The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker is winding down at last, meaning I’ll have a week or so to recharge before heading Vegas-ward for another summer of WSOP.
Was another all-night affair last night, this time spent chronicling the Main Event -- the two-day, $10,300 buy-in, no-limit hold’em tourney the winner of which is scheduled to earn $1,162,350 (barring a final table deal) as well as the 114th (!) SCOOP winner’s watch. There are 27 players left in that one (out of the starting field of 615). Click here to read all about Day 1.
I say I played some as well this weekend. As noted here before, tourneys aren’t normally my thing. But they may become so. Hard to be reporting on these suckers constantly without desiring to jump into the fray now and then.
SCOOP Satellite (I run good)
Momentarily possessed with a mild case of SCOOP fever, on Friday I jumped into one of those hyped-up, turbo-style, rebuy satellites to the “Low” version of the Main Event (with a $109 buy-in). The tourney was just $1.10 to enter, and as it happened I had a few T$ (tourney dollars) in my account, so ended up using exactly $3.13 worth of those as I rebought once and took the add-on.
There were 257 entered, and after all of the rebuyin’ and add-onin’ it worked out that the the top 11 would win tickets, with the 12th-place finisher taking $85 or so. After about 90 minutes there were 24 players left, and somehow I’d zigzagged my way to 15th with a slightly below-average stack. At that point pretty much everyone was in shove-or-fold territory. In fact, looking back, aside from the very start of the tourney, I don’t think I ever had much more than 20 big blinds, and usually was sitting with less than 10.
Couldn’t pick up a hand for a while, and soon found myself dead last -- 17th of 17 -- and looking like I’d be bubbling. But I won a hand or two, including one especially lucky hand where I’d shoved with K-J and got called by a fellow holding K-Q. The flop came A-Q-10, the turn was another 10, then the river brought a surprising king to give me the straight. I don’t think I played a single hand after that, and eventually made it into the top 11 and won my seat.
It did cross my mind just to take the $109 worth of tourney cabbage and run, but those thoughts didn’t last long. Had happened before where I’d won a seat into the Sunday Million on the cheap, but decided to cash out. Considering this was essentially a freeroll, I thought I’d go for it.
SCOOP Main Event (I run not so good)
As it happened, when the tourney cranked up late Sunday afternoon my attention was divided as I was simultaneously writing a recap of another SCOOP event, so conditions weren’t ideal for concentrating on my table. Still, I chipped up a bit during the first few levels, then fell back to the starting stack of 10,000 or so. Wasn’t picking up hands to speak of, really, although did get A-A in the big blind the one time I was given a walk (no shinola).
Bled a few more chips after an unsuccessful steal or three. Then it was during hour three that the pivotal hand came up for me. Sorry I don’t have the hand history handy, but I remember it fairly well.
I had about 8,200 when I managed to pick up pocket aces again in middle position. I raised 3x, and only the fellow on my left called. He’d done a lot of calling, including showing down hands as light as ace-high, and as a result was down around 5,500. The flop came Q-J-6 rainbow and I continued for about two-thirds pot. When he quickly called, I thought he’d probably paired the queen or jack. I also thought he’d keep calling with just that lone pair.
The turn was a five, and again I bet something like half the pot. He again called, leaving himself less than 3,000. The river was a four, I bet about half of his stack, and he quickly pushed all in. I had something like 1,500 more to call with the pot around 10,000, so I did.
He turned over 8-7 (sooted). He’d flopped a gutshot, turned an open-ender, and got there. Now I was down under 3,000, and feeling not-so-great about my luck. Or my skill.
I did double up once before finally going out. Ironically, I ended up pushing a stack of about 10 big blinds with K-J and was called by K-Q (just like in the satellite). No miracles for me this time, though, and I was done in around 11,000th of the 19,188 who played.
BBT5 (all good again)
By then the BBT5 -- the Battle of the Bloggers 5 Invitational -- had gotten started. There were 112 entered in that one. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but I ended up making it through to the money (top 18) and then the final table.
When that final table started, I typed “let’s stop the tournament and finish up in November.” Then added, “I want a shot at some sponsorships!” Seemed like a good idea, but we ended up playing it out anyway.
At that point I was short-stacked (natch), but so were about five or six others. Ended up lasting to seventh for a modest cash, which made the miserable SCOOP performance go away pretty quickly. Thanks again to AlCantHang for the invite and pulling together the BBT5.
I believe there is one more tourney to go in the series this coming Sunday (5/23), although I have a feeling I might be sitting that one out in order to spend time with Vera before heading west. There are still a couple more Mookies and Poker from the Rail events, all leading toward the BBT5 Tournament of Champions on May 27th. Check Al’s post for more details.
Moving back over to the reporter side of things tonight for Day 2 of the SCOOP Main Event. Will be live blogging the final table with my buddy Drizz (who cashed in that SCOOP Main Event-Low, by the way!), so check the PokerStars blog for that some time during the early evening.