Monday, May 21, 2007

Do the right thing

I had gone far in many satellite attempts for getting into one of the big satellites for the FTOPS Main Event, but not won. The subsatellites I played were all with only one prize, winner goes on to a bigger satellite. I had managed many final tables out of six or five tables starting, quite a few fourth places, some third places and one second place (with a good fair beat in that one, making fives full of Kings on the turn versus fives full of Aces with pocket Aces).

The last of the big satellites are nearing and I think strategically. I really want to get into the big one.

I buy in directly to the $100 satellite. Buyin for the Main Event is $500, meaning that about one in five will go on from the satellite. Definitely doable. If I can make a final table in a five- or six-table tournament, I can finish in the top 20% of a multitable tournament, and I don't have to win the whole damn thing, just reach top 20% and we're done.

When it starts, it's 1412 participants and 263 get a seat in the Main Event. Three other players will get a booby prize of dollars instead.

To the right of me is the classical online poker expert, commenting everybody's play and trashtalking. "66 lmao" when chip leader loses a small pot against a set of fours. One comment is "he only has those chips because he hit aces and played an idiot". I can't refrain from commenting "So, what you're saying is: He has more chips because he played and had the best hand?".

I mini-raise with TT and fold against a reraise from the chip leader and bully at the table. Not time to gamble yet.

"The expert" is out. Raises in middle position, big blind reraises, expert goes all in and big blind who covers him well calls. Big blind has AK suited. Expert trashtalker has... JK off suit. No hit and goodbye. So I comment "JKo lmao".

Wait for it. Wait for it. Yes! There it comes! "play me heads up p###y @ss donks". Uhm, no? We're kinda busy here with an important tournament.

He seemed to be the kind of player who absolutely can not let go of a hand once he's in it and sees it as a personal insult if someone challenges his initial thinking. "Ooh, suited connectors (89 spades). Against this and that, it is such and such favorite. Flop TKA rainbow. Heck, they're not holding any of that, I'll bet them off. Oops, two callers. Turn another diamond, I put him on a flush draw, bet him off dammit! What, he called? But but but, he doesn't have implied pot fold odds equity, I'm in position, his stats say he has a 18% thingamabob XLA and Jupiter is ascendant. OK, I'll checkfold the river but tell everybody what a great player I am."

It's a turbo tournament and blinds are going up. Lots of folds all around. And then the pivotal moment comes. I'm in the big blind and have AT diamonds. Fold all the way around and small blind whom I very barely cover thinks for a while and goes all in. Is he trying to steal? If he had something, and we're the only two involved, he won't gain anything more than my blind from going all in. He would've called or min-raised with a pair, A-something, connectors.

I call. And oh my how right I was. He has J8 off suit. Flop is 7x9, not too worrisome. More cards help me than help him. Turn a blank.

Fukitol tahelweit. The river is a Ten filling a gutshot straight for the bastard. Smooth move, ex-lax. J8 ftw... "J8 lmao".

When I've posted the small blind of 60, I have 25 left. Surprisingly everyone folds and it's only a matter of protocol to toss in the rest with my 58o. And big blind who can't act has 24 and I "double up" to 170. Fold, fold, fold until I get somethng playable, which is 55 in UTG+1. Called by big blind with AT suited (hey, I recognize that from somewhere) and a ten on the flop, no fives come and I'm out at 966th.

Isn't it a b*tch when you do the right thing and lose like that? Someone, David Sklansky I think, wrote something along the lines of that you shouldn't play differently from how you would play if you could see all the cards the players have.

For fun, I checked it in an odds calculator. Preflop I was a 65% to 35% favorite. Likewise on the flop. On the turn, 80-20.

Would I have called with ATs versus J8o preflop if I knew what both of us had? Very very probable. Of course, he wouldn't have played J8 against AT, and if he did he would be the object of general ridicule and scornful fingerpointing from everybody at the table. Even if he is getting short, he has a whole orbit before he has to make a gambling decision again.

Would I have played the flop if I knew the cards and we assume that he just called with his small blind and I checked? Yes, and any sane player would've folded if they also knew what each had.

On the turn there's no question about it. He would then still have about 1000 chips left.

So, what's next? Some long shot attempts at WSOP satellites and if all else fails, try the one on June 17th at Full Tilt with 100 seats guaranteed.

Trying to play my way into a team which will go to EPT Barcelona.

Maybe some more live play.

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