It was a wonderful night for a tournament. Thirty-nine players sat down to welcome Marti (aka Umbrella Lady) back from her cruise. We all had a great time listening to her stories as she took our chips. I’m afraid my tournament game was a little rusty this week. I got way too aggressive with AQs and busted out in 22nd place. Oh well, I’ll do better next time.
The final table didn’t get seated until well after the second hour break. This was a hotly contested event this week. Your final table looked like this:
- Ckick = 11910
- CowboyWillie = 7580
- Kate Starbird = 6885
- Rocknfish = 6185
- MdnghtSn49 = 5720
- navalbronco = 4860
- Marti = 4415
- Winforlife = 4245
- MagikCowboy = 4110
- ThreesRWild = 2590
The blinds were already 300/600 with a 75 ante when the finalists sat down so you would think that some people were getting desperate. But that wasn’t entirely the case. These are good players that know how to play the short stack in a situation like this. It was hand 9 that was the first significant hand. CowboyWillie limped and Marti min raised to 1200. ThreesRWild went all-in with 1990 and had Marti covered when she made the call. TRW had pocket sevens but Marti had two Aces and took the pot.
That left TRW with only 175 chips and after posting his ante and small blind he was all-in on the next hand. This was an interesting one. Kate Starbird pushed all 4410 chips UTG, I’m sure intending to isolate ThreesRWild, but MdnghtSn49 made the call all-in as well.
MdnghtSn49 showed Qc Jc.
ThreesRWild showed 4s 3c.
Kate Starbird showed As Qh.
The board missed them all ending up 8h 9d 5s 2d Kh and Kate knocked out two birds with one bet. We were down to eight.
By hand 17 the antes are now 100 and the blinds 400/800. There were 2000 chips in the middle now before anyone bet and CowboyWillie said “I want them” when he raised Kate’s limp. Kate made the call to see the flop come Js Qc 3h. Kate bet 1005 – the exact amount to take Willie all-in with his call. CowboyWillie held Ah 9s, a very good hand, but Kate showed two fives. The 7d on the turn and the river Tc didn’t hit Willie and he was out in 8th place.
Just five hands later Ckick woke up with pocket eights and made it 2500. Kate Starbird re-raised to 9400 taking Ckick all-in with his call. Ckick made the right play but how was he to know that Kate held two red tens. When the Tc came on the flop it was all over for Ckick and our two, final table chip leaders were gone in 22 hands. Kate Starbird had knocked out the first four players and now had a commanding chip lead with over 1/3 of the chips in play.
Hand 27 and Navalbronco found himself in the big blind and only 335 chips after he posted the ante and the blind. He knew it was “all-in with any two cards” before the cards got there. Rocknfish and Marti both made the call. The flop came 8d Ad 4s. Rocknfish bet 800 on the flop stringing Marti along. The turn brought the 2d and that wasn’t enough for Marti to call Rocknfish a second time. Before the river card was revealed they both turned over their cards. What is this? Navalbronco has Kc Ks. But what terrible luck as Rock held Ah Jc and had flopped top pair. That was all it took as the river sunk Navalbronco with a 9s. And the money table was set. That was fast.
The antes and blinds went up to 125/600/1200 by hand 30 and that meant MagikCowboy was in trouble with only 1610 chips in the big blind. He was forced to call Kate Starbird holding just 7d 3h against Kate’s big slick. It was really no contest but the poker gods laughed at Magik and gave Kate the Broadway Straight..
Now it is hand 36 and Rocknfish has a hand – black pocket eights look mighty good four handed. Kate opened the pot for 2800 and Rocknfish pushed all 8020 chips into the middle. But Kate had over 30,000 chips so thought very little of making the call with Jc Ts. This was your classic tournament race and it was decided in the first lap when Kate flopped a Tc. Kate was just rolling over this table.
We were down to three now and Kate had 38420, winforlife 10740, and Marti 9340. Mari held out until hand 47 but she was down to only 290 chips by then and all-in with 5h 3s. Winforlife actually did the honors this time. Don’t know what happened to Kate here. Winforlife held Qd Js. The flop missed them both and it looked like marti might live to see another hand when the turn revealed the 5d but the Qc came strolling down fifth street and the heads up match was on.
Kate had Winforlife more than doubled but that didn’t stop winforlife from playing hard. He lost the first hand and then went on a rush winning the next seven hands and actually took the chip lead by hand 52. He held that chip lead and even had Kate down 41830 to 16670 by hand 68.
The deciding hand came on hand 70. The antes were 150 and Kate posted a small blind of 800 holding only 16670 chips. Winforlife had 41830 when he posted the 1600 chip big blind. Kate completed in the small blind and win raised to 5100. Kate responded by going all-in. They had been sparring back and forth this way for several hands but this time winforlife made the call.
winforlife showed Kh Td.
Kate Starbird showed Ts 7s.
It looked like it was over. The flop - 5s Ac Qc - made it look even bleaker for Kate giving win a gut-shot straight draw to go with his two over cards. But around the bend on the far turn what is that I see? Oh my, the 7c to pair up Kate. That was all it took to turn the tide. A lowly seven of clubs. That gave the chip lead back to Kate and Winforlife was never able to recover.
It actually took 48 more hands for Kate to finish it off and it happened by coming from behind in another race situation. Winforlife put it all in the middle with 4s 4c and Kate called with Kh 8h. But those fickle poker gods were emphatic that this was the final hand and flopped Jh 5h 9h.
What an amazing heads-up match and a great final table. There just isn’t much you can do when it is your opponent’s turn to win. Great game to all, especially the final table. That was very fun to watch. Now I have to sharpen up my game so I can join you next week.