"When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it - don't back down and don't give up - then you're going to mystify a lot of folks." - Bob DylanAnother lazy spring Sunday night. Another chance to send a fellow blogger to Las Vegas via Poker Stars, along with last week's winner Bobby Bracelet. I can't take credit for that nickname. Derek coined it in his blog this past week. He should get all the credit. It's a fitting nickname. So who was going to go to the big dance this week? I liked my chances. I hadn't made the final table of a MTT in a long time. Everytime I sign up for a tournament, I always say the same thing, "I'm gonna win this fucker." That's my attitude. I expect to win every time I sit down to play poker. Well, with the exception of Razz and at blogger tables on Party Poker. Regardless, I was ready.
63 bloggers signed up for the $30 buy in WPBT event on Poker Stars. That's the cool site that employs Otis and the kick ass site that paid me a lot of cash for sending them players last month. Here comes the plug... If you don't have a Poker Stars account, you are making a mistake. Sign up today. They are sending hundreds of online players like yourself to the World Series of Poker. Shit, we send two bloggers the last two Sundays to the $1,500 event and that's where we play most of the WPBT events. OK, my daily whoring is over. Let's get to the write up.
The Players:7:01pm EST... 63 players. 1 seat. $390 to second place. I was pumped and happy not to be at the same table as my brother.
Seat 1: Lefty... He often gets confused for CJ. Well, that's pretty easy since they are twins. Real twins, not like the April Sisters. Brothers of bloggers have been doing well on the WPBT and time will tell if Lefty can make a run representing the Up for Poker clan.
Seat 2: Dr. Pauly... He's the egomaniac and a former bond trader on Wall Street who failed miserably as a television writer in Hollyweird. At one time had to support himself as an ice cream man and now gets ridiculous sums of cash writing half-baked articles that are only read by Canadians, degenerate gamblers, and "really wasted college students." For some reason hundreds of people happily ingest his daily rubbish on hackneyed topics ranging from the spoiled Hilton Sisters, inebriated strippers, and psychedelic rock bands.
Seat 3: Max_Pot... The Bowling Green native arrived later in the tournament. At press time we did not got the correct blog information.
Seat 4: Drizz... He's part of the Minnesota Contingency that has a sincere love for the Minnesota Vikings, The Mall of America, Gopher hockey, and the Hammer. He wore a cup to this competition in a preventive measure to avoid any swift kicks in the junk from river suckouts.
Seat 5: Human Head... He also arrived a little later in Level 2. He's a Gemini and the enormous head from Purgatory, Kansas. He's virtually new to the poker scene and been playing for only a year or two. He's looking to take Las Vegas by storm with a win here tonight. Save the insults, because he's heard them all. Think big, right, Melon Head?
Seat 6: Donkey Puncher... He's the guy to come to for answers on all things sports, booze, poker, strip clubs, and really bad television. He resides in Chicago and has been arrested several times, but never once convicted for stalking Jessica Alba. He once stood in a thorn bush for six hours just to get a picture of Jessica come out of her yoga class. The scars have yet to heal.
Seat 7: Rantsofayoungmind... He rants. He raves. He tells you what's on his young mind. The native Louisvillian is a huge Xavier University fan and currently resides in Cincinnati with his lovely wife and dog, Kirby. He's been blogging since Jan. 2004 and is one of the "old school" bloggers.
Seat 8: Gracie... Despite persistent rumors, the gal from Florida is not painfully dull. And most importantly, she is not a lesbian (but she does play one on the internet). She admits on her blog that she's never done crack and does not like spiders. She's held her own in the last event after a 13th place finish. She is looking to making her first final table.
Seat 9: JoeSpeaker... The best-dressed blogger on the WPBT looked dapper once again according to the latest report from the Queer Eye Guys. His odds to win this event increased dramatically after his amazing rush to the final table last week. He's a regular at several casinos in Southern California and he's not gay... not that there's anything wrong with that.
7:15pm EST... I had TT and QQ early on. I pushed UTG with QQ and no one dared to call. By the end of the level I was 50th out of 63rd with T1280. I saw a lot of flops and played loose, not Gus Hansen crazy loose, but let's just say I told Sklansky's Gap Concept to "Fuck off!" I needed to build up chips quickly in the first two levels if I was going to win.
