Saturday, November 29, 2008

I love the Turkey Day Game

It's one of my favorites every year. And this year didn't disappoint.

We had 12 people show for the grub, and everyone stayed for the big game. The food was awesome as we had the Turkey, Ham, Mashed Potato's, Stuffing, and cranberry's. It was delicious.

The game got going at around 7 or so with Myself, Traci, Tim, Tay, Jordan, Jamie, Jeff, Amber, Chris, Becky, Jasen, and a miraculous arrival by Andrew. It had been so long since he'd attended a game at pablosplace, that we let him have it. And in turn, he showed us that he's still got game.

12 players meant that we had two table action, and re-introduced the poker timer to get the action rolling. We played 20 minute levels to move the action along, and we weren't 20 minutes in before our first elimination.

Tim and Tay were heads up after taking a flop of 4-8-5. Small betting went to the turn, where Tim announced blind that he was checking the turn, and an Ace proceeded to fall. Tim checked, and Tay checked behind. The river fell another 5, and Tim led out about the size of the pot. Tay insta-raised the bet All in, and Tim insta-called turning over A-5 for the made full house. But Tay, clapped and giggled as she turned pocket rockets (AA) for the better full house. That left Tim crippled with only 19 chips remaining. He would exit a few hands later getting them all in with K-9, and had two callers (myself and Jamie). I bet the flop when a Q hit, and Jamie made the laydown. I turned my KQ, and Tim was drawing almost dead. The turn and river were no help, and Tim was the first exit of the night.

Jordan got involved in a couple of really tough pots as well, and was crippled when Jamie made a flush and hung around till the end. He finally got the last of his chips in the middle and was called by Jeff, ending his night just after the blinds had gone to 2-4.

Jasen then joined our table to balance the tables, and play continued until the 4-8 level, and then people began to fall out. I didn't pay too close of attention to the other table, other than to see a few people with very low stacks, and Andrew with one very large one.

I had two swing hands which took my night in opposite directions. Thankfully, the wrong one happened first. First to act was Tay, who called the big blind of 8. Jasen folded, and I popped it to 24 with A-Kos. Jeff got out of the way from the small blind, and Jamie and Tay made the calls. On a flop of 6h-6c-5c, Jamie and Tay checked, and I led out with 24. Jamie made the call, and Tay got out of the way. The turn was the Qc, and Jamie led out with 12, and I came along. The river was the 7c, and we both checked. Jamie turned over the Kc-3c for the turned flush, and I was hurting as I was down to about 50 or so chips.

But I'd rebound by doubling through Jamie later as I flopped two pair from the big blind just as action was ready to consolidate to one table. Holding 10-8os from the big blind, I checked to see a flop of 10-8-7. I led out for 24, and Jamie followed. The turn was another 8, and I moved all in for my last 29, and Jamie made the call with a 8-3, and drawing dead to the river. That one gave me some life.

We moved to a final table with 8 people, and Andrew holding a significant chip advantage. I picked up the first hand making a pre-flop raise and collecting only one caller, Jasen, from the big blind. We took a flop that didn't help either of us, but I bet another 13 to move him all in, and he made the call with a weak Ace. I turned over my suited K-Q, and was behind. The turned didn't help either of us, but the river was a K, and gave me a good sized pot.

The next hand was something of a historic hand as we saw 3 people eliminated, and another go to a single chip remaining. It was a giant pot, maybe the biggest at pablosplace if you don't count heads up action. After Andrew min-raised to 16, everyone (all 7 remaining players) took a flop of Js-6s-5h. Surprisingly, the flop caught a little bit of all of us. Traci was the first to act and checked, and I did the same. Jamie led the fray by betting 8, Tay called it, and so did Jeff. Andrew used some of his chip power and popped it to 24. Becky moved all in for the rest of her chips (she was covered by the 24), and Traci followed suit (she was also covered by the 24). Action aback on me as I held 8s-7s. With both an up and down straight draw, and a flush draw, I moved over the top All in. Jamie made the call, Tay got out of the way, and then Jeff (who had me covered by 1 chip as it turned out) also made the call. Andrew folded, and the cards were flipped over. Jamie was ahead with top pair, but only a 4 kicker. She went ahead all the more when the 3h hit the turn, and still had the lead. But the river was the 3s, giving me a flush, and scooping the pot. I had enough to cover the All In's by Traci, Becky, and Jamie, and the three ladies went out at the same time. After counting up Jeff's chips, he had 162 remaining, and I had 161.

This gave me the chip lead, and took us down to 4 players. Jeff would go out on the next hand putting his last chip in, and Tay would take the pot.

The chip lead swung back into Andrew's favor after several hands during three handed play. Pre-flop, all the money went in after Andrew raised, and I called, Tay moved, and was insta-called by Andrew. I got out of the way (laying down Qs-Js) figuring that I was beat, and I was right. Andrew tabled J-J, and Tay flipped K-10. The board didn't help Tay any, and Andrew busted Tay in 3rd place.

Andrew and I played heads up for only a short time (maybe a dozen hands) and the one that did me in was a doozy. After a bet of 40 was called by both of us, we took a flop of K-Q-2. I flopped two pair with Q-2. And I bet 40, Andrew called. The turn was an Ace, and Andrew led for 40 more, and I moved all in. He thought about it for a while and made the call with A-9. But a K on the river made it a better 2 pair for Andrew, and he scooped the pot and the remainder of my chips for the win.

