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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Main Event Changes Confirmed

FAIRFAX, VA - The 2009 Mattress Poker Tour (MPT) Main Event will be held at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. The tournament moves from the previously announced tentative location at Harrah's Atlantic City.

The tournament will begin with 3,500 chips for each player, an increase of 1,000 chips from the regular season MPT events. The rest of the tournament structure will remain the same as other MPT events.

These changes that were being considered by the MPT Executive Committee ( see Possible Changes for Main Event from 12/13/2009) were made official this evening in an announcement by Tournament Director, Harv29. In the same announcement, Harv29 noted that the start time may move forward from the previously planned 8:00 PM registration. As always, please watch this site for details.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is the Sealy Cup Locked Up? Almost, But Not Quite

Sass will take a 19 point lead over RowanB into the final event. While that is not an insurmountable lead, Sass is pretty close to having locked up the season championship. Third and fourth place Harv29 and Bigfus are 30 and 31 points back, meaning that RowanB is the only other player who has a realistic chance to overtake Sass and win this year's Sealy Cup.

A number of things would have to go right for RowanB for this to happen, starting with a field of at least eight players for the Main Event. A field of seven would yield a maximum of 18 points to the winner (7 for outlasting six opponents, 5 bonus points for first place, and 6 "kills" for eliminating every player), which would leave RowanB just short even if he eliminated every player in the field while Sass finished in last place.

RowanB's chances improve as the field size grows. For example, consider this year's Las Vegas MPT, where Sass finished in sixth place out of a sixteen player field, but earned only 11 points while the winner, trojanrabbit, earned 30 points (16 for outlasting fifteen opponents, 7 bonus points for first, and 7 kills). The winner of that event at the Rio picked up 19 points on Sass, despite her respectable finish. If the "December Dozen" becomes a reality and twelve players start this year's Main Event, then there would be a maximum of 30 points available to the winner of that event, if that person can eliminate every opponent. An early exit by Sass, combined win and a lot of "kills" by RowanB could tighten up the Player of the Year race considerably.

On the other hand, the possibility a victory for RowanB becomes more remote when you consider a few other factors. Sass has only six kills in 18 career events, which opens the door slightly for a comeback for the season title, but RowanB has never eliminated more than three players in a single event. If he ties he personal best for kills, then RowanB would need to win the tournament and for Sass to finish in last place in a 10 player field, and even doing that would just earn him a tie in the season standings. However, Sass has not finished an event in last place since September 2008 and has not been more than two spots outside of the money since October 2008. She has also earned ten or more points in five consecutive tournaments, no fewer than six points in each of her last eight events, and fewer than six points only five times in 18 career tournaments. During that same time, RowanB has earned more than ten points in only four events, and never more than 14 points, while winning only one out of twenty career tournaments.

All that adds up to a slim chance for RowanB and virtually no chance for anyone else to unseat Sass as this season's Player of the Year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Possible Changes for Main Event

FAIRFAX, VA - The Mattress Poker Tour is considering two significant changes for its upcoming Main Event, the MPT Tournament Director and Commissioner, Harv29, revealed in discussions over this past week. Currently being considered are a change in venue and a change in tournament structure to add more "play" to the Main Event.

The Main Event, formerly known as the Tournament of Champions, is currently scheduled to be held at 8:00 PM at Harrah's Atlantic City. The MPT Steering Committee has discussed moving the event to the nearby Borgata Casino Resort and Spa to take advantage of a rare chance to hold a tournament inside of Atlantic City's most glamorous resort. Of course, should the tournament remain at Harrah's, the newly built Waterfront Tower would be an equally luxurious home for this year's end of year party. Regardless of the venue, the start time is likely to remain 8:00 PM.

In recent weeks, some more experienced MPT players have asked that changes be made to the tournament structure to differentiate the Main Event from regular season MPT Events. The Steering Committee has listened to these requests and is considering increasing the starting chip stack by 1,000 chips, from the standard 2,500 chips to 3,500 chips. At this time, it is likely the tournament will use the same blind structure as a regular season event, since many of the MPT players have also requested that the tournament length not be increased because of other constraints on their time while they are in Atlantic City. The MPT has heard all of the player's requests and believes it will offer a solution that meets the needs of all participants.

Please watch our web site for more information about these changes and for our final decision. We will also share updates with our fans on Facebook.

MPT Final Hands

Having nearly finished our fourth season and about to play our 21st event it seems time to compile some additional statistics from our tournaments. Below is a list of the starting hands for each MPT event, with the exception of the December, 2006 Main Event, where we have incomplete data about the second place hand and the September 2007 event, where no photos or other records exist showing the winning hand.

  • 12/27/2007 - Betdponies defeats Bigfus with 8h4h over 7 and 5 or 6

  • 3/17/2007 - Betdponies defeats Harv29 with 9c7c over KhKd
  • 7/5/2007 - Tss777 defeats RowanB with Ac7c over AdKs
  • 9/15/2007 - Tss777 defeats Sweeney
  • 10/20/2007 - Baccarat King defeats defeats RowanB with 5d2d over 8d6d
  • 12/27/2007 - Betdponies defeats Sass with Jd5d over 10s8h

  • 4/27/2008 - RowanB defeats Bigfus with 9s6d over 10c and another card
  • 6/7/2008 - RowanV defeats Bigfus with Ks5c over 8s5d
  • 7/6/2008 - Amazon defeats "E" with Ac4c over As2d
  • 8/9/2008 - Scurvydog defeats Bigfus with As3c over 10c10d
  • 9/27/2008 - Amazon defeats Harv29 with 2c2d over Ks3h
  • 10/25/2008 - Tss777 defeats Bigfus with KsQc over As8s
  • 11/22/2008 - Harv29 defeats Sass with with Qd5d over 10h10s
  • 12/28/2008 - Betdponies defeats Civicmon with 10c9c over As4c

  • 6/13/2009 - Bigfus defeats Whispering Eye with 4s2s over 9d7s
  • 7/3/2009 - Janek13 defeats Sass with QdJs over 10d8s
  • 8/2/2009 - Trojanrabbit defeats Stan with Kc8h over 10h3c
  • 9/26/2009 - Syrorange3042 defeats Sass with JhJc over 8s4h
  • 10/3/2009 - Tss777 defeats Sass with Jc9c over Ad3s
  • 11/21/2009 - Ghosthunter defeats Sass with Jc8d over 6c5c

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Statistical Musings Following MPT 2009 Caesars Atlantic City Part II

  • Ghosthunter became this season's fifth first-time winner, while joining Betdponies, RowanV, Scurvydog, Trojanrabbit, and Syrorange3042 as the only players to win their MPT debut
  • Sass broke a tie with Bigfus for most consecutive second places, with her third straight runner-up finish, fourth in the last five events, and sixth career second place in 18 events
  • Sass cashed for the fifth time in six events this season
  • Sass holds a commanding 19 point lead in the Sealy Cup standings
  • RowanB earned his third straight minimum cash to hold onto second place in the Player of the Year race
  • Ghosthunter became the 36th different player to participate in at least one MPT event and the twelfth different person to make their MPT debut during the 2009 season
  • Sass pulled to within one of Bigfus for most career cashes, with her ninth in the money finish in 18 career events
  • RowanB earned his eighth career cash, moving past Harv29 into third place on the all-time list
  • Ghosthunter became the 20th different player to cash in at least on MPT event
  • Harv29 moved past Bigfus into third place for the season point standings
  • Sass passed her husband, Betdponies and TSS777 to leap into second place on the all-time money list, trailing only Bigfus
  • Sass took the all-time point lead with 123 and now holds a three point lead over Harv29 and a four point lead over RowanB
  • RowanB has eliminated at least one player in four consecutive events, setting a record for the MPT, breaking a tie with Ging for the longest such streak
  • Baccarat King tied Betdponies for most career last place finishes, with four

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pictures from MPT 2009 #6

Pictures from MPT 2009 Event #6, held in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the Caesars Centurion Tower on Saturday, November 21, 2009.

The MPT Monkey stands guard over the trophy as heads-up play begins

Sass and Ghosthunter square off as TSS777 deals to begin heads-up play

Bigfus looks on, Baccarat King looks at his iPhone, Betdponies eats a pretzel, while TSS77 deal and Sass checks her cards

A closer look at Sass taking a closer look at her cards

A view of the crowd gathered to watch the final hands

Ghosthunter watches a key hand late in the tournament

Everyone anxiously watched the flop, turn, and river as each player was all-in several times during heads-up play

Ghosthunter watches as the final river card unveiled

The final hand

Tournament Director, Harv29, presents the trophy to the newest MPT champion

MPT 2009 #6 - Return to Caesars (11/21/2009)

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - He heard about the Mattress Poker Tour for years, but never joined in. We may never know what convinced Ghosthunter to play in his first MPT event last weekend, but we do know that the man knows how to make an entrance. Patient play in the early stages put him in good position to start the tournament, a bit of good fortune in a big hand against one of the MPT's winningest players, and surviving heads up play with the blinds at a high level made him the newest MPT champion. Ghosthunter became the sixth different player to win their MPT debut, joining Betdponies, RowanV, Scurvydog, Trojanrabbit, and Syrorange3042. He was also the fifth's player to win their first MPT championship this season, sixth different winner in six events this season, thirteenth different winner in twenty MPT events.

