Earlier in the day, Lisa and I had taken a quiet 45 minutes to break up the boxes of score-keeping chips that SMOFCon 28 purchased into thirty sets of equal value (580 chips, as it happens). This helped a great deal during setup.
When we got to Santa Vesta, Judy Bemis helpfully checked people in, including dealing with walk-in scholars. We ended up with 25 (out of an announced 30-slot maximum) participants, whom we divided up randomly among three tables. We then proceeded through the usual process of elimination over the next few hours. "Chip Girl" Dave Cantor, a former professional casino card dealer, did a great job keeping the process moving along, dealing with chipping-up and otherwise acting as general factorum. It made it much easier for me to concentrate on my own hands. Having the countdown clock displayed on the big screen helped a lot too.
I once again managed to make it to the Final Table of nine players, but mainly because of my lack of willingness to play too many hands, which didn't leave me with a lot of supplies when facing the chip leaders. I ended up finishing in eighth place after losing an all-in race (3-3 against K-Q).
Lisa played as well, but she and travelswithkuma were among the first few eliminated. I'm not sure Bears understand this "flush" business when they had a perfectly good two pair out there. She came back to the room later to help with the clean-up and tear-down.
Finally we got to the Final Four: those who got a payout from the event, starting at $12 for fourth place. Sandra Childress, who at one time was the really big chip leader, ended up finishing fourth. The remaining three players chased each other back and forth for two rounds before deciding to give up and equally split the remaining pool before calling it a night.
I often get the feeling that there is a portion of the SMOFCon regular attendees who dislike my organizing these events, but I'm pretty sure it provided multiple useful functions here. Besides being a fun event that encourages socializing — because seats are randomized, you don't just sit near people you already know — but there's a practical issue here: There's no way we could fit 140 people into the Grand Suite. Having "counter-programming" made things work more smoothly. And speaking of smooth, I haven't heard how the beer tasting went yet.
Now I really must sleep. It's 4 AM. I think I'll have to skip the first tranche of program items on Sunday.