Monday, November 27, 2006

Four Horse

After two and a half hours of erratic play, I finished in a tepid 4th place in the WPBT Horse tournament on Full Tilt. Derek bubbled out in 5th place and we made another final table together. 28 players in all signed up for the last online event of the year. The top 14 places got POY points so I moved up a bit in the standings.

I like rotation games but Razz is excruciating. I loathe Omaha 8 rounds, but I'm a fan of Limit and both Stud games. I feel confident 60% of the time in Horse and if I catch cards in Razz, I'm feeling euphoric 80% of the time. During this tournament, I had a bittersweet relationship with Razz, which helped me build a stack and ended up being my downfall.

I fired up some selections from the Grateful Dead's Europe 72 album for my background music. My starting table featured Mean Gene, Biggestron, Maigrey, Hoy, Statik, and Chilly.

I won a big hand during the first orbit of Omaha 8. On a board of Q-5-5, I flopped a boat with Q-Q-7-2. Hoy chased a flush to the river and got there to his own dismay.

"i am so clearly losing to pauly's boat. i hate knowing that," he wrote in the chat, "but i'm still calling."

I busted Hoy later that orbit and took over the early chip lead, which I promptly lost a few minutes later when my two pair lost to Biggestron's flush during Seven-card Stud. I also bricked up in an ugly hand against Mean Gene's trips in Stud 8 with A-2-3-8-9-A-8. He scooped and I slipped to 12th out of 22.

During the second round of Hold'em I lost a big pot to Chilly. With A-Qs, I outflopped his J-J but failed to protect my hand when I didn't raise the flop after he bet out. I probably should have raised because he can't fold unless I raise there. I foolishly called and a Jack hit the turn to give him a set. That mistake cost me most of my stack. I slipped to 19th out of 20 and wasn't looking good with under T300 in chips.

I doubled up and won a hand with A-Q and by the break I was 19/20 but barely alive. I switched the music to Phish from Alpine Valley in hopes of changing my luck. I picked up a couple of small pots in Omaha 8 and climbed to 14th place before I made a run in Razz. I snagged a bunch of Chilly's stack with 2-3-5-6-7 and jumped to 6th in chips before I bricked them off to Biggestron a few hands later.

I hung tough during an up and down round of Stud. I got back into contention after I scooped a monster against Change100 in Stud 8 with a full house. I moved all in with trip 10s on 5th street and a pair of 10s showing and took down the pot after she missed all her draws.

In Hold'em, I scavenged for a few small pots by stealing the blinds a few times until I found J-J. I flopped a set and Biggestron paid me off as I added more chips to my stack and gained some much needed momentum. By the time the round ended, I was 3/9 after picking up a few more pots with a re-steal and Q-Q.

I was 3/8 when the final table began which included Mean Gene, Byron, Change100, Derek, IlliniFan, Mattazuma, and cracknaces. I switched to Widespread Panic as my background music, a sizzling show from the Electric Factory in Philly from 1997 to wake me up a bit.

Derek won a big hand early in Omaha 8 after he flopped a set with K-K-A-x and busted IlliniFan. I won another big hand from Biggestron with Ac-8-6c-6. I flopped a set and Biggestron was all in on the turn. I rivered quads when the case 6 fell and eliminated Biggestron. Although I picked up some more ammo, I continued to trail the two big stacks. At the second break I was 3/6.

I had a tough Razz session as I watched Change100 and Derek bust out. I made the money but stood last in chips. I needed help fast and missed a big hand with A245 and ended up with a 9 as my dangler. Crippled.

I had just a few hundred left in chips. I was all in a few hands later during Stud with K-J/3. I turned a Jack but my luck ran out as I ran into cracknaces A-10/A-10. Out in 4th.

Congrats to cracknaces for the win and thanks to Biggestron for hosting.

* * * * *

The other night I flung around chips in rare session with bloggers as we slummed at the 10c/25c tables on Full Tilt. I played with Gracie, Veneno, NewinNov, SirWaffle, Garthmeister, SoxLover, Love Elf, and Kat. I'm sure I'm missing a few other people. My mind is spotty due to my daily high altitude training. I had a good time and was reminded of the old days on Party Poker when the wait list would be twenty deep as we all tried to tilt each other with the Hammer.

Two hands from that session stand out. I felted Veneno with 3-7o. The flop was a beautiful 4-5-6. We actually got all the money in on the flop. My straight held up as the chat box lit up with "rebuy!"

On the other hand, I folded J-J to Kat's A-Q on board of 23Q4. She checked her queens on the flop and I bet out. She smooth called then bet the pot on the turn with a possible flush draw appearing. I knew she had a big hand and mucked. She gladly showed A-Q.

During a peep on Saturday, I saw one of the worst calls I've seen in a very long time. Shorthanded, I was shortstacked and found A-7s in the LB. Two players limped in and I pushed all-in for the squeeze play, something I used to see Grubby do from time to time in Las Vegas at the Sahara tournaments. The big blind, who was the biggest stack at the table, took his entire time before he re-raised all-in. One guy folded and the button eventually pushed all in. They both had me covered. The big blind showed 10-10 and the button flipped over 5-5.

Hmmmm.... I can understand limping on the button with 5-5, but he should have mucked to an all-in raise and an all-in re-raise in front of him. I'd muck Q-Q and under in that situation but the guy was a bleeding sieve and pushed with 5-5. Just another instance of some of the atrocious play you see in those token tournaments.

And yes, I busted out on that hand. The 10-10 held up and he knocked out both me and the donkfish.

* * * * *

Random closing thoughts...

I watched one of the special features to The Omen on DVD something on the history of 666. Anyway, not only does Phil Laak appear in it, the Unabomber told some spooky story about a homegame involving a hand with 6-6-6.

On a JetBlue flight from Las Vegas to JFK a few weeks ago, I watched ESPNews who were celebrating their 10th Anniversary. They interviewed random sports figures and personalities who reflected upon ESPNews history and significance. One of those personalities wad Phil Hellmuth. I sat completely stunned.

Derek and I watched some heavy hitters at the short-handed 1K/2K Limit tables on Full Tilt. Phil Ivey, Ted Forrest, David Benyamine, and Joe Cassidy were playing. The chat box was ridiculous with childish comments and plenty anti-French sentiment that was directed at Benyamine.

If you want to see some high quality heads-up action, Benyamine and Ivey have been battling it out online over the last two weeks. Even though Benyamine signed up with Mansion Poker, he's playing Ivey regularly over at Full Tilt.

Lastly, congrats to DoubleAs for winning a seat to PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January. Satellites are going on right now over at PokerStars as you read this. If you don't have an account at PokerStars, you can download PokerStars here.

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