No hitches with my flight to the fair city of Los Angeles yesterday, and after a $70 cab ride from the airport, I was standing in front of the Commerce Casino, as our rooms were booked at the Crowne Plaza at the casino. Attempted to check in but was told that my room wouldn't be ready for another hour and a half.
So I wandered around the "casino" a bit. (Sorry, I don't mean to be uppity there but I think the WSOP and Las Vegas is still too fresh in my mind, when thinking of casinos and what-not.) It was just before noon and I was looking for a place to have a burger and beer on the assumption that such a place would exist in a "casino" but alas, no luck. Then I heard an announcement that the noon $120 unlimited rebuy tournament was starting in 15 minutes, and told myself "Self, you've got a wad of money in your pocket and that'd be a good way to kill some time until your room is ready."
And it was. Right up until the point where we agreed to a chip chop with 4 players left, which paid me out $3,100 for second. Plus I didn't ever rebuy or take the add-on, so I got in for the minimum investment.
It's live tournaments like these that really make me ponder how much a non-idiot, decent player could make, playing full-time. So many rebuys, and so many bad, bad plays. The total field was only something like 56 players, with top five paying, but 1st place paid out a bit over $6K, with all the rebuy madness. And granted, you have to dodge all sorts of insane calls and "fold equity" is pretty much a complete and utter non-existent term, but still.
I did get lucky to double up twice in the first half hour, with AA vs. QQ and then flopping a straight with J10s versus KK in a six or seven way pot. That took a lot of pressure off and helped me survive the fact that after the first half hour, the biggest hand I'd see the rest of the tournament was 88/AKs.
I did start to get shortish with about 15 players left, after I called a shorty's all-in from my BB with A10s, and couldn't take down his might A2o. Crazy Asian Guy doubled me up, though, when he tried to steal with 82o and I called all-in from the button with 88, and that got me through to the final table.
With blinds of $1K-$2K and antes of 300, I was UTG with AKs and a stack of $8K. I shove and the guy to me left pretty much immediately re-shoves all-in. (Meh, not exactly what I wanted to see, but I need to double somewhere, so I don't hate the call.) Crazy Asian Guy #2 - who is the run-away chip leader at this point - debates for awhile, before simply smooth-calling the second all-in. (Really not what I wanted to see.) Then the BB - second in chips - comes along for the ride, smooth-calling as well. (Fuck me.)
So four of us see a flop of something like Jc 9c 7d. I mentally start packing my bags, but CAG #2 and the BB check it. Turn is 4d. Check check. River is 3s. Check check.
I''m still expecting to see someone roll over a small/mid pair to knock me out, but the guy to my left had K10d, CAG #2 had AQo, and the BB had A10s, so somehow or other my AK takes the main pot, shooting me up from the brink of doom to 2nd/3rd in chips. Didn't do anything crazy after that point, letting the other monkeys knock each other out until we got down to fou-handed and chopped it up.
Met all of the PokerRoom.com folks yesterday and rode over to the Bike in a huge white stretch Hummer limo they'd hired for the day, as they were sightseeing around LA for most of the day. Sensing some potential clusterfuckedness today as far as the whole media coverage thing, since no one from the WPT seems to know what the hell is going on, and I've never done a tournament at the Bike before, but I'm assuming it'll get worked out one way or another.
We all had dinner at the sushi/steak bar at the Bike, and were waiting for our food when some strung out looking older black guy guy in a Tae Kwan Do shirt/uniform of some sort came over, immediately honed in on me, and started asking "You're the guy who chopped the satellite with Mickey, right?" And I told him no, no I wasn't. He asked again and I assured him that I ain't the guy (who I'm guessing owed him money).
About twenty minutes later same exact drill, as he'd managed to completely forget that he'd already asked me before. Waiting for the taxi outside, same exact drill. I actually talked to him a bit at that point, and while he didn't remember that it was the third time we'd discussed the fact that I looked like the guy that chopped the sattelite with Mickey, he said he believed me, that he was just trying to collect $1,000 owed to him for a save that was agreed on, etc. Then he lurched off again on his quixotic quest for the guy who chopped the satellite with Mickey.
Ahh, the glamorous world of professional tournament poker.