Monday, January 31, 2005

Talking Poker

I played in the Talking Poker Invitational tournament last night on Pokerstars. The forum over at Talking Poker is still in its early stages, but it's populated by a wide variety of characters nonetheless. The admin for the site runs a tight ship and I believe the forum is worth a visit. It's not immune to the 2+2 and RGP flame fests, but generally speaking, there's some good poker content over there. Suffice to say I enjoy it, not to mention it's really one of the only forums my company's web proxy doesn't filter.

The tourney attracted 16 registered participants with one infamous member never showing up and getting blinded off. The forum member known as "Jackass Man" still won a pot when the small blind to his left folded a hand. That little snafu earned Aequitas58 the award of "Hand of the Night."

The first hand of the tourney I had to fold pocket T's to SirFWALGMan's big post flop bet. The flop was all undercards and I just couldn't call 1/3 of my stack so early. He admitted to having the Hilton's, so I made a decent laydown. I spent the remainder of the first 2 levels stealing some small pots just to get back to the starting chip count.

There was some controversy right before the first break. Talking Poker, the admin of the site, had placed a bounty on his head. Whoever knocked him out would receive a copy of SuperSystem 2, quite a prize. Unfortunately, he was knocked out by a forum member who had joined just minutes before the tournament began. The intent of the bounty was to reward some "veteran" members who had made a certain amount of quality posts. Unfortunately, Talking Poker allowed the newcomer into the tourney thinking that the odds of him being busted by the new member were slim.

Well, they weren't slim enough. After a bit of discussion, the fair thing was to award the newcomer, henceforth known on the forum as "NewGuy," his bounty. Talking Poker also made another copy of SS2 available to the winner which was a nice gesture on his part.

After the first break was over, I made a bit of a move. I began raising with some semi-marginal hands like pocket 2's and Ax suited. I won many of the 200/400 blinds uncontested and before long was in the top 3 in chips. Thanks again Felicia :) (Also, thanks to Pauly for his simple yet important reminder to me about the importance of position.)

I managed to bust SirFWALGMan when I held K,Q and a Q hit the turn. We got into a raise-fest and I finally put him all in. He had Q,J and was outkicked and bounced from the tourney in 8th place I believe. Sir stuck around to root me on, which is always appreciated, especially after I was the one to bust him.

I managed to get a decent chip lead with 6 players left and kept putting the pressure on. I unfortunately doubled up two shortstacks, but that's an unavoidable consequence when you are playing aggressive. The accumulation of chips more than makes up for that fact and I was still in the chiplead. I went a bit card dead and soon found myself one of four players remaining. A forum member named ChipFish took control of the table when it was obvious that we were all waiting for the shortest stack to get blinded away. I had no cards to play back at him, so I had to relegate myself to the waiting game.

When we were finally in the money, I was in 2nd position, but only just barely. The cards came back a bit and I busted the 3rd place player when my pocket 8's held up against his A,3 suited. The chip stacks were basically even at this point and I was ready for an intense head to head matchup with ChipFish.

Unfortunately, ChipFish was having severe connection problems. I certainly didn't want to win the tournament by attacking his blinds when he was obviously down, so I thought it fair to simply fold my small blinds to him until he could get his connection fixed. He managed to set up another PC and install PokerStars software in about 10 or 15 minutes and we were ready to rock. I lost a large pot early and soon found myself at a 2:1 chip disadvantage. Graciously, ChipFish offered to chop 1st and 2nd at this point and just play for the SS2 book. I couldn't refuse.

I managed to come back from a 3:1 disadvantage and make somewhat of a comeback. I even held a 2:1 chip lead at one point. My final demise took place when I held A7 suited. The flop was 44x and when the turn spiked my A, I pushed. It was an easy call for ChipFish who held Q,4 and I was bounced in 2nd. Online and head to head, it's difficult to put someone on Q,4 :)

All in all, it was an extremely fun event, much like the blogger tourneys are. If you are so inclinded, hop on over to Talking Poker and check out the site and the forum, you might enjoy it.

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