With the action down to 2 tables at the WPT Championships at Bellagio, two women are still alive and sporting healthy stacks in what remains of a staggeringly elite field. MIT Blackjack whiz-turned poker pro Erica Schoenberg started Day 6 (which commenced about an hour ago) with over $1.7 million in chips, while Miami law student Vanessa Rousso held close to $1.6 million. I'm always happy when the girls do well, so I'll be watching this one closely. No doubt both of them should emerge from this tournament with some sort of sponsorship anyway, no matter how much deeper they go. Neither player is completely new to the poker scene. Rousso has four cashes to her credit including the Ladies Event at the 2005 WSOP and a WSOP Circuit event final table. Though this is Schoenberg's first major finish, she is already a member of Marcel Luske's "Circle of Outlaws" and is rumored to be dating a young pro player. You may also remember her from GSN's "Poker Royale: Young Bloods" that aired last year.
That particular installment of Poker Royale was won by David Williams. Who is, no doubt, having one of the worst days of his life now that his starring role in Young Black Ass-Worship Slaves has been revealed for all to watch on the internet. Look, I don't have a problem with guys going to hookers. It happens. But freaky old ones with bad dye jobs who like having their feet licked? As Summer Roberts of The O.C. would say, "ewwwwww!"
My bad run at cash games just compounded upon itself late last week. Four days in a row where I hit my daily stop-loss and one where I surpassed it. I was starting to get seriously worried, but instead just quit Friday afternoon and did some writing and took my mind off poker. Saturday morning I was up early and checked out the tournament calendars on Stars and Full Tilt and decided to see what I could do on the $15 cash and one token I had left on Full Tilt. It was also my second to last weekend as a Silver VIP on Stars, and there was pretty much no chance I'd be repeating the points feat this month, so I signed up for the $2500 VIP Freeroll as well as the $14+1 Last Chance Turbo Super Satellite to the $40K Guaranteed on Full Tilt.
The turbo super was like a giant turbo MPS. Same lunatics, just more of them and all in one place. I doubled through twice in the first four levels and pretty much cruised to a seat by stealing blinds. So that was a nice way to start the day and it put a smile on my face.
As I continued to grind away in the Stars Freeroll (wow, a third of the field is gone in 19 minutes?) I grabbed my last token and signed up for the weekly Ladies' Bracelet Race. This would be my fourth attempt in as many weeks, all on tokens. I saw that Maudie was also playing and popped in the window to wish her luck.
I was second in chips through the majority of the tournament. I doubled with top two vs. top pair crap kicker when she pushed at me on the turn and I called. I also remember flopping a straight. Then there was that defining hand.
Blinds are 60-120 and I have around 7000 going into the hand. And before I write another word, let me tell you this is NOT a bad beat story, but an interesting mathematical quandry that I'd love opinions on. OK, so it's a four way limped pot and I limp along with 55 in the CO. I'm not looking to play a huge pot with 55 against that many opponents unless I flop a set. And that's what I did. Flop comes Qh Td 5d. The first two limpers check, and the third limper, a loose, fishy player in MP bets the size of the pot, 480. I raise to 1200, both limpers fold and the MP player calls. The turn is the 3d. Not good news for me, since a flush draw is a distinct possibilty. I feel like I have to bet here not only to see where I am, but to not allow her a free card. She was playing very passively up until now, rarely raised preflop at all, and the bet on the flop there could easily mean top pair with something like KQ or QJ, two pair with QT, a draw like KJ, or even middle pair along with the flush draw. I bet 1200, about 1/3 of the pot and she instantly raises all-in.
Now I know she has the flush. But I still have ten outs against a flush so it's time for some math. The 1699 left for me to call comes out to 4.5-1 on my money, though it's half of what I have left. If she has what I think she has, then I'm slightly worse than a 3-1 dog with one card to come. The math tells me to call and I call. If I hit, I'm a significant chipleader and can do some damage. If I fold, I'm left with a starving M and a steep climb.
The river is a 2c. That was a hard one.
Now it's time for push and pray poker. A lady whom I've literally only seen play preflop poker the entire tournament pushes in. I have 33 in the BB and figure it's a good a time as any to take a race. Her KJs flops a K and I'm bounced in 21st place.
Maudie went on to finish 4th! She put up a helluva fight and won herself some cash. Around the same time, I busted from the Stars Freeroll in 151st place of 1316 runners for the price of a Starbucks latte.
I had bigger mountains left to climb, however. The $40K was starting and on my very first hand, I was dealt A-A.
To be continued...