Twitter Poker League: Taketime takes down Season 2 opener

ps_news_thn.jpgby Joanne Haslam
Who doesn't like a clean slate? Did you overplay a small pair? Go on tilt after a devilish beat? Maybe you threw away a mighty chip lead? Whatever your poker sins in Twitter Poker League tourneys past, they're all forgiven for a new league season. A blank leaderboard means all are equal. You don't even need to repent, whether you forgave the donk fellow who wouldn't fold when he ought to, or wished hate on his ugly avatar head, you can start season 2 afresh, with all points ready for claiming. All players lined up on the starting line. Ready, set, go...

1,548 players found the $1.10 for registration and logged in to Twitter to see @tpokerstars mark the tourney kick-off time with: '"Shuffle up and tweet."

Although this was a new season, we had our eye on the champions of the last. Season 1 winner 3Detch fell early, just picking up a single point. Fourth place finisher captainlgf was the only league high-flyer to make a mark in this first game. His cash in 113th place was worth 5 points for the freshly transcribed league table.

Bubble bubble, toil and trouble
There was some frenetic bubble play at hand-for-hand time. We saw aces beaten when mdf92's all-in K♥Q♥ hit a straight to see him through to the final table. It was HarryCaray98 who earned the 'bubble boy' curse when his 6♦A♦ was beat by avefenix43 Jacks.

This set up a final table looking like this:
Seat 1: taketime (316,114 in chips)
Seat 2: leideg (260,508 in chips)
Seat 3: alytus73 (103,554 in chips)
Seat 4: AKQJ10UT (472,463 in chips)
Seat 5: mdf92 (62,860 in chips)
Seat 6: Bokito_1981 (215,956 in chips)
Seat 7: ave fenix 43 (331,337 in chips)
Seat 8: Atis95 (355,960 in chips)
Seat 9: TOM7419 (203,248 in chips)

More toil and trouble
Three players exited from the final table almost as soon as they'd got there. TOM7419 was first to go. His A♦K♦ hit big trouble on the 5♠2♣3♥ flop when Bokito_1981 flopped the straight with his A♣4♠.

AKQJ10UT was the quick-fire 8th place exit. He hit a pair of tens with his T♥8♥ on a T♣9♠Q♥ flop, only to run into avefenix43 holding Q♣9♥ for two pair. Next to go was alytus73. He was short of chips and pushed with A♣2♠ but found taketime with plenty of chips and the mood to take him on with Q♠4♠. Taketime hit both cards, the two pair ended alytus73's tourney.

These rapid eliminations meant we were down to six in no time at all.

Quick, quick, slow... quick
The play slowed down six-handed, but livened up again when Mdf92 pushed all-in with A♥A♣. Leideg took him on with J♣J♦ but wouldn't catch up. The hand left leideg in short-stacked trouble, but mdf92 gave a chunk of chips straight back to him. We didn't see cards, but leideg's final few chips were all-in with 9♠J♥K♠A♦T♥ showing. Mdf92's fold gave leideg the fast-recovery chip injection.

Leideg took the lead when he called avefenix43's all-in with A♠J♣. Avefenix was unlucky with a K♣K♦, leideg caught an ace on the turn, so avefenix out 6th place.

Twitter tourney buses
You know the line about waiting for buses then two turn up at once? Well our 9th, 8th, and 7th place finishers had gone out in quick succession, like losing-all-your-chips-itis was some contagious disease. Then we had to wait a while, and a while longer... Then avefenix was out, and it was the buses thing again. Yep, two buses bust outs came along at once.

The very next hand after avefenix was eliminated mdf92 moved all-in holding A♦J♥. Taketime took him on with 2♦2♥ and the smallest pair was good enough to win, mdf92 took the bus to the tourney exit, out in 5th place.

Missing in action
We'll never know what happened to Bokito_1981. He left the tourney without even a tweet of explanation. He'd been sitting out for a long time, with the blinds wasting him away to the bare bones of a stack. So the inevitable happened and Bokito_1981 finished 4th, taketime winning his few remaining chips.

With my handy reference guide of @tpokerstars updates I can tell you that three-handed chips were taketime 1,006,226, leideg 718,289, Atis95 597,485.

Leideg picked a peck of pickled peppers
The play was cautious, so with no big hands to report I found myself looking at the potential winners and musing on my blog post headline. I realised a win by leideg would give me a tongue-twisting 'League leaderboard leader leideg...' I was practising the tongue-twister, but didn't have time to get these words straight, there was a hand... Atis95 raised and taketime, ever-aggressive with that big stack of his, decided to re-raise all in. A quick call by Atis95 with K♥K♦ and Taketime showed K♣Q♣. Atis95 became our new chip leader. Taketime went from first to last place chips with the hand.

