Except of course I don't get to keep the money. Kind of frustrating - I play 35-40 tournaments in a day and the only one I win the bracelet in, I don't get to keep the scrillah. The good news for everyone else: the money rolls over to Event 2 next week.
Anyway, the tournament itself is an invite-only one for elite inhabitants of the Internet. You can read more about the A-list lineup here.
Event 1 kicked off with two six-handed tables but as it turned out, Pokerati Dan's alarm didn't go off, so our table played mostly four-handed. In a short-handed context versus players I was sure didn't have all that much short-handed experience, I decided from the get-go that I was going to play some very aggressive poker.
That's just what I did - I ran over the table, raising every third hand. I didn't meet that much resistance at first, taking most hands down either pre-flop or with a continuation bet on the flop. Then this interesting hand came up.
Background information: like I said, I had been raising almost every hand. I felt the table was getting frustrated with my bullying and was ready to take a stand.
Amy Calistri is on the button with $1,480 and I cover. Blinds are $10/$20. I open up from the cut-off with Q♣ 8♣. She flats. Blinds fold.
The flop comes 7♦ 3♥ Q♠. I flop top pair - miles ahead of my regular c-betting range. So I obviously bet $110, and she insta-mins to $220.
I'm not exactly sure of her skill set yet; we haven't played too many hands together other than c-bet/fold situations. The min-raise was instant and I think it's a little fishy, so I go for the CIB (click-it-back) method and insta re-min-raise her to $340. She flat-calls my re-min-raise.
The turn comes 6♣ and with no draws out there, I figure she almost surely has me beat now. So I check and give up. She checks through. The river comes 2♥; I check and she checks through.
She shows A♥ Q♥ and scoops the $810 pot with top pair, top kicker.
All in all, an interesting hand. I personally would have three-bet the hell out of A-Q suited pre-flop, especially versus an aggro monkey like myself.
The flop action is very strange - I guess she figures I'm trapping the rest of the hand, so she neglects to bet TPTK for value on two streets.
I probably would have folded the turn but after the turn goes check, check I would have been so confused I would have had to pay off the river.
After a while Change100 and I start quarreling in a couple of pots. She three-bets me a few times and I fold. Then I c-bet a board with TPTK, she calls, I check-shove a blank turn and she folds.
I make a one-card straight with the 9 on a Q-T-8-J board and lose 30BBish to A-K, leaving me with $1,100 or so. Next hand I raise QQ on the button; once again Change calls. Board comes K-Q-x and I get it all-in versus her AA. Just a low-content hand.
The slow-play doesn't change anything. I would have been getting it in regardless, since I was playing so aggressive - if she had reraised pre-flop I would've surely stuffed. I'm just lucky enough to hit and then get my money in good so I don't look like such a monkey.
I end up busting Change100 with a flopped set of nines versus her top pair on an A-Q-9 board. This gives me $3,600 chips at $25/$50.
At this point we are playing five-handed, but Dr. Pauly is currently doing some sort of "real work" and the other Dan is AFK. So it's effectively three-handed. I switch into maniac mode (see side picture) and chip up to $5,100ish when the tables combine to one.
At the "final table" I choose to slow down quite a bit. A loose-aggressive style isn't rewarded so much playing full ring. I still play fairly loose from LP but I tighten up substantially. I have $5,300 chips in the final nine; second is Short-Stack Shamus with $3,100.
I bust a short-stacked PokerShrink with my A♥ 7♦ versus his A♣ 6♣, which gives me $6,540 chips. A bunch of steals and a few more busts later we are four-handed.
The blinds are $100/$200. Short-Stack Shamus has $3,400 and I have $6,800. I raise to $600 in the cut-off and Shamus stuffs all-in for $3,400.
I have to call $2,800 to win $4,300, giving me just better than 1.5-1. Not great odds, but not terrible odds either. Now I have been raising almost every hand so my image is very bad.
I feel he could be re-stealing here. Maybe this is due to playing the $27 45-man turbos on PokerStars lately, where re-stealing is very commonplace.
Plus it's four-handed - I feel if he is re-stealing, even semi-light, ever, this call is profitable. Especially since I can lose and still have a very healthy stack.
As it turns out he has J♣ J♦ and I'm a big dog. I nail the flop with an ace and then fade his one-outer to deliver the bad beat, which puts me up to $10,000 chips three-handed.
The very next hand I bust another player. Same blinds, $100/$200. I'm in the big blind with $10k. Pauly folds the BB and Michele Lewis shoves the small blind for $1.7k.
I have K♦ Q♠ and make the call. With 7BB and first-in vig, in a blind-versus-blind situation you should be shoving any two cards in the small blind. K-Q is miles ahead of that range. I make the call and she turns over A♣ 4♠. When the flop comes king-high, we are heads-up.
Entering heads-up play, I have $12k chips to Pauly's $4k. I have a distinct advantage, however: he is sitting out because he's playing from the floor of the Borgata, covering a tournament there.
I, obviously, insta-min-raise every hand and bust him in a matter of minutes.
OK; that's a lie. I sit out and wait for him to come back. I am glad I do because what follows is an epic heads-up battle.
I raise about 100% of my buttons and only lose a few small pots before getting it all-in with A-7 versus Pauly's JJ. I hit my ace on the turn but he re-sucks the river with a nice straight for a double-up to $9,750 to my $6,700.
We play around 30 more hands in which we take turns stealing. I lose one showdown when I get caught bluffing and then this hand comes up.
I have $4,700; Pauly has $11,000. $125/$250 blinds with $25 ante. He raises off the button to $750 and I flat-call with K♥ K♠.
Now my plan here is to flat-call and donk-bet any flop. I've done this probably four times with complete air. I figure this time he'll catch on that it's a move in my arsenal and play back at me.
The flop comes 9♥ T♥ 2♠ and I lead for $1,000.
He shoves all-in, as planned, and I snap-call. He has A♥ 2♦ and I hold for the much needed double-up. This gives me back the chip lead.
I lose a few decent-sized pots and get down to $5k to his $11k when we get my 9♥ 9♣ all-in versus his A♠ 7♦. He flops an ace and it is my turn to go runner-runner straight for the win, thus reversing roles and giving me the chip lead again.
That is, of course, until his A♠ 7♦ bests my A♣ 9♠ a few hands later. Pauly then makes several godlike folds on the button when I hold AA, KK, JJ pre-flop. Super user?! Maybe.
I lose another large one when my gut-shot turned top pair loses to his two pair. I then steal to get back to even and make a flush to get back to $13k versus his $4k.
I start shoving any decent holding until we finally get all-in with my J♦ 9♦ versus his 8♣ 8♥. I flop the flush draw and river the flush and I am crowned the king of Run-Good Event No. 1.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Overall, a great tournament. Very fun, with the rail chatter being more enjoyable than the play at most times. Pauly put up an excellent battle heads-up - I don't think I've ever swapped the lead so often. Great week; I will see if I can repeat next week!
Check back later in the week for a lead-up blog to this Saturday's event, and if you have the time, log on to PokerStars at 11 a.m. PDT on Saturday and watch Event 2.
Also, if you have a poker blog and the ability to run good, ship us an e-mail to email@example.com to get involved.
More Blogs from the PL Run-Good Challenge: