Last nite was the finale for the top ten. First prize was $800 and tenth place was $70. We were all guaranteed at least a minimal cash. The bottom 17 had their own two table tourney with a smaller prize pool. Bruce and Patti (Bruce's wife and league substitute) prepared a nice pre tourney buffet for us before action got under way. I thought about live blogging the top ten tourney but then decided against it to concentrate on the game.
Our starting chip stacks were based on the points we had earned throughout the twenty week season. That put me on the shortstack (not by much), but about a 3000 chip dawg to league leader Steve. Karen and Doug both started with close to the same number of chips as I.
Thursday nite I had played heads-up against the Shamster for AcesCracked. I was able to take the victory down in about thirty minutes. I had Sham down early and he played back at me. Snake was on the rail and in my ear and for a minute or two I wondered who's side he was on offering me the following encouragement.... "he's coming back" as my 3:1 chip advantage dwindled back towards my starting chip count. This didnt happen just once but on a couple of occasions. In return I cussed a blue streak back into his ear which got a "What's with the swearing!!???!!" Which got me to admit what should have been obvious...."I have my period, Okay!!!" Yes I was feeling rather restless, irritable and slightly impatient and discontented. "Ah, so that was what the 72os was all about last nite." he replied." I of course just giggle and say "Yup!" On Wednesday nite, with 11 left in a $5.50 90 person Deep Stack SNG on Full Tilt, I went from 2nd in chips with about 22k to out in 11th, in the course of about 4 hands. Shorthanded I missed with AK, missed with K9 donating chips back to the dude I had doubled up off of to move into the two spot. So, like any good blogger on a bad or good day I pushed all in with 72os. Out I went.
So Friday nite I was actually calm and cool as a cucumber pre-tourney and I had absolutely no pre-tourney jitters and the hormones werent raging.. Vindication and redemption were really what I was looking for. I had a game plan and I had some targets. Lucky me, I have Al on my immediate right (hes rather tight) , Doug on my immediate left and when I'm on the button Ray/Snake is my BB. Our starting seats are:
1. Steve (PokerBratz) on the button the league leader, bowling phenom (hes been on FoxSports!!)
2. Tracey (aka Pinky)
3. Lex (aka BigTai)
4. Al (WD40)
5. Lori (Irongirl01, better known as IG or Tilly)
7. Ray (snake5970, Fearless Ray to the APLers-league runner-up)
I am not sure if this was prophetic or not but Mike came over with the bracelet that the winner of our tourney would win to show to me, Ray and I think Al or Lex. I picked it up out of the box and put it around Rays wrist. And as much as I wanted to win the tourney myself, if I were setting the morning line on who I felt would win I would have the odds on Ray as the favorite. I've seen him improve tremendously over the last 3 months as I have improved. Plus I had railed him thru a bunch of FTOPS sats this past week and some of the guarantees on-line which he went deep in and had some nominal cashes. He even made it into the Poker After Dark finale. He had chopped his monday nite game with his brother after he knocked out his league sub Joe aka Cocky aka Smellydigits. A big win was only around the corner and live play is where he really excels.
Somewhere during the first hour, I noticed Ray had gotten really quiet, in fact I saw what looked like TILT. Although he is a table captain who likes to keep things moving he's usually relaxed and easy going and chatty. I leaned over to ask him what was up as Doug was out of his seat for the umpteenth time to smoke a butt. He told me what was going on, but we were still playing so I told him to breathe and flipped him my buddha cardcapper and told him to rub his belly. We were close to break and on break I grabbed him away from the table and let him vent. What was going on had'nt gotten to the point of irritating me yet but I understood his frustration. I told him not to let it effect his tourney.
Eric was the first to hit the rail. He got involved with Al who had acquired a nice stack mostly off Steve I believe. Al made a call that for most of us would have been simple which left him shaken and the chip leader. He left Eric with 1 black $100 chip. Steve went out next. I then tangled with Tracey on a call that I had to go with my read on. I raised with AQos.. Everyone folded but Tracey in the BB who called my raise. The board came something like 679. I checked she bet. I put her on a draw and called. the turn came something like a 2. I checked she bet $600 I called . I either bet the river or check called another $600. I had put her on a str8 draw and was partially right she was on a str8 and flush draw and my AQ high was enough to take her K8os. That got me well over my starting chip stack and left Tracey short. She was next to go then Doug and then Zoe took out Karen. And then there were 5.
With the blinds getting up there at 1000/2000, Lex who was short, started making the all in moves. Everyone was beating me to the punch. I thought about calling him with KJh from the BB with him on the button. I went into the tank but folded. He showed me an Ace so I have to believe I was dominated to either a made hand or it was a race. I wasnt ready to commit. I got dealt a few medium pockets 55 and 66 and folded from EP. Ray was on a tear and now had about the same number of chips as Al. On two circuits I looked down to AK and JJ two hands in a row in the SB and on the button. I was able to get Ray to fold his BB to me when I moved in with Big Slick from the SB, and when I raised of the button to about $4200 leaving me pot committed with the fishhooks I got no bites. I had horrible hands in the BB and couldnt play back at Al even when he only limped against me from the SB. There isn't much you can do with 83os and 24os when the flop misses you completely and your opponent rarely bluffs.
Finally down to my last 3000 chips and the shortstack I move all in with the hand I call the Snake. It was a diamond suited Snake . Ray looked at me and called. The flop came k7x I believe. Zoe was also in the pot. Ray bet her out of the hand and flipped pocket 7's for a set. There was one diamond on the flop, one on the turn but the miracle flush didnt arrive and I went out in 5th for $200 . Ray leaned over said a couple words to me and i just smiled and said.. "You know what I say.... the person who knocks me out goes on to win"... I moved my seat from the table to just behind him, to sweat him.
That left Ray as chipleader and Zoe and Lex and Al (who had gotten short with most of the chips going to Ray on a bluff by Ray) The hand of the evening three people all in. Zoe with AJ, Lex and AL: AK and AQ... The turn or river brought a Jack and Zoe was now heads-up with Ray and the chip leader.
I stood up from the table and almost didn't want to watch. Now I know how Phil Gordon felt when he was sweating Rafe Furst. Im lucky in that I got to see Ray's card's whereas Phil was in the stands. It was a clinic and everything he has taught me just recently about heads-up play. It took all of 6 hands for about 50,000 or so of Zoe's chips to wind up in Rays hands. She only won one hand in 5. The final hand she pushed all-in. He had Q8os... I knew he would make the call. I would make the same call now and had just done so in a tourney on FTP where I went on to finish 3rd. I believe Zoe held K7os and when the board hit an 8 and there was no king for Zoe, Ray was the Season #2 final tourney champ to the tune of $800 and Bracelet winner. Bill, Zoe's dad and hubby of leaguemate Juddy took down the other tourney over runner-up Steve and Mike aka the commish finished 3rd.
CONGRATULATIONS R. P.
Postscript.. The Mojo is still working for Snake5970.. With an investment of $200 in last nites UB $109 rebuy he finished #2 for a nice cash of over $5k. I had told him after his APL win that this was going to be his break-out year and I love being right!!