash.

But I did. 1st place, in fact. And once that happened, when the adrenaline wore off and I sat in my living room ecstatic over winning DADI X, reality set in. Someone would be insulted. They'd question the honesty of the move and possibly the intent. They'd think that I got an unfair advantage playing as Gary, and they'd think the win was not legitimate.

Well, I'm sorry that anyone would be insulted, and I'm sorry if I was able to use Gary's image to my advantage.

I came by my win honestly, though. I played one of my best games ever, and anyone watching would attest to that. I played tighter than usual, I kept my eye on the table, and I made masterful reads. Most importantly, I switched gears, channeling my inner Gary at times, before unleashing a series of Jordan-like hands. When the table stopped respecting me, even calling me out as playing very loose for Gary, I joked around and even threw in some smiley faces and winky faces, something Gary would never do.

But behind it all, my game was invigorated. It was fun playing under someone else's name. We already agreed that the winner would keep his winnings, transferred to the account they used to their actual account. The money was nice in the tournament, and there was more reason to chat it up, since I was playing a character. After G and Trip busted, they railbirded, which also kept me focused on the table.

The bottom line is, I made some ballsy plays, based on my opponents' actions. No poker tracker to distract me, just me, the table, and my opponents. One hand particularly really solidified it all.

We are at 120/240 blinds, with 25 antes, and I'm playing as GCox. I'm sitting on 15,685, chipleader for our four-person table. With me on my left in order are Duggle, Smokkee, and Lucko, none of which have over 8k. Lucko is in the SB, and I'm in the BB with Q9s. Preflop, it folds to Lucko, and he raises to 720. He had done this so consistently (about 2-4 times per orbit) that I had little to no fear of his play. I decided to flat call and see what developed.

The flop was 4s Th 7s, which gave me the flush draw. Lucko bet out 960, a fraction of the over 1500 pot, and this wasn't out of the ordinary either. Continuation bets were standard, so I made the call.

The turn is a Kd, and its no help to me. There is no doubt that Lucko was going to be here, but when he bet 1440 into the 2500+ pot, it was an odd play. I considered re-raising him, but felt that I'd be better off seeing a river. If I hit, I'd raise then. If not, I'd decide what to do after he acted. This hand was all about position, so I collected my info along the way. By flat calling, I also hoped to gain his fear.

The river is a 7c. I missed my flush and the board paired 7s. Lucko bets 1200, which was actually lower than his turn bet. He only had under 4k behind at this point, and it took me a while to decide what to do. I could fold or push. If I push, he may feel compelled to call because he had around 1/2 of his starting stack in the pot (if not more). But on the other hand, I knew that Lucko was a loose player (he could have anything), a smart player (he is willing to fold), and had enough chips to fold and still play. I was representing 7s, and felt confident that if he had a Ten (like I presumed), he'd fold. I pushed, and he typed: "miss your flush or hit the seven?"

At that point, I literally said aloud, "I'm screwed." I watched as I mentally discounted my chips. And then he folded.

Did Gary's image help me here? I don't think Lucko plays against him enough to know, but if it did, so be it. Every day we go to B&M cardrooms and see that hip hop kid who is really a shark, or the weak ass player who dresses in gear like he is a pro. Deception is part of the game, and in online poker, the anonymity of the Internet just adds to it. You are a guy but choose a female name because it will gain respect for your bluffs or make players bluff at you. You are a white, but you choose a black man avatar. You aren't black, and you aren't a chick, but you are playing poker.

So, I do sincerely apologize if I ruffled some feathers. The blogosphere can be pretty harsh on someone who they think is a liar, cheater or scoundrel. If you read here often enough, you'll know I'm none of those things. If you still think I am, well, I'll tell you what. Send me your FT screenname, and I'll refund you $8.70. I'd give you the whole $24, but I'd end up in the hole, and I don't think that Gary's screenname is accountable for 100% of my winnings. And besides, I had to earn your $24, so if you want your token back, you'll have to work for it a bit as well.

