Red's Ramblings, Event #2 — $30 Limit Texas Hold 'Em
by Mark "The Red" Harlan
With an RGP-requested blind structure of 2000 chips and 20 minutes, and oh-so-slowly increasing rounds, the RGP $30 Limit Hold 'Em tourney on GamesGrid was as much a test in stamina as it was poker prowess. Four-and-a-half hours in, the tourney was down to six players; but only five would be paid from the field of LADYwithLUCK, eeyore, rhinodash, TARKUS, smellmuth, and Pan999.
For a full excruciating hour, the bubble lasted with Pan999, smellmuth, and TARKUS all struggling to make the other other guy be last in line.
A series of abominably bad cards put ("don't call him 'Phil'") smellmuth short-stacked and on the button with 7c Jd. With no bets in front, the smelly one raised the big blind to 1600, only to have eeyore re-raise to 2400 in the small blind. A flop of 4 4 J gave smelly top pair, and he gladly raised all-in off of eeyore's initial post-flop bet. Unfortunately hunky-dory turned to a hunk-of-gory when eeyore showed Jh Kh. With no help from the turn nor river, smellmuth was sent home on the bubble.
Two hands later, and now guaranteed cash, Pan999 decided to make his short stack move, ending up all-in pre-flop with a J J; only to run up against eeyore's tack-on tail concealing a pair of pocket queens. Twice before Pan999 had been all-in in the tourney, but the third time was no charm as the turn and river were useless. Pan999 went out fifth for $113 and his second money finish in the RGP Open.
More than 40 minutes passed before TARKUS was small-stacked on the big blind and forced all-in by the monster-stack-of-the-moment LADYwithLUCK. TARKUS's hopeful 8 Q was bested by LADY's 9 Q - the anemic board of K 6 7 5 10, put the 9 in play and left TARKUS with $151 with which to replace his tank treads.
LADYwithLUCK, eeyore, and rhinodash then spent the better part of an hour in a money cyclone with chips swirling around the table in a clockwise fashion. At some point every player was leading the tournament, only to later find themselves sucking up last place.
A decisive, but unshown, hand happened between eeyore and LADYwithLUCK with board cards of 3h 3d 6d, 7s, and Jd. Every betting round was at least bet by LADYwithLUCK, then raised by eeyore (the flop was re-raised by LADYwithLUCK). On the river, eeyore's raise was not called. Only eeyore and LADY know what they had, but the pot of 29,000 would result in the LADY being crippled so badly that she'd needed to whip out her lucky cane, just to make it to the next hand.
It wasn't long before LADYwithLUCK was dealt K Q, and bet it to the all-in hilt against a flop of A K 7, only to see eeyore pull a devastating A Q from the Hundred Acre Woods. LADY's luck had run out and she was sent home with $201, and her first taste ever of what it was like to not win an RGP Open event.
This would leave the epic battle of an endangered species versus a toy stuffed with saw dust. Not since Godzilla vs. Megalon have people witnessed such warfare as there was between eeyore and rhinodash. 185 head's-up hands would take place before a winner could be determined with the lead changing hands four different times. At one point rhinodash was all-in pre-flop and caught one of six-pairing outs on the river to stay in the tourney.
A full seven hours into the tourney, the rhino hit an inside straight draw on the river (the flop was bet by eeyore, but the turn wasn't) to pull down a massive pot of 36,000. The lead proved insurmountable for the gloomy donkey who exited a few hands later, but he should be comforted in the $289 he gets for tail tacks.
The bubble-boy of Tourney #1, rhinodash took home the $504 top prize and, for the time being at least, is king of all poker animals.