Sunday, October 29, 2006

VegasSno Strikes Again

The mongoose and the cobra squared off in the heads up match this evening. It was a match up that is destined to become an instant classic. VegasSno and Rankdizzle put on quite a show for those of us on the rail when they went head-to-head for 46 hands. VegasSno had been holding a comfortable lead when the table was down to three, but when Rankdizzle knocked out Glenso the chip stacks were nearly even – VegasSno with 41450 and Rankdizzle with 39550. The cobra won this time striking a venomous blow on the final hand. VegasSno was our winner. With a field of 54 we paid eight this week with VegasSno taking the honors, followed by Rankdizzle, Glenso, Evil Crusher, Smurfette, KOR, DebiMac, and NikDomi.

Yes, we had 54 playing tonight and I made an early exit going out in 49th place. Oh well, I’m just giving all of you a false sense of hope going into the Birthday Bash. We were down to 37 at the first hour break and here are your leaders.
DebiMac = 5445
KennyJ37 = 5175
Maronie47 = 5075
Glenso = 4570
Hazy Cat = 4155
Rankdizzle = 4090
Nik Domi = 3500
rshocker = 3160
Lil Mem = 3055
MagikCowboy = 3000

It took the whole next hour to cut this group down to 15 players. This large field makes for a lot of action. At the second hour break your leader board looked like this.
Rankdizzle = 11560
Mellow Yellow = 10425
KOR = 9690
DebiMac = 8685
Avata = 6670
Glenso = 6150
VegasSno = 5610
MagikCowboy = 5480
Smurfette = 4605
evilCrusher = 2985

Finally, after nearly 2 and a half hours your final table was set. Mellow Yellow had taken a big hit and actually busted out in 11th place during this time. One of the most notable hands occurred when we were down to 13 players left in the Holdem Affair. Glenso was our chip leader and was cruising along in control when he found himself taking KOR all-in. Glenso had big slick and KOR had pocket jacks. The flop came 4JT giving KOR his set. The turn twisted that around with the queen that gave Glenso his straight. KOR was ready to call it a night when the river produced the case Jack giving KOR quads and the pot. With the turn of one card, KOR had gone from the rail to the chip leader. KOR kept that lead going into the final table and for quite awhile it looked like that was going to be the decisive hand in the event.

Your final table looked like this.
KOR = 14805
VegasSno = 14320
Rankdizzle = 11270
DebiMac = 10160
Smurfette = 8260
Glenso = 7410
evilCrusher = 4870
Nik Domi = 4760
Avata = 3845
Tai Pan = 1300

With the antes 75 and the blinds 300/600, Tai Pan knew he had to come out firing. He was all-in on the very first hand and split the pot with DebiMac. Then on the third hand he pushed his Ac Qs and was called by KOR holding Ad 5s. It looked good for Tai but the board ended up 3h 3d Th 9h 5h. Tai got rivered and sent off in 10th place.

Avata was in the same position and actually won the next two hands doubling up once off KOR. Then on hand 7, Avata pushed big slick only to be called by DebiMac holding pocket jacks. The turn brought the jack of diamonds and Avata was gone in 9th place. We usually pay five in this event so I don’t know if many of the players realized that we now had our money table. That was a very quick bubble.

We don’t know what happened to Nik Domi but he had been disconnected when we went to the final table and blinded out in 8th place on hand 22.

The battle was on for the next 25 hands. VegasSno and Rankdizzle seemed to get the best of this run of hands. DebiMac appeared to have gone stone cold with her cards. KOR was active but hit a series of second best hands that hit his stack pretty hard. Then, on hand 47, DebiMac posted the 1200 big blind with only 9050 chips left in her armament. VegasSno was the only challenger and they saw the cheap flop fall 8d Kc Td. DebiMac held 8c 2c and bet out 3875. VegasSno raised to 15500 taking Deb all-in with her call. VegasSno turned over Kh Jd for top pair. The kings held up and DebiMac was done for the night in 7th place.

Just two hands later, KOR was in the small blind with 6800 and posting a 600 blind. He looked down and saw Ac Kc staring back at him and, joy of joy, Glenso pushed all of his 7995 into the middle ahead of him. Not a problem for KOR, he will gladly push his 6675 into the middle with slick. The flop was brutal showing 8s Tc Ah. KOR had hit his ace but Glenso had his set. The turn Kd only added to the suspense. Now KOR could boat up and win this hand. But the river 9c wasn’t what KOR was looking for. Sixth place was the honors. Very well done.

