Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hazy Cat Going Away

Hazy Cat was unstoppable tonight. I think he may have lead from the very first hand. Definitely he was a huge chip leader going into the final table and he never let anyone really challenge him. Bigmiko made a valiant effort in the heads up match but just couldn't get the job done. Dissident11 challenged the mouser every chance he got on the final table but he had to settle for third. Msrinny02 went on a rush and wiped out two from the final table but still only made 4th place money. Slick63 rounded out the money table in fifth place.

Forty-two sat down to play this week.  I’m sorry that I was not one of them.  It was my birthday and my wife took me out to dinner and the symphony.  I had a great evening and got home just in time to catch the final table.  Here is the final table leaderboard.
  1. Hazy Cat = 23680

  2. slick63 = 8480

  3. Bigmiko = 8310

  4. msrinny02 = 5895

  5. SilentKnight = 4595

  6. VegasSno = 4130

  7. Bugman22j = 2580

  8. Dissident11 = 2410

  9. johnfitz52 = 1860

  10. Agro = 1060

Do I see a couple of new names on that list?  Welcome to SilentKnight and johnfitz.  We are glad to have you with us.  Hazy Cat was dominant as you can see.  I’m told that chip lead started with the first orbit of the Holdem Affair.  Dang Hazy – how can we compete with that?

Agro was our short stack going into the final table but he doubled up on the fifth hand and was now in the game.  VegasSno was our first casualty when he was all-in pre-flop with Ah Js only to get melted by Bigmiko with the pocket rockets on hand 11.  Bummer Sno.

Newcomer johnfitz52 was making a good effort when he ran into Bigmiko on hand 15.  Again all-in pre-flop, this time with Johnfitz holding Kc Qs and Bigmiko with big slick.  Word of warning to the newcomers – beware of Mike.  These two knock outs put Bigmiko solidly into second place.  At this point he and Hazy Cat controlled about 2/3 of the chips between them.

Hand 24 and it is Bugman22j and msrinny02 putting all in the middle when the flop came 3c 9d Jd.  What can they find in that flop that appeals to them?  Bugman turned over pocket tens but msrinny held Kh Js.  Bugman was betting that rinny missed the jack but he guessed wrong this time.  That was the fatal error for bugman22j and he was sent to the rail in 8th place.

The very next hand SilentKnight open pushed for 3970 holding pocket queens.  Msrinny looked him up and turned over Ah As to back her up.  The aces held up and SilentKnight had to settle for 7th lace in his first Holdem Affair.  Good job SilentKnight, this event isn’t easy.

Hand 26 and Dissident is all-in when the flop comes  7s 5s Ks.  Hazy Cat didn’t believe him and made the call with top pair – Kd 4h.  But Dissident wasn’t bluffing this time – he turned over Qs Ts for the flopped flush.  That was a huge pot of 11680 that slid over to Dissident and he was now very healthy even if it didn’t knock Hazy Cat out of the chip lead.  The race was getting tighter now.  Four of these players were now bunched with stacks from 17560 to 11680.  We had ourselves a race.

Hand 36 and it is time for Agro to make his stand.  He started the hand with only 1345 with the antes 50 and the blinds 200/400.  Kd Td – hmmm – looks good enough to make a stand.  Three folds and Dissident raised to 3000, two more folds and Agro made the call.  Dissident had a hand this time.  He doesn’t always when he opens but this time he held the two sentries – Jc Js.  The flop brought Agro the Th but Dissident hit his set with the Jh.  No miracles for Agro and he was forced to settle for bubble boy honors this week.

We were paying five this week so we now had our money table.  Time for the shorties to climb the ladder.  Hand 45 and the ladder was there for slick63 to climb out of his short stack.  Ad 8s – not the strongest hand around but when you are down to 2590 posting the 400 chips big blind it looks good enough to call a Dissident small blind push.  How can you believe Dissident in the small blind when he makes a play like that.  And Slick was right as he learned when Dissident showed Ks 9c.  But the flop came 9s 3d Qh.  That missed Slick but hit Dissident for second pair.  The turn and river missed them both and Slick63 was gone in 5th place.  I hate that when you make the right call in the big blind only to lose on the flop.  That happens to me all too often.

