I won a seat!

Lucky Chances ran their first supersatellite for the Battle of the Bay tournament. For $20+5, you got T200. You can rebuy $20/T300 whenever you're at or below T300, and then there's a double $20/T300 add-on after the first three rounds. The rounds are 20 minutes long and the blinds escalate very slowly. The game is no-limit.

I get there around 6-ish. I see Patri at the no-limit table (with at least $2000 in white chips but looking a bit short-stacked), Rich at the 6-12, and JP at the 9-18. I'm told Kevan will join us as well.

I draw table 2, seat 10. Ding! I'm on the button at the start (LC always starts with the button on seat 10 and you draw a plaque for your table and seat). JP is on table 1, Rich and Kevan on table 3. Double ding! I don't have to compete with them from the start.

Two folks immediately rebuy (one is Chris King, who is a friend of Kevan and plays at the Oaks). I increase my stack, but lose most of it back on blinds or limping and not catching the flop. In general, the table was very passive. One guy rebuys about five times.

After the third round, I'm just under T300. I take the rebuy and double add-on, so I'm just shy of T1200 at the restart. My cards start to improve. I take it in stride when I ditch an A4s in early position and watch the flop come AA4. I make a big mistake when I take a KJo into a J5x44 board and lose to presto. Rich also busts out around this time.

I'm now short-stacked and calculating how long I can last. I take a stand in a three-way pot with KJ of clubs when the flop comes with no overcards and 2 clubs. The flush comes (but with 4 clubs on board!) and the third player with red aces loses the side pot to a 65 of clubs but I take down the main pot. That pushes me up to over T1800 and I can now coast a bit and hope to make it to the final table.

Two players come from another table: a middle-aged Asian guy and a Caucasian fellow with sunglasses who's a friend of Chris. We're getting close now. The blinds are 100-200 and we have a T25 ante. The Caucasian guy loses to a major suckout and appears to be on tilt. He's on the button and everybody has passed to him. He makes it T700 to go. The small blind folds. In the big blind, I see AK of diamonds. I push all-in. He thinks, cuts off my raise from his stack, sees he'd only have about T300 left. He thinks some more, then folds. Now I'm up to about T2400.

I make the final table! I have my T2400 or so and I appear to be the third shortest stack. I'm in seat 6, JP is seat 5, Kevan is seat 1, Chris is seat 4. The button starts at seat 9, the antes are T50 and the blinds 200-400. The first 3 places get $530 seats plus $20 cash, 4th is a $120 seat, 5th is $30 cash. We had started with 24 players making 66 rebuys/add-ons for a total prize pool of $1800.

We lose the short stack in the first or second hand, then the Caucasian guy from earlier also busts out to Chris.

JP has the small blind and I have the big blind. It's passed to him and JP makes a big bet (I don't remember how much, but with only T950 in the pot it was a massive overbet and enough to set me all-in). I look and see A4o. I have time, I can pass this hand and still survive a few more orbits, but something tells me JP's stealing. I call and we show hands. JP has KTo. The flop is A4x, the turn is a 4, and I take a big chunk of JP's stack. JP loses more of it when a K7o steal on the button is called by the big blind who has A8o that spikes an ace.

On another hand, JP goes all-in preflop. Kevan limps for T200 more in the small blind. Chris raises it T700 and Kevan thinks, then calls. The flop is J-8h-7h. Kevan checks and Chris taps Kevan. Kevan thinks some more, then calls. AJo for JP, Th-8 for Kevan, Kc-Qc for Chris.

The turn is the Qh (J-8h-7h-Qh), so Chris is now in the lead with queens, but Kevan has a flush draw. The river is another Queen, and JP and Chris are both out. I'm wishing I'd made a "last longer" bet with them.

We eliminate the fifth player and he seems happy with the $30. The four of us now discuss it. Chris and one other Asian have big stacks, the Asian guy who came to my table earlier and I are about equal, but shorter than the big stacks. We equal up third and fourth for seats in the $300+30 limit tourney on Saturday the 24th, with Chris donating the $10 to square it. We're done and I've won a seat from a super!

I talked to the other Asian guy who won a $330 seat. Not only did he think it was limit at first, but this was only his second no-limit tourney! I congratulate him sincerely, take my $330 receipt and head home.