Friday, August 29, 2008

Boother Cashes in the Heartland Poker Tour!

This is outstanding! Way to go Boother. He represented the Kings of White Lake (KOWL) and NPP with honor, distinction... and probably didn't let on he knew any of us. But, can you blame him? I'll let Boother tell the story:

"As many of you know, I won a direct buy-in to the Hartland Poker Tour (HPT) main event by winning the last quarter in my poker club, The Kings of White Lake (KOWL). The HPT was in Mount Pleasant this past weekend (Sunday, August 24) and the place was pretty crowded with poker junkies.

The main event ended up having 306 players and they were paying thru 30th place. Play finally started around 9:30 AM. Throughout the day I was able to collect chips when I got on a hot streak, and survive with minimal chip loss when I went card dead (which happened several times during the tourney). My first goal was to simply place in the money as it would be the first cash for me in a major tourney, as well as the first cash for KOWL.

Once I made it to the last 3 tables, I had a decent size stack and felt very comfortable in coasting higher up in the standings as the short stacks battled against the ever increasing blinds/antes. As the evening turned into night, more and more people were getting knocked out and soon I found myself at the final table of 10.

At that point, my next big goal was to make the final 6 so I could get some face time on TV (HPT televises the final table from each major tourney)!! I dodged a huge bullet when I raised with AQ and the player behind me goes all-in, only to have the guy behind him go all-in too!! I laid down my hand only to see KK and AA get turned up.

After that big hand, we got down to 9 players. I really never got any huge hands after that. I stole some blind/antes a few times, but also lost a few raises when I got caught trying to steal. My final hand came down to Kd6d under the gun. I decided that I had to make a stand since I only had about $200,000 in chips, and the blinds/antes were going up to $30,000/$60,000 and $5000 in about 5 minutes. On that hand, my all-in move was looking pretty good as everyone folded around to the big blind. Unfortunately, the BB called me with 99. While I hit one diamond and a 6 on the flop, after the turn and the river were blanks, my hand didn’t improve. I finished in 9th place at about 9:30 PM with a payout of $10,848.

Needless to say, winning that money was kind of bittersweet. While I was truly excited to win, I still can’t turn off my brain from running thru all the “what if’s”!!!!

It was really cool that 3 guys from KOWL stayed for the whole tourney to watch/support me!! And I was lucky that Wendy was able to make it up to the Soaring Eagle at around 7:30 PM to watch the last couple hours of play. It was really cool to have a cheering section in the crowd and to have their support.

Hopefully this will be the first of more good things to come!!" - Boother

Once again, great job Boother! - Faldo

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Legend of the Whale – Part VI

Fat Russ got what he thought was the last bit of bad luck the Whale could lay on him.

After all, in the short year or so since Russ first met the White Whale at a poker game I played in at my softball coaches’ house, he went from wealthy to flat busted. He went from one of the biggest middle-size bookies and successful sports bettors in the metro-Detroit area, to an arrested, busted, flat broke guy, with no house, furniture or even a car.

His wife, who had a successful real estate career going, also lost her job since Fat Russ met the Whale.

With no future left in Detroit (and the Whale still living in the area), Russ and his wife decided to settle in their favorite vacation spot – Las Vegas! There, they would get jobs as blackjack dealers and start over.

So is that the end of story? Well, for Frank – the bookie / softball coach, and Nik Faldo, the poker player - it has been. We stayed in Michigan. But the Whale and Russ continue their saga.

Russ and his wife do get jobs as blackjack dealers. Russ’s wife gets her license back in Las Vegas – just as the real estate boom takes off! She ends up making so much money selling real estate Russ can back off of his hours dealing blackjack, and joins a tournament blackjack team.

He is somewhat successful doing that, but decides to try his hand at poker in the casinos. After all, how different can these games be than the ones he dominated in Detroit? As he finds out, they are even easier!

Awash in cash from killing the tourists in cash games, and making it to five final tables in less than two years of poker tournament play, Fat Russ enters the 25th anniversary World Series of Poker Main Event (1994).

“Fat” Russ Hamilton wins the $1 million 1st prize and – as a bonus – gets his body weight in silver from the Binion’s Horseshoe Casino! Being ‘Fat’ Russ paid off handsomely that time.

At precisely that moment, there were people looking for investors for a new gaming industry called ‘internet poker.’ They were talking to all the ‘high rollers’ and known gamblers in Vegas. They approached Russ - since he had all this new found wealth.

Most people were not touching this investment – with new or old money - as most felt there is no way that people will ‘trust’ the idea of risking money in a ‘make believe’ casino.

Russ, always the gambler, sunk a big chunk of his WSOP winnings into the venture and became part of the management team running the project. As he told Frank via telephone, “I have no room in my mattresses for anymore cash anyway.”

His investment in Ultimate Bet became the third largest internet poker site in the world – turning profits (not revenue – but pure profit) at around $20,000 an hour! Mr. Hamilton is now officially on easy street.

Enter The Whale.

The Whale, I was told, had literally been chased out of Detroit due to gambling and loan debts. Faldo was a victim of the Whale to the tune of $10,000, but got three times that amount back by betting opposite of the games The Whale picked and bet thru me. His picks were automatic losers virtually every time. I capitalized on this ‘reverse lock’ system.

Frank, however, was probably stuck $50,000 by the time it was all said and done with his dealings with The Whale. I guess at $50K, you are no longer funny – no matter how funny you are.

The Whale left Detroit for his favorite town – Las Vegas – and got a job as a phone sales jockey for a football prediction service. You know, the Lock of the Week hustlers. Whale – pushing the Lock of the Week. That is almost more ironic than a Democrat being an economist!

The Whale, in his off time of course, hit the casinos – looking for Fat Russ. The Whale had heard Russ was now ‘the man’ in Vegas and wanted to be on the in with ‘his old buddy’ from Detroit.

One night, Fat Russ lost a huge pot in the biggest game in town at the time, by actually misreading his own hand. That is very embarrassing for a WSOP champion. As Russ shook his head wondering how that could possibly of happened - he looked around and saw the Whale standing at the rail – right there in The Mirage!

That was too much! Russ immediately cashed out and left in a huff – not to be seen in the casinos for months!

Russ, then fearing the usual bad luck that follows him when the Whale appears – sells his interest in Ultimate Bet poker as quickly as possible! For how much you ask? Lets just say he sold it for triple-digit millions!

Soon after – very soon after – NetTeller, the on-line service used the most by players funding internet poker sites, has their CEO’s arrested in an airport in the United States. This sends shockwaves throughout the internet poker industry as sites close down, lose customers or simply stop accepting action from US players.

NetTeller itself freezes the assets of US players with accounts. Action on the internet dries up for a time.

The stock and the worth of the surviving poker sites plummets dramatically! Russ, as it turned out - sold his shares at a high price that no poker site has yet ever returned to!

There is a poker lesson here, NPP people. Fat Russ followed his read, his ‘gut feeling’ and the way previous ‘hands’ with the Whale had played out - and backed it all the way to the tune of millions of dollars.

Russ jumped off a ship that looked like it had clear sailing – and at just the right time – because his read told him he was about to get ‘cold-decked’.

I never felt Russ was a good card player when I played against him at Frank’s house where I got my first real poker education. I always felt I could play better than he did. Of course I was wrong by a country mile, obviously.

But what I did remember – and always believe - was that Russ was fearless! He would back his decisions with every cent he had in front of him – and more if you would accept an IOU.

If he thought he was right, he would go all-in – and win or lose – he never second-guessed or whined about the outcome.

Maybe that is why he is a WSOP Champion and I finish 4th continuously in 55-cent SNG’s on Ultimate Bet. – Nik Faldo

Epilogue – Part VII next.
PS: I really won’t have that much to add, but I always wanted to use the word ‘epilogue’.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Doneill Wins NPP #34 – 10

Eleven players made it to the felt – one shy of the record! Nice job NPP Team!

And welcome back Hlam14! Herb had been a regular at the NPP game for years. You can see his POTY record on this blog and that speaks for itself. He is joining us from his new home in Iowa.

Nahanni and Boother sat out some of the early going and ArcticBlast was late, but they all saw live action. On to the show!

48 min: Nahanni (11th) missed the first 45 minutes of action. Playing the big games on-line must take precedent over NPP action. Nahanni is short-stacked and has to make a move with (A5). Beerhog correctly calls with (Kh 8h) and an [8] on the turn ends Nahanni’s short night.

