Thursday, December 20, 2007


Good Luck to everyone who qualified for the TOC including the two donks who wrote their way in. I'm hoping we see a very well played game tonight and that the best MAN wins so we can get good representation in the Aussie Millions.

I for one am glad the BBTwo is now history. AL did a fantastic job in pulling this off on such short notice and the prize package is phenomenal but the fallout from the competition has brought out the worst of some people, myself included.

I found this a comment by Change 100 yesterday and I find it fitting.

Back in the day, blogger tournaments used to be fun for me. See some friends... blow off a little steam...drop the hammer, you know, good clean fun for an $11 buy-in. Now that points and leader boards and trash-talking peoples' play the morning after on one anthors' blogs to build up and tear down fragile egos seems to be de rigeur, the fun has been officially sucked out of it. So I don't play them anymore.

What started out as a friendly gathering has turned into some hard core competition and when I compete I always play to win. ALWAYS. So for me that means shit talking, gamesmanship, or whatever else it takes for me to win and the game no longer has any social value.

Now that the BBTwo is over, if and when I decide to play a blogger donkament, it will be for fun with no expectations. Although it's taken a while I've come to understand that for most, these gatherings are for fun, as the questionable play surely indicates, so my goal is to either have fun, or like Change move on.

I will say that all the drama of the last few days has been unreal and for once I'm glad I'm not in the middle of this but of course I will offer an opinion. If you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen.

I don't believe that a person should blog about hands histories or game situations and post that X person made a donkey play, whether if be from a bloggament, a casino, or a home game then go to someone elses blog and get in an uproar to find their play critiqued.

So for me to post about some donkey tourist at the MGM who misplayed AJ then I in return make a questionable play with the same AJ in the Big Game and say Bayne posts a series of screen shots explaining how, in his opinion, my play was questionable how can I blow up and over react to his own opinion on his own blog without being a hypocrite? Quite simply I can't.

If I'm going to dish it out I damn well better be able to take it. This is all an example and it is in no way directed at any particular person(s) and it is only my opinion but again the whole twisted irony is it's my blog and I can post what I want.

Now since this is my blog I'm going to post another opinion. Now I'm not much for posting insights on my personal poker strategy and I'm by no means a great player at this point but I constantly read and study and discuss poker and strategies with knowledgeable poker players in the quest to become a great poker player which alone has me doing more than 95% of players.

I also love when bloggers post hand histories, or strategy questions, or quizzes because when I see the masses agreeing on a particular solution that I, and other players who I believe know about this game, think is entire wrong, it makes me a better player.

Another favorite I like when people make a statement such as, "I'm priced in I have to call," when they have no fucking clue what priced in means, what pot odds are, what implied odds are, or to even put the other player on a range of hands.

Here is another comment I found in regards to a hand in question and this school of thought received a slew of support. BTW, jamming A2 preflop is so much worse than calling an all-in with AQ.

I do understand that there is more than one way to play any particular hand, some do it better than others, but you absolutely can not be results oriented by one trial. Plain and simple its absolutely horrible poker long term to call an all-in five bet preflop with anything other than KK or AA.

This leads me to my bigger premise which is calling. Of course there are situations where calling is the right play, with millions of hand possibilities it's impossible to make a blanket statement, but calling too much in general, and in particular during late stages of an MTT is the reason 90% of all poker players are losing players.

I wonder how many players are truly familiar with The Gap Theory? From my experience the answer is few. Now it can be very wrong to shove a questionable hand but its way worse to be calling with a speculative hand. After watching a bunch of tournaments and way too fucking many bloggaments, the final outcome for most is either blinding down to shit and jamming A rag into a higher A rag or by calling off the rest of their chips with crappy non-calling hands.

The raiser/jammer has two ways to win, either by having the better hand or by everyone folding. The caller has one way to win and that's only be having the better hand. Watching over and over and over people calling with shit like AT or 44 amazes me to no end.

There is also something called +EV and -EV. Sure calling an all-in with AQ when the blinds are 15/30 and you have $5K behind might get you a double in the first seven minutes and you're read might be they're a donk no way they can beat my AQ but more often than not you're going to the rail saying "really?" basically making it a long term -EV play.

