I'm not in the "Survive Donkey Island" game, but I was going to be stuck at home for the evening anyway, needed a break from a project I'm working on, and heard via Twitter that AlCantHang had arranged for his corporate overlords to add an extra $100 to the prize pool. For a small $1 + $1 tourney, that's a nice overlay. So I played. I'm glad I did, finishing in a close 2nd place with a proportionate chop of the money.
My table started off playing very conservatively. The other tables were, apparently, going all-in every hand, because there were unlimited $1 rebuys available. I had to rebuy one time, and took the optional $1 add-on, too, which put my total investment at $4--almost surely the lowest contribution to the prize pool among those at the final table. Among 27 players, there were 27 add-ons and a rather astonishing 219 rebuys! After the rebuy period ended, I spent a long time with the largest stack at my table, but still below the tournament chip average--which is mathematically quite an uncommon situation to be in. We were all being taunted in the chat box by people at the other tables for being so nitty. Somebody commented that if one of us won, we'd have the frequent rebuyers to thank. That is true. So, thank you!
I didn't have to kick myself for doing anything too stupid this time. I did, however, have two pretty spectacular suckouts. Here I was just bullying, trying to steal the big blind from the small blind with a pre-flop shove. He had been surrenduring his blinds most of the time, rarely defending, so it wasn't a crazy, random move on my part, but I did get exceptionally lucky to pull out a runner-runner-runner-runner straight:
Later, when I was down to being one of the shortest stacks, I thought the small blind was just purely stealing my big blind, so I pushed. I was wrong, but it was a reasonable guess under the circumstances. I was mortified to get called, but again managed to pull it out of the dirt:
Other than those two spots, I don't think I ever got big money in worse than a coin flip.*
Tournaments that are mostly poker bloggers can be a lot of fun, and this was no exception. Lots of players know each other, and the fun, bragging rights, trash-talking, Monty Python jokes, and post-game blogging are as important as the money. Listening to one's own play get live drunk podcasted on Buddy Dank Radio is a kick, too. I'm pleased that with every year that passes I know more of the screen names as living, breathing people that I've met.
Next week, I'm freerolling for about 140 rebuys.
*Addendum: A Tweet from AlCantHang reminded me of another situation I didn't think of when writing the above. On the money bubble, he was short stack, on my right. He made a min-raise from the small blind. I had suited 5-6 and called. Flop contained a 4 and 7, giving me an open-ended straight draw. When he checked, I pushed as a semi-bluff. He called--having slow-played his AA. 3 hit the river, and that was that. So I was about a 2:1 dog when the money went in on that one, I guess.