A few years back, Habitat asked me to have a special tourney that fall. I am not sure the need or the reason, but we decided to take a spin off of the large poker tourney on TV and created our own World Series of Poker. This would be a two night event. The first night to allow last minute players who did not know of our weekly tourney or who had not had much of a chance to play to qualify with all of the previous winners of the weekly event for the main event on the second day.
The event was a success so we decided to have it at the same time every year and began setting up rules for entry into the main event. There became four ways to qualify: 1. To win one of the previous weekly events. 2. Every weekly event would give points to the people who made the final table and the top ten point people at the end of the year would qualify. 3. If a person played most every week, we qualified him just because of his donations to the cause. 4. The last minute qualifiers.
This years event qualified 40 players and we were able to secure some very nice prizes from not only local businesses but from ones that we have begun a relationship with over at the coast. Local businesses such as the Chevron station in front of us, Lava Lanes, Edge barbershop, Missing Link golf, Transfix Transmission service, JC Pennys, and my buddy Frank's Printer Resources who designed the winning hat and brought along the booby prizes for the first out.
We randomly set up the tables by taking the list of people and simply numbering them. After getting them situated, I said a quick word of thank you, explaining how things had all started and then introduced the director of Habitat who also thanked all for their support. With my buddy, Richard who watches the chips and was also one of the original creators starting the clock. The director gave the command "Shuffle up and Deal".
I started off winning the first hand but began to watch the players around me especially the ones that I have not played much with to see if I could read them very good. I have learned the benefits of this skill but cannot say that I have gotten it down that great.
I slowly built up my stack of chips, going in on hands that I felt I could win and backing off on the others. By the time we had reached the final table, I had one of the healthiest stacks and felt very good about my play. We had two of the last minute players at the table and one of them, Les, was to my right. I had played Les at the previous table and had just bluffed him out of a hand not 6 hands prior. I had a weak ace and felt he had an ace also but did not want him to beat me with a higher kicker so I went all in or bet all of my chips. Since I had much more chips than he did, he folded but was not happy when he saw my hand.
At the final table, Les became hot. His original hands were not that good but on his first two hands, he drew the winning hand on the last card or the river. His luck had taken out two players and given him the chip lead in just two hands. On the third hand, I was dealt a king and jack. I bet it hard and two others followed, one going all in. I felt he probably had a pair and figured him on eights or nines. When the flop came it was ace, queen, and ten. I had just flopped a straight. I was actually hoping he would follow me and he probably did for two reasons. He had a pair of tens. That gave him three tens and he probably was remembering what had happened a few hands back. I smiled when I turned over my hand showing the straight and sat back, figuring tonight was going to be my night. After all, the chances of him winning three hands on the river were pretty slim. But an ace came up on the river giving him a full house and deflating my arrogant bubble. I stepped away from the table at 5th place. Les ended up taking out Frank in third place with a very similar river hand. His luck came at the right time and he was soon the winner of this years event.
We lined up all of the final table winners for a picture before breaking things down and resetting the tables for the meetings in the morning before closing down the room after the diner was already closed.
The two night event was once again a success bringing in $460 and raising our total to over $23,000 raised since we first started. Next Monday, we start all over again with our weekly tourneys.
So, now I start looking forward to our next big event. The largest one of the year, Thanksgiving. I already have seniors asking when the reservations will begin so I am pretty excited. My list of volunteers is long but I do need a couple of singers to secure all of the hours entertainment. While I don't see how we can physically serve any more seniors than we did last year, I am sure that will only increase the number of deliveries.