So do I think jamming A2 is so much worse than calling with AQ? No way. Do I think jamming late in an MTT with 79o is worse than calling with AT? No way. Do I think calling station poker is profitable? No way. Do I think blinding down, hoping for AA but really waiting to push some shitty Ace rag is profitable. No way.

But then again what do I know, I'm a -7% ROI tournament player on FT this year.

I'd say stop being a calling station but why would I want you to do that. My money usually gets in ahead. So call all you want and I can only hope my 75% hands hold up.

The Bowl season starts tonight and I'm looking forward to two plus weeks of action as well as some profit. Between that, the NFL play-offs, and the January tourists it will be nice to get on a hot streak and to get that bankroll in decent shape heading into February's Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza.

Good Luck again in the TOC.


At 2:56 PM, Blogger Chad C said...

Are you fawking blind or what? There are at least five girls in the TOC by my estimation.......

PS: WTF is a GAP? My dad taught me that "GAP = soft spot between a woman's thighs". Now GAP is a poker term? Why do I have to read books to be good at poker? I can just button mash and pretend I understand the math basics of poker right?

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I don't want to start anything... but comments are where I can post my opinion on the blog right? So here goes...

Playing poker for fun is fine for some people. But it's not my cup of tea. I don't care if it's my best friend, my mother, my grandma, my pet, my wife, my girlfriend, or whatever. If you're at the poker table, I'm there to take your money. I'm gonna do anything I can to outplay you, outluck you, and out everything you just to get your money.

Where am I going with this? I think BBT is great. Does it bring the worst in some of us? Maybe. But so what. It's pure human emotion in its finest form... all fueled by greed and desire to win. Competition. Just like capitalism. Nothing wrong with that.

As a matter of fact, when the BBT ends, I definitely won't be making the type of effort I made during the BBT to make these tournaments. Sure, I might still play in some of them but without points or a bigger prize pool, I'm better off playing higher stakes cash games or in a higher priced buy-in tournaments where the prize would actually mean something.

It's totally different if we were playing live where we can socialize but online, you can only socialize but so much. So as much as I love seeing all the bloggers (and I really do), I enjoy winning even more so. I'd rather spend that time watching videos, studying hand histories, or playing to gain experience rather than just pushing chips around for fun.

But that's just me.

Happy holidays Don!

At 4:34 PM, Blogger pokerpeaker said...

The Gap Theory is the single most important concept in a tournament, at least for me, and it's why most don't go far in these things. Good post Donnie!

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

This is a great post, Don.

And for the record, I am not talking about any of the stuff you posted about your opinion on the AQ hand or things that might relate to the AQ hand or any of the silliness from this week. It is just a really well thought-out post besides from all that. Especially the fact that the blonkaments are meant to be fun above all else. If everyone, myself included for sure, would just approach them that way, I would be thrilled.

At 5:59 PM, Blogger emptyman said...

I'm really surprised that there is no MiamiDon in the TOC, more than any other missing player. If you had qualified, I'd definitely put you in the "scary enough to win it" category.

I guess dead money will have to suffice.

There is a real shortage of MAN-poker around here these days. Play to win, by lying, tilting, gaming anyone/everyone. The only final score is measured in $$$$.

I guess people need something to get dramatic about until Lost comes back.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Irongirl01 said...

As always Don a well written and thought out post.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Falstaff said...

I heard someone say once "calling is the greatest sin in NL Hold 'Em." For most situations I agree.

But I suck at this game, so what do I know?

Please put up some Bowl picks, I need a good 3-game parlay!

At 3:10 AM, Blogger Chad C said...

This post died, I think it was a little to deep for your reader base :)

At 9:18 AM, Blogger adam brown said...

look this is the "diet" i told you about you should really enter the site :) bye enter the site

At 5:50 PM, Blogger Michael Allan said...

hey don,

i don't know if you remember me, but im mike from the mooks house in austin,texas. you came and played in a tournament this last year. anyway, i had some questions for you. here's my blog if you want to know a little more about me for verification.


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