Friday, December 21, 2007

We have our winner 

Battle of the Blogger Tournaments 2 is in the books. Huge congrats to jeciimd for crushing the challenge and earning the trip to Australia. I'm half tempted for shits and giggles to go back and find some of the things which were written about him during the first challenge but why rub it in. The guy obviously has a method to doing well in the blogger events. He topped the leaderboard, almost lapped the field in money earned, 7 final tables, 8 cashes, and winning the big daddy of blogger tourney prizes. Noone can argue that he didn't deserve it. Congratulations sir, now start blogging regularly so we can follow your progress down unda.

Yesterday I was saying to my friends that the blogger who was going to feel the worst today would be the second place finisher. That honor goes to huntsvegas who could probably taste the vegimite sandwiches. Well done sir and my condolences.

Congrats go to Lucko for winning the $1k freeroll that he steamrolled through. I hung around long enough to finish third with my chip stack yoyo-ing all over the place. Maybe the tightest freeroll in history. At least no freerolling trolls popped up to ask a million question about how to enter. Good job to everybody who cashed in that as well.

Just some quick numbers thrown together.

27 events were played
341 players participated in at least one event
2,250 players entered events during the challenge
Kajagugu had the highest average points amongst those who played at least half the events
Alceste and Donkeypuncher get the heehaw award for most events played without a single point
I actually managed 3 final tables through no particular skill of my own
$39,958 in prize pool money (just short of $40k is impressive)
$1,493 was the average prize pool across the events

The feelings after the challenge are the same as they were after BBT1. Thank god it's over and we can get back to playing regular donkey events and having some fun. A little healthy competition is good for the soul but only in short burst when playing with your invisible internet friends. Now you can save the competitive spirit for the big field MTT's and look for a big score.

A lot of posts have been put up thanking me specifically but I'm just one of the guys who should be thanked. I'm just the schmo who knows the right people. Hoy, Mookie, and Don deserve just as much thanks for throwing their hosted events into chaos for the rest of the players. They were willing to try a little experiment which would not have worked without them. Bigger fields and bigger stress is something they had to deal with on a weekly basis.

Thanks to Jim from Riverchasers (riggstad) for letting me run with his events and listening to my hairbrained ideas when no one else thought I'd be able to get these kind of payouts from FTP.

The staff at Full Tilt gets a ton of credit. The first BBT was thrown together between myself and couple of their guys to see what could happen. The second go 'round involved a bunch of emails and conference calls with the bigwigs who could make these decision. To their credit, they jumped all over the chance to offer us some pretty sweet deals and took the chance that we could make it successful.

Thanks finally to everyone who played, pimped, cashed, busted, and supported our private tournaments. When I first brought up this idea to Hoy while sitting over a couple of drinks at the Borgata, we were only looking to see how big we could make our events. Now we seem to have created a vehicle that we can use to offer to great opportunities now and in the future. So if you guys don't play and support them, then I don't get to make the deals of the future.

Cheers, thanks, and start thinking World Series of Poker.

Where's that damn bar at?


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Good luck and healthy flops 

No time to write today as the crush begins before everyone bails for the holidays. Good luck to everyone playing in the Tournament of Champions tonight as well as the freeroll. I think the best addition this time around was throwing a real TOC.

There is also a Riverchasers game scheduled at 21:00ET for anyone who feels like multi-tabling or did not qualify for the TOC or freeroll.

Good luck again and we will see you at the tables.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Meeting a Legend 

The first day in Vegas is always a horrible time for my body. My liver specifically. It's always a whirlwind of booze and lack of sleep for the first 24 hours and rarely a wonderful sight. This time around I cabbed it straight over to the Bellagio to meet up with the Brothers McGrupp, Gracie, Pablo, and Maudie. We formulated our plans for a mini-Vegas pub crawl down the strip eventually ending up at the hallowed halls of the glorious Imperial Palace.