A quick last thought on the topic. Perhaps the biggest problem was that it was a DADI tournament. If I did this at another blogger tournament it might seem like more of a wacky thing to do. Since I am one of the DADI hosts, it might seem extra devious. No deviousness intended. This, I swear. It was all in fun, even if it didn't end that way for everyone.

Honestly, the real story behind this game is the machine that is Lucko. He's ran through these blogger tournaments like small pox through a reservation. He took 2nd here, won a Big Game (I think) and took down another tournament somewhere. Where the hell did this guy come from?

In fact, I can contribute my win largely because of Lucko. He was taking the blinds so much (and mine particularly since he had position), I finally got fed up. I began re-raising him with a variety of hands, just to get him to slow down. This helped me chip up, largely off of Lucko. He'd steal, steal, steal, I'd wake up with a semi-decent hand and re-raise his preflop raise, and get a chunk of his chips.

But here is the thing. slb popped into the room to sling some hate Lucko's way, calling him, well, lucky. And that is the genius of Lucko's name. When I first saw him play a blogger tourney, I though, what a lucky bastard. He's probably some donkey who is getting great cards. But he's anything but. The name Lucko21 is freakin' genius. First, nothing is more scary than a lucky player. Second, when he plays expertly, he still gets no credit (amongst bloggers, initially [See Iakaris' post a while back, which was amicably resolved], and I'm sure against random players). Sheet, even the 21 suggests that he is nothing but a gambling fool. And the avatar, a clown, just finishes the ensemble.

So, I salute you, Lucko21, for your ingenuity at the table, for your ruthless aggression, and for your clever use of your screenname and avatar.

posted by Jordan @ 9:15 AM,

26 Comments:

At 10:27 AM, Blogger DuggleBogey said...

Saying things like I came by my win honestly and Deception is part of the game do not help your cause.

You ABSOLUTELY had an UNFAIR advantage in this game, and I'd like to see you admit it.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Actually, I admitted that GCox's screename may have worked to my advantage. On that note, those two statements that you quote are entirely compatible.

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger lucko said...

First, I had no issues with the account thing. I made some comment in the chat, but it was 100% meant in jest. I knew Gary was a pretty tight player and I was definitely surprised to see the aggression coming from "him". I do think it helped you a bit, but nothing major. You played great and deserved, I have zero issues with it.

And now: Wow, Wow, Wow!!!! What an intesting hand that Q9s was. So much going on there.

I raised preflop with J9 (my least favorite hand BTW). Flopped a gutshot and turned a double gutter. I missed it all. I put you on a flush draw. I bet small figuring you were calling any bet with any made hand and would fold a busted flush draw. I probably should have put a little more behind it, I just didn’t think you would bluff in that spot considering how much I had put into the pot. The push was a great read and a great play. It is just funny that you were bluffing with the best hand but it was impossible for you to know that. Very, very interesting hand.

The "miss your flush or hit the seven?" was just me trying to make it look a bit like I wasn't constantly betting with air.

And thanks for the compliments. I have had quite a bit of success in the blogger tournaments. I think I have played in about 20 and I have 5 wins. I thought last night was going to be #6, but it wasn't to be. SLB calling me an idiot was classic though. I play a style some people don't understand, which is ok by me. I don't mind the lucky comments, but I did think that was a bit to far.

Thanks for running the DADI, hopefully we will get another chance to play heads up in one of these. I really wasn't happy with my play at the end. Your aggression combined with some crappy cards, made for a very disappointing finish for me.

Congrats on the win! Very well done and very much deserved!!!

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Thanks Lucko. 5 wins out of 20 tries. Good god, man. Are you leading in the POY race in the WPBT? You oughtta be if you are not.

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

For another hand history from this tournament (ironically, from a player who doesn't yet know that GCox = Me), check out
http://thepokerbus.com/dbirider/i-fought-the-power/

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger cc said...

Lame venture to drive blog traffic, generating drama and intrigue by being evil. Standard.

 
At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well, I'm sorry that anyone would be insulted, and I'm sorry if I was able to use Gary's image to my advantage."

