Red's Ramblings, Event #18 — $100 HORSE
by Mark "The Red" Harlan
RGP Open Event #18 was a $100, HORSE tournament. As with all events in the RGP Open it was custom-tuned with 3,000 starting chips and 30 minute levels.
Of the six players who dared the higher-staked tourney, only three would end up with cash. Unlike nearly all the other RGP tourneys, this one was heavily laced with river cards and after numerous brutal hands in three hours of play, two people had been eliminated, leaving: FellKnight (3100), pokerchimp (4200), dougman (4800) and Omaholic (5800). And setting the stage for the biggest back-and-forth tournament the Open has seen.
Pokerchimp lost 1100 in 7-Stud to a calling-station Omaholic who simply refused to believe the simian had anything when he was continually betting out. The chimp had been dealt a pair of 9's at the start, Om had a pair of jacks and they held up.
Several orbits later pokerchimp was able to recoup 700 of those chips from FellKnight in a 7-Stud game; where the Knight kept raising the chimp and he too disbelieved it. Pokerchimp had been dealt a pair of queens at the start, and even though Fell continually raised, poker rightly called all the way through — and won.
Omaholic's calling-station instincts went south against dougman who drilled a series of bets into his wooden noggin in a Stud Hi/Lo game. Om, missing hands both ways, was left holding a weeping ace-high to dougman's two-pair, dropping him 950.
A few hands later, dougman struck again in Stud Hi/Lo, this time stinging FellKnight for 700 with a (no-low) ace-high flush. This left Fell cross-eyed and nervous at 1300 — a three-to-one underdog to the nearest competitor.
It also acted as the spark Fell of survival. The very next hand he took 800 from the Omaholic in a series of flat-bets (with his ultimate river bet being left uncalled). Setting the stage for a Fell/Omaholic slap-session that would last the entire tournament.
Bolstered, Fell loaded the other barrel and took another shot at Omaholic, this time winging him pot scoop holding a very sweet 8-low and 9-high straight. This put 600 more into the National Bank of Knight.
The game went silent and stealthy until a return to Stud Hi/Lo when the pokerchimp beat dougman out of 650 with 2-pair of 9's and 4's — made stealthy by the fact that his up-cards were suggesting that he was going for low.
A Hold 'Em round was then dealt that ended up circulating chips heavily at the table.
A quiet-and-passive Omaholic saw the door open slightly and managed to get dougman to turn a hand away with a river-raise on a 2-jack, 3-heart board — a move that was worth 950 from doug's pocket to Om's.
Now jazzed, in the same orbit, Omaholic took 750 from the pokerchimp, when his turned kings beat the chimp's rivered aces.
Of course, FellKnight couldn't let the Omaholic just sit there with that new-found cash, so he turned around and lifted a grand from him with a pair of flopped aces in the still in the same Hold 'Em orbit.
After a long, cold deck, dougman outkicked the pokerchimp with a pair of flopped 7's, relieving him of 800 chips.
This was followed almost immediately by the chimp taking 600 from FellKnight on a heavily-raised flop and turn Hold 'Em hand with (2 2 4) 10 showing. Fell felt he had to let the hand go.
Omaholic turned around and took those same 600 chips from FellKnight before he could even stack them when an ace hit the flop.
When the game changed to Omaha, the Omaholic called a pre-flop re-raise, and then two flat-out bets from the pokerchimp, only to find the ape holding a pair of crabs. The 700 he lifted from pokerchimp set the standings at Omaholic (6800), FellKnight (5700), dougman (4700) and the chimp with a dangerously low (800).
It was too much for the card-playing tree-dweller. At four hours in, the very next hand saw the monkey marinated in omahol when the Omaholic caught a measly pair of queens, busting out the pokermonkey's missed-low.
Cards went dead for a bit, finally coming to life in Razz where the Omaholic doubted dougman's betting and won with a rough 10-low for a pot of 1400.
Several uneventful hands pass until Fell "Razz Complainer" Knight clocked Omaha for 900 in the very game he claimed to loathe, and holding exactly what his up-cards indicated — a rough-8. Fell followed that with another winning Razz hand, this time lifting from the ever-lighting pockets of dougman.
As was standard for this game, Omaholic couldn't stand seeing that extra money in Fell's lap and took 650 of it just a few hands later. The game switched to 7-Stud and Omaholic decided to take another taste — this time making it 1250 from Fell with a pair of aces on fifth street.
Mr. Knight, finding this unacceptable, turned right around and lifted 1400 from Omaholic with two-pair in four cards, and then helped himself to 2000 more several hands later. Stacks were now sitting at FellKnight (9300), Omaholic (6700) and dougman (2000).
With betting levels now increased to 150/300, and the game still at 7-Stud, Omaholic took a serious two-grand from FellKnight when he hit a river-straight on a hand that Fell had suspected was not flush.
Dougman lifted 1250 of that largess from Omaholic when his rivered two-pair was just enough to beat Omaholic's natural aces.
The deck went cold before the switch to 7-Stud Hi/Lo when Fell took 900 of dougman's win with a gorgeous set of river trips and a smooth 7-low scooper. For dessert he took another 1500 from Om in an un-shown hand.
Dougman, now perilously sitting as an 8-to-1 underdog to the other two, caught an unreasonable number of bring-ins driving his stack right on down to the truly-dangerous level.
FellKnight took a pot of 3000 from the Omaholic, only to see Om yank all of it back on successive hands, starting just two hands later.
When the game switched to Hold 'Em, Omaholic holding A 3 pithed dougman's Arlo, much to the dismay of all RGPer's with a flopped 2-pair, sending him out in third with $90.
At four-and-a-half hours, this pitted FellKnight with 5600 against Omaholic with 12000.
In a series of hands, Fell actually ended up in a first-for-him-in-the-RGP-Open-position of leading the head's-up final table for six hands. FellKnight then dropped away for a few hands, only to come powering back yet again, and swap leads with Omaholic a boggling three times more.
As a 2-to-1 underdog, five hours in, with the momentum decidedly against him, Omaholic gathered his wits and put together three large pot wins in close succession; flipping the tourney 2-to-1 in his favor against FellKnight.
A shaken-and-stirred FellKnight first wavered, then decided he couldn't take it and cratered. And in the very end he lost two large hands, not in Razz, but rather in Stud Hi/Lo where he managed to near-miss back-to-back low-hands.
FellKnight rode off with a broken lance and $150 — probably his last appearance in a very-well-designed RGP Open.
Omaholic took home $360, winning the tournament he'd been waiting for since the RGP Open started.
Spectacular, fun play by all.