Wow. What can I say? 519 people from all walks of life as far away as Oslo, Norway and Melbourne, Australia and even several Canadians from the Great White North played in the Tao of Poker's 5th birthday tournament on Tuesday evening. 519. That's a humbling number. Seriously, thanks to everyone for showing up and a sincere thanks to everyone who pimped, and plugged the special event.
A hearty congrats goes out to Garry Gates for winning the tournament and a special bonus prize; a 5K seat to a Borgata Open event and two nights at the Borgata Hotel & Spa.
I know Garry well. We worked together at Poker News since last year's WSOP. He was due for some good poker karma. He lost a Guitar Hero prop bet with Evelyn Ng during the WSOP. He had to dress up and feed Evy grapes and fan her during Day 1 of the main event. That's him below dressed up like Caesar. Beware the Ides of March.
Garry Gates fans Evelyn Ng during Day 1 of the WSOP Main Event
Seriously. A guy who wore a toga won the Tao of Poker Birthday Tournament. I fuckin' love that irony.
The field was a who's who in poker blogging and poker media. Special guests included Poker Champ, AlCantHang, Amy Calistri, Bobby Bracelet, Shronk, Schecky, Jaxia, BJ Nemeth, Spaceman, Joe Speaker, and the one and only professional poker player Chris Halverson. I thought I was seeing a ghost. A blast from the past. Even Grubby and Grubbette showed up along, with Mr. Decker and a couple of the G-Vegas boys such as Bad Blood, CJ, and The Mark.
With 519 runners, the top 54 got paid, or the final six tables. The prize pool was $2,595 and first place paid out $648.76 plus the Borgata package.
Of course, I got seated at my brother's table. 519 player field and we draw the same table with N03M0ti0n, kurokitty, vocke, Forbillz, and NYRambler.
Traction1 was Gigli and busted out on the first hand. Out in 519th place. I didn't see the bustout.
I think I folded like three hand before I was moved to a new table with USAF_Trevor, lottamims, bomzway, pokerfan X, Dacious99, DrPauly, Garthmeister, NYRambler, and SHmuck72.
Wil stopped by to give us his blessings and to apologize for missing registration.
The flurry of bustouts began. SirWaffles and Hoy went out early. Fifteen minutes in IronGirl, Mr. Decker, and Chad Pukarama were all gone.
As I made my rounds, I stumbled up one stacked table that included lucko21, BamBamCan, Alexe55, TNSpaceman, surflexus, AlCantHang, chase26utley, o reills3403, and dfense072.
Gracie jumped out to an early chiplead. By the thirty minutes mark, Gracie, Garry Gates. and BiskoKid were 1/2/3 in chips. While Johnny Walker, Grubbette, CJ, and Love Elf headed to the rail early as well.
My table broke and I was moved to my third inside a half of an hour. I was seated with OldandEasy, mtrier21, shiel, krabby5, Drizztdj, smokkee, Mike_Maloney, and jshronk (610 in chips)
Shronk and Drizz busted out shortly after I arrived. JoeSpeaker took Shronk's seat.
Gracie coughed up the lead, as Garry Gates stepped out in front of the pack. Over the next three hours he'd hold the lead numerous of times but lose it as well on severaloccassions as his big stack came under assault from dozens of challengers.
Change100 busted out but she'd end up winning a couple of prop bets from me.
I busted JoeSpeaker.My Ah-10h held up against his K-Q. I improved to 3.1K and was 81st out of 342.
I experienced tech issues with a few minutes to go before the break. I had to reboot. When I returned, I noticed that Wonka and Schecky were both out along with Haley, BadBlood, StB, and the Brooklyn girls Mad and Dawn.
At the break, my stack was 2.8K. I was 101/299. BigSlickNut took the chip lead from Garry. He had 13K with 299 to go. Wow, 220 players busted in the first hour.
Garry took the lead back right after the break. I slipped a bit, but was still in the middle of the field. I lost a pot and missed with A-Q in late position. I slipped to under 2K.
Eventually April (CA) was move to my table. I opened UTG with rages and she min-raised me. I put her on a monster and folded. She had A-A. Man, smart lay down, but I lost a chunk of my stack and was supper short with 1.1K. I was 162nd with 169 to go and on life support.
I woke up with a hand and oubled through Found78. My 7-7 held up against his 6-6. I improved my stack to 2.3K with the average at 5K.
Whaaaaa? showed up at my tale with a 19K stack and second in chips. Spaceman arrived soon after. I slipped to under 1K. I was in dead last place with 127 to go.
I made a move and shoved with 7d-3d. I got two callers. I flopped a gutshot, but missed. Whaaaa? took me out in 125th place.
