The mellow folks at PokerListings were kind enough to invite me to the headiest of all events... The Run Good Challenge. The second incarnation of their private tournament series featured an expanded cast of characters which included a mixture of poker industry figures, poker pros, bloggers, and many wayward souls in the poker media.
One of our gracious hosts, Matt Showell, was unable to attend the opening event. He was too busy sunning himself in the tropics and sampling the local flavors of the Caribbean; list including but not limited to fruits, women, rum, and other local produce. Of course, while Matt basks in the warmth of the good life, his work colleagues had to tough it out in the wilds of Canadia (yes, Canadia) constantly repelling attacks from herds of wild moose and roving packs of American ex-pats who watched too many Michael Moore movies.
There were 14 players including my nemesis Dan Skolovy, who returned to hold the rope for Team PokerListings. Representing the pros was 2008 WSOP bracelet winner Jason Young. Combatants this week included... Benjo, Amy Calistri, Change100, Dave Schwartz, Kid Dynamite, Shortstacked Shamus, Michele Lewis, Michalski, Spaceman, CJ, and the Poker Shrink.
My starting table included Shamus, Jason Young, Dan Skolovy, Dave Schwartz, Amy Calistri, and Change100.
Benjo was late. He in transit and trying to play on a high-speed train that raced across Europe. I could only imagine how pissed off he was trying to connect.
"This is booshit!" he screamed at one of the train workers. "Your wifi is nothing but peasant shit."
He slammed his croissant down as flakes splattered all over the floor. He also smashed out his cigarette in his bare hand, while thousand of miles away, a hungover Michalski sitting in his underwear on his couch in Las Vegas picked on Benjo's empty chair. Michalksi stole Benjo's blinds repeatedly and said, "Take that Benjo! [insert surrender joke here]"
I shot Benjo a text message, "Where r u? Empty chair. Michalski making fun of you & stealin your blinds. Making racist jokes too."
Meanwhile, CJ took out Kid Dynamite with the Hammer. CJ has his luckbox powers in full effect when he flopped trip deuces and it was all over. Kid Dynamite took down Gigli honors.
I was at the front of the pack early on. I pushed my stack up to 2K and was the table chipleader for most of the first few levels. I won two pots with A-x. Flopped an Ace both times. I also won a pot against Change100. She rivered a Wheel, but your hero rivered a 6-high straight. Here's the banter:
DrPauly: suck itWhat I love about the west coast is that football starts at 10am. I got lucky because the local CBS affiliate showed the Jets/Titans game. The Jets were up 10-3 at halftime and I could hunker down and stay focused to play poker.
DrPauly: wheel no good
change1OO: fck u asssscocck
DrPauly: nice try, blondie
DrPauly: go back to clutching your bong
PokerShrink [observer]: ain't love grand
Benjo finally arrived... "Fucking train was late obv."
I busted shortstacked Dave Schwartz in 13th place when my Ah-7d held up against his Ks-10s. I snagged the chiplead. Change100 knocked out the bracelet winner Jason Young. He was shortstacked and went out in 12th place. Michalksi was next in 11th place courtesy of the Poker Shrink.
I won a big hand against DanS when I rivered a baby flush. He put me on the Ad and folded. That pot pushed me to 3.6K.
Shamus bubbled off the final table in 10th place when his fate was decided by DanS. With Shamus' elimination, I advanced to the final table as the chipleader.
Final Table Chip Counts:I lost chiplead after Spaceman three-bet me preflop from the big blind. I let go of A-Js from the button. He showed A-K.
Seat 1: Benjo (880)
Seat 2: Michele Lewis (1885)
Seat 3: Pauly (3605)
Seat 4: change1OO (2455)
Seat 5: Spaceman (1860)
Seat 6: DanS (2900)
Seat 7: CJ (2435)
Seat 8: Amy Calistri (1540)
Seat 9: Poker Shrink (3440)
Change100 was the first player to bust from the final table. Her departure in 9th place was courtesy of an ugly bad beat that sent her on tilt for a good hour or so. Her A-A lost to Michele Lewis' A-K. The Poker Cougar turned a Broadway straight to sink Change100's Aces.
I was 4th in chips at first break with 3K. DanS and the Cougar were tied for lead with 3.5K. Benjo was shortstacked and didn't last too much longer. The headline would read, "Cougar Mauls Frenchman."
Everyone's favorite malcontent chain-smoking black jack loving Tao of Pokerati sidekick was eliminated when he lost a race to the Cougar. She emerged as chipleader with over 7K. I was second with 3.7k. Three were players below 10 BB.
Then I started bleeding chips. I doubled up CJ. He was short and woke up to Q-Q. I lost with A-3s. More bleeding. I opened UTG with 9-9. Amy shoved for 3K more. I had to put her on a monster so I folded. She said she had pocket Queens. I slipped to under 2K. Then I took a bad beat that would be the beginning of the end. Dan shoved for 1,625. I had him covered from the big blind and called with Ah-Qc. He held As-4s. He flopped a four and I got fucked without any lube.
Down to 300. Future grim. Asshole sore. Although I doubled up on next hand with A-10 against the Shrink, that minor burst of elation would subside and be replaced by utter misery. My Ah-Jh lost to Amy Calistri's Big Slick. Out in 7th. D'oh.
Spaceman hit the rail in 6th place. CJ was out-luckboxed by the Cougar. She knocked him out in 5th place. BubbleBoy honors went to Dan S. He ran into Tim's Aces and got crippled. He busted shortly after when the Shrink outran his pocket nines with 7-7.
With three to go, the Shrink was the chipleader with almost 13K and amassed 61% of the chips in play. Shrink tamed the Cougar when he busted her in third place. Heads up was set between the two authors of the impending Mike Matusow book. Amy Calistri trailed the Poker Shrink by almost 4 to 1.
Heads up didn't last very long. Amy had a chance to double up when she shoved with Jacks against the Shrink's K-Q. Alas, the Shrink runs good and turned a Queen. Amy did not improve on the river and she finished in second place. The Shrink emerged victorious.
All hail the Poker Shrink. He won the first week of the Run Good Challenge 2.0 and collected $600. Lucky fucker. Please piss it away on a good cause like the Save the Stripper Fund. If I had won the first place booty, I would have bought enough ganja to blind the Pope.
That's it. Thanks again to the gang at PokerListings for hosting. Congrats to the Poker Shrink. See you clowns next week.
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.