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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pictures from MPT 2010 #1

Pictures from MPT 2010 Event #1 at Harrah's Waterfront Tower, held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 17, 2010.

Betdponies Royal Flush was the second in MPT history

Players around the mattress on the bubble

Harv29 and Bigfus (foreground) playing against Janek13, while Mrs. Janek13 and Cocktail Master look on

The Waterfront Tower provided ample space of the MPT bar

The Cocktail Master's apprentice prepared specialty drinks for some of the players

The Tournament Director deals during the late stages on the tournament

Bigfus stares down Janek13 during heads up play

The still-unnamed MPT Monkey sits with the prize money and trophy

Janek13 considers his options during heads-up play

The cards revealed preflop for what would be the final hand

Bigfus studies the flop on the final hand

Waiting for Bigfus to react to her win

A less exuberant champion wins her second consecutive season opener

Bigfus receives the spoils of victory from Harv29

Thursday, April 22, 2010

MPT 2010 #1 - Harrah's Waterfront Tower (4/17/2010)

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - The 2010 Mattress Poker Tour season started just like 2009. Last year Bigfus broke through after a frustrating series of second place finishes for her first career victory in the first event of the season, so it was no surprise when she broke her longest career streak without a cash with a victory in this year's season opener. Runner-up, Janek13, also returned to form, with his first cash since recording his first career victory in last season's second event, while Sass continued her remarkable streak of consistency, with her sixth cash in the last eight MPT events, dating back to the beginning of last season.

There was little action in the early stages of the tournament, as most players began carefully in the early blind levels. All seven participants were still alive at the first break and continued that way well into the tournament. Janek13 was the most active player in the early rounds, once showing a bluff with 7-2 to win a small pot, but Betdponies, fueled by the second Royal Flush in MPT history, looked like the early favorite after taking a big pot from Janek13 and holding the chip lead at the break. Within minutes of the Royal Flush, Harv29 drew a straight flush to win another substantial pot with a big hand and also position himself to take a run at his first victory in more than a year.

Chip stacks at first break
  • Betdponies = 4,750
  • Harv29 = 3,375
  • Sass = 2,200
  • Bigfus = 2,150
  • Janek13 = 1,925
  • RowanB = 1,575
  • Cocktail Master = 1,525

As the blinds grew large, the action picked up. With a mostly veteran field, most players realized they had to take chances to chip up. Early chip leader Janek13 was the first to put his tournament life at risk, as he survived an all-in on the turn against Betdponies. RowanB was next to take his chances against the chip leader, calling an all-in from the big blind after it was folded to Betdponies in the small blind. RowanB's Qh 9s held up against Qs 2s, and he was nearly back to his starting stack, while Betdponies chip lead was gone. Harv29 was next to take his chances against Betdponies, when he moved all-in with A-K and Betdponies called with A-Jo. A flop of Q-10-9 made things exciting, but blanks on the turn and river kept Harv29 alive and put Betdponies in peril. Janek13 put an end to Betdponies' fall from grace, when his A-J held up against A-6 to make the one-time chip leader the first player to head to the rail.

Janek13 upped the aggression with his chip lead, but it was a hand he did not play that proved to be the key to the tournament. After a short-stacked Cocktail Master, making her MPT debut, limped most of her stack into the pot with Ks 8h and Sass moved all-in with Qc Jc and then Bigfus called with Ac 9c, then Cocktail Master reluctantly called. Sass put both players at risk, but Bigfus survived after hitting an ace on the flop and surviving a straight draw. The hand eliminated Cocktail Master and vaulted Bigfus into contention, while taking a big bite out of Sass' chip stack.

RowanB fell victim to a dwindling chip stack, when his J-To lost a race against Harv29's small pocket pair. The fifth place finish ended RowanB's cash streak at four events, falling short of Bigfus' record six cashes in a row. Harv29 and Sass also busted, leaving the winners of the first two events of 2009, Bigfus and Janek13, to battle to be the first champion of 2010. After a patient heads-up battle, Bigfus called Janek13's all-in with Ks Jc and beat his Qc 9s to take the title. A disappointingly subdued celebration followed.

The win for Bigfus makes her the fifth player in 22 MPT events to win more than one tournament and keeps her ahead of Sass for the most all-time cashes with eleven. Bigfus also tied her personal bests for a single event, with 16 points and four kills, while Betdponies broke a tie with Baccarat King to become the first player to finish in last place five times.

The results:
  • Bigfus
  • Janek13
  • Sass
  • Harv29
  • RowanB
  • Cocktail Master
  • Betdponies