Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rare Appearance in the Mookie; Even Rarer Appearance at the Final Table

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I have never seen Mookie, so I really don't know if he really exists. He's at the top of the list of bloggers I have never met, yet dying to meet. All I really know about Mookie is that he has mad Photoshop skills and potent sperm. The guy has like nine kids and hooked me up with plenty of banners including the Tao of Poker logo.

Mookie also hosts a weekly tournament every Wednesday night. I play once in a blue moon (only the fifth appearance from your hero this year) mainly because my free time is restricted and also because I rarely if never play tournaments anymore (with the exception of Saturdays with Dr. Pauly - but that is more like an opportunity to kick back, partake in 4:20 activities, and have some fun with friends and loyal readers). But thank God for Twitter because I never would have remembered The Mookie if I didn't see his reminder tweet.

The girlfriend was away on a business trip and I had the entire apartment to myself. Change100 was dealing with the bleakness of Eastern Europe while she covered the EPT Poland and I basked in the sunshine of SoCal. I had been writing like a fiend all week (blogs, columns, short stories, screenplay, et al) and completed my pages for the day. It was time to unwind and play some poker.

During the Mookie, I also played a 15/30 LHE full ring game with former WSOP champion Berry Johnston. It was a soft table. I had not seen a juicy 15/30 table like that since the Party Poker days. Even though I took a couple of brutal beats, I continued to stay in the fracas because I knew at some point I'd get my money back from the various trout and calling stations that inhabitaed my table. Ah, that never happened. I lost a big pot on a rivered gutshot and then I got Queens viciously cracked. Sadly, the two biggest fish at the table left. One went busto and the other hit and run. I logged off and focused on the Mookie. I realized that even if I won the Mookie, I'd still be way stuck for the day. I'd have to win the Mookie three times over to even get close.

There were 52 runners at this week's Mookie and I had a tough starting table that included twoblackaces, jjok, JoeSpeaker, PokerVixen73, NYRambler, NumbBono, Schaubs, and BuddyDank. I didn't play too many pots during the first hour mainly because I was locked in on my 15/30 cash game. At the first break, I was 25th out of 40 and had less than the starting stack.

I lost my first pot of the tournament to Joe Speaker. One player limped. Speaker raised from the button and I called from the small blind with Ad-Kd. The flop was 9h-3d-2s. I bet 75% of the pot and Speaker min-raised me. I had to put him on a big pair or a set but it didn't matter. I whiffed the flop and folded. I told him I had pocket tens and either made a terrific laydown or the worst fold of the day. Speaker said he had a set and I believed him.

I slipped to under 2K when GCox was moved to our table. He wasn't there very long because I knocked him out. I raised with Qh-10h and GCox called. The flop was Jc-10s-9c. He had 380 left and I bet 379. He called. The turn was the 8d and I made a straight. I min-bet to put him all in for his last chip. His 5d-5h was no good and he was drawing dead. GCox went out and I was up to 2.4K.

I picked up a couple of small pots and went over 3.3K before I busted JoeSpeaker. He was short and shoved from the button. I put him on any two cards so I called with Qd-Jh from the big blind. He had 6c-3d and did not improve. All of a sudden I had 5.5K and was no longer below average.

NYRambler was down to his last 1K in chips and I took him out. It was the battle of the blinds and action was folded to me in the small blind. I woke up to Kd-Kh and raised to put him all in. He insta-called with Ad-8h. Some how, my Kings held up since I usually lose to a flopped Ace in those situations. I won the pot and NYRambler was out. I increased my stack to over 7K and improved to 10th place with 20 to go.

I lost some chips when I doubled up BuddyDank. I raised preflop and he called from the blind. The flop was 10d-7s-2s. He checked. I missed the flop was A-9, but fired out anyway for 1,700 or the rest of Buddy's stack. He tanked and eventually called at the last possible second with 5h-5s. His hand held up and he doubled up.

I lost another pot when I missed with A-Q and was back down to 3K. I was one of the shortstacks with two tables to go. It was time to double up or go home. I was short and shoved with J-10s. BuddyDank called with A-J. Alas, I flopped a 10 and doubled up. I had 5K but was 15th out of 18.

Then I got involved in one cooler of a hand. Luckily, I escaped without going busto. I woke up to Jacks in early position. PokerVixen limped for 400. I raised to 2,250 or almost half of my stack. PirateLawyer shoved for 10,545. MiamiDon moved all in for 7,130. Vixen folded and it was back to me. It was pretty obvious that one of them had a monster. Even though I had half of my stack in the pot, I had to fold. Ended up being the correct call since PirateLawyer held Qh-Qd and MiamiDon showed As-Ah. Don's Aces held up and he had almost 18K which put him among the chipleaders.

I slipped to the shortest stack. I was 17 out of 17 and had a mere 2.5K. I made a couple of steals to squeak up to 15th in chips but I still needed a miracle. That finally happened when I doubled up. TheMan2484 raised to 1,500. I shoved for 4,690 with pocket treys. He called with As-3s. My baby pair held up and I doubled up to 10K. I also jumped up to 9th out of 16.

I picked up a big pot against PokerVixen and moved into second place with 15K. She limped. I popped her with Ad-Ks. She called. The flop was As-Jc-2c. She bet 1,500. I raised to 7.5K and she folded.

I had chips and confidence with some good tunes cranking out (Phish at the Roxy). I had been the most sober I had been in almost a week. In short, I felt like I was in a good position and head space to make a run at the title. All I needed to do was make the final table and get a little lucky.