At the second break, SilverHammer was out in front with 33.7K in chips and 88 players remaining. Although action went hand-for-hand as the money bubble approached, it did not slow down things one bit. The money bubble broke rather quickly.
The Prize Payouts
Halcyon Fire = Bubble Boy, out in 55th place. April, Smokkee, and BoneDaddy all busted out near the bubble. At that point, Loud423 was the chpleader with 40K. Kid Dynamite won a monsterpotten and busted TheGilligan and VinNay on the same hand when his Queens held up. KD was third in chips behind jahbliss and orlandopig.
With three tables to go, JahBliss was the chipleader with over 50K. Friedman busted out in 25th when his A-5 lost to sevens.
On the third break, 22 players wereleft. Willy the Wise had the monster stack with 106K. Jahbliss was second with 67K and KidDynamite not far behind in third.
With 16 to go, things out front shifted. Lorraine Love and OrlandoPig were first and second in chips. With 12 to go, Lorraine was still out in front. But then Garry Gates won an insane hand where he busted whozurfan on a race and regained the chiplead with 10 to go. He had a 158K stack.
Kid Dynamite was the final table bubble boy and busted out in 10th place when he ran his A-K into Garry's Big Slick.
Here's the final table...
Tao of Poker 5th Birthday Celebration Final Table:Garry was the chipleader when the final table was set. He added even more chips to is stack when his Q-J outflopped Willythewise's A-10. Willythewise went out in ninth place. For the first time during the entire tournament, Garry's stack passed the 300K mark.
Seat 1: jb1234 (56259 in chips)
Seat 2: LorraineLove (117609 in chips)
Seat 3: jg-2323 (24240 in chips)
Seat 4: orlandopig (99562 in chips)
Seat 5: garrygates (212284 in chips)
Seat 6: jahbliss05 (104683 in chips)
Seat 7: loud423 (46503 in chips)
Seat 8: willythewise (91108 in chips)
Seat 9: U_madness (26252 in chips)
Click here for a screen cap of the final table.
Jg-2323 went on a rush. Quads Queens to bust loud423 in 7th place. Garry was still way out in front more than double jg-2323 in second place.
With 6 to go, Garry slipped a bit, but was still in the lead. U_Madness went out in 6th ad Jahbliss05 got outflopped by LorraineLove and he was busted in 5th place.
Garry was the chipleader for the Final 4 with 324K. Action didn't slow down. In fact, it sped up. Jg-2323 went out in 4th place when he lost a decisive pot to LorraineLove. That hand propelled Lorraine into second in chips with 292K, behind Garry's 312K. OrlandoPig was the shortstack with 173K.
On a flop of Kc-Jd-10c, Garry checked. Orlandopig bet 25.5K. Garry check-raised to 72K. Orlandopig re-raised all in for 153K. Garry had him covered and called. Garry was ahead with Ks-Qd against orlandopig's 9c-8c. Somehow, Garry dodged a massive bullet and his hand held up. Orlandopig could not hit either of his his draws and was eliminated in third place.
It was heads up.
Seat 2: LorraineLove (268074 in chips)On the 32nd hand of heads-up play, Garry emerged victorious. Before the hand began, he had almost a 2-1 lead over Lorraine. Blinds were 4K/8K with a 400 ante. LorraineLove raised to 24K. Garry re-raised to 64K. LorraineLove shoved for 233,574. Garry had Lorraine covered and called with Ah-Kd. He flipped over Ac-5d.
Seat 5: garrygates (510426 in chips)
The Final Hand
The board ran out Ks-Kh-4J-Jc-8d. Garry won the hand and Lorraine was eliminated in second place. She won $389.26 Garry won the tournament and the additional Borgata package which included a 5K seat to one of their events in September.
Here's the final table results:
And here's the rest of the money winners:
Congrats to all of the money winners, especially Garry for taking it down. I will be conducting an interview with Garry shortly. So stay tuned for another installment of Tao of Five featuring Garry Gates.
Thanks again to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to play in the birthday tournament. I was blown away by the number of participants and also by the dozens and dozens more of you who couldn't play, yet still showed up to railbird. Thanks for all the help spreading the word about the tournament and pimping the event on your sites, blogs, and forums.
Thanks for the immense support over the last five years. I never could have gotten this far without you... the readers. I hope everyone had a good time.
Special thanks goes out to the Borgata. Click here for more information on the Borgata Poker Open starting September 3rd. And yes, I'll be covering the entire tournament series (including the 5K event) for the Borgata poker blog with Friedman and Tropical Steve. Hope to see some of you folks in Atlantic City.
Don't forget that I run weekly PLO tournaments every Saturday at 4:20pm ET on PokerStars!
Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at www.taopoker.com. All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.