7:16pm EST... In the battle of the blinds, Drizz's 53o was KO'd in 62nd place by Max's 75o when he had the bitch end to a straight.
7:18pm EST... I flopped a straight with QJ and I foolishly attempted to slow play. I thought he made a flush and that's why I folded on the river. I actually let Joe Speaker catch a full house with running cards. Poorly played on all streets by me.
7:22pm EST... Donkey Puncher was KO'd in 59th place when his TT lost to the Hilton Sisters.
7:25pm EST... Derek doubled up on his table with KK. He had almost T3k in chips and was in 3rd place. I stole a few pots and built my stack up to over T1600 and moved up to 43 out of 52.
7:26pm EST... EvaCanHang stopped by to sweat my table. I joked that I was lucky to have a hot blonde on the rail cheering for me... well, two in total if Joanne was still lurking. She was.
7:34pm EST... Richmond Rounder joined the table as news made it's way that Maudie, HDouble, and Boy Genius were all eliminated within moments of each other. Conspiracy? I think the Illuminati and the new Pope are to blame.
7:41pm EST... I pick up consecutive pots with KJo and AJo. No action for my 88 or TT. I moved up to 25th out of 48.
7:42pm EST... Bill Rini arrived at my table as I caught the tail end of the Poker Nerd getting busted out in 46th place.
7:44pm EST... Derek and Bobby Bracelet went heads up. Bob had the Hiltons. Derek flopped a set with his pocket aces. Derek doubled up and was the chipleader.
7:49pm EST... Derek knocked out Bobby Bracelet after he put a wicked bad beat on Sean. Wow, talk about a suckout! Sean flopped a set with 22. And Derek caught running cards for a straight. Derek knocked out Sean a few hands later.
7:50pm EST... Gracie's JJ knocked out Richmond Rounder's KT. He finished in 39th. Then I heard Bad Blood was knocked out to which Lil Blood said, "Daddy how come they're not clapping for you?"
7:53pm EST... This is where I got so lucky and kicked Lefty in the junk. He raised my blind. I had 55 and pushed thinking he was on a steal. He had TT. I've hit two outers before. No problem. The flop was no help until the turn churned out my miracle 5! Fuck yeah, I hit my set and it was a bounty from the poker gods. At least I didn't river Lefty. He's a good egg. I felt bad afterwards especially since I busted his balls the entire time calling him CJ2. With an unexpected wave of positive fortune on my side, and karmic payback circling overhead like a starving vulture, I doubled up with T2200 and shamefully jumped into 17th place.
7:54pm EST... Bill Rini's AJ ran into Lifes a Grind's AQ and lost. Bill, the Jacques Cousteau of poker bloggers, was knocked out in 36th place.
7:58pm EST... Mr. Decker bounced out in 33rd place as Bugsy99 made his way to my table.
8:00pm EST... At the break Derek hovered in second place and I barely kept my head above water... 21st out of 31.
8:07pm EST... Britney Spears knocked out Curious George. Yeah, Gracie, George and her JJ ran into Life's a Grind, Brtiney, and AA. She was bounced in a palindromic 31st place compared to her 13th place finish last week. (I think I just made that word up.)
8:09pm EST... Iggy was knocked out when his A3 lost to VARoadster's KQ. Oh the hilarity.
8:10pm EST... I found AK, the first hand in a while, and raised moderately preflop. No callers. Everyone at my table respected my raises and that's too bad. I got zero action on all my good hands. I was 17th out of 28.
8:13pm EST... Derek knocked out Phil the Diceman, last week's runner up, the sole representative of England, and one of the few bloggers to participate from Europe.
8:17pm EST... F Train dropped the Hammer and a butterfly flapped it's wings in Burkina Faso.
8:21pm EST... Table Change. I was moved to Derek's table which sucked which included Max, On_thg, Joe Speaker, Johnny Klampis, Chris "66" Halverson, Easy Cure, and F Train. Three New Yorkers and a Metrosexual. That sounded like the beginning to a bad Jay Leno monologue.
