New CheckRayz Leaderboard Poker Tour Champion Crowned...

Well, the first ever CheckRayz Leaderboard Poker Tour Shootout is now in the history books. And what a memorable event it was. This ten person free poker tournament pitted the top ten on the CheckRayz Leaderboard for the first quarter against one another, with one person walking out with the top prize and the honor of being crowned the first ever Champion of our tour.

Would our points leader, imjusthere4thebeer, the man behind the CheckRayz tour (yours truely) take down the event and become champion of the leaderboard he led nearly coast to coast? Could it be Bob - BC5457 - the man who pushed and challenged Beer on the board all season? Could it be Clayshooter after taking time off to "allow others to catch up?" Texasdan? Norman a.k.a. cardluvr, harley (liverpool supporter) - greenhippy? His majesty, the strong playing Prince Sheba? Would lightning strike? Would Zaskar pull off a win? Would Gary812, who made one hell of a run on every CheckRayz poker table he's ever set foot on pull out another memorable and dominant finish? Anyone's guess is as good as mine, so let's get to the event, which is brought to you by River Belle Poker, our official CheckRayz leaderboard poker tour sponsor, and the best in the internet poker industry.

The free poker game started off very tight, and maybe even a bit passive. With a lot of folding, and very little drawing. TexasDan, as only he does, fires away early, betting the board regardless of the flop. In fact, Dan drew first blood when he put in the minimum raise under the gun with pocket tens. Norman, and two others called cleanly. Flop contained a ten. I check, Dan checks, as I comment "dan is checking, this is not a good thing." Norman bets into the pot and action folds around. Dan raises to allin, with cardluvr (norman) calling. Norman turns over pocket kings to Dan's set of tens. Dan collects an additional ten on the river giving him quads. Cardluvr is the first person sent to the rail.

After trying to see quite a few flops more than I typically do, I end up five handed with KK and in the big blind. I raise to allin and get one caller, gary812. Surely it looked like somewhat of a steal attempt on my part. My kings hold up versus gary's 2's, and I dig out of my hole. Shortly after, dan and the prince went head to head with the classic match of AK vs QQ. The prince's queens hold up. Dan would be on the worse end of AK again, as his tens push allin versus clayshooter's AK. Clay hits two pair and sends dan to the rail, taking the game's second victim.

With blinds at 50/100, BC5457 raises to 200 with pocket jacks. Acting right behind him, I push allin with pocket tens. Bob thinks for a while and lays down the jacks, not quite ready to take the cointoss.

Shortly following the break, lightning moves allin preflop. Greenhippy makes the call behind him. They're two of the shorter stacks looking to combine via a good hand obviously. Lightning strikes when his AQ has hippy's AJ suited dominated. Lightning's hand holds up and greenhippy is sent to the rail as our third casualty. (sidenote: difficult to blog and play at the same time). Shortly after, gary pushes allin, lightning calls with 300 to spare. Gary's nines in the pocket hold up over lightning's big slick. Then, john (lightning) moves allin utg and is called by Gary. Gary finishes what he started and takes the charge out of lightning's bolt, eliminating him with a straight.

If you're reading this, and thinking Gary is gonna stop there, then you've never seen gary812 in action. He's relentless and feeds off momentum. Bob makes a call utg, which gary raises to push bob allin. Bob folds with 375 to spare. Bob then folds to an apparant steal from Prince Sheba. Steal or not, you have to respect his raises, as he's never caught playing garbage. Bob pushes allin on Beer in the SB-BB special with A-8. Beer appologetically makes the correct call with his slightly pathetic 10-3 offsuit and Bob's ace eight holds. Bob makes himself a comeback taking his stack from around 300 to 850 in the matter of a few short hands.

Clay makes a move with pocket nines, which ZaskarLE calls, holding qj suited. Jacks are present on the board and Zaskar doubles up at clay's expense. ZaskarLE then puts Bob allin, with Prince Sheba making the call with change to spare. Zaskar's pocket aces hold up, sending BC5457 to the rail, ending his most impressive run for the first quarter.

Prince puts in a 400 raise with blinds at 100/200. Beer, being the chip slinging loon he is, reraises, putting the royal one allin and beer's pocket eights hold over the prince's jack 10. Prince Sheba is eliminated.

We're down to the final four. The hottest player currently on the tour, gary812 has an approximate chip count of 3550, clayshooter having roughly 2165 chips, beer sitting just over 2k, and zaskar holding about 1900 chips. Still anyone's match with the blinds at 100/200.

After some action on a flop, clay nails the flush crippling zaskar. Clay finishes the job nailing a 4 card straight with pocket jacks, eliminating zaskarLE and taking the chip lead.

For the second night in a row, beer makes the same "mistake" with the same hand and nearly exact same set of circumstances. Sitting with an M of roughly 7, he reraises clay's initial bet putting himself allin with pocket nines. Of course, had he listened to his own advice regarding endgame strategy, he just may have laid down his hand instead of reraising. Clay makes the call, flips over kings, and our drunken points leader for the first quarter is ousted from the tournament, finishing in third place.

We're now heads up... Both members of the Minnesota wrecking crew are left, poker's equivilant to Arn and Ole Anderson. Clay is off to a sizable lead, 8300-1500, blinds still 100/200. A few hands into it, clay takes the event down, moving it allin with pocket twos vs. gary's aq. Clay fullfills his prophecy (that someone from MN would win the event), and is crowned the First Quarter CheckRayz Leaderboard Poker Tour Champion.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the event last night. It was a blast, and featured some very well played cards and a table full of monsters. Also, a thank you to everyone who supported our first quarter's tour. Our second tour will blow the roof off the place! Look for more free online poker and money added poker tournaments to come from CheckRayz.