It did change the way I played two key hands at the final table, no big deal though.

Congrats on the win.

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger cc said...

All kidding aside, you know (or should know) that I barely pay attention to anything during these tourneys. Having said that, the last event I played with GCox I laid down JJ to his UTG raise. So I would have to say that indeed, Jordan, you did have an unfair advantage to be sure.

I think the broader lesson for you and GCox, probably more for GCox than you, is what does it mean to shift gears substantially. In our blogger tourneys, I think we're fairly limited by what we can do. In a meta-game sense, can GCox transform his game on occasion to become more LAG? What does it take internally to be able to do that? And can you play more rock-like? That is a much easier thing to do, IMO, than the reverse when it comes to our smallish MTT's.

In summary for what it's worth, once you took over another person's screen name with a definite table image, the game changed for you. Your victory took skill, no question, but IMO it was aided by the circumstances. Butterfly effect and all that, but if you'd been dealt the same cards with your screen name, the outcome would have been different. That doesn't mean you wouldn't have won, but the hands would have played themselves out differently. Someone knocked out early might have been there, etc.

Stronger acknowledgement/apology? I don't think that's necessary, but you may want to think through it a bit more. Beyond that, I'd put it behind you.

Have a good weekend and holiday.

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

CC, I do recognize that it was an advantage, and I apologize for it. I just can't sit here and whip myself over it. I'm doing what I can to make reparations. All three of us now realize that there was an element that we missed in the prank: the chance of actually moneying (let alone winning). Had I gone out early, it would've been funny. But I won, and the reality set in. The thing is, I can only do so much, now. Lesson learned on my end, and anyone can email me and I will keep it 100% confidential, if you think that you were personally wronged in this tournament. I'll transfer $8.70, which I think is a fair exchange, all things considered. But I will not be a whipping boy for certain people who look for problems like Nancy Drew on a crystal meth binge.

On a complete side note, I wouldn't fold JJ to GCox's raises. I'm just saying...

Yeah, but I'm sorry, and if anyone wants a partial refund, I understand. HighOnPok AT yahoo DOT comedy.

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger CJ said...

Can't say I support the move... may have sounded like fun in theory, but by your post, I think it's pretty clear you wouldn't do it again, and that's what makes it pretty clear that it wasn't right.

I didn't get a chance to play, but I guarantee it would have changed the way I played against the three of you. One of the best things about the blogger events is the time we get to spend recognizing tendencies. I laid down a big hand to Fuel a few nights ago when he threw out one of his "overbets for effect." Against someone else, I think it's desperation and make the call.

Getting this chance to change your image while still playing the game is wrong. It gives you an unfair advantage over other players. It is NOT the same as some schmuck dressing as a pro. I don't have a read on that schmuck already. It'd be the same as Dan Harrington getting made up like Gus Hansen. And that just doesn't happen.

I'm not suggesting you owe anyone any kind of refund, but I'd hope this wasn't tried again.

Just my two cents.

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

This sort of behavior is a lot to mull over.

Part of me thinks you guys were just playing a prank, but that ended when you finished in first. I can see why people are upset because they put effort, money, and time (some a lot more than others depending on how their satellites went) to get into this higher buy-in tournament. That's your big albatross for this situation, Jordan. The cost of the tourney.

I have to agree that the three of you had an unfair advantage. A big one. If you guys had said publicly, "Hey, we're going to play each other's accounts and it's up to you guys to figure out who's playing as who" that would be totally different. You're one of the people that I wondered if I would be playing against in this tournament and I had planned to call you a lot more often because I know you're a loose player and the 6-max format would cause you to loosen up even more than normal. I never personally played against you, so I don't want a refund, but I can definitely see how people are pissed off at you guys.

You're lucky that people are just screaming about this on their blogs and not reporting you guys to FT abuse since what you did violates the T&C agreement of the site. Our group isn't that vindictive, but it needs to be brought up.

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger cc said...

I don't think you should refund anyone, just lesson learned and move on.

