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.


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