The Waiting Game

Portland Players Club Road to Pendleton $1,500 Guarantee (7,000 chips)

Both my regular Monday night games were off this week, so I took the hint from the SMS messages I kept getting and headed over to PPC for an 11am game. I’d started my tally of live games with a couple of wins in early May at PPC, but their summer schedule wasn’t in sync with my habits and I hadn’t been in for a bit. Somehow, I managed to hit the final table with a big chip lead, and while I was probably 2:1 over the guy who made it to heads-up with me I suggested an even chop since the amount of money was only $200 total. After a re-buy, add-on, and tip, that left me more than enough to enter the evening’s guarantee tournament. On top of the prize money, PPC was adding a $200 buy-in to the Wildhorse Fall Poker Round-Up for the first-place winner and a $100

I picked up a 1,000 early-registration bonus chip then played absolutely no hands through level 1. On my first turn as BB in level 2, I was dealt [4x 4x]. A raise was made to 475 pre-flop with several callers and a [4x] hit on the flop. I checked and by the time action got around to me again there were two all-ins, I called, and both of them were on draws. [qh th] won the hand with a flush on the turn. I re-bought.

Small blind with my new stack and I had [kx kx], a considerably better pair. I bet it on the flop heads-up and took a small pot.

Played [ax qx] and cautiously walked to the river against another hand who showed just [kx]-high when we got there. At the end of the second level, I was holding 9,450 chips. Above the starting stack but not the sum total of chips I’d received during the tournament by a piece.

Controversy ensued when I called an all-in with [jh th] and knocked out a player with [ax kx]. I gave my opinion on the relative strengths of JTs, but there was a some snorting and hooting.

My luck with flushes proved itself again when I dropped 4,000 chips on [kc 4c] with two more clubs on the flop and I didn’t get there. My stack was up to 10,925 at the 55-minute mark.

The last hand before the second break, I had [jx 9x] and the flop was [kx tx tx]. All I needed was a [qx] but I got better. Thankfully, I stuck to the hand, because both the turn and river were [9x 9x]. I called a big raise and the guy asked me if I’d had the [tx]. I said: “No, but I have the [9x].” That didn’t set well. The win and a 5,000 chip add-on gave me 22.600 with 47 of the 49 original players left.

Raised with [ax jx] to 625 but whiffed the [9x tx 3x] flop. I bet another 1,600 but two callers followed me down and with a [3x] on the turn I check-folded to a bet. Then I blew more than 3,000 chips trying to play the [tx 2x] “Brunson” hand. I made top pair on the flop [7s ts 9c] but [jc] on the turn killed the action for me.

Another [5x 5x] from CO took the blinds and the single caller ahead of me. I was at 18,100 with twenty minutes left in the second hour.

I nearly made the wheel with [ax 4x] on a board of [qx 2x 3x 6x 2x], but the [3s 5s] of J—one of the dealers at PPC—made his pair. My own spades shortly thereafter ([4s 8s]) had to fold to a re-raise of 1,600 from 400. I pushed 5,000 after a raise to 1,000 with blinds at 200/400; I did not record the hand I did not play. Even that got me only to 16,100 at the two-hour mark.

Took the blinds again with a 2,300 raise and [ad 9d], then I just about doubled by knocking out a player. I held [kh 2h] and made bottom pair on the flop. He shoved post-flop with [ah th]. I took a little time to call and he never made a pair. It was kind of fun, because he’d been one of the whiniest about my [jx tx] call.

Didn’t even get to count my chips before a hand came up with [jx jx]. I shoved all-in from late position, the guy on my left called immediately and flipped over [kx kx]. What else was he going to do? That cost me 5,475, and even with the knockout, I’d only made it to 17,775 by 2:15 into the tournament.

There were 34 players left when the second break started.

Missed a Broadway draw for 4,500 and 5,000 on a miserable misguided attempt to do something with [6x 2x]. Half-an-hour later another 11,000 had been whittled off.

I went out in style with [jc tc] I pushed pre-flop and got called by [qs js].

Three hours. -100% ROI. Placed 30th of 49.