Sunday, August 24, 2008

Team7Deuce Rocks the Morongo Casino!!!!!

And boy, did we ever. Sunday gave the crew a chance to get our poker playing skills into the casino again, in a way to celebrate my turning the big Three-Oh. So, we made a two hour trek down to the Pechanga Casino to play in their daily morning tournament. A $25 buy in tourney with no re-buys, was what the doctor had in store budget wise for the group.

All decked in our Team7Deuce garb, we arrived at the Poker room ready to rumble, when the news from the gal at the counter devastated us. “Pechanga canceled the daily tournament today, and instead is offering their main event tournament at 2pm.” Trouble is, the tournament main event was a $500+20 buy in. While the $150,000.00 guarantee was certainly appetizing, the $520 buy in was too steep for any of us. And so, we began to scramble for another tournament elsewhere.

Friends of pablosplace, Phat and his crew were intending to meet us there, but they turned around given the news and ended up playing in Lake Elsinore. According to Phat, two members of their group cashed en route to a final table appearance.

Tim, who was planning a trip to San Diego after the tourney, almost bailed on the extravaganza to head south, as the new destination of Morongo gave what we thought was the next best option. The buy in was only $8, with multiple re-buys and an add-on until the first break. But ultimately, he decided to hang with the group and join us for the 1 hour jaunt to the desert, a decision that will go down in pablosplace lore and infamy.

We were 6 total players down to Morongo now (A special “we missed you terribly to Tay and to Amber who couldn’t make the journey), and arrived at their Poker room at roughly 10:30AM for the 11:00 AM tourney. Traci, Tim, Andrew, and I immediately bought our seats into the tournament, and Jordan had to make a quick ATM run. Robert showed up at the time Jordan had just returned, and by the time they got through the line, the tourney was full, and they had to be placed on the alternate list. Luckily, even though they were 8th (Jordan) and 9th (Robert) on the list, the were able to make it into the fray, and participate in the greatest tournament that Team7Deuce has performed in to date.

I joined the same table with Traci (which proved to be catastrophic later), and after a few bust outs, Jordan later joined our little table as well. At the break, we were all still alive as they had consolidated the 8 table tourney (full to 10 players at each) down to 6 within 10 minutes of the break.

Jordan was the first of the group to go. Having been short stacked upon entering the tournament, he couldn’t draw action on the two decent hands that he did get (A-A, and 9-9), and was eliminated just as the tables broke down to 5. Robert, had chipped up however from his short stack and was sitting pretty. I had chipped up from the 1k to around 11k by the break, and was definitely holding my own. Traci had about 8k in her stack, and Tim and Drew were holding steady as well (Tim, doing so by way of making a Royal Flush).

I was the next victim of the group to fall. After losing a good sized stack as made a call from the big blind with 10-3 suited, the flop had come J-10-6. Action was checked to me and I bet enough (6000) to put the guy behind me close to all in. He thought for a few seconds and then made the call with a J, and I couldn’t catch up. Down to about my last 10k, Traci had moved all in. I moved all in behind her, and action around the table folded. Traci turned over As-Qh, and I apologized to her (“sorry babe”) as I tabled Ad-K-h). The flop looked good for me as it caught neither of us, but did produce two spades. The turn made me start to sweat as a 3rd spade hit the board. And the river made my gasp for air as the 4th spade hit the board. Traci doubled her stack to about 18k, and I was left with only 3k. I made my final move just before the blinds with a Q-3, and was called by Q-10. The flop of K-10-brick gave me almost no outs, and I was out just before the broke the action to two tables in 19th place.

Traci and Andrew went out right after another, as Seven Deuce reared her head in the wrong direction for our team. Having just lost most of her stack having Aces cracked (as the guy called with Q-6, and made a straight with the 6), Traci committed her last 1000 with 7-2 offsuit. However, the board ended up with all high cards, and someone paired their K to walk of with the pot and eliminate Traci in 16th.

