Saturday, March 5, 2005

Stickin' It to Duke Poker Stylee (Or, The Poor Man's Jackpot Jay Busts the Braggadocio)

I signed up the All-In Poker Challenge at ESPN.com today. The deal is: they are running for 11 weeks (I'm not sure how many weeks are left), you have to win five single table tourneys during the week to qualify for the Sunday tourney, the top finishers in the Sunday Tourneys get into a Final Tourney at the end of the thing, and the winner gets a seat at the next WSOP. It's free, so i'm trying it.

I won 3 tourneys before breakfast, then took the afternoon off to watch the games on CBS. (Man, UConn sure has Syracuse's number. I guarantee you nobody wants to play the Huskies in the NCAAs. Did you happen to catch the Villanueva board and baseball outlet to the sreaking Gay? Sweet.) Won the next two while watching the Sox and Reds play a Grapefruit League game. The sweetest thing was winning the fifth tourney heads up against a guy with 'dukeblue' for a screen name. I stole a big pot with deuce-five offsuit to take a commanding lead. It seemed like a good time to start trash talking. "Kid, Duke doesn't beat UConn anymore." "Ooh, losing that pot's gotta make your head hurt. Like when Sellers bounced Laettner's head off the court -- that kinda hurt." "Langdon travelled. Langdon travelled." "Are you killing me stroftly yet?" "I'm gonna shock the world!" He never responded, probably wasn't even reading the chat, but it was still fun.

If you're thinking about playing, get ready for a certain amount of frustration. You have to be pretty quick to get on a table. It's like playing musical chairs with a thousand players and five chairs. Then, when you do get a seat, you have to accept the fact that of the ten players, at least 4 will be all-in on the first hand. Seriously, every table I played it was the same damn thing. Their hands will be A-4 offsuit, K-9 offsuit, 2-4 suited, and maybe a 6-7 suited for good measure. You must resist the urge to call them, even with bullets, because either the K-9 will fill his straight or the 2-4 will flush up. Then, you've got an idiot with half the chips in play that you've got to chip away at. Also, the cards are a little cmaller than I'd like, so it's hard to tell clubs from spades. I had to switch to the 4 color deck to stop betting at illusory flush draws.

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