"You're not the only one who gets to play with the bloggers."
Those were my words to Otis cards went into the air for the Poker Princess Invitational. It was a collection of eight poker bloggers who gathered in Austin with pride and money on the line. You see, unlike those pansy bloggers in South Carolina, we don't have to pretend we're playing for "points."
Assembled for this titanic battle were:
Adam was our tournament director, and, armed with a countdown clock that beared a remarkable resemblance to a microwave, we got started with T1500, 20/40 starting blinds and 45 minute levels. I think Otis would approve.
The Hammer and the Jackhammer
The first interesting hand of the night came on hand #4. Adam raised UTG and got two callers before it got back to me. I threw out a big re-raise with my Hiltons. Frankly, I didn't want to see any callers. We know what kind of a bitch the Hiltons can be. Thankfully, they all laid them down, including Adam, who sheepishly showed his UTG raising hand: The HAMMER.
Just a few hands later, I take my first shot at Heather. She talks a big game, but she doesn't scare me. I look down at my favorite hand, the Jackhammer, and throw out my standard raise. Heather calls on the button (which she did to me every damn time!). The flop missed me completely, but, when you're holding the Jackhammer, cards just don't matter. I massively overbet the pot and Heather went away. I think I put her on tilt for 49 seconds. At least. And she's still smarting.
UPDATE: From IM chat tonight with Heather...
Heather: actualllly i raised on the button you limped with J4
Heather: i raised with my AW
Heather: AQ - your notes are off
Heather: I remember because you BET INTO THE RAISER
CJ: ah... and you still folded!
Heather: yeah, you pissed me off by betting into my raise and that's what made me think that maybe 2nd pair wasn't good
Heather: and I'd have a shot at you another tme
Heather: and it's "a lot" not "alot" (Heather enjoys proofreading, she had a half dozen more corrections, but I didn't want to bore you.)
Told you she was still smarting!
First quote of the night:
Adam to April, giving her her nickname for the night. I suppose seeing the "kimono-like" top would help complete the image. Hmmm... this nickname was a lot funnier at the time.
The Hammer Again?
All I wrote down was, "Scott folded the HAMMER while ahead. Karma will come." I don't want to say that's foreshadowing, but...
Level 2, 15/30 blinds, April and CJ are the chip leaders
The Massive Overbet
There were a few massive overbets this weekend. Many could be attributed to the alcohol, others to the unusual set up of the chips and stacks.
This time, April threw out a massive overbet UTG +1. It was quickly folded around to John, who went into the tank (another theme). He was in the big blind, and as he explains on his own blog, he managed to convince himself that April was holding the HAMMER. He comes over the top all in with his pocket tens, and April quickly calls with Rockets.
John is out in 8th.
The Exposed Nine
Had he waited just a little longer, John likely would have finished 7th. You see, by now, Scott was severely short-stacked, sitting on just T105. When JT came his way, it was the best he'd seen in a long time, and he pushed. April and Adam both called, and Scott miraculously tripled up. A few hands later, Scott found American Airlines and doubled through Heather's 89s.
The end of it all would come when Scott found ATo and pushed once again. Somehow, in the midst of the hand, Heather managed to flip one of her cards, the 9 of diamonds. It didn't seem like that big of a deal until Adam, in the midst of calling the all-in, stopped.
When Adam finally decided to go with his call, we all saw why he reconsidered. He was holding AQ, of diamonds. It didn't matter, however, because Scott never improved. Heather on the other hand, would have tripped up.
Scott is out in 7th.
Level 3, 25/50 blinds, April is the chip leader
9:15 pm: It's dial-a-shot time, and this time, poker's favorite dwarf, Iggy is on the line.
Your Hero's Demise
The biggest difference between a poker blogger table on PokerStars and a poker blogger table in the flesh is the chance to read a player. That doesn't mean I took advantage of that fact, however, as this hand will prove.
