Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Monday, June 02, 2008

PokerStars Sunday Millions

So I've never been one to sweat online poker tournaments. I don't even watch my friends when they're playing. On the whole, I've always thought that watching poker on the internet was worse than watching poker on TV, which is so much less entertaining than watching grass grow it's not even funny.

Note to self - call the yard guy, the grass is getting high

So it was with some trepidation that I sat down to sweat the final table of the PokerStars Sunday Million tournament last night (this morning). Would I be able to capture the action for the PokerStars Blog? Would I be able to make my screen capture software work? Would the hand histories hang around long enough for me to get everything cut and pasted into Word so that I could write a blog post? Would I be able to refrain from calling people abject donkeys as the evening wore on? Would I suck?

Well, I made it though, and frankly, it was more interesting than I expected it to be. JHBrenes, who was one of the micro-stacks when there were two tables, caught a couple of lucky breaks and doubled up several times to come to final table second in chips. Jotael1 had the big stack all the way from 18 players down to heads-up, only losing the chip lead once for a matter of minutes in the last couple of hours of play, and I didn't see any brutally stupid moves that resulted in anyone's departure from the event, and only a couple that looked questionable.

It's entirely possible that a better online (or poker in general) player than I would have considered many of the plays questionable or downright stupid, but I'm not that guy. I think most of the plays at the final table made sense, and a bunch of the eliminations went pretty much like this - guy with not many chips finds an Ace and shoves, runs into a bigger Ace, goes home. Or guy with not many chips finds a pocket pair and shoves, runs into AK, loses coin flip, goes home. Or finds AK, runs into a pocket pair, loses coin flip, goes home. With two players controlling the vast majority of the chips, the play that impressed me the most was from late_entry, who started the final table very short on chips, but dodged and weaved his (? damn, I need gender tags on internet players) way to a high-placing finish rather than making the final table and jamming like so many other people would.

So I stayed up to the ass-crack of dawn writing for Stars and for PokerNews, and used up some of my accumulated comp time this morning to get to work a little late. Like noon. But that's why we have comp time, so we can sleep in when we need to :). I think my recap was ok, a little straightforward and without much creativity, but as I get more comfortable with the work I'm sure I'll be able to make it a better read. I'm actually quite proud of my final table recap for Event #1 of the WSOP over at PokerNews, even though none of the three I was most rooting for came away with the bracelet.

I really wanted to see Mike Sowers take it down, because it would be a great story for a 21-year-old to nab a bracelet in that high-profile event in his first WSOP event. It also would do my heart good to see a Charlotte boy do well.

If Sowers couldn't win. then I wanted to see Mike Sexton win it, because there really are very few better ambassadors for the game than Mike. He's as personable and genuine in person as he appears to be on TV, going so far as to spend an hour with me asking him questions about poker, Stu Ungar and everything else I could think of. Really a nice guy.

Then I wanted Andy Bloch to win 'cause it was his birthday, and he's a helluva poker player. But it was a good event, and a good way to kick off the series. Let's hope it doesn't start to suck too much in the coming weeks.

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