"Super Donk" takes down huge freeroll at local pub...

I was originally scheduling the "State of CheckRayz" address for today's column, however something happened this weekend that I really feel the need to write about my friend Kyle, who by day is mild mannered "that guy." However, put a clay chip in front of him and a deck of cards, and "that guy" can be seen running to the outhouse to change into his alter-ego "Super Donk," the supreme hero of the horrible play and subsiquent suckout. Anyways, Kyle found himself in the monthly freeroll at this local pub we've been playing and I wanted to write a bit about this tournament.

Kyle had placed fourth in one of the weekly events. Those who place 1-4 at any weekly events play in the "last sunday of the month" (note: the last sunday in the month fell in april by this pub's calendar). To spell out exactly how this works, those who placed 2-4 start at 2pm. The top 8 gain entry to the 4pm event, which combines these players with everyone who had finished first place. $1000 dollars would pay over 4 places, and the potential to win a sweet car was on the line (one of those lucky hands type of things where the final hand had to match exactly the cards in the envelope --- never gonna happen).

While we were waiting for the event to begin, I was taking side bets... not for money, just for comedy value. The over/under was 5 on how many people would show up 1 hour late, because they did not set their clocks ahead and hand no clue that this was to occur. It should be noted that several regulars who play in this event are the type that are not inclined to watch the news or read the papers, so this is quite possible. I felt I was being generous by setting the over/under at five and had a gut feeling it should have been closer to ten.

Anyways, the doors opened for the 2pm start time. Kyle quickly ran to the outhouse and emerged as Super Donk, sporting his cape, ready to suck out. I was perched in such a manner that I could see the entire room, as my chair was on the riser that held the dj booth. Play was a bit tighter than normally experienced in this event. Kyle and I had discussed strategy before the event. The blinds format is one that I'm not real comfortable with, having a starting stack of 50 and blinds elevating from 1/2, 2/4, 4/8, 5/10, 10/20, 20/40, etc. every fifteen minutes. Its such a format that one almost has to make a move in the first two rounds, else lose betting power. I told him the standard... respect position, avoid playing junk, have the wisdom to know when your raise is not going to accomplish what its intention is, etc. Ideally, a semi-tight passive style is probably most appropriate preflop, switching to a tight aggressive style post flop. Picking one's spot, however, and respecting position is of paramount importance.

Kyle folded around and pretty much observed early on, seeing how the table reacted. His table appeared to be more passive than previous tables, which of course throws the above off. Peeps
were actually taking down steals preflop and continuation bets causing folds... This was something never seen before at previous events. Could it be the table or was it the five ten peeps missing cuz they had no clue on the time change?

Blinds increased a few times over and SuperDonk is still alive and kicking. 3 tables of eight remain and as a courtesy to the table, I began calculating avg. stack and sharing it with those at SD's table. This statistic is more important than M, in a sense, as top 8 is the goal. Just as I say this, one of the players (Dave) has his Aces cracked by two pair. This move seems to cripple him, as he has about ten chips remaining. Fast forwarding, Dave later wins his BB via default and folds his SB. Other notable folds by Dave during this critical, crippling situation were JJ and AK. Yes, you read correctly, he folded AK from an early position and JJ on the button, because in his mind, survival was most important. People do actually fold hands of this nature preflop near the bubble. I personally could never do it, as my goal is never to "barely cash," but in this case, his strategy paid off.

I was preoccupied and did not see what hand took kyle out, but he placed 12th, and thus was 4th alternate in the 4pm event. Kyle's table had five peeps of the eight who qualified for the 4pm event, which came as no surprise.

Final event starts, and kyle gets the last seat (4 no shows). I wasn't happy with where he was seated. He had a few players from his previous table, combined with the drawing know it all, Peanut who was probably among the best players in the event, and "Mr. I'll See your two and raise you seven... come on let's gamble." Fortunately, this guy is seated to Kyle's right. Unfortunately this guy's voice is obnoxious annoying irritating enough to drive a man insane. Kyle cranks his mp3 playa up to 11, it should also be noted that the "loudest band in the world," Spinal Tap's amps also go to 11... just like Super Donk's MP3 player. In a seemingly shady move, this guy was the dealer, trying to see and raise, and spills his chips on the floor. He bends down to grab his chips, taking the entire deck of cards with him... well, what was left of them. One of the players, Peanut, heard me mumble that this should be declared a misdeal. The cards should never leave plain sight of the table, and never drop below the table.

Fortunately, moronic man wouldn't stay on for long, thus Kyle didn't need the 11th setting on his dial, as the idiot saw two, and raised his ass right out the door, being the first to be launched from the tourney. His ever so famous last words were, "Its about time! I was trying to leave from the first hand" (read: I'm seeing double cuz I drank too much and raising my ass back to the corner bar a block over). While blaring his music, Kyle had not played a hand. His volume came down as everyone at the table commented as to what a relief this it was to have this idiot gone from the table.

Kyle made up for lost time and raised to a steal a pot or two. (fast forwarding a bit) Tables merged from three to two, with 18 players remaining and Kyle on the short end of average. Players began moving with urgency as the blinds rose and Kyle found himself on the final table
as the second shortest stack. To my surprise, with only one exception, Kyle played a perfect final table. This did not cause me to sit unworried though. While I'd occasionally offer him advice on play between hands, I did not talk to him during his hand (after the deal), nor did he "pocket cam" me.

