The Rooftop Invitational
Three tables of the finest poker players in the country today came and were ready to play. Sadly, several other excellent players failed to show up or make the buy-in for the tournament, the biggest one yet in our local scene. The huge pot up for grabs (145K), 5 places paid, and a relatively small (but definitely the toughest) field made every serious poker players' mouths water with excitement!
Almost a third of the players in the game got in through sattelite tournaments held the whole week before. Several players even got staked by other people to play the tourney, with the top players selling shares of themselves for a piece of the buy-in. Some even grinded it out in the cash games weeks before the tournament to make their buy-in. All in all, this really wasnt about who had the big bankrolls, but about who was ready to take their poker skills to the next level and are willing to play for bigger stakes, in preparation for even bigger things to come.
Maybe 3 or 4 people in the tournament were playing for pride and prestige alone, since the prize money did not matter to these people. And that was fine too, because if you love poker, it is really not about the money, and these guys love the game more than most players out there right now. (hey, two of those people ended up winning 1st and 2nd!)
The action was intense and the atmosphere was different from what we were accustomed to. i found myself so scared to get taken out early in the game that i went all-in pre-flop (after getting a few callers and a raiser) and flipped over my pocket aces saying "call me if you want."!
eventually, after several hours of playing, my uber tight play eventually caught up with me when i made a crucial call on an all-in with a smaller stack (i had less than average stack at this point) and my K-Q got beat by his K-6 (4-5-8-K-7 on the board!) . This forced me to go all-in with an AK offsuit and as luck would have it, someone had pocket jacks. A 13th place finish for me.
The final table was amazing! Amazing comebacks from small stack on the river, A nut flush getting beat by quads, A-7 beating A-K, A-K vs. QQ with AK hitting the ace on the flop, Q coming on the river, and a LOT of other exciting hands! it was a rollercoaster ride! Down to the final three, it was Ace from A55, Big Wally, and Mr. Lobregat with a WALL of chips in front of him. Ace held on and even almost evened up with the big stacks after starting out with the smallest stack, but eventually lost to the two big stacks he was up against. Heads up didnt last too long, not more than three hands i think, with the winner being Mr. Lobregat, walking away with a cool 72,500 and a beautiful silver cup to boot.
Congratulations to everyone who participated, you were all part of Philippine Poker history once again. To Ace, welcome to the 3rd place club haha! Big Wally, one of the best players and poker mentors in the country, a man who truly loves the game, and to Mr. Lobregat for winning it all in a field of the toughest players in the country today.
Thanks to poker filipinas, A55 poker, and the BBC for bringing us this fine, fine tournament. Believe us, the next one is going to be even better!