Thursday, March 12, 2009
With Mookie Win #2 in the bag, I figure at least a little recap is warranted. I didn't keep hand histories and I don't particularly remember much of the details of the tournament, but I do remember the broad strokes.
After another long day at the office, I seriously doubted that I was going to play the Mookie. Instead, when I got home and finished cooking dinner (spinach and panko crusted chicken cutlets with feta-cheese twice baked potatoes) I figured I would play a 45-person SNG. I decided to pay attention and go for the win, instead of half-assing it as I am prone to do. I should've half-assed it. About halfway through the tournament, I made a misread in a blind vs. blind confrontation. I held T9 on the J98 flop and didn't believe my opponent's bet. I re-raised all-in and he called, showing AJ. No straight for me and I was out.
That sucked donkey balls, but what sucked worse was the stream of shitty television wifey Kim had settled down to watch. Desperate Housewives is actually a pretty decent show, but it is infinitely better when I'm playing online poker at the same time. The same could be said for American Idol or any number of shows I can sit through with the wife and my laptop.
It was probably 30 to 60 minutes later when I decided that I would, in fact, play the Mookie. I signed in, signed up, and then signed up for the 9:45 Token Frenzy. By 10pm, I was two tabling.
My goal in the Mookie was to play smart, cautious poker. I was trying to figure out the best strategy against bloggers, as opposed to the usual player. It's a very basic thing to do. The usual MTT (multi-table tournament) player and the blogger MTT player are different breeds of animal, so changing tactics should be standard. I just hadn't thought about that fact in a long while.
If you don't think that regular MTTs and blogger MTTs are different, just take a look at the list of bustouts after one hour at the Mookie. It was easily less than 10% of the field. In a regular MTT, you can count on a MUCH larger percentage to have busted out by then.
So what does it all mean? Well, the most noticeable thing is that the blogging community is a lot tighter in these games, probably moreso than usual because of the allure of the BBT4, points and all. So, I decided to look for spots to loosen up. I wasn't just going to loosen up. I was going to pick my spots carefully, because while the group is tight, it's also aggressive.
I stayed even early, not making much waves. I had busted from the Token Frenzy at some point early in the Mookie and decided to not open any other tournaments. That's not to say that I didn't play distracted. Wifey Kim eventually put on The City, a terrible spinoff to the atrocious The Hills. I couldn't even stand to stay in the same room with that claptrap, so I headed into the bedroom where I...sorted wifey Kim and my documents drawer. Basically, while playing online poker, I went over our leases, insurance, etc. organizing as I went. It was a boring chore to do, but online poker makes it slightly more bearable. During this time, I had already chipped up a bit to about 5.5k, before dropping back down to the 4k region. I was pretty much back to playing tight after taking a couple of stabs earlier to gather my stack.
This post seems to be more about everything I did while doing the Mookie. You can add the dishes to that list. Yep, I took the laptop into the kitchen and emptied the dishwasher, replacing the clean dishes with the dirty ones in the sink. All while folding, checking and raising. Multi-tasking at its best.
And then finally, at about 11pm, I sat down and I played poker. Real poker. Just me and the Mookie. I began paying attention to my opponents a bit more (I was doing it throughout, but now I was without distractions...if you don't count the fact that I was also listening to Howard Stern). I had some fortunate cards, AA a couple of times, KK a few times when it mattered, and managed to catapult my way to a large stack. Of course, the majority of my chips came from one particular player who shall remain actually nameless. I had been keeping an eye on her play and her looseness made me salivate. She sat two seats to my right. When she raised preflop, I could call light or even better, re-raise and take down the pot immediately. I felt so in tune to her play that it was a cakewalk. I even said as much in a brief chat with 23Skidoo.
By the time we were nearing the final table bubble, my personal ATM was long gone. I had a good read on my table and I played accordingly. It was that simple. It helped that we were 6-handed and then 5-handed. I play best in shorthanded games, so I took advantage of the situation by betting hard when opportunities arose, which happens rather often with so few competitors.
I don't remember all of the details, but I think by the final table, I was no longer the big stack that I once was. Most of the remaining players had caught up, and I was no one of the shorter stacks, although I still had my fair share of blinds. I played my way up the ladder, actually tightening up and getting paid off on some solid hands. Every once in a while, I would go on betting tares, raising 4 or 5 hands in a row, usually successful. Eventually, I found we were back to six-handed play and I was a middle-stack. I continued to attack the table, trying to take advantage of the shorthanded play. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. One thing I made sure of, though, was that I was never putting too much of my stack in play unless I was very strong.
