Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Monty Memorial - Or WBT 4

The last poker blogger tournament I played it was quite an experience. I had been relatively new to the blogger scene, but wanted to test my mettle against some of the best poker players / writers out there. It was truly enjoyable, we had 30 entries and the payout would be for the top 3. Of course I finished 4th.

Fast forward to tonight's next installment of the blogger tournament scene, this time involving both bloggers and readers alike. This tournament was set up to pay respects to Monty, the great blogfather's cat who sadly passed away ealier in the month. At the close of the signup period 87 people had registered for this 2nd attempt at putting this thing together at Pacific Poker.

By virtue of Yahoo Instant Messenging, many bloggers and readers alike converged in a chat room about an hour before the event, bantering about random things like music and drinking. I made a prediction that we'd get a bunch of no-shows and only 60 or so players would truly show up. I was pretty much dead wrong when at 8:46, the 61st player showed up. We'd end up with a total of 77 players, paying out 10 places.

Level 1 begins and I find myself with only 1 other blogger, AlCantHang. Amazingly, he survives more than the first two hands and we begin to settle in. I take an early pot after I pre-flop raise w/2,2. The table is very tight early and I fold an A,2 of spades when the pot is raised and then re-raised in front of me. I foolishly try to buy a pot with A,J in early position and ran into A,A. The damage wasn't too dreadful and I found myself down to 1255 in chips.

Level 2 and I'm below average. I try to limp in with 5,6 of spades and successfully see a 3,4,K flop. Only problem is that it's all diamonds. It's folded around to the last caller and I sense his bet of T65 is based soley on position. The turn is the 7 of diamonds, completing my straight, but putting 4 diamonds on board. I bet out anyway for information and it's folded. I win another small pot from the big blind w/K,T offsuit when after the turn the board shows A,J,T.

Level 3 begins with me at 1480 and an average stack of still T1500. That's right, nobody has been eliminated yet. I manage to bluff a Q,4,8 of clubs flop with A,5 of hearts and win some much needed chips as the blinds are going up very quickly. I get Q,J in the BB and see a Q,J,3 rainbow flop. I slow play the flop, but bet the turn and river and get a decent amount of chips.

Level 4 starts and I'm a bit above average at T2103 vs. T1577. We've finally lost a few players and are down to 72. I get moved to a new table with Maudie, Boy Genius, Montechristo and am a bit uneasy at the prospect of facing other bloggers. A reader who I now is also here, gr8engr. The first hand I am involved in, I see a pre-flop raise from Montechristo of T300 and I have to call w/A,K. The flop is garbage, T,4,2. Monte checks and I bet, but am then check-raised all in. I fold easily and think what a stupid bet I made. I then try to steal the big blind from the small blind position w/J,10 but am called. I bet out T200 on a random flop and think to myself, what a crappy bet. But apparently it works as the big blind folded. Whew.

Level 5 and we're down to 64 players, average stack is T1774 and I'm holding T1798. I'm pretty happy to be at the average. I hear news that Derek, of Poker in the Weeds fame, has been eliminated. I'm in the small blind with J,4 of hearts and try to force out a short-stacked big blind. Doesn't work and I double him up. The next orbit I see J,J in the small blind. Gr8engr goes all in and I have him covered, so I call. Boy Genius follows up my call by going all-in himself. It's not much more for me to call so I do. Turns out gr8engr had A,Q and Boy Genius had A,8. The flop brings a K, but no A and I take in a nice pot. I win another decent pot with K,J hearts when I sniff out a bluff bet from Montechristo.

Level 6: 53 players, average stack is T2142 and I have T3670, in nice position. I don't play a single hand this level as the majority of it is taken up by the break time. Um, duh. Someone needs to reprogram that little piece of brilliance.

Level 7: 45 players, avg: T2523, and I have T3270. I'm at a very chip-heavy table with only 1 short stack. One orbit through the blinds and I'm back to being average stacked. I fail miserably at trying to take out the short-stacked big blind from the small blind position with K,J. I lose to K,3 when a 3 hits the flop. But I get it all back when the same player goes all-in and I'm holding A,Q. I fold 7,7 in late position to a hefty raise from the small blind and I'm off to another table with Hdouble and Landow, a friend of AlCantHang.

Level 8 and I'm just below average, but people are now starting to drop like flies. We're down to 31 people and I'm whisked off to table 1 with Chris Halverson and Maudie. I can't catch any cards to call the all-ins that are flying around.

Level 9 is a crazy level for me. I'm sitting at T2847 with the average stack at T5678 and 20 players left. I'm in the push or fold stage right here. I get A,K UTG and go all in. I get no action, but I'll take the blinds here no problem. I'm allowed to see a flop in the BB with K,2 and it's 8.7,2. I have to believe the lone caller doesn't have any of those cards, so I go all-in again and take the pot. I'm dealt J,J in the small blind again which is a familiar hand. There's a pre-flop raise before me, to which I go over-the-top all-in. The original raiser had 8,8 and I become the table chip leader at T9194. I take one more small pot with 3,3 in the small blind.

Level 10 - where things get crazy. 14 players left and I'm at T9994 with the average being T8112. That's deceiving as I'm in 5th place overall. I'm predicting to all who are still in the chat room that 11th place is where I'll finish since they are paying 10. I'm folding hands like Q,J suited in late position. That is so weak, talk about being a farmer instead of a fox. I then lose a big chunk of my stack with A,Q suited to 8,8. Then not much longer, I'm dealt 8,8 myself. I'm in the BB and MaudieB raises it to something like 6x the BB if I recall correctly. If I thought more about it, I could have put her on a medium pair instead of something like A,Q or A,K. But I didn't think much about it and went over-the-top all-in. She wisely called with her J,J and I am bounced in 13th place. For some reason, I don't think Maudie's going to enjoy my bounty. But that's the price you pay when you eliminate BadBlood!!!! :)

Like I said in the chat room at the time, there's no other blogger to whom I'd rather lose my chips. Maudie put them to good use in finishing in the money at 7th place I believe. I watched the rest of the tourney, only to see the Igg-meister himself dominate like I've never seen. He made short work of the final table and cruised easily to victory. It was much deserved since he set the whole thing up and had quite the fiasco to deal with last week.

So from my perspective, it was worth so much more than the $20 entry fee. Pacific never made good on the $500 add-on to the prize pool they claimed they'd take care of. Perhaps if they ever do, the payouts will extend down to 13th or later and I'll undo the bubble finish retroactively. If not, I'll have Boy Genius' bounty to wash away the slight disappointment of getting so close to the money and falling just short.....again.

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