Based on a tip from vudiddy
's poker mailing list, I decided to do a bit of information gathering on the Texas Hold'em tournaments being held nightly at the various Jock's and Jill's locations around Atlanta. Their Midtown location holds their tournament on Tuesday nights, so yesterday, I woke up at 7:20 AM to get to work early, so I could cut out to get in an early registration. Rules and Administrivia
: Registration at the Midtown location starts at 6:30 PM, with the tournament officially starting at 7:30. Since promoting gambling is ostensibly illegal in Georgia, the prizes for the tournament are house cash--gift certificates, essentially, good in exchange for food, drink, and whatever else Jock's and Jill's sells. The winner of each tournament over a period of nine weeks (I think we were on the third or fourth week) gets an entry to a winner's tournament, the grand prize of which is a trip to Biloxi or Tunica.
There are a few gotcha's, though--to win any prize, you need to purchase at least 15 dollars of stuff (drinks, generally, because I didn't really see any space for someone to chomp down on a burger at the tournament tables) during your gameplay (from what I gathered from other players, anything you buy before the tournament is not counted). On top of that, an hour into the tournament, their 'rebuy' system rewards players who buy more than 20 dollars of drinks with that amount x100 in chips. So if I had about 30 dollars of drinks, I would get T$3000 if I were still playing in the tourney.
The players rotate the deal themselves, and are not allowed to play in hands that they themselves deal (although I did hear tables discuss abolishing this rule). Ours kept the rule in place, I think, because one of the other players had seen the way I like to do fancy cuts of the deck, and perhaps suspected me a mechanic.
As for the actual gameplay, it was a mix between some fairly good players and some fish. Our first hand saw an all-in bet when the board showed 98732 rainbowed, and a 65o went up against a T6. I lasted a fair amount of time at the table, playing pretty tightly, knocking two short-stacked players out.
My penultimate hand, however, I caught a pair of ladies UTG, and bumped the bet to triple the big blind (600). The fellow to my left calls, and everyone else folds except the BB, who raises to 2000. I watch him for a bit, and he's not giving anything away, not really meeting my eye, and I can tell he's got a big hand. Instinct tells me to fold, but since this is pretty much a free tournament, I decide to call. Guy to my left calls too.
Flop comes 484 rainbow, and BB moves all-in. I call with a shorter stack, and the guy to my left calls. Since he's got the smallest stack, I actually get to keep 700, because apparently, there's no side pots (I think the rule sheet actually said "No side bets," which is an entirely different thing, in my estimation). BB shows his pocket cowboys, I show my pocket queens, and the other player shows suited Motown (WTF??!?!). Turn and river are rag-rag, and the big blind takes the pot.
Next hand, I'm in BB, and I catch ATo. Everyone folds to the SB who raises me all in. This time, he's got the queens. Flop is J8-rag, and I'm calling for a runner-runner straight. the 9 comes on the turn, but the river is no help, and I walk. While part of me regrets not coming off of the queens, I don't feel too bad about busting out--I played most everything pretty well.
From there, I went to the Independent, told O about the tournament setup, suggesting that we should do something like that up there. Unfortunately, he says, as a "pool hall," the Independent is pretty much precluded from doing anything of the sort--technically it's illegal for the bar to have even a deck of cards in the house, or a set of dominoes. How's that for the Puritanically stupid?