Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday, Homer

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Poker writers don't make a lot of money. Some of the perks are priceless, but the average pay is atrocious. Most of the time, after a week long assignment we're lucky to leave the casino with any money whatsoever. God knows how many temptations surround us since we work inside places that were constructed for the sole purpose to suck every single cent out of your wallet. Between the poker tables, the pit games, prop betting, and the soaring bar tabs... and toss in a couple of expensive vices such as strip clubs, working girls, and illegal substances... poker media types often leave an assignment deep in the hole.

That's why I was particularly excited when Homer went deep in the $500 08 SCOOP event on PokerStars. Homer wrote for Blonde Poker and is part of the crop of stellar poker writers from the UK. I'm in awe of their mastery of the English language.

I knew that Homer was a decent PLO player, but I had no idea that the chap had mad 08 skills. Homer put on a demonstration from the time I started sweating him with about six tables to go. He was among the Top 5 in chips from pretty much that point on as I became a Midi-Scoop railbird for the rest of the evening.

Tom McEvoy was already seated at Homer's table when the one and only Chris Moneymaker was moved into an empty seat after his table broke. That's something you don't see too often... two former WSOP Main Event champions at the same table... especially because they were seated with a snarky British scribe and someone who used a picture of Britney Spears as their avatar.

McEvoy spent most of the time folding in between debunking myths about his swinger status spawned by a fake myspace page created a couple of years ago. Moneymaker busted out in 23rd place and Homer was all of a sudden second in chips.

I was playing PLO on PokerStars, when Homer took the chiplead with 17 to go. Alas, his lead was shortlived. He was rivered brutal PokerStars fashion and slid far down the ladder into the basement. He went from rubbing elbows with the fat cats and sipping the finest gin in the British Empire to slumming it in the gritty ghettos among the flimsiest of stacks. Despite the humbling setback and challenge, Homer mounted a spectacular run as he outplayed a cagey Scandi sitting to his right who sported an Annette 15 avatar and a hometown containing lots of vowel with dots over them.

"He's the Terminator," said Homer in awe of McEvoy's ability to stay alive.

Homer advanced to the final table fifth in chips with McEvoy as the shortstack, an uncoveted role he had held for the final two tables. He simply refused to die. The former world champ's stack would dwindle down to minuscule amount and on the verge of getting blinded out in the big blind. On one instance, he shoved from UTG and survived with a triple up.

Then the blinds reached a point where they were so ridiculously high that several medium stacks were suddenly shorties. Someone figured out how to knock off McEvoy and he finally busted. With four players to go, Homer took on the unwanted role as the wee one at the table.

A plucky Homer battled and scratched and clawed and fought his way back into contention. Despite numerous stoppages and offers to negotiate a deal (where Homer would have gotten the shit end of the stick - short stacks usually get fucked in 'chip deals'), Homer remained firm in the amount he felt he deserved. When they failed to meet his expected payout, the game played on.

A player busted and with three to go, Homer made a stand. He was on the brink of elimination and all in... which occurred at the most fortuitous time because he flopped trips and turned quads en route to a tournament saving double up. And with three to go, he surged into second place when his Aces held up.

Although Homer trailed the chipleader by a million chips and at least a 3 to 1 margin, the chip leader was tired and the weakest player of the three remaining players. Homer looked for opportunities to chip away at the massive lead. After an hour or so of three-handed play, the chipleader lost a couple of medium-sized pots as his stack slid under 1M in chips. Homer smelled blood and bested him in one hand when Homer scooped a pot with two pair and an uncontested low.

At that point, only 170K chips separated the three players and they arranged a chop for about 33.5K each plus a little more to the winner. Alas, Homer's run ended soon after and he bowed out in third place.

"Sigh... I'm absolutely gutted," he said. "But I guess I should be happy."

I only sat on the rail for a couple of hours and I was absolutely beat down. Chopped pot games? Sort of like poker on Valium. The tournament ran for 11+ hours. Jesus, a half a day of 08? That's utter torture for me, but for some, it's sheer bliss.

Congrats to Homer. Job well done, mate and may God save your Queen. Next time I'm in London, the first seven round of pints are on you!

* * * * *

Congrats to Terrance Chan for taking down not one... but two SCOOP events... in the same day. That's the stuff that legends are made of. Well done, sir.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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