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Red's Ramblings, Event #1 — $30 No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em

by Mark "The Red" Harlan

58 players made up the field of the $30 buy-in No-Limit Hold 'Em event, making a prize pool over $1700. With an RGP-requested 20 minute levels and 2000 in starting chips, play lasted more than four hours before getting down to the eight people on the final table: deuce300, Pan999, rhinodash, benstunner, Chao Playaz, wsop2009, LADYwithLUCK and Cryp2Nite. Seven people would be paid, with fortune and doom lying around every corner.

Short stacked, rhinodash pushed all-in under the gun with 9c Ks, leaving LADYwithLUCK to be the only bold caller in middle position with Js Kd. Things looked rosy for the rhino with a flop of 7h 9h Qc, but he was poached on the bubble when a Tc hit on the river, filling the lady's inside straight.

A long spell of non-called hands ensued, but everything changed when Chao Playaz (Ac Kc) called a double all-in by both a short-stacked Cryp2Nite (Ad Tc) and table heavyweight wsop2009 (Ks Kd). The all-club flop sent the cryp out with $69 to go play in the 'hood, and dropped wsop's stack by one third.

Blood in the water brought the previously dead table to life. The very next hand, deuce300 attempted to push-back on a perceived blind steal by LADYwithLUCK, by pushing with a pair of pocket 7's. The lady felt weakness, didn't give in and called with 10c Qc. A river queen put down the deuce, with $104 for posterity.

The table calmed a bit and after several hands, a shorter-stacked wsop2009 pushed all-in pre-flop with Jd Kd. The move forced out Chao Playaz, but not LADYwithLUCK, who came over the top with her pocket 9's. A four-heart board gave no flushes, but did give the lady trips over wsop's now-stinging two-pair -- leaving him with $139 to invest for the big event in five years.

For several hands the personality of the table changed to "all-in, all-the-time," with nearly every player making big pre-flop moves with no callers.

Next to fall was the table-quiet Pan999, who as small blind at first seemed fortunate to be dealt 8s Ks with a flop of 6h 7s Qs. It was the gods who were laughing however, by dealing benstunner As 3s—a small post-flop betting war ensued. When the smoke cleared, there were no pairs and no flushes, leaving Pan with $191 for a new set of pipes.

LADYwithLUCK was left heavily stacked, but saw this erode over time. With the remaining three players roughly even, benstunner made a 2x blind raise holding pocket aces and getting a hopeful call from LADYwithLUCK with 7d Jd. With a flop of 3s 5h Jh, the lady trap-checked, then raised benstunner half his stack when he made a testing bet. All-in's ensued, as did a turning 7—giving the lady two-pair and leaving ben considerably worse than stunned with $261.

Chao Playaz fought to come back as a two-to-one chip underdog, actually pulling ahead at one point. LADYwithLUCK returned the favor by powering back with few large pots on un-shown cards.

LADYwithLUCK was dealt 4h 10s in the small-blind and sitting over Chao Playaz he triple-raised with 3s Jc. Lady called. The 3 7 10 flop drew progressively larger bets from Chao, with repeated calls from the Lady. Sensing un-called bold moves by the lady in the past, Chao pushed all-in on the river with LADYwithLUCK calling. This meant no more playa-ing for Chao, who took home $365, leaving LADYwithLUCK with both a true moniker for the day and a grand prize of $609.