I should warn you before reading any further that it is highly unlikely your weekend was better than mine therefore this will be a sickeningly cheery uber-post.
During several beers in the pub on Friday night and much chatter about property, poker, Liverpool v Arsenal and the Dubai World Cup we were all in an upbeat mood with the weekend just hours old. Having had a couple too many we all toodled off home around 11pm, despite the tempting calls to stay out from Hooks and Twister.
The following morning I was woken at 11.10 by my ringing mobile. It was Hooks and Twister pleading for milk, coffee, breakfast and a copy of the Racing Post. After saying I'd be round within the hour I hung up and jumped in the shower. The RP didn't disappoint in building up the big days racing with the headline "DESERT STORMERS".
As we settled down with breakfast and coffee to the start of the early football match Twister suggested we each have a first goalscorer bet. I picked Crouch, and logged onto Betfair and SkyBet to check the odds. Within 4 minutes Crouch had scored ! Unfortunately it takes me longer than 4 minutes to get our bets sorted out and I lose out on any cash, but it was a good omen of things to come. Twister immediately stated that he predicted a 4-0 Liverpool win, and wanted a bet on that scoreline. It turns out you can't get odds for more than 3-0 on 'net sites so we didn't place the bet, but he was damn close, as it finished 4-1 after 90 minutes, with Crouch claiming an excellent hat-trick.
A quick flick of the tv controls and we were across to the live extravaganza from Dubai. In the first of the big races my pick Fusachai Richard put in a good performance, always in with a chance until the final 2 furlongs where the others picked up the pace and he couldn't match them for speed, finishing 6th in the end. I only had a fiver on him so I wasn't too concerned or disappointed.
Next up was the UAE Derby, and I didn't have much info about the horses so I didn't bet on it, Asiatic Boy stormed through the field for a 9 length easy win.
Then it was time for the big sprint, 6 furlongs. This was my most confident bet of the day, I'd read a lot about Kelly's Landing being such a large horse and how unusual this was for a sprinters. After studying some more of the form this race was the one puzzle I thought I had the answer to. It was a close run exciting race, and I was overjoyed when Kelly's Landing held on for a half-length win. Twister turned to me and asked how much I had on him. "I think I lumped on him" I replied. Another quick check on Betfair confirmed that for a 15-1 shot I had risked a fair amount, 30 quid returning 450 TYVM !
In the next race Sir Percy had to deal with bump and grind of a congested start to the Sheema Classic but still finished 4th despite being struck 3 times and coming come with cuts to prove it. Pompeii Ruler couldn't live up to the hype in the Duty Free but then it was time for the biggest race of the night.
Invasor vs Discreet Cat should have been a race between a front runner and closer, but due to the extra distance that the Cat was being asked to travel they decided to try and hold him up to save him for the finish. In the end it was Premium Tap who challenged Invasor to the line, but Invasor dug deep and won it well by a length and three quarters. It may have been a tactical error by Godolphin with the Cat, or may have been medical, they announced yesterday that the horse had a throat infection which explains the below-par performance. Despite the poor odds of around 1.28 to 1, I still put my money where my mouth was. Originally I had 20 quid on Invasor to win, after the Kellys Landing win I put an extra 35 on, so I got a return of 70.80 for my 55 pound bet.
A net profit of 475 notes had put me on a high, so by the time Sunday's Brit Blogger tourney came round I was already in a jovial mood and approached the tourney thinking that I couldn't do much worse than last week anyway so I'd just roll with it.
I made some early standard raises and took down a few small pots without too much resistance. The first challenge to that aggression came from BurnleyMik, I raised 4x in middle position with Ks Qd and Mik called right behind me. The flop brought me a straight draw but also a dangerous flush draw and I bet out just over half the pot. Mik reraised me for one and half times my bet which I guessed could be just a reaction to my continuation bet, so I re-reraised and Mik folded after a little think about it.
Four hands later I was dealt 4h 4d in the big blind and weegem's 4x raise from the button. The flop was beautiful but dangerous for me - 4s 3d Kd - I could have got myself in trouble in this hand but I was fortunate, I checked and weegem bet, I reraised and then called weegem's push allin. He had Ks Tc and my set held up and pushed me to an early chip leader.
