As I predicted in my last post, I dropped in at the Riverwind Casino in Norman, OK, this past weekend to play some poker. In fact, my son Ben and I played in their Saturday morning bounty tournament, where the buy-in was $50 + $10, + $25 towards the bounty. I had never played in this tourney before so I didn't know what to expect in terms of number of players, structure, skill levels of my opponents, or much of anything else. Actually, I hadn't played in more than a handful of live, cash buy-in tournaments up to that one; the great majority of my playing is online. But this one went fairly well for me.
There were 71 entrants; 8 places paid. Everyone started with $2000 in chips, and blinds started at $25/$25, with levels lasting 20 minutes. I played my usual tight game at the beginning, and most of the other players did the same. In fact, there was plenty of limping and a lot of multi-way pots. I didn't get much going early on, but I took a few pots to keep from being blinded off too fast. My stack started shrinking, though, and it took a couple of decent-sized pots to stay afloat. I won a bounty when I called a shortie's all-in with A-J and caught a Jack to beat his 99. After that, I stole a few times and won a few others, holding my head above water but never threatening to take the chip lead.
I wish I remembered more details about specific hands, but there weren't many that stuck in my mind. I do feel like I didn't make any bone-headed mistakes or decisions that stand out in my memory. Suffice it to say, I made the final table and finished 7th, for my first live cash tournament payout. I won a second bounty along the way, so my total cash-out was $210.00. Less my $85 buy-in, I gained $125.00 net, which will cover my buy-in to the blogger tournament at the Winter Classic in December. I know that this is no big deal to almost anyone who might read this, but I feel good about the fact that I finally made the money in a "real" tournament, as I always thought I could. Hopefully this will be the first of many live cashes as time goes on. Finishing well in the aforementioned blogger tourney in December is definitely a goal this year.
Oh - my son busted early on. It was his first live tournament and he was a bit intimidated. I told him not to worry about it and that more experience will make him feel more comfortable.
I think I will leave it at that for now. I may have to try the same tournament when I am in Norman again to visit Ben later in the school year. With a little luck, I will do as well as this time, if not better.