Tuesday, July 05, 2005

BadBlood Superstars Invitational

There are only a few major stops on the G-Vegas tourney circuit: The BadBlood New Year's Day Extravaganza,The Brad-o-ween, and The BadBlood Poker Superstars Invitational. This past weekend, the middle leg of the tour took place with 13 of G-Vegas' finest and most dedicated players vying for the top prize and a place in South Carolina poker history.

The format of this tournament was a bit different. Day 1 of this multi-day marathon consisted of three single table tournaments where each player competes for points. The point breakdown went as follows: 1st - 10, 2nd - 7, 3rd - 5, 4th - 3, 5th - 1, 6th and 7th - 0. The format is ideal for 18 players and three simultaneous 6-player tournaments. Due to only having 13 players, the format was adjusted to accomodate fewer players by having a 6 and a 7 player tournament. The top 6 point getters from Day 1 would advance to the final table on Day 2. The payouts were as follows: $50 for any 1st place finish in Day 1, $650 for 1st on Day 2 and $350 for 2nd on Day 2.

Day 1 was fast and furious. Play began at roughly 12noon and didn't end until 10pm. The structure of each tournament was designed such that each would last close to 3 hours. Some of the early bustouts complained about a slow structure (note: If you ever hear anyone complain about a tournament having a structure that's too slow, make them a permanent invite to every poker game you have.) but that was their own fault.

It became apparent that there was some meta-strategy involved when you need to acquire points in order to make the final table. Busting out early of any one of the tourneys would make it tough to qualify. As such, the table with the most players aware of this fact went a bit more slowly than the tables with the wild maniacs without a clue.

When Day 1 had finally ended, we had our 6 players ready to battle it out for Day 2:

The Mark

Shep - A man in search of a nickname


The Rocket


Frank the Tank

(Yours truly finished 7th in the standings - a meta-bubble if you will.)

In what would become the 2nd biggest hand of Day 2, Frank the Tank went all in on the turn with his pocket K's on a KQ97 board. He was quickly called by The Mark who held TJo. The Rocket made a fantastic laydown, folding pocket Q's. The river didn't pair the board and Frank the Tank went home in 6th place.

The next player all-in was Gamecock. He flopped top two-pair and was called by The Mark who had top pair, Q-kicker. The turn sealed the deal for Gamecock and his full house double him up at the expense of the early chip leader.

The Rocket had found himself short-stacked due to the hand where he layed down a set of Queens. He was forced to push with A5o and The Mark who had a huge stack called with K8o. The flop was not good for the Rocket as The Mark paired his K. The turn was yet another K, but gave The Rocket the nut flush draw. The Jh on the river completed his flush and The Rocket would live to play on.

Shep - the man with no nickname became short-stacked as well and pushed with AQs. The Mark called him holding pocket 7's. The final board offered no help to Shep and The Mark's stack grew and grew.

Wolverine was playing his solid game and pushed with pocket rockets on a Q-high board. The diamond draw forced a call out of The Mark and when the 2d hit the turn, it was over for the Wolverine. Winning the second leg of the G-Vegas Tour was just not to be. We were down to three players, but it was apparent that it was a battle for 2nd.

The Rocket again had to push with A-high. The Mark was actually out of this hand and Gamecock called down with Q9o. The board was junk and Rocket and Gamecock made a deal for a $50 save for 3rd. Luckily the Rocket made the deal, as he had to push again with T9s against Gamecocks A6o. While a flush draw came on the turn, it was not to be. Rocket left in 3rd place, but with a little something to show for his efforts.

Gamecock made a valiant effort trying to overcome a 4-1 chip disadvantage. He looked to double up when he got all-in pre-flop with pocket T's. The Mark called, but showed some dominated snowmen. Unfortunately for Gamecock, he verbalized "I know an 8 is coming." Bad move. The Poker Gods can hear you. The punishment was this flop:

There were no running T's to save the day and Gamecock went home in 2nd place, cashing for $300.

The winner of the first ever BadBlood Poker Superstars Invitational is The Mark. Top prize was $650 and a place in history.

Both champions will be there for The Brad-o-ween event looking to take down player of the year status.

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