Nov TNG Report
On Tuesday I had the pleasure of sitting at Tony Holden’s shoulder and sharing a bottle of Merlot as he played in Bigger Deal’s monthly Tuesday Night game. Trying to play decent poker while keeping notes for the blog and one eye on Dani Behr prancing around a jungle in her bikini was certainly a two-man job. Fortunately for all, I was delegated the latter two.
The cards were barely out for the first hand before Tuesday Night Game regular QuackQuack quipped “Are father and son allowed at the same table, Tony?” Sam Holden had indeed been drawn across from our patriarch, who rose to the bait: “Don’t worry, he won’t be sitting down until 8.45 and I can assure you he’s in a different house”. An hour later, and now assured of the game’s integrity, the rest of the players could take the following jokey exchange with Sam with a pinch of salt: “Sam, you’re not supposed to raise on MY big blind!” “Oh yeah, sorry Pops!”
The Poker Stars Random Number Generator was in a generous mood last night. Ten hands into the tournament, Plaice flopped a set of jacks, played it fairly slowly and improved to quads on the turn. Barely a few hands later we saw ArizonaPat betting modestly into a board of 5 hearts. Tony read this for a lone big heart, I for a naked steal. We were both way off base. Pat’s probing bet was called and he gleefully turned over a 9 high straight flush. With only four tables active and 15 minutes since the off, we were well on our way to a record number of monster hands.
Forty-five minutes in,, the BiggerDeal crew were struggling. Richard Whitehouse barely had a chance. Every time he had a piece of a flop he was beaten, and when he finally picked up a sizable pair about 30 hands into the tournament, he ran into pocket kings. Exit Whitehouse 34th of 34. I had already had an elbow in the ribs from Holden. “Make sure you put down that I was card dead for the first hour!” Indeed Tony had barely seen a playable hand and was languishing around the 1k mark. As was the stack in front of the empty Sam Holden seat. The only good news was that our eponymous password hero Peter Alson (aka Mortallock) was sharing the chip lead with dinodog79.
Fortunately Sam arrived soon after and steamed heavily into the first pot he played. Perhaps the table hadn’t noticed the “sitting out” graphic below his avatar and would assume he was a rock? He picked up a pot uncontested, folded the next and steamed heavily into the third, winning uncontested again. Ten minutes into his tournament he had doubled his stack without showing a hand and it was only this aggressive stack-building that helped him survive a brutal flush vs flush shortly before the first break.
Early in the second session, Tony managed to delay the inevitable by coming over the top of a late-position steal with AQo. He was called by 34o and the ace high held up. Still, he was at least one double up from the top of the Medium M zone so when he saw a K high flop with K2 on his big blind, an aggressive play was mandatory. Leading out for all his chips, Tony was called in three places by a flush draw, middle pair and (alas) a king with a higher kicker. The best hand won the day and ArizonaPat claimed the bounty by eliminating Tony and moving up to the top few in the leaderboard.
Sam could carry the Holden standard for only another half an hour. The blinds were beginning to put all but the biggest stacks under pressure. Sam called a raise from the blinds with QTo and was moderately happy to see a KTx flop. He checked to the preflop raiser who took a long time to peel off a free turn. The J on fourth street gave Sam an open-ender to go with his second pair but also, alas, made an unbeatable Broadway straight for MastahPL. After the understandable all-in, Sam’s only chance was one of the three remaining aces for a split pot. None was forthcoming and the Holden dynasty’s last hope busted out a respectable 14th of 34.
It did not take long to move from 14 players to the final 3. MastahPL went on a rampage, doubling up with Pocket Rockets, winning a huge pot with ace high against a flush draw and out-drawing Losbert’s KK overpair with his top pair. Silvernines kept pace, spiking a brutal king after ending up all-in with cowboys against a pair of aces, then hitting his ace overcard when all in with a nut flush draw.
With only three players remaining and such large blinds, one or two stolen pots were enough to seize the chip lead. First Mortallock was leading the pack, then SilverNines, then MastahPL. Play was cagey but smart and probing; one clash of solid hands was sure to end up all-in. Around 10.15pm we saw a standard steal raise but this time a re-raise and two calls. The three hands were revealed as KQ vs KJ vs KT. MastahPL’s highest kicker was good enough and he began the heads up against Bigger Deal’s own Mortallock with a modest chip lead.
The heads-up was epic. With barely 50 big blinds on the table one would have guessed 10 minutes, maybe 20. Forty-five minutes later we had not even seen either player all-in. MastahPL had managed to build to a commanding 4:1 chip lead, but could not find a way to separate Mortallock from his remaining few Big Blinds. Finally he had the cards, and the cunning, to do just that. MatsahPL limped on the small blind and Mortallock lobbed in his remaining 4 big blinds before the flop. The call was instantaneous, and gleeful. The trap was sprung, and no amount of cheering from his two BiggerDeal buddies could help Mortallock’s K4o survive against MastahPL’s Pocket Rockets. Our congratulations Mastah, a most brilliant coup.
- 9th: dinodog79 (Linwood)
- 8th: ProsperityHB (Northampton)
- 7th: losbert (Leicester)
- 6th: Califnaughti (Redding)
- 5th: Ghostway (Spalding)
- 4th: Kartajana (Barrowford) – $34
- 3rd: SilverNines (Daventry) – $51
- 2nd: Mortallock (NYC) – $102
- 1st: MastahPL (Abingdon) – $153
Next month’s tournament will be on Tues 16 December. Same time (8pm UK time), same place (PokerStars,com, via panel at top of our home page). Password (y-e-s!) : OChubb.