Saturday, May 27, 2006

DebiMac Makes it Two

DebiMac made it two victories in the Holdem Affair tonight. She caught some hands early and spent most of the night with the leaders. She was in second place going into the first hour break and in third when the final table was seated. This gal is putting it together. Our hostess of the weekly, Thursday night Mac Attack has become a player to watch out for. Sengar is another player who has proven he can win in the Holdem Affair, but tonight DebiMac got the better of him in the heads up match. Spideytwo finished out the money table with an excellent third place finish. Gjones had the gut wrenching role of finishing on the bubble and Rocknfish finished fifth.

There were only seven people eliminated in the first hour of this week’s Holdem Affair. Twenty-one of our finest were still alive. This week’s story is almost boring in that DebiMac was in the running from the first orbit. By the time we hit the first hour break your leaderboard was shaping up in this way:
Shmakal = 5360
DebiMac = 3750
Unionthug = 3435
VegasSno = 2960
Sengar = 2510
Mellow Yellow = 2375
lisa1433 = 2320
d o double d = 115
Spideytwo = 1655
Rocknfish = 1630

It was 40 minutes later when the next eleven were eliminated. Some of the final table regulars were gone like Jennifear and Kate Starbird but take a look at this shark tank of a final ten. Talk about some familiar faces.
Sengar = 10070
Shmakal = 6905
DebiMac = 5425
Unionthug = 3860
Rocknfish = 3410
Spideytwo = 3340
msrinny02 = 3270
Mellow Yellow = 2425
Gjones = 2300
Bombadil = 995

Bombadil was very short stacked when we sat down at the final table but managed to put together a bit of a battle before he ran into gjones holding pocket jacks on hand 11. This was an excellent showing for the newcomer.

The very next hand pocket jacks weren’t all that successful for Mellow Yellow. All-in and he watched as Sengar turned over Js Qc. Looking good for the mellow one and when the turn showed 4h 9s 6s Td it looked very good. But that darn river brought the 8s and the straight for Sengar. Mellow Yellow was gone in 9th place and now Sengar was double Shmakal in second place.

Seven hands later with the antes 25 and the blinds 150/300, Rocknfish raised to 600 only to have msrinny re-raise all-in for 1595. But if that wasn’t enough for our favorite fish, gjones said he wanted in and pushed all of his 3570 chips into the middle. Rocknfish dove back into the pond and let those two fight it out. Msrinny02 showed As Jd and gjones Qd Qs. And the race was on. And it was over on the flop when that came Qc 7d 2s. That set was all gjones needed to send msrinny home in 8th place

Hand 21 was big. Sengar was the chip leader with 11695 and DebiMac had fallen back to fourth place with 5525. Sengar opened for 1225 and after two folds DebiMac pushed all 5500 to the middle. What is going on here? Sengar thought for awhile but decided that his Ac Qc just might be good enough to enter in this race. And he was right because DebiMac turned over Ks Jh at the starting line. Well, at least she wasn’t dominated. And that was the key – as the flop came 5d 6h Js. That Jack was all it took for DebiMac to rake in an 11625 pot and the chip lead.

Just two hands later Sengar, Unionthug, and Shmakal saw the cheap flop fall Tc 7h 7c. Sengar checked, Shmakal checked and Unionthug raised to 1075. Sengar check raised to 2150. Shmakal believed him and bailed out of the hand but Unionthug must have been suspicious because he fired back for all 2440 of his chips. Sengar called the re-steal. Unionthug showed Ad Jd – two strong over cards but Sengar had limped into the flop with 7d 9d and had hit trips. Unionthug had to settle for 7th place this week.

We were down to just six and now the real poker began. The only show down we saw for the next 20 hands was when Rocknfish and spideytwo both showed AKo to split a pot. Then Sengar took a big pot from Shmakal on hand 43 to take back the chip lead.

Hand 47 and Shmakal is battling back. DebiMac opened for 1700 and Shmakal came along to see the flop come Th 2c Qd. Remember now that DebiMac is one of the big stacks so when Shmakal pushed all 1980 of his remaining chips you knew he meant business. And yet, DebiMac made the call holding just Ac Jh. She apparently didn’t think much of Shmakal’s hand. But Shmakal turned over pocket nines. He had made the right play. But DebiMac still had ten outs. And I’ll be darned if one of those outs – the Kd didn’t show his face on the river. Shmakal was gut shot and gone in 6th place.

DebiMac and Sengar were starting to put some distance between themselves and the remaining three. The next few hands saw nothing but thievery until hand 55 when Rocknfish accepted Sengar’s challenge to rumble. Rocknfish had wagered it all on his Kc Qc – was Sengar really trying to steal? Oops, this time Sengar turned over a real hand, Ad Jd. The board ended up 9 high without a single club. Rocknfish was our 5th place finisher.