The four danced for the next 12 hands then hand 57 and we have some real action.  With the blinds 300/600 – Msrinny opened for 120 UTG.  That should have raised an eyebrow – Rinny doesn’t play any trash UTG.  But Dissident re-raised to 4200 and Msrinny made it 7200.  Dissident pushed the rest of his chips into the middle and rinny came along for the ride.  Now they have my interest.  What do these two have for cards?  
Dissident11 showed Qh Ad.
msrinny02 showed As Jh.
Okay, now I understand.  The flop came Qc Td 5c giving Dissident top pair but rinny a gut shot straight draw.  The 8s on the turn gave rinny four more outs with the double gut.  But the 8h came on the river and Dissident had doubled through rinny.

That was the beginning of the end for msrinny02.  Down to the short stack she had to make her stand just five hands later.  She made a good play against Hazy Cat when she was all-in pre-flop with Ah Td against Hazy Cat holding Jc 8c.  But the flop hit our mouser hard with a jack and two clubs.  The Th on the turn wasn’t enough and msrinny was gone in fourth place.

Hazy started to really apply the pressure now.  He won eleven of the next twenty hands.  Dissident11 finally made his stand on hand 84 when he looked down and saw pocket queens smiling back at him.  Hazy Cat chased him into the middle as they were all-in before the flop.  It was easy to see why when Hazy Cat turned over pocket kings.  The flop came 3h 3s Kc and our contrary one was done for the night in third place.

It was a big task ahead for Bigmiko.  Hazy Cat had 52400 chips and Bigmiko only 10600 but with the blinds 300/600 there was some room to play post flop.  Mike made a good run at it bringing his stack up to 21000 but the final hand was a heartbreaker.  Bigmiko had the better of it when the chips went into the middle before the flop.  Ah 4s against Kh Th for Hazy.  A classic race and that is what heads up is all about.  But the flop hit Hazy Cat with 3d Td 9c.  The turn was the Jc and the river Qd gave Hazy Cat the straight and the win.

An excellent final table as is usually the case.  Even when you go into the final table of the Holdem Affair with a big chip lead it is never easy.  This week was no exception.  Great play from everyone.  I’m glad I made it home to see it.

See you next week.



Saturday, September 16, 2006

Tai Pan Again

Tai pan joined us tonight just to remind us that he can play with the best of us. Our favorite South Pacific Islander took it all with some excellent play at the final table. This was a very competitive final table and no one was giving in easily. Hazy Cat claimed second place. Sunbob (yes, I get lucky once in awhile) took third. Newcomer Donkey Stomper had to settle for fourth and BirdsinDirt rounded out the money table.

Thirty-six combatants sat down this week. We were back to our tight and vicious first hour pay, at least at my table. I got lucky on one hand when I turned the nut straight against two pair, the nut flush draw, and a set to quad up and take the chip lead. That served me well going into the first hour break. We were down to twenty-four and here were your leaders.
Sunbob = 5690
spideytwo = 4740
BirdsinDirt = 3910
Jennifear = 3895
D Style4 = 3485
SdBe = 3430
Agro = 2870
DonkeyStamper = 2840
Hazy Cat = 2695
msrinny02 = 2055

The newcomer DonkeyStamper kicked it into gear that second hour. I would have to go through the hands histories to figure out how many people he knocked out of my table. I was just trying to stay out of his way. Twice in this time I got nailed by a short stack all-in when I called with my pocket pair. Both times the culprit turned over A6. The toughest one to take was when I called with pocket sixes to A 6o and the flop came AA6. I flopped the boat only to see about a third of my stack go to my opponent. At one point Agro and I were really struggling but I’ll give him credit – his response to me was “I’ll see you at the final table”. And he was right. One hour and fifty-five minutes into the Holdem Affair we sat the final table.
DonkeyStamper = 15200
Jennifear = 7345
Sunbob = 7195
BirdsinDirt = 5970
Tai Pan = 5920
Hazy Cat = 3945
msrinny02 = 3120
Agro = 2520
Saffron = 2280
SdBe = 505

Just look at that final table. Somebody really should have given DonkeyStamper a heads up but nobody warned him. There were at least 5 former Holdem Affair champions with a good 20 trophies between them. Who knows how many final tables were represented by all of his opponents. The only other newcomer was SdBe. Welcome to both of you. It is an honor just to make the final table in the Holdem Affair.