Then, a few seconds after that, Andrew’s table let out a giant yell as someone called his all-in bet with, yep, you guessed it – Seven-Two offsuit. That wasn’t the big yell though. The yell came as the board flopped 7-7-2, giving the guy a full house, and Andrew was drawing virtually dead with two over cards. The turn and river bricked out, and Andrew busted in 15th.

Robert was the next member to get dropped from the tourney, as all the chips went in with Robert holding K-J. However, the board was very friendly to his opponent who had paired their Q, and caught another case Q on the river, eliminating Robert in 14th place.

That left our sole representation down to Tim, who was sitting with a comfortable chip stack of around 60k. He had quietly been playing dominant poker, raking in really big pots when he was in, and chipping up nicely. When action went to 12 handed, he was strong. After the next player was bumped out, hand-for-hand play began as the final 10 places were to be paid. Eventually, with the blinds at 4000-8000, the eleventh place finisher busted, and a final table was composed, with Tim holding a good sized stack.

A chop was presented to the table, in a manner where each player would receive at least $240, but not all players agreed, and play resumed. It was a good thing for Tim that it did, as someone from middle position moved all in with pocket 9’s, and Tim made the call with pocket J’s. Action was folded around and the J’s held up.

9 Handed, Tim dealt out another blow as he eliminated his second player in 3 hands, calling an all in bet with a set of 7’s. The other guy had flop an Ace, but was in terrible shape. The turn and river didn’t bail him out, and Tim chipped up to around 90k. Things were that way for Tim for a while, as he tightened up and lost a few blinds after a few orbits around the table. A few eliminations later, we were 5 handed, and Tim stuck again. Tim limped in from the small blind, and a check brought a flop of Qd-4d-8s. Tim checked, and a very aggressive player bet out 16k, to which Tim called. The turn produced the 9d, and Tim again checked. The guy then fired out again with a bet of 32k, at which Tim thought for a minute, before moving all in. The guy almost instantly called and tabled only a pair of 8’s. Tim turned over Ad-5d for the made nut flush, and had the guy drawing dead. That knockout increased Tim’s stack to approximately 200k with just 4 players remaining, and gave him a tremendous chip advantage. The shortest stack at the table moved all in two hands later with A-Q, and got his hand caught in the cookie jar as Tim called, and flipped over bullets. Tim’s Aces held up, and again he raked in more chips. Then action got bad for Tim, as the Guy in seat 1 took a few good sized pots from him, and a few blinds later, Tim had lost his chip lead.

But it didn’t take long for him to get it back. Tim limped in from the small blind, and both players took a flop of A-J-10, and Tim checked. Seat 1 guy moved immediately all in, and Tim insta-called, tabling K-Q for the made straight. The turn made things interesting with a K, but the river was an 8, and Tim crippled Seat 1 guy. The blinds got him on the next hand to Tim’s other opponent, and we were heads up.

Heads up was crazy action with the chips going back and forth. We saw several all ins, and the chip advantage changed hands several times. Finally, with a tremendous chip lead, and the blinds increasing to 64k-128k, the two finalists agreed to chip the pot, and a win was given to Tim for taking the Morongo Casino Tourney.

It was an incredible, amazing, unbelievable, awe-inspiring performance by Tim, who dominated the final table action. While the rest of us on Team7Deuce wore our shirts with pride, and played like champions, there was only one champion to be had today. Tim took down a great pot of $535 and an entry to a tournament that he wasn’t able to play in, so he sold for another $100. All in all, it was an amazing day. This was maybe the single most memorable tourney for Team7Deuce as we saw 5 shirts to 3 table action, and 4 shirts to 2 table action, and an eventual championship for Tim.
Congrats to Jordan, Traci, Andrew, Robert, for such a marvelous run of poker. Overcoming the disappointment of not having the tournament at Pechanga, and having the resolve to really bring it to the casino today was commendable.

But a special congrats to Tim for taking our coveted first casino title. Hopefully, this will be the first of many to come.

