Once we got all the chips counted out for 24 people...
...we set up three tables.
I was hoping to repeat at champ.
The living room furniture was moved outside in order to accomodate all the tables. No one really seemed to care.
Let's get it started
Table 2 got set up and began to play.
Table 3 was stuck in Jeff and Eddie's bedroom. (L to R: Zach, Jordie, Brett, Daitch, someone I don't know)
Mike and Wang at Table 1
Dave (left) would be the first one out, while Mike and Karl would each make a run at the final table.
Over at table 1, I got dealt pocket 4s, which was great when a four came on the flop.
Mike decided he'd raise my bet.
Too bad I had no idea he was holding pocket kings. He also got three of a kind on the flop, putting me at a loss of chips early on.
He seemed to enjoy his success.
Also at table 1, "Pocket" (left) and Jim were battling it out over an early hand.
The river put a second seven on the table, but - more importantly - a fourth heart.
"Pocket" bet $4, a big bet for so early in the tournament. Jim decided to call...
No one was expecting Pocket to throw down four of a kind.
Table 3 - off in their own little corner of the world - was pretty equal across the board.
Pocket continued to rake in everyone else's chips, taking the early chip lead at table 1.
The First Elimination
Back on table 2, Dave thought he might be able to take a big lead with his A-3...
...but he ended up at the first one eliminated, losing to a pair of jacks with only a pair of threes.
But he didn't take it too bad.
With Dave gone, Mike was randomly selected to move to table 2 in order to balance out the number of people at each table.
The flop and turn combined for four clubs over on table 1, with the high card king on the table. Jim, Arjan and I played the hand.
I just happened to be holding the Ace of clubs.
Both Jim and Arjan bet big. Arjan held the 3 of clubs while Jim had the queen.
But I took the pot with the ace-high flush. Little did I know that wins like this would be rare for me on this night.
Back on table 2, Mike began stocking up on a few chips.
And on table 3, Daitch (center) was getting beat.
Back on table 1, I had won my second big hand of the night with another flush - again clubs.
But it was Mike on table 2 who was the first to cash in for a $5 blue chip. Eddie, on the other hand, was either (a) disappointed, or (b) blowing his nose into his hands.
Pat was flirting with elimination on table 1, but managed to stick around for a little while.
On table 2, Karl didn't seem to be himself. He was winning! He would go on to make the final table.
His two pair gave him a big win.
Pat went all-in and won, doubling up from $4 to $8.
Karl got in on the blue-chip action, getting one of his own.
Late 1st Round
When more people were eliminated from table 2, I was the next random selection to switch tables. I left table 1, where I had a considerable amount of chips, to a table where I was playing with pennies. CRAP!
On table 1, Jim, Arjan, Wang, Pat, Vic and Pocket continued to fight for a spot in the next round of the tournament.
I faced off against Eddie when 3,3,4 came on the flop. I was holding 5,6 and needed just one more card for the straight.
I got the 7 I needed for the straight and took some of Eddie's money for my first win since switching tables. Eddie was less than thrilled.
Mike continued to keep his chip his chip count on the rise.
Karl won another hand and kept pace with the other big-money players at table 2.
Brandon emerged as the chip leader on table 3.
But Brett and Jordie weren't far behind.
On table 1, Jim's pocket aces helped him gain enough chips to secure his spot in the next round.
Meanwhile on table 2, I was struggling. I had plenty of red $0.25 chips, but in increasing blinds and the high-rollers at my table, I was hanging on by a thread.
Daitch and Arjan were both eventually eliminated, reducing the ROTC representation at the tournament to none.
Vic and Curtis were ousted as well.
With only 16 people remaining, everyone was randomly assigned to a new table. With only two tables to go, and the top 9 making it to the final table, the poker tournament really began to take off.
I was put on table 1, along with Mike, Jim, Brandon, and a few other guys who had MANY more chips than me.
Mike put Jim all-in, and after taking some time to contemplate the decision to face elimintation, Jim decided to call.
Both Jim and Mike had King-6, so they split the pot.
Jeff returned home after a night out with the Accounting Society. You'd need a drink, too!
On table 1, Brandon was building a big stack of chips, but Mike wasn't far behind.
After getting bad hand after bad hand, I decided that Jack-9 suited would be a good enough hand to go all-in on.
I was wrong and was eliminated. I finished 10th, only one place away from the final table. After that, both tables merged and only nine players remained to compete for the money.
The Final Table
The final nine gathered around the table. Clockwise from left: Brett, Pocket, Jordie, Eddie, Mike1, Karl, Mike2, Brandon and Jim. Mike 1 (in the red) had only $2.50 in chips going to the final table. Had I held off a few more hands, he could have been eliminated at his table, putting me in the top nine. Instead, he was left to play with by far the least amount of chips of anyone at the table.
Mike eventually was the big blind and had to play his few chips. At one point he was down to 50-cents. He was basically done.
Mike ended up winning and staying in, but he still didn't have enough chips to truly compete with anyone else at the final table.
The Comeback Kid
Mike (pocket Kings) ended up facing off against Brandon (Ace-Queen). He won, and his once $0.50-chip stack grew some more.
Jim was able to win a big hand and keep his chances of finishing in the money alive.
