Tuesday, June 21, 2005

2005 World Series of Poker

This will probably be my only post on the 2005 WSOP.

It's Party Time

This time it came in a USPS delivered cardboard box. Upon opening it, I found a PartyPoker hat together with a letter informing me that I had a $30 bonus waiting if I played 150 raked hands. Not wishing to repeat the same mistake I made last time, I threw Kelly and caution to the wind and immediately bought in for $25 in a $25 NL game. It wasn't long before I had $44.35 in front of me, and then the following hand transpired (my apologies, but bison's hand converter doesn't accurately reflect the side pots):

Seat 9 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 7: Hero ( $44.35 )
Seat 5: mXXX ( $61.72 )
Seat 6: bXXX ( $5.3 )
Seat 1: wXXX ( $5.8 )
Seat 4: aXXX ( $23.55 )
Seat 2: EXXX ( $5.44 )
Seat 8: sXXX ( $11.05 )
Seat 3: BXXX ( $6.7 )
Seat 9: AXXX ( $19.95 )
Seat 10: cXXX ( $7.65 )
cXXX posts small blind [$0.1].
wXXX posts big blind [$0.25].

** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Hero [ Ah Kh ]
EXXX folds.
BXXX folds.
aXXX raises [$1].
mXXX raises [$1.75].
bXXX folds.
Hero calls [$1.75].
sXXX calls [$1.75].
AXXX folds.
cXXX folds.
wXXX folds.
aXXX raises [$2].
mXXX calls [$1.25].
Hero calls [$1.25].
sXXX is all-In [$9.3]
aXXX calls [$8.05].
mXXX calls [$8.05].
Hero calls [$8.05].

** Dealing Flop ** [ 9d, Kc, 6c ]
aXXX checks.
mXXX bets [$15].
Hero calls [$15].
aXXX is all-In [$12.5]

** Dealing Turn ** [ 5c ]
mXXX checks.
Hero is all-In [$18.3]
mXXX calls [$18.3].

** Dealing River ** [ Ad ]
mXXX shows [ Ks, Qc ] a pair of kings.
Hero shows [ Ah, Kh ] two pairs, aces and kings.
sXXX doesn't show [ Ts, As ] a pair of aces.
aXXX shows [ Qs, Qd ] a pair of queens.

Hero wins $41.6 from side pot #2 with two pairs, aces and kings.
Hero wins $36.7 from side pot #1 with two pairs, aces and kings.
Hero wins $42.35 from the main pot with two pairs, aces and kings.

To my dismay, rather than blowing my buy-in, I now had $120.65 plus the unused $5. So what next, the $50 NL tables?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

WPT Kamikaze

For those who missed last night's WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars of Poker (actually played on March 11, 2005), it was one of the wildest final tables ever televised. It's down to 4 players and our two protagonists are Danny Nguyen, a San Jose poker dealer, and Shandor Szentkuti, a 36 year old amateur from Pacifica, CA.

Szentkuti, with $680,000 in front of him, has been playing tightly while Nguyen, with $545,000, has been involved in virtually every pot, trying to run over the table by bullying and bluffing.

Szentkuti, with A K, decides it's time to put an end to Nguyen's madness and calls the latter's all-in bet of $545,000.
Nguyen has A 7.

Flop: K 5 5 with one diamond.

Nguyen needs running diamonds or running 7's to win. At this stage, Szentkuti is a 96% favorite.

Turn: 7

River: 7

Needless to say, Szentkuti was crippled and went out the very next hand.

For Szentkuti, the emotional scars created will most likely manifest themselves in a combination of the following :

(1) Frequent and uncontrollable flashbacks of the hand
(2) Morbid feelings of self-pity
(3) Morbid feelings of wanting to strangle Danny Nguyen
(4) Deep regret at not winning a higher prize

The inevitable neuroses will only be magnified by the feedback loop of interaction with his perceived mass viewing audience.

Poker is becoming a dangerous sport. Make no mistake, this nationally televised suckout ranks right up there with the other life events (loss of job, illness etc.) and consequently Szentkuti is a prime candidate for some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What really happened....

For the previous 6 weeks, my raison d’ĂȘtre has been winning the WPBT tourney. I was in full training mode, observing a strict diet and abstaining from all forms of sexual activity (carpal tunnel). I had met with the staff at Aladdin and had instructed the dealers how, when and what to deal to me. Nothing could possibly go wrong. I had prepared a winner's acceptance speech that I could rattle off in my sleep and was already planning on spending the very attractive first prize.

There remained, however, one obstacle. Despite statements to the contrary, I had no good reason to believe that Bill Rini was actually going to change his bounty from last year's knee to the groin. So my gameplan was to avoid any direct confrontation with him - in fact the script had him going out in 3rd place with his cowboys getting cracked by CJ's suited jackhammer. I figured that after getting kneed in the junk by Rini, CJ would be in no position to pull off something unexpected, and it would be a cakewalk from there on. Why Bill and CJ, you ask? It was the least I could do to compensate Bill for last year's Gigli. And CJ had to be rewarded for all the time he put into organizing this event, for goodness sake!

And then it happened. I was dealt JJ in early position and raised all-in. Bill, who was preordained to get A4s and subsequently fold, called!!! Eight-handed and he puts his tournament life on the line calling an early position all-in raise with A4 sooooted!!! This was not in the script and to his credit, Davor, the dealer, did manage to find one of the jacks he had stashed away at the bottom of the deck for just this type of emergency, but somehow the second one eluded him. I knew that the only way I could lose this tournament was due to some unexpected move by one of my opponents, so I had reluctantly prepared a bounty together with a silly bust-out speech that I had no intention of uttering. Well, who woulda thunk it?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Thanks CJ

Just back from the WPBT Blogger's tourney at the Aladdin. Bill Rini, who eliminated me in 8th place thereby earning a well-deserved bounty, went on to win the event. What a great bunch of people I had the pleasure of meeting today.