Something for everyone
A three-way pot soon developed when leideg bet out on a A♠T♠T♣ flop. Atis95 re-raised, taketime called, and leideg came along for the ride. This was a 'something for everyone' kind of hand. The 5♥ on the turn gave leideg cause to bet out, Atis95 called yet again, and now taketime raised. Atis95 got out of the way, leaving leideg and taketime playing on. There was a 4♦ on the river. Leideg bet again, now taketime moved all-in. Leideg called with A♥7♣. Taketime showed J♠T♦ to win a pot that would put him in the thick of things again and leave leideg in trouble.

A few hands later Leideg moved all-in with A♦K♥. Taketime called with K♦Q♠. A double up for leideg meant stacks were close to even with around a million each.

The road to hell may be paved with minimum bets
Atis95 minimum bet himself into a pile of trouble, betting 20,000 each street of the 5♥6♥ 8♠K♥4♥ board. Taketime called along but made a big re-raise on the river. Atis95 probably knew what was coming, Q♥5♦ for taketime and the heart flush. Atis95's cards mucked, to leave us all guessing, and perhaps betting more heavily on flush cards.

Leideg wasn't going to earn the tongue twister headline. He raised with J♠9♣ and when Atis95 set him all-in he had few chips left and made the call. A shiny red A♦K♦ for Atis95. With 4♠T♠T♦7♦7♣ dealt, any ace would win it. Leideg was out in 3rd place.

twitter_poker_league_season_2.JPG

Atis95 had the advantage heads-up, with 1,451,316 chips to taketime's 870,684.
It was a swingy heads-up battle that took a while to find a winner. Taketime took the lead early on, playing K♠T♣ aggressively then hitting a straight on the turn. Atis95 held J♠8♠ and his three of a kind was losing with the board showing 7♣8♦9♠6♥8♣.

Atis95 was down to just 250,000 and it looked like game-over, but then he doubled-up with Q♠9♦ hitting a straight to outclass taketime's pocket 2♦2♥. Then it was taketime's turn to hit the straight with his J♠T♥ combining with 7♦9♠8♠6♠A♥. Taketime must surely have thought he'd won it, but Atis95 fielded A♠5♠ making a flush from those all-action cards.

Tit for Tat
Taketime inched ahead, then Atis95 took a small lead, then they were even, then it was taketime, no it was Atis95. It wasn't clear how this heads-up was ever going to end. All-ins called were the usual way to finish a poker tournament, but every time these two tried it they played on.

Atis95 bet out with his K♥3♣ on a 3♣5♦2♦ flop, to be re-raised by taketime. An innocuous looking 6♥ on the turn turned into the key card. Atis95 bet out again, taketime moved all-in. Atis95 thought his flopped top-pair would be good and called, but taketime showed Q♠6♣ and the pair of sixes were enough to send a huge pot to taketime.

Atis95 won a handful of desperate all-in double-ups and had clawed his way back up to a million chips from near-nothing. He found 7♥7♠ and called taketime's all-in bet. Taketime showed K♣T♦. T♠ was the first card dealt, and it was the card to win the tournament for taketime. Congratulations to the Londoner for his hard-fought victory.

The long leaderboard top 10
Taketime's win gives him 20 points to take him to the top of the new leaderboard. The leaderboard now shows 225 people in joint 10th place. Don't worry - no software failure, each tourney cash placing earns 5 league points. That's a nice start for those players to build on in the coming weeks.

There was the usual good Twitter banter throughout this tournament and if micro blogging is your thing, it's worth noting that the best live tweeter of the year wins a $1,500 Step Ticket, with $215 ticket prizes for 3 #tpoker tweeting runners-up. So if you do lose to some donk fellow who wouldn't fold when they ought to, and you tweet eloquently about it, you might even win while losing. I'll leave eloquent sentences to you clever micro-bloggers.

If you want to join the Twitter Poker League then you can read more on our website. You'll find the full leaderboard there, which might be worth a look if you're one of the 225 'top 10' players.
There are plenty of points to win in the coming seven weeks, it's not quite the clean slate any more, but there's every possibility your name can be at the top of the leaderboard next week. I hope it's a useful name for blog post headline writing.

Good luck!

Twitter Poker League Leaderboard - Week 1 (08-01-10)
taketime - 20
Atis95 - 18
leideg - 16
Bokito_1981 - 15
mdf92 - 14
ave fenix 43 - 13
alytus73 - 12
AKQJ10UT - 11
TOM7419 - 10

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in News