8:25pm EST... With KK on the button I tried to get action by moving all in. A small raise might have persuaded the blinds to fold, but I wanted them to think I was trying for a steal. F Train called with QTs something he probably would have pushed with anyway. Being the short stack, he was going to call no matter what I bet. He flopped trips and caught a full house. No fun. I had no time to bitch and moan after the bad beat vulture swooped down and took a nasty bite of my flesh.
8:26pm EST... QJs at the cutoff. I pushed with T975. Max in the LB called. I ran into AA. Whatyoutalkinabout, Willis? I was out in 23rd
8:35pm EST... April98 knocked out Bugsy99 when her KJ outflopped his Hilton Sisters.
8:37pm EST... Derek moved to the Poker Prof's table. With 18 player remaining, we were down to the final two tables.
8:40pm EST... Poker Prof was the short stack and had no fear. He pushed frequently preflop looking for challengers. No one wanted to mess with him as he picked up blinds and moved away from being the short stack.
8:41pm EST... Texas 1, Minnesota 0. Chris Halverson's Q9s suited couldn't catch a flush against the Fat Guy's JJ. Halverson bounced out in 18th place.
8:42pm EST... Derek moved all into a pot with K-6-2 on the flop and two diamonds. He raised Joe Speaker, who thought about the call for a few moments before he folded. Derek won he pot and found himself in second place.
8:44pm EST... The Poker Prof was tag teamed by the Hilton Sisters when he caught a set and doubled up against Seville.
8:45pm EST... In one of the biggest pots of the tournament.... three players moved all in preflop. Seville was the short stack with AQo. Lit had 99 and Joe Speaker showed AKs. Three hearts hit the board and Joe "flopped the nut flush." Seville was out in 16th place and Joe had over 11k in chips.
8:46pm EST... On_thg's 66 knocked out Life's a Grind ATs. He took 15h place in another impressive showing.
8:48pm EST... Derek knocked out Litfpitr in 14th place. Derek's stack peaked at 10k and he looked good in 3rd place.
8:49pm EST... On_thg sent Easy Cure home in 13th place when his Hiltons held up.
8:53pm EST... "Poker Prof on a roll" I wrote in my notes. He picked up plenty of small pots. He was catching great hands or making well timed steals... either way, he played aggressive poker and scratched his way from last place to 6th place in chips.
8:55pm EST... Joe Speaker dropped the Hammer. I almost peed in my pants.
8:56pm EST... Derek picked up a big pot and was 3rd with 10k in chips.
9:04pm EST... Wisconsin 1, Texas 0. StB's Big Slick knocked out The Fat Guy's A9o. See you in Vegas, TFG!
9:12pm EST... At the break, On_thg was in first place and Derek slipped to 5th with 11 players remaining. VA Roadster finished in 11th place.
9:15pm EST... Joe Speaker experienced an awful run. With 88 he ran into MAx's KK and was crippled. He doubled up with K5 against April's JJ then ran into her AA. He was out in 10th place and made another amazing run, missing the final table by one spot.
The Final Table:9:19pm EST... The finally table started with Derek 4th in chips. April was the short stack and Big Pirate held the chip lead.
Seat 1: ABVidale... The author and cycling enthusiast also known as Russell from Irvine is a bridge player and a tax expert. This is his second WPBT event and his first final table. He built up his stack nicely over the earlier rounds.
Seat 2: On_thg... He's a former champion on the WPBT. The mild-mannered attorney from Grand Haven, Michigan is not even the most famous poker blogger in his tiny hamlet. He's already got his flight booked to Vegas and is hoping to play in his WSoP event.
Seat 3: Derek... He's the younger brother of Dr. Pauly and the self-proclaimed Don Swayze of poker bloggers. By day he's a disgruntled employee for a major company on Wall Street and by night he's a chain smoking fisherman casting his lure on Party Poker. He's currently 13th on the WPBT Leaderboard and looking to join Bobby Bracelet at the Rio.
Seat 4: Max_Pot... He refused to answer any questions from the media during the duration of the final table while he played three other tables on multiple sites.
Seat 5: April98... She's one of the April Sisters and is known as "California April" to her cronies the WPBT circuit. She's trying to grow out of her "Wil Wheaton Groupie" moniker and prove to the poker universe that San Jose Shark fans are skilled poker players.