The tournament featured a run of river and ugly beats, including a preflop all-in by RowanB with 2-3 that survived against Betdponies' A-K, and rivered straight by Ghosthunter to cripple TSS777 when those two players clashed as big stacks late in the tournament, and Sass doubling through RowanB with 5-5 against his 9-9 near the bubble. These were just a few examples of the roller coaster ride of those who survived to the higher blind levels, as each player will tell his or her story of how their evening came to and end.

Most of the field hung on through the early stages of the event, as only Baccarat King was eliminated before the first break in the action. He vowed before the event to be more selective about his starting hands and kept to his word, though he twice found himself playing big pots with small pairs against boards with quite a few scare cards on the boards. Undeterred, Baccarat King took his hands to the river and found himself first to the rail for the third consecutive tournament he played and fourth time in the last five tournaments, since winning the October 2007 event.

Play among the remaining players was rather uninteresting before the break to color up the red chips. At this stage, TSS777, fueled by a big pot against Baccarat King, was in the lead with 4,200 chips, followed by Ghosthunter with 3,850, Civicmon with 3,550, Sass with 3,025, Betdponies with 2,350, RowanB with 2,000, Bigfus with 1,950, and Harv29 with 1,575.

After the break, some players picked up their aggressiveness looking to double up for a chance at the win, while others limped into pots with speculative hands hoping the cards would fall their way. Civicmon and Harv29 took the more passive approach, calling preflop raises and waiting to see flops before deciding if they wanted to commit their chips, while RowanB and Betdponies took a more aggressive approach before the flop, with a series of raises and all-in moves. TSS777 slowly accumulated chips and had Ghosthunter all-but eliminated until a straight on the river brought the eventual champ off the ropes and back into the action. Sass played patiently aggressive to survive into second place, but lost out in the battle of all-ins during the big blind stages to earn her third straight and sixth career second place finish.

The results:
  • Ghosthunter
  • Sass
  • RowanB
  • Betdponies
  • Civicmon
  • Harv29
  • TSS777
  • Bigfus
  • Baccarat King

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pictures from MPT 2009 #5

Pictures from MPT 2009 Event #5, held in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday, October 3, 2009.

Heads up play begins with TSS777 concentrating as Sass watches, while Harv29 and Betdponies deal

More heads up action

The championship trophy and the MPT mascot

Sass studies her opponent

Sass surveys the flop

The final board gives TSS777 the win

The Tournament Director presents the trophy to the 4-time champ

MPT 2009 #5 - Clash at Caesars (10/3/2009)

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - A champion returned to form, while the favorite to earn Player of the Year honors remains a bridesmaid. The early season talk was whether perennial runner-up Bigfus would break through to win a tournament, but Bigfus took home a trophy and Sass has now passed her for the career lead in second place finishes. Despite being the only series regular to not record a MPT tournament title, Sass' consistent play has given her a commanding lead over a surprising RowanB, who cashed for the second straight event, but has yet to seriously contend for a win this season. However, none of this should overshadow the play of TSS777, who rebounded from one of his weakest showings in his MPT career to remind players and fans why he is one of the most successful players in the short history of the tournament series.

The tournament began with some aggressive play from the three-time Main Event Champion Betdponies, who fell into a trap bluffing all-in on the river against RowanB's three of a kind and busting before the tournament was twenty minutes old. The big hand gave RowanB a small chip lead going into the first break, 100 chips ahead of Bigfus, who won a race of preflop all-ins with AQ over pocket tens to knock off Amazon just before the break. TSS777 was close behind as well, with Harv29 and Sass lagging behind with roughly the same chip stacks as they started the tournament with.

After the break, there was little action until near the end of the second hour of the tournament, when Sass knocked out Bigfus for the second consecutive tournament, marking only the second time in her MPT career that she has recorded "kills" in back to back events. The bubble didn't last long, as Harv29 moved all-in with a dwindling stack and couldn't beat TSS777. That left TSS777 and RowanB in strong chip positions, but RowanB's run didn't last very long, as he shoved A-7o from the small blind with the blinds increasing and ran into the A-K of TSS777. That hand left TSS777 with a commanding chip lead. Sass hung in and gave TSS777 a run for his money, but fell short for the third time this season and for the second straight MPT event at Caesars, Atlantic City.

The win tied TSS777 with Betdponies for the all-time lead in tournament victories, with four.

The results:
  • TSS777
  • Sass
  • RowanB
  • Harv29
  • Bigfus
  • Amazon
  • Betdponies

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pictures from MPT 2009 #4

Pictures from MPT 2009 Event #4, held in Stone Harbor, New Jersey on Saturday, September 26, 2009.

The control center for the MPT technical operations

The always popular MPT bar

TSS777 deals late in the tournament, as Sass prepares to bet while Betdponies checks his cards

Syrorange3042 rakes in a pot, while Ging and Eileen watch

More action from late in the tournament

The MPT Monkey guards the trophy and prize money

Syrorange3042's pocket Jacks hold up to give him the win

The champion with his trophy

Tournament Director, Harv29, presents the trophy to the new champion

Mrs. Harv29 celebrates with her friend from college

Monday, September 28, 2009

MPT 2009 #4 - ECLVA Fall Classic (9/26/2009)

STONE HARBOR, NJ - He was there in the beginning and watched the MPT grow. Syrorange3042 won the first Mattress Poker Tour Event. There was no prize money, no trophy, and no web site to promote his victory. A few leftover cream puffs and bragging rights over his friends was all that he could take home, so it must have been extra special for the former "uncrowned champion" to finish off a field of MPT veterans in his return to the series.

The ECLVA Fall Classic started quietly, with the all players lasting past the first break. The field of ten matched the largest New Jersey field since last year's end of year Main Event and marked the second consecutive time the tournament participants hit double digits. Syrorange3042, who retained his MPT "rookie" status for this event, was joined by Eileen in debuting on the MPT felt. They marked the 34th and 35th different players to play in an MPT tournament.

The action started to heat up after an hour and a half of play, when Sass scored her fifth career knockout, eliminating Bigfus, who became the eleventh different player to finish in last place in an MPT event. Only a few hands later, another of the MPT's most consistent winners, TSS777 fell victim to Betdponies, while Janek13 busted soon after at the hands of Ging, who collected her sixth career "kill" and second career bounty. The eliminations kept coming, as Harv29 and Eileen were knocked out within the next ten minutes, then Betdponies burst the bubble by busting Ging.

With the bubble not even lasting for an entire blind level, RowanB survived to cash for the first time since last year's Las Vegas event, ending the longest cashless drought in series history, but his night would end only a few hands later after a small preflop raise with pocket kings gave Syrorange3042 a chance to call from the big bling with 8-2o. After flopping trip 8's, Syrorange3042 checked to the MPT veteran, who shoved his remaining chips into the pot and was left to begin preparations for dinner sooner than he had played. The influx of chips put Syrorange3042 in command, though the final three players battled for nearly and hour before Syrorange3042 eliminated the husband and wife duo of Betdponies and Sass to earn his first official MPT victory.

The results:
  • Syrorange3042
  • Sass
  • Betdponies
  • RowanB
  • Ging
  • Eileen
  • Harv29
  • Janek13
  • TSS777
  • Bigfus

Statistics Posted Following MPT 2009 ECLVA Fall Classic

Notable observations following the fourth event of the 2009 season.

  • Syrorange3042 became the fifth player to win his MPT debut, joining Betdponies, RowanV, Scurvydog, and Trojanrabbit
  • Syrorange3042 and Eileen became the 34th and 35th players to play an MPT sponsored tournament
  • The field of 10 players, tied the third largest in MPT history, trailing only last month's tournament at the Rio Las Vegas and the July 2008 Showboat House of Blues event
  • Sass tied Harv29 for second place in all-time number of cashes, with seven
  • Sass moved into second place on the season money list, trailing only Las Vegas champion Trojanrabbit
  • Sysorange3042 became the 23rd different player (out of 35 participants) to earn money from an MPT event
  • Syrorange3042 became the 19th different player to "cash" in an MPT event, based solely on prize money earned from finishing position (not counting bounties and bonuses)
  • With a third place finish, Betdponies cashed for the first time in a tournament that he did not win. The cash moved him into second place on the all-time money list, trailing only Bigfus
  • The career average finish list shook up quite a bit over the weekend, as perennial top finishers Bigfus and TSS777 were the first players eliminated; Sass moved into a tie for first place on that list with Harv29, while Bigfus dropped to third place, just ahead of RowanB and TSS777
  • Sass moved into the top spot in the Sealy Cup standings, taking a 15 point lead over the closest series regulars, Bigfus and RowanB, who are tied for third place
  • Syrorange3042 earned the third most points in a single event, with 20
  • Bigfus became the 11th different MPT player to finish last in the 18 series events

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Statistics Posted Following MPT 2009 Las Vegas Spectacular

Notable observations following the third event of the 2009 season.

  • The 16 player field bested the previous largest MPT turnout, surpassing the previous record of 13 players, at the July 2008 Showboat House of Blues event
  • 7 players made their MPT debut in this event, bringing the total number of different players in MPT events to 33
  • Trojanrabbit became the 11th different MPT event winner
  • Trojanrabbit's $185 cash was the biggest payout in MPT history
  • Sionow, Stan, and Trojanrabbit became the 16th, 17th, and 18th players to cash in MPT history
  • Trojanrabbit became the second consecutive California-based winner of the Las Vegas MPT event
  • Harv29 is the only player to cash in both Las Vegas MPT events
  • Hammah became the 10th different player (in 17 MPT events) to finish last
  • RowanB extended his "cashless" streak to 7, dating back to his third place finish in last year's Las Vegas event
  • Trojanrabbit took over the Sealy Cup point lead by earning a record 30 points in the Las Vegas event
  • Sass took the points lead among series regulars, upping her season total to 29 points with her 6th place finish
  • The large field and revised scoring system for 2009 meant that both first place finisher, Trojanrabbit, and second place finisher, Stan, surpassing the previous record for most points in a single event, previously held by Amazon during the July 2008 Showboat House of Blues event
  • Harv29's third place finish, combined with the early exit of Bigfus, meant he moved back into the all-time MPT points lead
  • Harv29 also tied Bigfus for best average finish among MPT regulars
  • Harv29's $70 cash moved him into second place on the all-time MPT money list
  • RowanB broke a streak of 4 consecutive tournaments without eliminating a player (he does hold the all-time record drought for "kills" at 6, a mark he shares with Sass and Harv29)
  • The 7 players eliminated by Trojanrabbit set a new record for "kills" in a single event, surpassing the previous record of 6, set by Baccarat King and Amazon

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pictures from MPT 2009 #3

Pictures from MPT 2009 Event #3, held in the Rio Las Vegas Masquerade Tower Rooms 32020 and 32022.

Pre-game talk with Kill Phil Forum folks, Trojanrabbit, JTinLV, and Hammah
(Photo courtesy of Judykq)

NMChop talks shop with Noahcat, while Dorianmac listens in
(Photo courtesy of Judykq)

NMChop, Sass, Bigfus, Noahcat, and the back of Harv29's head as play begins at the feature mattress
(Photo courtesy of Sionow)

On the feature mattress, Tennis_bum looks set to rake in a pot, while Betdponies and NMChop watch and Harv29 looks puzzled
(Photo courtesy of Sionow)

Away from the feature mattress at the start of the tournament, where Janek13, Trojanrabbit, Hammah, Stan, and RowanB started off
(Photo courtesy of Sionow)

Early action from Table 2, as Stan, RowanB, Sionow, and JTinLV look on
(Photo courtesy of Sionow)

The more modest traveling MPT bar, after a few bottles of champagne and wine were consumed

Ever wonder what a Rio suite would look like with the furniture removed? This is what happens when you need the chairs, couch, and table in the adjoining room

The MPT Monkey guards JTinLV's chip case

Betdponies watches the board while he has Bigfus on the ropes
(Photo courtesy of Judykq)

...and Bigfus is apologetic when her AJ beats Betdponies' AK, while NMChop looks on
(Photo courtesy of Judykq)

The always smooth MPT Monkey tries his luck with the ladies
(Photo courtesy of Judykq)

The tournament pauses for some additional monkey business, as RowanB helps cover for the MPT Monkey's shenanigans

The "Final Four", Stan, Harv29, Sionow, and Trojanrabbit, right after the bubble burst late in the tournament

Harv29 deals late in the tournament, as Sionow and Trojanrabbit wait to see the flop

The hand that eliminated our Tournament Director, as Trojanrabbit "re-sucked" on the river when Harv flopped a pair after his short-stacked all-in

The trophies and prize money, dwarphed by Trojanrabbit's massive chip stack as heads-up play begins

Stan watches Harv29 deal a flop as he is blinded all-in against Trojanrabbit

The winning hand!

A rare look at the MPT Photographer in action, while the winner celebrates and JTinLV puts away his chips
(Photo courtesy of Judykq)