Or rather, Gates at the Borgata. Congratulations go out to Garry Gates for taking down DrPauly's Tao of Poker 5th anniversary tournament, and the $5k Borgata tournament seat.
Check out Pauly's blog for a cool photo of Garry in his other job -- tournament room drink waiter at Caesar's Palace, it would seem...
As for myself, it was a missed opportunity. I chipped up well early, and was in the top 10 for much of the first half hour of the tournament, when Jordan and I got into a big hand. Jordan had been pretty aggro, pushing me off a couple of pots preflop with 3 bet raises with me two on his left. At the time, he and I had the two biggest stacks at the table.
At any rate, I believe this time, Jordan limped, I raised about 3x in late position with AKo, and Jordan shoved. I knew his range was a lot wider than AA-QQ, AKs, so I called and he showed AQo. I am the Dominator, right? By the turn, there was KQJx on the board, and I was licking my chops, as this pot would have made me tourney chipleader (and 30% bigger than 2nd). Still first hour, but a very good spot. Wellllll...the miracle T the river and we chopped. And the night was all downhill afterwards. First, I got it all in against a short stack with something like 88 losing to 99, and I was out just before the end of the first hour. At least I went out with bloggerment dignity, by open shoving the Hammer. Unfortunately, the Hammer got Nailed by a high-ish pocket pair (may have even been AA).
Obviously, as the tournament was on JokerStars, I couldn't expect anything else.
But thank you, Pauly, for being such a great blogger and tourney host.
Took 2nd in NYRambler's event (congrats, Lightning36, glad to finally get you heads-up, that was fun). Went out well before the $$$ in the Skills game, even though I spent the entire first hour into the 2nd at the top of the leaderboard. Once the blinds/antes got real big, my draws stopped hitting.
Took a horrendous beat in the Bodog $5R. I was in for the minimum, and up in chips, a couple tables from the money with average stack, when I looked down at QQ. I'd been raising a lot of pots preflop, showing lots of aggression, but never had to show down trash. I was simply getting nice hands and there was some weak-tightness at the table. So, I play my standard 3x preflop raise in mid-position, and the button (or small blind, forget which) overshoves for 10k. This pot would put me top 3 in chips less than 20 spots from money.
What did he overshove out of position with? ATo. Why did he overshove? He said, "it was easy with you raising". WTF? Don't you have to see air at least once to put someone on raising light in mid position? Oooookay. Yeah, life was great until I got three-outed fucked by the A on the river, which put me on the morphine drip. Sure, I could have open shoved QQ (with 3rd biggest stack on table and the table CL having already folded), and probably added about 15% to my stack pre-flop when everyone folds, but that would be horrible poker, wouldn't it? You can do that with 88-TT, but QQ?
I was out three hands later when I open shoved ATo from early position against...you guessed it, QQ.
Of course, the donkeyfucker from the previous hand couldn't grasp the difference between open shoving ATo with an M of 2.5, and overshoving ATo with an M of about 9 behind a mid-position raise. Those are the players I love, but also the players who continue to luckbox me out of money just before bubbles. The most frustrating part is this...I haven't been crawling towards bubbles just hoping to cash. In nearly every case lately, I'm chipping up early, knocking players out, often at or near the chiplead, and easily in the top 10-15% of chips approaching the Bodog bubbles, only to get my stack raped by a donk who catches a 2-, 3-, or 4- outer, and then having to make a desperate play just to have a miniscule chance at a cash. I'm going from legitimate tournament-winning opportunities, to not even cashing nearly every single time for the last few weeks.
Also went out of the $6k guaranteed less than 3 tables from a cash, yet again. This time, it was a result of abject card death. Went out in the small blind when I shoved K-high into A-high on a non-threatening flop. BB did not raise preflop
As a result, my Bodog roll is now down to three digits, which is the worst it's been in months. Without going too ranty, I do feel like I'm playing very solid poker for the most part (though I've made a couple bad reads on players new to a table). At this rate, I'll be Bodog-busto by November. And that's the one site I actually have semi-real money on (e.g., above $250....so the question is, is 2008 the final year of online poker for Mondogarage?