Sunday, September 4

LIVE: Full Tilt Poker Hurricane Relief Tournament II

This Game Means A Lot

(This entry crossposted at Steal The Blinds.)

On Friday, Full Tilt Poker ran a special no-limit Texas Hold'em tournament to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. The response was so overwhelming that they're having a second tournament tonight, and I'm in.

The buy-in is $20 + $10, which means that $20 goes to the tournament pool and $10 is the house rake, which FTP will donate to the American Red Cross. Further, FTP will match everyone's donation.

Friday's tournament had 718 players, meaning $14,360 was raised. Tonight's tourney has 1210 players, raising $24,200 more.

Among the players tonight are pros Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, David Grey, Aaron Bartley, and Kristy Gazes.

I vow that if I cash, one-third of my win will go to the Red Cross. First place wins $5,324.

Updates as I march toward victory.

8:25 PM: Uh-oh. I have 10ª/10©, went all-in after a flop of 9©/4¨/6©, and got called by K©/K§. I have him covered, but it will hurt if I lose.

Turn 5ª. River 5©. Ouch.

8:30 PM: Holding Qª/J§ in the big blind and called UTG's min-raise along with three other players. Flop is 8¨/7¨/J¨ and I'm all-in. The button calls me with Aª/7§. The turn Q¨ gives me two pair, but I still need to dodge a non-diamond A or any 7. River 10ª doubles me up.

Thank God. Didn't want this to be a really short post.

8:40 PM: Howard Lederer is out in 979th place. Just got bounced to a new table.

8:43 PM: Middle position, holding A§/K¨. UTG limps, next guy reraises to 200 (blinds 25/50). I go all-in (1020) and pray he doesn't have aces or kings. He has 10§/10ª.

Flop is no help, 9¨/J§/4©. Turn 7¨, nothing, but the river A¨ saves my ass. Up over 2,000.

8:48 PM: David Grey out in 878th place. Pros normally don't do well in FTP tourneys because they have bullseyes on their backs, literally: bust one and you win your buy-in back. I'm not sure if they're doing that here. In Friday night's tourney, Phil Gordon and Howard Lederer both cashed, finishing 31st and 68th respectively.

8:57 PM: Holding K§/10§ in big blind. Button min-raises and I smell a steal. SB and I call. Flop comes 5¨/10¨/7©. SB checks and I bet the pot (360). Button min-raises again, to 720; SB folds. He might have actually had a good hand, or he's keeping up the steal. I just call to see what the turn brings.

It's 10©. I plan to check-raise him, but he foils it by checking through. Big mistake if he has a draw.

River is K¨ and I no longer give a damn, especially if he was drawing to diamonds. I make a quarter-pot "feeler bet" (450 into 1800) and he goes all-in. He has me covered. I call. He had J©/10ª. Had him all the way.

9:00 PM: Wiped out the guy I just beat with Q©/Qª versus his 10¨/A©. Over 4,000 now and just barely in the top 100.

9:16 PM: A§/K© under the gun. I make a pot-size raise (350, blinds 50/100), and the table short-stack moves all-in for his last 605. I call. He has A©/7¨, and my hand holds up.

Very next hand: Aª/J© in the big blind. One limper, then the small blind moves all-in for 942. I call and the limper folds. SB was bluffing with K§/5©. My hand holds up and I'm over six large.

9:19 PM: First break now. I'm at 6,177, and I'm in 50th place. Erik Seidel busted out in 581st. The only pro ahead of me is Allen Cunningham (26th place, 7,924). I'm ahead of Aaron Bartley (70th, 5,475), Kristy Gazes (164th, 3,806), John Juanda (231st, 2,110), and Andy Bloch (559th, 295). 561 left. Antes coming in half an hour.

9:25 PM: Four hands since the break, and two of them were 7§/2§. That sucks. Everyone knows 7/2 offsuit is the best damn hand in poker and its suited cousin is the anti-hand. :D

9:34 PM: Folded A§/2¨ in the big blind to a raise. Flop comes 3§/A©/Aª. SB won without a showdown, but I don't think he had an ace. All poker players hate when that happens, but folding was the right move there. Gotta put it behind me. Cold-decked for two rounds and I'm at 5,757. No time to be desperate. Tight, Mike, remember tight.