Five players with healthy chip stacks make for a lively table for the next two orbits. VegasSno was the chip leader but it was Rankdizzle in second place that was pushing the action. That is the Dizzle game. He will push every edge he sees. Hand 61 was no exception. All fold to Rankdizzle in the small blind and he holds 5h 5c. He raised to 4225. But Smurfette was in the big blind with a hand of her own – Ah Jc. She responded by pushing all of the 6685 left in her stack into the middle. Rankdizzle made the call. The flop hit Smurfette hard with Jd Js 2d – she flopped trips. It was not looking good for Rankdizzle but the pain was short lived because the turn brought the 5d and Rank had a full house. Smurfette had fought hard but had to settle for 5th place.

We were down to four with VegasSno in the lead and Rankdizzle right behind him. EvilCrusher was third and Glenso was the short stack with just 10BB in his stack. With the antes now 125 and the blinds 600/1200, just stealing the blinds meant a chip infusion for the short stacks. But Vegas and Rank were playing power poker pushing when they entered the pot. There wasn’t much room for Glenso and evilCrusher to move. Then on hand 72 Rankdizzle pushed all 28230 into the middle UTG. This play had been successfully stealing the blinds for Rank but this time Glenso rose to the challenge with his 7520 and made the call holding pocket tens. Time to make my stand he seemed to be saying. But that was okay with Rank because this time he wasn’t raising with smoke – he held Ad Kd, big slick and suited. The flop was low but with two of Rank’s diamonds - 9d 2d 2s. The turn was the 8c and Rankdizzle still had plenty of outs. But the 6h was no help. Glenso doubled up and was back in the game. Hand 78 and evilCrusher won a nice pot off VegasSno to get healthy. This game was getting very interesting. Hand 82 and VegasSno took most of those chips back from evilCrusher.

Hand 87 – VegasSno said “good luck to anyone who calls this” and pushed from UTG. EvilCrusher said he would accept that challenge and pushed in his 10180. Crusher had Ah Tc but VegasSno had As Qs. The Qc on the flop was all Vegas needed to send evilCrusher off to the lounge to collect his fourth place money. Great game evilCrusher.

Down to three handed and VegasSno had more than half the chips in play. Hand 93 and Glenso was down to 8090 posting the 1600 big blind. Rankdizzle pushed to open and Glenso called with Qh 7c. Rankdizzle turned over Tc Jd. Looking good for Glenso, but the flop was Ts 6c Kd hitting Rankdizzle for second pair. Glenso had plenty of outs but none of then materialized and we were going into the heads up match.

When Rank knocked out Glenso that consolidated the two smaller stacks and we were actually almost even going into heads up. The heads up match lasted 46 hands. Early on VegasSno was inching ahead and then Rankdizzle pulled him back. Hand 108 VegasSno won a large pot and gained a little ground. They battled for another 20 hands or so essentially staying even. VegasSno was pulling away but it was very gradual. Finally on hand 139 we had a winner. And it was a fitting hand to end the match. A classic example of the type of hands that we were seeing this evening. All the money was in before the flop. VegasSno held 8s 8h and Rankdizzle Ac Th. The race was on. The flop hit Rankdizzle with Ts 6c Kd. Those tens were looking good when the turn showed the 3s. But that pesky river card is such a heart breaker. The 8d gave VegasSno the set and the win.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Glenso Gets #4

Glenso showed us again why he is such a respected opponent in tournament play, posting his fourth Holdem Affair victory. He wasn’t the chip leader when we sat down to the final table, that was rshocker He wasn’t even the chip leader when we got down to the money table, that was Takechances. But when the final hand was finished, Glenso was the only one left. Takechances was the heads up foil this week. Gjones was third, rshocker had to settle for fourth. And a new name appeared at the final table this week when coop1 finished out the money table.

There were 37 players this week. A good size for the regular Holdem Affair. Let’s shoot to get everyone back for the birthday bash November 4. We had 100 last year, let’s beat that this year.

I’m afraid I missed the early part of this week’s event. I was playing in a home game and didn’t get back until the final table had been seated. Oh, just for you who might wonder, I took second in our little home game. Jewelcard took me in the heads up match when he spiked a queen to take down my pocket jacks. At least we kept it in the Holdem Affair family.

It must have been quite a match – the final table wasn’t seated until 3 hours into the match. Your final table looked like this.
rshocker = 8580
Takechances = 6990
xgames4me = 6795
gjones = 6025
Coop1 = 5730
Dissident11 = 5590
Mellow Yellow = 4910
Glenso = 4895
Divinetiger = 3865
VegasSno = 2120

Look at that. All of them had workable stacks. With the blinds 150/300, only VegasSno went into the final table remotely short stacked and even he had enough to play with. This was shaping up to be a good final table and it didn’t disappoint those of us on the rail.

They danced for the first four hands, feeling each other out. Then on hand 5, VegasSno in the big blind, called the min-raise from rshocker. When the flop came 2d 9h 8h, VegasSno immediately pushed. Rshocker made the gutsy call holding just Ac Qc, two over cards. He made the right play, VegasSno turned over Qh Js. With only the gut-shot straight draw, I guess you could say Vegas had made a semi-bluff. It cost him this time when the board finished up 8h, 2s and the ace from rshocker held up.

Hand 14 and we are at it again. This time Dissident11 opened for 900 and it was xgames4me that looked him up. The flop was 7s 2c 8h, xgames bet 1950 and Dissident pushed the rest of his 4090 stack into the middle. Dissident11 showed Jd Qd and xgames4me showed Kd 5d. That’s a lot of chips on total bluffs, guys. The turn hit Dissident11 with the Jh and the river clobbered xgames4me with the Kc. Dissident was gone in 9th place. That one haunted Dissident for the rest of the night and boosted xgames into the chip lead.

That lead didn’t last long, just seven hands later Takechances doubled up off xgames4me when his pocket tens bested the pocket sixes. That hand put Takechances in the chip lead but also was the beginning of the melt down for xgames. Hand 29 five people see the cheap flop fall 5h 5c 2s. xgames4me bet 700 and Takechances was the only caller. The turn brought the 3h, xgames bet 1400 and Takechances made the simple call. When the river brought the Ac, xgames pushed for 3695. You can’t fault xgames for the play. The ace is definitely a scare card the way the hand played out and a steal at that point should work against anything but a made hand. Unfortunately for xgames, Takechances held pocket fours and the ace had filled his wheel straight. Xgames4me had gone from chip leader to out in 8th place in just eight hands.

We cruised to hand 42 and now we had antes of 50 and blinds of 200/400. Mellow Yellow was desperate but the others had solid stacks. All folded to Glenso in the small blind who raised to 1550. Divinetiger pushed in his 5340 on the re-steal. Glenso isn’t above stealing with any two cards in that spot so pushing with king deuce suited isn’t a bad play. But one of the reasons that you try the steals with smoke even though you will have to lay it down if you have any resistance is to set up the times when you do have a hand. This was one of those times. Glenso happily made the call and turned over Ad Qh. That, alone would have been enough but the flop brought the Ac just to seal the deal. Divinetiger was gone in seventh place.

Hand 44 and Mellow Yellow just couldn’t wait it out any longer. With only 835 before he anted 50 and posted the 400 big blind, he was forced to push it all to see the flop along with gjones and Glenso. They checked it down to see the board fall 3s 5d 4s 4c 9s. All three held an ace but gjones held the king for top kicker. Mellow Yellow was out on the bubble this week.

Our money table was set, with Takechances in the lead with 18125 followed by Glenso, rshocker, gjones and Coop1. Coop1 was feeling short by hand 51 when he posted the big blind and saw the cheap flop pair his ten. His kicker was just the 2c but he pushed the Js 9h Th. Rshocker made the call holding Qh 9c. Oops, second pair versus third pair. Looking good for Coop. But, as happens so often in these races, the river card was the decider and it was the Qd this time that sent Coop1 to the rail.

They battled for the next fifty hands. I didn’t see any wild or big hands, just the steady bump and grind of good solid tournament poker. This is really where Glenso won the tournament, in my opinion. He won more of the small pots and was successful more often with his steals. By hand 101 he had most of the chips, with 25920. Takechances was running with him at 15250. gjones and rshocker were getting the worst of it dwindling to 7025 and 7305 respectively. The antes were now 100 and the blinds 400/800.

The blinds caught up with rshocker on hand 103. Glenso and Rshocker saw the flop come 8c Jd 4d. Rshocker fired 2400 and Glenso called. The turn was the 7h and that was good enough for Rshocker to fire again for the rest of his stack. Rshocker turned over Kh 4c for bottom pair. That pair was good though. Glenso made the call holding Ad 9d. He had a straight draw and a flush draw but nothing when he called. But he had a lot of outs and one of them showed up on the river in the form of the Th for the gut-shot straight. Rshocker was sent to the lounge in 4th place.

We are down to three and gjones is noted for his short stack play. He didn’t disappoint his fans but just couldn’t make a come back this week. Hand 133 found him posting the 1200 big blind with just 2675 left in his quiver. Takechances opened to take him all-in and he really was forced to call holding a meager Js 7c. TC showed Ad 5d. The board actually flushed Takechances and gjones settled for third place money this week.

Heads up and the stacks are both solid. Glenso with 30300 and Takechances with 25200. Takechances took the first three pots and captured the chip lead by hand 137. Glenso took it back by hand 141 by just 1000 chips. That set up hand 142. TC raised to 5100 and Glenso pushed. Takechances called and turned over Td 6c only to see Glenso was holding Ad Ks. The flop hit TC with 8s Th 3c and he looked like a genius. But the turn Kh was all Glenso needed to put this one in the books. Glenso had entered the final table in eighth place but ended up claiming his fourth Holdem Affair title.

Another great week. I wish I had been able to play.

Don’t forget the BIG BASH – NOVEMBER 4TH.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Blizzard Called VegasSno

A blizzard blew east out of the Mojave Dessert tonight wiping out players from Texas to Iowa and on to Canada. VegasSno imposed his considerable talent on the final table of the Holdem Affair this evening and it was a chilling event to experience. He led when we sat down at the final table and, though several of us tried to quiet the storm, his pressure froze everyone in his path to ice this victory. I was the heads up victim. Unionthug was third. Annieboom was fourth. And our favorite gal from New Orleans, Nutzrus, came back from nearly dead to complete the money table. I’ll be talking more of the amazing play of one of our original members but let it be known that Nutzrus started the final table with only 995 chips and like a Mardi Gras parade, wound her way through the crowd to finish in fifth place.

It was a large field for the Holdem Affair this week.. Forty-eight players sat down to do battle. A wild first hour found only 28 left at the tables. It was two hours into the event when we seated the final table. VegasSno had been working his chilling magic at this table during this time. Our favorite shark, the Tiburon, was feeding well and looking good when we got to this point. I had been down the first hour only to go on a rush that happened to go against Jennifear to knock her out early in the second hour and briefly put me into the chip lead. Then I was moved to a new table and four second best hands in a row put me in the ropes. By the time we got to the final table I was in the middle of the pack. Here is your final table.

VegasSno = 10030
the Tiburon = 9220
Houn = 9050
Unionthug = 9030
Amkaos = 8585
Sunbob = 8570
Hazy Cat = 6910
johnfitz52 = 3440
annieboom = 3170
nutzrus = 995

Watch that short stack. For those of you have haven’t met nutzrus before, she is actually one of the Holdem Affair originals. Welcome back Nutzy, it has been too long. Nutzrus more than doubled up on the second hand of the final table. A 2590 chip pot off Unionthug put her solidly into the action.

Johnfitz52 got hit hard on hand 11 when his AKo ran into Unionthug holding Ad Ac. As a result of that hand johnfitz52 was our first victim on hand 12. Ac Jh ran into the Tiburon with pocket jacks and Johnfitz52 was out the door. Running into back to back dominating pairs will do that to you.

Hand 13 and Houn opened for 1200. I raised to 3400 and Houn pushed the rest of his 6375 into the middle. Houn turned over pocket queens but I was holding kings. A 13000 chip pot vaulted me to the chip lead and Houn to the rail in 9th place.

Hand 18 found annieboom pushing pocket jacks and Hazy Cat looking her up holding Ah Kh. Not a single heart, ace or king for Hazy Cat and he was gone in 8th place.

Hand 19 and we have the Tiburon pushing all-in holding 4s 4c. VegasSno barely had him covered and made the call with Ah Qc. The flop came 5d Jd 3d and Tiburon was looking good. The Ks on the turn and our shark was still swimming strong. But the Tc on the river gave VegasSno the runner/runner straight and the Tiburon was done for the night in 7th place. This game can be so cruel.

Hand 27 and VegasSno had the chip lead with 21530. Unionthug was in second with 19320 and I was third with 16895. Amkaos was in 5th place with a stack of 5235. I looked down at Ac Kh and opened for 2850 in the small blind when everyone folded to me. A simple blind steal was in my mind. But Amkaos held Ks Qh and read me for a steal. He pushed it all to the middle to make the call. No magic queen for Amkaos and a king on the river sealed the hand for me sending Amkaos to the lounge in 6th place. Our money table was set.
Sunbob = 23030
VegasSno = 21455
Unionthug = 19245
annieboom = 4075
nutzrus = 1195

Do you see that name on the bottom of the list? That New Orleans gal had very quietly made her way to the money table. Nothing grand after the second hand. Just a simple steal here and a judicious fold there, and she wound her way through the action to a paycheck. Finally on hand 33 of the final table nutzrus was all-in with the big blind holding a modest 2s 9c. Annieboom made the call with Kd 8h. The flop brought a K and an eight and the river another eight to make it clear that nutzrus was done for the night. Fifth place and a money win was a fitting end for our friend’s return to action.

By hand 39 I had a commanding chip lead with almost half the chips in play. Then, the very next hand, Annieboom picked off my pocket nines with her pocket aces and I was brought down a notch. I took four of the next seven hands, though, and was trying to run away with it.

Then hand 47, the antes 100 and the blinds 400/800. Annieboom pushed her last 3565 into the middle holding pocket sevens. VegasSno made the call from the big blind with Ah Qh. No help for Vegas on the flop and turn. Annie was looking good. Then the river As brought her exit. Fourth place for annieboom this week. Excellent game.

The three of us battled for the next 32 hands. At one point Unionthug rivered a straight and doubled up though me to knock me out of the chip lead and put him back into the action. Finally hand 70. Vegas folded and I raised from the small blind to 1600. Unionthug re-raised to 5100 on what I read as a re-steal. I held Ac Td and moved in on him. Unionthug made the call for his stack holding Qd 9d. The flop missed us both but the turn brought a second diamond for Unionthug. I had visions of being flushed on the river but it was the Jh. Right color but wrong shape. Unionthug was our third place finisher.

Heads up we were pretty equal. I had 36655 and VegasSno 32345. We swapped a few small pots then I took a 10,000 chip pot to take the lead on hand 76. I did the same on hand 77 and it looked like the momentum had shifted. We waltzed to hand 86 and then I fell in love with my AKo and called a push with the table showing 5d 4c Th. Yep, VegasSno turned over Ah 5s for bottom pair. That really was the deciding hand. I battled hard but just couldn’t get it back. Hand 94 I thought I had Vegas when the Qs 7c 4c flop hit my 7d Ac. But VegasSno had Qc 9h for top pair and we were done for the night. VegasSno had his second Holdem Affair trophy and I was done.

It was a great night. The final table of the Holdem Affair is some of the best tournament play I see all week. After two years of regular practice we have developed a pool of players who are in command of their game. Thank you all for the pleasure to play with you.

Remember to get your ideas to Marti for the Anniversary Bash. And don’t miss the action. We want to be over 100 for that night. Let’s make it happen.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Stevob19 in a Cruel Test

In what had to be one of the wildest Holdem Affair events Stevob19 came through to take home the honors. Poker can be a cruel, cruel game. Tonight the poker gods were messing with us big time. I’m not just talking about bad beats but the kind of hands where someone is ahead on the flop only to be totally dominated on the turn and then hit his 2 or 3 outer on the river to take the hand. You can be cruising along at the final table with what looks like an insurmountable chip lead and the next thing you know you are watching from the rail wondering what happened. That was the action tonight.

KennyJ37 went into the final table with a solid chip lead but by hand 22 we were down to seven and ThePokerWolf had taken the lead. When we hit the money table over 50 hands later Wolf was still sitting comfortably and Stevob19 and VegasSno were the short stacks. But who ended up in the heads up match? Why Stevob19 and VegasSno, of course. Stevob19 claimed the honors and VegasSno earned second place. KennyJ37 took down the third place money. ThePokerWolf had to settle for fourth and newcomer Bella13 proudly claimed her fifth place money.

It seemed like there were several stories of cruel, if not bad, beats tonight. I’ll pass on just one to save my poor readers the anguish but give you an idea of how the tables were falling this evening. This one occurred early in the second hour. Glenso was battling to stay alive when he found himself all-in before the flop against ThePokerWolf. Glenso held QJs and Wolf turned over AK. Oops, Glenso was in big trouble. But the poker gods smiled on him and flopped QJx for two pair. Glenso was alive and looking to double up. The turn was another brick sent only to tease Glenso as the smile on those poker demons faces turned to laughter when the Ts hit the river giving ThePokerWolf the straight and Glenso his walking papers. Yes, I know, that is technically not a bad beat but it was cruelty of the highest order. That is what this night was like.

