Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Online Players Strike Out at TKPT St Maarten but Enjoy Some Fun-in-the-Sun

On my Living the Dream poker blog I followed five online players (Chris Perkins, Tim O’Keefe, John Curcuru, Elena Stover and Gabor Krecso) competing in the TKPT St Maarten tournament in the Caribbean April 27 – May 1.  Although none of the team survived Day 2 of the three-day tournament – not even Elena Stover who came to the Caribbean right after her second place ($148,000) second place finish at the Borgata Million in Atlantic City the week before – they did enjoy some fun-in-the-sun. And a couple of the group’s friends did advance to the final table.
Chris’ buddy Brian Kulp not only survived Day 2, but he went into the Final Table as the chip leader.  Akash Mazumdar, who won his way to TKPT St Maarten in an Intertops satellite tournament last year, returned to defend his title and ended up hanging out with the Living the Dream team quite a bit. He went on to win the tournament for the second time.  Kulp was more than pleased with his 4th place finish and the $670 he took home to Pittsburgh with him.
During the Day 2 dinner break, John Curcuru talked about an unusual ruling that almost through him off but, in the end, worked in his favor.
“It was a natural raise in any kind of casino any place else but the dealer said right away ‘sir, that’s not a raise’.  I was unhappy with the ruling, but it turned out to be in my favor because the guy to my left had pocket Kings and he was just waiting for the ruling to be over with!”
“On day 2 of the TKPT Main Event, I had an amazing table draw,” said Chris Perkins, one of the five Intertops Poker and Juicy Stakes Poker players that won their way to TKPT St Maarten in online satellite tournaments.  “I was opening a lot of pots and taking them down without showdown.  I chipped up from 37k to over 55k within the first 30 minutes.  I then ran into a hand that defined my tournament.  The villain limped from MP.  He had been playing like an amateur, limping a lot and folding to 3 bets and cbets too often.  The CO was a competent player that had 10BB remaining at 400/800.  He goes all in behind the limper and I have 55 in the BB.  Because I was so deep and knew there was a good chance the original limper would fold, I decided to call and take a flip against the short stack.  But the original limper decided to call behind.  The flop came Qx5s4x.  We hit our set and were loving life.  At this point, I am just praying the original limper has some sort of Queen because I knew he could never get away from it.  I check.  He bets 15K into a 30K+ pot.  I call with about 30K behind.  The turn was the 3 of spades (Qx 5s 4x 3s).  I made a small donk bet of 10K on the turn and he called fairly quickly.   I decide to check and hope to get to showdown, but the original limper wasted no time going all in for another 20K and putting our entire stack at risk.  There was 100K in the pot including his river all in!   I didn’t think this player would be smart enough to bluff this river so I decided to muck my hand.  The villain turns over 10 10, the short stack mucking his hand, and said ‘I knew the only way I could win the hand was by bluffing.’  He was defiantly right and I like his river jam.”
“If that river is any other card besides a deuce, I would have been cruising through day 2 as chip leader or close to it,” he said.  “I ended up getting knocked out of the tournament soon after this hand and although I was disappointed, I was at a beautiful resort in St. Maarten, so I couldn’t complain too much.!”
John Curcuru played a lot of poker over 3 days but said one of the most interesting hands was with Chris Perkins, another Intertops satellite winner.
Tomorrow we’ll have the final episode of Living the Dream: TKPT St Maarten which will feature final results of the tournament.

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