Back In Action
by jnells | Published Jul 21, 2011
So finally after a 2 week hiatus (likely the longest in years that I've not player 1 hand of poker) (God I miss internet poker) Finch and I returned to Seabrook NH to play some tourneys. It's too bad that I could not imagine it going any worse, especially with my Mississippi trip around the corner where I am not exactly where Id love to be financially before this trip (here's hoping I don't get stuck in the South because I cant afford a cab to the airport). The byproduct of this under-rolldedness (gotta love making up new words) is I may try to collect money a few people owe me (not related to gambling at all) and possibly borrow from my friend Finch if he can afford it since he puts almost all of the money he makes into IRA's that he can't touch till he's 60 (he is going to be soooo fucking rich when he's 60) and I may be selling action to a few people whom I trust and who trust me likely with a 1.5 to 1 markup since I am on the hook for expenses and I cant imagine that not being very profitable for the investors in the $200-$500 mtts I plan on playing. (If I were crazy and playing the $3,000 main event Id likely only mark it up at 1.1 or 1.2 to 1)
So on to the poker. We got there a bit early for the $75 bounty, it was a Wednesday so we new it would not be a very large event. I think it was roughly 12 people in the event by the end of registration and I was the first one out. It looked like I was playing hyper aggro opening 70% of hands the first 2 orbits but in truth I was just being dealt openable cards and we started the tourney 5 or 6 handed. I made a fairly big laydown with 2 pair against a dumb looking kid where Im pretty sure I was beat upwards of 90% of the time. I went for 1 out of the box play where I had K10 suited from the BB and called an open from Finch when another player had also called. The flop came Q24 and I had a back door flush draw to go with my backdoor straight draw. I check, Finch leads for a roughly 1/2 pot bet, guy calls and its on me. I decide where Finch is in the middle of me and the other guys I could put in a raise which Im hoping gets him off of all none Qs and begins to put doubt in his minds of any Qs especially the Q10 or QJ, I was also very confident the other guy could be barreled off this pot a huge percentage of the time. Finch calls (sucks really bad for me) and the other guy folds. Turn was a 4 and I decide to give up and check finch checks back. River 4 I check, Finch bets I mention me being the worst in history to ever play poker as I fold and Finch thinks it means I had the 22, I don't correct him.
I ended up losing in a dumb spot to the dumb looking kid I folded 2 pair to before where I am def supposed to fold the turn. I raise pre he calls the button BB calls as well. Flop Q57 one diamond (I have KQ) BB leads a normalish size (honestly I forget the ratio to the pot) I flat button flats. Turn comes a 4 of diamonds. BB checks I bet a bit more than 1/2 the pot, the button raises and the BB folds. On this raise I should just fold, I called because I thought that a diamond draw (especially one with a pair as well) was much more likely than a set but I really didn't give much thought to a straight or 2 pair which in hindsight is likely the largest part of his range. I called intending to call a shove on any non-diamond and the river bricked he shoved and I called (at this point the pot was huge compared to my stack so once I fuck up and call the turn I do think I am correct stacking off on any non diamond) he had the 68 of diamonds for the whole fucking world on the turn gg me.
I played cash (2-4 limit omg I must be suicidal) where I actually played very well despite losing 40 bucks in the game. I played 2 big pots where I raise pre and flopped top pair on dry boards and bet flop and turn, before the board straightened on the river leading to passive players who were check/calling to lead both times I saved a bet on the river and one of them I had actually improved to 2 pair. To be fair I also attempted a bluff in 2-4 limit which against the player I did it against had the success rate of me walking up to Meghan Fox and bluntly asking "Do you want to give me a blowjob?" Although some old timers in the room would have folded the hand that that the kid had and I saw his friend fold a decent top pair on the river before that so I was hoping they were playing similarly. As it turns out they were not.
Then I bubbled a $40 turbo which was essentially a 10 handed SnG when I shoved 66 for like 11ish BBs no antes from the button when there was a dead small and got snap-called by the BB who had AJ. (I was in 2nd chip posistion by a little and there was a SS but he was not super short or anything, so I was wondering if maybe with ICM and there being no SB this would be a fold)
Then we went to the other Seabrook where I played very well in a $60 SnG where I bubbled after losing the CL with 4 left when my KJs couldn't outrun the pocket 8s that decided to play really well and like with like 7 BBs effective. After that I was down to less than a BB from the SB. UTG limps, finch folds I obv get it in blind and the UTG literally says something to the extent of don't put more chips in the pot to the BB who thought I had more than a BB. I said he can't say that but as expected the dealer didn't do anything about it and even if I called the floor they would never do more than issue a warning so it didn't matter than it gets hilarious. The board runs out KQ10 6 4 and they check it to the river where the UTG then says make it 1000 (blinds are 1000/2000) into the 800 chip side pot, he realizes it late looks unhappy and makes it 2000 instead and the other player folds. He than proudly tables 98s for what is likely the worst way you can possibly play that hand given we are on the bubble, and he says "not bad risking 2000 to win 800" Now just to go over this, first off it is bad risking 2000 to win 800 with 9 high anyway, much more importantly he lets me win the main pot a much larger % of the time since on average a random hand has 9 high beat on this board and god the other dude may have folded a pair since people only bet the nuts in those situations. And by winning that 800 and giving me the main pot more often he is keeping in the realm of possibility him bubbling in 4th making his entire play atrocious. It is unfortunate that I had the mighty 72 o and his 9high wins the pot. For those wondering the best way for him to play given the blinds are so high I believe is to fold the 98s, but a shove is ok too since I don't have enough to fold and hope the BB calls so the ICM disaster of me folding and the BB calling cant happen and he wins the 400 from the BB even if my 72 outruns his 98s for the main if the BB folds. Once he limped (clearly the worst option available) ICM dictates he check it down all the way but given his desire to win the 800 in the side he should bet the flop or turn to make it so he at least has more outs in the main pot if i have J high. so to recap. (In internet poker terms > means is better than as a plan for a hand)
Folding >Shoving> limping and checking it down all the way> limping and betting the flop or the turn> limping and checking it to the river to then bluff with 9 high for 2000 into an 800chip side when you cant beat a random hand for the main.
