Before we started I was looking over the structure for this no-limit hold’em event and for funsies decided to run the numbers through Arnold Snyder’s Patience Level/Skill Factor calculator. There I learned the tourney (with 15-minute levels) actually had a bit of play -- i.e., it was a "medium fast" tourney that thus required a bit more skill than yr typical fast-structured tourney. (You can hunt around Snyder’s website for more, or check out his books.)
Indeed, as it turned out, there was a chance to be patient in the early going. But you know how it is once those stacks start shrinking. That’s when, as the PokerListings guys always say, it definitely pays to “run good.”
Turned out neither Lieu nor Lindley showed this week, but Jason Young did. And unfortunately for me, he was sitting on my left. That is him there holding up his bracelet in the picture. (Dunno if he was doing that while we were playing, though that was nevertheless the image I had in mind as we were.) For those of you who watched ESPN’s coverage of the 2008 WSOP Main Event, Jason got a lot of coverage on one of the early days when he was sitting next to Ray Romano at the feature table.
Making matters worse, the aggressive Dan Skolovy (of PokerListings) -- winner of two of the four events from the first Run Good Challenge -- was on Jason’s left. Not an ideal arrangement for yr humble gumshoe.
My table draw -- along with a relatively poor series of starting hands -- caused me to tighten up a bit too much in the early going. I won a couple of small pots, but was doing way too much folding to be competitive and eventually my stack started to bleed away. At some point after I had fallen down below 1,000 chips, I pushed all in with pocket eights and was called by David G. Schwartz who held . An ace flopped, but luckily an eight appeared on the turn and I was still alive with 1,600 or so.
Kid Dynamite was Gigli this time around, finishing 14th, with Schwartz going out in 13th a few hands after having suffered my bad beat. Eventually we’d reach Level 4, with the blinds suddenly 50/100 and my stack down to just 1,385. Jason Young had been eliminated in 12th, and Pokerati Dan had hit the rail in 11th.
With Young out, we were now five-handed. Also, now Dan S. was on my immediate left. I picked up on the button and when Pauly and Change100 folded to me I put in a raise to 300. Dan promptly responded by pushing all in from the small blind. Amy Calistri folded her big blind, and the action was back on me.
Ugh. Now I have 1,085 left and the pot is (effectively) 1,785 after Dan’s shove. Adds up to a bit worse than 2-to-1 to make the call. I know Dan’s range is very wide here. If he has two overs (very likely), I’m about 40% to win. So I call and, sure enough, he has . (At the time, Dan typed a “?” when he saw my hand -- I am sure he expected me to have more there -- but I see in his write-up of the event he is saying odds-wise the call was correct.)
Plainly I should have just shoved to start with rather than made the 3x bet, especially if I knew I was going to call an all-in bet like that. But actually, I didn’t know. I’d thought a regular preflop raise might have gotten Dan to fold from the small blind (he doesn’t always protect his blinds). And if the Amy C. -- generally speaking a more conservative player than Dan -- had been the one to put in the big raise from the BB, I’d have let it go for sure. Anyhow, never feels good to call one’s stack off like that, but as it turned out I wasn’t too unhappy with the situation once the chips were in the middle.
The flop came , and I was down to a few outs. The on the turn gave me a straight draw, but the on the river sealed it and I was out in 10th.
I decided not to hop into a cash game afterwards, knowing that oftentimes whenever I play just after busting from a tourney, I tend not to fare too well. Did a little work on the computer while occasionally checking in on the final table as it played out.
I saw Change get her pocket rockets cracked by Michele Lewis’ big slick. Michele had raised, Change had pushed all in, and Michele called. The flop brought a jack and a queen. “Wow,” typed Luckbox (of Up for Poker). “Uh oh,” typed Dan S. The ten came on the turn, and Change was out in 9th.
Benjo appeared to have had connection issues all day and got short-stacked before Michele also bounced him 8th. A little later, Dr. Pauly called Dan S.’s all in bet and appeared in good shape with A-Q versus Dan’s . A four flopped, though, and Pauly couldn’t improve. That crippled the good doctor down below 400 chips, and a few all ins later he finally was bounced in 7th when he ran A-J into Amy C.’s big slick.
The Spaceman went out in 6th when he ran against Dan’s big slick and got no help. Luckbox followed soon thereafter, yet another victim of Michele Lewis. Luckbox had shoved from the button with ace-queen, and Michele called from the big blind with A-10. A ten flopped, and Luckbox couldn’t recover. The remaining four had reached the cash bubble.
The four were all in the 4,000-6,000 chip range when the Poker Shrink (a.k.a. Tim Lavalli) had a big double up with pocket aces through Dan’s pocket eights. Dan would then shove his shortened stack with 9-9 and the Shrink called with 7-7. The flop came 4-5-6, and the trey on the river meant Dan was out in fourth.
The Poker Shrink was running good. With the lone Poker Listings representative out, that meant there would be no rollover of the money this week.
When three-handed play began, the Poker Shrink had just over 10,000 of the chips in play, while Amy and Michele each had around 5,000. A couple of big hands later Tim was up over 14,000, with the women slipping down close to 3,000. The trio then battled for forty hands or so before Michele finally pushed with A-3 and was called by the Shrink who had pocket sixes. The pair held up, and Michele was out in third.
As some of you may know, Tim and Amy are co-authoring a book about Mike Matusow, Check-Raising the Devil, due out next May just before next year’s World Series. At the start of heads-up, the Poker Shrink had about 16,000 to his co-author’s 5,000.
Amy lost a few hands, then doubled up with pocket treys versus Shrink’s ace-queen. Then came another all-in confrontation as Amy took her pocket jacks to war versus Shrink’s . The flop was safe for Amy -- . But the came on the turn, giving Tim the lead. The river was the , and the Poker Shrink was our Event 1 winner.
Congrats to Tim! And thanks to Poker Listings for some big fun. I’m gonna have to see if I can get my head back into a tournament-mindset here before next weekend’s Event 2. Clearly some of that shrinkin’ is in order.