And I should have reraised with JJ, I agree. I was trying to play gooot instead of like the worst donkey ever as Waffles would (or did) say.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

And its a good 2 cents, CJ. I'm just asking for the benefit of the doubt. Stupid prank, stupid results, stupid Jordan, but never intentionally malicious. I know you aren't saying that, and I know I'm due some lumps. All I'm asking for is the benefit of the doubt, which most are giving me, and for that, I thank you.

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger CJ said...

Right... not saying there was any malice involved at all. Good lesson learned. In theory, pretty funny stuff. But in practice, we can say it won't happen again and move on :-)

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

All,

I've left my thoughts on my blog.

Wolf, if anyone in this group took this to Full Tilt I would lose 100% respect in them. That would be like the guy who takes his money to an underground game, loses it all, then reports the game to the police because he shouldn't have lost his money.

Now I KNOW the above scenario and what happened last night are two totally different situations, but I'm just rattling off the first thing that came to mind.

Folks, this was an honest prank turned bad and I (we) regret it. It was a prank in a private tourney amongst people I consider friends.

As I often say, "hindsight is shitty, shitty." If we could take it back, we would, but it took the situation happening for us to realize it was a bad idea.

I noted I consider you all my friends above. To that end, I expect a good ribbing and a "shame, shame." If someone escalates this beyond that, without coming to me, I would be very disappointed. Especially knowing that we did not have bad intentions...

My two cents, and again, please read my most recent post.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

CJ,
Your last point is perfect. Thank you very much...
TripJax

 
At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if this will have any affect on your 3 accounts just by default. SteelerJosh was at my house and logged into his PartyPoker account. From that day on we could never sit at a table together. When we emailed support they would not take this block off. I wonder if FT has this??

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

The reason I think you should be forgiven is because it was stupidity not maliciousness that was behind this. Period. I do think you try to justify it and that is probably just in your nature. It is hard to stop doing that. I totally forgive you and it is like it never happened.

One interesting thing in this post: If you played tighter like Gary and found some success then why not go with it? Sometimes I find you blow up with just aggressiveness for the sake of being aggressive. If you tempered your fearless aggression with a little more rocky Garyness you might find alot more success in these things.. who knows..

Anyway peace man.

 
At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you should donate your winnings to a worthwhile charity like Toys for Tots or something similar since it's that time of year anyway and I imagine it would clear your conscience a bit.

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Anonymous,
He'll end up donating it to "Habitat For Huge Mammories" anyway. Otherwise known as the strip club.

I keed, I keed (though I would love to open a strip club using the name above, but I could never live with myself).

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Woffle, apt comment. You are right that it is in my nature, as a lawyer (and really behind that just my personality), to offer some justification. In an instance like this, I guess it isn't necessary. And anonymous, that's a good idea. Let me mull it over for a bit.

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger smokkee said...

i figured out you guys swapped accounts when i said "that's a Jordan type play". i have no proble with you guys swapping accounts. it was just another hurdle to overcome.

nice win Jordan, you sneaky mofo.

 
At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No refund needed since losing the money isn't what irks me.

A beer or Cap'n Coke at the WPBT from Gary would work ;)

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger PokahDave said...

This is all very interesting...when is DADI starting up again? I wanna play....

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Sorry this blew up in your faces. You guys know I always enjoy DADI. Anyone who doesn't understand no malice at all was intended is clearly unable to disern the person behind the writing. You three are all good guys. This was kinda funny, though Wolf's suggestion about the guessing game would have made it perfect.

Don't overthink this shiyat too much J.

 
At 10:24 PM, Blogger Blinders said...

I watched the final table, and was amazed that GCox was playing so well. I am even more amazed that it was you. Us bloggers got to do what it takes to get past lucko if you know what I mean.

I don't have a problem for the record with what you guys did. I mean, are reads on other players supposed to be guaranteed or something. I also think the whole thing is pretty funny.

You played really well and should be proud. I can also see why others would be offended, but they should lighten up. It's more like a home game played remotely then some serious high stakes tournament.

 

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