I shortened the rounds to 15 minutes and escalated the blinds somewhat faster than originally planned. The first two rounds were a bit tentative, with passive play and people doing a lot of calling without much raising. But in the third round the pace picked up, and then carnage erupted, and a bunch of players went out at the same time. We consolidated to two tables after a break. In round 4, once again a bunch went out almost simultaneously, and with that we had a final table -- with only seven players, because of so many eliminations happening within a five-minute period.
Shortly into round 4, the three short stacks fell away, and we were down to the four players "in the money." The pace slowed slightly, but it wasn't too much longer before we were heads up between Alexis Layton and Gary Blog. We had "chipped up" a bit as the blinds increased, and we were at the 500/1000 level. Thus the big blind represented the entire buy-in of each original player.
The big winner, taking home $126, was Alexis Layton.
I was a little concerned that most people would be annoyed that they'd paid $10 and got less than an hour of play; however, I did not hear any complaints, and in the end the tournament actually took between 2-3 hours, which was what I originally budgeted. Possibly I should have had slower initial blind escalation, but then had it ramp up much faster later. That would produce about the same length while most players are apt to get at least an hour of play.
I finished in eleventh place. I had an early moment of nerves, as I went all-in early and survived. As I said at the time, "It would have been embarrassing if the Tournament Director was the first person eliminated." My big mistake of the night was to not push harder when dealt K-K. I should have bet big early and chased everyone out. As it was, I ended up losing to a pair of aces, which crippled me and forced me out shortly afterwards.
Of course, as Tournament Director, I had to stay all the way to the end, but that's okay. I enjoyed it, and the smoffing that went on after we paid everyone off and cleaned everything up.
I was amused to see that today's Foxtrot cartoon was highly relevant, both with Alex winning the Hold-Em tournament and Boston being awarded the right to host the 2007 SMOFCon. That assumes that Boston wants me to organize another poker tournament, of course.