Saturday, March 26, 2005

Ahh, last night was a blast here at the ol' Shellmuth Palace. I pulled together a little poker game over here. We'd intended to play a cash game, but due to my weeklong illness (from which I'm still not fully healthy, bah) I was not properly prepared to provide change for large bills. So, we had a tourney. No Limit Hold'em, $20 buy in, 15 minute blinds, T2000 chips to start. Attendees: me, Randy, Armando & Kathie of the JackHammer games, my brother Eric and his lovely wife Amanda, Ed and Tracy.

L1: Randy plays his first hand from the blinds. He finds himself all in with a straight flush draw, and couldn't lay down the baby-flush he made with 45d versus Ed's higher flush. Minutes later, Randy could be heard cursing at the computer while playing at Empire Poker. About a half hour later, he congratulates Ed for the nice hand.

L2: There were fours popping up all over the place, striking fear into the hearts of us mere mortals. Yes, Kathie was at the table, and her obsession with sailboats only meant one thing: we were screwed if these fours kept coming off the deck. Tracy and Kathie found themselves in a pot versus each other. The rest of us got out of the way when the flop came 4-6-4. Chips were flying and we were sure someone's ship was sailing on this hand. Turn came another 4, and then - against notorious odds (1 in 693, to be precise - thanks to Jim for the statistic), the board displayed a full house with a 6 on the river, fours over sixes. There had better not be five 4's in the deck - so what in the world does Kathie have? She turns over pocket Queens, and we collectively gasped. That is, until Tracy turned over her pocket Hellmuth's (KK). Tracy's boat, fours over Kings, won the hand. It was the biggest pot of the night. Kathie was in pretty bad shape at this point.

Level 2 saw Amanda's departure when her 2 pair lost to my AJ straight.

L4: Kathie hung in for all of round 3 before going out in round 4 with AQ for TPTK Queens, versus my two pairs, QJ.

L6: The laugh of the night, and inspiration for the title of this post: Ed makes a preflop raise to 1,000 (blinds are 100/200), chasing most everybody out of the pot, except for Eric, who exclaims:

We haven't even seen the flop, and you're all puffed up?!"

The inquisitive look on his face, mixed with annoyed curiosity and the shoulder shrug to mimic a betta fish puffing up for battle might have been the funniest thing I've heard/seen all week.

Eric calls Ed's puffed up raise. Flop comes Axx. Both guys flopped an Ace - Ed's Q kicker was much in the lead. The turn gave Eric two pair, matching his 9 kicker, and Eric took the pot.

L7: Armando's nemesis eights destroy him again, as he goes all in with AK on a board of 884, only to find Eric holding 89s and more than willing to call the bet with his trip snowmen.

Eric continued catching mad crazy cards, and took Tracy out with a boat not long after.

L8: I peek in the hole to find my game's namesake hand - pocket Hellmuth's. Cowboys, if you will. With Ed ready to do battle at my right, the flop came Q22. Ed bet out, and only slightly fearing a two, I raised all in. Ed called, and I said, "Show me your two." He could not produce a two - only a QJ for two pair. I should have been happy, but the turn and river became landmines just waiting to deliver a fatal blow to my somehow suspecting tournament life. The turn came a 2, and the river.... a Queen, giving Ed the full house, Queens over Twos, beating my boat of Twos over Kings.

The brutal truth:

Pre-flop: KK is an 86% favorite.
On the flop: KK is a 91% favorite.
On the turn: KK is a 96% favorite.

And then, the miracle two outer. Ed is no longer allowed to complain when he gets sucked out on at my house. That suckout was enough to count for ten baby suckouts. I owe him a few.

That ended my tournament life in 3rd place, enough to get my buy-in back.

I hear that Ed did endure a few suckouts at the hands of "been there, cut that" Eric, but I did not bear witness to them, as I'd left the room when I got knocked out. Eric was catching mad cards, as I said earlier, and good for him. I think this might have been his first tournament win; he's usually the one getting sucked out on.

The final tally:

1. Eric ($100)
2. Ed ($40)
3. Shelly ($20)
4. Tracy
5. Armando
6. Kathie
7. Amanda
8. Randy

Four of us stuck around for a second game - me, Randy, Ed, and Tracy, but I didn't take notes on this one. Ed went out first and I went out second, leaving Tracy and Randy to a heads-up battle. Randy was a significant chip leader, but Tracy held her own and even caught up to being nearly even in chips at one point. Alas, it was not in the cards for Tracy-girl, and Randy took first place and the sole prize of $80.

A good time was had by all. Next time, I'll make sure to have some smaller bills on hand so we can play a cash game.

Another Shellmuth Invitational in the books...


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