Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fisherfries Is Back

Our old friend Fisherfries is back and boy did he show me how to play heads up. We were about 20 hands into the final table before I caught on that BareAce was our old friend and early Holdem Affair regular Fisherfries. Of course he had already busted me trying to steal his blinds before I learned who he was. When we went into the heads up match I had the chip lead but that didn’t last for long. He busted me again when I pushed him with pocket sevens only to have him turn over pocket Queens. If I remember right, he used to pull that chit on me before. Oh well, it was a real treat to see him again. I had to settle for second place money and deadmanshand took home the third place prize.

Twenty-seven sat down tonight to fight for the honor of being the best in the Holdem Affair. By the time we took the first break we were down to 19. Here are your chip leaders.
  1. Jennifear = 5200

  2. deadmanshand = 4755

  3. hawk39 = 4200

  4. BareAce = 2625

  5. annieboom = 2430

  6. goodtime chas = 2395

  7. TxBullet1961 = 2260

  8. bombadil = 2160

  9. msrinny02 = 2150

  10. shootist = 1910

It only took about half an hour this week to find ourselves sitting at the final table. During that time I had hit a run of outrageous cards and had climbed into the chip lead by the time we were down to twelve. I thought I would have the lead when we sat down with 10 but Hawk had a huge hand on the other table and when we sat down I realized I wasn’t the big dog after all. Here is how it stacked up.
  1. Hawk39 = 12920

  2. Sunbob = 6015

  3. deadmanshand = 3630

  4. Jennifear = 3265

  5. msrinny02 = 3155

  6. Saffron = 2525

  7. BareAce = 2490

  8. shootist = 2310

  9. TxBullet1961 = 2255

  10. bugman22j = 1935

Not a loser in the bunch and with the blinds just 100/200 there was a lot of room for anyone to make a run. Jennifear broke early with her aggressive play and it was working for her for the first ten hands. Then she ran into deadmanshand who had the boat to sink her two pair and the next hand he took her out. Very strange to see Jennifear gone that early from the final table.

With comfortable stacks all around it was hand 21 before the next casualty. BareAce opened for 600 and TxBullet re-raised all-in for 2055. BareAce thought for a moment then made the call with his pocket tens. It was the right move as TxBullet showed pocket eights. TxBullet1961 was our 9th place finisher.

Now the tournament play began. Blind steals, re-steals, bluffs and all-ins were the plays but very few show downs. One of the things I have noticed over the past few months is that this group is getting very good at going beyond just playing their cards and they are now playing the opponent as well. This is one of the most fun things to watch in the Holdem Affair.

It was hand 61 before the next exit. The blinds were now 200/400 and deadmanshand opened for 1800. Two folds and bugman22j is the only one to accept the challenge and he went in big with all 2545 of his chips. Bugman showed Ah Qd and deadmanshand turned over pocket sixes. The table missed them both and the sixes held up this time. Bugman22j had to settle for 8th place.

Hand 65 and poor Saffron was down to her last 260 chips. She pushed them to the middle holding Ad 7h. Hawk saw the flop and I came along for the ride in the big blind. The final table showed 6h Jh 3d 5c 7s missing Saffron and Hawk but hitting my Jd Td. I won the hand and Saffron went to the lounge in 7th place.

We were down to six and here was how it looked. BareAce was in the lead with 10495, Hawk had 9895, Sunbob was third with 8250, deadmanshand was 4th with 5975 and rinny and shootist were struggling with 3315 and 2570 respectively. My personal strategy was to lay back a bit for now and let the blinds take out the bottom two. I figured I had a chance then at the money as we were paying only three tonight. With the antes 50 and the blinds 200/400 it shouldn’t take long. But the cards didn’t cooperate with that plan. Hand 71 and I see the cheap flop from the big blind give me an open ended straight draw. A raise on the turn and I win a nice little pot from dead. The very next hand I have pocket queens and nobody wants to play with me for the blinds. Hand 77 and I have 9s 9h in the big blind. Three folds to Hawk and he raised to 1700. He had me covered but I couldn’t lay down those nines. I read Hawk for a strong ace and decided to test my read. I pushed all 8050 into the middle hoping he would go away. Hawk went into the tank and I thought my re-steal was going to work but DANG, he made the call. I felt better, though, when he turned over pocket fives. My nines held up and what do you know – I’m the new chip leader.

That hand hurt Hawk very badly and the very next hand msrinny took him out with her AJ to his KJ. Tough luck Hawk – second place to busting out 6th in two hands.

We waltzed all the way to hand 100 with those five players. The antes were now 75 and the blinds 300/600. Shootist was down to his last 1000 chips when he posted the big blind. Deadmanshand opened UTG for all of his 3295 and Shootist made the call. Shoot had Ac 7d and Dead held pocket Jacks. A jack on the flop was all it took and Shootist was gone in 5th place.

It’s bubble time. BareAce and I were the big stacks and msrinny and deadmanshand were playing short. Hand 108 and I’ve got Ah Qd. I raised to 1800 and msrinny pushed from the big blind for 3485. Hmmmm – I’m getting better than 3:1 to make the call and unless she has AA, KK, QQ I’m only about 60:40. Guess I’m priced into this pot – I made the crying call. My crying stopped when rinny turned over As Jh. No miracles for msrinny this time and we were in the money table.

The very next hand saw BareAce raise to 1200 and deadmanshand make the call. When the flop came 7s 7c 9s, dead pushed in the rest of his 3695 chips and BareAce called. Deadmanshand turned over 5s 4s and was on the flush draw. BareAce had pocket sixes. Dead missed the flush and we were down to heads up action.

I had the chip lead going into the match but it was only for three hands. I min-raised to 1200 with pocket eights and BareAce re-raised me. We were all-in before the flop and I knew I was in trouble when BareAce turned over his pocket Queens. No help for your sorry reporter and I was in deep trouble. That really was the deciding hand. I doubled up once but hand 121 was the final. I saw the flop come 7d 9s Kd and I held 5h 9d. Second pair is good enough for me in this situation so I pushed it all in the middle. Of course it was an easy call for BareAce holding Td Js, He had a double gut-shot straight draw and the Qs on the turn ended the night.

It took me about 20 hands into the final table to figure out that the newbie BareAce was really an old friend – Fisherfries. FF was one of the original Holdem Affair regulars and he has been gone for awhile. Good to see you back FF. And good to see you playing as well as I remember you playing.

See you all next week.

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