This past weekend was just crazy busy. The Shrink and I are in the last big push to finish the book. So the weekend for me was backloaded with chapters to edit. Even as busy as we were, we both were hell bent on playing in the first event of Pokerlisting’s Run Good Challenge II. And poker with some of my favorite bloggers seemed like the best possible break I could take.
When play began, Pauly, Change100, Short-Stacked Shamus, The Poker Shrink, Luckbox, Pokerati Dan, Kid Dynamite, Michele Lewis, Benjo, Spaceman, Dave Schwartz, and WSOP Bracelet winner Jason Young were all on hand – along with our PokerListings nemesis Dan Skolovy. Luckily I had Skolovy to my right. Our first bustout was perfectly appropriate for the event: Luckbox, armed with the mighty hammer took out Kid Dynamite’s piddly A-Q after an A-2-2 flop.
I played a little fast and loose (for me) out of the gate. I was a little sorry that I didn’t really get paid off when my pocket deuces hit a set on a flop that apparently missed everyone else. I played a 6-7 that flopped a straight, a J-T that found one on the turn, and a 9-8 that made one on the river. Early in, I had the chip lead on my table. But anyone who knows my game, knows that a stack is completely wasted on me.
Jason Young’s gut shot draw to the royal flush was no match for Change100’s top pair and she sent the bracelet winner to the rail. I got very nervous when Pauly took a commanding lead at my table. Pauly is just a menace with a stack. The other table was also in deep doo doo when Shrink took the lead there. Although Michele, aka the Cougar, was challenging Shrink’s lead after she busted the consummate victim, Pokerati Dan.
Even though it was painful to watch, I was relieved when Dan S’ A-4 took a big chunk of Pauly’s stack when Pauly’s dominating A-Q fell to a four on the flop. And I got lucky on a hand when I raised from mid-position with Q-T suited, hoping for some laydowns, and ending up with a Change100 call. I bet out on a fortuitous flop of T-8-x. Change pushed all in and I was in the tank. My biggest fear was an A-T or a set of eights. In the end I just thought she pushed in as a ploy to get me to fold - or bust out so she could light one up. I called and she showed down pocket sevens and I dodged a bullet. After Pauly’s bad beat, he was hurriedly rebuilding his stack. I knew there would be hell to pay if he were successful. He raised and I came back over the top of him and he laid it down. I told him I had pocket queens. A few hands later, he opened again. And again I came back over the top. This time he called and showed A-J. Lucky for me I had woken up with A-K and no bad beats ensued.
The longer the tournament went on, I realized that the Shrink and I were probably doing as well as we were so that we didn’t have to immediately go back to working on the book. There are a number of things that motivate a poker player, and apparently procrastination is a powerful force.
I got down to four players with only three spots paying. I know I have a proclivity to bubble, but I had work to avoid, dammit. Apparently Shrink had the same thoughts when he took out Dan S on a bad beat; Shrink’s pocket sevens to Dan’s pocket nines.
Shrink had a commanding lead over Michele and me. And the bastard was just a card rack in the final hands of play. He took out the Cougar when his small pair held up against her weak ace. And now he had about a 4-to-1 chip advantage over me. We sparred for a few hands until I got it all in with pocket jacks, which was no match for his K-Q once a queen hit on the turn. I’ve been playing poker with the Shrink for more than five years now and in that time, I’ve never won a coin flip.
So the good news was that both Shrink and I cashed. The bad news was the book was still waiting for us after the last hand was dealt.