This player literally played it as bad as possible and based on just the 5 possibilities the odds of a monkey playing it better is 80% the chance of a monkey playing it worse 0% (and if you really think about it a monkey probably just going to push chips around so its prob much more likely to play it better than 80%)
I then lost another 60 SnG this one was only 7 handed I got 5th after losing a semi cooler where I def have my borderline hand with AJ (Aq snap calling A10 snap folding) against Finches shove over my open and a SS reshove but he only had 1600 total and I raised to 1000 to start. Pretty gross spot I thought about it alot but with 5 left and 2 paying i think the risk reward may be there for AJo since getting a big stack near the bubble is crucial taking out the only other good player is even more important especially since he is directly on my left and will know my shoving ranges as the blinds go up and I still had 3200 at 200/400 if I called and lost. With my call the pot was over 12,000. He had AQ and the shorty had QQ which I really didn't care about (except when he tabled his hand and stood up vigorously clapped his hand and said " I FUCKING LOVE THAT" clearly an assclown who watches too much TV poker.
Combined with an uneventful $20 I lost playing mixed cash waiting for the 1st SnG I lost just under $300 on a Wednesday in NH over 4 tourneys and with just over an hour of cash games, where none of the tourneys had more than 12 players. Clearly a bad day.
One more thing New Seabrook guys are retards. I like the room but they have the dumbest policy that is possible for SnGs that go past 1AM. Legally they are not allowed to deal past 1AM so what they decided is that if a SnG is still running at 1 AM than they go by chip counts and the chip leader gets first place the 2nd gets 2nd and so on. Now typically it doesn't get to 1 before they are done but it did last night in the last SnG and Finch was in 2nd out of the 3 left with under 10 minutes to go. that means that if he let himself be the SS (but not out of the tournament) and 1 o'clock rolled around he would get 0$ (in a 7 handed SnG 3rd is the bubble) and there comes a point where a CL could tank every hand until they called a clock and then take the full minute and then fold and if its close to 1 he could literally guarantee 1st place. As it worked out i think finch made some big errors at first with 10 minutes or so to go and blinds at 1k/2k trying to never get to 3rd chip position with 10 full minutes of a mix of 1k/2k and 2k/4k (there was only 35K in play) but the last 5 minutes he recognized what he had to do. He made a great shove on the 2nd leader when he was CL at 2k/4k with a few minutes to go where the SS was soo short that I don't think the 2nd CL could call QQ (Im positive he would have but think ICM wise with this stupid fucking dynamic it is probably a fold maybe with KK too) It got to 1 at this time they were heads up and the other dude shoves after the tournament director says last hand, finch counts his chips and if he fold he would have 15,600. I don't know why he thought so long about it about 1-2 minutes (to be fair he did offer a chop mid hand, which i don't think is allowed but w/e) and eventually makes the needed call with 86o the other guys is pumped since he has 87.
Lets break it down and say why finch had to snap call and why this guy should actually be upset to have finch dominated. The way they do it whichever one of them has more than 17,500 chips gets 1st place 220 the other guy get 2nd place 109, literally no matter whether the winner actually wins has all the chips except 100 or has exactly 17600 it doesn't matter. So finch should at the last hand see if he has 17600 if he folds, when he realizes he has less than 17500 he should snap-call ATC to take a free roll to win as opposed to literally giving the other guys 1st place. if he has 17600 or more after folding he should snap fold 100% of hands including AA so as not to give himself a negative free roll to lose, since folding insures him 1st place. The only time he should guess whether or not he is ahead of the guys shoving range (which was and should be ATC) is if he has exactly 17500 chips after folding where folding is a chop but if hes got say a K2o he should risk the chop to go for first.
Also the fact that in the actual hand he was dominated is not that bad. According to CardPlayer's odds calculator the 87o wins 49.32% of the time at showdown (higher than I would have guessed) the 86o wins 22.82% of the time but there is a chop 27.87 percent of the time. A chop in this case lets Finch win the tournament (finch had posted 4k in the BB on the last hand) so finch wins the tournament ~50.68 if finch had say 23o instead (which I would be that his opponent would have not preferred since finch would be live to win the hand) finch wins the hand more 30.77% of the time but wins the tournament less 35.44% of the time.
This dynamic set up by the owners actually favors me,finch, and anyone who inherently understands the stuff I wrote about in the last few paragraphs on their own, but I don't think its fair to regular players who just aren't that good and many of whom would never be aware of this rule until it happens to them. Also in the case of big MTTs if there policy is the same (I forgot to check) you could be talking about thousands of dollars in equity taken away from a customer who had yet to be eliminated from a tournament. with no reward given to them for not being eliminated from the tournament, I'm all for increasing my edge but honestly I don't think that the practice is fair and it HAS to be made public knowledge to players BEFORE they sign up to a tournament that may have this be an issue. They really should learn how to do a chip chop (universally standard in tournaments). But honestly forcing the remaining players to an even chop (not fair to good players) would be more fair over all than their current practice (though if that were the case I'd definitely make a point of arguing with the floor and threatening to take my action down the street)