Okay, we are only paying three tonight. Who misses out? The sparing and dancing, and out right thievery went on for 33 hands. All the while, Sengar and DebiMac were comfortable with large stacks. But the antes were now 75 and the blinds 300/600. Spideytwo and gjones were fighting for their lives as the blinds crept up on them. Hand 86 saw gjones post the 75 antes and the 600 big blind from a stack of only 870. Sengar completed from the small blind and they saw the flop come 5h Kc 7h. Sengar, of course, just mini-bet 600 - that was enough to cover the 195 left in gjones stack. Gjones must not have minded too much though because he was able to turn over Qh Th. He had a solid flush draw and maybe two live cards. Believe it or not, Sengar showed 7c 3h for second pair. He had called with junk because of the very short stack that gjones saw himself left with. That paired up seven was just enough and Gjones was gone on the bubble this week.

Spideytwo had climbed back into the action and by hand 99 had 9000 chips to Sengar with 13000 and DebiMac with 19000. One of the truly enjoyable and down right amazing things about the Holdem Affair is to watch the play at the final table. So often you know darn well that they are playing each other as much as they are playing their cards. That is what real tournament poker is all about. And that kind of play sets up the next action hand. Hand 99, Spideytwo is UTG with As Js. He opened for 4700, nearly an 8BB raise. Sengar came over the top in response for all 13090. What would you do if you were in Spidey’s place? You just shoved half of your stack into the middle, maybe even hoping for a call so you could push the rest in on the flop and now someone has put you to the test! Well, our favorite superhero made the call. After all, there aren’t many hands better than AJ suited. But one of those hands is Ad Qd, and that is what Sengar showed. Each ended up with a pair of aces and, as so often happens in tournament play, it was the kicker that decided the hand. Spideytwo was gone in third place. Great game, Spidey.

Hand 100 and we are down to two players – DebiMac has 19105 and Sengar 22895. DebiMac shifted into high gear and tried to push around Sengar. But Sengar is an experienced heads up player. He has been here many times before. He let DebiMac take a few minimum pots but snapped off two or three larger pots to keep his dominant position. Hand 116 really decided the match. DebiMac opened for 1950 and Sengar replied with a push. Sengar held 4c 4s and definitely made the right play. DebiMac pushed back with Ks Tc – two over cards to the small pair. Sengar was ahead before the flop but that flop showed up with the Kc and that was all Deb needed to mortally wound Sengar.

The next hand was the last. Sengar was dealt Ah 6s and raised to 1950. Deb pushed him all-in and Sengar was happy to call. Until he saw Deb’s big slick. No sixes to bail Sengar and DebiMac posted her second Holdem Affair victory.

A wonderful night. I had a great time watching the action.

See you al next Saturday night.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sunbob Foils the 3Peat

I stayed home this week to play in the Holdem Affair and it turned out to be a good decision. I knocked out Jennifear and bested ThreesRWild in the heads up to post my fourth Holdem Affair victory. Jennifear was going for her third Holdem Affair victory in a row. A feat never before even hotly contested but she ran into my pocket Queens – TWICE. The first time Jennifear was leading by more than double my second place stack. I raised from the button in what looked like a steal. She re-raised me all-in in what looked like a re-steal. I gladly made the call. Jennifear had the goods though, she had pushed back with AK. My Queens held up and Jenn was brought back to the pack. The second time we were almost equal. I had her covered by 250 chips. Same scenario – I raised from the button and she pushed back. This time my queens held up again and Jennifear was gone in third place. That gave me a big chip lead over ThreesRWild but he took that lead away from me. I stole it back and ended up getting lucky to finish him off. Lisa1433 finished on the bubble in fourth, and Tai Pan came in fifth.

Twenty-nine of the Holdem Affair’s finest sat down to play. We still had 19 at the first hour break. The talk of the evening was Jennifear. She was on her game and making a serious run for an unprecedented third consecutive Holdem Affair victory. In addition, there was a $50 bounty on her head. Everyone was out to knock out the most feared Holdem Affair regular. At the end of the first hour no one had been able to dent Jennifear’s dominance. Your leaders looked like this:
  1. Jennifear = 5955

  2. Unionthug = 4875

  3. Marti = 3785

  4. Sunbob = 3385

  5. IronChefBigD = 3120

  6. JesusFish = 2835

  7. Lisa1433 = 2770

  8. Glenso = 2720

  9. ThreesRWild = 2515

  10. Idblondee = 2050

The second hour is always very decisive and this week proved the adage. It was one hour and fifty-two minutes before we seated the final table. The action in this second hour was strong and Lisa1433 had risen to Jennifear’s challenge and shown she has earned her place at these tables. Spideytwo had also made a run and our favorite super hero was staking his claim to the title. But Jennifear was still going strong. Your final table looked like this:
  1. Lisa1433 = 8610

  2. Jennifear = 6785

  3. IronChefBigD = 6245

  4. Spideytwo = 5060

  5. Sunbob = 4685

  6. Tai Pan = 4050

  7. Idblondee = 2525

  8. ThreesRWild = 2385

  9. JesusFish = 1590

  10. Marti = 1565

Fifteen minutes later and we were taking the second break. Three affairs were over and Jennifear was in control. Spideytwo was the first to fall. This was an amazing hand. Marti had raised all-in with a very sort stack and Spideytwo had made the call. Jennifear followed by going all-in, in a play that looked like she was trying to push S2 out of the pot. I will admit that I didn’t understand this play until I saw Jennifear turn over pocket sevens. But then we all watched as Marti showed her pocket jacks and Spideytwo proudly showed us a pair of Kings. It looked like Spidey was going to cause some serious damage to the final table. But, of course, this is poker and in poker the cards don’t always fall the way you would expect them to fall. This time a jack AND a seven showed up to play with us but no king for Spidey. Marti had doubled up and bought some life, Jennifear had won a big pot to strengthen her hold on the table and poor Spideytwo was gone in tenth place.

