Some of you know that I play Texas Hold 'Em league poker to pass the time at the tavern. Well I managed to enter into a monthly qualifying tournament this past weekend. The event was held at a bar with 153 entrants vying for a trip for two to Las Vegas. I signed up and played for the next six hours, at some points, struggling to stay alive in the sea of players. Throughout the tournament my chip stack fluctuated with every hour, not really stablizing until I hit an all-time low. We were down to the final 16 players with me being the short-stack (~15,000) and the chip leader having virtually 200,000 in chips. I sat out a few hands as I learned my next table and finally made my move.
I continued to go "All-In" stealing the blinds and other minimal bets. Following this, I gained a substantial amount of chips and took out nearly half of the remaining opponents. I was getting outstanding cards and playing them meticulously. I gained an advantage quickly with what seemed to be my experience over the other players. Many chose to only play "Premium Hands" and fold more often than not. To dissuade these players, I played overly aggressive and continuously jeopardized my chips with bluffs. It paid off when I personally eliminated a majority of the two final tables.
It came down to "heads-up" with me and a player coined "No Paint" Pete. ("No Paint" implies has lack of luck with his two hole cards.) Anyways, I dominated the heads-up playing only three hands (I won all) and taking him out in only minutes. I was lucky insofar that my opponent wasn't as experienced as I and he hesitated prior to every bet. I noticed his reluctance, poor betting habits, and overall fear to be heads-up. I ended up capitalizing quickly and I won the competition.
I'm now planning a trip for two to Las Vegas to see if my luck continues. I'm excited to return to the City of Sin, especially knowing that the whole trip is being paid for by six hours of cards and some luck.
I'll have updates following my trip in March.