Ah, then I spewed some back to Vixen. My pocket tens lost to her A-Q and I doubled her up when she flopped trips. All of a sudden I slipped to 11th place with under 10K before I climbed my way back up to 15K.

It was time for me to issue a wicked beat. I had Qd-5d in the big blind Action folded to PokerVixen in the small blind. She min-raised and I called. The flop was Ah-Qc-10c. She bet 2,400. I had been bullying her around a lot and figured that she was trying to bully me back. I had her covered and shoved with second pair. She insta-called with Ad-8d. Oooooops. I picked up a gutshot on the turn and screamed for a King. That never materialized but I backdoored two pair when the 5s spiked on the river. She was out and I surged over 20K in chips. I made a bad read and got lucky. That's poker.

I busted CLReeves shortly after. I raised with Kc-Jc. He shoved with a short stack and I called. His Kh-6c did not improve and went out. I seized the chiplead with 28K. I was first out of 12 to go.

On the final table bubble, I still held the lead. But then I'd suffer a vicious beat - one that made up for all the beats I issued all night.

Blinds were 500/1,000 with a 125 ante. I had 27.3K to Julkeus' 16.5K. I had 8c-6c in the small blind. Action folded to Julkeus and he limped in late position. I called 500 more from the small blind and the big blind checked. The flop was 7c-5d-4h. I flopped a straight and checked. Big blind checked. Julkeus bet 2,000. I called and the big blind folded. The turn was the 7h. I checked. Julkeus bet 4,000. I went for the good old Scandi min-check-raise. Julkeus re-raised to 12,000. I made it 16,000 and Julkeus called all in for his last 1,414. He had As-7s for trips. I needed to fade a boat (never even considering that I'd lose to the case seven) and I prayed to the poker gods to not pair the board.

Prayers left unaswered. 7d on the river. Fuck you poker quads.

"Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!" I screamed so loudly that everyone in the Hollywood Hills must have heard me.

Julkeus won a 34,453 pot on running quads and I needed to rip a binger to cool off in order to avoid sliding into the depths of tilt. I was left with 10K and dropped to 6th in chips with nine to go.

Here's the final table...
Seat 1: Julkeus (34,453)
Seat 2: chitwood (6,829)
Seat 3: DrPauly (10,771)
Seat 4: Joshuacarlsen (24,109)
Seat 5: -WYLDKARD- (12,999)
Seat 6: TheMan2484 (4,200)
Seat 7: carmensincity (42,628)
Seat 8: MiamiDon (12,534)
Seat 9: mookie99 (7,477)
I didn't see any decent hands and couldn't find any spots to pick up loose change. I slipped to 6th in chips when action reached the bubble. The top six were paid and Mookie was the short stack.

On the bubble, I made a move and shoved with 10-8 off suit. Carmen called with pocket sixes. I won the race and doubled up to avoid elimination.

-WYLDKARD- was the Bubble Boy when his Ah-Kc lost a race to Joshuacarlsen's pocket tens. With -WYLDKARD-'s exit, I cashed in the Mookie. That was the only cash of the year for me in five attempts. And it was definitely my first final table appearance in the history of the Mookie.

I busted our host Mookie in 6th place. His Kd-5d were no match for my Ac-5c. I was still one of the short stacks and needed some help if I wanted a shot at getting heads up.

I had made two moves against MiamiDon at the final table. I had Kings one time and the other time I had Qs-4s. I figured the next time that I raised him, he would push back so I needed to wait for a decent holding.

I had around 30K and Don had 27K when I found Ac-Jd in early position. I opened for 6,600. Don re-raised from the small blind. I put him on a re-steal since I looked at the hand from his perspective and figured he thought I was on a steal. I had been playing a wide range of hands and it would be a good spot for Don to pop me with air. He bet 16,000. I hate calling in that situation. It was shove or fold for me. I didn't have too much time left on the clock to think it through. I put him on re-steal with a weak Ace or some sort of royal cards. And if he had a middle or small pair, we'd be racing. I shoved as time ticked down. He insta-called with Ah-As. Fuck me. I doubled him up to almost 56K and was crippled. Down to my last 2.7K.

I thought that he thought that I was making a move. I made a hasty decision and should have let it go and found a better spot. Oh well. If that happened at a live table, I would have took more time to think it through. Unless I had a tell on him and knew I was way ahead, I probably would have folded. Alas, it's not live poker, it was online. That bad decision cost me the tournament.

I busted out on the next hand. I shoved blind and MiamiDon woke up to Queens right after he picked up Aces. I was eliminated in 5th place and picked up some prize money, no where close to the amount that I lost playing cash games.

It was late for me and I missed dinner. I didn't think I was going deep in the Mookie and was gonna grab grub as soon as I busted. I drove to Ralph's and bought some pasta and 'welcome home' flowers for the girlfriend. When I returned, it was heads up between Carmen and MiamiDon. Carmen had a massive lead. I was cooking dinner and didn't see how it transpired, but Don came from behind to win.

You can read Mookie's recap here.

Congrats to MiamiDon for the victory. And special thanks to Mookie for hosting. A fun time was had by all and I hope to be able to play sometime soon... schedule permitting. With Turkey Day in New York, a trip to Mexico for the Latin America Poker Tour, and the gathering in Vegas on the agenda the next few weeks... it looks like I might not be in the mix again until early 2009.


Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at www.taopoker.com. All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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