Thursday, October 29, 2009

I winz another Mookie!

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

Why the end of the world? Because in the course of just five consecutive Wednesdays, I have played the Mookie four times, coming in second on September 30, then winning it on October 7, final table but no cash on October 14, skipped it October 21, then won it again tonight. This is both an unexpected and unprecedented sort of streak for me--so unusual, so inexplicable that it must be considered a sign of the apocalypse. As readers know by now, tournaments aren't really my thing--especially online ones.

I felt like I played reasonably well, though not spectacularly by any means. I got lucky early on and hit all sorts of flops, allowing me to build up a decent stack that kept me afloat through the rocky bits. For example, there was this hand just ten minutes in:

I believe that I only had all my chips in with the worst of it and had to get lucky on two occasions. This next hand was the first of them. VBPro7 had been stealing my blinds relentlessly, so I decided it was time to play back at him:

His call on the flop was either genius or insane--I'm still not sure which. But either way, I got very lucky to catch a six-outer on him.

Here's a mildly interesting hand I played against my friend Cardgrrl:

At the time I made that move, I thought it was possible that she had missed the board completely (and might have just been on a random blind steal to begin with), though I knew that with the pre-flop raise she could easily have a king. When she took so long to decide whether to call or fold, I became convinced that she did, in fact, have a king. (She still hasn't told me, so I don't know.) But I thought had pretty good fold equity even if she did have one pair, and the pair and flush draw gave me plenty of outs in the event that she called.

Of course, it is mandatory that I win at least one hand with the Deuce-Four:

I don't know what Cardgrrl had there, but she claims that she was ahead. (I showed the hand, of course.) Not that it matters, since a 5 was inevitably coming to give me the straight and the win.

Now we're down to the final table, six players left, four to be paid, when this hand comes up against CK:

In the replay it looks like it went quick, but it actually took some time. Unless she was just posturing (which I think unlikely), she had a real decision there. That, plus a cryptic comment in the chat box after the hand (which I showed), gave me the sick feeling that I beat the mighty Deuce-Four there. If so, may CK and the poker gods forgive me! Also if so, phenomenal laydown, CK.

OK, so now we're five-handed, on the bubble, and I'm the second to shortest stack. I remember what Daniel Negreanu said about bubble boys, and I decided to go for the gusto rather than sneak into the money like a little rat. That decision was made much easier when I found QQ in the small blind. The raiser here was the monster stack, and had been abusing the bubble mercilessly (as, of course, he should). But here he made a really questionable call, probably inspired by the thought that he had plenty of chips to spare. The result was to give me a crucial double-up:

A short time later I got my biggest advance in chips of the entire tournament when I flopped a set on an essentially draw-free board, in position against the preflop raiser, who was the only person with enough chips to double me up--in other words, kind of a perfect storm:

But in classic fashion (for me, anyway), I held on to this bounty of chips for a mere three minutes before donking them off. In the interim the bubble had burst:

Sigh. Why must I always have a blow-up like that? It's like I subconsciously feel I don't deserve to have the big chip lead, so I have to find a way to give them to the other players.

Anyway, by the time we got down to the final three of us, I was the short stack, and had my second instance of getting ridiculously lucky after all the money was in:

If I can be legitimately proud of any part of the tournament, it would have to be the heads-up play. I started with a 3:1 chip deficit (78K to 27K), but chipped away at the lead pretty persistently, until I got an opportunity for a big move forward by calling my opponent down with second pair:

One could certainly argue for being more aggressive there, but I was out of position. Furthermore, I believed that Jestocost had been trying to get me to commit all my chips badly and go for the knockout, and I was pretty determined to exercise pot control until I was in a clearly dominating spot. Since I didn't believe he had an ace, with no preflop raise, I was content to play this one passively and cautiously, and it worked out for me.

Just eight minutes later, I got The Big Hand, the one that I had been waiting for, the one that turned it all around:

That was pretty much all she wrote. Then it was just a matter of not getting chip-drunk and blowing it again, but instead waiting for a spot to land the final blow. The chip stacks went up and down a bit, but were close to the same as at the end of that hand when I found what seemed to be a good spot to try for the win:

And that was the end of it.

Nothing about this little streak changes anything. I'm still a mediocre tournament player and mediocre online player. As you can see, I'm still prone to stupid moves. But it's nice to have gotten a little bit of luck to combine with a few moments of my A-game in nearly consecutive weeks of this running tournament series. It's not big money or glory, but I'm pleased with how things have turned out here.


Julius_Goat said...

Welcome to the Two-Time Mookie Winners club. I'll have your cape and Elvis sideburns mailed to you early next week.

Cardgrrl said...

"Chip-drunk:" I like it! Perfect terms for the rush of blood to the head that comes with a sudden accumulation of chips.

BWoP said...

Congrats on the win! I wish I would have remembered to do a screen shot of the deuce-four.

Although the one time you raised in LP and I shoved on you, I had 4c-5c :-)

Jestocost said...

Fun times for sure. Congrats.