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All Things Mookie

I decided to play the Mookie last night, in my quest to compete in 20 of the 40 Battle of the Poker Blogger events. I ended up out at 27th out of 51, just shy of the 25th place BBT points.

I really have to commend the creators of the BBT and the poker blogging community in general. When TripJax and I originally started the DADI tournaments, we merely wanted to play online poker against people we knew. We didn't expect much, but when the turnout ballooned, largely thanks to pimping by AlCantHang, I realized how enjoyable it was being a part of the poker blogging community. Eventually, when the weekly Mookie, Hoy, WPBT, WWdn, and WWdn: Not proliferated, we were happy to shut down the monthly DADI game. It was a lot of work, coming up with a date, designing a banner, pimping it out on our respective blogs, and ultimately doing it every month. God bless Al, Mook, and Hoy for putting together the BBT. Not only does it provide a friendly, competitive atmosphere, but the BBT has done a lot more. It has strengthened the poker blogging community by making something worthwhile to play.

Specifically, I am amazed at the extras that have developed around the combinatin of the weekly Hoy, Mookie and Riverchasers events. The most amazing thing is the leaderboard. There had been leaderboards in the past, but the BBT improved on the concept drastically. First, the top five or six players get prizes, from cash to Nintendo Wiis. Second, the top 50 get entered into a freeroll at the end of the BBT. This is the most amazing part: The BBT actually convinced FullTilt to give back all of our tournament fees to put into that freeroll (actually, half get split amongst the top 3 spots, I think, and the other half goes to the freeroll). Well, god bless. Last night, I discovered that my 3rd place Hoy win catapulted me to 49th place. After missing out on the points last night, I worry that I might be out of the top 50. But I'll guarantee that I'll keep trying. After all, if you play in at least 20 of the 40 events, you get entered into the freeroll anyway. As of today, I've played in 13 events, so I've got a little ways to go with just (I think) 12 events left.

I also have to give some big ups to Buddy Dank. He recently started a live streaming radio show over the Internet that plays concurrent with the Mookie. Not only does he provide an interesting and ecclectic soundtrack, but he'll pop in every couple of minutes to update the amount of players left, and particular bustouts. A paraphrase from my bust out last night: "And it looks like Hoy took out Jordan...from High on Poker...with...QQ against... Ace-something... Man, I just saw it too..." Okay. he still has a little ways to go, but the concept is there and this is only his second go-round. I find it particularly exciting because its a unique opportunity to play poker with a bunch of players all over the world while listening (potentially) to the same soundtrack. Its the Mookie Surround Sound experience, and I suggest you check it out.

But enough of that drivel. Let's get to the poker. I saved three hands last night. The first fringes on the bet-sizing topic I've been discussing lately, but also addresses that all-too-common situation where there is money waiting for you on the table if you just choose to take it. The second and third hands address all-in plays, particularly in tournaments, that may appear, on their face, to be stupid, but actually are well-justified (or so I hope).

Let's start with the hand showing how to take an orphaned pot. I'm rocking about 2160 in chips, in the BB with 47o. My table is full of people I don't really know. I like that. It means that my default blogger table image (i.e., overly loose) doesn't necessarily apply. Katie, with 1445, limps in MP, and the button, BrLK, limps as well. The SB folds and I check. Let's take a minute. There is no reason for the SB to fold here. He only has to call 30 and with two limpers, the SB's SB, and the BB already in the pot, that's just a 30 call into a 210 pot. That's incredible odds, and even if he has terrible cards, he may luck out and flop two pair, trips, or better. Plainly put, in my book you ONLY fold your SB if there is a raise ahead of you OR you have less than 10x the BB. But that's not what this hand is about.

The flop was A66, with two clubs. I checked, and it checked around. There you have it. An orphaned pot. You might get concerned that someone is slowplaying an Ace or some other good cards. It's definitely a possibility, but less of a possibility than most people think. Just watch the timing of your opponents. In this case, it was a very naturally timed check. Basically a "Nope, missed the flop. Next card" type of a check. I wish I could explain it more. I'm sure it has a lot to do with subconscious things. Whatever the case, I got the secure feeling that no one had the Ace.

The turn was an 8c, completing the flush draw. I had to think for a moment here. I was out of position, and someone could have checked to get a free card and make their flush. I had to make a decision here. The easy thing would be to check and give up the hand. But there was 210 in the pot, and both players seemed like they wanted nothing to do with it. I bet out 120, a small amount, for two reasons. (1) If one of the other players have the flush, an Ace, or a 6, they are going to call or raise, in which case, I go into my turtle shell and fold or check it down. 120 isn't a lot, so the bet is worth it to me, even if I'm betting into the nuts. (2) It looks scary. In fact, it looks suspiciously like I hit the 6s and now want to get some action from them once everyone checked down my first slowplay on the flop. OR, it looks like I hit my flush and I'm trying to do whatever I can to build the pot. In case you've been taking notes, this is very similar to my thought-process in a lot of the bet-sizing hands. You want to find that sweetspot where you don't mind the results. You either get info for cheap or win the pot for the right price. In this case, I had jack shit, but they both folded and I took down the pot.

