Been a while since I had some poker content to contribute, but this was a good one. Like most of you, I had gotten the invite from Dr. Pauly to attend his Turkey Cup tournament on stars. I've never played it before (I don't think), and I really didn't intend to play it this time. I was vegging in front of the TV with the family when I realized it was 8:53 pm and I remembered the tournament started at 11:55 EST. This meant I had two minutes. I hadn't played on stars in quite a while, so I got the damned "You have new software to install" message. I figured I would miss the start time and I didn't know if I'd be allowed in late. When the software was finally up, I had to remember the login (duh), but I got my seat as the 2nd hand was being dealt. I was quite happy to see the good doctor seated at my table as well as the lovely Katitude. Kat was sitting out, but I assumed she was making a clever play to allow the regular donks to do what donks do and donk themselves out in order to allow the real poker players to start playing. What I didn't realize is that 1. her "play" was actually a nap that got out of control, and 2. It turns out that the "donk" I was referring to was me.
I don't remember exactly how the hand played out, but Pauly got me all-in on the turn with his QQ vs. my AJ and I spiked an ace on the river. I think the board was KKx, and I think I picked up straight and or flush draws on the turn, but I know I got my money in behind. I felt bad for knocking Pauly out of his own tournament, but I vowed to put his chips to good use.
I spent most of the tournament in the top 10, but there was a player I didn't recognize Shackedin05 (who I now follow on Twitter - @bloomey ) who was sitting on a pile of virtual chips. He was running over the table with massive pre-flop and turn bets. I vowed to stay out of his way, but eventually had to put up a stand and bluffed him off a pot with king-high. I showed it, but there is certainly a chance it was the best hand.
Only the final table got paid. Bubble boy was the unfortunate Joe Speaker, who chose to spend his bachelor party playing this tournament. His tweet about it was classic:
My first bachelor party, I puked in a San Diego alley. My second, I spent/lost $2.5K in Vegas. This seemed prudent.
I tightened up as the final table got underway. It got down to four of us, including last year's winner Derek. It was great seeing fellow scotch enthusiast Shane Nickerson go deep, and if I ever drift back to the Islays, I'll definitely look for an Ardbeg Corryvreckan as my next purchase.
Then is was time to shift gears and when we got heads up we were pretty close in chips - a fact pointed out by Dr. Pauly who stayed to rail the whole thing. I made a small adjustment to my preflop raises because Shackedin05 was showing a tendency to push all in with my 3x raise. He was a little too aggressive, so I felt if I was patient, I could capitalize. On the button I'm dealt QQ and I make a min-raise. He shoves with 33 and I insta-call. Amazingly it held up.
Thanks again to Dr. Pauly for hosting a great post-Thankgiving tournament with some great people. Now I have even more to be thankful for.