Any denials that "I am not a degenerate gambler" just went out the window.
I play sometimes on sportsbook.com, one of the Cake network poker sites that's really a sportsbetting website. I don't sports bet (if you know me at all, you know my aversion to anything else in a casino except poker) but I've received the occasional bonus there, so it's worth it to play.
They have a frequent player points system, which awards "gold chips" every batch of Frequent Player Points. The points reset to zero every month, but the gold chips stay. There are a small handful of things you can do with gold chips, like play in Sit N Go tournaments where the entry is 5 gold chips and the winner receives….more gold chips. (ha)
I finally happened to see something I considered buying in for: a $425 satellite ticket to win entry into two tournaments in Australia in mid-January plus traveling money. Basically everyone that enters the $425 satellite is competing for the one prize package. So I'd have to win two tournaments to get to Australia: first, I have to win my seat in the satellite (no easy feat), then I have to win the prize package.
I didn't pay attention to any of this, and just was excited that I could win something with the "gold chips" besides more gold chips. I entered the tournament with 50 other players, and the top 5 got the $425 prize package. I got lucky catching good cards during the rebuy period so I didn't have to make any hard decisions. I then played my butt off during the middle and bubble sections of the tournament. I kept myself in mid-chip position until someone finally got too low a stack and shoved and lost. Five of us got our satellite ticket….for Sunday after thanksgiving.
Except I have plans for Sunday after thanksgiving. And were I to win that, the Australian tournament starts January 18th, 2009. Sarah and our new daughter are due to be born January 25th, if she's punctual, so the last place I'm going to be is Australia.
Heh. Well it was good tournament experience.