The Sunday tournaments at the Texas Card House continue to be the most profitable and fun poker experiences for me these days. With the smaller buyin events it is hard to beat the rake (in the form of time charges and membership fees) as the prizes are smaller and the structures are fast enough that skill plays a small part in the results. Still I play a fair number of the smaller events too. I just pick my spots carefully and concentrate on mixed game and bounty events where I have more fun.
Yesterday it was a $250 PLO tournament at TCH. I don’t think they have run PLO very often and so I really needed to show up and play to demonstrate my support for this game. They finally got the game started with 8 players (2 tables of 4 players) and eventually there were 32 entries. Unfortunately 2 of those entries were mine as I lost two flips in medium pots and then went into short stack mode. It took all the way until level 7 to find a spot to push but when I finally did with KKQJ I got stoned by an ace on the flop.
After reentering with a fresh stack of 15K and 30 minutes before the reentry period was over, things did not improve. With 20 minutes left in round 8 I found out that there was a 10K add-on for $50. Having only about 10K at this point I realized that my best option was to fold everything and do the add-on. So I only played one hand (from the big blind) and won a small pot. Otherwise everything got folded preflop. I did the add-on to give me 19.5K which was well below the average stack.
On a new table I dwindled to less than 10K before I finally got some things going. I won a flip to get to 20K and then in a runout style hand flopped top and bottom pair and a gutshot and somehow all the chips went in against two short stacked players. One was going for an open-ended straight and the other for a flush or a better two pair. Somehow I dodged everything and my two pair took it down. That got me to 45K. A couple of hands later I was all-in again in a massive pot. This time all I had was the nut flush draw I hit it on the turn and the board did not pair on the river and so just like that I was above 110K and near the chip lead.
I was still near the chip lead as we reached the final table of 9 players. Four would get paid (although at 5 handed we did a deal to get 5th place a little money too.) The gal to my left went from short stack to chip leader knocking out 4 players along the way. I finally got a chance to see a flop with a runout and got a favorable flop giving me a miniwrap. She bet 1/2 pot on the flop and turn and I paid her to try and catch up, but did not succeed. That was my last real chance to try and make a run to win the event.
Instead all four players were relatively short stacked against the massive chip leader and it became a game of patience for me. Usually hand values get wider as the number of players goes down but I went the other way and tightened up to an almost embarrassing degree. Fortunately one of the short stacks went down when his flopped set of kings lost to the chip leaders turned set of aces. That meant I was going to get at least $900 and make a profit for the night. It looked like I would have to settle for that but then another short stack went all in on the turn when he hit a straight. The chip leader called with a variety of draws and hit a higher straight. At that point my remaining 2BB was good enough for a seat at the three handed table. Two hands later I was all-in blind and lost when my 2 pair was lower than the other short stacks’ two pair. Still $1,200 was a decent prize to take home although, at the end of the day, I really didn’t feel like I played much poker at all despite my 7 hours at the table. Still I will happily settle for a second cash in two days.
This evening there is a Big O tournament in Round Rock and this may well be my final poker action before I head out to Vegas in mid-June. I am looking forward to this as this will be my first Big O of 2018 and my first Big O tournament outside of Las Vegas.