Monday, November 06, 2006

Profuse Sweating

One of those nights, it was, watching the big online Sunday tournaments wind down to their conclusions. Full Tilt had a grand event going on, with Mike Matusow and Carlos Mortenson both positioned to take a run at the win; Matusow had a nice lead when the final table came together but did one of those classic flameouts he's always been known for, trying to run three straight bad bluffs when it was clear even to me on the second and third of the three that he was well tilted and on a likely steal. The big names were watching as well. "Jesus" Ferguson popped up in the chat, as did Cecilia Reyes (formerly Mortenson, though she's now Carlos's ex).

But that was only part of the weirdness --- the Full Tilt Sunday Guarantee and the Poker Stars Sunday Million normally wrap up within minutes of one another, and last night looked to be no exception, as they both worked down to three players remaining within moments of each other. And then the Stars Sunday Million went on for hours.

This is what happens when you have a record turnout --- 6,606 players --- and forget to add a few extra levels of blinds to the tournament structure to account for the added chips in play. From three players left it was nearly 300 hands until the winner was decided, admitting that there was a bad beat or two along the way. But with the blinds maxed out at $200,000/$400,000 and something like $66 million in chips in play, the players weren't going anywhere without good reason.

Funny stuff. All from a harmless little oops somewhere within the Stars support crew. And if you don't think the players themselves were frustrated, here's a little snippet of chat, featuring the last two surviving players:

UGOTPZD: lee if your gonna make us play for 30K , in crease the blinds, so we don'thave to play all night
CZuke39: haha lol
Dealer: Game #6914031042: CZuke39 wins pot (2440000)
Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: Sorry UGOT - yes, you have to play for the $30K, and no, I can't change the blinds.
Dealer: Game #6914033861: UGOTPZD wins pot (440000)
Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: You guys will just have to slug it out.

Czuke39 took it down a couple of dozen hands later, but I think they were getting to the point where they were going to just agree to move all-in on every hand until the winner was decided. In case you're wondering, they couldn't just chop it up and end play: while they did split the majority of the cash, Stars rules for their biggest tournaments dictate that some fixed amount is always held behind to play for, in part so that an official winner can be named. In this case $30,000 was at stake.

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