The second and third hands just amuse me. In both cases, I look like a donkey at showdown. In fact, here are the holecards at showdown:

Hand #2
jdpc: AQo

Hand #3
Nomey: AA
Dionysus: ATs

In both instances, I'm playing from behind. In the first, JTs hardly seems like a pushable hand. In the second, while 55 is ahead of two of the players, with so many players in the hand and a player with AA, my hand was nothing to praise. To the casual observer, including the player at my table who is multitabling or surfing the web and just happen to see showdown, I look a bit donkish, but let's look at the hands and see how I got all of my money (or in Hand #3, as much of my money as possible) into the pot as a dog.

In Hand #2, I had 1120 chips in a turbo Token race, with blinds of 120/240. If you do the math, that's less than 5x the BB. To make matters worse, I was in the BB, so I had less than 4x the BB left behind. In these tourneys, I play very tight (being that 6 of 18 places pay, and the top 5 all get the same prize), hoping to double up before I get blinded out. I hadn't gotten good cards, so I was at the point of desperation.

To my surprise, TNW pushed all0in for about 1500 from EP/MP, and jdcp with 1985 called. When it got to me, I had so much in the pot that folding would be stupid. I figured the players for high Aces, but even if I were wrong, I was really only a large dog to TT-AA. In fact, against AK and AQ, I'm over a 33% chance to win. Since I'm getting better than that in pot odds, its the right call. If both had a pair less than TT, I'm actually going to win more than 41% of the time. If one has AK and the other has an undercard, I'm about 32% to win. In other words, I really am only worried about TT and up, and while that is definitely a possibility, I could not allow myself to fold and be down to less than 4x the BB. Ironically, I fold most Aces, aside from AK and AQ here, because they are too likely dominated, but Jack Ten likely leaves me with two live cards. In the end, I flopped the flush draw and a ten and took down the pot.

The third hand is from the Mook, and was the reason why I ultimately lost the tournament. I had 2845 in chips, UTG+1 with 55, when Kaellin made his play, pushing 920 into the pot from UTG. In hindsight, I probably should've folded here, but I figured I could afford to gamble against highcards, and if anyone else calls, they are likely to check it down with me. I figured my investment was capped. However, Dionysus ended up pushing all-in in LP, and Nomey raised all-in to 1700 total from the BB. When it got back to me, there were suddenly three people all-in and I had to call 780 into the already huge pot of 4080. I felt obliged to call, especially since I'd have more chips to spare. In hindsight, I once again question if I should've let it go. At this point, its fairly clear that someone has an overpair, likely Nomey. That means that I'm drawing to a set. In the actual hand, I was only about 16% to win preflop. In fact, maybe someone can check the odds on this, but my loose calculations suggest that I was getting proper odds on the 780 into 4080 pot.

Now, odds should not be the end of all analysis in tournaments. However, they are worth checking, and when your stack size is small or, conversely, when its big enough to handle a loss, knowing your odds against likely holdings is important.

I hope this resonated with a few of you. These were odd hands to me last night. The last two particularly stuck in my craw. I'm still not 100% that these were the right plays, but looking back, I don't think they were the wrong plays.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:35 PM,


At 11:14 AM, Blogger Buddy Dank said...

Thanks for tuning in last night and for the pimpage.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

"Plainly put, in my book you ONLY fold your SB if there is a raise ahead of you OR you have less than 10x the BB."

I fold there if...

(a) The BB is the type of player prone to raise everyone out of the pot there.

(b) The BB is getting low on chips and will probably push all-in to pick up the limpage.

Otherwise, I agree with you...

At 5:35 PM, Blogger MattyEbs said...

no way theat ur getting the right odds on 4080 to 780, if theres no money behind, without implied odds its purely math 4080/780 = 19.???
With an underpair to an overpair and overcards you are a lil over 16%, ironically the guy with 89h is getting the right price but not the underpair...may hit up EBB tonight any my cell

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I stand correct on both counts. Trip, that is another situation where I would fold the SB. Also, Ebs, your loose calculations are also correct. I suppose I can take some comfort in the thought that there were sidepots to be won and I had everyone covered, but on pot odds alone, this is an incorrect call.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger AlCantHang said...

Always a pleasure sir. Thanks for coming out to play.


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