I am so very thankful for everyone that came, and for the opportunity to call you all my family of friends.

Next Friday it's the home game as usual at pablosplace. Thanks again for everyone who came to enjoy the dinner and the poker. It was a blast. Until next Friday, cheers!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Pablosplace Third Annual Thanksgiving Friday/Bring Your Leftovers Game

An no, you don't have to bring food.

For those that have been a part of the home game at pablosplace for some time, you know that this is one of my favorite events.

Three years ago, we used the day after Thanksgiving as a way to share Thanksgiving with friends. We had everyone bring their leftovers to my place on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and we had a great meal, followed by an awesome poker game. It was awesome grub, and the fellowship was second to none.

And from there on out, it has become a standing tradition that the day after Thanksgiving is celebrated at pablosplace with grub and poker.

We have plenty of food, so you need only show up to get your grub on. But if you have any leftovers that you'd like to contribute, we'd love to have you.

We'll start a little earlier than usual, probably around 5:30 or so for eating, and the game will be shortly after dinner. But if you're in the valley and looking for some awesome Turkey and Ham grubbage, we'd love to have you.

Feel free to get in contact with me through pablosplace or via e-mail ( if you have any additional questions. I hope to see another big group here the day after Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble!!!

A long overdue win

Having been unable to claim a victory since early July, it was time to win one for Pablo. We went into play 6 handed, and action got heavy quick.

On the first hand of the night, Tim limped from under the gun, got a call from Traci, and then I made it 6 with pocket J’s. Tay made the call, Amber followed suit, and Chris folded from the big blind. Next to act was Tim again who raised it up to 18. Traci quickly folded the action to me, where I wasted no time in calling all in. Tay thought for a little before giving her hand up, and then Amber did the same. Tim, however, made a quick call and we flipped over our cards on the first hand of the night, me with my J’s, and Tim, A-Kos. The board didn’t improve Tim, and he re-bought after the first hand.

It wasn’t Tim’s night, as a little later, he fell into Amber’s trap. After limping to see 3 players take a flop of 8-7-5, Amber led with a bet of 4. Tim pushed for his last 30 or so, and Traci folded. Amber made a quick call turning over pocket K’s, and Tim’s night was done as he showed J-8.

Tay then busted, but her re-buy was a good one as she was able to increase her chip stack steadily. Soon, Traci busted, and then re-bought and then busted again.

With the action 4 handed, I was holding about half of the chips with Amber, Tay, and Chris all holding about similar stacks. But Tay took a big pot from Chris, and a good sized advantage, and Amber’s stack whittled before she busted as well. 3 handed, I eliminated Chris when I got pocket Q’s, and got him to shove his last 30 or so chips after pairing the board.

Heads up, I held a slight advantage to Tay, but she went card dead. We played several hands, but eventually, she just ran out of chips after not being able to catch anything.

I checked the pablosplace archives and it looks like July 12th was the last time that I won a pot here. I didn’t think that it’d been that long, but I’ve been playing poorly enough that even the home game hasn’t gone well. Hopefully, tonight will set me back in the right direction.

Next week looks good to go. Until next Friday, cheers, P

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New WSOP Champion....Finally

After waiting some 4 months to complete the final table of the 2008 Main Event, the World Series of Poker has crowned a new champion. Peter Eastgate, a Dutch Poker Pro at the ripe ole' age of 22, has become the youngest WSOP champ in the history of the event. My hats off to him. Below is the heads-up recap posted from

World Series of Poker management billed the heads-up portion of the Main Event final table as a heavyweight fight between two pugilists. But 22-year-old Danish poker pro Peter Eastgate had other ideas; he turned the duel into a somewhat one-sided affair and had his Russian counterpart Ivan Demidov on the ropes for the entire night.

The final hand was typical of the win for Eastgate. A seemingly harmless 4c fell on the turn that gave Demidov two pair, fours and twos, but completed Eastgate’s wheel draw. All the money went in on the river and Eastgate’s final knockout punch made him World Champion.
“It kind of summed up the heads up. I had him crippled to below 20 million and I was lucky that he hit two pair where I hit the wheel,” said Eastgate immediately following the win. “It was kind of inevitable for those two hands to get it all in.”

When the night began Eastgate was ahead of Demidov by just over 21 million chips. The early action saw Demidov hit some hands and win enough pots to take over the chip lead. His lead though was temporary as the deck went cold for the Moscowvite.

“I really had no idea how he was going to play heads-up and he has way more experience than me. So maybe I was playing a bit passive and sometimes I made the bad calls when I should have just folded,” said Demidov. “I still called way too much and it cost me a lot of chips. I also made a few big bluffs at the wrong time.”

After re-capturing the chip lead on the 22nd hand of the night Eastgate kicked into high gear and never looked back on his way to the win, the $9 million first place prize and the Main Event champion’s bracelet. At 22 he also broke the record held by Phil Hellmuth for youngest Main Event champion ever, though he admitted to not thinking about anything but the game at hand.
“I wasn’t thinking about the records or anything like that. I just was thinking about playing my game,” said Eastgate. “I spoke to (Hellmuth) yesterday. He wished me luck and gave me a handshake.”

The final table action will be aired on ESPN on Tuesday night beginning with a preview show at 8 pm ET with the two-hour episode covering the November Nine beginning at 9 pm ET.