Tai Pan got a fast start to the final table when he blasted msrinny02 out of her seat on the very first hand.

Poor SdBe was woefully short going in and the blinds ate him up by hand nine. But then the war was on. And it truly was a battle.

Hand 10 and Tai Pan took a 5000 chip pot off of me that vaulted him into second place and now I was getting pretty thin. Hand 16 and Agro is all-in with pocket kings against Jennifear with As 9s. The kings hold up and Agro is now a force to be considered.

Hand 20 and Hazy Cat is all-in against the chip leader Tai Pan. Hazy had Ks Td and Tai Pan showed As Qc. The Th on the flop was the deciding card and Hazy Cat rakes a 9500 chip pot. This leader board was bouncing around like a super ball. At this point DonkeyStamper was still the dominant chip stack with 1475 and Hazy Cat was second with 9490.

Hand 22 and the antes are 50 with the blinds 200/400. I opened for 1200 in middle position holding pocket sevens and all folded to Jennifear in the big blind. Jennifear pushed all of her 4720 into the middle putting me to the test. I had her covered but I started the hand with 5665 so not by much. What do I do? Jennifear is noted for her aggressive play and I know that the big blind resteal is definitely one of her weapons but I haven’t been having much luck with the middle pocket pairs. I finally grew some stones and made the call. And , of course, what do you think she turned over? Anyone? Have you been paying attention? Of course – she turned over Ace Six, my nemesis this evening. The 6h flopped and I figured I was done, again. But no more help arrived for Jennifear and she was gone in 8th place. Now I was in second place.

That didn’t last long as Tai Pan took two very nice pots in the next two hands and told me to move over.

Hand 28 earned me the gratitude of BirdsinDirt. Two folds and Agro opened for 800, I smooth called holding pocket sevens again, BirdsinDirt called and Saffron called all-in for her last 710. The flop came Th 7h 8c – I had my set. Birdie checked and Agro bet 400, I raised it to 1000 taking Agro al-in and sending BirdsinDirt diving for cover. As I feared, Agro had Ah 4h and the flush draw. Saffron showed 6s 3c and a gut-shot straight draw. But I dodged them both and Saffron busted out in 7th place and poor Agro was bubbled in 6th. BirdsinDirt had folded and made it into the money. Good play Dirty Bird.

We have hit the money table and DonkeyStamper is still in the chip lead with 1425 but I am right behind with 13545 and Tai Pan has 13245. Hazy Cat at 8490 and BirdsinDirt with 4295 completed the table.

The money is made and Tai Pan shifted gears. Two hands later he took a 9000 chip pot off of DonkeyStamper and the chip lead. We danced and sparred for the next 15 hands until hand 45. The blinds were now 300/600 and BirdsinDirt was down to just 2245 when she open pushed with her Kc Qs. DonkeyStamper looked to have made a terrible call when he turned over Jc Td but we all know that isn’t always the case with this game. The poker gods slapped BirdsinDirt right in the kisser when the flop came Qd 9d Kd. Birdie had flopped two pair – YESSSSSSSSS. But wait a minute, DonkeyStamper flopped the straight. BirdsinDirt had to settle for 5th place money. But what a great game Birdie.