We had 36 players this week and we were down to 20 by the first hour break. I was still in the action but 20th place was the best I could muster. Here is your leader board.
Agro = 6535
burldog44 = 6175
KennyJ37 = 5665
Big Lar8 = 4280
Bella13 = 4140
Hazy Cat = 3065
VegasSno = 2720
ThePokerWolf = 2610
Stevob19 = 2490
Glenso = 2240

And twentieth place it was for me as I busted out very early in the second hour this week. It was a tough table for several of the regulars as Big Lar8, Agro, even Jennifear failed to survive the next hour to make it to the final table. Here is your final table seated just short of the second hour break.
KennyJ37 = 13785
ThePokerWolf = 7180
VegasSno = 6590
Goodtime Chas = 6550
Johnfitz52 = 6495
Hazy Cat = 4340
Bella13 = 4075
Stevob19 = 2590
burldog44 = 2095
Marti = 300

At first glance it looks like Marti is going to be the first one to fall from the final table but anyone who knows Marti knows that she can play the short stack better than just about anyone else in the Holdem Affair. On the very first hand it was bella13 and burldog44 all-in when the flop came 7c 9d 7s. Burldog44 held 9h 5h and had hit top pair. That was good enough for the push but Bella13 was sleeping in the corner with As Ad and trapped our favorite puppy. Burldog44 was our first victim on this final table.

Stevob19 started out in 8th place with a mediocre stack but wasted no time in making his presence known. He won the next two hands including doubling up off Johnfitz52 to climb back into the action.

Hand 4 and we have Marti making her stand from the big blind holding Ks Jc. Hazy Cat went after our hostess with a miserable 2d 4s from the small blind. When the flop came 9d 2c 4d we knew it was time for Marti to watch from the rail. What a flop.

Hand 21 and Goodtime Chas opened for 1250 only to see ThePokerWolf call. The flop came Ac 4c Jh, Wolf checked raised Chas and they were all-in for the turn. Goodtime Chas turned over As 5s for top pair but ThePokerWolf showed pocket aces for the win. Goodtime Chas was gone in 8th place.

VegasSno pulled down a nice pot and then Bella followed with her own pot. Just four hands later, we saw Hazy Cat open for 1225 and Stevob19 push in response from the big blind. So Hazy, is this a re-steal? You’ve seen Stevob19 make this play before. That just might have occurred to Hazy Cat because he made the call holding Kd Tc. Oops, Stevob19 turned over pocket kings. The mouser was dominated and in big trouble. The board didn’t bring enough help for Hazy Cat and he was gone in 7th place.

Bubble time. Who is going home penniless tonight? As is so often the case at bubble time the play tightened up considerably. Several players attempted to push the action but they just traded blinds for the next 30 hands. The battle was on and Bella doubled up through Stevob19 on hand 53. But it was hand 69, forty-three hands after Hazy Cat but the dust, Johnfitz52 pushed his 2380 chips from the small blind when all folded to him. ThePokerWolf was the big blind, and he made the call holding Kc Qd. Johnfitz turned over Qs 8s. The table matched up the queen but both held that and it was the king in ThePokerWolf hand that sent johnfitz52 off to the lounge without any money.

We now had our money table. ThePokerWolf held the lead with 17335, KennyJ37 was a close second. Stevob19 was a ways back in third with VegasSno close on his heels. Newcomer Bella13 was our short stack with 5435.

Bella made her stand on hand 75. A smooth call gave her a cheap flop heads up with VegasSno. The flop was 9d Qh 5d. Vegas pushed immediately taking Bella all-in with her call. Bella held Kd Qs for top pair, Vegas had pushed the flush draw holding just Jd 4d. It wasn’t looking good for VegasSno until the turn hit him hard with the 2d. Vegas hit his flush and our beautiful lady was gone in 5th place.

By hand 80 the field was very tight with less than 6000 chips separating first from fourth. It truly was anyone’s game to win and with the antes 75 and the blinds 300/600 there was still room to play. This wasn’t shaping up to be an all-in luck fest. VegasSno slipped a bit only to double up through KennyJ37 on hand 84 to get back into the mix. That put Kenny in a short position. Then hand 89 the blinds went up to 400/800. Kenny pushed the small blind steal only to have Stevob19 look him up. Kenny had pushed with “any two”, Js 4d. Stevob19 had him dominated with Ac Jh. But what did I say earlier about poker being a cruel game? The flop missed them both but the turn hit Kenny in the one live card he held. Double up time for Kenny and now Stevob19 was our short stack.

