Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Fish Roar Back on Donkey Island

And the hits just keep on coming in Survivor Poker. Not to be outdone by what we've seen already happen in just a few short weeks on Donkey Island, Wednesday night's Dank tournament brought a couple of new shocking surprises. For starters, Team Fish outlasted Team Donkey for only the first time since I won the opening tournament of the series, meaning that the Fish won a key battle to allow themselves to retain their four remaining team members, and instead force the Donkeys to show us all a little more about who is in charge of their own alliance as they would have to vote a player off of their team here in the last tournament before the two teams merge and it becomes every person for themselves.

But the bigger shock to me had to be who the Donkeys voted out, although I guess at some point I have to stop acting all shocked when this happens and just accept that this is the way the game is going. Jordan has been eliminated in what I can only describe as a major upset, and I will be honest in admitting that I lost a little bit of coin on two prop bets each of which involved Jordan being alive in the competition at least for another couple of weeks.

One trend I just don't think can be denied at this point is that the vote-off selections have little to nothing to do with poker prowess. Or, should I say, the teams do not seem to be keeping around the people who are perceived to be the best blogger tournament players. The Fish got rid of Al and myself pretty quick on our half of the bracket, and in two chances the Donkeys now voted off Numb and Jordan, surely two of their strongest competitors from a poker perspective. And frankly, I can see the refreshingness to these decisions. I mean, this is not the way that I would be handling the eliminations personally, but it's nice for a change that a bunch of bloggers have gotten together for a tournament series, and yet the ultimate winner of the series is not the person who plays the best in the tournaments. That's not something we've ever done before as a group, and I think what we're finding is that the participants are revelling in that, in their chance to make a run at a trophy without the pressure of needing to necessarily play the best or last the longest or win the most tournaments, what have you. On Donkey Island, the tournaments all matter, and who gets voted off can and has been greatly influenced by what happens in our tournaments, but at the end of the day the guys who in my view seem like the most skilled blonkament players seem to have very short half-lives. It's an interesting twist on the usual blogger tournament series, and one that I am enjoying. From the rail. Thanks to my own former teammates.

Seriously though, both Josie and Iaatg played excellent games at the Dank on Wednesday, both of them cashing along with myself and Joanada, and ultimately the two of them went head to head for a few hands before iaatg nabbed the title. Jordan managed to last the longest of the Donkeys (again), but eventually after amassing a number of big stacks he finally succumbed to the pressure of the blinds after seeing himself slip to the bottom of the leaderboard with 5 or 6 runners remaining. But iiatg and Josie really played smart, never once getting out of line as the pressure mounted and the number of Donkeys remaining shrank and shrank, and they fully earned the right not to have to vote someone out on Wednesday before the merger of the two teams. It was a well-fought win and well-deserved by my former teammates to preserve I think any real chance they have of survival once the merger occurs heading into the next tournament. Now down just 6-4 of the ten remaining players, the Fish gave themselves a fighting chance at near-even teams and alliances by ensuring they would not need to eliminate another team member.

Oh, and my individual immunity bounty? No dice. Several people tried, and I eliminated two Team Donkey members along the way, but nobody could take me out until the last of the losing team members in Jordan was finally eliminated. Eventually I pushed AJ into iiatg's AK when down to 4-handed and iiatg took me out, but at that point the immunity was worthless because the Fish had already secured victory and knew they would all be immune from elimination on the night.

So, with Jordan now gone, the list of my pre-tournament favorites in Survivor Poker continues to shrink, and this is really, truly anyone's game. You've got the series creator in Julius Goat still alive, and you've got several people who've been around for ages in Katitude, Heffmike and BrainMc, in addition to a number of newer or more recent bloggers like Josie, muhctim, iiatg and others still lurking in the weeds. I will repeat what I said a couple of weeks ago -- and Jordan's elimination last night only furthers this case -- but this thing might come down to a contest to see who has done the least in their blog to annoy or irritate the other bloggers who are a part of this competition. A guy like myself, or Jordan, we've got years and years worth of many many many posts on our blogs, we tell it like it is and we speak our minds, and I can only assume that what has been seen and interpreted on Jordan's blog over time makes some contribution to his being voted off last night, whether he or even the other voters explicitly realize that or not. A number of the remaining participants in Donkey Island as the teams merge together are clearly not in that boat, as they either don't blog much, are relatively new to the scene entirely, or simply don't generally make many controversial or direct statements in their blog to get other readers' dander up. I think I'm going to wait another week or so before I post some odds on the remaining players, but we've got a number of strong poker players and solid writers whose blogs I enjoy left to compete for the last ten spots on Donkey Island.

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Blogger Josie said...

We did it! Goooo Team Fish!

10:02 PM  

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