Going to Aruba

I’m going to be headed to Aruba in late September. I won a poker tournament online at Ultimate Bet which will give me an entry to a $5,000+500 buyin event and $3,000 in travel money. I have been playing a lot of poker this year, so as a reward Ultimate Bet gave me a free seat to a poker tournament for this morning.

Tournament 1 was a satellite which if I placed in the top 20%, I’d get a seat into another tournament. About 1/3 of the people didn’t show up for that tournament, so getting to the top %20 wasn’t that hard. That won me a seat into another satellite.

Tournament 2 was another no limit hold’em satellite with a prize of 50 $8500 packages, so anyone placing in the top 50 gets to go to Aruba. I played a very good tournament, didn’t get great cards, but picked my spots and all my hands held up and I did get some good cards when I needed them. It was a bit nerve racking near the end, because I was very close to the bubble. I played some of the tightest poker of my life, including folding AK to no bet, AK to one raise, QQ to a raise, reraise preflop. I’d never do some of those things if the payout structure was more like a standard tournament, but with the “all places pay the same” there’s no need to try to accumulate chips beyond what you need to make the money, so you can play super conservative.

I’m excited to go. This will actually be my second time. About 5 years ago I had a similar experience, won a seat and went to aruba. I didn’t get anywhere then, but it was still fun.

This year they are guaranteeing $4,000,000 in total prize pool and $1m to first place. So that means they are expecting at least 800 players at a $5,000 buyin. Wish me luck in September.

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