Hand 92 and Stevob19 took a run at the pot only to have VegasSno re-steal with an all-in. Steve was getting even shorter. Hand 98 and his Ad Jc went up against ThePokerWolf with Ah Th. That was good for a double up and he was back ion the game and Wolf was now hurting. Are you getting the idea that any one of these four could win at this stage? I just love these kinds of final tables.

Hand 104 and ThePokerWolf is down to only 7215. Stevob19 opened UTG for 3200 and the Wolf chose this time to make his stand. Ah 2s is good enough he said. Stevob19 called with pocket threes and hoped for the best. No aces showed up this hand and ThePokerWolf was sent to his den in 4th place.

That vaulted Steve into the chip lead. Steveob19 then started to pressure, but VegasSno and KennyJ37 showed they were up to the test. The field tightened over the next 10 hands. But pressure is a key ingredient if you are going to win the Holdem Affair. Hand 114 and Kenny pushed holding just 4s 8s. Stevob19 made the call with Ad 6h. The flop brought the As for Steve but the turn was the 9s to give Kenny the flush draw. It looked for a second that those fickle poker gods were going to laughing at us again. But the Jh came bobbing down the river and KennyJ37 was our third place finisher.

Stevob19 had survived the money table war to get heads up with VegasSno and a 2.5:1 chip lead. That was just too much for VegasSno to overcome and it was just six hands later when Vegas pushed with Ac 6s only to have Stevob19 turn over big slick. The flop was 9h 7s 8d and Vegas had the straight draw. It looked for a moment that he just might double up after all. But those mean poker fates were just messing with his head. No straight for Vegas and Stevob19, a final table regular, had posted his first Holdem Affair victory.

What a great final table. I just wish I could have been sitting closer than the rail to get in on that action. See you all soon.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Papoorboy at the Dance

Well, this isn’t the Sunday night “big game” where our friend has shone before, but this is where Papoorboy (aka Kate Starbird) likes to hang out on Saturday night.  He is always a force to contend with.  Some nights I think he has a tougher time than some of us mere mortals.  He certainly isn’t able to sneak up on anyone in the Holdem Affair.  He is one of the select players that everyone makes note of as they take theirs seats on Saturday night.  Tonight he was on his game.  Eleventh place at the first hour break, seventh place when we seated the final table - Papoorboy wasn’t flashy.  He was just playing solid, tournament poker.  That is when he is at his scariest, if you ask me, and tonight he showed us why.  Because when the dust cleared from the dance that we watched at the final table, it was Papoorboy going home with the prize.

Winforlife, with some help from a double up off me in the very first orbit, took second place.  VegasSno, Maronie47 and Dissident11 rounded out the money table.

Only 28 of the original 39 were still alive when we took the first hour break.  Here is your leaderboard:
  1. winforlife = 6090

  2. VegasSno = 5225

  3. Jennifear = 5150

  4. MdnghtSn49 = 4415

  5. Takechances = 4335

  6. Maronie47 = 3230

  7. Hazy Cat = 2700

  8. VictorDave = 2280

  9. Dissident11 = 2270

  10. Bigmiko = 2000

It only took 40 minutes to pare this group down to the final table.  Sounds to me like the action is getting vicious in the Holdem Affair.  Takechances rode his aggressive style to the lead when we sat down at the final table.
  1. Takechances = 9880

  2. Dissident11 = 9185

  3. winforlife = 8460

  4. Maronie47 = 7810

  5. Jennifear = 5960

  6. MdnghtSn49 = 5010

  7. Papoorboy = 4170

  8. VegasSno = 3645

  9. CowboyWillie = 2500

  10. VictorDave = 1880

We broke quickly at this table.  Hand 10 saw some wild action when three people found themselves all-in before the flop.  MdnghtSn49 shows Kd Qs.  winforlife shows Tc Ts.  VictorDave shows Js Jd.  Wow, what a situation.  The flop came As Ks 2c and MdnightSn49 looked to be brilliant.  But the turn was the Th giving winforlife the set.  That was the deciding card and we were suddenly down to 8.  Officially MdnghtSn49 finished in 10th place and VictorDave in 9th.

