Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Kansas Qualifier - World Poker Cup

"Hello and welcome everyone to this edition of the World Poker Cup Qualifiers. I'm Jack Hearts and as always I'm joined by professional analyst Chip Rack. Our lady on the floor Stacks O'Plenty will be bringing us player reactions and relaying what it's like to be in the trenches. Chip why don't you bring us up to speed on whats happened so far."

"Thank you Jack. We are witnessing a stunning display of poker today as our tournament format is a heads-up elimination event. With 67 entrants populating the field we began with only six players seeing action on three tables. Once the winners from these matches were determined we began a bracket style event with a field of 64. We are now down to the final two players in this heads up match and it's been pretty intense so far as the chip lead has floated back and forth with no one player being able to mount a distinct advantage."

"That's right Chip, we are in the presence of poker greatness and I wouldn't be surprised to see the winner of todays event go on to represent the USA in the World Poker Cup Tournament. Why don't you let us in on who these final two players are and give us an update as to the chip counts."

"Near as I can tell theres only one Chip and that's me. But seriously we have lifesagrind representing Overland Park, Kansas with a chip count of 72,960 and our chip leader at the moment is siznow who hails from Topeka. Siznow's chip count is 116,160 and we have blinds of 960/1920. Lets go right into a segment on this show we call "Play Along with an Amatuer". This time around were going to only reveal lifesagrind's hole cards and discuss the play as it's happening."

"Lifesagrind is on the button which means during a heads up match he is the small blind and first to act. I see he has pocket 10's and that's a monster heads up."

"That's right Jack. A pair of tens as your down cards can always be powerful but in this situation I wouldn't be surprised to see him try to take away some of the advantage siznow holds. He's reached into his stack and has raised it 5,760 which is a standard 3x the big blind raise. Lifesagrind has been pretty religious about using this raise no matter what he holds during most of the tournament so siznow is likely to call with lesser holdings. Sure enough siznow calls and says "Let's see a flop".

The flop comes Jack Seven Jack with two clubs and this is either going to be very good or very bad for lifesagrind. Siznow checks and lifesagrind wastes no time betting 7,680 into an 11,520 pot. I'm pretty sure lifesagrind does not want a call here and is just trying to end this with a nice profit. Siznow calls though and the dealer flips an A of spades onto the felt. This is a very bad card for the pair of tens especially since siznow was willing to call the large bet on the flop. Sure enough siznow appears to be reaching for some chips. Siznow is counting out a large stack and is pushing 11,520 in. This really is putting pressure on those 10's. I think I would fold up camp and take a loss here but it doesn't look like that's what lifesagrind is going to do."

"I just don't understand this play Chip. Siznow was willing to call a big bet on the flop with the board paired and now with an Ace on the turn the player comes alive with a big bet. Lifesagrind has to think he's beat here yet he's stacking up chips for a re-raise. Either he has a great read on his opponent or he's putting his whole tournament in jeopardy."

"It could also just be a stall tactic and he has no intention of playing this hand any further. Either way we'll get back to the action in a moment. First lets check in with Stacks and see how lifesagrind got this far."

"Thanks guys. Lifesagrind has been a machine throughout this tournament and has wasted little time in mowing down the competition. He was seated at his first table when the field was at 64 players and within 8 hands had eliminated his first opponent. The second match went much the same way as his opponent decided to bluff all in at a flop of J33. Little did he know lifesagrind held A3 and another player was sent to the rails. The next heads up match proved to be the most challenging as shortly after it began lifesagrind disappeared from the table. Upon his return quite some time later he told us that he was having "Technical Difficulties" but I'm not quite sure what that means. He was outchipped at this point by about 3 to 1 but managed to mount an incredible comeback. After almost 40 minutes of play lifesagrind had secured his spot in the round of 8 when his pocket K's held up against chef29's pocket J's.

The next two rounds seemed relatively easy and he managed to build a chip lead early in each match and never gave it up. This brings us to the finals and what has been a long four and a half hours of play. Lifesagrind had to be the favorite going into this final table but the cards always have there say."

"That was the every charming Stacks O'Plenty and Chip, lets see how this plays out."

"Well Jack, lifesagrind had decided to make a stand and has come over the top of siznow making it 23,040 to go. Wow Jack! Siznow wastes no time declaring "All In" and has pushed the remaining chips out onto the table. Since siznow has more chips than lifesagrind this will also put him all in if he decides to call. Lifesagrind has gone deep into the tank now. The clock is about to expire and it looks like... yes... he has decided to cave to the pressure and lay down his hand. The chip count now is horribly skewed as siznow has 154,560 to lifesagrind's 37,440."

"It looks like he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar Chip. I don't see how he can come back from such a loss but as they say, All it takes is a chip and a chair."

"The ladies say all it takes is a Chip and a Bed, Jack."

"I'm sure they do Chip, I'm sure they do. Why don't we head back to the table for some more action."

"Were three hands later Jack and lifeagrind has managed to take the last two pots. This has added about 10,000 to his stack but he has a long ways to go. Both players have been dealt their cards and the action is on siznow on the button. He has A9 off suit and calls the big blind. Lifesagrind looks down and see's a beautiful blackjack. With that AJ he has raised it up to 8,640 and he has siznow dominated at this point with a 76% chance to win the pot. Siznow doesn't know what he's stepped into and makes the call.

Oh! A disastrous flop for lifesagrind as it comes 393. This gives siznow a pair and since they both share an A siznow now has an 87% advantage. Lifesagrind takes no time declaring all in and I'm sure siznow will call. Yep, sure enough there both in this and lifesagrind appears devastated now that the hands have been turned over. He's going to need to catch a J to win this. The turn is a Q and lifesagrind is now up and pacing around. The river is a five and that's it! We have a winner! Siznow will represent Kansas in the US qualifiers. Stacks is with lifesagrind down at the table."

"Obviously you didn't see that coming. How do you feel?"

"You're right I didn't see that coming. And I feel like crap. I've worked so hard all day and it ends with a mental mistake as I overplayed those 10's a few hands ago. My hat's off to siznow because I wasn't really able to get a good read on him all match. The other matches throughout the day seemed easy, like I was in the zone, but this one was truly difficult. I might have put to much pressure on myself, I'm just not sure. I just hope siznow had that third Jack earlier, or else I'm going to look like a big idiot when this airs."

"There you go guys, is he a big idiot, we may never know."

Thanks Stacks, that does it for this edition. For Chip Rack and Stacks O'Plenty, I'm Jack Hearts, remember any two cards can win, and those cards might be the ones your holding right now."