9:40 PM: 8¨/8ª in middle position. I raise to 560 (blinds 80/160) and the player on my left goes all-in for 1435. Folded around to me. The pot has 2145 and I have to call 875. Almost 2½-to-1 pot odds. I have to call, but I don't like it. She has A§/7ª. My hand sticks and I'm at 7K.

9:50 PM: Andy Bloch out in 435th, Kristy Gazes out in 405th. Holding
K¨/K§ with a raise of 600 (blinds 100/200) in front of me, I go over the top to 2500. Everyone folds.

9:53 PM: The antes have arrived. Blinds 120/240 with 25 antes. Now it gets serious.

10:02 PM: Time once again for YOU MAKE THE CALL! Q§/Q¨ on the button, folded to me, I raise to 550, and the small blind calls. Flop comes 6ª/5ª/5©. I bet 770, and he raises to 2500. Yuck. Maybe he's on a draw. Maybe he's slowplaying A/A or K/K. Maybe he thought I was stealing and got in with a 5. Maybe he has nothing but figures I was stealing and also have nothing and can push me off.

I figured it's all-in or fold. He has me covered. What do you do?

I folded. If I hadn't got whacked with my tens versus kings at the start of the tourney, I might have played. But I got the heebie-jeebies and chickened out.

He showed his hand. Scroll to the right to see it: Black sevens. God damn it.

10:13 PM: Just got whacked with A/Q. Tried pushing the chip leader off the hand and he kept calling me down with 9/9. Less than 3,000 now and I'm in deep doo-doo. FOCUS, MIKE!

10:19 PM: Stealing blinds and antes to tread water. Aaron Bartley out in 247th, John Juanda out in 220th. Only pro left is Allen Cunningham. I judge how well I do in big tournaments by whether or not I outlast all the pros, since they don't usually hang around long. Problem is, Allen has 13K and is in the top 40.

10:21 PM: Caught a break, as I got retabled right before my blinds to a seat behind the blinds.

10:23 PM: Break time again. I have 3,677 and am in 161st place out of 192 left. Yuck. But I've made bigger comebacks than this. Problem is, I just got three excellent hands, A/A, A/K suited, and A/Q, and all I did was win the blinds and antes with them. Let's hope I get a good hand and someone else does, too.

And that mine is better, of course.

10:33 PM: Down to 2,500 as the antes are eating me alive. With 250/500 blinds and antes of 50, it's comparable to having 400/800 blinds with no ante, since it costs 1200 each round. All-in or fold time.

10:35 PM: All-in from the cutoff with red fives. Nobody calls. Next hand: A§/7§. I'm all set to go all-in again, but the UTG player raises and I figure he has me dominated.

10:39 PM: Still hanging around, but it's up to 300/600 with 75 antes. That's like having blinds of 500/1000. I have 2,802.

10:41 PM: All-in from the cutoff with 3ª/3©. Nobody calls. 4,300. Next hand is 10©/Kª, but again the UTG raises and I'm probably crushed.

10:45 PM: Qª/10© on the button, with two limpers. I'm all-in for 2,952. The blinds fold, the first limper calls, and the second folds. He shows 3§/3©. Lot of dead money here, so it'd be nice to win this coin flip and get me off of life support.

Flop is 9§/3ª/6© and I'm all but toast. The turn brings Q§, and even though that card appears to help me, it was the deathblow: there's now no way I can beat his set. Even another Q to give me trips would fill him into a full house. The river was meaningless, but for posterity's sake, it was 8¨. IGHN, in 140th place. Cash line was at 117.

The thing that makes poker so intense is that I played 185 hands in this tourney, and played maybe two of them wrong (I probably played a couple more poorly, but they were incidental). And yet I go home with nothing.

But the more important story is that the American Red Cross now has $38,560 more for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I wish I won something so I could have chucked in a little more.

Alas, not to be.

FINAL UPDATE 9/5 1:41 AM: I stuck around to watch how the tourney ended. The last hand was so awesome I had to comment on it.

