Tuesday, January 05, 2010

6th Annual New Year's Day Tournament

It started back in 2005. I'd met a couple of local poker players via the Intarweb; and in an attempt to foster a local home game community, decided to host a poker tournament on New Year's Day. We had a small 14-person turn out that year and some small stakes cash games followed. The next year, I figured I'd do it again. And somehow, along the way, it became a bit of a tradition. This year was no exception, 24 players showed up to play in the 6th Annual BadBlood's New Year's Day Event.

Of the previous champions, four of the five were in attendance to try to become the first repeat champion, none so much so as last year's holder of the luckbox, G-Rob. Only TeamScottSmith was missing from the lineup of former winners. As people arrived for the 2pm start to eat and drink, I was anticipating only one thing. Not winning.

While my NLHE tournament game has never been really sharp, I'd spent the last year playing almost exclusively cash games - NLHE live, and PLO online. Occasionally, maybe a dozen times, I'd play a PLO tournament on Full Tilt, but any skills I may have had in NLHE tournaments has languished in mental atrophy. Sound like an excuse? That's because it probably is.

I lost half my stack within the first 30 minute level to a turned set and a turned nut straight with a straight flush redraw against Gucci Rick. My expectations were being met. Somehow, I survived into level 4 with about 3k left of my 5k starting stack. Frank the Tank and former champion Wolverine had already met their fate and were relegated to the loser's couch to watch college football.

My fate would soon be the same as I lost a race with AK to TheMark's QQ all-in preflop. I had TheMark barely covered, but thanks to doubling him up, he'd make a run at another cash. I was forced all in on my next big blind and lost to the nut flush of Brian the Red, out in 22nd. Not a very good showing. I wandered around the house a bit and snapped some pictures to commemorate the event and continue to run the tournament. The cash games wouldn't be starting for a while it seemed.

Slowly, but surely (if you followed my Twitter feed that day), a certain name kept coming up in conversation as acquiring chips in the most varied of ways: G-Rob. He was pushing around his table and getting there when behind and holding up when ahead. The most egregious of hands that I heard was when he called the Ranksters all-in preflop bet with 7,5 suited. The Rankster had pocket Queens but was quickly behind on the 77x flop. He never improved. The last I saw of the Rankster was him shaking his head and walking to the kitchen, flumoxed at yet another G-Rob confrontation.

The tournament was paying the top 5, and the bubble seemed to last quite a bit longer than normal, with 3 out of the final 6 all related. TheMark, his brother GucciRick and his wife MrsTheMark all were left alive. Unfortunately for TheMark, he bubbled the tournament, and left to go host his regular Friday night game.

Gucci Rick bowed out in 5th to MrsTheMark, his pocket Tens no good against her Jacks. Brian the Red was next out in 4th and SteveJax, brother of TripJax, was the next victim of a G-Rob attack. SteveJax's AQ lost to G-Rob's AT with a ten on the river. It was heads up for the title and G-Rob was relishing the assignment of the #defendingchamp Twitter hash tag.

We had since started a $1/$1 $100-max cash game and some players were waiting for a 2nd game to start. I walked into the heads up match and informed G-Rob and MrsTheMark what the prize pool would be if they were to chop. Coupled with splitting the last longer bet, the dollar figure was sufficient for G-Rob to relinquish his chip advantage and take the even money split with the last hand determining the official champion.

G-Rob had A4o, MrsTheMark had J2o. A two hit the river. But of course it gave G-Rob the wheel, the title, and the right to say he's the only two-time winner of the BadBlood New Year's Day tournament. Then he made perhaps his smartest poker decision of the day. He opted out of the cash game and went home, guaranteeing a start to 2010 firmly in the black.

Here are the final results, congratulations to everyone who cashed:

1. G-Rob
2. MrsTheMark
3. SteveJax
4. Brian the Red
5. Gucci Rick
6. TheMark
7. Rocket
8. Tressa
9. NewGuyJohnT
10. Jim the Knife
11. Alan Shaw
12. TripJax
13. Rankster
14. Shep
15. Skoon
16. Falstaff
17. SpecialK
18. MrsBlood
19. DannyVanA
20. Random101
21. Stan the Man
22. BadBlood
23. Wolverine
24. Frank the Tank


Jim The Knife said...

This was my third endeavor and had a grand time as usual. Fourth the first time; second to Falstaff the second time; and not a bad showing but Luckbox G-Rob got me.. ugggghhh

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