Over the next 30 or so hands I got no action with Queens, trip 7's, a set of deuces, straight-flush draw and even the Hammer. I was allowed to raise and have it almost all my own way, but the big stack was a big deterrent to getting any action when I wanted it. Then on hand 64 I ran into mookie99. I was dealt Ks Qd on the button and mookie was right next to me in the cutoff. Spid min raised from UTG+1, which confused me, then Mookie flat called the raise. I wasn't sure where the hell I was so I needed to do something to define their hands better, I raised it up 3x and both of them called (so much for defining hands). The flop of Qh Kd Jd was pretty nice but dangerous again. Spid checked and mookie bet out 400 leaving him with 1215 behind. Now I can't just call Mookies bet because that'll give Spid odds to call with virtually ANY draw and besides my hand looks like it's very likely ahead here. Surely if Mookie had KK, QQ or JJ he'd have raised preflop and not flat called a min raise and then a reraise ? I had chips to spare on both of them so I reraised to basically force an allin or fold. Spid folded and Mookie pushed in, I called to see Mookie was JJ giving him a set. I shrugged and said "nh mook" in the chat as the irrelevant 9c fell on the turn. Mookie99 replied, "not anymore", and I looked to see a very unlikely Kc had hit the river giving us -
mookie99: shows [Jh Js] (a full house, Jacks full of Kings)
TanOrpheus: shows [Ks Qd] (a full house, Kings full of Queens)
- Yeah I got very lucky, I felt sorry for mookie but I now had a big chip lead to protect. There were a few more small exchanges, during which I doubled up sookraboaby's short stack, stole a few blinds and made a couple of aggressive moves to pick up chips here and there. After several short stack races we were down to the final table.
Quixote8 was the first to fall at the FT after getting in with the best of it holding KK v Acorns AK, it must have been the fourth or fifth time that I'd seen Quixote8 get his money in with the best of it in this tourney, and just like the 5 times before he was treated to the sickening thud of an Ace on the flop. Hard times mate, very unlucky.
The next memorable hand saw short stack BurnleyMik forced to put his chips in with As 7s, he was called by the_cloud71 who had Jc Js. The Cloud flopped trips, but a Ks on the turn gave Mik a straight and flush draw, the latter of which completed on the river to double him up and turn the tables, making The Cloud now the short stack with 1483 chips and blinds at 100-200.
There was pushing and raising, and I was trying not to get involved, lightning36 got all his chips in preflop with KK against ResdentEvils AQ and doubled up with a set, then stephenrhall had to make a move with KQ but ran into zaggas AA which held up and sent stephen home in 8th place. Then BurnleyMik and The Cloud swapped stacks again when Clouds 88 flopped a set to beat Miks AK. I took a small dent to my stack when I bet into lzfsb3's flopped straight, doubling him up. Mik was next to go out when he was forced to put his last 273 chips in with Kd5d and I called with 8h Th and paired my 8. Then we had a three-way pot with Acorn, Cloud and lzfsb3 which saw the best hand lose, the worse hands split the pot and lzfsb3 go out in 6th place.
zagga: shows [Ad Jh] (a pair of Aces)
the_cloud71: shows [Jc Ac] (a pair of Aces)
zagga collected 1838 from side pot
the_cloud71 collected 1838 from side pot
lzfsb3: shows [Td Tc] (a pair of Tens)
lzfsb3 said, "that sucked"
Lightning and The Cloud tried to settle who was going out in 5th but ended up splitting when they both had AK, aggression was king now and it seemed every hand was a critical decision. Lightning was the next to go when his paired Jd 9d ran into ResdentEvil's Kc 4c two pair which turned into a full house on the turn. We were on the bubble, and Cloud was the short stack.
He wasn't short stacked for long. I was dealt Ad Jc and raised 3x, Cloud pushed from the Big Blind and I called to see he'd been dealt KK - the very hand he busted my QQ with the week before - the other two Kings hit the flop for good measure -
the_cloud71: shows [Kd Kh] (four of a kind, Kings)
TanOrpheus: shows [Ad Jc] (two pair, Kings and Jacks)
TanOrpheus said, "nh"
the_cloud71 said, "now that's a hand"
the_cloud71 collected 7208 from pot
Cloud was back in the game. . .
