Another 50-50 Final Table, and More on the BBT
One day after I final tabled the new nightly 50-50 tournament on full tilt for a 5th place finish as $2400 score, on Wednesday night, I did it again. After busting fairly early from the Mookie on more of the same donkeyplay that I've been exhibiting in all the blonkaments since the end of the BBT, I turned my focus to the 50-50 tournament, where for the second straight night I was mired thick in a huge death of cards for the first few hours. Just like on Tuesday night, Wednesday night saw me steal the blinds, resteal from blind stealers and bluff-raise my way to survival through the first 2 or 3 hours of the event, and just like on Tuesday, at some point I finally hit my first few big starting cards of the tournament.
The whole run was actually very similar to my run from the night before. In the span of a few big hands I managed to jump from around 4k to around 18k in chips, and from there it was fairly smooth sailing, exactly zero suckouts in my favor that I can recall in the entire tournament, until the final few tables. The action got very tight for a while down to 27 players left, but eventually I managed to trick a couple of players into betting big or even calling big bets from me with poor cards, and before I knew it I was in the middle of the pack and down to just the mid-teens left of players. Mercifully the final table bubble did not last long as some clown with AQ got it all in before the flop and lost to a pocket pair, and I had made my second straigh 5050 final table.
This time around, however, I would not last long, as I got caught for the second straight night on a resteal of a player I read as being weak, who then re-reraised me allin when I had nothing I could call with. Yes, to the players who were on the rail this move, just like a similar play last night down to 5 players left in the tournament, probably looked like a terrible one to make. All I can say is, that's exactly the type of poker that had brought me to this point in the tournament, so to suddenly start picking on it at the final table really does make no sense. Obviously in both cases I turned out to be wrong, but when you go 57 for 57 on your reraises and resteals with air over the prior 3 hours, reaching the final table in a large mtt on two consecutive nights, and then suddenly resteal #58 doesn't work out for you, it seems kinda silly to question the whole restealing strategy as a whole. You live by it, and you die by it. That's the way poker works. Just believe me when I say, if you had been sitting behind my computer screen for the past two nights instead of behind your own, and you saw the totality of the bullshit I had been raising, reraising and moving in with again and again and again and again to reach this point in both tournaments, you would understand why I can't kick myself for the plays I made. That said, at each final table I finally pushed my shit cards into a better hand, made a good fold at that but gave up much of my chip stack on the failed steal attempt. Then in both cases I was forced to push shortly thereafter from a short stack, and I could not hold on to win. Last night I eventually pushed allin with 98s from early position, got called by two shit cards and my opponent hit one of his shitcards to send me to the rail in 9th place, the first elimination from the final table, 5 hours and 47 minutes after sitting down to the tournament that I had satellited in to for $14 on two straight nights:
So that's over 3k taken out of this tournament in two consecutive days, which is always good. And what's more, it is three top-15 finishes now in just the month or so that this tournament has been running, of which I've probably only played it half of the weekdays or less. All of which is just a long braggadocio way of saying once again how much I like the structure of this tournament, which is easily the best mtt available on full tilt, at least during the evenings when I am available to play. Double stack to start gives you some availability to wait a long time for good cards if you're more of the tight-weak variety, and also allows the LAGgy among us to make a few moves, get caught raising with air once or twice, and still have plenty of chippage left over to get back on your feet and make a run, something that actually happened to me in each of the last two nights. 12-minute blind rounds also allows for plenty of opportunity to wait for good cards or for a flop that really hits your hand before you have to make a move, as compared to the 6- or 10-minute rounds that we mtt guys are used to seeing online. Even as compared to the 10-minute round mtt's, those extra 2 minutes per round can really add up over a 5 or 6 hour tournament. Basically the 10-minute rounds means 6 rounds per hour, while as 12 minutes this equates to just 5 rounds per hour. So, after 6 hours, say, when you're at the final table of this thing, that is a full 6 rounds fewer that you've played with 12-minute blind rounds as compared to 10-minute rounds. And 6 rounds at that level probably makes the difference between a 4000-chip big blind and a 20,000-chip big blind. Which would you rather have as you start the final table of a major online tournament? I tell you the structure of this 5050 tournament is the best thing I've seen anywhere online, and so far at least myself, KOD, Astin, Waffles, jeciimd and Iak have each managed to run into at least the top 50 of this tournament one time in less than four weeks of its existence so far.
Now back to the BBT for one more quick discussion. We've spent a lot of time over the past few days considering different scoring systems and the strengths and weaknesses involved in each. We've talked about some ideas I have for tracking the leaderboard in a way that I think most fairly represents who has really been the best performer in the challenge. I've also discussed a number of the criticisms I've heard about the challenge overall, what I think about those criticisms and the ways to possibly address them in the future. And that future is what I'd like to chat briefly about today.
