Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tourney Results

I'll keep this short, since I doubt it's actually all that interesting to anyone other than me and maybe those who were in the game.

Saturday night, we had one last shot at getting into the Vegas Cup game later that evening - a limit holdem tourney started shortly after 7, with the last shot at winning points to be used as chips in the Vegas Cup. A new player, Kuri-san, with no entry into the Vegas Cup swore he would win it so he could compete. J.O., sitting pretty with 150 points from his victories over the last several months, took his spot and noted that he wasn't just going to give up those 30 points for first place to anyone.

They were both right, it turned out. Kuri-san held on to take second place, winning 10 points and entry into the Vegas Cup immediately following. J.O. destroyed all competition and earned himself another 30 points for a dominating 180 chip big-stack advantage.

Me, I lost most of my chips midway into the game when I got dealt TT in early position. I bet, one follower raised, another re-raised, and I called. The flop came something like K-6-Q rainbow, which naturally terrified me. Yet it was checked all around. Turn came an Ace, yet it was checked all around again. The river came a blank, and I began to think I might have lucked out and nobody hit anything. Yeah, I am that stupid. I bet, they both called. One had something like K-J, the other A-Q. Boom.

I only had a few chips left after that fiasco, so when I got K-J clubs a few hands later, I bet them and got a couple callers. The board came 5-5-9 with two clubs, then an 8 of clubs and I could breathe again. River came a ten of clubs but I still held hope that my King would hold up... until the other guy flipped over T-T for the full house.

Here, lemme get out of the way so you guys can spread out a bit. This table's too crowded anyhow.

The Vegas Cup ended up with 12 entrants, including Kuri-san with his fresh ten-point victory. We split into two 6-player tables, then combined back into one table when we had a few bustouts. I was the first to bust out - with only 10 chips and the blinds starting at 1/2, I had very little leeway. Oh, did I mention that I drew J.O. directly to my left? And Marume-san, another very decent player, directly to my right, though he was also relatively short-stacked with only 30 points.

J.O. started things out slowly, as if in no hurry to bust anyone. It didn't help much. I got no good cards and made no moves. As my stack dwindled from the blinds (they come around often on a 6-player table), the best hand I recall seeing was A-4 suited, under the gun. I hestitated, hesitated, then mucked them. I should have taken my shot. Soon after my last chip was put in when the big blind hit me and I had K-3 offsuit. I hit nothing, one of the others hit his 6 or something like that, and I was out.

Marume-san held in there and made it to the final 6 players with about 35 chips, facing JO with his 150, Mari with 120, Saeko with 90, and one other player named Kuroda-san with about 30. Kuroda-busted out first when he bet up his A-10 suited but the board came K-8-5 to pair J.O.'s K-10.

Marume dropped next when his stack began to dwindle and he raised his last 30 chips with A-Jo. Mari called him, and the board came 8-T-8-7-7, missing him completely. It also missed Mari, but she had pocket Jacks from the start and needed no help.

Down to three players, J.O. had around 240 in chips, Mari around 125, and Saeko around 120. Saeko had started with 60 and built up steadily, but was ill with something and looking not too well as the game ground on. Mari also looked tired out, as if she hadn't had enough sleep. J.O. seemed content to play slowly and not press things too much, as if wearing them down over time.

At one point, Mari glanced at her hand from under the gun, shoved them toward the center to fold, paused a moment, then cried "Oh! wait wait wait!" and retrieved them. They hadn't hit the muck, so she peeked at them again, then raised 60. Saeko and J.O. both folded immediately, and she picked up about 25 chips from their blinds. I still wonder what that was all about.

J.O. eventually knocked Saeko out when the board hit no one and his K-8 held up versus her J-3.

Mari held up for a long while, then eventually fell with Q-9 versus J.O.'s K-3. The board nearly filled out a straight for her, but it did not come through and she had to settle for second place.

And so, surprising no one, J.O. captured the Cup and will be enjoying his return to Vegas someday soon. But we're already planning the second Vegas Cup, six months from now, so I plan to do better in the next one.

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