51 min: A short-stacked and late ArcticBlast (10th) bluffs with a lame flop of [386], but 7Jokers hits the [8] on the flop to freeze out Blast.

56 min: A short-stacked Rennzzo (9th) goes all-in and gets picked on by Mikeniks and 7Jokers with Joker’s (As Qs) taking the pot.

Mikeniks 3170
Doneill 3165
Beerhog 3153
Tigercub 2800
7Jokers 1517
Boother 1110
Hlam14 835
Biglou 750

62 min: A short-stacked Hlam (8th) goes all-in with (KQ) and is called by another SS Biglou with (JJ). This cripples our Iowa homeboy and he goes out soon after.

70 min: 7Jokers (7th), BigLou and Beerhog call the blinds. The flop was [827]. BigLou bets and they all call. The turn is [6]. BigLou bets and only 7Jokers calls. They get all-in on the river of a [J] and BigLou’s straight on the turn took the pot down.

75 min: Boother (6th) gets hurt by Mikeniks hitting a flush and then goes all-in with (KJ), but ran into Beerhog’s (77) and he got no help. No three-peat for Boother. Nice run!

82 min: Doneill starts his run. Beerhog (5th) gets all-in with (AQ) and is called by Doneill with (AT). The [T] on the flop ends Beerhog’s night.

In the next 15 minutes, Mikeniks-Faldo gets bad beat 4 times in a row.

97 min: A very short-stacked Mikeniks (4th) (A3) hits Doneill’s (AT). Amazingly, the flop was not [333]. Go figure.

107 min: BigLou (3rd) has his (QQ) run into a flop of [K28] and Doneill’s (K2).

Heads up, Doneill has a 13,500 to 3000 lead over Tigercub.

115 min: Tigercub (2nd) battles for a while, but his (44) loses to a Doneill flush. Congratulations on your 5th NPP tourney win, Doneill!

1st – Doneill 21 pts
2nd – Tigercub 32 pts
3rd – BigLou 5 pts
4th – Mikeniks-Faldo 15 pts
5th – Beerhog 30 pts
6th – Boother 34 pts
7th – 7Jokers 21 pts
8th - Hlam14 0 pts
9th - Rennzzo 14 pts
10th – ArcticBlast 13 pts
11th – Nahanni 44 pts
Duder 13 pts
Aqualung 10 pts
Matchy 5 pts
DavetheDog 3 pts

Total point race is on the side of the blog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Boother Wins NPP #33-9 for 2nd win in a Row!

A wild and crazy night at the internet NPP tourney! But some things stayed constant – Boother ruled!

First, we welcomed back BigLou - who has been hitting the white ball with the funny sticks on Tuesdays.

Ten players entered and – technically - only two left at the 1st break! Nahanni sat out all the way to the break, and ArcticBlast didn’t play a hand until it got 4-handed!

It took a while for the first casualty, and then a poker game/suicide mission broke out!

33 min: 7Jokers (10th) is gone first and Tigercub was the murderer. So we are now at one table.

39 min: Tigercub (9th) slow plays (QQ) and for some reason bets into Doneil holding (A6) and a flop with an [A] in it.

44 min: A rare double kill as Beerhog’s (88) holds up and takes out BigLou (8th) (Ks Js) and Duder (7th) (Ah Kh).

46 min: The bad beat of the night! Oh, there were others, but because of the amount of chips involved – since it was the clash of the big stacks – this hand wins it.

Doneill (6th) has to get all-in when his (Kh 6h) makes a flush on the turn. Boother calls with the (Ah) and the [4h] hits the river. Boother now has a monster stack!

50 min: Mikeniks-Faldo (5th) has to make a move all-in with (Ac 5c) and is called by Beerhog with (99), and didn’t get enough help. Sure, an [A] hit the turn, but PS has already dropped a [9] on the flop.

56 min: ArcticBlast survives an all-in and Nahanni (4th) finally blinds out.

Boother 11,309
Beerhog 2355
ArcticBlast 1336

71 min: Beerhog (A3) cripples ArcticBlast (QQ) when an [A] lands on the turn.

75 min: Beerhog and Boother both call down ArcticBlast (3rd).

Heads up – and Boother has a 12 – 3 lead over Beerhog.

79 min: No epic battle for Boother tonight. His (33) beats Beerhog’s (2nd) (77) with a [3] on the flop and it is back to back wins for Boother. Nice job!

