Thursday, March 26, 2009

TJ'S BBT Player of the Week

No easy choice this week, but I decided to go with 1QueensUp1 because of his third-place finish in Monday's Riverchasers and his sixth-place showing in Tuesday's Skillz. Those high finishes give him some crucial points going into the final three tournaments of the month. Although the standings weren't updated Wednesday, I believe 1QueensUp1's finish in the Skillz temporarily boosted him to the top of the leaderboard before 125Will's 11th place finish last night in the Mookie. 1QueensUp1 just finished out of the points in the Mookie himself. For his strong showing in Week 4, 1QueensUp1 is TJ's BBT Player of the Week.

New Web Poll

Check the lower part of the sidebar for a new poll regarding summer tournaments in Las Vegas. Tell me which ones you like the best.

Player of the Week award coming soon. Tough decision this week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BBT3 POW...Will I get to award it to myself for Week 4?

I was gone to California all last week. We flew into San Francisco on Monday, drove a car down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles and flew home Saturday. (Trip report coming soon.) Therefore, I didn't have a chance to record all of the results for Week 3 of the BBT. However, after looking at the leaderboard and talking with bloggers, it's obvious the Player of the Week has to be 125Will. He managed a win and a runner-up finish to rocket to the top of the leaderboard with 615.2 points. Congrats on an awesome week 125Will.

As for me I was pretty much ready to pack it in for the month of March in the BBT, but I decided to play this week because 1) I might as well try to take as many chances as possible to win my TOC seat, 2) there is still the overall leaderboard for the series to consider, and 3) the competition is always fun. Good decision me:

Donk_TuckFard and I had a protracted heads-up battle lasting more than half an hour. Twice I had him all-in with two overs against two unders and twice he hit his hands. He finally caught up almost to even, but I grinded him back down and finally won when my A-9 held up against his A-6. It feels good to lock up the TOC seat and main event freeroll (which I may be playing in Vegas...more to come when I know for sure) and this win should boost me into the Top 10 on the monthly leaderboard. My chance at the top is still very remote, but with five more events in the month I still have a shot. Both months I won last year were come from behind victories, although not from as far behind as this year.

Friday, March 13, 2009

TJ'S BBT Player of the Week

It was a tough call this week, but after studying the leaderboards for each event this week I decided to go with smokkee. He made the points (and at least the final two tables) in three out of the four events with a runner-up finish in the Brit Blogger Game to just miss out on locking up a TOC seat. The week's performance should put him in the top 10 on the monthly leaderboard, with a decent shot at winning the $1,500 package.

I had a pretty rough week myself. Sunday was a non-starter. I both played pretty bad and ran into bad play myself. There was one hand where I called a raise with 3-3 for 3x the blind (I think we were playing 60-180). The flop was 7-2-7 and the preflop raiser checked. I bet 270 and he called. The turn was a 2 (or maybe the flop was 2-7-2 and the turn was a 7, I can't remember). We both checked. The river was a queen, he bet 470 and I made a crying call. He showed Q-K. Who can count the ways the hand was played poorly by both of us? His check-call on the flop? My check on the turn? My call on the river? (And possibly his bet on the river?). So nothing happened for me in Riverchasers.

In Skillz, I at least made the points, but it could have been a more productive evening for me. I was confident in my PLO skillz, but my A-A-8-4 couldn't out run K-K-9-2 all-in preflop (you can't do much better than getting it in as a 2-to-1 favorite in PLO) and I finished 12th. I have yet to make a final table in BBT4. In the Mookie I bubbled the points, finishing in 29th.

I was just happy I got to play all of the events this week since I had planned to be in Tunica for most of the week. However, I got some freelance work dropped in my lap and had to head home Tuesday to start cranking it out because it's due at the end of the month and vacation pleasures await starting Monday...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

TJ'S BBT Player of the Week

The first week's winner should be no surprise although midweek I would have picked a different player. I had my eye on lightning36 at first after his hot start, but in the end hoyazo dominated the first week of BBT4.