Bartender Jeff made a vodka and coke with lime for Brandon.
But when Brandon found out that Jeff didn't put that much alcohol in there, he asked more more.
Mike2 spilt his drink all over his pants.
Back to poker...
Brett and Pocket eventually lost, but Brett couldn't believe it when Mike1 was still at the table. How the hell did he manage to stay alive with so few chips?
The Comeback Kid Wins Again
But Mike was able to win again.
Brandon and Mike were the chip leaders at the final table.
At one point, the flop came A-A-A.
The turn gave Eddie a full house, Aces over 5s, so when Mike1 went all-in (again), Eddie called.
But Mike turned over pocket sevens, giving him a better full house.
Once again, Mike - a player who originally planned to watch Jim play but not play himself - had won another all-in hand. He was now legitimately in the game...and no one knows how it happened.
Eddie couldn't believe it!
So he did the only thing he knew that would help.
A Great Shirt
Kevin showed up wearing probably one of the funniest shirts I've seen in a long time.
With only seven left...
Karl, who had been up big, lost a crucial hand to Jim's pocket aces that all but eliminated him from the tournament.
Karl, whose three 9s were no match for Jim's three aces, was down to no more than three dollars in chips.
With seven people left at the table, and the top six getting paid, Karl went all-in on the next hand.
Karl threw down Queen-9...
But when Eddie caught a 2 on the river to go along with his pocket deuces, Karl's run at the money was over.
You are the weakest link. Goodbye.
With Karl eliminated, Mike - who at one point was down to 50 cents - was now guarranteed to win at least $30.
The rest of the guarranteed money winners included: Mike and Brandon...
...Jordie and Eddie...
Mike shows everyone just how much he had at one point: two red chips.
Mike Ruvolo had earned himself plenty of chips at the final table.
Final Table Action...
Mike Ruvolo picked up pocket queen.
But Jim could have cared less about Mike's pocket queens.
The next hand put four clubs on the table.
Jordie didn't have a club.
But neither did Mike.
The legacy will live on
With the blinds increasing, Mike eventually got the cards he needed to make a stand and go all in.
Mike paired his queen on the flop, and everyone was ready for another amazing hand by the comeback kid.
Brandon and Jim had a side pot going.
Jim's two pair (Queens and eights) beat Mike's Queens and sixes and ended his miracle run.
Mike was done, but his legacy will live on.
He received a round of applause for his efforts from everyone still at the table.
And then there were five
Soon after Mike's elimination, Eddie found himself going all-in with King-Queen suited. While he paired his king on the flop, Brandon had pocket aces, and Eddie's chance to win his own tournament were once again cut short by his own brother.
Eddie accepted his money, but it was bittersweet. (For Jeff, it was just plain gay).
Mike was sitting pretty with his Ace-Queen suited.
Mike and Brandon were betting big with only four players left in the tournament.
Mike got his straight A-to-10 and beat Brandon.
Jordie's all-in #1
Brandon, the chip leader, made a big bet and put Jordie all-in.
Jordie called with King-7.
Jordie paired both her king and her seven, beating Brandon's pair of sevens to stay in the game.
The blinds were increased to $5/$10 with only Jim, Jordie, Mike and Brandon remaining.
Jordie's all-in #2
Once again, with a short chip stack, Jordie went all-in.
Brandon called with King-Jack offsuit.
Jordie paired her ace on the flop and went on the win the hand to stay in the game.
Jordie's all-in #3
Brandon tried to force Jordie out of the game by putting her all-in again.
So Brandon bet big. Jim was like "DAMN!"
Brandon had pocket 9s but Jordie had an ace.
Jordie paired her ace and avoided elimination yet again.
This was in interesting flop. Too bad no one had an 8.
From four to three...
Jim, Brandon and Mik continued to bet big at the night went on.
Brandon put Jim all-in, and he called.
Jim knew he was beat, but he finished fourth in the tournament.
Jordie's all-in #4
After taking out Jim, Brandon felt like once again going after Jordie, so he put her all-in again.
And once again Jordie called.
JORDIE'S CARDS: Pocket 7's
BRANDON'S CARDS: Pocket 4's
Jordie was once again able to beat Brandon.
Mike, who had sat patiently while Brandon tried to eliminate Jordie numerous times, was ready to make his move. He got pocket jacks and went all-in.
Bradon called with King-Queen offsuit.
After the flop (9-2-8), Mike caught a third jack on the turn. The only out Brandon had was a 10 on the river for the straight.
Yet somehow Brandon managed to get that 10, eliminating Mike and leaving only himself and Jordie remaining from an original field of 24.
And then there were two
With only two players left, Brandon had around $400 in chips, at least four times what Jordie had in her stack.
First place would get $140 while second would receive $100.
Jordie managed to win several hands playing heads up against Brandon.
What's Eddie's deal?
At one point, Eddie (who took over dealing responsibilities when only four players remained) dealt a flop with the 10, King and 8 of diamonds.
The very next hand, Eddie dealt the EXACT same flop in the EXACT same order. Shuffle much?
Eventually, Brandon's advantage as chip leader gave him the tournament championship as Jordie knew it was only a matter of time before the blinds and the cards would catch up with her.
By the time the tournament had ended, the sun was definitely making its way into the sky. It was 5:10 am.