The first stop was Caesars to meet up with the G-Vegas contingent who were busy busting drunk tourists in the poker room. As usual it's pretty tough to pull those guys away from a juicy table when the ATMs are spewing chips. We settled into one of the bars for our only quiet moment of the weekend. Once we realized that a single round was equal to the GNP of Angola we made the command decision to cross the street to the Geisha bar. Pauly, Derek, and I made the slow crawl to the land of broke cowboys and 60 year old Polish hookers.

Pre-gaming a poker tournament is one thing. A handful of shots before sitting down at the table to get in the proper frame of mind is my way to go. Preparing for the onslaught of degenerate bloggers for a drink fest involves a whole lot more. It takes quite a few shots to get me from shy-town to chatty cathy. The shots were queueing up faster than I could get them down my gullet and soon there would be a three tiered stack of 15 empty shot glasses for the effort. That was before the majority showed up and 4 hours before the scheduled meetup.

While things were still pretty low key we were sitting at the bar and Pauly was thumbing through the latest issue of Bluff Magazine (hey look, that guy in the magazine looks just like Dr. Pauly). My phone buzzed with a missed call so I cursed the IP once again. Anyone hanging that the Geisha Bar will attest that the cell phone signal was somewhere between shit and zero. My boys were hanging out the home bar and wanted a dial-a-shot. I walked away from the bar holding my cell phone out like some high-tech divining rod looking for the a signal when a gentleman stopped dead in front of me.

My poker senses tingled. He asked the question no one really wants to ask in public.

"Are you here with the poker bloggers?"

"Yessir, my name is Al."

"Al Can't Hang?"

Ah fuck me. I'm not Pauly, I don't get recognized in public.

"Nice it meet you, I'm Johnny Hughes."

Ah well fuck me twice running.

I should have been the one to recognize him. Of course I knew who the heck he was. I've been reading his stuff posted by Iggy and his book was on order from Amazon stuck somewhere between Albuquerque and Dover Delaware. An old school Texas poker player who has played in places where the new kids today would find themselves on the ass end of a beating if they pulled some of their shit at the table.

After a few minutes of chatting I realized there were bigger and badder people for him to meet. Pauly, Derek, Change100, and Scott (another OG Texas player) were 5 feet away and I was wasting time instead of making introductions. That's when the drinking and bullshitting sessions began in earnest. I would find myself throughout the weekend listening to his tales while sitting at the bar or sitting in the suite. While sitting in a room full of smoke with some of the best young guns in the poker writing business, he could hold the entire room with his stories. And he was playing to a tough crowd.

In these days of the young loud mouths, poor sports, angle shooters, and raging douche bags it was a pleasure to meet someone who truly understands that poker is one long session. Everyone talks like they know it but I'd love to see where some of these players will be in 20 years and take an account of what they've seen and done.

Johnny, you are a classic and a true legend amongst a bunch of posers. Thanks.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The field is set, next stop Australia 

Today is my day of rest. Not from real work or real life, but last night was the final time I needed to track players, crunch numbers, and play email bukkake with FTP making sure things run smoothly. I can put away my spreadsheets and database, no more updating tables and web pages. My two favorite days of the BBT challenges have been the first day and last day.

Previous obligations kept me away from watching the final 13 play out the rest of the voided Riverchasers game but by all reports it sounded like a bloodbath. Congrats to jeciimd for winning his second event and making the field shorter for the Tournament of Champions. I imagine jeciimd and Chad played balls out to put pressure on the other 11 who needed to win their way in.

My last email from FTP was to let me know that the field for the TLB freeroll and the Tournament of Champions was loaded in this morning. Double check and let me know if there are problems. Both tournaments are setup for Thursday evening, 21:00ET for the freeroll and 22:00ET for the TOC. The Top 50 from the Tournament Leaderboard were entered into the $1000 freeroll and the following players should be registered for the Tournament of Champions.