Hoy played four events this week and managed to make the points in all of them. He final tabled the Big Game on Sunday, earning $690, or as he noted paying for the rest of his BBT4 entries. Hoy led the field with 250.8 points going into Wednesday and finished 25th out of 105 runners in The Mookie, which should put him over 300 for the first week and extend his early lead for the month of March $1,500 seat. Congratulations hoyazo on a great Week 1.

I was semi-happy with my 13th place finish last night. When consistency is key I always feel good about making both the points and the money in a BBT event. Nothing particularly interesting happened for most of the event for me. After we got down in the 20-25 players left range Bone Daddy shoved into me with 9-10 from the SB and I insta called with A-K. The flop brought a pair of 9s and he doubled through (and eventually won the event, so congrats to Bone Daddy). Two hands later I shoved Kc-4c into the aces of OMGItsPokerFool and managed to make both a straight and a flush to double back up. "Instant rebate," Bone Daddy called it.

My demise came a short while later on an insane hand. I had about 16K with blinds at 500-1K and raised to 3K from mid-position with Q-Q. I got called in four spots! First, the big stack behind called, then the 2,700 short stack on the button went all-in. Both the blinds followed into the pot. After a flop of 8-9-J rainbow the prudent move seemed to be to shove, which was followed by two all-in shoves behind me. I was up against 8-8 and 9-9. Why couldn't the flop have been 8-9-Q? I still had six outs, but the turn and river came 5-5. I don't remember who the beneficiary of the hand was, but they won a 80K+ pot, which had to be the biggest of the night up to that point.

Overall, it was a good first week for me as I made the points 3 out of 5 tournaments and should be in the neighborhood of the top 10 after the first week. I so far have avoided the curse that seems to have befallen my closest competition in the March and overall leaderboard standings last year -- namely lucko and TBA -- who have had no luck in the first week of March 2009. I suspect next week will be a different story.

I hope to play 3 of the 4 events next week. I will definitely miss the Brit game on Sunday because I am working stats for the SIAC conference tournament finals in Birmingham and then driving to Tunica to play some in the Spring Poker Classic. I should be able to play Monday-Wednesday unless I go deep in the Omaha 8 tournament I plan to play on Tuesday afternoon. Otherwise, you don't suppose they'd let me bring my laptop to the poker table, would you?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I recently joined this content and networking site called Bukisa where I have begun posting a lot of the articles I've written over the years dealing with strategy (be sure to check those out and harangue me for those!), WSOP and Vegas planning and more. I'll be posting additional links to articles as I upload them, but if you are bored and want to check any out follow the link above. If you are interested in joining Bukisa follow this link.

Quote of the Day for Lostday and a little revisionist history

That's right, this day of the week is no longer called Wednesday. I have redubbed it Lostday as it is the day that features the best television program ever. If you are a fan, you should be reading this site. I admit I haven't been keeping up with the posts on this fan site this year, but Amy is hooked on it...and you will be too if you check it out.

Last month for the March issue of Rounder I interviewed Gavin Smith, Tom McEvoy and Chad Brown. The latest of the three had an interesting quote comparing poker to acting, which as you probably know is in his background.

“In acting you look at Mickey Rourke, for instance. Here’s a guy who was forgotten about, had some drug problems, whatever, and a director really wants him for the role, gives him a script. He didn’t win Best Actor, but everyone thought he should have won Best Actor. That one role, that one body of work, has changed his life. For the next at least two years, his everyday life is going to be changed because of that one role. In poker it’s the same thing. Whoever wins the NBC Heads-Up Championship their life won’t be exactly the same as it was prior to that. That’s how winning one major event can change your life in a good way. That’s an exciting thing for every poker player when they go into a major event with the dream of knowing that it’s realistic to see themselves in first place.”

So much for my theory that I would fare better in the non-NLHE events of the BBT. Last night was my worst finish so far, something like 58th out of however many there were...72 or 73? There were a share of players who were catching who had no clue what they were doing -- in one hand I raised with (3)AA and was called by (K)TJ and managed to brick off completely, not improving my high and missing a low, while he caught two pair, kings and tens. Pretty rotten luck there in Stud Hi/Lo. I also made some sketchy plays myself so I can't complain too vocally.

