Week 1 of the PokerListings Run Good Challenge v.2 was moderately successful. Despite not finishing in the money, I was happy to find myself in the final 5 and I never got all my money in behind (um... perhaps that was my problem).
Here's how it went down:
My starting table looked like this:
s1: Benjo (Everyone's favorite Frenchman)
s2: Michelle (The Cougar)
s5: Jason (The Tennessee Spaceman)
s6: Kid Dynamite
s7: The Original Luckbox
s8: Pokerati Dan
s9: The Poker Shrink
The first big hand came in Level 1, and it gave us Gigli. I'm sitting in the small blind when I look down at the most powerful hand in poker, The HAMMER. Kid Dynamite makes a standard raise to 60 from the button. Understanding the correct way to play the HAMMER, I re-raise to 200.
"I am getting abused," Kid Dynamite says before calling. He had just lost the previous hand and likely felt like he was getting pushed around.
The flop couldn't have been much better, coming down A22. Now I just had to hope Kid Dynamite was holding a big Ace. I coyly checked and KD bet 210. I wasted no time in raising to 650.
"Nice playing with you guys," KD said as he pushed all in. I quickly called and KD showed AQ. The turn and the river were inconsequential and KD was out.
"Hammer," I typed in the chat box.
"Of COURSE," Jason chimed in.
"Is that Jordan," KD asked. My fragile ego could hardly take being unrecognized. I told him my name, to which he said, "Don't know the luckbox."
"Luckbox 1, KD 0," Pauly chimed in from the rail followed by, "The Luckbox lives!" from Change100.
"Won't forget the Luckbox now," I joked.
"His swollen nuts will always recall," Pauly added. "That's for calling me Jordan, punk!" Pauly continued, "What's my name now, b****?"
As Dan from Pokerlisting finally declared from the rail, it was a standard first bust for a blogger tourney and I suppose it was fitting that it came from me. I hope Kid Dynamite can forgive me.
The next hand, I nearly busted Pokerati Dan when my AK hit a K-high flop. I lead out and got raised by Dan. The board presented a possible straight draw, so I pushed and he folded. I'm not sure what he was trying to say as the chat read, "*******."
We were in Level 3 when I got my second hammer of the afternoon. I'm really kicking myself now about how I played it. As before, I faced a raise in front of me to 150 and I again re-raised to 400. The PokerShrink called.
The flop came down A3J. I wimped out. The pot was 850 and I had 2485 in front of me. The Shrink had just 1205 behind. I suppose I could have bet half the pot and if he pushed, I fold. If he didn't have an Ace, there was no way he was staying the in hand. If he did, I would have wasted 800 chips with The Hammer. Instead, I weakly checked, as did the Shrink.
The turn was a 4, giving me a gutshot wheel draw. That was probably a bad card for me because it actually encouraged me to check, looking for the miracle 5 on the river. Again, a solid bet here may win the hand, although not as likely as a continuation bet on the flop would have. We both checked again.
The river was a 6 and I couldn't find it in me to bluff at it. If he had a pocket pair of any kind, he would likely see my river bet as exactly what it was... a desperate bluff. He showed pocket 8s and took the pot. "I'm a wimp," I declared to the table.
It wasn't long before we were at the final table which looked like this:
s5: Jason Spaceman
s6: Dan from PL
s8: Amy C
s9: Poker Shrink
I started the final table 3rd in chips. Things got ugly pretty quickly as Michelle knocked out Change100 when the Cougar's AK turned broadway against Rockets. Michelle next knocked out short-stacked Benjo when her 77 held up against T8s.
I wasn't seeing much of anything. I attempted one blind steal with K8 from the SB but Amy C read me right and pushed all in. I was suddenly down to my starting stack and in last place of the 7 players remaining.
After getting blinded down to 1135, I found the Hilton sisters on the button. Pauly obliged with an early position raise to 450 and he was virtually priced in to call my all-in raise. He did, and his A3s never improved. I doubled up.
Pauly's luck only got worse as his AQ went down to Dan's A4 with a 4 on the flop. Crippled from there, it was only a few hands before Amy's AK knocked out Pauly's AJ when a K on the flop sealed it.
Michelle tried her best from there to thin the field even further, but she doubled up Jason with her 89s vs. Jason's AA and then she doubled up the Shrink when his KQ turned Broadway against her A2.
A few hands later, Dan would bust Jason when his AK held up against QJ. We were down to 5 players and one away from the bubble. My cards were cold, but I was still alive, sitting fifth in chips with just 1895 and blinds at 125/250/25.
That's when I looked down at Big Slick. The Shrink raised to 750 in front of me and I had an easy decision. I pushed, he called, and he flipped his own Big Slick. After the predictable chop, I was back up just over 2K in chips.
The very next hand, I get AQ. This time, it was Michelle who raised to 750. I quickly pushed all in and when she hesitated with her call, I knew there was an excellant chance I had her dominated. She called, seemingly reluctantly, and flipped over AT.
I liked my chances... except that I play much better from behind. When the T came on the flop, I knew it was likely over. A Jack on the flop gave me a straight draw so I asked the dealer for a King. It never came, and I was out.
It was a disappointing end to the afternoon, but I don't think I was outplayed anywhere. I got lucky early with the Hammer, then I misplayed the Hammer and then I found myself in a cold streak of cards. Had my AQ held up at the end, I would have been up to 4566 and within just a round of blinds of the chip leader.
That's poker, right?
(FYI: I'm working on getting comments up again, please stand by.)