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Having taken the week off, mostly for a little Mandocino get away, I found myself with Friday off with no plans. I decided to go check out the tourney action up at Jackson. I'm not a big fan of cheap rebuy tournies, but decided I'd just go up and have some fun, not really worry about how I did since it was going to be such a crap shoot.

They start registration at 8:00 with the tourney starting at 10:00. Not sure how quickly they filled, I got up there at about 8:15 and registered. I was expecting a swarm of people but found the room to be quite calm. One 3/6 game and one 1/2 game in progress. I registered, drew my seat and headed over for a bite to eat.

Aftre breakfast I sat down in the 1/2 game for about 45 minutes before the tourney started. They broke the table at about 9:55 and I found myself up $3 for the brief session. Victory! :lol:

I was seated in Seat 9 (of 11 players/table) on table 1, which wold be the final table. "We already made it to the final table!" Everyone laughed adn acknowledged and made a pack to thold this table for the entirety. The tourney is limited to 66, but we had only 55 for this event. 5 tables and we're off. $25 bought 1500T, with unlimited rebuys fo 2000T for $20 for the first 3 rounds and onw add on between round 3 and 4.

Very early on (first or second hand) I called a small raise with a KT. The flop came KQT. THis is pretty much just the type of flop that can get my hand into huge trouble. While I recognized about 30% of the field, I didn't knoe the raiser well. I played with him in the cash game prior to the tourney, but not enought to get a feel. He was in EP and opened the pot for something like 200T. There was one caller and I popped it to 600T - I had to find out where I was right now. The raiser immediately shoved and was called by the other caller. Knowing this was a rebuy tourney made me give a little less weight to both shoves, but I believed that I was behind one of them - AQ, QQ, KK, TT, KQ are all typically raiseed hands that would like that board more than I did. After a bit of thought, I tossed my 2 pair face up and folded. Teh raiser flipped up Q9 (wtf?) for a flopped straight and the caller was on a straight draw. The Q9 held up and we had our first rebuy. Dropping a third of my stack didn't give me a lot of confidence for the tourney, but I was happy with my good laydown. I was fully prepared to buy a few times, but I didn't want it to be because of a bad decision.

A few hands later the players that I didn't know stated coming into focus. there was an old curmudgeon in seat 11 who was in a wheelchair. I discovered that the tourney director gave him special assigned seating because of his wheelchair and problems seeing the board. I don't have an issue with players with disabilities playing poker or in tourneies. I do have issue with ANYONE getting special treatment - if we are drawing seats, we are ALL drawing seats. It didn't really matter to me over all, but it's just a bad decision on the tourney director's part to provide one player a special consideration. Anyway, the old curmudgeon's (OC) stripes were revealed in a hand against one of the young regulars (Ryan) who was in the 8 seat. Ryan had raised and OC said "I have to call, I have my favorite hand." Had I been involved I would of started sweating and as it was I cringed when he said it. Ryan hadn't been running good and I could just see what was gonna happen. I don't remember the exact sequences or the other hands, but OC joyfully drug a huge pot causing 2 or 3 others to rebuy with a 69s that made a flush on the river. I just shook my head.

Play was sloppy over all and people were climbing over themselves to add more moeny to the payouts. I pretty much expected to see this and just stayed out of the way unless I had something very good. I managed to never be eleigible for a rebuy, which was fine with me. After that first tough hand, I mangaed to claw my way back up with a series of decent pots. I did the add-on after round 3 and had about 7000T at the break. I was 2nd or third on our table, but as I wandered around, I some very serious stacks on a couple of other tables. A couple that were probably in the 20K neighborhood.

The blinds were going up every 15 minutes and the dealers were mostly pretty slow. The chips they use for tournies are very hard to tell apart. They are all very subtle dark colors and from across the table the chips all looked grey. Even in your stack, they were difficult to distinquish, so the dealers (even the competent ones) had to move very slow to properly ID bets. So the blinds were advancing about every 5 or 6 hands.

IN the fourth level (100/200) the players started dropping. One of the short stacks decided to make a stand and shoved his last 700 in. I look down and see pocket AA. "I'll give you some protection. Make it 1500." OC came a long for the ride. I had him covered but just barely. The flop came a pretty ugly QT8 (or something like that). I fired 3K to protect my aces. OC just about jumped out of his wheelchair with excitement. He looked back and forth at the board, his chips, his hand and my stack. Over and over. "I'm all-in." Pant, pant, drool, drool. Good God - what cheese did this guy play tha hooked with that flop. I went into the tank a bit. Feeling beat, but somewhat feeling the need to "make sure" with my Aces I was tighroping the fence. As I was, OC was yammering on about how I should save my chips, blah, blah, blah. While he was an old curmudgeoan, I had done my best to stay friendly with the old coot and I believed that he was giving me freindly advice (the our end, their end thing was coming into play) and I finally deided to toss 'em in. He flipped up J9o for the flopped straight. Another Q hit the turn to give the all-in's hand a little hope, but OC's straight held up. Good laydown, thanks for the coaching OC. I couldn't believe he could call a second raise preflop with J9o, but then again, it didn't surprise me too much - which was why I could get off my Aces.