Going into hand 57, Tai Pan was the chip leader with DonkeyStamper a close second. Then the wheels came off for DonkeyStamper. Tai Pan raised him off a pot when he turned a straight. The next hand, he opened for 1900 and Hazy Cat called to see the flop come Qd 6s 4h. Hazy Cat checked and DonkeyStamper took him all in with a raise of 4400. Hazy held Qs 7s and had flopped top pair. She was happy to make the call. DonkeyStamper had semi-bluffed with big slick – Ad Ks. No help on the turn and the six on the river only added insult. DonkeyStamper was now in fourth place. The very next hand (hand 59), saw DonkeyStamper open for 2000 and Hazy Cat re-raise to 3400 – Stamper rose to the bait and made the call holding Kc Qh. The flop was Kd 5s 7s. Bingo, that was the flop DonkeyStamper was looking for. Hazy Cat bet 7700 and DonkeyStamper was happy to call going all-in. SPROING – our favorite mouser had sprung her trap. She turned over As Ac and DonkeyStamper was sent to the cashier to collect 4th place money. Stamper – very good showing, especially your first week.

With the blinds 300/600 and I was the “short stack” at 13000. 20 big blinds give you plenty of room for poker. No reason to be desperate yet. The action was solid and a lot of fun to play. Hazy Cat was gaining ground on Tai and me. By hand 79 the blinds were now 400/800 and Hazy Cat over half the chips on the table.

Hand 80 and Tai Pan opened for just 1600, Hazy Cat folded and I called the min-raise from the big blind holding Td 8s. The flop was 4d 2d Th giving me top pair. I bet 2000 and Tai Pan called. The turn was the 2c so I pushed all-in for 5205. If Tai Pan doesn’t have a deuce or a ten I should be in good shape. And I was – Tai called and turned over Qc 4c. He had read my bets as a bluff and was looking me up with second pair. But this wasn’t my night for races. The Qh came on the river and I was gone in third place.

We were heads up with Hazy Cat having the advantage 31500 to 22500. Hazy cat took the early lead with a 15000 pot on hand 84. But Tai Pan came right back the very next hand. Both were all-in pre-flop. Hazy Cat with As Kc and Tai pan with Kh Js. Folks sometimes a heads up match come down to luck and this time was a good example. Hazy Cat had the better hand and had Tai Pan dominated as well. But what can you do when your opponent has three outs and two of them show up on the flop? The flop was Jc Jd 5d. That really wasn’t a killer even though it was tough.

The killer was a classic hand. The kind that frequently decides the Holdem Affair. All-in before the flop with Hazy Cat holding 9h 8c and Tai Pan holding Td Tc. The flop came Qh Qs 5s. The turn was the Js and the river Th gave Hazy Cat her straight but it gave Tai Pan a full house. Hazy Cat had hit her hand and it wasn’t good enough.

Great game to both of you. It was good to see you back Tai Pan. Thanks for putting off taking the kids to the beach so you could play wit us. Tell them that old man in Iowa appreciated it.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Pictures - We've got Pictures




SuperrSam - dude, you have a rough night?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bugmann22j from Beginning to End

Bugmann22j showed us how it was done tonight. He led the way after the first hour and was second going into the final table. Then he stepped up his play. I thought I had him in the heads up match but I just couldn’t get it done. Hyzer22 was third. Gjones survived a brutal beat in the first hour, at the hands of my quad jacks, to come back and take fourth place. Spideytwo put on a masterful demonstration of short stack poker to fight to a fifth place finish. Maybe it was just because I was at this final table, but the action was solid and exciting.

Forty-two players sat down to contest this week’s Holdem Affair. The action is heating up on these first hour tables. I laid a brutal beat on Gjones in the early action when I saw a flop holding pocket jacks. I hit my set on the flop and Gjones caught the nut flush on the turn. A modest value bet from Gjones kept me in the hand and let me see the case jack show up on the river. We were both all-in for the showdown with Gjones covering me by 250 chips. That hand doubled me up and kick started my night but it also defined Gjones’ night. But don’t feel too bad for jonesey – he battled back to make the final table. You will hear from him again before the night is over.

Twenty-three were still alive at the first hour break. Here are your leaders.
Bugmann22j = 8890
Sunbob = 6395
Maronie47 = 6080
MdnghtSn49 = 3635
Spideytwo = 3170
lisa1433 = 3080
Von Ebb = 2910
RipleyBP = 2760
Rocknfish = 2730
Annieboom = 2455
Oh and just to let you know – Gjones was already back to 13th place with 1510.

