Season 6

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July 20, 2011

The following is a report from Tom E. about his experience playing in the Main Event this season:.

Pre-game and the players at my table

First, going to the main event is a great feeling. The night before I was very nervous.  Linn and I registered on Friday and we watched day 1b for a while.  That helped calm things down as we watched a few people play not so great and realized that, hey, we can hang with these guys!

I didn’t sleep much Friday night.  Linn played cash late into the night, but I checked in at midnight.  However, I did the right thing by getting up early (as far as Vegas goes!)  and walked around. I went and got snacks and a backpack.  Took about two hours total, most of which was walking.  By the time I got to the Rio, I was very relaxed and ready to play. I had just enough time to get a neck massage, which felt great!

When I got to my table, I obviously didn’t know how people were going to play, but here is the assessment of the players that I built over the next several hours:

Seat 1 was a pretty unlucky player who busted out early. He wasn’t that good, but also took bad beats. He was replaced by a young kid who I read as an internet player who would make a lot of moves. Seats 2 and 3 were pros.  I’ve seen them on TV a bit, not much though.  Seat 4 was a wealthy business man who knew the pros. I figure he plays tournaments a lot for fun since he can afford it.  I was in seat 5.  I played very few hands early so people perceived me as tight.  Seat 6 was the same.  I was a bit more aggressive than seat 6. He was a bit more tight passive where I was more tight aggressive. Seat 7 was tight aggressive.  Seats 8 through 10 were the worst players. They played a lot of pots, called a lot, etc.  For instance, seat 8 called an A,10, 4 board flop against the pro who bet to the river with AK.  Seat 8 had Q4 and hit two pair on the river.  I think that about sums up seat 8.

That is pregame.  Now I will summarize the action during the 4 rounds that I played.

Please click to read Tom’s full report:  Tom E’s 2011 WSOP Report

July 14, 2011

Season VI Wrap-up:  Now that our players have bowed out of the Main Event that officially closes the books on Season VII of The Syndicate. We had a good run this year, sending nine players to the WSOP, including two to the Main Event. Congratulations again to all our WSOP pplayers: our champion, Tom E; runner-up: Linn; 3rd place: Mark; 4th place: Paul; and our playoff winners: Gail, Jonkey, Tom C, Kevin and Mike.  Though we didn’t cash this year we did have two players go real deep: Paul in his $1,500 event and Linn in the Main Event.

Linn Goes Deep:  In fact, Linn had our best finish ever in the Main Event. When he got knocked out near the end of day two there were about 1,900 players left and that means that Linn bested 70% if the field!  At the end of day one Linn bagged up 87,050 chips and was in the top 7% of the tourney.  After that Linn hung in there against a very tough field and at around midnight on day two he finally got it all in.  With about 53k left in his stack in the middle of round ten (600/1200/200) Linn picked up pocket 6’s in middle position.  The UTG raised to 3,200 and Linn three-bet to 7,500.  UTG calls.  The flop came down 678 all clubs.   UTG led out on the flop and Linn shoved his 50k stack into the middle.  UTG calls with AcKx and of course a club lands on the river. Maybe the UTG felt his overs were live and that’s why he called but Linn made a strong move as a 70/30 favorite in the hand. But, as they say, “that’s poker”.



Season VI – Playoff Event:  Gail won the playoff event and a $1,500 WSOP prize package with her first ever Syndicate victory. Gail survived a scare at 7-handed when she lead out into a board of QTx and Farid, sensing weakness, put Gail all in. Gail snap-called and Farid said a version of “oops”.  Gail showed QT for top two and Farid had only a gut-shot and needed a 9 to win the hand. Of course a 9 came on the turn   …..   followed by a 10 on the river to fill Gail up! Not too long after that Gail and Farid got involved in another hand – this time Farid had the advantage with AA to Gail’s KK. The flop didn’t change anything but when a king hit on the turn Gail chipped up again and Farid’s season was over in dramatic style.

Jonkey took 2nd  place (and the second $1500 prize package) for his first Syndicate WSOP prize in 6 campaigns.  After losing about 1/3 of his stack early he chipped up with a several big hands, including quads, a flush, a set and trips.  With a comfortable chip lead he was able to coast the rest of the way into the top 5.

Tom Czzz made it a family affair as he took 3rd place and a $1000 WSOP package and Kevin and Mike P. got 4th and 5th respectively to round out our Las Vegas crew.

The Final Table:
1.   Gail
2.   Jonkey
3.   Tom Czzz
4.   Kevin
5.   Mike P.
6.   Gary
7.   Farid
8.   Yoshi
9.   Tim
10. Felix

The Leaderboard: It’s over!  Season VI of the Syndicate is in the books.  Now we just have to wait to see how much loot our players bring home from Vegas.  Congratulations again to our 2011 San Diego Syndicate winners: Tom E., Linn, Mark, Paul, Gail, Jonkey, Tom Czzz, Kevin and Mike.  We are sending 9 players for total buy-ins of $29,000 and $3,350 in expenses.  Could this be THE year?!

 Season XI Winners Announced:  Congratulations to our Main Event Winners: Tom E. and Linn.  Both had great seasons though they arrived in different ways.  Tom only had 8 scores but he made them count with 3 wins, a 2nd and a 4th while Linn had 12 scores with one win and five top 5 finishes overall.  Both players avoided the leader’s jinx of previous seasons in which no player with a lead going into the final event came away with a top prize before.