GO TEAM7DEUCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert Rocks - Twice

The last two pablosplace games were dominated by Robert, both times. His play has been exceptional as of late, and heading into the Sunday B-Day Tournament, he's been looking real strong.

This past week got me flustered as I had Tim catch up with flushes twice when I had better cards. Once, he made it with 10-4 of spades, and the other (bumping me out mind you) with 7s-3s.

Spades just haven't been my friend of late. In the end, Robert and Jordan went toe to toe in a colossal heads up match that saw the chip stack sway back and forth repeatedly for about 45 minutes. And given the number of re-buys, there were over 1200 chips in play for heads up action.

This coming Friday is a no-go for Traci and I, as we have tickets for the Hollywood Bowl. But any gamers that still want to play at pablosplace are more than welcome.

Cheers, P

Monday, August 18, 2008

Next Team7Deuce Event

In celebration of my upcoming 30th Birthday, the Team7Deuce gang is playing poker at Pechanga this Sunday, August 23rd.

The Buy-In is $25 with no re-buys, and the tournament starts at 10AM. All players are welcome. Team7Deuce Member's, bring your gear.

Feel free to contact me if you'd like to play this Sunday. Cheers, P

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Normandie Run

Since Friday night ended up a no-go, Jordan and I decided to spend Sunday night down at the Normandie for their 8:15 PM No Limit Game. Buy-In was $20+10, with multiple re-buys, and add-ons at the break.

The tournament starts you with 700 tournament chips. 58 total players bought in, with 287 total re-buys, and 123 total add-ons, for a pot of about $5200, of which $2000 went to the winner. The top 9 places were paid. You can follow the play-by-play by clicking the "follow me on twitter" link on After I went out, and at each break, I did a pretty good job of keeping the information posted during real time. But now, here's the re-cap.

Jordan and I began seated at the same table, the first time that’s happened since we began playing tournament poker. Jordan started out well early with pocket Aces. He was able to take a good sized pot early from the guy directly to his right. After that, he went through a cold run of cards. I was being whittled down as well, and made a call of 100 with 400 total remaining, holding 7d-6d. Three players took the flop of 8d-4d-2, and Jordan was first to act. He bet 200, and the next guy called. I raised all in for my last 300, and Jordan came over the top with a raise, causing the other guy to fold his hand. Jordan turned over K-8, and was ahead. But the Kd came on the turn giving me a flush. Jordan’s two pair didn’t get better on the river and I tripled up.

I then tripled my stack again when I got my money in on a flop of J-8-6 with pocket 7’s. I called an all-in bet who had me covered, and he said “you got me” and flipped pocket 5’s. The turn of 7 made me a set, and the river bricked out for a nice triple again.

Then the mighty Seven Deuce roared triumphant for me. I made a pre-flop raise with 7-2 os, and got two callers. When the board hit A-9-2, action was checked to me by the small blind, and I moved all in immediately. The button folded, and the small blind called, turning A-9 for top two pair. I was in trouble when the turn bricked, but there is always the river, which produced the miracle two out 2, and gave me a winning set. Seven Deuce baby!!

I then caught a sick run of cards with K’s twice, A-Q twice, and Q’s once, and was able to get my stack to around 17k at the break.

Jordan, on the other hand got real healthy playing tight for a long time, but making I think the best play of anyone. Three players took a flop of J-8-6, and all three checked. First to act, Jordan bet 1000 when the 4 hit the turn. It was called by the next player, and the third guy raised. Jordan re-raised all in, and it was called by both guy. The first guy flipped Q-J for top pair, and the last guy flipped pocket 4’s for a made set. But Jordan tossed over pocket 8’s for his top set, and was dominating. Only a four would lose the pot for him, and the J fell on the river, giving his boat better then the trips or the other boat, and Jordan moved up to around 14k.

