(I also stopped in at Lucky Dog Casino on the way, "the
coziest crappiest only casino on the canal". It's no longer a slot palace -- they've got BJ, pai gow, and 3-card poker, too. Whoopty-dippity-doo. Why bother?)
At Little Creek, in the 37-player tournament, I ended in 7th place, top 4 positions pay. With 9 people left at the final table and my stack with only 2 big blinds left, pocket deuces in my hand, I raise all in UTG. The cutoff calls with 99, and the big blind (shorter stacked than me) calls with big slick. The board is 3T9/5/T; cutoff knocks us both out. Still, to get that close to the money tells me that I played well, but maybe need to do a little more blind stealing. I also don't recall getting any pocket pairs or AK.
So, I hit the midnight tournament at Happy Days (losing my match plays, again; I split aces and dealer drew to 21), play mostly tight,* steal several blinds, and at the final table, UTG+1, with 9 players left, I've got $12K, with blinds at $4K/$8K. I've got Q9s. The small blind has a huge stack. UTG folds, I push all in, and it's folded to the small blind. He thinks a long, long time, then folds, as does the big blind. I've got $24K.
About ten minutes later, six players remaining, blinds at $5K/$10K and with somewhere around $25K in my stack, I'm in the big blind, and only the timid small blind is in. She's been raising with good looking hands (like KT or A3s) but folding to any pressure if her hands don't hit the flop. Her stack is just a little smaller than mine. It's my option on the big blind; I look down and see 74o. Power hand, I tell you. It's late in the game, and seeing a chance to steal her blind, I push all in. She doesn't hesitate to call; I tell her "good call" and show my hand, preparing to leave the table with the $25 consolation prize.
She shows 62o, the board comes K5Q/8/9, and my seven high takes down a monster pot. I'm in shock, and a few other people at the table weren't quite so nice to her, asking how she could call with that.
In the end, I'm in the final three, and rebuff an offer to chop the pool three ways (which would have given me $275). In retrospect, I should have considered it more, maybe making a counter-offer that still gives first place good money, but flattened out the differences a bit (instead of $415/$255/$115, maybe $225/$275/$325). After a few rounds of stealing each others blinds, I finally went all in with a suited face card, out in third place, losing to AK.
My "the cat's away" weekend is over. Five tournaments (2 wins, +$258), one cash game ($+120), three roulette wheels (-$115), six BJ match play losses (-$70), and in the end, I'm up $90 (don't do the math, it's not adding up right for me either, but +$90 is what's in my segregated "gaming money stash" as of this morning).
* Except for the very first hand of the tournament, I'm dealt JJ, raise big preflop, get one caller, and the flop comes 4T6. He checks, I push all in, he looks frustrated, and mucks his cards. I played against him in the tournament on Thursday, and was pretty sure that he'd fold to pressure. The girl to my right knew it, too, pushing him off a pot a few hands later with K3o when a K hit the flop (no, I didn't tell her to cover her hand better).