Monday, October 15, 2007

Zero Traction

I placed 315th out of a field of 1300 in yesterday's PokerStars Blogger tournament, whose little flashing ad graced the upper right column for the past week or so. Unfortunately 315th and 2 1/2 hours of play equaled 1299 position and 2 1/2 minutes of play - at least from a monetary standpoint. That is, nada. I played as well with as bad a run of cards as I ever have in a 2 1/2 hour period. Small pairs that didn't improve at the flop and had to be folded against any significant raise. Middlin' pairs that would be cracked by larger pairs. Aces with bad kickers. Mostly unplayable hands.

We started with $10,000 in chips, and I think the best shape my stack was in during those 2 1/2 hours was around $12k. Ironically, I was seated next to Troublecat at my first table, who may or may not have recognized me as a one-time opponent and backer. In any case, he successfully played the bloggers' signature hand against me - THE HAMMAH - to his great delight and generally unacknowledged by the rest of the table.

Troublecat and Maudie would place a little behind me in the 300s too. One of the people from my initial table would place in the top 10, earning him a digital camera. A few of the names in the top 80 or so -winning prizes ranging from iPods to duffle bags - were familiar from the Wheaties, but except for the Cat I played with none of them at my two tables.

There are probably many more things more frustrating than playing well with no cards and no luck, but it's No Fun for over two hours, let me tell ya. By Hour Two, with a stack ranging from $2k to $6k, I was pleading to the poker gods to give me a hand that I could use to double up or at least go out with dignity, as it was highly unlikely I was ever going to catch up with the leaders, who had stacks in the six figures by that point. Down to around $2k and in danger of being blinded out in two rounds, I doubled up with AK, and then doubled my stack again to around $8k when I pulled a flush out at the River.

But the trouble with needing to go all-in repeatedly to stay alive is that sooner or later your luck will fail. And you only need to lose once when you're the smallest stack at the table. An extremely tight player on my left, who only involved himself in hands that he was likely to win, had his pair of Aces cracked by an improbable straight. The next hand put me in the dealer's slot and with a pair of Kings. I went all-in, hoping to double yet again, and then only needing to do so twice more to have in a slight chance to survive to the final table. But, that same player called and flipped over the same hand he had before, Aces, which cracked my Kings, and that was that.

I'm afraid "that was that" may be the epitaph for the Tuesday evening Monkey - successor to the Wheaties - too, unless we start building a more sizable field. I offered to take over the administration from an overburdened and in-a-funk ISS Spock only to discover that Stars, in its wisdom, refused to let the Frequent Player Point-shy ricoM do so. Even though I've been contributing to PokerStars coffers for 2+ years, I haven't apparently contributed enough, and they were unmoved by my email asking for a waiver on the FPP requirement.

I see that Spock is taking one last shot for this Tuesday so, if my thousands, hundreds, tens, or ones of readers are so inclined, you're invited for what may be the last Monkey this Tuesday, the 16th, at 8:30 sharp ET. Password is "monkey." It'd be nice to see the old gang there one more time - I miss the Atlanta platers, xkm, Iggy, and Maudie - if for nothing else than to give this long-running tournament a proper send-off.

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