After the break, I took a couple more pots, as action broke to 5 tables. I made a min-raise to 800 and got two callers with A-10. The flop came 10-4-4. The small blind checked to me, and I led out with 1500. The button folded and the small blind called. The turn was a 9, and the small blind checked. I instantly moved all in, and the small button thought a few seconds before calling and flipping A-4. I was near dead. The river didn’t matter and I had to count out a little more than 13k more, and was left with about 1500. I as able to double once and get to a little over 3500, and got all my chips in with pocket K’s. But I got 4 other callers, and they didn’t hold up when an Ace spiked the turn. A-8 ended up taking the pot, and I went out in 34th.

Jordan made a very deep run, eliminating a lot of the shorter stacks at his tables. Finally, with action down to 15 players, and Jordan sitting on a stack of about 40k, things turned ugly. After a pre-flop raise by Jordan, the guy (a real loose player) moved all in for his last 30k, and Jordan called him. The guy had A-7 of clubs, and Jordan had K-7 of hearts. He was way behind until the flop came and put him ahead with K-Q-Q. The turn was a J, giving the other guy some more outs, but the river did him in with an Ace on the river. Jordan was crippled. Shortly after, he got it all in again with Qs-Js, and got two callers. One had A-J, and the other pocket 10’s. With only 3 outs, he was hurting, and the pocket 10’s ended up holding up. Jordan went out in 15th, a brilliant run.

It was a lot of fun, and I was proud of my run, despite the fact that I got killed by A-4. I’m hoping that everyone can come this Friday. I’m looking forward to playing. Cheers, P

Saturday, August 2, 2008

C-H-A-T-L-E-Y spells - Domination

I’ve got a couple of blogs to get up here of updates from last night’s game, last weeks game, and two tournaments that I’ve played in over the last couple of weeks. It’s been a lot of work in between all the poker.

Lets start with last night which saw the action start 7 handed, and found us with a newcomer that arrived late. After Amber left the table, Jack arrived and bought in for $100 chips. His stay was a good one as he went out in 4th on his first visit. There were a couple of really interesting hands last night.

First was a hand that I could not have initiated more emotion out of Andrew with. After a pre-flop raise of 12, 4 players took a flop of Ac-Jc-4h. Jordan checked the action to Tim who moved all in for his last 24. Andrew thought for a little while before making the call. I moved over the top all in, and Jordan folded. Andrew thought for a moment an folded his cards, and Tim showed a K high flush draw. I turned over A-8 os, and was ahead. Andrew erupted with frustration as he showed he’d folded A-9. The turn brought another J, and the river a case Q with no clubs and I took the big pot with two pair.

The second interesting hand came with Andrew moving all his chips in to call Jordan’s pre-flop raise. Jordan flipped pocket 4’s and Drew Jd-10d for a coin flip. The flop however made Jordan a giant favorite but gave Andrew some outs as it hit A-K-4, to give Jordan the leading set. The turn gave the board a 10, giving Andrew 4 outs, and wouldn’t you know, the Q spiked on the river to double Drew and put Jordan on the short stack. A lot of emotion on that hand.

Andrew left us shortly after that though having his chips whittled away after a few tough hands. He was out in 7th place. 6th and 5th place finishes went to the next big hand of the night where all the money went in pre-flop. Jordan pushed short stacked, and Tim moved over the top all in, and Robert made the call having both Tim and Jordan covered. When the cards were turned over Jordan held Ad-4d, Tim A-Q os, and Robert A-J os. The three of them took a flop of J-6-6, giving the best hand to Robert. The turn and River bricked out and Robert took a dominating chip lead of nearly 700 chips of the 1050 in play. (with all the re-buys that happened).

Jack then went out in 4th place, eliminated by Robert as well, leaving the action 3 handed with myself at around 200 chips, and Traci short stacked at around 40. Traci got all her chips in after about the 10th hand of 3 handed action holding A-K, and was called by Robert with A-10 pre flop. But despite being an underdog again, Robert flopped Broadway when the flop came out K-Q-J. Traci was way behind but got some more outs when another J with the turn. But the 6 on the river proved to be the undoing as Robert’s straight held up.

