I wasn’t sure how I was going to make my return to Portland poker after my unproductive stint in Las Vegas. I thought about the Thursday night game at the Encore Club, but skipped it, then was too busy early Saturday evening to make starting time for the weekly $10K there. By the time I was free, the first break would have already begun, and there was no way I could make it across town. So the 9pm $200 Freeroll at Portland Players Club it was.
Except that when I got there the door was locked and there was a sign saying they were closed for the evening. Yikes! I was on the loose, Encore wouldn’t have a game open for an hour, I was probably too late to make the 8pm at Aces. It just left the dreaded Final Table. So I high-tailed it out Glisan.
The Final Table $400 Guarantee NLHE (T4,000)
I got to Final Table just as Level 1 was ending and took a seat at the empty second table. I had to wait a couple of minutes for the first table to be split, and were started off five-handed.
Took the first hand I played (at 50/100), from SB with [ax tx]. There were three players to the flop, the highest card on the board by the turn was a 9, and I bet 100 to win the poison pot, so you know where this story’s going.
Fifteen minutes into my game, I got [ax jx] on BTN and open-raised to 300, getting called by SB. BB went all-in for 3,000. I had him covered by 75 and went all-in, and SB came along. They flipped over [kx qx] (SB) and [ax tx] (BB). I had the best hand, but I was statistically a hair behind the [kx qx]. The flop put out a wheel draw of [2x 3x 5x] , but the turn was a king, sending my hopes into a tailspin. The river brought relief with a [4x], though, and BB and I chopped up the pot, with me getting an extra 75 for my trouble.
Five minutes later, on BB with [ax jx] and I called 550 from UTG1 (same guy who’d been BB in the split). UTG (who’d had the money in the pot when we chopped it) came along again. The flop was [2x 3x 4x] and I mischievously shoved to open. UTG1 called with [ax qx] but the board double-paired and we split the pot again.
Ten minutes later, I wasn’t so lucky. I was all-in UTG1 with [ax jx] after losing a hand and the same player I’d been tangling with called with [kx jx] He pulled out a straight on the river and I broke the No Re-buy Rule.
I stopped keeping notes after that, wondering if I’d do any better paying more overt attention to what was going on, but it didn’t help. By the break I was down to a half starting stack again, and I lost most of my add-on in a single hand, so I was riding the short stack through to the final table (I did manage to outlast the guy I’d been tangling with).
Made a couple of crucial double-ups, but I was still under T10,000 after nearly three hours of play, with blinds at 1,500/3,000/300. I shoved UTG with [ah qh] and got a quick call from UTG1, who’d been steadily accumulating chips all evening with sometimes marginal (but lucrative) calls. Her [kx tx] did it again, making Broadway and putting me out of the first tournament I’d played in ten days.
Two hours and twenty minutes (late arrival). Eighth of 21 players.
Final Table NLHE Shootout
I’m not normally a shootout player, but I was roped into this one and since I’d been knocked out of the tournament twice by hands that I had beat by 3:1 or 2:1, I viewed it as an opportunity to use up some more of that great luck. I never managed to get ahead far in the game, but I ended up just a few dollars down, and managed to qualify for the high hand bonus for the evening when my pocket tens matched up with a rivered ten to make the best full house possible on the board. So, up a little for the evening because of a fluke.