Monday, February 28, 2005

I Was Moneymakered

Who doesn't remember the final hand of the 2003 WSOP? Recall Chris Moneymaker flopping two pair holding 4,5 while Sammy Farha flopped top pair with his J. Moneymaker went on to win the hand and the title when his two pair filled up with a 5 on the river.


The last post left off when our hero turned his $20 buy-in into $303 at a side NL ring game after unceremoniously busting out of a local live $50 buy-in tourney. After the fireworks were over, I drove home on a mini-high with my wallet fat with cash. I finished watching my TiVo'd "Poker by the Book" WPT event and by the time it was over, it was 2am.

I wandered upstairs and made myself ready for bed, but the thoughts of Texas Dolly were wandering around in my head. "Play the rush," it said, "Play the rush."

With a few quick double-clicks, I found myself at a 5/10 limit game at FullTilt. While this shorthanded table was well beyond my bankroll, I still bought in for $200 hoping to continue my good fortune. To make a long story short, by the time 3am rolled around, I was up 25BB and was one happy camper. Sleep found me easily, having won nearly $500 in the last 7 hours.


With Saturday still having Mrs. Blood out of town, I continued to press the luck. At 2pm, there was a "Bust the Pro" type tournament at Full Tilt, featuring Andy Bloch, Rafe Furst, and GambleAB. For $50+5, anyone could win back their entrance fee by taking down one of the targets.

Our favorite consumer of SoCo was online and I expressed both my interest and hesitation at participating. Al didn't have much to say except that "You're running hot lately." Good point. I clicked the register button.

Let it be known, that while Al may not be able to Hang, he most certainly can sweat. From my perspective, Al has brought me the most luck whenever he's been sweating my play. No lie. I'm not sure what it is, but all I have to do is type my starting hand into the IM chat window and it would hold up.

An early, key hand for me was when I was dealt pocket T's. Three callers saw my pre-flop raise and a flop of J,T,3. The early position caller made a weak min-bet lead out. I didn't want to lose the player to my left yet, so I simply called. The turn brought a 6. EP weakly bet out again and I tripled the bet. LP came over the top of me all-in and EP quickly folded. I called just as quickly and saw my set of T's take down LP's set of 6's. The flat call on the flop let LP catch a hand and I was able to take him out.

Later on in the tournament, I made a play that backfired. In LP with A,4 off, I'm bullying the table with a standard 3xBB raise first into the pot. The button calls and both blinds fold to a Q,4,2 flop. I bet the pot to see where I'm at and the button smooth calls. A few warning flags are raised by his call, but when the turn spikes an A giving me two pair, I push the button all-in. I'm barely covering his stack, so when he shows A,Q for top two pair, visions of being crippled flash into my brain. When the river comes, and I manage to hit my two-outer with a 4, I'm vaulted into the top 10 with about 50 remaining.

I never got to sit at a table with one of the pros, but I wasn't concerned. Oddly, I wasn't dealt very many premium hands during the whole event. In fact, I didn't get pocket A's until the final table. As player after player busted out, I kept alive by stealing pots when I could.


With four players left and me 3rd in chips, I'm dealt T,4 suited in the BB. UTG min-raises it and everyone calls. Pot odds dictate that I call here and I catch my miracle flop T,5,4. The SB, who is the chip-leader at this point pushes all-in. I initially think he may have flopped a set, but with me holding two of the cards already out there, 5's is the only set he could reasonably hold. If he did have a set of 5's, there's no way he'd push. So I call and the others fold.

The SB shows 4,5 and is drawing dead to any of the two remaining 5's.

When the 5 hit the turn, a virtual unlit cigarette fell from my mouth and I was out.

While it would certainly be within my right to complain about the bad beat, I really couldn't. I put a bad beat on someone earlier in the tournament, without which I'd have been crippled and most likely out of the tournament. I told Otis, who joined Al in sweating my progress, that I was living on borrowed time. Also, the $875 payout made things easier to take.


The bankroll certainly had been boosted quite significantly in the 48 hours that encompassed Thursday through Saturday nights. Mrs. Blood has decided to already spend some of it, but the rest will stay in the bankroll in hopes of riding the wave even further. The fruits of my success will hopefully provide the basis of a decent Vegas bankroll in June.

Hope to see a lot of you there!

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