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 4x4x. 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. QT won the hand with a flush on the turn. I re-bought.

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

Played AxQx 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 JT and knocked out a player with AxKx. 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 K4 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 Jx9x and the flop was KxTxTx. All I needed was a Qx but I got better. Thankfully, I stuck to the hand, because both the turn and river were 9x9x. 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 AxJx to 625 but whiffed the 9xTx3x 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 Tx2x “Brunson” hand. I made top pair on the flop 7T9 but J on the turn killed the action for me.

Another 5x5x 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 Ax4x on a board of Qx2x3x6x2x, but the 35 of J—one of the dealers at PPC—made his pair. My own spades shortly thereafter (48) 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 A9, then I just about doubled by knocking out a player. I held K2 and made bottom pair on the flop. He shoved post-flop with AT. 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 JxTx call.

Didn’t even get to count my chips before a hand came up with JxJx. I shoved all-in from late position, the guy on my left called immediately and flipped over KxKx. 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 6x2x. Half-an-hour later another 11,000 had been whittled off.

I went out in style with JT I pushed pre-flop and got called by QJ.

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