Leveling Out Back East

Fall 2012 Wildhorse Poker Round-Up Events #1 and #2 (10,000)
Final Table $1,000 Guarantee (8,000) 

All of the bracelets to be awarded during the Fall 2012 Wildhorse Poker Round-Up.

I headed out to Pendleton for the first two events of the Fall Poker Round-Up last weekend. Drove out first thing in the morning on Friday and after three-and-a-half hours made it to the casino with plenty of time to spare before the tournament started. That was a good thing, because I’d been bought in by the folks at Portland Players Club, but the folks at the tournament window didn’t seem to know quite what to do about pre-paid entries and folks started backing up behind me while the two ladies in the office worked through it. Just a few minutes later, the line was stretching down the hall, and by the time  Event #1 began, we were already twenty minutes past noon.

The first event didn’t go well for me. I hadn’t factored in the antes kicking in as aggressively as they did; in level three when they first appear (100/200/25), they’re only 1/8 the big blind, but by level six (200/400/75) they’ve jumped to half-again as much. I rode a short stack through the second break, then busted before dinner. My last hand, I had QJ, action folded to SB, he went all-in and I called only to be up against AxAx. I’m sure he was crestfallen not to get any action for his aces. My little stack made up for it a bit.

Saturday’s game went quite a bit better. For a while. I ramped up the aggression, and a combination of that, some good cards, and a different mix of players at the table, put me in the position of one of the big stacks for most of my time in the game. I’d doubled up by the first break; just two hours in (level 4) I had enough chips that I rode A4 down to the river with straight and flush draws to catch a trey and knock a player out. He went off and started in about how I was a “shitty” player. I mentally composed my response for the next time that happens and I’m raking in someone’s chips: “I know, I know. It’s like a fucking curse.” That put me over 31,000 chips. I was still there and table leader with just 50 big blinds when we got to level 7 (300/600/75), which gives you an idea of the kind of jeopardy a lot of the other stacks were in. Now, if I could just avoid doing anything stupid. I figured I was 30% of the way to the average stack when we got to the money. I raised to 1,600 from middle position with AQ and got a call from BB, a guy I think I had just about managed to call off his stack a little earlier with a suspiciously-large bet when I held top set on the flop. The flop fell 46T, I continued with a bet of 2,000, he re-raised 4,000, and I called. My thinking was he definitely had a club, quite possibly A. I figured that even if he had two lower clubs and a made flush, there was a possibility that my queen could be best if a higher club hit. The turn card was Q and it was my downfall. I checked, he shoved in over 16,000, and I managed to convince myself that he had AKx. I could beat that. What I couldn’t beat was A5, which is what he actually had. Stupid call that cost me 2/3 of my stack and put me down to less than 20bb. I didn’t last to dinner that game, either.

Haven’t had much time to play in town since Pendleton this week, but I did get into one game at The Final Table. Took a chance early on with a suited connector and tripled up, then was over 55,000 on the first break (average was 11,800). Didn’t bother with the add-on. I flirted briefly with 100,000, but started bleeding chips and by the time I finally made it to the 10-handed final table I was the short stack. The first round of blinds at final left me with just about 14,000 on my big blind, at 2,000/4,000/500. A limp and a raise ahead of me, and I shoved with ace-something, which got called by the raiser. I caught my card and tripled up to about 40,000, which actually put me ahead of a couple other stacks. Players started going bust right after that, and I managed to find my way to some chips, so that when we hit the money, I had nearly 100,000 and was a distant second from the big stack at the other end. The player who had doubled me up from my short stack got the bubble payout but nobody was talking about a chop because of the size of the big stack. Then I raised early (heck, everything’s early five-handed) with 57 and got called by the big stack on BTN (who was raising or calling everything, naturally). The flop was Tx9x6x, and I checked it. BB shoved. I had just the door and buy-in invested in the tournament so I was making a decent profit whatever happened. I called against top pair, hit my eight, and made it to chip leader. Then we chopped.

Back out to Pendleton in the morning for the Main Event!

Five hours. Five-way chop in 39 entries. +933% ROI.