Then the newcomer, IronChefBigD, fell victim to our tiny dancer and quickly after that, Idblondee was sent to the bar. When we all took a breather at the break Jennifear had taken full control of the final table with 13765 chips. The rest of us were bunched far behind with stacks ranging from ThreesRWild at 5495 to Tai Pan = 4275. Jennifear had nearly 1/3 of the chips in play.

When we all came back from whatever we all do on a break (I slipped out to have a few puffs off my cigar), Jennifear began a clinic on power poker from the big stack. And the rest of us just tried to survive. Marti put on a masterful exhibition of short stack play but just couldn’t quite get her footing. She was sent to the chat box in 7th place. Lisa, TRW and I were now slowly strengthening our positions at the expense of Tai Pan and JesusFish. I took out JesusFish with a pair of pocket sevens and that boosted me into second place but still much less than half of Jennifear.

During this time I had noticed a little side game going on with Jennifear and myself. Once she had gotten the huge stack Jenn started pushing to steal blinds. Three times in a row she raised pre-flop to steal my big blind even though she was sitting just two seats to my left. After I caught on, I returned the favor by stealing her big blind with a raise from the button. I got away with it twice but on the third attempt she pushed all-in on the re-steal and forced me to lay down my hand. We both chuckled about it but I now had a plan. Two or three orbits later I was now in second place and I pulled that play again. When Jennifear responded with her all-in I was ready and made the call with my pocket queens. I fully expected her to turn over a mediocre hand but about crapped when she turned over big slick. I may have just fallen into my own trap. But the queens held up – and Jenn was reeled back to the pack, still in the chip lead but not dominant any more.

Tai Pan fell victim to this war and was sent back to his sailboat in fifth. We were down to four and Jenn had the chip lead again. Lisa was down to her last big blind but doubled up off Jenn and doubled again. Lisa was actually able to make it back into contention before she was knocked out in fourth place.

The money table was Jennifear, ThreesRWild, and Sunbob. By hand 89 ThreesRWild had the chips lead with 16255, Jennifear was second with 16125 and I was pulling up the rear with 11120. The antes were now 100 and the blinds 400/800. TRW folded and Jennifear raised to 2700. I pushed back with all of my 11020 chips. Jennifear thought for a long time and I was pretty nervous because all I held was Kc 2s. But it was enough to talk Jennifear out of the pot and I was now – just barely – in second place. That hand was significant because just two hands later, I was on the button and Jennifear in the big blind. I raised to 3100 and Jenn pushed all 13125 on the re-steal. I called and turned over Qd Qs – again. This time Jennifear showed Ad Jd. I was ahead but not feeling very good about it. My queens held and as I see now – I actually caught four spades to make my flush. I had busted Jennifear, won the bounty, and now had the chip lead going into the heads up match against ThreesRWild.

The heads up match lasted 40 hands. ThreesRWild played a marvelous match. I started with the chip lead and was pulling away when TRW talked me out of a big pot to take the lead away. We traded punches and counter punches as we went on to see five lead changes. Hand 130 was the deciding hand, as it turned out. We saw the flop come Qs 8h 8s, TRW bet 3400 and I pushed. Threes called holding Qc 9s. Nice hand and the right play, especially the way we had been bluffing back and forth. But this time I had a hand – Kd Qh. I out kicked TRW and took back the chip lead for the final time. Two hands later I called the all-in from TRW holding Kc Jd. Threes turned over Ac 7c. He had me but the flop brought a king and that was the end. This night it was my turn to take home the honors.

This was an excellent match. I must admit, it took me a good two hours just to come down enough to go to bed.

Thank you all for the great game. There is nothing better than a Holdem Affair victory. This field is just too good.



Sunday, May 14, 2006

Jennifear Does it Again

Jennifear did it again this week. It was an amazing heads up battle with Tai Pan that lasted 38 hands. It included four lead changes and some truly brilliant play. Glttt finished in third place, with Unionthug and Hemi Henry completing the money table.

This was Jennifear's 10th Holdem Affair victory.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Jennifear - Her First in 2006

Jennifear posted her first Holdem Affair victory of 2006. Can you believe it? It is May and this is the first time Jen has gone all the way for the Holdem Affair. Newcomer, Feloniously put on a great battle but just couldn’t keep up with our tiny dancer. Br1ck was third - Shmakal and Msrinny02 completed the money table.