A couple of months ago, I got an email from Matt Showell over at PokerListings. It had something to do with a series of blogger freerolls. Between my day job, the book, and the few articles I was able to sneak in, I barely had time to pee. I had already reluctantly been passing on one of my most treasured luxuries – my home game. I was trying to sneak into a Saturday with Pauly once in awhile, but even that was hit or miss. So I blew off the blogger freeroll – dubbed the Run-Good Challenge – invitation.
When I was in Vegas to work on Mike’s book, the Poker Shrink asked me if I was going to play the PokerListings’ freerolls. When I told him I hadn’t responded, he asked me if I was nuts. Since he is the shrink, I figured he knew something about nuts. That’s when he told me that it was limited to only 12 players (10 bloggers and 2 PokerListing Dudes) and the payouts were ridiculously fat. For the first three events, the payouts were $600/$300/$100. Using a point system from the first three events, the top five bloggers (and a PokerListing Dude) were eligible for a six person Grand Final where the payouts were $1000/$650/$400/$200/$150. I was nuts. I immediately emailed Matt and discovered they still had one slot open. Sweet.
I had two big problems going into the events. I hadn’t played for awhile so my NLHE game was a little rusty. And OK – my NLHE game was never a well oiled machine. And the bloggers were all top notch – well except for Pokerati Dan who is just a lucky SOB. My other competition included change100, Pauly, Poker Shrink, Shamus, Michele Lewis, Kid Dynamite, Wicked Chops and Spaceman. Matt and Dan Skolovy would represent for PL and I knew nothing about their games.
I played the first game relatively safe. Luckily the luckbox Pokerati Dan overslept. Unfortunately I had the other Dan at my table and he turned out to be pretty savvy and aggressive. Between him and change100, it was hard to hold onto my blinds. To get a better read on Dan, I actually gave up a few bets on a hand just to see his starting cards. I figured any chips I missed in bets, I’d make up by knowing if I could risk coming over the top of him – which did work to my advantage in the long run. He thinks I’m a total passive fish when he describes the hand here. Although he did get the last laugh when he won the event and all I managed was a middling 5th place. The second game went down exactly the same way, with Dan trouncing the bloggers again and me coming in a blah 5th.
Before I played the third event I talked with the Shrink . I was bemoaning the fact that I was a long shot for the Grand Final. But he assured me that my two crappy finishes still had me in contention for a spot. He broke down the math and he was right. So this event was a little tricky and required me knowing exactly who I had to finish ahead of at every stage of play – which also required me calling Shrink at the breaks and going through the mathematical permutations. At one point I had to pull off a monster suck out when I was all-in with pocket jacks on a rag board only to find out I was up against a set – but a two out jack fell on the river. In the end I finished 3rd for a cool $100 and made the final. Change100 and Spaceman were tied for an entry into the GF and a showdown was planned.
Change100 was merciless. She reminded me of my cat Java when she has a lizard cornered. She toyed with Spaceman until she got bored. And then suddenly there was nothing left except for a twitching tail on the floor.
When change100, Michele Lewis, Shamus, Pauly, Dan S, and I faced off, my goal was 3rd or better. I was lucky that the Dudes crumbled and I was just able to sneak in at third. Michele and change100 went heads-up with change100 prevailing.
The trash talking throughout was delicious. All three chick bloggers finished 1-2-3 in the Grand Final. And I pocketed a nice chunk of change. All in all, it was a totally fine series of events. And rumor has it that PL is going to trot out a sequel. Stay tuned.
In other news, Obama is also running good. But it’s hard to find too many Obama fans in Texas right now. Oh we have Obamans that live in Texas – although arguably not enough to take the state. But a vast number of our resident supporters are currently in New Mexico and Colorado, pounding more fertile turf. Craigslist has been cluttered with ridesharing posts to these locales. From all reports, they’re working areas that voted Democratic in the last election, but had below-average voter turn out.
And was I the only Red Sox fan that went to bed when it was 7-0? I feel like a faithless traitor.
Oh and I was able to scare up a handful of my old blog posts which I’ll be back dating into my blog. I apologize in advance for all the confusion this will create for bloglines users.