1st – Boother 34 pts
2nd – Beerhog 29 pts
3rd – ArcticBlast 13 pts
4th – Nahanni 44 pts
5th – Mikeniks-Faldo 12 pts
6th – Doneill 11 pts
7th – Duder 13 pts
8th – BigLou 0 pts
9th – Tigercub 25 pts
10th – 7Jokers 21 pts
Rennzzo – 14 pts
Aqualung – 10 pts
Matchy – 5 pts
DavetheDog – 3 pts

The Total Points Race is on the Right Side of the Blog!

Arctic Blast Holds a Great NPP Game

The cards flew at the last minute last Friday. I got back just in time from my tour of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The standard NPP game is a 1-2-3-4 limit game. The main attraction is beer drinking and yucking it up. Although, some serious poker is played.

At least by some. Matchy, Duder and Dave (not the dog) took it out on Beerhog, Faldo and the host. Not very sporting of those three.

Arctic – remember that Beerhog and I were the “nice” guests.

A good time was had by all. Beerhog or Matchy may have the next one.

The original NPP may re-open for a game in November - after the country is ruined.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Boother Wins Round 8 of the 3rd Qtr!

He had some luck along the way – which kills the rest of us as he doesn’t need it!

Ten players got in tonight! Nice job!

9 min: Fireworks early as Beerhog’s (AA) gets clipped by 7Jokers’ flush (Ad 4d).

16 min: Beerhog (10th) fights as long as he can short-stacked. In typical Poker Stars ‘rub your nose in it’, Beerhog makes the all-in move with (A6), only to run into Doneill’s (AA).

45 min: Down to one table, play tightens up. Boother (99) cripples Doneill (KK).

47 min: This sets up a rare triple all-in with the short-stacked Doneill (9th), Rennzzo (8th) and Boother. Boother’s (99) is the best hand going in and it hangs on.

54 min: ArcticBlast (7th) makes his all-in move with (9c 7c) and runs into Duder and Nahanni with (AK).

56 min: 7Jokers (6th) has to get all-in with his (99) and flop of [J9T], but Boother is holding (Q8).

59 min: Smashing the ‘don’t go all-in before the break cause they will kill you’ myth, Duder does it twice and wins both! He jumps from dead last to 3rd in chips.

Tiger 4130
Boother 3970
Duder 3170
Nahanni 2205
Mikeniks-Faldo 1525

69 min: I (Mikeniks-Faldo – 5th) have to make my move, calling Boother with (Ad 2d) but no help comes against his (A8).

71 min: Duder (4th) gets all-in with (AQ) against Boother’s (A7), but a [7] hits the flop.

76 min: Nahanni (3rd) gets all-in with (33) against Boother’s (AK), and a [K] hits the flop.

Heads up! Boother has an 11000 – 4000 lead. But the Tiger has some fight left in him!

80 min: 12 – 3 Boother
85 min: 11 – 4 Boother
88 min: Even!
90 min: 9 – 6 Boother
95 min: 10 – 5 Tiger!
100 min: 8 – 7 Tiger
105 min: 8 – 7 Boother!
110 min: 11 – 4 Boother (back where we started)

115 min: Tigercub (2nd) calls the blind and we see a flop of [K85]. Tiger bets his (KT)and Boother calls with his (J5). The turn is a blank, so Tiger bets and Boother calls. The river is a [J].

Tiger bets big, Boother raises and Tiger has to get all-in. Congratulations Boother and a nice heads up battle!

1st – Boother 24 pts
2nd – Tigercub 25 pts
3rd – Nahanni 41 pts
4th – Duder 13 pts
5th – Mikeniks-Faldo 11 pts
6th – 7Jokers 21 pts
7th – ArcticBlast 8 pts
8th – Rennzzo 14 pts
9th – Doneill 11 pts
10th – Beerhog 22 pts
Aqualung 10 pts
Matchy 5 pts
DavetheDog 3 pts

Total points race on the right side of the blog!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

7Jokers Wins #31-7 and is Making a Move!

7Jokers is warming up about the same time Doneill did last quarter. Could this be a repeat of someone rolling up the NPP field down the stretch? Time will tell.

I got in a Doyle’s Room Tourney, thinking it started at 6pm. I registered at 5pm our time. Doyle's Poker Room is on some strange international clock and I miscounted I guess.

