But as Viv Savage, keyboardist for Spinal Tap, once said, ”Yeah, I've got two hands here.”
Like last week, the tourney was again no-limit hold’em, although this time we were playing a turbo format (i.e., five-minute levels). Given the breakneck structure, I remember thinking as the first hand was dealt I could very well be done before 2:30, anyway.
Matt Showell and the PokerListings guys came up with that name -- the ”Run Good Challenge” -- and it particularly applied to this event. While there are certainly better and worse approaches to turbo tourneys (i.e., there is some skill involved), one generally needs a lot of luck and/or good timing, too, to get anywhere in ’em. As it happened, I had both.
There were three key hands for me that determined my fate (and that of some others), all of which went my way.
The first came right near the end of Level 4. The blinds were already 50/100, and in a couple of hands would bump up to 75/150. After having built up to 1,900 or so early on, I had slipped back to 1,570 when the following hand took place. I was sitting in the cutoff where I’d been dealt . It folded to me, and I put in a raise to 300. (I might’ve raised with anything here.) Folded over to the Wicked Chops entity who reraised all in for 795 total. You can figure out the odds here and a short-stack’s possible range yourself. I called, and Chops showed . Luckily for me, a deuce flopped and my set survived. I now had over 2,500, tops at my table.
The second fortunate hand came after we’d consolidated to the final table. This one came in Level 8 (blinds 150/300, antes 25), about 35-40 minutes into the tournament. By this point the WCOOP had gotten cranked up and I was becoming increasingly distracted by the half-dozen windows I had open in order to live blog the sucker. (Ended up writing a few posts while playing, actually.) So I’d been folding a lot of hands, basically just hoping to catch a good starter and push. I had 1,740 chips -- actually was third out of the six players remaining (though not by much) -- when I picked up in the cutoff. It folded to me, I shoved, and after a few seconds of considerin’ chip leader Dan from PokerListings called from the small blind with .
I liked how the situation looked until the flop came . Ugh. What’s that, ten outs now for Dan? Then the came on the turn. Oh, dear. I was wishing I had his hand. But the river was the , and I’d survived. “How do i miss that," typed Dan. “Bulletproof,” answered Dr. Pauly. I was up to 3,730.
The third instance of good-timing came when we were four-handed in Level 9 (blinds 200/400, antes 50). After folding a bunch of hands I was down to 2,880 -- ahead of Pauly but behind Change100 and Dan – when I got in the under the gun-slash-cutoff seat. I thought a beat, then minimum-raised to 800. Change also took a moment before reraising to 2,800. The blinds folded, I stuck the 2,830 I had left in the middle, and Change called, showing .
“Boo,” said Change. Like I say, good timing for me there. The rockets held up and I was in good shape to cash.
A short-stacked Pauly went out shortly thereafter, followed by Change in third. When heads-up began Dan had me outchipped just about 2-to-1 (12,095 to 5,905). I didn’t play the heads-up portion particularly well, in my opinion, though did somehow grab the chip lead briefly. Overall, though, Dan was the aggressor and deservedly took it down. (Check out Dan’s blog for his discussion of heads-up.)
Nice little payday there ($480) for just under one hour’s worth of play. And I believe I have now picked up enough leaderboard points to secure a spot in the fourth and final tourney scheduled later in the month.
Additionally, since Dan from PokerListings is not eligible for the cabbage, this week’s first place money gets rolled over yet again to next week’s tournament (a combined NLHE/PLO event, I believe). That means some huge prizes for those who make it into the top three next Saturday.
I suppose, then, I wasn’t the only lucky one.