The BBT semi kicked off last night witht he first PPI/ Riverchasers event. This one didn't count towards the BBT but it did make for an interesting night.
33 showed up to participate and the new partner brought some interesting players. Lee Childs, Eric Lynch, Brandon Jarrett, and others were all there to do their part in shoving draws, and stealing blinds like it was their job (I guess it is, actually).
The first two went out when kings ran into aces twice, and we were quickly down to 31. I had Brandon Jarrett to my left and he had built up a stack pretty quickly. It was a pretty standard table and folks seemed to be having a good time, but were also very focused on the play.
Al was at my table as well, and sat out the first 2 levels sucking on chinese food. After his fingers were clean he would commence with the button smashing. I was doing fairly well, but not getting any action on my big hands. Every prelop raise I put in went uncontested and I hovered around the 3k mark for about the first level.
Jarret left me alone on most of my blind steals but but he quickly started repopping me. One particular hand he limped utg. There was one caller, and I raised with AQ out of the bb. Jarrett shoved, the other folded, and I tanked. It was a fairly easy fold to make, but I waited a little before doing so.
It was an intersting battle everytime it came to the blinds between the two of us, and I (we) were having fun. It was getting close to to the final table and I was now at about 8k. I picked up AK on the bb, and Jarrett raised standard utg ($1400 or so). Up to that point, when he had shown down his preflop raises, it was a very large range. Even from UTG. Another called, and I opted to over shove the AK. Brandon snap called (I had him covered by $2500 or so) and the other folded. He showed AA, but I 4 flushed him and took the chip lead.
That came back to haunt me at the final table when we got down to 3. Myself, NZgreen, and Spideysomething had stacks of 45k 45k and spidey at about 20. Green and I were very active with preflop raises, and Spidey sat most of it out. He made the comment about being a spectator. I took a nice chip lead when Green raised UTG to about 2200. It was his standard raise and I though it was small. With the antes I was getting about 3:1 to make any call, and I did with Ts8c.
The flop came 4 5 7 and I led out about 2/3's of the pot. He called and the turn came the 6. This time I opted to check and led out a pot sized bet. I just called and the river brought an A. I led out half the pot this time, and tanked and ultimately called with AJ.
This brought me up to 65k, leaving him with 26k and spidey still sitting around 20k. Green open shoved the next few hands as we both folded. Green finally folded UTG and spidey shoved on me with AJ. I was holding AK, but it wasn't meant to be as the J spiked the river. This brought me down to 46k and I picked up AK again the very next hand in the small.
Spidey limped, I raised, and Green reraised. Spidey folded, and I shoved. Green called and showed 55. I missed and was down to under 20k just like that. My final hand had me shoving As8s into Green again pre, and he called with 55 yet again. I hit the A on the flop, the 8 on the turn, and he spiked the 5 on the river to end my night in third.
It was truly disappointing to end that way with such a fun final table and grabbing the chip lead like that. If it was any indication of how the BBT is going to go, it sure as hell will be a lot more fun that last time!. The play was solid, save for a few clowns who were quickly sent to the rail.
I spoke to Randy, one of the principals of PPI, and he explained that most of the pros were at the LAPC or in Vegas playing the Venetian deepstack. A lot will of them will be playing in the BBT when they aren't playing live. It is certainly going to up the amount of players that get into this thing. I wouldn't be surprised to see twice the fields of past challenges. Either way, we will all be better for it.
So load up those accounts and be ready to dust off. The games begin in 5 days!