Saturday, April 10, 2004

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Today was an awesome day for me. Yeah, I won another $42 placing 3rd in a Planet Stud 8 tourney, but that isn't what made it so awesome.

Very reluctantly, almost as if he didn't wish to say it, Iggy told me he was playing in a WSOP satellite. This satellite was slated to pay 11k for the main event of the series. As many seats as the prize pool would accommodate.

Unfortunately, it was a holiday weekend, and although the buy-in was ridiculously low, only 123 players decided to participate. This meant that Stars couldn't even pay out ONE seat, much less multiple seats. When all of the dust cleared, the total prize-pool was only $10,530. You would think Stars would pony up for the additional $500, to send another one of "theirs" to the series, but perhaps they didn't think of that, or maybe they have already divvied the $500 into their greedy, little palms. After all, the brass ONLY make several million per year, each, so they need that $500 to get their Rolls washed once in while, LOL!

At any rate, when he told me that he was playing, I wanted to sweat him. Luckily Stars is loaded on my newly wiped out PC. So I found him before he could even tell me the tourney number and table. I'm good at hunting down prey, I mean friends, haha.

I was shocked to see Iggy the chip lead! By this time there were still about 80 players left, and here is Iggy, sitting on 23k! Iggy, is this "MY" Iggy? Iggy the rock? Iggy the boulder? Iggy who has to dust off his chips every few days?

He told me about several group one hands that he had, which were called by other group one hands, but he always had the higher rank, his hands held up, and he doubled through yet again.

Eighty quickly became sixty, with Iggy holding strong. He was dealt a little more than his fair share of premium cards. That always helps! Plus Iggy knows how to fold. Like me, he is a "folding station." He can make big, big laydowns, that are very difficult for other players to make. There were several moments that I had to hold my breath, as he was forced to decide whether to play on, or fold his group one hand, due to the numerous overcalls. I admit that I probably wouldn't have had the patience to fold those hands.

One that sticks out in my memory was this: A very loose/passive player, who just wants to play ATC and will overcall several all-in's called Iggy's huge raise when Iggy had QQ. Then, another play went over the top of Iggy for all of his chips. Iggy had a huge decision to make. Yes, he had them both covered, but the second raiser would cripple him immensely if he had Iggy dominated and his hand stood up. It was pure agony for me to watch. Iggy can make these laydowns, I tend to shrug my shoulders and go for the gusto. Iggy laid down his queens.

The overcall had 44 (???). This guy truly just liked to play. Go figure! The reraiser had AKo. Amazing. Iggy was in the lead at the start. But then the flop brought 44x, and the overcaller would have taken a large chunk out of Iggy's lead. Was it the right fold? Probably. Iggy wasn't pot committed, even though he made a substantial raise BTF.

Iggy was truly "in the zone" during this entire tournament. I was very impressed. Mostly, watching Iggy play in the past, I have seen just fold, fold, fold. He makes me look loose, in comparison, and I'm about as tight of a HE player as they come.

Every time he chose to enter a hand, he was almost surely dominating. And wow, did his hands ever stand up! He was in that special place that all of us dream about. That fantasy where all of our premium hands stand up, and we never get sucked out on.

Time and again, Iggy doubled through. He went from 23,000 to over 150k during the time I watched him.

The final table came quickly. Since the tourney was winner-take-all, lots of moves had to be made. Most of the opponents understood that folding their way into the final table would accomplish nothing.

Three of the opponents at the final table shuffled the chip lead around. Iggy was one of them, but was almost always in the lead, due to his super tight, aggressive play. One of the leads was the guy with 44 from earlier. This guy was so loose, and such a caller, that he should have been eliminated long before. But he wasn't, as he made flush after flush on the river, or some other kind of suck-out, against all-in hands that clearly dominated his. He could never hang on to the chip lead, however, as he simply played too many hands, and naturally, not all of them won. I was hoping Iggy would get HU with this player.

The other lead was a much more knowledgeable player. He was probably the only opponent at the table who even realized what a tight player Iggy was, and made laydowns accordingly. He didn't like to tangle with Iggy. Sure, he stole lots of Iggy's blinds, because he knew Iggy would lay them down easily, but he also got out of the way when Iggy played back at him, or was in the pot with him. In this way, Iggy was able to steal from him, also, and bluff a few times, knowing this guy would lay down his hand.

I could see at the final table that several of the players had lost the winner-take-all mentality. After all, Stars wasn't even offering the prize package they had advertised. It was just a $10,530 prize pool, all of it going to the winner. None of them wanted to risk all of their chips anymore, they wanted to spread the money around, guaranteeing them some sort of prize for their hours of play.

Iggy was in the lead, along with the two other leads slightly trailing him. So when talk of a deal was brought up, Iggy and the two others said nothing. When it was six-handed, a shorter stack proposed that the three shorter stacks take 1k each, while the bigger stacks would get 2k each. None of the bigger stacks even acknowledged the offer.

I don't really think it is proper tourney etiquette for a short stack to propose a deal. Lots of people disagree with me, but I'm used to that, so I don't really care :) I think either the chip lead, or a comparable stack should initiate discussion of a deal, if there is any discussion to be had.

Two more players were eliminated and it was down to four. The stacks weren't even, but they weren't much different either. I believe it was costing over 10k to play one circuit around the table, and none of them had over 170k. So the tourney was becoming much more of a crapshoot than before. Once again someone proposed a deal. This time, all participants saw the logic of making some kind of deal, even if it was purely a save.

Instead, they agreed to a four-way chop. It really wasn't that out of line, because no one had a huge advantage, chipwise, over anyone else.

Iggy asked me to mail the floor, which I did immediately. I already had the e-mail ready to go, I just needed to push send.

A few hands went by before anyone realized that they should click sit-out. During that time, one guy got a huge lead, whereas another was the chip dog. So when the deal was being discussed, a couple of railbirds made it their business to get in the middle, talking about how unfair a four-way chop was. First of all, it was none of their business. Second of all, they weren't around to see the stack sizes when the deal was made.

They were so rude that the floor had to disable their chat. I think this bothered some of the finishers. I was of the mind that the deal was made, the stack sizes weren't skewed much, and that was that. Blow me!

Iggy finished as the 2nd chip lead, and got $2650 for a couple of hours of hard play. Woohooo, go Iggster! I was extremely proud of him, and honored to watch him play. I love seeing players who are in the zone, playing perfectly and having a good time, to boot!

As a footnote, right after this tournament, Stars decided to guarantee the 11k seat. Did they read my mind???? Did they get a billion complaints? Who knows. But as Iggy always says,

"Oooh, the humanity!"