I figured if I was deep stacked and had a shot at winning, I would bow out of ours. Well it didnt start at 6pm our time.

Then I forgot about it and logged on to Poker Stars. So our tourney starts and then the Doyle window opens up too! A SNG with you guys and 290-player tourney at the same time, while taking notes on our tourney.

This is not the proper way to play poker against you mopes! I finised 31st, four from the money, after getting knocked out of the NPP game.

Anyway, seven of us hit the virtual felt.

2 min: Beerhog (8th) got all-in with (QQ) and Boother gambles with his (AJ) and [J] on the flop. But an [A] on the river cripples Hog and he is out soon after.

20 min: Doneill (7th) goes all-in with (KK) and a flop of [779] but 7Jokers is holding (T7).

44 min: The short stacked Nahanni (6th) has fatal kicker problems (A8) with the almost equally short stacked Tigercub (A9).

48 min: I – Faldo (5th) had the same disease as my short stacked (Ah 4h) lost to 7Joker’s (A7).

58 min: Boother (4th) got all-in with (QQ) and 7Jokers decides to call with (87). The flop of [654] kind of blew away the skirts on the ladies!

68 min: A short stacked ArcticBlast (3rd) calls the blind and the bet with (A2) and a board of [8759] and bluffs all-in. 7Jokers calls (63) and his straight wins.

7Jokers has a 10 to 1 chip lead and he wins it when his (JT) spikes a [J] on the river to beat Tigercub (2nd) and his (44).

1st – 7Jokers – 21 pts
2nd – Tigercub – 18 pts
3rd – ArcticBlast – 8 pts
4th – Boother – 14 pts
5h – Mikeniks-Faldo 10 pts
6th – Nahanni – 36 pts
7th – Doneill – 11 pts
8th – Beerhog – 22 pts
Rennzzo 14 pts
Aqualung 10 pts
Duder 10 pts
Matchy 5 pts
DavetheDog 3 pts

Monday, August 04, 2008

Faldo Wins BoDog Tourney - 9th Victory On-Line

It was the smallest field of the nine victories, but it was over the 45 - SNG player limit for the site and had 87 players - so it qualifies as a tournament.

I took command half way thru the tourney and maintained 1st or 2nd place thru out - being in 2nd at the Final Table of nine players.

But I found myself in last place with five players left. There was one very aggressive player (picture Boother-Beerhog-Rownder-Nahanni all rolled into one crazy person), who was raising or going all-in nearly every hand.

URIZEN11 was stealing chips, blinds and stacks by hitting two outers. He got down to 187 chips at one point with the average stack at 30,000 - and fought his way back to 2nd place with four people left.

Urizen called my all-in with (A8) and my (JJ) held up and that got me back near the top. His alligator blood finally dried up and he finished in 3rd.

When we got down to heads up, I had a 2 to 1 chip lead over BigRandy105. After a few hands, my (QQ) beat his (Ah Th) and a victory drink and cigar is in order!

I won 27 times my entry.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

7Jokers Golf Tourney a Great Time!

7Jokers may have lost his airplane flying licence of a 747, but he and his lovely wife (she must have a vision problem if she married 7Jokers) and family put on one heck of a nice golf outing. 7Joker's daughter, Kaitlyn did a great job of drawing the names for all the prizes (since Faldo walked away with two!).

This is a 'must-do' next year, NPP guys! The plan is to hold the next one in May, 09. Perfect for getting the rust off for the upcoming golf season.

The talk of the tournament was of course the "NPP Team" of Beerhog, DavetheDog, Faldo and Tigercub. Our carts had "NPP" on a sign proudly displayed on the cart.

Sure there were other teams, but when the NPP Players hit the links, even Tiger would have a hard time drawing a crowd away from this group of heavy hitters (of the beer).

Even though Beerhog was left all day, Tigercub was right all day, DavetheDog chunked and chili-dipped all day and Faldo never made a putt - we still turned in a score of 23-under for the scramble.

I don't know what the handicap format is exactly, but after those calculations were completed, our score was adjusted to 1-over!

Somehow, 1-over was not good enough to win. We finished 2nd to last in the scramble - and somehow there was no prize money available for us. Our 'apperance fees' got lost in the mail too.

That's a shame!

But still a great time. Thanks to 7Jokers and his family.