Should we do this whole BBT thing again? I have to say, to me there is a certain mystique about only running something like this one time that is, to me, attractive in its own way. I mean, if you run a tournament challenge like this too often, I guarantee you it will get old pretty fast. Think back to some of the fun initiatives other bloggers have started up in the past among our group. I thought the DADI tournament was just about the coolest thing ever when these three donkeys first hatched the idea probably close to two years ago now. I remember looking forward to that thing bigtime for probably 6 weeks, focusing on it, preparing for it, and just anticipating it generally. And yet, by the tenth tournament, the founders themselves suggested that they believed the whole DADI concept had run its course. You could make a similar argument about the WPBT tournament series, which like DADI is something that I personally really love, but also something which you could see the dropoff in participation in in this, its second year, even long before the BBT was even a glimmer in Al's eye. All of these tournaments were fun all the way through of course, don't get me wrong, but too much of it tends to cheapen the thing and just makes it less "cool" than it once was. This is something that happens in everyone's mind, all of the participants, the people who started it, the sponsors (if any), etc., and it kinda happens involuntarily, without any action on the part of anyone involved. You've heard the old saying that "familiarity breeds contempt", right? I'm not saying people will feel contempt for the BBT or anything any more than we feel that way about the DADI or WPBT tournaments nowadays, but the concept underlying that saying is at work here nonetheless.
All this is a roundabout way of saying that I am not in the camp that thinks we should bring the BBT back anytime soon. I mean, I do think there is a certain romantic coolness to having there be just one BBT, and that's it. But then I also recognize the incredible increase in participation and just generally in the "community" aspect of our group that came about this spring and summer as a direct result of the advent of the BBT, and that kind of thing gets me excited. I love when our group has a regular meeting or meetings where a large group of us will be involved in the same thing at the same time, and have the chance to interact in ways we would not necessarily be interacting with via girly chat or email on other regular nights otherwise full of online poker and final table runs. Seeing how popular the BBT became so quickly, and see how into the tournaments and into the challenge generally most of the players were, and even seeing how much participation in the weekly blogger tournaments has increased even now after the BBT is over, all as a direct result of the community that was fostered by having the BBT for these past three months, and on that level I do think it would be cool to bring the thing back at some point in the future, fix some of the issues with scoring and leaderboard tracking, etc., secure another round of really cool sponsorships and prizes, and really kick some ass with it again next time around.
For me, if you read here regularly then you know I am absolutely relishing right now having all these weekly blogger tournaments without the BBT, without any long-term scoring tracking system going on that might otherwise impact the way someone plays a given tournament on any given night. Over just a week and a half since the end of the challenge, I am really loving the whole blonkaments-without-consequences thing, and it feels at least to me like a big weight has been lifted from how all of us can play these tournaments again now. So I'm not someone who thinks we should be doing BBTwo anytime in the near future. Whether that means we wait a couple of months until the end of the summer, or do what I would probably do left to my own devices and wait until next year sometime, I think a BBTwo would be a fun idea with the proper changes put into place from how we ran it this time around. I think the MATH, the Mookie, the Riverchasers and the Big Game definitely benefit from the existence of something like the BBT, and our blogging brethren across the board also benefit not only from the increased sense of community among the blonkeys, but also from things like total rakeback for all BBT tournaments, and the fun Nintendo prize packages and other little items that guys like Al can cook up in their infinite coolness.
People who keep hating on the freeroll, though, you are just missing the point entirely. Don or somebody suggested a real Tournament of Champions at the end of the series which would be open only to those players who won at least one BBT tournament during the 3 months of the challenge. I love that idea, and I sincerely hope we do something like it next time around, and I will personally push for that if and when we sit down to plan another BBT series at some point in the future. But don't knock the freeroll, people. It could not be clearer that the freeroll, its whopping $1800 prize pool, and the fact that it was open automatically to anyone who played in at least 20 BBT tournaments, that single-handedly is the reason why the BBT attendance was so very strong, and remained so strong right through the end of the series. We've seen from things like the WPBT in the past, that by the time you hit the last few online events, participation drops dramatically because people know they are out of the running and thus don't show up to play. The freeroll eliminates this incentive, and we don't have to wonder if it works. It already did work. Just look at how many people we had playing in the BBT tournaments even during the last week of the challenge. 54 in the last MATH tournament, one or two short of an all-time record. 70-something in the Mookie, Even more than that in Riverchasers, and then a mid-40s Big Game that snagged a nearly $3500 prize pool, all during just the very last week, and a week heading up to a huge summer travel week at that. The freeroll is the secret, the engine that makes this entire system roll, and that is I think about as close to a fact as we're going to find in reviewing the relative strengths and weaknesses of the BBT overall.
That's all I got for ya today guys. If anyone has thoughts on this or on anything related to the BBT in general, I'd love to read about them here in the comments. Otherwise I will be back tomorrow to close up my discussions on the BBT, and hopefully with a story of a third 5050 final table in 3 days. Hah yeah right!
Don't forget Riverchasers tonight, 9pm ET on full tilt. I owned this tournament during the BBT, but so far since the BBT ended I have been uberly donkish in all blonkaments, and I'm looking forward to continuing that streak tonight at Al's latest Riverchasers tournament tonight at 9pm ET, password is "riverchasers" under the "private" tournament tab. I am already registered and look forward to trying to bluff a calling station and being untimely removed early in this thing, so come and join in if nothing else just to be the person who gets to kick my ass outta there within the first few minutes. I definitely feel a Gigli kicing around inside me, triyng to worm its way out one of these days soon. Maybe you can help tonight to be that night!