Big tournaments in Portland poker over the next couple of weeks, with both Aces Players Club and The Final Table celebrating anniversaries, and a general gearing-up of the community for the upcoming summer series.
Portland Players Club WSOP Seat $5,000 Guarantee (8,000 chips)
I got off to a very hot start Friday night, sitting down a couple of hands in, picking up A
Fifty minutes into the game, and I was up to 22,400, more than three times the starting stack. Then I lost 1,900 in a couple calls with 9
I made it as high as 29,400 before the first break, but I called an all-in on a flop of A
I kept up my occasional calls with low suited gaps but lost 1,500 calling pre-flop as BB with 3
About three hours in, I doubled up with a set of sixes against one of the larger stacks, putting me at 52,935, with the chip average at about 22,000.
Half-an-hour later, with blinds up at 400/800/100, the number of players had dropped to 78. The average stack was 29,333: 36BB or (since we were 10-handed) an M-ratio of just 13, already in Dan Harrington’s “yellow zone” where small suited connectors and pairs lose value. I was sitting on 63,900 ten minutes after the top of the hour, when the average was 30,506.
I raised with the heart version of the Mutant Jack and took down the blinds and antes without a fight, then finally knocked out G with Q
At the next break, four-and-a-half hours in, I had 86,600 (34,149 average) with 67 players left. Just 49 to go before the money.
I lost a big chunk of ground calling an all-in with J
Then I hit the high hand board again when K
The spade Mutant Jack (A
Just after the half-hour, I lost calling an all-in with Q
Just ten minutes later, nines almost did me in again when I had A
The next break was at the end of seven hours of play, and I had 139,000. We were down to three tables (exactly 27 players), with the average stack at 84,740 and blinds going up to 3,000/6,000/500 (14BB, M-ratio of 6; mine was a paltry ten). With those kinds of numbers, the winnowing was taking place pretty fast. The money bubble was burst in just twenty minutes.
I hadn’t found any opportunities to build up, however, and my stack had slipped to 110,500, with the chip average finally overtaking me to 127,111.
I blew 31,000 with Q
There were 13 players left. My table had six players—so the blinds were coming around rather quickly—and there were a couple of very big stacks, including the guy I’d knocked out with quad queens back on his first hand. I had 87,500.
Half-an hour later, I was still alive as the final table was made. Three of the players were original players at my starting table. I was the second-shortest stack at the table. I shoved with roughly a quarter of my stack in the pot as BB on the first hand—I didn’t record what with—and was beat.
The first-place winner was the guy I took out with quad queens on his first hand.
Eight hours and forty-five minutes. +193% ROI. 9th of 132 entries.
Aces Players Club 2nd Anniversary $20,000 Guarantee Freezeout (20,000 chips)
This was the big-money game of the weekend. Running at full capacity and with people buying in after bustouts, there was no way the prize pool for this event wasn’t going to swell far beyond the guarantee (the PPC event prize pool was twice the guarantee itself). I bought the 8,000 chip preliminary add-on, so like most players, I was starting with 28,000 chips.
I laid low for the first fifteen minutes, picking up 7
Lost some more with King Salmon (K
Called 800 from SB with K
Forty minutes in and I hadn’t won anything and was down to 23,475.
On the last hand before the first break, I called a pre-flop raise to 1,200 with Q
With the 8,000 extra add-on, I started the next session with 42,200, up a little over 6,000 from what I’d bought in for.
I stayed pretty quiet through the next half-hour; at the ninety minute mark I hadn’t won any more but I was still holding at 40,300. The final stats were in for the game: 153 entries, 148 players still in, 253 add-ons (both pre-game and at break), and a total pot of $43,250.
I knocked out a player playing with 3
Ten minutes later, I had 8
Fifteen minutes later, that had dwindled to 6,900. I went into cornered wolverine mode (again), shoving with J
Payouts went up on the board. 22 places were getting money, with the top five prizes initially set at $12,555, $8,330, $4,995, $3,330, and $2,080. Things were getting serious.
I was all-in on two consecutive hands. FIrst with K
On the first hand after the next break, I had K
I picked up a couple of hands with 9Ts and KJo, then the blinds went to 1,000/2,000/200. With only 27,800 (120 players left), I had a critical M-ratio of less than 6. That’s the “red zone.”
All-in again as UTG1 with A
Three hours into the game, the blinds jumped to 1,200/2,400/300. Another round of blinds and antes and I was down to 22,600 (M-ratio: 3.5). Just 101 players left.
Shoved again with A
I finally picked up a significant number of chips in an all-in battle against a shorter stack with K
83 players left ten minutes later.
Just short of four hours in, half the field was gone. Only 72 players remained, with blinds going up to 2,000/4,000/500.
I rode out the blinds again and was down to 36,500 (average 72,628), still securely in the red zone. At the four hour mark, I shoved over a call as UTG2 with J
I shoved as BB over the SB call as my last act at my starting table before I was moved. I got there with 57,500 chips, only 69% of the average stack, and with blinds at 3,000/6,000/500; an M-ratio of 4.2.
My first act at my new seat was on BTN and I shoved with J
Just a couple minutes later, I made an actual bet of 17,000 with A
The next break began just after I’d gone through the blinds. I had 55,500—barely more than half the average stack—and blinds were going to be starting up at 4,000/8,000/1,000, leaving me with an M-ratio of just 2.6. Again. 49 players left.
The big stack at our table was dominating from the other end. I went all-in over a raise from him with K
I raised to 20K with A
Another round of blinds took me down to 51,000.
The big stack wasn’t liking my shoves any more than the other table had. I was all-in again against his raise and he folded, saying he had K
43 players left as we approached the five-hour mark. I had 68,000 chips left and needed a double-up badly.
I was playing so tight I folded Q
My final hand was against the big stack. He finally called my all-in (this time with K
The call with the eights against the kings was significant. I never made it back up to the chip average after that point, although I managed to stay in play for another three hours plus.
Five hours and fifteen minutes. 38th of 153 players.