Friday, October 22, 2004

WBT V Report

An amazing 133 players turned out for the Guinness and Poker Tournament held at PokerStars last night. The tournament was an event to celebrate poker bloggers and their readers; and the community came out in force.

I got home from mini-Blood's soccer game ready to rock and roll. Another goal from the 4 year old Pele-to-be would hopefully set the tone for a winning experience. I joined the blogger chat room about 30 minutes before hand to shoot the shit with everyone. The pre-tourney chat is almost worth the $20 entrance fee by itself.

This would be my 3rd blogger tournament, the first two were held at Pacific Poker. My finishes were both out of the money: 4th out of 30 and 13th out of 71. I was looking to improve.

Level 1 - T1500 - Avg. T1500 - 133/133 left
In the 2nd hand of the night, I'm dealt A,J hearts and flop trip J's. I do the classic slow play and win about T500 right off the back. The only other marginal hand I see a flop with that level is A,8 from the big blind. Even though there is an 8 on the flop, I fold to a bet at the river.

Level 2 - T1940 - Avg. T1558 - 128/133 left
I'm dealt pocket 8's or the snowmen in middle position. A raise gets me no action. I limp in early position with A,J off to a flop of K,T,4. No betting until a 9 hits the turn requiring me to fold. At my table are Landow from AlCantHang fame and HDouble from TheCardsSpeak. I get A,T in late position and raise to T100. The lone limper calls and the flop totally misses me. Undeterred, I bet out T150 and am quickly raised to T300. I have to fold as the initial raise was really a poor excuse for a blind steal attempt.

Level 3 - T1615 - Avg. T1596 - 125/133 left
I limp in with 5,6 suited from the small blind with 4 callers. The flop is J,5,2 which produces checks all around. Hank bets T100 on the turn when a 7 falls and I drop. I then fold K,J suited in late position to a T200 bet. I fold K,J off later on in the level and I'm hoping at some point to get some playable cards.

Level 4 - T1350 - Avg. T1797 - 111/133 left
I raise with the Hammer in the small blind with Hank to my left. He calls, but the flop has no nails. I check, he bets, I fold. Hank shows his 4,5 off. I congratulate him on taking down the Hammer. In the big blind, I'm dealt Q,9 off and see a K,Q,7 flop. It's just me and Blu and he's very shortstacked. We both check it to the river which brings an A. He goes all in and I call. I guess correctly and eliminate Blu. I'm hoping his bounty is a significant portion of the $12,000 he won last week in a Party tournament. I think it's at least 4 figures, right Blu? I manage to steal a decent pot with J,T when the board flops 3 hearts which gets me back near the average stack.

Level 5 - T2185 - Avg. T2241 - 89/133 left
At this point it looks like MaudieB is the top blogger, she's in 5th place w/T4290. I was thinking she'd make consecutive final tables, effectively becoming the Dan Harrington of the blogger community. The first hand of this level, I'm dealt K,Q and decide to fold. The flop was 7,8,9 proving me to be a true genius. Hank doesn't let me limp in the big blind with 2,2 and we never see the flop. Bastage! I'm then dealt A,7 suited and bet T400 into a T775 pot with Landow. Mercyfully, he folds.

Then it comes, the hand that cripples me like a Chris Benoit crossface hold.

A,7 of diamonds and I limp in. The flop is T,6,5 with 2 diamonds. I'm 3rd and last to act, so I'm in decent position. A reader named a104l9 bets out T450 and it's called. I decide that I'm at least as good as Greg Raymer and going all in with a nut diamond flush draw worked for him so why not me. I push. a104l9 calls with K,T off and I need that last diamond. Well, here's the difference between me and Greg Raymer: He gets his flush draws and I don't. It's as simple as that. I'm left with a meager T95 and put on my Chris Ferguson hat.

I wait for my hand and go all in with 4,4. I triple up, but lose nearly half of it when the T150 big blind hits. All in again with A,Q. My opponent holds A,J and I double up again. All in again with 9,9 and get no action. But I'm up to T705 and can breath just a bit.

Level 6 - T705 - Avg. T2695 - 74/133 left
In the small blind, I go all-in with 6,5 off in a pure, unadulterated big blind steal attempt. It doesn't work and I'm called. The big blind is holding Q,7, but a 5 on the flop keeps me alive. A,J suited comes again and I push. I'm called by a bigger stack holding A,T and I double up again to T2320. My Ferguson hat appears to have some magic in it. I fold Q,T suited to an all-in from a short stack, no need to get crazy just yet.

I get moved to another table with the infamous AustinKearns and Studio Glyphic. In the big blind, I get A,Q. With Kearns on the button, my Spidey Sense picks up something; I'm betting he's going to try to steal my blind. Not on my watch. I push and he folds. That felt good.

Level 7 - T2295 - Avg. T3764 - 53/133 left
It's a miracle I'm still here. I get moved to another table with SirFWALGMan, asphnxma, and The Venetian. The blinds and now the antes are killing me. I drop T450 before I even play a hand.

Level 8 - T1295 - Avg. T5115 - 39/133 left
I get 3,3 and that's as good a hand as any, so I go all-in. No action. All-in again with A,7. I'm called by two people, one with A,T and the other w/K,Q. The board shows 2,3,4,5,T and I split the pot, something I'm more than willing to do at this point. K,7 of diamonds lets me push all-in again and I get no action. Fine by me.

I have basically 2xBB in chips and am pushing anything that looks marginal. Q,5 spades looks good so I push. I'm called by a104l9, the reader/player who crippled me earlier. I forget exactly what he had, but it was more than enough to bounce me. I exit the tournament just seconds after Studio Glyphic in 31st place.

I think that this was the first multi-table tournament where I've had such dead cards. No pocket pairs higher than 9,9, no big-slick, it was horrible. I never got above T2400, so lasting so long was just by pure determination and luck. But what fun it was. I will be there for the next one without question.

As it turns out, my internet connection then went down for about an hour so I didn't get to see the final table action nor the winner. Lucky for me I busted out when I did. Or lucky for Charter. I would have hated to make a midnight visit to their local offices toting a shotgun had my connection gone down with me at the final table. Let's just not think about that.

So, if you're reading, a104l9 wins the BadBlood elimination bounty. Leave a comment, shoot me an email, whatever. I'll get to you your well deserved prize. Also, feel free to guess where my PokerStars avatar came from and you'll win the same prize.

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