Operation Big Brother Foundation, Inc.
OBBF No-Limit Texas Hold'em Fundraising Tournament II
by Raffy Hidalgo UPD'86
Twenty six players, including 20 brods, 1 wife (mine), 2 ladies corps, and 3 guests came to play Sunday, 28May2006, at the OBBF No-Limit Texas Hold'em Fundraising Tournament, held at Valle Verde Pasig City. Along with wives and girlfriends of players, and other spectator and organizer brods, the place was packed and steaming in the pre-thunderstorm humidity. Umbrella and golf towel giveaways respectively from Jay Policarpio '88 of Cisco Systems and Leo Robel '95 of Consolidated Industrial Gases Inc (CIGI) helped mitigate the force majeur. On this night, OBBF has raised P12,000 in funds with this event.
As Tournament Director Philip Marfil '81 ordered dealers to "Shuffle up and deal!", lead dealer Harry Temperante amazed us with the dexterity and flourish of his card handling.
The different tables assumed distict personalities: Table 1, arguably the toughest table to play in, had a mix that was tough to develop any strategy on. There were 3 wild players raising all-in with marginal to junk hands; 2 loose-passive habitual callers that never seemed to back down from a raise; 2 tight-aggressive card room veterans who were disclipined in hand selection; 1 novice, and myself who I will not describe because I was never a factor in play owing to the junk.... no, shit hands that were being dealt to me all night. Table 1 saw strong raises and all-ins, and dominated the tournament in terms of always having the chip leader, and chip leader swings. The novice Don Regachuelo '02, a resident, who was so unlucky to be assigned to Table 1, practically donated the buy-in fee and was the first to be elimated from the tournament. Defending Champion Leo Robel '95, busted out with his wild play, made a rebuy and quickly assumed chip leadership with exactly the same style of play. I myself was terribly unlucky to be seated to his immediate right, negating any strategic move I could make and forcing me to play only with real hands, of which I had none.
Table 2 was a different story, with only Victor Rafael '91 a veteran player. It was dominated by hard drinking (including the dealer) heavy cursing, rowdy play filled with insults, taunts, and unethical poker behavior. They broke all the rules. It was a fun table and I wish I was there. But despite being filled with wild personalities, play was not. It was loose but betting was passive. Hence chip stacks remained fairly equal.
Table 3 had serious play with players who didnt seem to be happy with each other. Here, remarks were sharp and without humor, and arguments were real. Playing style was healthily varied but was not dominated by wild play.
After being the 16th player eliminated and taking 10th place, and just missing the final table- (my P 1,000 rebuy but minutes earlier was useless and practically a donation as the blinds were just too high), there remained nine players at the final table:
Santi Llamorena '97
Victor Rafael '91
Allan Montecastro '94
who were all short stacks
Mark Patriarca '91
Lloyd Dizon '87
Nugget Aquino '79
Ying Palafox '87
who all had medium sized holdings
Jeff Acosta '91
who had a big stack
and chip leader Mai Gonzales, who was a guest player and therefore, we were all praying would lose. But his stack looked so dominating, and his play was solid- not to mention that most of his opponents were either shortstacked, or seemed drunk and not serious players.
The shortstacks as expected, were blinded out and forced to go all-in on meager holdings. They were eliminated quickly. But suprisingly the pace of place was not dictated by the big stacks but by the seemingly drunk comedians, who easily bullied players out of the pot or into to making poor calling decisions. Nugget Aquino '79 went out next in 6th place amidst his unwavering claim that it was his first time to play. Mark Patriarca '91 made a strange all-in call with only an ace high and was busted out in 5th place by Ying Palafox '87- who deserves an award for his acting like he was tired and wanted to be eliminated. But it was Ying's wife who was tired and pressured Ying into making a hasty bad decision for all his chips as he went out in 4th place.
Then it was climax time. At the final table, Lloyd Dizon 87's stack was depleted so many times that on several occasions he could hardly or not at all make the big blind, and was forced to go all-in. But somehow, each time he survived and with every beer, his chip stack grew bigger. Thats when Lloyd unveiled the final step of his masterful strategy. Pulling out all the stops, he ordered beer after beer and began pretending that he was drunk out of his wits. With 12 bottles of beer down, most would be. Watching, the brods from the 80s knew this was an act. We have seen Lloyd drink plenty more than that and still have enough to pull a back to back fuck session- then go home and jack off. He bullied his opposition out of the pots and they were big because blinds were at their maximum. If someone made the mistake of calling or raising him on a marginal hand, Lloyd would go all-in and force them to fold. And sometimes, he would, like anybody's fool, with a burp and a laugh raise all-in. Come on now- this idiot who kept talking about his testicles all night could not have any semblance of a holding. A call. Bad call and Lloyd doubles up.
The chip stack of Mai Gonzales dwindled to what was by now the short stack of the group, but still a serious contender. Before the flop, he goes all-in. Lloyd grunts out a chuckle and nonchalantly calls. Mai shows J-J, a heavy favorite against Lloyd's A-5. Lloyd is still chuckling and takes another swig of his beer. The flop misses both. Mai has 5-2 odds to take Lloyd down. The turn shows nothing, and no change either in Lloyd's optimism. The river delivers the final table's first bad beat: An ace gives Lloyd high pair and sends Mai packing. The crowd goes wild. They cannot hide their glee at seeing the guest eliminated finally.
The its heads up between Jeff and Lloyd. Jeff's once formidable chip stack by now is dominated by more than 3 to 1. Lloyd calls the big blind and Jeff checks. We see a flop which comes A-Q-10 rainbow. Jeff ponders for a moment and cooly raises all-in. Lloyd still keeping up the drunk act leans unsteadily to the side and slurs out a call. Lloyd shows a Q-J unsuited and makes middle pair. But Jeff shows an A-2 unsuited making a pair of aces and is now a 4-1 favorite to win. The turn comes 7c and hits no one and now Jeff is a 89.63% favorite with Lloyd a heavy underdog with only 5 outs and the river card.
Dealer Rupert Ambil '93, burns a card and shows the river. The crowd goes wild as the second bad beat of the final table is delivered: A lady on the river gives Lloyd trip queens, the title of champion, the OBBF Holdem II trophy and a check for P 8,100. As they are handed to him, he is sober and calm as an executive in a board room. The mother fucker.
Second and third did not go home empty handed. Jeff walks away smarting from a loss to an underdog, but happy that a Beta Sigman took home the trophy.
I am dead tired and I feel the P2,000 buyin loss without ever being able to assert my skills at the table. I get home at 4 AM after the clean up, and dont feel like playing poker for a very very long time. I think to myself, "maybe even as long as two weeks". Who knows? In poker, anything is possible.
Rafael Hidalgo 86A
Student of Texas Holdem Poker