dimanche 30 novembre 2008

J'ai bien couru

Yeah, I know, I know. I'm a donkey, a luckbox running like crazy. Saturday night, I won the second leg of the Run Good Challenge II, beating a field of 14 players to collect the $600 first-prize put up by PokerListings. With no disconnection or lag issues to prevent me from expressing my eurodonk abilities, I was able to win this thing pretty easily. Here's a lenghty recap. Hey, I made it trough the whole thing, it surely warrants a longer post than usual, right ?

My starting table featured, among others, Pauly, Michelle Lewis, the Poker Shrink, and my californian friend Jennifer Newell, who wasn't able to play the week before. Another sit out from the first RGC, accomplished pro Liz Lieu, arrived shortly after the start.

Right after the tournament started, I immediately played a big pot... And lost it. Raising UTG with AK offsuit, I faced a re-raise from Pauly. I made it four bets, hoping he would get the rest of his stack in – so I could gamble a double-up early. Instead, the doctor called and I had to check/fold on a Jack High flop after Pauly matched the size of the pot with his bet, a sure sign of strengh. And indeed he showed a flopped set of jacks. Cue sarcasm from Pauly in the chat box. He was just pissed I didn't gave him a single penny when he was holding the nuts.

Next hand I win my chips back with AT in a three-way pot, and then I got dealt Queens on the cut-off. Keep in mind that by this point we only have played five hands total. This is when my rush started... and never stopped until the end.

It's a truly amazing hand, this one. Dave702 limps UTG, and KidDynamite4 raises it up a little bit. With my Hilton Sisters, I put another raise, a small one. Dynamite is the only caller and we see a 9-2-2 rainblow flop. He quickly checks/calls my bet and I now have to worry, I cannot beat many hands here, Jacks perhaps, hum, not anymore when the case jack falls on the turn. I don't get the second clue when Dynamite basically puts in the rest of his stack, bare 200 : I call/raise all-in what he has left, and can only be shocked upon discovering a very well disguised pair of Aces.

When that hand happened, Davidi Kitai, arguably the biggest luckbox in the entire Winamax Team, was standing behind me watching. The Belgian is a friend and a great player who has been running insanely good over the past six months, with two WSOP final tables (including one bracelet win) and a third place in one the biggest EPTs of the season (Barcelona) with lots of skill but also loads of set-ups and lucky escapes. It even became a running joke between the other Team players (especially from those who've been less luckier lately) Someone will say something like « I was driving around the other day and caught every green light, it was sick ». The answer will invariably be : Davidi was problably sitting in the passenger seat.

Anyway, here I was, drawing to two single outs with one card to come. This is when the magic happened : Davidi lifted his hand like a preacher and said something like, « You can do it. ». And bang, the Queen of hearts hit the river, giving me trips and making KidDynamite4 the first player out on a terrible bad-beat. I couldn't believe it. We both screamed and the players sitting at the tables in front of me gave us weird looks. Yeah, I was sitting on the press bench in a room full of 123 tables, playing online on PokerStars when in fact I was supposed to cover the Parisian leg of the France Poker Tour, the biggest concentration of poker players that ever happened in Europe. Very professionnal.

So, I caught an early chip-lead and I think I never lost it once during the whole tournament. Also, I reckon that after that bad-decision-that-ended-well with the Queens, I played every hand that followed without making a fool of myself. It's just that I ran really, really good.

I flopped a set of deuces in a unraised pot and made some money against Michelle and Dave. I put Jen all-in with QJ against her Q8 on a Q98 flop, and turned a ten. I got Queens again, and won a big one against Liz. I found Aces a won another nice one against Michelle. Meanwhile I was playing a lot of hands (we were five handed already by that point, after Pauly, Dan and Spaceman had also busted) and fortunately my opponents were not willing to play back at my continuation bets when I had missed. Then I raised 56 offsuit, and flopped trips on a Q66 flop. Dave702 had top pair, top kicker, and couldn't release it on the river. We had a final table, who looked like this :

Seat 1: ZClub (1915 in chips)
Seat 2: Real Texan (4016 in chips)
Seat 3: IndomacK (1005 in chips)
Seat 4: LFISBRTL (3735 in chips)
Seat 5: Benjo_DiMeo (5644 in chips)
Seat 6: Twinkie (425 in chips)
Seat 7: Blue123 (855 in chips)
Seat 8: change1OO (2565 in chips)
Seat 9: Up4Poker (2340 in chips)

Liz Lieu and I had switched seats. I still had a large lead other most of the players, and was quite eager to finish it ASAP since I had to also work. Liz lost tons of chips, then won them back in no time. I still couldn't loose a hand, an busted a short-stacked Matt with AQ against A4. By now everyone wasn't afraid to shout out their true feelings about my skills in the chat box :

ZClub said, "Euro Trash Card Rack to you Sir"

To escape this, I sat out for a while to collect some chip-counts in the room. I was a bit ashamed to be blatantly ignoring my duties. The tournament had now went on for 55 minutes. I figured I would get 10 minutes of reporting done with the break coming. Still running good even without playing, I got dealt Queens again while sitting out. More bashing from my opponents :

Up4Poker said, "Is benjo on a train again?"
ZClub said, "he is stuck in a tunnel"