We seated the final table just forty minutes later. This is about the standard time frame for our little group but it is interesting to note that we are dropping more in the first hour the past few weeks. Here is your final table:
Maronie47 = 16210
Bugman22j = 9465
Sunbob = 7480
lisa1433 = 5540
spideytwo = 4745
Boat Flop = 4420
Hyzer22 = 4330
Gjones = 3385 (what did I tell you?)
Von Ebb = 3295
Agro = 1540

Agro came into the final table on the shortest stack and promptly ran into an aggressive and determined Gjones who showed him to the rail. In fact it only took 8 hands for Gjones to climb into second place, largely at the expense of Maronie47 to the tune of a 3050 chip pot.

With no antes yet and the blinds 150/300, even von ebb on the shortest stack had room to play with his 3290 chips. And play he did. Hand 15 and he got it all-in with Ah Qh against pocket sixes for Gjones. Double up time for Von Ebb and the field is tightening.

Hand 19, all fold to me on the button and I raise to 900. Gjones folded and Lisa1433 pushed all-in for 5240. I read this as a re-steal, most likely with a strong ace, so as I stared at my pocket fours I figured I was ahead. I called and was sick when Lisa turned over pocket eights. Oops, I misread that one. But the poker fates were with me tonight and the 4h bailed my out on the turn. Lisa1433 was gone in 9th place.

Hand 27 and the antes have kicked in at 25 with the blinds 150/300. Boat Flop opened for 1250 and bugman22j raised to 4400 taking Boat Flop all-in with his call. Boat Flop held pocket eights but bugman22j turned over pocket tens. The Td on the flop made it official and Boat Flop settled for 8th place this week.

Hand 44 and maronie47 is still the chip leader. Gjones opened for 900 and Maronie was the only caller to see the flop come Kh Kc 8c. Maronie bet 30 and Gjones smooth called. The turn was the 9c and they both woke up. Maronie fired 2725 and Gjones called with his last 730. Maronie turned over Qc 4s, guessing right that Gjones didn’t have a king but her queen wasn’t good when Gjones showed his Ad Qd. The ace kicker doubled up Gjones and Maronie was getting reeled in a bit. Hand 47 and Spideytwo rivered a king to double up through Maronie and, though still in the lead, Maronie was losing momentum.

Hand 49 and it was spideytwo and Maronie again going to the felt. Ace/queen again for Spideytwo and he doubled again. Spideytwo was now in second place and Maronie was now in 6th place. Spideytwo took the lead on the very next hand.

Hand 51 and Maronie fought back. It was a blind battle between von ebb in the small blind and Maronie in the big blind. The flop came Js Th 7s – Von Ebb bet 3450 and Maronie pushed the rest of her 6335 into the middle . She had von ebb covered but he made the call holding Kh Jc, top pair second kicker looks good on the flop. But not good enough when your opponent turns over 8c 9c and the flopped straight. Von Ebb was gone in 7th place and Maronie was back in the lead.

We haven’t heard much from Hyzer22 at this final table but hand 54 he made his presence known. With the antes 50 and the blinds 200/400 Maronie opened for 800, Hyzer22 made the call from the small blind. The flop came Jd Qc Kd. Hyzer22 led out for 2300 and Maronie raised to 9200. Hyzer made it 9310, all-in, and Maronie was happy to call with her Qs Jh. She had flopped two pair and was feeling good about her chances. But Hyzer22 turned over Ts 9s and had flopped the straight. No miracles for Maronie and Hyzer22 doubled up to take the chip lead.

Maronie lasted until hand 61. She pushed her short stack holding Kc 6d and Gjones called from the big blind holding 7d 5d. Interesting call Gjones. And an effective call when the board ends up 7c 2c Js Qs 4c. Maronie had gone from a very dominant chip lead to out on the bubble in 6th place.

We had our money table. Hyzer22 with 21260, bugman22j 13985, spideytwo 11910, Sunbob 8470 and Gjones 7375. I told you we were gong to hear from Gjones again before the night was over.

