So the bar league I normally play in has been drying up. The owners made a big cut back recently, deciding to no longer sponsor quarterly or year end tournaments. That pretty much put an end to my playing in that league.
I've been meaning to check out another bar, Donohue's, as I went to high school with the wife of the owner, and have always heard good things about the bar. I had recently been in there for my 25th high school reunion and really liked the place. It turns they are part of the Big O poker league, and have tournaments on Tuesday and Wednesday.
I went in on Tuesday and was pleasantly surprised at the turnout. They had what looked to be at least 4 full tables. There was a good mix of players. My first impression was that I was at a fairly soft table. I had picked up a few good pots by the first break, including dragging a big one on the river uncontested, with one of my favorite hands, 3/5 off-suit. The blinds went up seemingly quicker than I'm used to, but that may be due to having fuller tables. I had a couple of big pocket pairs in consecutive hands when I was getting low on chips. The first hand I raised with pocket jacks, when I flopped a set on a board of KJ3. I bet out, I think all-in, and took the pot. The next hand I had pocket kings and went all in pre-flop, after several people had limped in, to add about 50% to my stack.
Another important hand when I was at risk with a short stack, I had pocket 3's (I think I was UTG) and went all-in. An aggressive player to my right who had recently joined the table called, apparently due to the pot odds. He flipped over 74 of diamonds. I really had to sweat when the flop came 68T with two diamonds. The turn was another 6, and the river was the only diamond he didn't want to see, a 3, to give me full house. I manage to hold on and make the final table, picking up some double ups to stay in the game. I ended up going out in 6th on a hand with 4 of us all in.The four hands were Q8, who I'm pretty sure was all-in in the big blind, AK, to my right, me with AQo, and a pair of 8s on the button. I was down to 2 BB, with a good hand that I had to call, but hindsight says that I probably shouldn't be calling an all-in with that, as I'll likely be behind or drawing thin, with few, if any live cards, as was the case.
I still feel pretty good about my play, especially outlasting as many as I did. It's good practice for when I eventually hit the casino tournaments again. I will definitely be back next week!