Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Invitational Results

It was the best of was the worst of times....

Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself.


In college, we had a group of friends that would always pretty much seem to go out together. Among our circle, one friend was consistently scheduling the evening’s plans prior to, and for that earned himself the nickname “Planmaker.” We used to sing the words “Planmaker” to the theme song of the 007 classic Moonraker. That is, until we realized it was actually to the tune of Goldfinger. But I digress.

When it comes to poker tournaments in G-Vegas, I am the de facto Planmaker. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a control freak. In order to guarantee a good tournament structure, I create it, then I run it. But what does it mean to my already sub-standard tournament game? Well, it means I play worse. If that’s even possible.


First, some atmosphere, a slew of pictures:


Certainly, there’s a strategy to a tournament like this. You need to acquire points. Taking gambles early on and risking a big goose egg is not a sound approach. But that’s exactly what I did.

In tourney #1, I crippled myself by putting TripJax to the test and pushed on a 15-outs twice scenario. Sure, in a cash game, we’d all do the same. In this structure, the payoff in equity is not worth the risk. I missed. When I finally pushed my top pair, bottom kicker into Falstaff’s set, I managed to secure my 1st round zero. In fact, after round 1, I was tied with G-Rob for points. And he wasn’t even playing. Little did I know that G-Rob would still be tied with me after Round 2.


Round 1 winners included StanTheMan, Gamecock – who appeared out of the G-Vegas woodwork to come unleash his solid tourney game on the unwashed masses, and TheMark who wanted to retain the title he earned last year.

Otis, after a 4th place finish in Round 1 had this to say: Otis on the BadBeatDevice.

One minor consolation was that if you busted early in any round, there was plenty of food:

One anonymous player must have busted with aces: Argh.

Thanks go out to Mrs_Blood, MrsAllIn, and Shep and Debbie Smith for providing superb food for the local degenerates.


Round 2 is where things really start to happen. Or, if you’re me, it’s where the wheels fall off. Again, I gifted Falstaff all my chips and chants of “I suck, I suck” were emanating throughout casa de Blood. At least in my mind.

Gamecock took down his 2nd straight tournament, cementing his second consecutive spot at the final table. TheMark, negotiated a deal with Random101 wherein he took $50 and 8 points, leaving Random101 with 9 points and a very likely spot at the final table. Otis recovered from his own self-loathing just in time to score a second round victory himself.

When the points were tallied post-Round 2, I was officially eliminated.


Because of the fact that a few people had crushed Rounds 1 and 2, it left little doubt as to who would advance. In fact, two people failed to return for Round 3. And to that I say, “BOGUS!”

Granted, as the host, I had nowhere to go, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to shoot for the $50 prize awarded to each round’s winner.

And that’s exactly what I did. It was too little too late, but I finally got headsup with StanTheMan and had a 3:1 chip advantage. Stan wanted a deal. I told him all deals start with me getting $50. He took the points and I salvaged part of the day.

I wasn’t the only one to salvage a moral victory. TeddyBallgame was about to pack it in as well. I convinced him to stay, and like a trooper, he did. He took home a 1st place prize for $50 as well.

There was only one table left to play round 3, and it pitted TheMark against Gamecock. It was a rematch of last year’s final two. It was a match between two players who already won their buy-in’s back by virtue of winning two previous rounds.

TheMark would emerge victorious in the final preliminary match. Was it a portent of things to come?


Sunday came, and with it the final table. Here were the participants:

Stan the Man:





And your favorite professional blogger, Otis:


The action got off to a fast and furious start. TheMark employed his aggressive style, but for whatever reason, was StanTheMan had his number. Stan came over the top of Mark several times, eating into his starting stack significantly.

One thing’s for sure in tournament play, when you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Stan’s aggression level managed to double up Random101 when Random flopped a set of Queens. Then Stan was eliminated by Gamecock when he called off all his chips into the nuts. Hmm…that’s something I would do.

The fifth place finisher would leave on a sour note:

TheMark came over the top of Otis’ bet with Q9 on a Q-hi board. Otis called with QT and that was all she wrote for TheMark. There would be no repeat winner. However, one thing’s for certain, TheMark solidified himself as one of G-Vegas’ best tourney players, a title I’m certain he’s proud of. There are many in these here parts that look up to his tourney game, yours truly included.


Dr. AlanShaw would soon follow suit, pushing his entire stack into the hands of another nut-holding Gamecock. Two-pair vs. the nut flush is always a loser and Dr.Alan took home 4th place for his efforts. Not too shabby for a G-Vegas part-timer.


With three players remaining, it looked grim for Otis. He was severely shortstacked, and as such, offered a deal such that 3rd place would get a save. Gamecock was having none of that, and as the massive chip leader, who could blame him?

The stacks where roughly T900 for Gamecock, T250 for Random101 and about T50 for Otis. With the blinds soon hitting the 10/20 level, Random101 could have played the waiting game.


With the payouts being $975 for 1st, $475 for 2nd and $0 for third, how do you play this hand? The blinds are 8/16.

You are in second chip position as noted above. The shortstack on the button folds and the big stack in the small blind raises your big blind 3x. You find AQ and with position on the small blind, call.

The flop is AKQ. The small blind bets T75.

Your move?


Random101 pushed. I don’t blame him. It wasn’t much more for Gamecock to call. But all Gamecock had was a T8 or T6, I can’t quite remember. He did call and on one of the most brutal rivers I’ve ever seen, caught his Jack to take Random101 out on the bubble. Otis had a hard time keeping himself at the table and not doing a little jig on the front porch.


Once we were down to the final two, as is tradition here on the World Poker Tour…I mean here in G-Vegas, we make the money presentation:

To first place went $975, a coveted BBSOP 2006 money clip, a PokerStars WSOP 2006 Football jersey and a Pokerstars WSOP 2006 cap.

Second place would receive $475, a Pokerstars T-shirt, a ballcap and a 2006 WSOP card protector.

Again, much thanks to Otis for providing the schwag.


Otis did make a valiant run as the shortstack, doubling up at least twice. Finally, Otis succumbed to the big stack of Gamecock on this hand:

For the record, Otis had K7 and took an early lead in the race scenario. But the 9 on the river filled another inside straight draw for Gamecock and he took the whole thing down.

Not too shabby, finishing 2nd in ’05 and 1st in ’06.


Even though they fell a bit short, all was not lost for Random101 nor for Otis. Otis donated his second place Stars gear to Random. With his 2nd place finish in the biggest buy-in event thus far, Otis took over 1st place in the G-Vegas 2006 Player of the Year race. Updated standings can be found here:

G-Vegas 2006


Man, what a weekend. I’m not sure I can host much more of these things as they definitely take their toll. Most likely, with the passage of time, my enthusiasm will grow once again and I’ll host the first ever, G-Vegas Championship event to determine the 2006 Champion and Player of the Year.

The only thing that’s for sure is that it won’t be me.

No comments: