So, as some of you may remember, I finished just out of the money in the ladies' tournament where Teresa "London" Gallagher bested 565 of her Southern California poker-playing peers to qualify for WPT Ladies Night III. I watched it last night with bated breath. Not because I didn't know who won, but, like the blogger superstars that have gone before me, I just couldn't wait to scan the b-roll to see if my blonde head made it into any of the background shots. (Sadly, it didn't). Ah, fame takes time.
Speaking of fame, though she didn't capture the title, Ladies Night introduced us to a new soon-to-be-famous face. London, God love ya, you played great. Your calm demeanor and quiet intensity paved your way onto that beautiful, glossy red and blue stage. That move over the top with the sixes? Outstanding.
HOWEVER, if it were ME stepping out on national TV, lemme tell ya, I would have gotten a manicure. Hell, a whole set of acrylic nails. I would have had my hair blown out within an inch of its life. I'd run out to the MAC store and have some swishy West Hollywood fairy boy do my makeup. And after that, I'd high-tail it to Neiman Marcus to buy me a seriously fabulous Marc Jacobs cocktail dress with an easily hidden price tag. Forget about the less than 12-hour turnaround from winning the qualifier at 5:30 in the morning and starting the final table at 5 PM the following night. I don't care what size hole I'd end up burning into my MasterCard, but I'd have a full-on fashion and beauty entourage that rivaled the size of J.Lo's if I had that sort of once in a lifetime, staggeringly lucky, potentially lucrative, gift-from-God opportunity to play poker on a WPT stage in front of millions of people. At least they could have given poor London the "wear black" memo so she could have blended in better with her tablemates.
Now Isabelle Mercier? There's someone who got the memo. She knows what winning this thing can do.
I was quite impressed by the play. I think Lily Elviro adapted the best to Jennifer Tilly's constant aggression by playing a patient, solid game. She really picked her moments to come over the top with a hand she knew would be better than some of the more marginal offerings Tilly would open-raise with, at time regardless of position. Lily also wins the Annie Duke award for playing great while very pregnant. The baby must have been as excited as Lily was during those all-ins, as each time she stood up, she gave her belly a sweet little rub.
I was watching Ladies Night on Tivo while I played in yesterday's PokerStars Inagurual Blogger Tournament where I finished a respectable 141st of the 1471 entrants. Check out Paulyor any of the other fine folks on my right for a recap of the action.
I got hit in the face with the deck early, catching AA at least five times (though twice they weren't paid off at all). I managed to jump out to around T28,000 within the first hour or so. I was proud of a read I made when I flopped a set of aces on an all-club board with no club in my hand. My opponent pushed in on the turn when the 3d fell, and I read him for the draw and called. I was really able to wield a big stack over my table after that double-up and chipped up rather quickly. It all turned to shit when Sunday8PM, the eventual fifth place finisher sat down on my right. He was loose and aggressive, which is fine for on your right, but he started flinging chips around with abandon and sucking people out left and right. He got all in with 99 vs. two opponents, one holding AA and the other KK. He flops a 9. Crazy, right? Well, I shipped about 2/3 of my stack over to him when his 88 flopped a set against my AA and turned quads. Though I had him covered, I was down to about T9000 or so in the high blind levels right before the bubble. My cards went cold at that point, which was bound to happen since I'd already picked up so many hands, and I ended up pushing UTG with deuces when my M was down to 3. One of the blinds woke up with AA and I was toast.
What a fun experience, though! I really hope PokerStars knows not only how much we all enjoyed the tournament but are grateful to them for putting up such a snazzy prize pool. Special congrats to Chris Halverson, Austin April, Poker Geek, and Bobby Bracelet for making the $$!!!