Sunday, July 09, 2006

Kate Starbird Does It Again

Kate Starbird, our very own Papoorboy, did it again. Kate showed us again why he is one of the most feared players in the Holdem Affair. Fifty players sat down tonight but Kate showed he was the best of the best. Hazy Cat was his victim in the heads up match. Goodtime Chas, newcomer RipleyBP, and Idblondee completed the money table.

Sorry guys, I can’t give you the scoop on the early tables. I’m afraid that I was off donating my money to a home game. I busted out 8th out of nine. Yech. But the good part was that meant I was home to see the final table of a much better played tournament.

The final table looked like this when I caught up to it on hand four.
1. RipleyBP = 15740
2. Kate Starbird = 14960
3. Goodtime Chas = 9005
4. Hazy Cat = 8010
5. Honda Driver = 7395
6. Idblondee = 7110
7. CowboyWillie = 6830
8. Txmom22 = 3330
9. Rivaturn = 1405
10. msrinny02 = 1215

I got to the table just in time for the big action to start. Hand 4, with the antes 75 and the blinds 300/600, saw Honda Driver open for 1200 and Kate Starbird made the call from the big blind. The flop came 3h 5s Ad. Kate checked and Honda Driver bet 3450. Kate came back for 6900 taking Honda all-in with the call. Honda Driver turned over a beautiful pair of tens but Kate Starbird showed big slick. The pair of aces was all it took to send Honda Driver home from his first final table.

Hand 10 and Msrinny02 is posting the 800 big blind from her 2780 stack. Looking a little thin there rinny. And she agreed. All fold to the small blind and they see a cheap flop come 4s 3h 6d. Msrinny holds Jh 4c and just caught a piece of that very weak flop. CowboyWillie bet 800 and rinny didn’t believe him. She answered with a push. But Willie had caught part of that flop as well – Ad 6c equals top pair/top kicker. Good enough to send Rinny to the rail in 9th place.

The very next hand Rivaturn is trying to hide behind his stack of 430 chips but it just isn’t working for him. With the blinds coming next hand he pushed UTG holding Ad 8c. Cowboy Willie was the only taker but his Ac Ts was good enough. Rivaturn was gone in 8th place. Willie was thinning the field single handedly. That put Willie firmly into third place.

But hand 18 was less fortunate for Willie. Goodtime Chas was short stacked and opened for 2400, half his stack. All folded but Willie in the small blind. The flop came 5s 7c 8h, and Goodtime Chas pushed the rest of his stack – 2230. I can’t say what Willie was thinking but with that piddling flop he had to wonder how it could have helped Chas. Willie held Kc 9s – two overs and a gut-shot. He called. Oops, Chas turned over Ah Ac. And Willie was the short stack.

That hand was Cowboy Willie’s demise. The very next hand, RipleyBP raised to 2400 and Willie called on the button. That left Willie with only 810 chips – he was forced to call any bet from Ripley which, of course, Ripley was happy to provide when the flop came 2h 9c 7h. RipleyBP held Ac 7s and had caught second pair. Good enough for a bet. Willie held Ah 8s. The better hand pre-flop but the flop had missed him. The rest of the board didn’t cooperate either and Cowboy Willie was gone in 7th place.

We were paying five this night so it was bubble time. Who will be the unfortunate winner of the bubble award? The antes were now 125 and the blinds 600/1200. The stacks ranged from Kate Starbird with 29000 to Txmom22 with 3710. Hand 22 and Hazy Cat doubled up through Kate to secure his position. The bubble play didn’t last long this week. The blinds had gone through once and Txmom was UTG and faced with posting the big blind again when she was dealt Ac 6d on hand 29. That Ace will have to do. Mom pushed and Kate called. But Kate held pocket sevens. It was a low board but it danced around Txmom without helping her out. We were down to the money table.

Idblondee went into the money table the short stack but battled hard to stay in the game. Twice she stole the blinds to buy another orbit. But hand 41 found her UTG with only 3035 and faced with 150 antes and the 1600 big blind coming in the next hand. Qh 9h was going to have to be good enough – push was the play. But she got two callers – Yech. Goodtime Chas and Ripley looked her up. When the flop came 2d 6s 7h, Chas pushed as well. I’m sure he wanted Ripley out of the hand. He is well aware of the standard tournament check down play when the short stack is all-in. He was saying he had her beat. But Ripley said, I think I have you both beat and made the call. Oh boy, what have we got here? Goodtime Chas turned over pocket eights for the over pair and Ripley had called with just two over cards, Kd Qs. What a swing for Chas, Idblondee was gone, Ripley had dropped from second stack to short stack and now Chas was firmly in second place. What a big hand.

But that wasn’t the end of Ripley, he doubled up through Chas on hand 45 and then doubled up again, this time through Hazy Cat on hand 47. But by hand 53 the antes were 200 and the blinds 1000/2000. Ripley had 12860 chips and opened for 7800. Kate raised enough to take him all-in. Ripley held Ac 5h and Kate Starbird had pocket eights. Didn’t we see a hand like this earlier? This one ended quickly when the 8c showed on the flop. RipleyBP was our 4th place winner. We were down to three, Kate had 42000
chips and Hazy Cat and Chas shared the other 33000.

Hand 56 and Chas is all in with big slick against Hazy Cat holding 9c 8d. There is a reason why tournament regulars call AK the “Anna Kournikova” – it looks good but it doesn’t win. This time the board ended up Jc 8s 7s 6h 6d – The pair of eights took the pot. Goodtime Chas was our 3rd place winner.

The heads up was one hand. They saw the cheap flop come Th 5c 6d. It went check, raise, re-raise, push, call and all the chips were in the middle. Hazy Cat had flopped top pair with his Ts 4c. I’d push too. But this time Kate held Tc 6s and had hit two pair. No way was Hazy Cat going to push him off that hand.

That was the end of a great night. We crowned Kate Starbird once again and saw Hazy Cat put on a show as well. This is good poker folks. As I look over these hands, there is very little to criticize. You have to be good just to make the final table in the Holdem Affair. And it is getting tougher each week.

See you next Saturday.

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