Sunday, July 20, 2008

I even wore my lucky green shirt

Stahlberg flew up from Eugene, McCumber broke free for the afternoon, Michelle finished reading "Harrington," and the four of us showed up with bells on this morning to play in the big $500 buy-in no-limit hold 'em tournament at the Muck.

The "papers" have been running pretty good for all of us -- Michelle or I have cashed in the last three tournaments we've played; McCumber's a card rack; Stahlberg's a poker Zen master -- so I sorta liked our chances to pick up part of the Muckleshoot Casino's advertised $100,000 prize pool.

Mom, writing a good luck e-mail this morning, instructed me to wear my lucky green shirt from last year's World Series of Poker. So I did. (Although, come to think of it, it really wasn't all that lucky last year.)

Before the tournament started, like there wasn't already enough money on the line, the four of us agreed to a "last longer" bet. Whichever of us lasted longest in the tournament would collect five dollars apiece from the others. It's all about bragging rights, baby.

We trundled off to our various seat assignments, four of 157 contestants, all looking over our shoulder once in a while to make sure we were all still in. Before long David stopped by my table to report he was out; his two pair got whapped by three-of-a-kind. I caught no cards but survived the first few rounds and then picked up some pots by exploiting my squeaky tight image. On a break Mike and Michelle both reported they had a little less than the average chip stack, but were hanging in there too.

Three hours in, it was time for a half-hour break and the complimentary "players buffet" -- a nice smorgasbord of prime rib, fish, veggies, fruit, dessert; not bad -- and then we got back to business. After starting with $10,000 in chips, I had about $23k, Michelle and Mike both about 15.

Cards came and went. I treaded water until our table was broken up with players moved to other tables. Walking by Michelle I noticed her stack had grown impressively. I was seated at the same table as Mike and found he now had me covered as well. Before too long I pushed all-in with pocket jacks, against one player with ace-king and another with ace-queen. Pretty good spot to be in. I had a chance to triple up and be back in contention, but when a king fell on the turn I was out in 50th place.

A couple of hands later Mike busted out too, I believe in 49th. He tried to steal the blinds with ace-jack, but was called by a guy with pocket kings. Ouch.

"I stopped by and gave Michelle her five bucks," he said. So I did the same.

Mike and I dealt ourselves in to a $4/8 cash game in the main card room and crossed our fingers for Michelle. She'd need to last nearly 30 players longer than we did -- to 20th place -- to make a profit. First place paid something like $25,000.

A while later I went to check on Michelle's progress and saw her stacking chips while some guy got up from the table and walked away, obviously busted out by her winning hand. "Fucking women," he muttered graciously. I asked what happened and he complained about Michelle's play, but when I heard the hand recounted, by both of them, I thought they both deserved what they got.

An hour later I checked on her again. By now the blinds and antes were huge -- she was all-in just posting the big blind and ante -- and she missed doubling up when her heart draw fell short. Damn. Out in 27th place, seven shy of the money.

Well, it was fun. Michelle was the big "winner," I guess, since she cleared $15 in fivers from David, Mike and me, but we all had a good time.

No final table, but not a bad $550 free lunch.


mich said...

Sounds like a fun day, even if you didn't place. In my opinion it was worth it just to piss off that chauvinist (and others, I'm sure). Way to go, Michelle.

freda said...

Nice photo of Michelle, you look good.

Rita said...

Nothing like a free lunch!

Must have been exciting to hang in there that long. Especially Michelle! You all keep getting closer and closer.

Next time, maybe try a different shirt, Mark.