Thursday, April 29, 2010

Winner winner chicken dinner - Book a Mook win

Sorry to steal a line from Will Wonka, but I won the Mookie / Dank last night, and "I got a golden ticket" to a seat at The Battle of the Bloggers 5 Tournament of Champions, scheduled for May 27!  If you're interested, the summary of events can be found on many sites - the one that I've been using is via AlCantHang's site (can't get to anything poker-related other than blogspot addresses at work).

I'm very excited about this; first, I don't play (nor win for that matter) tournaments.  In fact, I'm a crappy tournament player, on the basis that I like to have deep pockets and auto-top off, as I do in my cash games.  However, now that I've won the Mookie, I have the opportunity to play to win one of 3 seats to the WSOP ME, or 2 $2K packages to preliminary events, in which, as it turns out, there should be approximately 18 runners...  Quick math says that's a 1 in 4 shot assuming everyone is of equal poker ability.  Kick a$$!!!

Before I began the tournament, I told myself that I was either taking first or nothing at all.  I think my play clearly evidenced that - I took at least 2 coin flips that I didn't necessarily need to take, but wanted to either crush the thing or get out.  I'd imagine playing against a guy who has decided he has nothing to lose is a dangerous opponent...

Since I had a nothing-to-lose attitude, I was playing quite aggressively early.  I was able to chip up to within 5th place from the get-go, and got as high as 4.5K in chips with blinds at the 20-40 level.  I 3bet a few opponents and was able to take down pots uncontested.  My initial table was very tight, so I took maximum advantage.  However, I was on a chip roller coaster; since I was willing to gamble, I was up and down quite a bit.  Details are fuzzy (play finally ended at 1:30AM [YAWN!], but I captured some of the hands from memory.

Hands of note included (and I'm sorry I don't remember my opponent's name) "Mr. X" slow playing KK against my early position raise with 33.  A [solid flop for underpairs] flop of something like 2 6 8 came, with my stack dwindling down to 1500-2K early on, with blinds at the 80-120 level if I recall.  I cbet and he pushed with his 4-5K stack.  I decided to call and was shown the bad news; I had a ~10% shot of being busted out early - no big deal; I've been on the rail before, and I would be out in 70th.  Fortunately, a 3 on the river saved my butt and the tournament.  Reinvigorated, I was able to steal, and 3bet a few pots to bring my stack up to respectable levels.

Throughout the rest of the tourney, standard playing ensued... win some, lose some...  I seemed to have the hands I needed at the time I needed them - AA vs. a small stack push (I think suited connectors) where I flopped a set and rivered quads...  As the big stack bully, pushing ATCs and finally getting a call from a mid-stacker from whom I was stealing, where I show up with QQ (need to be consistently shoving all hands and ranges, so I got "lucky" that he called with the hand he had) and I think he had 88... etc.  All in all, I ran well as well as (outside of the 33 into KK) played pretty decently.  In fact, outside of the hand above, I think I flipped approx. 4 times (losing once to a short stack) - all other times I was a decent favorite (75%+) to win, and did not get sucked out on.  Most hands simply did not go to showdown, though.  As big-ish stack, I was able to push people off of their [presumably] better hands by sheer might.  Lastly, I did not see J9s at all last night :-(.

The two primary coinflips that I took were both against the chip lead at the time, Lucko, (whose site I have linked, but I'm not 100% certain it's the same person).  The fist time, I had finally settled into a recently rebalanced table with Lucko as the chip lead (50K) and I had ~15K and [I think] 88.  I noticed that he had become quite aggressive with his stacks, as a big stack should.  He was stealing liberally from most if not all positions, and I finally had a hand where I felt comfortable 3betting his range.  He decided to auto shove his AQo and my 88 held to push me up to ~30K and him down to ~35K.

Lucko would continue to pressure the smaller stacks, and I would join in on the fun, trying to avoid Lucko when possible.  Again, though, I had it in my mind that I was there to win - if I had to take an educated gamble, I would not think twice about doing so.  I don't remember what the stack sizes were, but Lucko raises as was typical (I had him covered) and I 3bet my 66 in position.  This would be the final time Lucko & I would tango; he pushed and I decided to call against his wide-ish range.  In retrospect, I had 3bet him once or twice in prior hands, where he gave up his cards and I took it down uncontested.  I probably should have thought about the fact that he was showing respect to my 3bets a little more before making the call, but I snapped it off figuring that I would either go out in a blaze of glory (from chip lead to last), essentially handing him the monster stack, or vice-versa.  He turned out to have AK against my 66, and I think there was a 6 was in the window... my hand held up.  I wish I had the hand history here at work, but we're debating it over at Bayne's blog if anyone cares...  Perhaps Lucko has the HH & prior action?  My HUD had Lucko running around a 35/25 or something like that.

The tournament came down to Poker Grump, Fmarra17, and me as the final 3.  I had the chip lead until I made (will be disputed but I have a later post about this) a DONKEY STUPID STUPID call with 8d5d against a Grump shove with A8o.  Now, I claim this call to be a misclick; I just bought a N52TE speed pad, and clicked the "call" button instead of "fold," but c'est la vie and believe me or don't :-), Grump was now chip lead slightly (READ: PRETTY DAMN COSTLY MISTAKE!).  After I knocked out the short-stacked Fmarra17 on a flip (my A8 AIPF vs. his 44), things were settled for what I expected to be a long HU match between the two hard core cash players (well one hard core [Grump] and one donkey [me]).

Funny that neither of us wasted any time, as I think the whole HU match lasted 3 hands(?), where I was able to get it all in as a decent favorite with 99 vs. Grump's A8.  To his credit, I know he knows that I was aggressive as anything last night - he was at the table where I called the shove with 33 into the KK, and he also saw me pushing like 4-5 hands in a row earlier, and other such erratic volatile play (the supposed 85s misclick call), so it's possible that he put me on ATCs and making a play right off the bat.  Either way, no Ace came, and my 9's were good to win the match.  (I did save this HH.)

Full Tilt Poker The Mookie No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t1000/t2000 Blinds + t250 - 2 players
The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (BTN/SB): t148966         M = 42.56
BB: t112034                              M = 32.01

Pre Flop: (t3500) Hero is BTN/SB with 9s 9d
Hero raises to t6000, BB raises to t18000, Hero raises to t148716 all in, BB calls t93784 all in

Flop: (t224068) Jh 5c Ks

Turn: (t224068) 2s

River: (t224068) Tc

Final Pot: t224068
Hero shows 9s 9d (a pair of Nines)
BB shows 8h As (Ace King high)
Hero wins t224068

Congratulations to all who cashed.  It was a lot of fun getting to talk with all of you.  CMitch - thanks for the rail support (everyone else picked whomever was short stack at the given time :-P ).  Finally, a hearty congratulations to Grump & Frankie / Fmarra17 - it was definitely a great time.  A final thank you to alcanthang and the crew from Full Tilt for setting up the whole BBT5, and graciously giving the prizes.

The final table read as follows, for those interested:
333 total hands split between 2 tables, starting at 10:00PM and ending at 1:30AM with 87 runners.


  1. Gratz. Correct link on Sucko. Make sure you call him Sucko from now on.

  2. Congrats. Winning the Mookie donkathon will bring honor -- or ridicule -- to your name.

    Best wishes in the TOC. There are still a bunch of us scrambling to get in.

  3. Nice Job. Winning the Mook is always fun; especially during BBT.

    Good luck in TOC.

  4. Its 2010, don't take crap from a "tournament player" who hasn't been relevant since 2006. I like you winner take all style, think it was correct, and congrats on the take down.

  5. Great win. Congrats and good luck in the TOC


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