Heads up lasted a long while as Robert maintained about a 4 to 1 chip advantage. After about 20 hands, I was steadily increasing my chip stack so that Roberts advantage was whittled to almost even. With 515 chips to Roberts 535, I made a terrible bluff with Q-6 putting Robert on absolutely nothing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He called with his top pair (Aces) and I was drawing dead after the turn. And that was it. It was a good pot because of the re-buys, and a really fun night of poker.

The week before was equally fun (so I here) as I had to skip out early. I was leaving for Las Vegas with my sister for her Birthday. It was a fun trip, and I’ll tell about that tournament after the pablosplace game. I know very little since I wasn’t here, but we were 7 handed with Tim, Amber, Robert, Traci, long time absentees Jen and Chris, and a newcomer Mark. I know that the action ended up with Traci heads up with Tim, and Tim taking the pot having hit quad 7’s playing the might Seven Deuce. He’s my hero.

In Las Vegas, I played on Saturday morning at the Excalibur Hotel at their daily tournament. It had a $35 entry fee, with no add-ons and no re-buys. It was a lousy tournament structure as everyone started with only $300 tournament chips. Add to that an extremely fast paced blind structure, and it was a shove fest, not a poker tournament. The first level was blinds of 5-10 and lasted 15 minutes. The second level saw blinds increase to 10-20, and also lasted 15 minutes. After the first two levels, the $5 chips were colored off, and the blinds jumped to $25-$50. The tourney started with 36 players, and was consolidated to two tables after the second level. I ended up out in 16th. I played only 3 hands, and won one of them. I made a small raise on the second level to $50 with pocket 7’s and the board came out Qd-7d-4d. I moved the rest of my chips in and got an immediate call by the one player who’d called my pre-flop raise. He turned over Ad-Qc and had me covered. The turn and river delivered no diamonds however, and I doubled to almost $600. That was short lived as I called a pre-flop all in with A-K to find myself in a race with Pocket 10’s. I didn’t improve and lost most of my stack. I finally went out with A-2 coming up on the big blind and lost to J-6. Harsh, but I was glad to be away from that tourney.

Finally, on Wednesday, I played at the no-limit Hold Em’ tourney at Hollywood Park. It’s a really cool tournament with a $30 buy in, and multiple re-buys and add-ons for the first hour. The re-buys structure allows a single re-buy of $500 chips for $10 if you have less than $1000 chips, a double re-buy for $1000 chips if you have fewer than $500 chips, and a triple re-buy for $30 if you’re down to the felt. You begin with $500 starting chips and have an option for an add on (up to $30) after the first break.

I lasted quite a long time with 126 entries at 12 tables. I lasted well past the first break and down to the 4 table consolidation going out in 36th place. I had an unfortunate run in the last few minutes losing my first pot calling an All-In bet with pocket Q’s. The other turned over the call with K-10 os. A King hit the turn and I didn’t catch up. I then lost a real tough one moving all in on board of 5-6-9 with pocket J’s. I got one caller after 6 players saw the flop, so it was good pot. The caller moaned as he turned over pocket 10’s to my J’s. But he got very excited as the board produced an 8 on the turn, and a 7 on the river. There was now a straight on the board, but his pocket 10’s gave him a better straight than the board and took most of my chips. I got my last 1800 in with A-9 pre-flop and got called by Aces. The board gave me some hope as it hit 10-J-Q giving me an open ended straight draw. But the turn and river bricked out and it was 36th for me.

That wraps up (in a novel) the most recent poker stuff. Next week looks to be good to go, and we should be at least 6 handed. Hopefully we can get a few more additions and make it a larger game.

On a side note, Jordan and I are flirting with the idea of playing a tournament tomorrow (Sunday), but I’m not sure where yet. I’ll have to check around to see what’s going on. In addition, we’re still contemplating the Wine Tasting and the Poker Tournament for my fast approaching 30th birthday. More on that later. Until next time, cheers, P