Not sure if you have heard, but supposedly Sports Illustrated is re-releasing the Sportsman of the Year cover featuring Michael Phelps. Here is a sneak peak:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

BBT4 leaderboard up

Al has set up the BBT4 leaderboard page here. I've yet to cash, but have made the points twice (an unfortunate trend that happened a lot last year). I now lurk in 14th place, with an eye on moving up the ladder. I think I will look forward to the Skillz game each Tuesday as I probably have more experience in the non-NLHE games than most of the competition...or at least I have been busted by Matusow in WSOP HORSE for whatever that may be worth.

I will try to refrain from any shooting bloggers in a barrel comments this spring, although that little controversy certainly drew some traffic over here. So far in the first week I would have to say that the competition has been strong in the BBT. I haven't noticed many of the players I targeted as particularly week during BBT3 (and no, I will not name any names).

By the way, I think for fun I will give out a BBT Player of the Week award each week after the events are complete on Wednesday, just because I can -- and want your eyes on my blog each week. I will try not to give any to myself unless I just so wonderfully deserve it, lol, but if I do it definitely won't be on Week 1. I have a certain player in mind already unless someone does something special the last two days of BBT4 Week 1. Tune back Thursday to see who BBT Player of the Week for Week 1 is.

Meanwhile, see you kids in Stud 8 tonight...

Monday, March 02, 2009

Best college newspaper movie review

I just happened to pick up a copy of The Crimson White, the campus newspaper at UA, last week and read a review of the new and revamped Friday the 13th. The columnist, Ryan Mazer, wrote his review of the flick in haiku. Here's part of it:

Friday the 13th
Its most inspired idea
Was its release date

Most of the film's cast
Is dead by the end credits
We're not so lucky

It's a chore to watch
The only task more grueling --
Writing its review

And we're off...

Three months of marriage straining tournament action has begun with the start of BBT4. The two events Sunday were a donkfest for me, getting unlucky on a standard play in the Brit blogger game, catching a miracle when I played bad against Waffles and then getting crippled by a donk call late in the Big Game.

I pushed with about 1K from UTG with A-K in the Brit game and was called by A-J. Obviously the river brought a jack and I was out about 43rd or so.

Early in the Big Game I donked out on Waffles, who is now playing under the alias Maniac57. Someone raised from MP and I called with T-T on the button. Waffles called in the SB. The flop brought 7-9-3 (I think), raiser checked and I bet 300. Waffles check raises to 900 and I call with a slight inclination to fold the turn. The turn was the 6, and did not complete any flushes. He led out for something like 2K. Not sure why, but I called. River brought an 8, also putting three diamonds on the board. Waffles pushed for his last 1,500 and I called with my straight. He showed K-K and I won the donk out of the night award.

Of course, I did not hear the end of it, but Waffles wasn't too bad. Even apologized for calling me an idiot (or whatever he called me, not sure what it was). I explained to him that calling him on the turn was actually a sign of respect. If I thought he was a standard player I would have never called the turn, but since I thought he could be making a play I went with my hand. A bad decision turned good, as it turned out.

I rarely sustain my luck, however. After not having many hands or being involved in any big pots the rest of the way I was blinded and anted down to 6,500 when I pushed from UTG with A-K. Sound familiar? Hoy called in the small blind with T-J and random unknown player called in the big blind for all 6K of his chips with....K-3? The board ran out 5-8-Q-K-3 and I was crippled. Busted shortly afterwards in 14th.

If I won that pot I would have been up to 20K in chips and near the top 5 with a chance to win. I never had much luck in the Big Game last year, either. I made the points once or twice, but never cashed -- and this is the one you definitely want to go deep in.

However, making the points on the first day is at least a decent start. Consistency in these events will give you a chance at the monthly and overall crowns. I pointed about half the events I played last year, and I figure as long as you are still in it with three quarters of the field gone you can catch a hand or two and be in a position to win it.

Interestingly enough poker for me in 2009 has started similarly to last year. I fared well in Mississippi in January both years, including a good cash in a tournament (althought last year's was a lot better -- $4,000 to $1,200) followed by a month in the red in February. If the BBT continues that trend I'll be happy with the results.