The last round of the poker tournament was incredibly exciting for me, and I loved meeting all of the competitors who had come in from other offices. At the table, things got off to a rocky start when I lost about two-thirds of my chips early on. Three people called my open raise of KQo, and when the flop came a dry, king-high board and checked to me, I bet big. The next opponent to act went all in, and I figured I was ahead enough of the time to call. He showed bottom set, and things got dire. Not only did I not draw out, he riveted quads as well, if to rub it in. I ended up in jam-or-fold mode for a while, but was able to double up when my J9o from the small blind was called by AQ. A queen on the turn had me drawing nearly dead until I rivered a gut shot. Bit by bit, I was able to get back to where I started. And I made it to the final ten, in the money. Playing on the electronic table was great fun, but I only had about 9 big blinds so couldn’t do anything tricky. Any time I had a decent hand I was going all in. I finally picked up a caller when the button raised into my QQ on the big blind. He showed A7 and the flop came up 39Q, three clubs. Neither of us had a club, so I thought I was golden. The board proceeded to run out club, club and I couldn’t believe it — we chopped. Three hands later was my last, I saw KJo and shoved my remaining 9BB, only to see AQo waiting in the big blind. Didn’t catch any cards to pull ahead and I bowed out. The tournament was a great time, and a great learning experience too. Afterwards I stuck around to see the remaining players duke it out. They were all very strong; there’s a reason they made it to the end. I had an incredible run of luck and it fell only a little shy. Maybe next year I can go the distance!

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