Sunday, October 16, 2005
"At that point I ought to have gone away, but a strange sensation rose up in me, a sort of defiance of fate, a desire to challenge it, to put out my tongue at it. I laid down the largest stake allowed - four thousand gulden - and lost it. Then, getting hot, I pulled out all I had left, staked it on the same number, and lost again, after which I walked away from the table as though I were stunned. I could not even grasp what had happened to me."
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Gambler
God Bless Party Poker. Biggest Fish Aquarium Ever.
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Read on to see why.
A rare guest post, of all things, entitled "How To Turn $10 into 2k in a Few Hours - Thanks to Party Poker."
Quick weekend recap post. I'm still way behind on my reading but I'm sure I'll get to an uber-post soon. Actually, I feel guilty not posting one on Sunday nights for ya'll - isn't that pathetic?
The things I do for my readers.
So I was grinding away on Friday evening at the Party Poker BadBeat Jackpot tables and chatting with some bloggers. IM-A-Shots were being tossed back and all was good in the universe.
So I pulled out my blogger rolodex and made a few random dial a shots.
I ended up in a fascinating conversation with April and Joanne. Joanne had just won the inaugural Wil Wheaton Invitational and was gracious enough to discuss her thinking behind tournament strategy. The three of us really had a great conversation and Al and the Princess even dropped in for a bit.
Hell, it was so much fun I'm now thinking about a weekly Iggy podcast.
Anyway, Joanne has been experiencing serious success in multi-table tourneys, something I rarely dabble in, even though I should, but that's for another post. Joanne focuses strictly on making the money - that's her goal in tourneys. And it works for her. And it seems very reasonable on the face of it, cause after all, survival is the most important thing in large tournaments.
But this flies in the face of conventional wisdom which says you should always be playing to win the damn thing. My personal philosophy is playing to make the final table, but that's semantics.
So I'm really over-simplifying Joanne's philosophy here and I hope she blogs about it because it's a refreshing point-of-view. This perspective is a nice balance to the Must Win mentality that permeates much of the collective thought about tourney play. And again, I'm completely generalizing here. Different tournaments and different structures and differing payouts create their own strategies, of course.
So I was pondering things, as I'm wont to do, and head over to my buddy, GMoney's, place on Saturday night for some drunken online poker and laughs.
And from here on out - I'll let GMoney tell the tale.
"The First Nice Score"
by GMoney. A low-limit player.
Iggy has been pestering me to write a guest post almost as long as he has been writing this fine blog. I have always demurred because of various reasons including procrastination and sheer laziness, but I also felt that (and still do) that I could never hold a candle to his drunken rambling prose (and I mean that as a compliment).
But last night was a special moment for me in my humble poker endeavors and since he was not conscious for the end of it, I thought it best for me to relate the tale. So strap yourself in gentle reader, and hope I don't screw this up TOO badly.
Iggy and I have been playing poker together for a long time now. We generally play together in our long-running home game, take trips to Louisville to Caesars and now Vevay (Belterra Casino) to enjoy live ring games with the drunken hillbilly fishies. Typical snippets of conversation at the boat: "I like fast cars and fast women, that's why the guys in my Car Club call me CRUISER" or: "I don't like football, basketball, baseball or hockey. If it don't have a motor, than it ain't a sport!" But the best one by far: "I didn't drive all the way from (fill in southern city of your choice)___JUST TO FOLD!"
But I digress. Every 2 or 3 weeks or so, Iggy and I get together for our version of the drunken home game. We proceed to quaff copious amount of libations and spout pontifications on the merits of minimum raises in the cut-off position. (Translation: We get absolutely hammered and babble about poker). I look forward to these evenings with my friend as it gives us a chance to hang out and talk about all things, but especially poker.
For me, it's always came down to the fact that I don't like to "grind" in poker, even though I know it is +EV to do so. I like to play Single game tournaments and Multi tournaments.
So for awhile now we have been playing SNG's at my place on these occasions, and they have been a revelation on my thinking about poker. I've learned a ton. We have been able to sit and watch the game together and discuss all those "trouble hands" and situations that only come up every so often, but occur enough that you need a good handle on them.
