Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fumbling the Hammer against Josh Arieh

Last night, poker pro and Team Bodog member Josh Arieh played in the Bodog Blogger Tournament, and I drew his table at the start of the game. This was scary and thrilling at the same time. Bodog had put a $100 bounty up for the person who would bust Arieh, which meant I had a shot at that. It also meant that I would be playing against a known aggressive pro, and I wasn't sure how that would affect my play (not for the better, most likely).

Josh actually played fairly tight to start. Probably sizing us all up. Not too long into the game, I picked up 2c 7s UTG. Blinds were 10/20. Of course, I raised with it, to 80. Josh was in the cutoff, and called me, as did GCox25 on the button and odets in the BB. Pot was $330.

Flop: 3d 4c 2s

odets checked. I bet $160 with my pair of ducks; Josh called. GCox and odets folded. I should have bet bigger to reduce the calling odds.

Turn: 8d

Having missed the turn, I checked. Mistake # 2. I should not have given Josh a free card; I should have continued my bluff and represented the strength I started with. Josh checked also.

River: 5s

Great, a straight card. If Josh has an Ace or a 6, I'm dead. I check, and he checks behind. He shows 7d 5d and his fives beat my deuces. He flopped an OESD and I can certainly understand his call of my half-pot bet.

Right after that, Josh asked in the chat box, "You raised with 27?"

A brief explanation of the blogger tradition of the Hammer followed. Josh's comment: "Whatever it is, I LIKE!"

Not too long after that, GCox got everyone to fold to the Hammer preflop, and later, emptyman beat Josh with the Hammer when his 7 paired the board and Josh bluffed into him with air. He didn't like the Hammer much there.

Josh was friendly in the chat, and seemed to have a good time. He busted out on the early side to Abby17 when his 77 ran into AQ that flopped an A and rivered a Q to rub it in.

I didn't last a lot longer than he did. I had bled away some chips trying to pick up some draws and missing. I did catch quads on an early hand but didn't get much action. Eventually I made a donkey call with TT against emptyman's AA to bust in lowly 46th place. No leaderboard points for me this time, unless I picked up a couple just for playing. I have now slipped to fifth place in the standings, which means I had better step things up in the coming weeks so I don't lose my shot at the TOC.

On the other hand, I did finally cash in one of the FullTilt $3.30 Deep Stack Turbo KO (damn, that's a mouthful) SNGs on Sunday. After falling behind early, I caught some much needed cards and doubled up about midway through, then went on a tear. I had not scored a single knockout in the previous KO tourneys I had played; in this one, I racked up eight of them. At $0.50 each, I made back my buy-in and then some just by busting my opponents. I made it to the final table, and eventually heads up, with a comfortable chip lead for a good part of the time. But HU I made at least one iffy play which cost me my lead, and I ended up finishing second. Still, that one cash, and the $4.00 in bounties, wiped out all my tournament losses on FT so far in 2008. That is a very good feeling. I am sure I will be playing in more of these cheap DSTKO SNGs.


BrainMc said...

Over the weekend, I introduced some guys in Biloxi to the Hammer. I was never able to play it, but they thought it was amusing when I would call out "Hammer Flop!"

Pinky said...

It’s mind-blowing that the popularity of poker in the past few years, online poker game is attracting record numbers of players to poker rooms, Online Poker sites and home games all over the world. Never before has so much media attention been paid to the classic game that rewards skill, mental dexterity, money management, bluffing, luck, patience, deductive reasoning, and an all-around killer instinct