Thursday, January 22, 2009

EMHD #2, 1/17/09

After missing the first EMHD tournament, I was excited to enter my first event of the series this past Saturday. I was feeling pretty good, wearing my Turkey Nerd t-shirt and Donkey Punch hoodie. I felt ready to play, and we drew a pretty nice field of 24 people. After the rake for the main prize, the tournament paid 4 places with a total pool of $1,900. Pretty nice pot. Overall, newcomer Justin chopped first/second with Fat Tony at a 60/40 rate (Justin had Tony out-chipped 2:1), Jim S finished third, DMT fourth, with My Fair Lady Terri in her Steelers garb on the bubble. In terms of other usual characters: Big John made the final table on an extreme short stack and finished 8th, MH62 placed 13th, Texas Crint 14th, I got 17th, and Shawn exited first (24th place). I do want to note that Tony was a proxy for Klinkerbell, so Klinker now is the only player to earn points at both EMHD events. Overall standings right now:

1. Harry G: 1,320 points
2. Klinkerbell: 1,116 points
3. Justin F.: 1,080 points
4. MH62: 660 points
5. Jim S.: 360 points
6. Julio: 264 points
7. DMT: 240 points

Final Table Analysis: Once Julio went out, it really was a very tight final table. Big John, Fat Tony, DMT, Terri, Jim, and Jocko are tight players to begin with, and Justin wasn’t showing a whole lot of waggle. Joe, who is normally a hyper-aggressive preflop player, stopped playing hands. He complained afterwards that he just had no cards. Against a tight group of players, it is in your best interest to play more aggressive, so I don’t buy that excuse. In my opinion, Joe and Terri went like Broomcorn’s Uncle (ante’d to death). Terri especially did not take advantage of her gigantic chip stack. I know for a fact that she folded UTG with 99 in a 6-handed game because she didn’t want to get reraised. It turned out on that hand that Jocko and Tony clashed head to head, and Fat Tony emerged victorious with trip 8’s, but there’s no reason to not make a play there with a medium or premium pair. If you’re not playing to win, you’re probably not going to. When it got down to 6 players, the blinds eventually caught up to everyone. Even at that point, a “big stack” only had 12-14 BB’s, meaning that blind stealing was important at the right time. I saw way too little aggression from everyone. With the way the tournament was structured, it became a card-catching contest. Terri and Joe let themselves become microstacked. Joe went out with KJ offsuit and got killed by Jim, and Terri was way short stacked with JJ and ran into Dawn’s AA on the bubble.

Now that everyone had cashed, the play loosened up some, but I really saw no raising or reraising from the generally tight group. With the blinds up to 1,000/2,000 and more, it became a card-catching contest. Justin was the beneficiary, hitting AA and getting paid with big pots twice. I do note that Fat Tony really started attacking Jim and Dawn’s BB 4-handed, and that aggression helped him build enough of a stack to stay ahead of the curve. I really would have preferred to see one of the players in the final 6 take a table captain role and really push people around, but no one did. In the end, it became a battle of variance. Tony probably played the strongest of anyone at that table, and Justin had the best luck with hands at the right time. That’s why they were the big winners.


  1. The hand against Jocko was the only time I was all-in during the entire tournament (even though I was the short stack at the table from probably 15 players all the way down to six). Action folded around to me in the small blind. I had 10,500 in chips, blinds are 3,000/1,500, I looked down at A-8 of spades. All in, Jocko called with King jack. Flop was j-8-x with one spade, second spade on the turn, and I hit the third 8 on the river to win the hand. That put him down to about 2,000 in chips, and I sailed from there.

  2. If it played out the way it should have played, Terri would have raised with the 99, you would have gone all in, Jocko would have folded the KJ, and you would have sucked out. Theoretically, Jocko would have busted big the next hand running his KJ into AA, so Justin would have been big stack earlier, Jocko out in 7th, Tony healthy, and Terri crippled as well. It changes much of the dynamic.

  3. Honestly though... had Terri raised there... I'd have probably folded. She hadn't raised for a couple of hours... I'd have had to assume she had a much better hand than ace 8, and had to let it go. Then again, if she limped, I might push.

  4. Given how angst-ridden she was about it, you probably had to push there even if she raised. You probably put her on 2 big cards or a low pair. Given your stack size and the level, you probably can make that push if you're pretty sure you're racing. I happened to see her cards, and I think she played it terribly, regardless of what you have. As the chip leader, you raise, and if a short stack goes in, you're probably 50/50 to win the hand and expand the lead. If you get sucked out on or lose, you're still in good shape, and your image as a tight-solid player is intact.

  5. I think reading the angst for weakness there is silly. I'd much rather go with the betting pattern, and say that she has a hand that's much better than Ace 8, and I'd rather be in a position to drive her out of the hand (which I can't, because if she raises I don't have enough chips to make her fold). A push after a player who's done nothing but fold every hand for the past 2 hours, hoping she'll fold because she looks angst-ridden, is not the optimal play. Optimal play is to fold, and find a better spot to get my chips in.

  6. I happen to have picked up some tells on her based on her body lean, her mouth, the way she holds her cards that would have probably led me to believe that she was way weaker than she imagined. However, given the table image and betting patterns, you may be correct there. Regardless, 99 has to bet out there because if you don't, you're praying to place 4th. You have to play to win. The likelihood of being dominated is very slim.