"How much of a raise is gonna steal this blind/flop? Do I fold top pair top kicker to Player A's big bet and Player B's reraise when I am last to act?" You know, stuff that you would normally never have a chance to discuss with a good player AT THE TIME IT IS HAPPENING. I can't even explain how much valuable information/tips I have gotten from Iggy though these discussions. One of us sits at the pc, and the other watches, and then comments on how they would play it. Even though it is reassuring to hear the other person say "Yea that was just the way I would have played it" It is the times when we would PLAY IT DIFFERENTLY that I end up learning the most. Getting a different perspective from the one trapped in your head can be very illuminating. Nuff Said.
Saturday night we got together, and I told him I would like to take a shot at a few multis, to which he readily agreed. He had just had a great conversation with Joanne on the relative merits of playing multis on a regular basis. Iggy was particularly struck with a comment by Joanne regarding multis: "If I finish in the money, I consider that a victory" Being a regular multi player, I can totally relate to this. You do your best to finish/limp into the money, and THEN you take some chances to try to get farther. But conventional wisdom also dictates that you must make BIG MOVES and take BIG CHANCES throughout the multi to build a big stack, because that is the only way to get to the final table. I think I was able to accomplish both last night.
This one was a NL $10+1 multi on Party that was just short of 2000 players. I won't bore you with all the details (mostly because I couldn't remember them all if I tried.) But slow and steady was the way it played itself out. I slowly, but surely, built a double stack after an hour, triple stack or so after 2 hours but nothing too exciting. I was squarely "in the middle" for stack size and rank. But I just kept plodding along, stealing blinds when I could, stealing flops that looked particularly raggy or scary, and waiting for good hands to make big moves.
I didn't get paid on either of my KK or AA and thought "My chances are lost for this game". But then I hit the first and only big suckout hand of the tournament for me: KQ off flop comes King high, two to the flush, turn brings Queen but 3 flush on board. I bet at it pretty good get reraised and have to consider putting it all in. I was close to pot committed and just figured this was the moment of truth. I called it and he flipped over AT for nut flush and my heart sank. But just as quickly I felt the huge surge of exiliration as I saw a King hit on the river to make me a fullhouse!
Needless to say my opponent was not too happy about this development. Iggy typed out in the chatbox:
"Sometimes you have to make the wrong move at the right time." Truer words were never spoken.
That hand put me over 100K. I sat on that for another hour, got it up 150K, and by now it was 1.30 AM. I kept checking to see my payouts as players dropped. Iggy insisted I play to make the final table.
But then it happened. Iggy realized he had drank all the beer. His will to continue helping me through the end of the tournament was waning without more beer-fuel. He asked if I cared if he took a nap until the final table and of course I said no problem. He was toast but the last thing he said to me was, "You WILL make the final table."
He went over and crashed on the futon where I could hear his light snores over the Miles Davis I was playing on the stereo. First time I ever outlasted Iggy! But with all his recent traveling I gave him a break.
30 players ....then 20...then FINAL TABLE! " Hey Iggy! Iggy I made it to the final table! What do you think about that?"
Iggy:"WassaBlurbDalbooey!" Iggy wasnt responding. I needed to finish this one on my own. One thing I have definitely learned at final table stage is that watching two other players go all in while you sit by and move up another place is a GREAT FEELING. Even though I was small stack with 5 or 6 left, I kept putting off making a desperation move, and in doing so, allowed others to bust out. I then caught some hands three handed...but finally succumbed to SECOND PLACE!!!!
More than six hours after I started the tournament it was finally over. I was exhausted but sooooo pumped!
Payout for 2nd Place: $2100 and change. Not bad for a Saturday night. Only problem: will Iggy ever forgive me for letting him sleep though this? We will find out next episode. Thanks to IGGY for letting me relate the tale!!
ARG, the last thing I remember telling GMoney was to wake me up if he made it to the final table. But he had mercy on me and took it to the hoop himself. I'm extremely happy and proud of my man taking down a nice score like that. 2 grand is a nice bump to the bankroll for a recreational player and he was long overdue for this.
Last but obviously not least, thanks to Daddy for the incredible package of tunes. Damn, between you and Helixx, I'm set for life. Thanks again.
And thus concludes the weekend wrapup. Thanks for reading and I'll be back soon.
Link of the Day:
Soccer for Jihadists
"Hell awaits those who die playing soccer according to rules established by heretical countries, at the head of which is America," according to a fatwa against soccer translated from Arabic.
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