Seat 6: The Poker Prof... Everyone's favorite Las Vegas blogger almost didn't make the tournament. But he managed to steal, bluff, and bully his way to the final table. He plans to retire to Fuji after he wins enough money on the WPBT. We are awaiting Flip Chip's photos of the Poker Prof in action.
Seat 7: Big Pirate... He's part of the ever growing South Carolina poker blogging community. The former Jeopardy champion gambled away most of his winnings at the poker table. He's now trying to get it all back.
Seat 8: StB... He's the author of Beer City Poker... which are a collection of Milwaukee poker tales. He's a second generation alkie-poker blogger and has a blog crush on BG. He's a big fan of twelve packs and Hooters wings. He's a gentleman and a scholar.
Seat 9: Slim99... He's the poker pundit and the author of an instructional blog (with a very small blogroll.) Aside from that, we don't know much about the Watertown native.
9:24pm EST... April doubled up with A7s against Slim's KQ. He almost knocked her out on the very next hand.
9:26pm EST... April's A7 couldn't beat Slim's AJ.She was out in 9th place.
9:28pm EST... StB's 99 won a coin flip against Max's AQ. Derek went from 4th to the short stack when he ran into a frigid streak of colds.
9:33pm EST... In the Bad Beat of the Tournament Moment brought to you by Pokerstars, the best online poker site around... StB moved all in preflop with AA. Big Pirate called with a big stack and 65s. He flopped a pair and hit trips on the turn. He knocked out StB in 8th place as a small tear was shed in Milwaukee.
9:34pm EST... Derek moved all in with AJ and was bad beated by Slim's A7. Derek finished in 7th place and continued his run of impressive performances on the WPBT.
9:36pm EST... Big Pirate continued to issue bad beats to the final table players. His next victim was the Poker Prof. The Prof's 99 looked like a great hand against Big Pirate's 88 with the flop: A-T-7. In true Riverstars fashion... Big Pirate hit running cards for a straight. I thought the Prof won with a set when a 9 spiked on the river. I was in shock when the pot got pushed to Big Pirate. He river'd the Prof as the Karma Police took notice.
9:37pm EST... ABVidale doubled up against Big Pirate when his AQ held up against a dominated KQ. Big Pirate still held the chip lead with 32k. ABVidale was second with 23k.
9:41pm EST... Big Pirate knocked out Max in 5th.
9:44pm EST... Big Pirate's 99 ran into Slim's AA. Slim took the chip lead with 36k.
9:50pm EST... The players agree to chop the prize money ($130 each) for second place and the winner gets the WSoP seat. Slim was the chipleader, On_thg second, ABVidale third, and Big Pirate slipped to fourth.
9:56pm EST... Both On_thg and Big Pirate moved all in preflop with AK and they chopped the pot.
9:58pm EST... ABVidale and K6 took the chip lead when he beat Big Pirate's K5.
9:59pm EST... Slim moved all in with the Hammer against Big Pirate's K8. On the turn Slim hit a lucky 2 and Big Pirate never recovered after that. ABVidale was the chip leader with 60k. Degenerate Gambler has a nifty screen shot of the Hammer. Thanks, dude!
10:02pm EST... Big Pirate was knocked out in 4th place when his 95o ran into Slim's 99.
10:15pm EST... By the third break, the chips moved around the table and ABVidale still held the lead with 64k. Slim was second with 25k and On_thg hung on with 5k.
10:19pm EST... ABVidale 10-6o outflopped On_thg's Q8s and he took 3rd place. We reached heads up play. ABVidale had about a 3 to 1 lead over Slim.
10:21pm EST... It was a quick battle. Slim pushed with K3 and ABVidale called with 89o. The flop: A-J-4. Another J fell on the turn and the 8 on the river gave all the remaining chips to ABVidale. He won the pot and the $1500 WSoP seat at the Rio. Congrats to "Russell" and everyone at the final table. I'm especially proud of Derek's efforts.
Thanks again to Iggy and Otis at Poker Stars for their work with the event. Congrats again to ABVidale and Bobby Bracelet. Make us proud guys. Can't wait to meet everyone in Vegas. I'm tired and I have other stuff to write. See you at the tables. And Iggy, I'll see you in six days.