The button was on the shorter stack, holding about 625,000 chips. The bigger stack had about 1.2 million. The blinds were at 12,000 and 24,000 with a 3000-chip ante.

Big Stack called the big blind, and the smaller stack checked to see the flop, which was 10ª/8ª/Qª. Check, check. Turn Jª. Check, check. River blank. Big Stack makes a smallish bet, and Small Stack goes all-in over the top. Big Stack calls.

The small stack had Aª/10¨ for the nut flush. But Big Stack had K¨/9ª for the straight flush and the $5000+ win. The small stack did take home more than $3300, though.

I still won nothing.


Location: Mishawaka, Indiana, United States

I graduated with an English degree from the University Of Notre Dame in 2001, and in 2008 I have a day job that has nothing to do with my degree but gets the bills paid in a semi-regular fashion. (I have running water five days a week!) The idea is that once I get turned around on my bills, I go to grad school. I also have an idea for cold fusion. Anyone's guess which will be feasible first. In non-work mode, I'm usually reading columns by famous and well-read thinkers, blogs by critically praised writers, or sometimes blogs by overzealous cranks who make me laugh. I yearn to be all three at once; until then I'll settle for being the third. I also have an undying love for the Chicago Cubs and Notre Dame football. Praise them and I'll buy you a beer; curse them and I'll dump it over your head. If that's not enough, I'm becoming quite the fan of no-limit Texas Hold'em. My games have one of two results: I either win all the money or whine because I didn't win all the money.

marchandchronicles -at-

Fair warning: I reserve the right to post any and all criticisms and flames, in their entirety. Seriously. Just ask this guy.

July 2006
May 2006
April 2006
January 2006

January | February | March | April
May | June | July | August
September | October | November | December

Essays on whatever I feel like writing about.

August 8, 2005: High Gas Prices
August 1, 2005: Judge Roberts' Hearings
June 20, 2005: Senator Durbin's Comments
May 23, 2005: Newsweek & Pepsi
May 2, 2005: Al Gore's MoveOn Speech
April 25, 2005: Lebanon
April 18, 2005: The Nuclear Option
April 11, 2005: Pope John Paul II
March 5, 2005: The Domino Effect
January 31, 2005: Iraqi Elections
January 24, 2005: Bush's Inaugural
January 17, 2005: Roemer, Dean & The DNC

WARNING: links, comments & trackbacks may contain profanities or other items of unscruples. marchand chronicles does not endorse any comment/opinion expressed in any such addendum.

A¨ A© aces
Steal The Blinds

A§ K§ ace-kings
RealClearPolitics: Index / Blog

A¨ Q¨ ace-queens
MY Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Michelle Malkin (no link: here's why)

A© J© ace-jacks
Captain's Quarters

Aª 10ª ace-tens
Riehl World View

K¨ Kª kings
James Lileks: The Bleat / Screedblog
Eject! Eject! Eject!
USS Clueless / den Beste @ RedState
Hugh Hewitt
Power Line
Little Green Footballs
Hog On Ice
protein wisdom
Ace Of Spades HQ

Q© Qª queens
a small victory
Little Miss Attila
LaShawn Barber
Virginia Postrel
You Know You Wanna

J§ J© jacks
InDC Journal
Best Of The Web Today
A Chequer-Board Of Nights And Days
Belmont Club
Tim Blair
Decision '08
Michael Barone
Big Lizards
Balloon Juice
Cold Fury
Jim Treacher
Baseball Crank

10§ 10¨ tens
Volokh Conspiracy
The Corner
Roger L. Simon
The Truth Laid Bear
Michael Totten
Galley Slaves
One Hand Clapping
Belgravia Dispatch
Paterrico's Pontifications
John Hawkins
Patrick Ruffini

K© Q§ paint
Day By Day
Cox & Forkum
Filibuster Cartoons
Daryl Cagle: Index / Blog

?? ?? jokers
Dave Barry
The Therapist
Roller Coaster Of Hate

A© 6© suited
Kanka's Sports Page
MY Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Indiana Blogs!
A Cub Fan Rants
Steal The Blinds / You Know You Wanna
Riehl World View

9¨ 8§ connectors

10§ 2¨ brunsons
Publius Pundit
Pulse Of Freedom
The Radio Equalizer
Good News From The Front

