Battle of River Belle Poker

Well, last night's River Belle Poker Tourney for CheckRayz is in the history books now. And a historical event it certainly was. For some reason, I find myself amazed when there is a "non-special invitational freeroll" poker tourney (read: not a global invitational or a leaderboard showdown, etc...) and most of the playaz (read: the "better" poker players, no disrespecting anyone) are found at or near the finals table. Many a CheckRayz/Shark Poker Tour standout found their way to the finals table on the River Belle. In fact, for a good portion of the night three of the top 4 on the CheckRayz Leaderboard were in the top ten in chip count. BC5747, myself, and the leaderboard points leader going into the tourney, Clayshooter were all sitting at or near the top of the chip lead for a good portion of the event. Greenhippy, nearly written off due to his ridiculiously short stack made one hell of a comeback! He attributes the mentioning of Liverpool Football Club "God" Robbie Fowler to sparking his comeback. Great football conversation, by the way. I enjoy talking football, both American and English, though English Football is my first love, so I was more than willing to talk shop.

Greenhippy made a late run and found his way to the final table, by doubling up again and again and again while facing the dreaded blind out. Great comeback yet again!!! With the top four all in the running, the standings could very well juggle around. BC5747 was the first of the leaders to bow out, finishing on the bubble and off the finals table in 11th place. Good showing for a tough field though.

Enter the final table: myself, shark hitman Borne sitting to my left, followed by the dangerous Clayshooter, the never say die Greenhippy, Zaskar, the chip slingin Texas Dan, and a few others (homerj, taekwondomr, hang) rounded off this final table of the stars. Dan was the first to be eliminated as yours truely began making his move. The three lesser known players from the tour were eliminated next, leaving myself, borne, clay, greenhippy, and zaskar alone to fight it out. Chips moved back and forth for a while, with some idiot named beer seeming to raise and raise and reraise and raise some more quite frequently, yet masterfully folding when necessary (read: when his opposition were wanting him to be slingin chips and raising the roof). Zaskar bowed out in fifth place, via the Beer Guy. Clayshooter was the next to go, bowing out in fourth place after losing a relatively large hand and then pushing. This left borne, myself and hippy to fight it out. Borne and I used our size advantage, in addition to the gifts from the poker gods and punished the shorter stacked Liverpool supporter hippy. Soon enough it was borne and beer head to head.

Your hero had the chip lead starting the heads up play. Borne, being the resourceful and talented head of security and right hand man of the shark took care of that quickly though, powerfully out playing "Don Keg" (Matt - Sweetness and CT's adopted new name for yours truely). A few more hands went by, folding and raising, raising and folding. Then tragedy struck. The Beer God looked down upon his hole cards and saw 8's in the pocket while sitting in the big blind. To his pleasant surprise, the surpreme one raises up. I take this opportunity to reraise big, making it 40K (I regained the chip lead prior to this hand). Borne reraises and I push it allin. I figured borne for AK-A9ish, or to larger suited cards, possibly a pocket pair, though most likely smaller than mine. To my unpleasant surprise, my read was on, but moreso on the "oh shit" end of the spectrum, as opposed to the overcard side. He was ahead on the flop, having pocket 9's to my 8's. Flop seemed to be no help, though due to connection issues it came rather quickly. Two diamonds hit the flop (jack ten), with an x as the third card. Turn and river both diamonds, which gave me the dirty old four to a flush and the win.

I didn't want to win this way and felt dirty as a result. But, at the very least, he and I played out the betting pre-flop. Great game by all. Really tough finals table, that had a vibe about it. I'm looking forward to the next River Belle event, thinking that the larger stack and slower blinds encourage patient and deliberate play. I now sit on top of the CheckRayz Leaderboard!

Mailbag tonight along with thoughts on the upcoming CheckRayz - Kiwi Poker tourney and more football talk, I'm sure.