2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Three Bounty Problem

Event #17 $40,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em Big Bounty

I intended to play this cautiously. Not going recklessly after bounties; from experience I know there are a lot of them to gather up toward the end.

Things kicked off pretty fast. The table next to us had two all-in hands right away; Jerry Mouwad knocked a player out on our table, all in the first 15 minutes. There was another elimination from the table by the end of the second level.

Got a couple snorts of derision from the other players when I open-folded aces from the small blind on a paired board with three spades by the turn, when the big blind player in the hand bet out 11bb. Establishing the image of the tight old player with a They Might Be Giants sweatshirt. “Why is the snowman burning money?” asked one of the dealers.

My stack was up to only about 35K from the 27K starting stack by the end of the third level, then 40K at the end of Level 6 when registration ended. I kept plugging away through the next two hours to the next break, taking three hands out of four at one point, but still no bounties.

My big break came about six hours in when I raised, from UTG, got two calls, then 3-bet by a played in late position for about half my stack. I had suited ace-king and put all 58K in the middle. He called with queens. King and ten on the flop, but he picked up a set of queens. Then a river jack gave me Broadway. “Did you think I wasn’t going to call?” he asked after the hand was over, which seemed a little odd. Still didn’t get a bounty chip (aside from my own) until half an hour later after a table change.

I’d had pretty good luck with making sets of tens, so when I got them in the small blind at the end of the sixth hour, I was hopeful. An early position player raised and was shoved on by a shortish stack in middle position for 15bb. I called the all-in, then the opening player shoved as well, for another 15bb. At the time I was still over 80b, and called. The EP player had AK, the MP player had AT, and the board ran out to give them a wheel straight.

Another table change and we were down to 78 players. There were a couple of very short stacks and I managed to pick up two bounties before dinner break, making it up to 175K (44bb) for my high point before losing about 12bb after laying down a couple hands (including kings) after the flop.

We went to dinner break with 54 players left, two tables to the money. 33bb for me. I cashed out the three bounties I’d picked up, then zipped up to the 60s Cafe & Diner at the top of the hill to grab a burger and a boozy shake. I sort of had to wolf things down to get back in time, but perhaps I should have eaten more leisurely and not worried about getting back for the first — or more importantly, the second — hand. I had 25bb on the button and picked up ace-king of diamonds. One of the big stacks on the table opened for just over 2bb, and another player called. I ripped in my stack, which I probably didn’t need to do, though I think it was the right move, just at the wrong time, because after some thought, the original raiser called with kings, which held, and I was out.

Here are some final table payouts for the series as of mid-day Friday. Friday night’s Main Event Mega-Satellite paid out 30 vouchers, double the guarantee.