For about two minutes when his A9 and Acorns AT went head to head and Acorn doubled up.
Cloud had less than 4 BB's and had to do something so he pushed from the small blind with 4h 8s and I had to call in the BB with 7s 5c, it was a classic poker hand and Cloud paired his 8 to double up.
He was almost back in it, but still the shortest stack but everyone knows short stacks have no fear and so it proved as he pushed the next 3 hands to get more chips and back in contention.
We then had "the bubble hand", ResdentEvil min raised from the SB with Jd Ts and Acorn pushed his stack in with As Kd. Resdent thought about it then called to see a flop of 9c 2c Jc, no help on the turn or river and A was out in 4th.
After a couple of blind exchanges our stacks were
Seat 2: the_cloud71 (9228 in chips)
Seat 5: TanOrpheus (8763 in chips)
Seat 7: ResdentEvil (10509 in chips)
With blinds at 300-600 the tourney could go anywhere from here. Cloud raised and I reraised with JJ, he folded and left himself with about 6700. The next hand he pushed allin, I got out of the way and ResdentEvil called with 3c 3d it was another classic race as Cloud showed Jc Kc, which made a flush and also made him chip leader again. He and I then went at it in what I would say was my best fold of the night, even though I may have played the hand poorly.
I was the button with Qc Ts and limped in, ResdentEvil completed the SB and Cloud checked. The flop was Jd 5s Qd. Resdent checks, and Cloud bets 2400 into a 1950 pot. I just called his bet and Resdent folded. The turn was the 8c, and Cloud checks to me, so I bet out 3000, which is very weak bet but is about all I can afford without going allin. Cloud pushed the rest of his chips in pretty quick and I thought about it and typed in the chat "my god I cant believe you overbet the pot on a DRAW !" I folded and he showed that he had indeed done just that and had 9h Td (a straight, Eight to Queen)
Cloud now had a big lead . . .
Seat 2: the_cloud71 (20606 in chips)
Seat 5: TanOrpheus (4863 in chips)
Seat 7: ResdentEvil (3031 in chips)
On the very next hand Resdent pushed in with Jc Ks, was called by Clouds Ah Jd and doubled up with a straight vs two pair. Then Cloud raised Jh Kd, Resdent pushed again with 7h As but this time Cloud hit a King on the flop and knocked Resdent out in 3rd place. We were headsup, and I was outchipped more than 6-1, I had to pick a hand and ride it.
After switching blinds for half-a-dozen hands I get dealt 8s Qh in the SB and decide that any paint will do and so raise 3x, Cloud calls. On a flop of Ks 4h 6d Cloud puts me allin, I'm already committed so I call, he Qs 9c. I resign myself to second place and type "vgg wp" in the chat but before sending it I see a little miracle. A 7s on the turn and 5h on the river has given me a straight and I win the hand, now only outchipped 2.5 - 1.
A couple more hands and I'm dealt Ad Kd in the SB, I raise 3x, Cloud reraises, I push and he calls. I'm up against Kh 7d. The first card off pairs Clouds 7, but an Aces hits next so I'm still ahead. No more help for Cloud and now I'm the one with a 2-1 chip lead.
Two hands later I'm dealt 4d 4s in the SB again, I made a weak raise to 2000 with blinds at 400/800. Cloud makes a weak min-reraise back. This was my worst play of the tournament, cause I didn't even think about the hand. If I had thought for more than 2 seconds about this I would have got away from this hand. But I didn't think, I pushed, Cloud called and his Aces best my Fours for a double up and we were back where we started, with him having a 4.5 - 1 lead but this time the blinds had got bigger.
Cloud put me allin on the next hand when it was my BB and fortunately I had something I could call with, Jd Ks. Cloud had 5h 5d but an A-J-A flop paired me up and I doubled through.
I folded the next hand and Cloud showed he had Kh Ks in his BB
Cloud then raised my BB to 3200 and I called to see a flop with Ad 8c. The flop was Qs 8d 4s so I pushed, hoping Cloud didn't have a piece of it, he didn't and folded. I'd cut into his lead so it was now only a 2-1 advantage. I raised my 9c 9s preflop, Cloud reraised and I was allin, up against Kc Tc. The 9-high all diamond flop gave me trips and turned into a full house by the river, we were both on approx 14,000 chips now.