Hand 18 and we had another wild hand.  This time it was Jennifear and Papoorboy providing the action in a battle of the blinds.  All folded to Jen in the small blind who just completed to see the cheap flop with Papoorboy.  The flop came 4c 5c 7s.  Jen bet out 300 a minimum bet and apparently Papoorboy saw that as weakness because he pushed all 6110 into the middle.  Jennifear didn’t believe him and made the call holding 3d 7c.  They both had virtually equal stacks so this one was going to be fatal to someone.  Jen had top pair and the gut shot draw.  Pa turned over 2s 3h for the open ended straight draw.  The Kc came on the turn and the river decided the hand with the Ad.  Papoorboy hit his straight and Jennifear was gone in 8th place.

That hand put Papoorboy into the chip lead but you couldn’t say it decided the match.  Winforlife was only 700 chips behind Pa and this was still a race.  In fact CowboyWillie doubled up through Papoorboy the very next hand and put winforlife back into the lead.

A couple hands later and Dissident is up there with the leaders.  The Papoorboy took a good pot from Dissident and he regained the chip lead.  This dance went on for much of the final table.  Along the way some casualties occurred.  CowboyWillie ran into Papoorboy on hand 30.  Willie had Ac Jd but Papoorboy was one better with Ah Qs.  A low board missed them both and Willie was sent off in 7th place.

Maronie joined the dance as did VegasSno.  By hand 36 the six remaining were making it quite a match.  Then Papoorboy opened for 1525 and Takechances woke up with big slick Ac Ks in the big blind.  Oh man, what a problem.  The chip leader has opened claiming a good hand.  But he is noted for his steals.  TC was in the big blind with that hand that reminds you of that girl in high school.  So much beauty and so little substance.  All-in was the play and the race was on.  Papoorboy turned over pocket sevens.  Te flop came Ts Th Jh and the sevens were holding on.  But Takechances still had those over cards.  All he needed was an ace or a king to fall.  The turn was the 9h.  Ok, TC, last card to hit your ace or king.  And there it was – the king of hearts on the river.  Takechances had hit his top pair.  But wait, what is this?  That pot is going to Papoorboy.  That can’t be right.  Oh man, that king of hearts gave Papoorboy the flush.  Tough way to go out TC.  And on the bubble also. Takechances was gone in 6th place and our money table was set.

Papoorboy was in a commanding chip lead now.  22595 and winforlife was second with 10655.  Hand 47 and Dissident11 found himself locked up with VegasSno.  Diss had Ac Js and VegasSno held pocket sevens, all-in before the flop.  The flop hit Dissident with a jack but the turn brought a seven of hearts for VegasSno.  That didn’t put out Dissident but basically mortally wounded him.  Down to 1870 with the blinds 300/600, he was all-in the very next hand.  Maronie had opened the hand and Papoorboy had called them both to see the flop come three diamonds, jack, three and eight.  Maronie pushed the rest of her stack into the middle on the flop and didn’t succeed in running off Papoorboy.  We saw the hands now:
Dissident11 shows 8c Kc. – second pair.
Papoorboy shows Js 9s. – top pair
MARONIE47 shows Kh Qd. – flush draw.  What will the turn and river bring?  The answer was the 5s and the 4c.  The top pair held up.  Papoorboy had knocked out two more.  Maronie finished 4th and Dissident 5th.

Papoorboy now had 31490 chips, VegasSno 18580 and Winforlife 8430.  Like the extended dénouement of a B movie, you got the feeling you knew how this one was going to end but it was going to take awhile to get there.  But not so quick, oh jaded one.  Winforlife doubled up on hand 57 when his pocket kings crushed Papoorboy and it looked like we may have a match after all.  On the very next hand VegasSno took a chunk out of Papoorboy and we had a dead heat again.

Then Papoorboy won the next six hands and took back command of the table.  They battled to hand 82.  Ten long minutes of dancing with Papoorboy slowly pulling away.  Then Papoorboy raised to 2735 from the small blind and VegasSno tried to re-steal with a bet of 8505.  Papoorboy pushed back taking VegasSno all-in.  Vegas 9c 8h and Papoorboy Ac 5d.  Vegas had not made that bad of a play.  I think he is only about 60/40 there and when the flop came 6d Jc 8d he looked to be a genius.  But as poker can be so cruel.  The Ad on the turn was the deciding card and VegasSno was done for in 3rd place.

Winforlife last only two hands in the heads up.  A quick ending to what had become a brilliantly played final table.

Great game all of you.