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.

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