Right behind them in 3rd and 4th place respectively were Mark A. and Paul H.  Both were in the race till the very end but came up just short.  They are going to Vegas too as each earned a $1,500 WSOP prize package.  We’ll send a message soon on how you can follow all our winners as they represent the Syndicate and try to send us back some dough!!

More on Season XI:  The Syndicate had a record breaking season in every respect.  We had  80 different players (previous record was 51) who combined for 646 entries (previous 414).  This generated a WSOP Prize Package fund of $32,400 (previous $23,050) with the same amount paid out at our tournaments.  This extra savings allowed us to award TWO Main Events for the first time as well as the two guaranteed $1500 seats plus five playoff seats.  That’s 9 players going to Vegas!

Gratitude:  The Syndicate would like to thank Gail & Tom for graciously allowing us to transform their garage into a pretty sweet poker room.  Thanks also to Chef Patsy for cooking for us – every tourney there was a mad dash to be in the front of the line for her tasty cuisine!  I would also like to personally thank Chad for helping me take care of the check-ins all season (again!) and to all the players who helped setup, cleanup and get water & ice.  More thanks are due to Steve, our web-master (and Sierra Nevada connoisseur) for maintaining our super-fancy website.

Finally, the Syndicate would like to thank all the players that came out and made this our best season ever.  There is no doubt we’ll be back next year and there is no doubt that The Syndicate really is San Diego’s Finest Poker!


Season VI – Event 20:  There was a lot of energy this evening as  the top 7 players all had a chance at a Main Event seat and everyone in the top 10 had a chance at guaranteed seat.  In the end all the contenders fell without changing position, leaving the final 6 players to compete for that night’s prize pool.  Chris G. came out of retirement to take a solid 5th place followed by Gail in 4th and Jonkey, who lost with AA to Keith’s 55 (grrrrrr), got 3rd place.  That left Keith M. and Felix to duke it out at 1:40AM and 28 minutes later it was all over with Felix taking it down to end the season strong with his 2nd tournament in a row.

The Final Table:
1.   Felix

  1.  Keith M.
  2. Jonkey
  3. Gail
  4. Chris G.
  5. Greg I.
  6. Kevin
  7. Sandy
  8. Steve H.
  9. Paul P.

 The Leaderboard: It’s over!  There was no change this week.  Tom E. and Linn held on to earn $10,000 Main Event entries and Mark and Paul kept their spots to get their $1,500 WSOP entries.  More on our winners coming right up….


Season VI – Event 19:  It was an ominous site as one by one the series leaders shipped their final chips in and lost.  At the end of the evening it was only Tom E., who had grinded his stack most of the night, left to help change his own fate.  Before we get into that we did have a tournament tonight.  It was won by Chef-Felix over Chef-Patsy.  Patsy had Felix well down in chips until they got it all in when Patsy hit top pair (with a Q) only to run into Felix’s flopped 2 pair.   They traded stacks and now Felix held a huge chip advantage.  They took turns betting and folding for awhile until Patsy made her final stand with K9 only to have Felix wake up with AA.


The Final Table:
1.   Felix

  1.  Patsy
  2. Chad
  3. Tom E.
  4. Jonkey
  5. Kevin S.

 The Leaderboard: The top of the leaderboard got real interesting tonight as Linn, Mark, Paul and Clint all busted out with effectively no points.  Tom E., on the other hand, played survival poker and kept finding a way to stay in the tourney.  His effort was good enough for 4th place and 40 points.  That puts Tom in first place for the season with one event to go!  Right behind him sit Linn, Mark and Paul so there should be quite a battle for these two Main Event seats.  Everyone in the top 6 has a chance to win one of the two main prizes.  Meanwhile everyone in the top 11 places has a chance to get into at least the guaranteed seats awarded to 3rd and 4th.

At the other end of the leaderboard there are SEVEN players “below the line” who can still make it into the playoffs with a top finish in the last event.


Season VI – Event 18:   We had a strong turnout for event 18 last night with 29 players.  With a final table that included 3 of the top 5 players there was a lot of action and pressure.  A common exchange seemed to go something like this:  “I’m all in“; followed by “I call“; followed by “oh f@#K!” – as time after time a short to medium stack player would make his final stand and run into AA or KK.  At the end of all this action the last player standing was a first time Syndicate winner, Yoshi, who moved from 23rd place to well into the playoff picture with his victory.  Linn held on to earn his 723rd 2nd place finish and Mark (who brilliantly called Larry’s all-in raise with 44 to Larry’s KK only to hit his set on the river) took 3rd place.

 The Final Table:
1.   Yoshi
2.   Linn
3.   Muck
4.   Wayne
5.   Tim
6.   Larry
7.   Mike
8.   Don
9.   Brady
10. Eddie

The Leaderboard: It’s crunch time now at the top of the leaderboard.  Linn and Mark moved into the 1st and 2nd spots respectively while Tom E. and Paul dropped down to 3rd and 4th.  Clint is still our bubble boy and there was little movement in the rest of the top 10.  With TWO main event seats up for grabs and two tournaments left in the season this is going to be an exciting finish!


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