Two more hands pass and I just complete the SB with 6h 7s. Cloud checks and we see an interesting flop of 8s Th Kc. Check-Check. The turn was the 9c, giving me a straight, Cloud bet 800 and I just called. The river was another K, Cloud bet 800, I raised to 3200 and Cloud called. I won a medium pot with my straight which put me back in a 2-1 lead.
Then four hands later it happened. In the SB I was dealt 7s 2d, the Hammer. I made a weak raise with it, hoping that Cloud would fold and I'd get to show my Hammer. But Cloud went all in, and I had to think about it, calling and losing this pot would mean I was back to a 2-1 disadvantage with no time for clever play. Calling and winning with 7-2 would be the blogger equivalent of Angelina Jolie deciding she thought I was so cute that she wanted to adopt me too. I couldn't fold such a chance now, could I ?
No. The lure of the Hammer was too great. Though every synapse in my brain was thinking fold, every muscle in my heart was screaming call. It felt like Destiny calling, it was time to let the Hammer do it's thing . . . I called and my 7s 2d was up against Ks 9s . . .
*********** # 257 **************
PokerStars Game #9203640620: Tournament #46188299, $5.00+$0.50 Hold'em No Limit - Level X
(400/800) - 2007/04/01 - 18:33:41 (ET)
Table '46188299 3' 9-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 2: the_cloud71 (8634 in chips)
Seat 5: TanOrpheus (19866 in chips)
the_cloud71: posts the ante 50
TanOrpheus: posts the ante 50
TanOrpheus: posts small blind 400
the_cloud71: posts big blind 800
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to TanOrpheus [7s 2d]
TanOrpheus: raises 1200 to 2000
the_cloud71: raises 6584 to 8584 and is all-in
TanOrpheus: calls 6584
ResdentEvil [observer] said, "this sure beats the tv !"
*** FLOP *** [2s 4d Kc]
*** TURN *** [2s 4d Kc] [7d]
*** RIVER *** [2s 4d Kc 7d] [6s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
the_cloud71: shows [Ks 9s] (a pair of Kings)
TanOrpheus: shows [7s 2d] (two pair, Sevens and Deuces)
BurnleyMik [observer] said, "OMG"
TanOrpheus collected 17268 from pot
zagga [observer] said, "wow"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 17268 | Rake 0
Board [2s 4d Kc 7d 6s]
Seat 2: the_cloud71 (big blind) showed [Ks 9s] and lost with a pair of Kings
Seat 5: TanOrpheus (button) (small blind) showed [7s 2d] and won (17268) with two pair, Sevens and Deuces
I wish I'd got a screenshot, but this'll have to do, the Hammer winning a blogger tourney after an epic heads up battle. Very well played to all of you who were there, the quality of players was first-class. Special mention to Quixote8 for being unluckiest player of the night, and of course Cloud for an excellent Heads Up battle but more impressively the number of comebacks he had from being a short stack on that final table. Great Game all, can't wait for next week.
Final positions and blogs are below, if I've missed your blog leave me a comment so I can add you :o)
Tournament started - 2007/04/01 - 16:00:00 (ET)
Tournament finished - 2007/04/01 - 18:34:22 (ET)
1: TanOrpheus (Jersey) $47.50 (50%)
2: the_cloud71 (Hertfordshire) $28.50 (30%)
3: ResdentEvil (glasgow) $19.00 (20%)
4: zagga (East Kilbride)
5: lightning36 (Champaign)
6: lzfsb3 (Lansing)
7: BurnleyMik (Burnley)
8: stephenrhall (Blackburn)
9: Quixote8 (London)
10: Spid (Timperley)
11: Neil Ross (Liverpool)
12: Katitude (Toronto)
13: AlCantHang (Phoenixville)
14: sookraboaby (Glasgow)
15: SirFortune (Aberdare)
16: mookie99 (Austin)
17: 4everleeds (Crich)
18: Rosie_m_t (Bristol)
19: weegem (Falkirk)