2024 Chinook Winds PacWest Poker Classic, Don’t Dream It

Event #19 $235,000 Guaranteed NL Hold’em Main Event

This was the big one. I’d won my satellite ticket early in the week, but that was the last tournament cash I’d had, so if there was a profit to be made on the trip, this was likely my last chance.

We started off with 70K in chips, I was in seat 4, with theater impresario Jerry Mouawad on my right. I played fairly cautiously, still sitting around starting stack at the second break about four hours in.

My only substantial gain came about a little after that, when I raised with jacks, called a reraise from a short stack, flopped top set, then check-raised him enough to almost put him all in. He jammed with aces, my set held, and I was up over 100K.

We passed $300K in the prize pool before the end of registration (and dinner break). Seven hours in, I turned the nut flush against a flopped set and made it up to my peak of 160K.

That was above average at the time, but I lost chips and ground over the next couple of hours. Jerry and the player on my left both climbed into the 300-400K range while I slipped down to 100K, which was still about 35bb as we approached the 10-hour mark, then I picked up queens on the button, open-raised, and was re-raised by the big stack on my left in the big blind. Squeeze? Better hand? There are only 12 better card combos than a pair of queens. I jammed, the big stack called with kings, and that was the end of this series for me!