9ª 7§ nine/sevens
A Cub Fan Rants
From The Corner Of Grace And Wayne
The Cub Reporter
View From The Bleachers
Goat Riders Of The Apocalypse
Lingering Bursitis
Northside Lounge
Cubs Now!
Old Style Cubs
Hoosier Daddy?
Cub Ramble

8§ 8© 7© 7§ snowmen & walking sticks
NDToday Message Boards
Kanka's Sports Page
The Blue-Gray Sky
Kelly Green
The Irish Trojan
Irish Today
The Backer
The House Rock Built Notre Dame
Ruth Riley
The Shrine Of The Holy Whapping
The Spoons Experience
The Primary Main Objective
Musings Of A Domer

5§ 5ª black fives
Michael Yon
Mudville Gazette
Austin Bay
Froggy Ruminations
the fourth rail

5¨ 4ª moneymakers
Steal The Blinds
The 2+2 Forums
Cardschat Forums
Daniel Negreanu
Dutch Boyd
Paul Phillips
Evelyn Ng
Jennifer Harman
Wicked Chops
Guinness And Poker
Al Can't Hang
Big Slick Nuts!
The Cards Speak
Wired Aces
Damning The River
The Tao Of Poker
2 Hole Cards
The Poker Sponge

7ª 2¨ rags
The American Spectator
   Ben Stein
Boston Globe
   Jeff Jacoby
Boston Herald
Chicago Sun-Times
   William O'Rourke
   Richard Roeper
   Mark Steyn
Chicago Tribune
Daily Telegraph
   Mark Steyn
Dallas Morning News
   Mark Davis
The Hill
   Dick Morris
Human Events
   Ann Coulter
Los Angeles Times
Miami Herald
   Dave Barry
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
   Nick Coleman
   James Lileks
National Journal
   The Hotline's Blogometer
National Review
   Beltway Buzz
   William F. Buckley
   David Frum's Diary
   Jonah Goldberg
   Victor Davis Hanson
   Lawrence Kudlow
   Rich Lowry
The New Republic
   Peter Beinart
New York Post
New York Times
The Observer
   Hit & Run
San Antonio Express-News
   Austin Bay
South Bend Tribune
Tech Central Station
USA Today
U.S. News & World Report
   Michael Barone
The Wall Street Journal
   Peggy Noonan
   Tunku Varadarajan
Washington Post
   Charles Krauthammer
   George Will
Washington Times
The Weekly Standard
   Fred Barnes
   Dean Barnett
   Hugh Hewitt
   William Kristol
   Edward Morrissey
   Jonathan V. Last

3§ 3¨ treys
Associated Press
   The Note
   Public Eye
   The Morning Grind
   First Read
Drudge Report
Power Line News
Sky News
Agence France-Presse

2© 2ª deuces
Daily Kos
Josh Marshall
Matthew Yglesias
Andrew Sullivan
Crooked Timber
Brad DeLong
Juan Cole
Oliver Willis
The Huffington Post
Kicking Ass
Donkey Rising
New Donkey

Click here and stroke my ego!

Join The South Park Blogger Gallery!


Contributor to Steal The Blinds


marchand chronicles has such massive readership and influence that it makes me weep.
—Glenn Reynolds


Damn right.


What's Your Line?


I absolutely love the name of your site.

Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson, Power Line
Just the name? Not the content? . . . I'll take it.

You have something in common with Dave Barry, Hemingway, and Mark Steyn: I'm not linking to them, either.


That's good stuff there Mark.

Dean Barnett, Soxblog
Psst, it's "Mike."

(click to buy)

St. Elsewhere
The Pulse: SIRIUS 9

All text and original images © MMVI by Mike Marchand/Marchand Chronicles.

Okay, so I don't really have a copyright. But I still don't want you ripping me off. Reprint it all over the Internet if you like, but give me proper credit and link back to me. Besides, if you're going to plagiarize, steal from someone with some talent.

Powered by Blogger

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

Blogwise - blog directory

Listed on BlogShares

(Photo: Larry Kang)

You can be one, too: Full Tilt Poker
Bonus Code: MARCHRON