Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ladies Night: PokerListings Grand Finale

Ladies NightIt occurred to me after Change100 had defeated Spaceman in that heads-up match to secure the final spot in the PokerListings Run Good Challenge Super Happy Grand Final Championship that the field today would be evenly divided by sex -- three women and three men. Have to say, it was pretty cool to be playing today, as everyone who qualified for the final stood to make some extra cabbage. (Read details here.)

I can’t say I thought much further about the half-men/half-women thang after I’d first noticed it, though. Didn’t think about it all until about an hour or so into the match. That’s when I realized the ladies were killin’ the guys.

In other words, I was the last dude standin’...!

Michele Lewis got off to a quick start, crippling PokerListings Dan with a flopped flush versus his flopped top set, then finishing him off in a pocket jacks vs. pocket tens showdown. After winning the first two PL tourneys, Dan ended up as Gigli in the last two. As was the case in Week 3, I can’t say I felt too bad to see a tough player like Dan go out early. Sort of like Tom Brady going down the first week of the season -- anything seems possible after that.

Dr. Pauly would be the next to go. We were in Level 4 (blinds 50/100). The good doctor had 2,675 when the hand began -- fifth of five. Michele raised to 300 from the button, I meekly folded in the small blind, and Pauly repopped it to 900 from the big. Michele called, and the flop came Th5hTc. Pauly shoved, Michele instacalled, and Pauly showed... the hammer. Deuce-seven offsuit. The hand with which he had crushed Kid Dynamite back in Week 1.

Unfortunately for him, Michele had a ten in her hand.

I actually would win a hand later on with the hammer, though I have to admit I felt a little sheepish about it. I showed, of course. But I tend to fold whenever I get dealt the favorite hand of bloggers -- one I assume folks are playing with regularity at the Bash this weekend. I frankly haven’t the cojones to play the hammer the way it deserves to be played. When I saw the good doctor drawing dead today, it was a little like seeing a fellow comrade jump on a grenade to save the rest of us.

It had to be done. That’s all there is to it.

And then we were four. Me and the ladies.

The hand right after Pauly’s bustout was kind of interesting, I thought. Michele had limped from the cutoff, and I decided to limp as well from the button with 8-6. The flop came 6-2-2 rainbow. “Hammer one hand too soon,” said Amy Calistri. The table checked to me. There was 400 in the pot. I started to make a half-pot bet, then decided for funsies to bet 222.

The blinds folded, and Michele quickly typed “????????????????????” Then “222?” Then she raised to 500. “Is that what u have?” I typed, then folded. She showed the Ad2d. “Runnin’ gooood,” she would type afterwards, echoing the especially well-chosen name of the series.

Kind of a cheeky play, on my part. I pretty much have to bet it, though. So why not throw out something weird like that to get everyone wonderin’? Have to say, I was glad to have lost very little there, as I would’ve been in sad shape had we gone any further with that one.

After that hand, I had a bit more than 3,500, which actually was second place though not by much. At that point, I ran into a particularly bad stretch of starting hands. (Indeed, the whole day was pretty much below average in terms of cards for me.) Meanwhile, Change started to build up a stack -- and play more aggressively, raising to 420 a lot preflop. (Was she transmitting some sort of message with her bet sizes, too?) Between her and Michele (where I was seated), not to mention the increasing blinds, it started to become increasingly uncomfortable for yr humble gumshoe.

Pretty soon we were in a situation where Amy and I had extremely short stacks (me about 1,500 and her even less), while our aggressive opponents had about 8K (Michele) and 5K (Change). Amy and I were trying to wait each other out, folding most hands. She managed to double up a couple of times, though, and finally I was forced to push with A-2 suited against both Change and Michele. Change happened to have ace-jack on that one, and I was cooked.

That left the three ladies -- Change, Amy, and Michele. Amy would get bounced in third fairly soon after me (at Change’s expense, I think). Thanks to those couple of bustouts and another good hand or two, Change would take the chip lead, then finally get Michele all in on a hand in which Change had pocket rockets. Just like Gus Hansen at the 2007 Aussie Millions, Change would take down the sucker with the best starting hand in hold’em. Maybe she’ll write an “every hand revealed” book about today’s tourney, too.

Congrats to everyone who made today’s final -- and especially to Change for taking it down -- and big thanks again to PokerListings for hosting the sucker. Big fun from beginning to end. Word is we’ll be having another one of these sometime in the future, probably with a larger field of bloggers along for the ride.

As far as overall results for this here extravaganza, I made out like a bandit. Also -- perhaps unsurprisingly -- I’ve picked the tourney bug again big time, and am therefore now thinking seriously about getting back into playing MTTs (after a couple of years of primarily focusing on cash games). So maybe there will be some discussion of friggin’ no-limit hold’em -- the game everyone and his brother sister plays -- on this here poker blog movin’ forward.

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