I have been discussing one hand in particular with PirateLawyer all day, so its the one hand that I actually recall quite vividly. PL was the chip leader with over 100k. One player was in the 60s, I had somewhere north of 50k, and the three remaining players had between 20-30k. I was in one of the blinds and PL opened the betting with a min-raise to 3200 (blinds of 800/1600 with an ante). I held KK, so I naturally raised to 12,400. He called. The flop was KT8 with two diamonds. I led out with a 16,000 bet, leaving me with about 24k behind. I was trying to make it appear like I was going for a continuation bet...and that I was perserving chips in case I needed to fold to a re-raise. All of the theatrics, though, were unnecessary, as PL had flopped bottom two pair with his T8. He re-raised all-in, I called, and my top set held up, bringing me a hefty 100k+ stack.
That's not the end of the story. As we got down to four players, I was no longer the big dog. That honor had moved to cardgrrl. Meanwhile, we had one shorty left around 20k and Heffmike was still in it with a stack close to mine. The shorty busted and my stack continued to dwindle. Details elude me, but Heff took out grrl and we were heads up.
Let's backtrack for a bit, because now I see that Heffmike has posted another hand in which I was fortunate to have KK at the right time. I will say without shame that I had KK a fair amount of times last night. Besides the PL hand, above, and the Heff hand, below, I probably saw KK two more times over the course of the tournament.
The Heff hand happened when we still had 9 players. I was down to somewhere in the 24k range and was dealt KK in either LP or a blind (it was all preflop this hand, so the point is I had position preflop...and it fell into my lap). TwoBlackAces was a shortstack and pushed all-in for his small 3k stack. Heff pushed all-in after him for way more than I had. It was a no-brainer, so I called all-in. TBA had A7o, Heff had JJ, and I had KK. Easy moneys. That was what brought me to the 50k+ stack and the hand against PL.
Heads up, Heffmike started with a decent lead, his 209k to my 84k. As Heff mentions in his post, at one point he had me down to a 1:6 deficit, but I kept fighting back. I love HU play, so I felt that this was my time to shine. Ironically, Heff thinks that he was in control for the most part (as per his post), but I felt the same way. Even though I was playing the shortie, I wasn't willing to be pushed around. I also wasn't willing to make light plays with the hope that he didn't have it or I could get lucky. I just played solid, uber-aggressive heads up poker. Probably most importantly, though, I wore down Heff, and once I caught wind of the fact that he was losing patience, I had enough information for those previously dangerous calls. For instance, I raised preflop with A8, he re-raised me all-in, and I called. He had King-high and I doubled up, still a far cry from even with him. But it didn't stop there. It seemed that whenever I picked off his all-ins, he was carrying a dominated hand. I called all-in preflop with A8 vs. Heff's A4, giving me the lead. I finally took him out when I raised with KTo and he pushed all-in for 95k more. That's no small potatoes, but I already knew my opponent was playing light, so I made the call, expecting to have two live cards, hoping to be ahead, and praying that I wasn't dominated. He had T9, and that's all there was to it.
It was a long HU game, and a couple of times, I felt myself slipping into awfukkit mode, but that never made it onto the keyboard. I just kept refocusing myself when needed and made my plays cautiously and with a set game plan.
After winning, it was already 2:15am, if not later. Man, these tourneys are a bitch for an East Coaster's schedule. Sleeping post-poker is not easy, so I headed to bed, where wifey Kim had been sleeping for hours, and put on my headphones, listening to Howard for a bit before turning it off and attempting to sleep in earnest. It's never easy to sleep after a poker session, but its slightly easier if you leave a winner.
Until next time, make mine poker!
posted by Jordan @ 1:51 PM,
- At 5:19 PM, Lucypher said...
Congrats! Well done!
- At 6:20 PM, Jeremy said...
Nice tourney. Congrats and see ya at the tables.
- At 7:54 PM, Riggstad said...
Wish I was there to see it. Well done bro!
- At 9:07 PM, Fred aka TwoBlackAces said...
You played well...helps to get those big pairs...do let me know your secret! Congrats!
- At 4:36 PM, StB said...
A belated congrats on the win!