I returned just in time to find AQ of spades and play the most crucial hand of the tournament. I called a 300 raise from Up4Poker, with Michelle also in the mix – the only player with a stack size close to mine. On a Qc3c6s flop, Up4Poker bet 1/3rd of the pot. Michelle called, and so did I with TPTK. I didn't want to bet myself out of the pot by raising now – I wouldn't have known what to do if I had been reraised by Up4Poker. The Jack of spades on the turn brought me a flush draw. There, both of my opponents checked, and I bet 2/3rds of the pot. Michelle called that big bet, but folded when the river didn't bring a club but a spade, giving me an unbeatable hand. Still a weird decision considered she had put the three-quarters of her stack in the pot at this point. The Texan doubled up against me shortly with A4 against my A7, and managed to climb back and stay a float for a great deal of time, busting out only on the bubble. Well played ma'm.

I topped the 10,000 mark, and then got lucky. Again. I know, I know. Battle of the blinds. KQ for LFISBRTL. KJ for me. 20 BB in the pot. Jack on the flop. I bust another player. Then another one when Liz Lieu makes a small reraise before the flop, despite having a short-stack. Having raised with Sixes, I put the rest of my stack in, figuring this is the kind of play she would make with AK or AQ, not 77,88 or 99, hands I don't want to be facing. Obviously she calls and I win a race against AK.

Change1OO busted out against Up4Poker, then Amy Calistri followed. The buble busted when I found Queens – yet another time. After a preflop war, Michelle put whatever she had left with AJ on a 946 flop. Turn and river bricked and there were now three players left :

Seat 1: ZClub (1538 in chips)
Seat 5: Benjo_DiMeo (16210 in chips)
Seat 9: Up4Poker (4752 in chips)

My good streak wasn't about to stop so close to the finishing line. I rivered two pair to beat Up4Poker's top pair. I raised whenever I had the slighest hint of a hand, changing gears in between after being played back at on a couple of occasions. The Shrink and Up4Poker were now in push or fold mode with approx. 12 BB's each, which made the task way easier for me. The Shrink busted on a coin toss, and I was heads-up for the coveted title again Up4Poker, who had now some more chips, but not that many.

DrPauly [observer] said, "luckbox vs. the eurodonk"

I'd say the word « luckbox » also applied to me tonight, Doc. I mostly min-raised from the button (easier to fold if played back) and folded to Up4Poker shoves from the BB. On the last hand, I had the dominating hand : KJ against QJ. Up4Poker sucked out with a Queen on a flop, but glory was all but mine tonight : I resucked with a King on the turn and that's all she wrote.

Run Good Challenge II, leg 2 - Rankings

Winnar : Benjo_DiMeo (Marseille) $600
2nd/ Up4Poker (Evansville) $300
3rd/ Zclub (Las Vegas) $100
4th/ Real Texan (Houston)
5th/ Blue123 (Austin)
6th/ change1OO (Los Angeles)
7th/ Twinkie (Las Vegas)
8th/ LFISBRTL (Coquitlam)
9th/ IndomacK (Vancouver)
10th/ Dave702 (New York)
11th/ DrPauly (New York)
12th/ RiverDan72 (Las Vegas)
13th/ Cookie_555 (Los Angeles)
14th/ TNSpaceman (Ashland City)
15th/ KidDynamite4 (New York)

All in all, a satisfactory ending – I would have hated having to settle for second or third place after holding the chip-lead from Hand One. I don't get the chance to play poker too often these days, due to an hectic schedule, so it was nice to be lucky enough to close the deal during one of the few tournaments I'm able to enter. Thanks to everyone for suffering trough all the bad-beats I put on them. I might do it again next week !

More about my win :
Pauly : "Merde! Benjo runs good"
Matt : "Sacre Bleu ! Benjo wins Run-Good Event 2!"

8 commentaires:

Kid Dynamite a dit…

boooo sheeet!

congrats sir.

Jennifer a dit…

So much fun to get stomped by my favorite Frenchie. ;)

But I asked you to do something good with my chips, and you went on to win the damn thing. Congrats!

Unknown a dit…

I had AK clubs. Flopped the nut flush draw, turned the straight draw and knew I had two overs...but there was no point calling on the river because I knew my ace high was a dog (despite the pot odds). Decided to take the grind-it-out challenge instead.
And the train strike joke was me! But I'm not anti-french... I have french blood, monsieur!

Anonyme a dit…

Fait chier je parle pas anglais. A quand la traduction?

Anonyme a dit…

"fais chier" apparemment tu as aussi du mal avec le français.

Benjo a dit…

Pas de traduction prévue (c'est pas des posts très interessants) mais le blog reviendra en français très prochainement.

Anonyme a dit…

Bonjour Benjo,

Fidèle lecteur de ton blog, je trouve ton initiative de "filer à l'anglaise" au niveau des posts de ton blog logique, vu que tu vis à Londres et que tu as plein de relation poer en version ENG/US.

Par contre, pourrais tu double poster avec la version en français ce serait cool pour les français comme moi qui ne maitrise pas totalement l'anglais.

Merci GL all around the planet poker (tu vois ya du boulot...lol)

Pseudo CP : SALSAC
Sur PS : Pedro_Pok

Anonyme a dit…

std de liege obv