Thursday, August 18, 2011

Colorado Poker Championship Event #14

Event #14 was the Pot Limit Omaha 8 championship (PLO8).  Pot Limit Omaha Hi was contested last week as event #4.  PLO8 drew 90 participants willing to throw down $100+$20 to battle it out with the rest of the Blackhawk Omaha players for bragging rights.  With 15,000 in chips and the blinds starting at 25/50, it was a slow slog which saw players get knocked out slowly trying to build a chip stack.

I got lucky early and was able to double up and coast through the first four rounds until the first break.  The next four rounds were equally successful and I was catching cards and flops.  The first text home was at 10PM at the second break when there were about 50 players remaining.  With the average chip stack at 30,000 and the blinds at 1500/3000 players started dropping like flies.

By the next break, I believe I was the chip leader with 25 players remaining.  With the average stack being around 50,000 chips, I was hovering around 140,000 in chips.  Most of the hands played themselves.  I made a couple of good lay downs both pre-flop and post-flop.  However, I wasn’t doing much value betting and was tending to shove with the nut or nut draw.  I had more than my share of flop luck as well.

The next break was at 1:30 AM and we were down to 12 players.  At this point my chip stack hasn’t moved.  I am still at 140,000, but the average stack has grown to 110,000.  With the blinds at 10,000/20,000 a pot sized bet into the blinds is 70,000 putting a player’s tournament life at risk with only 9 spots getting paid.  Fewer hands saw flops and I was careful to only make a play with short stack players in the blinds.

We got to the final table around 2:00 AM and opted to pay the bubble boy $20/each and save him/her the frustration of playing poker for 7 hours and walking away empty handed.  $9,000 less $180 would be divided up by the remaining 9 players.  It soon became an even bigger crap shoot with the blinds at 15,000/30,000 and the average chip stack at 150,000.  A pot size bet into the blinds was now 75,000 and was typically performed by AA with at least one suit and a good low.

When ninth place got knocked out for a $340 payday, the table started clamoring for a chop.  With stacks between 100,000 and 230,000 it was still anybody’s game and getting $395 for eighth place was not appealing to anybody.  An even chop resulted in $1082 (about third place money) to the remaining eight players which was an easy sell.  At second chip position with 190,000 I certainly was not guaranteed third place.

The dealers were great and hopefully they got tipped out well.  PLO8 is not easy to deal.  The Golden Gates is a great card room and Colorado Poker Championship is just another indicator of that.

Overall, I had a lot of fun and was happy to report that I placed second in the tournament.  I had played with 4 of the final table players before and 5 were new faces to me.  I saw a lot of better players than me get knocked out and I have no dreams of going on the tournament circuit.  Also considering it was my first tournament since November 2008 and my first tournament cash since November 2006, I was double thrilled with the event.

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