After my aces cracked, I went into a pretty bad cold spell and my stack was slowly bleeding away. the tourney was only paying 5 places and we still had 2 or 3 tables in play. I needed to double up a cople times to have any chance. I kept waiting for a good spot to get my chips in, evey time I'd get a moderate candidate, someone in front of me would raise and get called, leding me to believe that another spot would be better. Somehow, the poker gods were rewarding me (emotionally anyway) for my decisions to get involved ot not - my hands would not have held up had I got involved in those spots. Waiting, waiting, waiting. My stack was just about to get eaten away and I started begging for something to get them in with before the blinds did me in. Beggin, begging, begging, BINGO! AK popped into my world and I was in (probably about 1200T in the 300/600 level). Got at least one caller and my AK held up. Naturally the blinds were increasing so fast that it wasn't long before I was back in the waiting/begging mode looking for another spot to get them in.

By this point, I think we were down to the last 10, the final table. All the short stacks started inqiuiring about chopping. A 10 way chop would have given us all $250. I'd have been plenty happy with that, and I was among the short stackers. the big stackers and OC wanted nothing to do with that. Fine lets play. Back in the waiting/begging mode I again, I was blessed with AK when I needed it and was called by someone with A6s. AK held up and I was now in better position to be able to play a little, but not much. I was probably 3rd or 4th of 8 players left. As each person dropped we tried for a another chop. OC was the last one to be an ass about it, but he decided that if he didn't double up by the time the blinds came up (and forced him in) he'd cave and settle for a chop. This finally happened and we were down to 6 players. OK he'd chop. Of course, as the powere shifted so did people's opinions on chopping. One young buck in the group ( a young black kid who I've played with a bunch (I now call him "Drama Queen" because he makes every laydown seem like a huge deal) was a little miffed at OC's stubborness and was threatening to not chop. He buckled (we all knew he would) but another young player had made some kind of agreement with his neigbor (who busted out 7th) not to make a deal. At this point a guaranteed $400+ each was much better than fighting to risk making zero on the bubble and only $140 in 5th, but he was true to his word. Play on.

OC was next to go so his stubbornness was rewarded with exactly nothing. We tried once more, $500 each for a 5 way split. No deall dealmaker was holding true. I was quite healthy at this point (probably 2nd stack) and I look down to find A9s. No deals guy shoves at me and it turned out we had exactly the same stack. I ponder for a minute and decided to call - worst case is I get $140 bucks and move on to the cash game, best case is I elimnate the no deals guy and have a huge chip lead. He flips up ATs and I manage to suck a 9 out of the deck and took him out. Poetic justice was served. Before I had a chance to really think, I mutter "Chop now?" The ohters were all happy and celebrating (2 of them were on the verge of blinding out on the next hand or 2) and I think I had more chips than the rest of the table. I held up my hand and said "Wait a minute. I haven't agreed to it yet. What's the 4 way chop?" The short stacks were ready to kill me. I had been lobbying quite a bit for the chop (I guess more than I was aware because I was getting a couple of STFU remarks fired at me) so when I balked a little once I had a huge chip lead, they weren't happy. In all actuality it would have served them all right if I got greedy, because each of the others in their moments of prowess had vetoed previous chop attempts. But this is a small time tourney, the money's not big enough to be an asshole about it. The floor came back with a $593 4-way chop. I should have negotiated a little money out of each of their shares, but frankly I was ready for the cash game. Another consideration is that when a prize is greater than $600, Uncle Sam gets formally involved and the Casino may actually withhold some your winnings right there and then. With first place slotted to be about $1100, I would have wlaked away with only about $750 if I did manage to hold on for the win. 2nd place was over $700 so I would have probably only put about $450 in my pocket. Not wanting to be a hipocrit and not wanting to have anything to do with tax forms, I agreed to the chop (after letting them all sweat for a little while of course.) $550 profit is fine with me for something that I had about 5% expectations of getting anything. I was freerolling for the rest of the day baby.

Had the tourney been for any serious amounts, I obviusly would have set the "nice guy/who cares" attitude aside and made a much better deal for myself. I know, that in a big dollar situation, this was huge mistake and obviously recongnized my distinct advantage - so plaease, no lectures on tourney chopping.
 
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