Acting under the gun, kyle limps. I cringe and silently vow to beat his ass if he doesn't have one of three hands. 1 more limps after him, when "allin" comes from across the table. Late position calls, kyle reraises to allin and the limper behind kyle folds. Kyle has two people allin, and flips over pocket aces, looking at me and saying, "See, I can learn." His aces hold up, and I am thrilled to death with him using this move. Suddenly, shorty is second in chip count and six remain. Very next hand, Kyle's heated up, and gains a steal, only to donate chips a hand later returning him to the middle of the pack. He didn't have the hand to continue and smartly laid her down.

(Fast forwarding a bit more)Its bubble time. Five players remained, SuperDonk who was playing as if his super powers had been immobilized by an influx of poker iq. To his left sat a player who had been on his table for both events. This guy was tough, but not a "smart" poker player, which I'm sure we'll hear more about later. To smarty's left, sat the callstation. I'm not sure, but I suspect he is the middle aged son of Ma Bell. Ma Bell's baby boy sat with the chip lead, and was known for his call, call, call, call, call type of play. I told kyle he'd not stand much of a chance stealing from the button. To Kyle's right sat a semi-tight aggressive player who was second in chips. He spoke with an accent of sorts, which is really totally irrelivant. He had not been a cheap date, from what I observed, as people were often made to pay heavily for the privledge to chase when he was in the hand. Two peeps to Kyle's right sat a wirey, aggressive player who seemed to be playing the players and position moreso than the board and his hand.

So to the bubble we go. I tell kyle that the button is not going to give him a steal, the short stack is the most likely to move with shit, and if he moves against the short stack, he's likely going to get a call if shorty has a hand. Surprisingly, I was wrong on one account, as the heir apparant to the telephone empire went into a shell and folded to a 20 chip, allin raise while he was in the big blind putting out 100 chips and last to act. Wow... 20 chips to call 270 would not have broke the bank here and was an appropriate call with 2-7o (read: worst laydown of the day, bar none).

BB moves to Kyle, who is the second largest stack. SB is the short stack with about 250 chips. Action folds to the SB, who raises 100, leaving 50 left in his stack. Kyle looks at his hole cards and calls cleanly. Flop comes, SB pushes allin and kyle folds. This was his one bad play, where he was surely asking for a mulligan. He should have either reraised to allin, as the guy was pot committed or he should have folded. Either would have been correct, but folding was incorrect. Kyle at this time had about 400 chips prior to the play. Next hand Kyle moves allin on the small blind, his queens hold up against Baby Bell and Kyle's back to second in count.

I move in and tell kyle between hands the short stack is to his left now. I let him know that first to act, he can profitablly make a move with 10-8 and above profitablly, providing he moves allin. Action moves around, and Kyle's back in the SB as the second shortest stack. He looks into the hole and discovers 9-7s. He's first to act, so he pushes allin, hoping for a call from the short stack big blind. The big blind calls with KQo. Kyle hits a seven on the flop, turn comes blank, and the river blanks as well. The bubble has burst and kyle's 9-7 takes the pot down!

Dude is irate. The table pauses for a bit, and I tell kyle that he had made a good play. He knew he'd be a dog if called, but the odds were worth it, as this guy had about sixty chips beyond his BB. I tell him once again the play was perfect and to keep it up. Dude overhears me and says "Are you f'ing kidding me? That was not a perfect play." I tell the guy that it was a profitable move as he's only a slight underdog... and by slight I mean less than 1% preflop from the average hand. The guy obviously didn't get it, as he says "no one moves allin with a 2-7."

I concede, as I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed individual, so I politely correct myself and tell the guy, "you're right. Even though it was a 9-7s and a bluff, no one 'calls' allin with that hand and no one bluffs, especially not against the short stack and on the bubble. My bad, what was I thinking?" I tune the guy out, as he's mumbling something that can only drop my poker iq, whereas I stand no chance of raising his. While the commotion is going on, out goes the tough guy from kyle's right, via 99 v 88. Then out goes Ma Bell's baby boy by virtue of a duece (kyle called an inexpensive allin with k2s v a9) after wirey dude had softened the offspring of Ma Bell up quite a bit.

Heads up and Kyle had a sizable lead. Chips went back and forth back and forth and were about dead even. Fortunately, there was a dealer on the final table who was both knowledgable in the game and also a former dealer at a casino, as the final hand was somewhat controversial. Wirey guy pushed allin preflop. Kyle knocked. Kathy, the dealer, asked is that a call? Kyle responds yes. Flop is turned over, kyle tries to push allin, apparantly not realizing he was already allin. He flops two pair NH GG, cubs win Austin wins Super Donk wins!

Coming at no surprise, the magic hand misses the board, no car... However, I have to say that I was proud of "SuperDonk." Generally speaking, I cheer against him, due to his horrible play. I could not have been more proud though, as he finally decided to play smart poker. Because of his play, I honestly could not have been happier if I had personally played and won the event. To me, its very rewarding when my advice is used and a player trusts enough to improve his or her game, especially when they get positive results. He and I will be going back again tonight, and then to another bar tommorrow to play, which will probably be the last monday-tuesday we can qualify for anything, considering soccer starts up again next week.

More tommorrow,