Spideytwo had been battling for the whole final table. He had been short several times and had been very successful in pushing his way back into the game. But hand 67 he ran into a brick wall. Hyzer22 opened for 875 and Spideytwo went all-in for 11860 holding pocket queens. This is the right play if you are going to play the aggressive style that Spideytwo had adopted. If you push off the other player you win a small pot and as freely as spidey had been pushing he could easily have gotten a call from a lesser hand. But this time he did it to the chip leader and Hyzer22 was holding pocket aces. Spideytwo had to settle for 5th place money this week. Very good game S2.

Hand 73 and Gjones opened for 800 only to have bugman call from the small blind. The flop was 9c 7c Jh. Bugman bet 2200 holding Qc Jc – top pair and the flush draw. Gjones held pocket kings and pushed all 6225 into the middle with his over pair. The 2d on the turn was no help for either and it looked like the kings were going to hold. But there were just too many outs still for bugman and the Ac on the river sent Gjones to the cashier to collect the 4th place money. Very good game Gjones – you battled back in amazing fashion.

We were down to three with Hyzer being the chip leader and bugman a close second. I was a distant third. Hand 80 saw that change in a big way. Antes 75 and the blinds are now 30/600 – bugman raised to 1200 and Hyzer came along for the ride. The flop came 6h Th 6d. Hyzer checked and called a 600 bet from bugman. The turn was the 4h. Hyzer checked again and bugman pushed harder for 4425. Hyzer called that as well to see the river Kc. Hyzer checked again and then called when bugman bet 13275. Bugman turned over pocket fours for the full house. Hyzer mucked his top pair. Bugman raked in a 39825 pot to furnish that house.

Bugman finished off Hyzer on hand 87. Hyzer opened for 1200 and bugman called to see the flop - 8h 3s Td. Bugman bet 600 and Hyzer raised to 4725 – and bugman called. Interesting – what have we here? The turn was the Ah, bugman bet 600 and Hyzer pushed 3095. Gee, do you think Hyzer might have an ace? Will bugman come along for the ride? Yep, he made the call and we got to see the cards. Hyzer had more than the ace, he had a ten to go with it. Top two pair. Excellent hand in this position. When you have more chips than the rest of the table combined you can gamble a bit and that is what bugman did on this hand. He turned over 9d 7c – the open ended straight draw. Quite the gamble Bugman – and it paid off when the Jd showed on the river to fill that straight. Hyzer was gone in 3rd place.

We were down to heads up. Bugman and me. You have seen my name much in this report so far. Actually this was a strange final table for me. For the most part I was pretty card dead and on those few occasions when I did hit a hand I couldn’t get anyone to play with me. I basically survived on timely thievery and the occasional made hand. But now I had my work cut out for me. Bugman had 52000 chips to my 10000. We sparred for 17 hands where I made on a very modest impact on bugman. Then hand 105 saw me get a hand. As Qh and I raised to 1200, bugman pushed back for 3750 and I thought – Whoopee – as I pushed my piddling stack into the middle. Bugman turned over Kd Qs. I caught and Ac on the flop and I now had the chip lead. Two hands later and I am looking down at a very beautiful As Kh. Good to see you slick. Let’s see if we can get some action. I raised to 1200 and bugman pushed all 30610. Well, we got our action but that isn’t quite what I had in mind. I like to be the one going all-in with slick, not calling the all-in. But, of course, you have to make the call in this situation. When bugman turned over Ac Qc and I saw I had him dominated, I figured I had this one won. I’m actually going to pull this one off. The flop came 5d 5h 8s and I was looking good. Then the turn brought another 8 and I realized bugman had gotten away. We were going to split the pot unless I hit an ace. I was disappointed but – hey – that’s poker. I’ll just have to get him on the next hand. The one thing I didn’t expect of course happened. The Qd showed up on the river and gave bugman the higher two pair. That was the deciding hand. I actually lasted eight more hands but it was done after that hand.

Great game Bugman22j and to all of the rest of you who I joined at the final table. That was one of the best played final tables I have ever experienced. The level of play in the Holdem Affair is truly amazing. We have come a long way in two years.