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Congratulations to Con Artistes, our 2021 Replay Team Champions!

July 28, 2021

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After weeks of dedication and perseverance, new victors emerged in our Replay Team Championship: SharonSmarty, JanCee, and recon0419 of Con Artistes!

These players and friends are RTC vets, but it’s their first time taking the top prize. Reaching the top was no easy feat. The Championship requires a strong performance from all team members — you can’t just rely on yourself! Players have to show up every single week and perform consistently. And while your team members can carry you during a rough week, it’s plenty of pressure to not let your companions down.

We asked team captain SharonSmarty a few questions about their experience, and she and JanCee had the following to say:

What was your favorite moment of the tournament series?

SharonSmarty: It was when we made the final six. No shame in making the final six.

JanCee: My personal favorite moment was when I had gone all in unwisely on a pair of Queens and was out way earlier than I’d meant to be. That wasn’t the “favorite” part, of course: The favorite part was when I looked to see how my teammates were doing, and there they were, performing splendidly, and I knew that their superior performances that day would probably save us from my error. That was the moment I loved my team the most!

Did you have any stressful moments? Or particularly tough competition?

SharonSmarty: Stressful part for me was watching teammates’ tables while playing, seeing stacks go up and then down, then back up again — it was like a roller coaster ride. My toughest competition was Goatsoup. Good player but my notes on him say “bully and bluffer,” so he pushed me out of my comfort zone of being a player who is not a risk taker. I called a bluff or two and it paid off, and Goat and I ended up final two. At this point I had seen where my team mates had finished, and saw where his had finished, and knew we had his team beat. Goat had the bigger stack, so of course did the old all-in every hand trick and I just called, knowing we won, and I got second. Goat finished first a couple of times in group A, so he is definitely a good player.

JanCee: The most stressful moment for me was the one I described in #1 above. I was playing carefully against several known bluffers. I made the mistake of assuming I could beat a bluff with a pair of queens, but it turned out the presumed bluffer had a pair of kings. That was stressful, brutal, devastating. I was so upset with myself my husband, watching my anguish, said, “I’m never letting you play poker again!” (hahahahaha–who does he think he is?!)

Did anything stick out that helped you get to the top? Did your team find that you had to adapt your play at all to win?

SharonSmarty: I found most players played pretty tight until break. No one wanted to be the first out and let down their team. After break was when the bigger bets started coming. I agree with Jan that patience is key in making it further in the game. Luck also helps, and we did seem to have some of that which was a bonus.

JanCee: Patience is what it takes to get to the top. There’s no room for tilt. The way the RTC scoring works, it’s crucial not to dive for the most chips, but to survive for the longest time. It’s the long game that wins. Knowing I was accountable to my teammates gave me the patience I needed to stay in. People at my table told me I should play, that I needed to take risks, but as long as I played a tight, conservative game, I was able to stay in and bring my team the highest score I was capable of.

Their third teammate, recon0149, also chimed in by saying, “I played with my two best buddies. I love our team.”

Congratulations again to these players on their well-deserved victory!

And our other finalists deserve some accolades as well: Ace Wafers, Team Copacabana, Lady and the Tramps, Surprise, and Team Pacita. Fantastic job to all of you — enjoy your prizes and fame!