Tim Miller brought good-quality poker chips, which I arranged into 2500-chip sets, and some cards. Since my Box o' Stuff didn't arrive, we were short off cards, so thanks to Lisa Hertel, Alex von Thorn, and Tom Whitmore for bringing additional decks of cards. Dave Cantor, a retired casino table games dealer, volunteered to act as banker and tournament factorum, taking people's buy-ins and recording them and keeping track of the time elapsed and blindes/antes, managing chip-ups (when the smaller-denomination chips were eliminated) and making sure the winners were paid.
26 people signed up, but two scratched, so we started play with three tables of eight players each, assigned randomly by a deal of the cards. (Pull eight cards of three suits from the deck and shuffle them, then deal one card to each person. The suit is the table; high card gets to select the seat at which s/he wants to sit, and then the others are arranged in descending order to the left of that player.)
Blinds and antes started small (10/20), but with twenty-minute rounds and fairly rapid escalation. My table played extremely tightly, but during round three I got a run of luck and managed to eliminate three people, bringing us down to only four at the time, at which time our table broke and was assigned two-and-two to the other tables (making nine players each). With the esalation, it didn't take much longer before we were at the Final Table of eight players. I'm pleased to have made the final table again, but alas, I made one awful play that led to me losing half my stack, leaving me short-stacked with seven players and looking in bad shape.
I was dealt JQ suited and figured that I was unlikely to get a better set of cards before I was blinded off, so I went all-in and Seth Breidbart called me with Ace-small. The flop game Q (yay!) A (oh noes!) x, and I didn't manage to pick up the Q or J I needed, and finished in seventh place.
Not too terribly long thereafter, we were down to the final four. Marah Searle-Kovacevic finished fourth and took $12, followed by Brian Mitchell in third ($24). Heads-up lasted only a few hands with the lead see-sawing before Steve Cooper (who had survived at least one or two all-in bets earlier) finished second ($48) and Scott Zrubek won, taking $156.
The blind-escalation structure went about how I expected, with the final hand being played around 1:30 AM. This was about right.
Everyone seeme to have had a good time, and I got lots of thanks from everyone. I in turn thanked everyone for playing because I had a good time (even though I didn't win) because everyone worked together to make the event happen, cooperated, and in many cases people got to know each other better over the cards who might not have actually taken the opportunity to talk with each other. It's sort of a social mixer with a cash prize.