I get to see 94o for free out of the BB. I get a piece of the flop when a 4 falls, along with two spades. I throw out a solid bet which Adam quickly calls. Did you see that... he quickly called. I think I remember Phil Gordon telling viewers on Celebrity Poker Showdown that a quick call usually means a draw.
The turn is a 4. I'm tripped. It's also the four of spades. I think you know where this is going. I slyly check my trips. He pushes all in, and I call without taking a moment to think about it. Naturally, he shows K5 of spades and I don't catch my boat. It was, by far, the biggest pot of the night. Adam and I were third and second in chips respectively, and that put Adam at the top of the list, and knocked me down to just T300.
I get my KQs all in against Gus' A7o and the flop doubles me up. I steal a few chips with a naked ace later and I get myself back up over T1000. With blinds still at 25/50, I'm in okay shape.
So when I see 99, I raise to T150. Heather calls on the button. Remember, she does that alot. And she's still smarting from that Jackhammer. She clearly has it out for me, and will draw like a donkey if that's what it takes to knock me out!
The flop is J-x-x, I decide to bet everything on the hunch she doesn't have a Jack. My hunch is pretty bad. She flips over QJo and I don't improve.
CJ is out in 6th.
Second quote of the night
That's the sound of losing.
Gus, following a raise from Kat and about 30 seconds of silence. Gus folds.
C(K)at Scratch Fever
First, she doubles through Adam. He called her preflop raise with JT and caught a piece of the K-T-x flop. When Kat pushed, Adam called and stared down the double barrel of AA. It was just the beginning of her run, and it would mean the end of our Fat Tabby Mama.
April somehow managed to get into a hand with 65o. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say it was a BB special (I'm no Dr. Pauly when it comes to note-taking, besides, Heather brought Sudoku puzzles.) The flop was Q-8-x. Kat played it cool all the way to the river when a 6 fell. April got all her chips in and found out Kat flopped top two pair.
April was out in 5th.
Down Goes Gus
The short stacks were getting short at this point, especially as Adam continued to chip up. This time, it was Gus' turn to take his shot. His A5 caught middle pair on a board of 7-5-3. Little did he know Heather was sitting on wired 9's. The turn and river brought no cards of consequence.
Gus was out in 4th (the bubble).
Third quote of the night
You deal a queen, you're sleeping on the couch.
Kat to Gus
Gus and Scott had taken over the dealing duties from John by now. In this particular hand, Gus had the deck. If you didn't know, Gus and Kat are a lovely couple. At least they were, until this hand.
Kat got all her chips into the pot with Big Slick. Adam couldn't help but call with AQ. He's dominated. At least he was until the flop. Gus peeled off Q-x-x. The K never came. I think they're still together.
Kat was out in 3rd ($48).
Fourth quote of the night
Fuck! I thought I had QJ. Son of a bitch!
We were heads up between Heather and Adam, and Adam had a rather substantial chip lead. And he used that chip lead to effectively bully his way to an even bigger chip lead. Then it happened.
The flop came down Q-7-5. Heather bet the pot and Adam couldn't push all in fast enough. Heather called and showed her Q8 and top pair. Adam proudly displayed his... JT? He somehow managed to forget his hand, and elected to go all in without checking.
Fifth quote of the night
It's like I pressed the wrong button... but I'm playing live!!!!
Adam, recounting the hand on the phone, moments later
That's right, it was the first live misclick in poker tournament history. We've all hit that wrong button the virtual tables, but Adam one-upped us. The shame of it all is that Adam played really, really well to get to that point, but just handed Heather a chip lead.
Winning Her Own Tournament
It only took a few more hands for it to come to an end. We've all played with the luckbox to know what's coming. Adam got all his money in the pot with QTs and got called by Heather's JTo. The flop produced a Jack, and it was all over.
Adam was out in 2nd ($72)
She dodged HAMMERS and Jackhammers, took advantage of a live misclick, single-handedly eliminated 3 of the 8 players (including our hero) and masterfully moved her way to the top of the chip stack.
The Poker Princess is your champion ($120).