Sunday, January 18, 2004

Phil Helmuth & Russ Gorgiev Poker Blogs

"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet."
Grantland Rice

Queen City Poker Series

Oh my, where to even begin??

I'm absolutely wiped out. I spent all Friday and Saturday running around, accumulating tables, chairs and massive amounts of other random stuff needed to run a largish poker tournament. I spent three hours cleaning up the carnage today (and still not close to being done) so this post may be rambling and disjointed - forgive me, my brain is mush. Setting up and cleaning up has been pretty much a one-man show.

Cleaning up is a drag. This morning, all I could do was scratch my head in amazement while surveying the day after decimation.

So 51 players showed up for my first 'real' non home game no-limit tournament. I was expecting and hoping for about 30. Yikes! And this was without a dozen regulars not being able to make it.

Because I had to scramble for extra everything, we started 30 minutes late. That was the only snafu of the night. We had six tables (I had expected to have three tables ten-handed) at the start. Thankfully, I did have six tables set up. Chairs, on the other hand....

Oh yeah, $50 entry fee with all money redistributed in prize money. I rented the space because I thought it would be fun as hell to run a local no-limit tournament. And it was.

I started everyone with 10k in chips - blinds at 100.200, doubling in 100 increments every thirty minutes. This worked really well. At the start of the 5th hour we were 1000.2000 with a 100 ante.

100.200 200.400 300.600 400.800 500.1000
and so on.

There's alot of work involved with keeping things running smoothly, tables getting short, moving players around, et al, so it was hard sometimes to focus on the actual game, but I had a tremendous amount of help from my field general, Rick, in running things.

Random notes:

Fuzz was knocked out on the second hand of the tournament when he was dealt KK and got all his money in against, you guessed it, Mister Glass's AA. Oh the humanity. Fuzz was a HUGE help as he stuck around and dealt for nearly the entire nite: he figures nearly 400 hands. He kept his table laughing by yelling every time a King appeared, "Where the hell where you when I needed you?!" Fuzz also helped me a ton on Saturday by helping move additional tables and chairs with his truck. Thank you, Fuzz!

We had four girls play, with meaux, the esteemed hostess of our home game, lasting longest, as she made it to the final two tables in her first ever real hold em experience. Amazing.

First place paid over $1100.

I started the tourney at 6.00 pm, hoping not to be up into the wee hours of the morning. As if. Play finished at 3.30 AM when the last two left, Ian and Matt, decided to split the money and walk away. They wouldn't even shove it all-in on one hand to determine a winner! Boooo, but honestly, at that point, I really didn't care.

I was able to pay out six places. Of course, I finished freaking SEVENTH.

Here's how I was eliminated at the final table: small stack on big blind moves in after I raised preflop from the button with AK. Giant stack in mid smooth-calls and I move in my 35k. Big Stack calls and turns over KT and little stack has 56. Woohooo! Domination! But a ten on the flop and a ten on the turn puts me out.

Damn. I'm not one for bad beat stories but I sure was disappointed to get knocked out like that. That was an 85k pot. For the record, giant stack boy is a good friend who is the resident sheriff in our home game. He played great, finishing third.

A west-side fella named "Chirp" finished fourth. Chirp? He had tattoos of every card suit on his forearm so I assumed he was a good player when he was seated at my initial table. We played together for 5 or 6 hours and avoided pots with each other.

We also had guys named Tex, Dino and Gino. I announced at the onset of the tourney that there would be NO side-games. You could stay and watch but couldn't gamble. That really helped clear people out.

But Rick gave me the best advice - spread the tables out, don't consolidate - the churn rate will be higher if you spread out thirty guys six-handed at five tables, versus ten-handed at three. Brilliant!

Actually, the game had really thinned out by 9.30. That really put my mind at ease. Plus, I have some BIG friends. Non vegan types. So the built-in security was another bonus.

The best decision I made was creating this as a no-drinking tournament. Sure, there were a few people surreptitiously sneaking whisky into their cokes (yours truly, included) or guzzling beer in the parking lot during our five minute break every hour, but for the most part, it was a sober game. Removing alcohol from the equation was a smart move.

I can't believe I just typed that and meant it.

I was told that the police DID show up and sat in the parking lot for perhaps 30 minutes, but they never got out of their car, and thankfully, missed our hourly break. I'm sure they were curious - we were playing at an office complex right off a main road - seeing 40-50 cars there on a Saturday night would be unusual. I was prepared to tell them it was an AA meeting.

At one point, I announced that I was taking any donations to help defray the cost of putting on the tourney and many people threw some dollars in. That was cool, even though I still lost my ass.

I was too overwhelmed to tell everyone to SIGN UP WITH PARTYPOKER BONUS CODE IGGY OR IGGY1 ON EMPIRE. I had way too much to deal with to even think about going there, but I did hear plenty of interesting conversation about online poker play. I kept my mouth shut because it was obvious noone knew WTF they were talking about.

Gmoney stomped off after losing and left with my field general's car keys in his coat pocket. That truly sucked. A huge thanks to Filmgeek and meaux for tracking that down. It prolly cost me 20k in chips trying to deal with that headache.

I never got cards to speak of. That I finished seventh is testimony to luck my ability to float and pick spots when necessary. I had QQ once and AK twice and that was it. I did double-thru with AJ tho, when the flop came jack high and a big stack made a huge bet. I came over the top and he called with an open-ended straight draw that didn't materialize. Whew.

I hardly played any hands.

Hand of the tourney was my field general getting AA against S's KK and another player's QQ and all the money got in before the flop. Big scoop with the aces standing up. Looking forward to downloading co-workers' impressions on Monday.

Another friend and co-worker, Joshua, got into a small wreck and had random breasts flashed at him on the highway. He had quite the evening.

So it was a smashing success, methinks. I hope Filmgeek will write a trip report since he writes 100x better than I.

I had many people encourage me to do this again. After cleaning the carnage today, I'm in NO hurry to do so. I do have access to bigger and better space for an even much bigger tourney but I can't do this while losing money. I don't necessarily want to make money (that's illegal) but I sure as hell wouldn't mind breaking even on the deal. That seems fair for all the work involved.

God knows how many players I could have gotten. Getting players isn't a problem.

I'm toying with the idea from the Bluegrass Poker Series. See prior posts for details. Abridged version: They have a rebuy that goes into a separate prize pool to send someone to the WSOP championship event in their name. That's a fantastic idea and is something I may do. We had over $2500 in prize money this time. One $50 rebuy - in only four tournaments, I'd have the ten grand to do the same.

So do I do this again? The WSOP is in May, so I'd need to get going if I wanna send someone there.

I have many links and new blogs to point out, but I'm simply too tired to do so. Come back tomorrow and I'll return to your regularly scheduled blogcast.

Again, thanks to anyone who helped me put this monstrosity of a tourney on. I couldn't have done it without the help (especially Fuzz, Filmgeek and m0). Filmgeek also graciously dealt at several tables and had nary a misdeal. I can't describe how cool that is to have friends pitch in and help.

Now I'm entertaining thoughts of a 200 person NL tourney. I have 8,000 square feet of space at my disposal. 20 tables, 200 chairs, 2,000,000 in chips - how hard could it be?

Kill me. Kill me now.

Link of the Day:
Til Dignity Do Us Part
The yuppie panhandling site Pay for Cynthia's Wedding seeks $25,000 to fund a couple's dream nuptials. "Our life is the Fine Living Channel," explains Cynthia Wachtel.

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