Julius_Goat (write in winner)
Fuel55 (write in winner)

One of these lucky few will be winging their way to Australia and all they have to do is basically win a 3 table SnG.

whiskigrl and jeciimd were also entered into the $750k Guarantee tourney this Sunday for winning the Player of the Week award for Week 7 and Week 8. And how about jeciimd leading the entire thing in points AND money? For a guy who got so much crap during the first BBT it's pretty impressive.

Thanks to everyone again for making it a success. I'll crunch some more numbers for fun (who doesn't want to see the profit numbers now that we're done?) then put the BBTwo to rest.

Maybe now I can find the time to go play Smokkee's game over at BoDog. Check out his site for details. Overlays rule.

Update: Thank you to Astin and Lucko for offering up the idea that I should get an exemption into the TOC but I could never do that. I wouldn't even consider it. If I wasn't able to win my way into the final game then I deserve to enjoy my rail time along with everyone else. Thanks for the thoughts but it wouldn't be remotely fair to those who deserve to be there.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Voided Riverchaser / BBTwo Tourney Information 

I had every damned intention of continuing the Vegas stories and then a funny thing happened. The Riverchasers game crashed on Thursday with 13 players remaining, no runaway chip stack, and a host who was all kinds of fired up from playing at the pub. Those left know that the tourney was voided and the spots were paid out per FTP's policy but that left the little problem of the Aussie Millions TOC seat.

After speaking with Mookie, Hoy, and a host of FTP employees I think we came up with just about the only solution just short of restarting the tourney from the point it crashed (and don't think I didn't give that every effort I could). Those final 13 players should be getting an email shortly from FTP saying that they have been entered into a freeroll this evening and the chance to play for the last seat in the TOC.

While not perfect, it's a lot better than other ideas that I had kicking around in my head including assisted suicide and death by drowning in alcohol. The following players were left standing when FTP went down and should double check to make sure they are entered.


Hopefully this will be a satisfactory resolution. If this had occurred any other time then one week before the TOC my options probably would have been a little better but it needs to be completed as quickly as possible.

Thanks to everyone for their patience.


Congrats to Astin for getting (what was supposed to be) the last seat in the TOC by taking down the Big Game last night. Somehow I managed to finish 10th and had no idea. I started my day off by hitting the pub at 11am for the Chelsea/Arsenal cockup, stayed for the early NFL games, got sloppy when Romo gacked up a luger, then made the last minute decision to buy into the Big Game and Chad's Blogger Skill Game.

I'm not a brilliant man when stone cold sober, 10 hours in a bar with booze and football makes me a certified idiot. I was letting the girl on my left make all the decisions in the HORSE game because it amused me. At least I wasn't gigli. I couldn't tell you how I went out of the Big Game. I had a large stack, small stack, large stack again, then it evaporated into a mushy mess and eventually losing a big race to Chad. I remember being pretty cheesed off about how I played the entire tournament but I'm going pretend the hand history files don't exist on my laptop. We'll just consider last night a $100 exercise in stupidity.

I'm also finding myself increasingly interested in Chad's idea of less NLHE events and really expanding to the other variations. If there's a BBThree I can guarantee you that the majority of the Riverchaser games will non-NLHE.

Even further away from the norm, MiamiDon proposed an idea earlier that needs to get done. I suspect you will see a few $200+16 games coming down the pike in the new year to shake things up and build a huge pot.


I received the secret envelope from FTP with the "write your way into the TOC" contest. Straight from the email:

Winner: Julius_Goat
Winner: Fuel55
Runner Up: luckyjimdixon

Honorable Mention, Humor: jasper6294 (song lyrics)
Honorable Mention, Literary: JoeSpeaker (old man and the sea)
Congrats to Julius_Goat and Fuel for winning. FTP should be sending an email to everyone who entered with other details.

Cheers to everyone for coming out the different blogger events and supporting the challenge. If we didn't have FTP's attention from the first challenge, we certainly have it now.