Just busted out of the 10AM tourney. I played fine until a hand in the second level where I attempted a resteal from the big blind with pocket fives. The intial stealer moved all in and then slammed a box of small plastic mermaids onto the table – the bounty for knocking her out of the tourney. I was momentarily flummoxed by the bright pieces of plastic but eventually folded. I didn’t want to play a coin flip at that point in the tourney, and I figured that’s what it was. I guess we’ll have to wait until they show the hand on TV. Should have just called the raise and seen a flop, but in any case I was back to my starting stack.

Stole a few more blinds before a new player joined our table. Ironically, he is Jerrod Ankenman, one of the two people I might be playing in the FIHUPT final this evening. Also ironically, he busted me a few hands after he arrived. I flopped the nut flush draw with an over card, he had top pair…the rest is FARGO history. I was glad to get a chance to play with him a bit before we faced each other in the heads up match.

So the heads up tourney…I can’t say I have any truly remarkable hands to report. There was one hand during my fourth first-round match where I held QJ and raised pre-flop. The flop came J J 9 with two clubs. I checked and my opponent bet. I raised and my opponent mumbled something that sounded like “twelve,” which at that level would have been a reraise. I said “all-in.” My opponent (Martin) then clarified his statement. Apparently he had just called. So now I’m thinking, great I’m not going to make any more money on this hand. The turn was the fourth jack, giving me quads. I checked, because it seemed like the only way I was going to get any more money. Martin moved all-in with jacks full of nines, and just like that I was 4-0.

My fifth match would decide if I moved on to the quarterfinals. My opponent was quiet and did not respond to much of my banter (which apparently is my most dangerous weapon). He also folded too much, however, so I was able to steal my way to an early lead. The match ended strangely when I won a big pot, leaving him with six dollars in chips. At that point, he tried to resign. I had never seen anyone try to do this before in a poker tournament, and so before I even thought twice I said, “Um, no. You can’t resign.” Whatever, I would feel cheap winning like that! So then of course he sits back down and doubles up five times and we’re even in chips again. Then, the following hand:

I hold AJ off-suit. I raised pre-flop and he called. Flop came Qd Td 7x. He bet about a third of the pot. (Sorry for the lack of chip counts, it was already 2AM at this point!). I called. The turn was a low card of no consequence. It went check, check. The river was a J. He bet about half the pot. I tried to put him on a hand and figured flush draw at best. He definitely didn’t have a queen…*maybe* he had a ten. I decided to call, and I realize just now that he never showed his hand. I should have made him show the hand. Anyway, he couldn’t beat jacks and I took down a large pot. I worked him down to four chips, at which point he once again resigned. This time I accepted because I had to go to the bathroom. I was 5-0 and had secured my berth in the quarter-finals!

My first group was really great – we even took a pie break together at one point. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a friendly poker tournament. Only at FARGO I guess. Adam, Carl, Matt, Martin, and yes, even Stuart – you guys are the best.

My quarter- and semi-final matches were fairly unremarkable. Two nice guys and once again, very enjoyable matches. I won them both to go to 7-0 and await the winner of the second semi-final. Tonight that match will go and then the final, at some point.

My first non-internet final table!

Kudos to Greg for establishing this tournament and to Matt Matros for running it. And for asking me if I wanted to play it while I was in line for lobster tails.

Off to find a good game – hopefully I won’t lose all my tournament winnings in one go. Updates on the heads up championship to come.

PS: I have entered the Poker Stars blogger tournament, and you should, too. It was suggested to me by Matt Matros, and since I made the final table of the last poker tourney he mentioned to me, it seemed like a good idea. Here’s my registration info:

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 3903487

For referral purposes, my blog address is Good luck to all bloggers!