and I am ready to come home. I don't even remember what I last posted on here between the writing I do for my own blog, Pokerati and Full Tilt Poker. Most of the substantive stuff is on the other two sites.
I'm playing in a blackjack tournament at the Golden Nugget. It's a $100 buy-in with a $50,000 prize pool -- half to first. Here's the thing. Even though I've played few casino blackjack tournaments in my life I wrote many blackjack tournament strategy columns for Wise Hand Poker in a contract the site had with Get21.com, an upstart BJ tourney site (not even sure if it's still around, to be honest, as the supposed BJ tourney fad that the UBT was supposed to ignite didn't happen). So I had to study the game. I read all of Ken Smith's columns on his website. I read Ken Einiger's book. I got pretty knowledgable about BJ tournaments, but never really put that info into practice. So today I did and got past the first round. Too bad there's still three rounds to go to win. But, hey, you never know. At least if I bust out I will have spent a total of one to two hours at the table, whereas I've spent more than a solid work week at the tournament poker tables with only red ink to show for it.
A young kid was aggressive early and moved out to a big lead, but he kept betting big and eventually came back to the field. Meanwhile, I got lucky when I put out the occasional big bet and it became a close race. Only one would advance to the next round. The key hand was when I was dealt an 8 and he got a hard 12 with the dealer showing an 8. We were close in chips and he had out a 2,000 bet (the max) and I had 800. I decided to double down to get my wager close to his and hit a face card for an 18. The kid hit and got a 4 and wisely decided to stay with his 16. To my luck the dealer turned over a 4 and hit a 5 for 17, giving me a winning hand and the kid a loser.
Headed over to the Bellagio now to play a quick couple hours of poker before packing it in. Have to play the second round of the BJ tourney at 9:45 in the morning.