Red's Ramblings, Event #20 — $200 No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em
by Mark "The Red" Harlan
After 19 events of tune-up, the final event of the RGP Open was upon us. With an RGP specified $200 (+0!) entry fee, 10000 starting chips, 40 minute levels and the potential for two days' worth of play, only seven intrepid people dared to try their luck: Marik73, elg26, fairytails, Omaholic, A Webb, H Incandenza and thepenguin. The thin field would leave two people holding cash and the other seven grabbing at air.
After two-and-a-half hours, fairytails (27000), A Webb (28000) and thepenguin (16000) were the only people left standing. In the next 30 minutes, A Webb drew a few good hands and skillfully combined them with both beautiful table choreography and an amazing penchant for dropping promising-yet-dead hands, to work himself up to table leader of 34000 glaring down at both of his opponents with about half that amount.
The first big action of bubble play was three hours into the tourney with the blinds at 100/200. Fairytails, on the small blind, triple-raised A Webb on the big, drawing a call. A flop of 2c Qc Qd is where the sparks started flying. Fairytails, as first action, bet 600, only to gather an immediate raise from A Webb to 1400. Without hesitation, fairytails re-raised to 2800, only to see A Webb fire back a re-re-raise to 5000. Fairytails called. The turn of 6d was checked through, setting a potentially explosive river betting session. To the surprise of everyone, the river 9d was also checked through. Fairy showed a Jc Jd and the webby one mucked unseen. This pushed fairytails a dream pot of 11200 and drew no comment of any kind from the table.
The stacks now sat: fairytails 27000; A Webb 26000; thepenguin 16000.
A few hands later, fairytails drew a 12000 pot from A Webb on a set of board cards 3h 8h 10h, 10s, 6s. No hands were shown. This sat the fairy yet higher in the castle: fairytails 34000; thepenguin 19000; and A Webb 17000.
Fairytails then went on a long string of winning a disproportional number of small pots, sending the next hour creeping to a lead of 42000 versus 11k for A Webb and 17 grand for thepenguin - no single pot was more than 6000 chips, most were less than 2000.
It was right about here that A Webb decided he'd had enough and when his flop-tripped 4's became quads on the turn, he masterfully ratcheted his betting up to squeeze 7500 out of fairytails. This hand also drew the standings much closer now, with: fairytails 31000; A Webb 21000 and thepenguin 18000.
Three-and-a-half hours in, the heartbreaking hand of the tournament happened. With the 100/200 blinds now being supported by antes of 25, fairytails raised from the button to 600, getting a call from A Webb on the small blind, and a pass from thepenguin on the big. The flop brought 6h 6s Qs, a check from A Webb, and a called bet of 600 from fairytails. An innocent-enough-looking turn of 2c was the point where the table saw the big action. Webb checked, getting a bet of 800 from the fairy, prompting Webb to immediately raise to 2800. Without a blink, fairytails re-raised to an even 6000. A Webb had no intention of stopping and re-re-raised to 11k. The do-or-die fairy went all-in, getting an eagerly agreeable call from A. Cards were exposed. Fairytails had pocket queens and had thereby flopped a full house. Mr. Webb had been dealt an Ah 6c, hitting flopped trips. Webb's only saving card, the 6d, did not hit on the river, and sent him home on a burst bubble of hope. The one-time significant leader of the final three had been sent back to the windowsill penniless.
The fairy now had a more deadly set of wings sitting as a 3-to-1 chip favorite of the quiet, but now shivering, penguin. Fairytails managed to press the lead up slightly, getting to 59k versus thepenguin's 11k.
With a pair of pocket 4's, thepenguin decided it was time to waddle and get in a pre-flop raising war with fairytails, only to find him holding a grim pair of pocket rockets. A set of Klansmen on the board gave both players a full house and put thepenguin on ice with $448.
The $30 re-buy event, RGP Open #19, had put the fairy's tail in a seat here, and he managed to parlay that into $952, giving a happy ending to the populous of his magic kingdom. This was an exceptionally well-played match by fairytails characterized by patient playing with bad hands, and methodical milking of others with the good ones. There's no question that he truly deserves the crown of the RGP Main Event.
GamesGrid is happy to have hosted the RGP Open. They truly appreciate everyone's play and I know that I personally have enjoyed the good humor that has been a trademark of these matches.