Wednesday, March 07, 2007

my cup runneth over

Work has been pretty intense for the past two weeks, so not only has my poker playing slowed quite a bit, so has my ability to take the time to write about it.

But Saturday morning I was pumped and primed for an intense day of poker. I was ready to play…..for The Cup.

6 months ago, I played in my first RC Cup – a team based tournament created by a bunch of poker enthusiasts (i.e. poker nerds, like myself) where you compete in 4 different events for points, which combined with your teammates points give a total team score to determine the winning team – and watched our team barely squeak into second last place. But this time was different. Our team was different, and we were ready.

4 events, 4 disciplines. We were all playing Limit HE, NLHE, and Heads-up NLHE, and in the non-holdem round half the team would play Omaha while the other would play Stud.

There was more than money on the line, there was pride.

We bonded as a team over Friday night practices (which contained a lot more alcohol than was necessary). We talked Omaha and Stud strategy. We got cheesy T-shirts made.

We were ready.

AJ arrived at our place at 9:30 Saturday morning – the BusDriver was not far behind him, and we piled into BD’s van for the hour-long commute to the venue. A stop at Timmy’s was in order and we picked up 4 coffees. Roll-up-the-rim is in full effect, and I win a donut. Aha! Karma is on my side already.

We meet the other half of the team there, and the Hill (our team) is decked out in said cheesy T-shirts. I quick trip to the ladies and I, too, am awash with team pride in my white & blue jersey.

Bankwell in our team uniform.

We buy-in for the high-hand jackpots while other degenerates play $5 flipaments., and before too long, the Stud/Omaha round is starting up.

I was on the Stud half of the team, and proceed to implement my strategy of folding unless I have a monster. Well folks, there were no monsters to be found in my hand. Not a buried pair, not a 3-flush, not even a buried Ace. I was card-dead. But, I was out for points (the higher I finished, the more points I got), so I just waited, and waited, and waited.

Our Stud table must have been the rockiest rocks in Bedrock, because we were one of the last two tables going (out of 8 total, 4 Stud, 4 Omaha), and all my teammates had already ended their games. There were still 5 players at my table…and I was the shortstack. Easy, the other woman on our team, sat next to me and I told her I hadn’t seen a pair all game, not buried, not split…nothing. The poker gods must have heard me bitching, because the next hand I’m dealt, I’m showing an Ace with buried 4s. Not the best hand, but with the size of my stack, it’s now or never kids.

I get it all in pre-flop against a buried pair of Kings. Damn.

But wait – I get a 4 on 4th street to more than triple up. Sweet jebus, I’m still alive.

The game continues, and I’m all-in again with several opponents who check it down – I end up with a flush against nothing better and my stack is no longer pathetic. Through circumstances I can’t even explain, I end up heads-up in a game I’ve never played live before (other than team practices).

Stud: Heads-up. My opponent is in the pimp hat

It’s hard to explain what it was like to play that heads-up match – my whole team was behind me, other players were surrounding the table. There were cheers and groans as every hand was played. It was such a “now” moment. Ultimately I was defeated to take second. But it still felt like a miracle.

My Limit match kind of sucked when I got rivered twice early on to lose over half my stack. I did, however, double up with pocket Aces when two Aces came on the board. Huzzah! But it still wasn’t enough to keep me alive for much longer, and I went out in the middle of the pack.

My No-Limit game was horrendous when I made a terrible move with AK when an Ace flopped and my opponent flopped trips. Crikey. I went out first at my table. Unfortunately, 3 of my teammates had already busted first on their tables too – so the three of us, glaringly obvious in our blue & white shirts, had to pass the time while the games wore on. We corralled another bustee to play Euchre with us – playing poker after such embarrassing bustouts would have been much too painful.

My heads-up match was a breeze – I played against a weak-tight player who folded to any sign of aggression. I made quads for the second time of the day – this time to a board of K6K K Q. My opponent held pocket sixes, but didn’t look at his cards until the turn (he was trying to get tricky by playing blind – I don’t know why). He thought he was trapping me, but when I raised him on the river, he got worried that I had a queen, so he only called my raise instead of going all-in. Had he looked at his cards, all our money would have been in on the flop. It didn’t matter though, because I grinded him down until he had no choice but to go all-in with K-high, and my A-high held up.

My team actually won 6 out of 8 heads up matches….but we couldn’t pull out a win. We lost 1st place by 4 points. If our NL round hadn’t been so terrible, we would have won the event. Ouch.

But all-in-all – it was an amazing time. To play with so many people who love poker was just incredible.

The next Royal Cup is in August….and I can’t wait.

Our team picture - as taken by the most inebriated person at the event:

1 comment:

tervin said...

That is the worst pimp hat I've ever seen. Not that there's ever a GOOD pimp hat, but yeah.