It was a full two hours into the event when the final table was seated. Sengar had been leading for much of the event and here are your final table faces.
- Sengar = 10825
- Kate Starbird (aka Papoorboy) = 7535
- Jewelcard = 7245
- Txmom22 = 4930
- Tai Pan = 4180
- DAVE43 = 4100
- KOR = 3575
- robnotdave = 2440
- Hemi Henry = 1795
- Mongoose = 1375
I wonder, as I look at these names, if we shouldn’t just reserve a final table seat for Sengar, Jewelcard and robnotdave. It seems like I am always reporting their final table appearance. And Henry, dang man, you go off to Boot Camp and now we can’t get rid of you. Was Phil that good?
This was not your usual final table, first orbit kill off. It was hand thirteen before KOR was down to his last 455 chips and very desperate. With the antes 50 and the blinds 200/400 he had to go all-in with his Kd 9h and Tai Pan made the easy call from the big blind. It only cost him 5 and after all he was holding Ac 7d. He didn’t need it but he caught a 7h on the flop and 7s on the turn to send KOR to the lounge in tenth place.
Mongoose was the short stack going into the final table and never really got any cards to give him a break but he did have a little fun with these sharks. On hand 16 the big blind took him all-in for his last 350 chips. He held Ts 5s – it didn’t look good for our snake hunter. But wait he only got two callers and the flop just hit him with the Td. Sengar was the only one to see the turn come 7h and when they showed Mongoose was ahead. The river was the 5h giving Mongoose two pair and the 1500 main pot. Not bad Mongoose. But it wasn’t going to last long. The very next hand Mongoose was dealt Ah Jh and he pushed it all in calling robnotdave’s (Ac Kd) opening raise. Txmom22 (9c 8d) was all-in with her last 580 chips as well. The flop came Ts 4d 2s. That gave Txmom a backdoor straight draw. The turn was the 7s and the river filled Txmom with the 6s and – wow – Marsha has gotten back into the game winning 2190. Poor Mongoose was gone in ninth place.
Txmom lasted 8 more hands until she looked down and saw pocket nines and pushed all 1640 chips to open the betting in hand 24. DAVE43 smooth called as did Sengar. They checked it down to the end to see the board fall 2d 3h 3s 4c Ac. DAVE43 showed pocket sixes for two pair, Txmom had a higher two pair, but Sengar had called from the big blind holding just Td 3d. Isn’t having the big stack great? He had hit his miracle board for trip treys and Txmom22 was gone in 8th place.
Everyone was reasonably healthy now although Hemi Henry was getting short with only 2530 chips. The battle roamed around the table for nine more hands. It was now hand 33 and DAVE43 was feeling short with only 1960 chips and the blinds were up to 300/600. He limped into the flop holding Ac 4c and saw it fall Jh 2c 9s. Kate Starbird made a weak bet of 800 and, sensing that weakness, DAVE pushed in his last 1285. He just didn’t have enough chips to push KS off his bottom pair of deuces since he held Kh 2s from the big blind. KS made the call and the deuces held. Good game DAVE43.
By hand 45 robnotdave was down to his last 750 chips when he opened the betting all-in holding Jd 2d. Hmmmm. Interesting play. Jewelcard, Sengar and KS all called robnotdave. The flop came 3h Qc 6h. It rather common in a situation like this for all of the callers to check it down to the river to better the odds that one of them will eliminate the all-in. But not this time. Jewelcard opened the post flop betting by going all-in himself to the tune of 3610. Sengar and Kate Starbird bailed on the hand and I’m sure were muttering to themselves something about Jewelcard’s heritage. But when they turned over their cards it we all saw that Jewelcard did know what he was doing. Holding two black sixes, he had flopped a set and was protecting it. Okay, we forgive you this time Jewel. Robnotdave was sent packing.
Hemi Henry up date – it is hand 49 and he has only 2845 chips. But he holds ace ten of clubs and all-in calls Tai Pan before the flop. He doubled up when the board missed them both and Tai only held ace eight.
The next ten hands are marked by classic, uncontested blind stealing. Then hand 60 Hemi Henry went all-in for his steal with his last 1290. By now the antes are 100 and the blinds 400/800. Henry was in the small blind and, dang, Kate Starbird has 16000 chips and thought nothing of the call holding As 4d. But Henry showed big slick and racked in 8880 chips.
Hand 62 and Jewelcard is in the small blind with 2785 after posting the blind. Kate Starbird bet 2900 and Jewelcard accepted the challenge. Jewel held Jc 8c and KS showed Qh Td. Very aggressive play on both parts. The flop came Ah Js 7d giving Jewelcard some hope but the Kc on the turn gave KS his straight and the night was over for the Jewelcard. But Jewelcard finished in the money this week so he wasn’t too sad.
The final four seemed to last forever but it was only really about 20 hands. The key hand for Kate Starbird (better known to HA regulars as that shark, Papoorboy) was hand 81. KS was in second place just behind Sengar and had been very successful at whittling down Sengar’s chip stack. The antes were 125 and the blinds 600/1200 – KS had 13985 chips. Tai Pan opened UTG for 4700 and it was folded to KS in the big blind. 3500 would have been enough for the call but KS played it strong and went all-in holding Qd Td. Tai Pan made the call for the rest of his chips, though, holding As 9s. The Ah on the flop was all it took to seriously cripple KS and vault Tai Pan into the chip lead.
The very next hand KS was short and felt his Ah 9s was good enough to get back some chips but he ran into Sengar holding pocket tens and that was all she wrote for our camouflaged shark.
Has anyone noticed that Hemi Henry is still sitting at the table? This man is a survivor. In fact on hand 86 he was more than just a survivor, he was deadly. Henry smooth called UTG and let Sengar take him all-in from the big blind. Sengar held pocket tens and had to feeling pretty good about the call. SPROING!
I think that is the sound of a trap being sprung – Henry held two, beautiful ladies. And a third one joined the party on the flop. Henry was now firmly in second place.
Just two hands later Sengar min raised to 2400 and Tai Pan went along with him holding Ad 3d. The flop came Qs 3h 2s and when Sengar raised his minimum bet Tai went all-in. Unfortunately for Tai, Sengar held Qc 9s and had hit top pair – the call was an easy one. Tai was gone in third place.
We are now heads up between Sengar, the dominating force of the table this night, and Hemi Henry, that quiet, unassuming master of the final table.
The heads up match lasted 38 hands. During that time each tried to set the trap for the other, only to have the victim slip out. I counted four lead changes. At one point Sengar had Henry down to the canvas but just couldn’t get the pin. Then Henry would fight back and have Sengar down. Finally hand 137 of the final table, one hour and eleven minutes after the final ten sat down, Hemi Henry held Kd Th and Sengar held As 6s. They limped into the flop and checked to the see the turn 7s 3h 9h 8d. Henry checked and Sengar decided to bet the straight draw. Henry called and the river brought the Td. Henry had finally caught a piece of the board and pushed his last 2130 into the middle. But the same card that gave Henry top pair had given Sengar the straight – and the tournament.
What a great night. Congratulations to everyone at the final table and especially Sengar, Hemi Henry and Tai Pan for showing us poker to rival anything ESPN is showing us.