10:20pm ET: Shuffle up and deal, the cards are in the air. 2311 total players, top 220 paid. Very similar payout structure to the million dollar guaranteed tournament this past weekend. Maybe that's an omen for tonight.
10:26pm: Dealt pocket Kings in middle position. Folded around to me, I put in raise of just under 3x the BB. Get two callers. Flop 642 rainbow, the ultimate set of rags. I bet 2/3 the pot, get one caller. Turn is another 4. I check but am chagrined that my opponent checks as well instead of faling for my admittedly weak slow play. River is a 9, I bet 1.25 times the pot, and my opponent folds.
10:31pm: Hand #12, dealt A-10o. I raise just under 4x the BB, and nobody calls. I'll take that All Day Long with A-10o.
10:41pm: I raise 3x preflop with 10-Js, and find two callers. Flop comes Q-10-5 with one of my suit. I bet the pot, get one caller. Turn is the 6, also of my suit. So now I have second pair and decently high kicker, plus a flush draw, and I just don't have a read on my opponent for holding a Queen. He seems to be drawing if I had to guess. River is a raggy 2, I move in, and my opponent folds, giving me a nice 1025 chip pot. Average is 3600 chips, I have 4050.
10:50pm: Dealt pocket Kings again, this time with two callers already in front of me preflop. Raise it to 4x the BB, and I take it down right there. Again, I'll take it, all things considered. Average is 3900 chips, I'm at my highest yet at 4400 and change.
10:53pm: Dealt pocket 8s in middle position, I raise it to 4x. One caller. Flop of Q-10-10. It's checked to me, so I put my opponent all-in, which he calls with QK, and I lose about 40% of my stack. It was a ballsy play, and not very smart given the texture of that particular flop.
10:55pm: Pocket 8s again, the very next hand. I raise to 4x preflop, get one caller, and then push on a flop of K94 with two spades. Opponent folds.
10:57pm: Pocket 6s. I raise to 4x preflop, get one caller (the same caller as the previous two hands). Flop is J82 rainbow. I bet 2/3 of the pot, opponent calls, but I knew it was a weak call. On the turn of an 5, I hesitate briefly and then push, and he folds. Back up to 3600 with an average stack of 4400.
11:06pm: I push with 33 and win about 400 chips in blinds and limps, one hand after losing 500 chips after getting in with top pair, only to lose to the short stack at the table who was conveniently dealt a higher pocket pair. Average stack of 4700, my stack is 2700. Not good.
11:09pm: After 4 limpers, I move in preflop with KK. I double up when someone calls me with A8o (Fizh!!), and for ONCE no Ace comes on the board. Average is 5100 chips, I have nearly 5200.
11:11pm: Dealt pocket 9s in late position. Raised to 700 (3.5x BB), one caller. Flop of Q54 with 2 spades. I move in, get a call from someone with 10-10. I am dropped to 1900 chips, average stack of 5300.
11:15pm: Call raise of 2x the BB with 69 of diamonds. Flop includes the 8 and 10 of diamonds. One player bets out 200, I move in. Get one caller from someone with just two high cards, as I have established a VERY loose image after 8 pocket pairs in the first hour alone. I pull the Ace of diamonds on the turn for the flush, and I am back over 4000 chips late in Round 1.
11:20pm: Into the first break with 4048 chips, average stack is 5900 and change. Not a great first round, but I survived, with now just 1173 out of 2311 entrants left standing.
11:27pm: Dealt pocket 4s. No one calls my 4x raise. Up to 4400 chips.
11:35pm: Dealt A-10s. First position raises to 2x the BB. I move in. Everyone folds, and I pick up 1050 in blinds and bluffs. Back to 4950 in chips, with average stack of 7200. I really need to start thinking about doubling up quick before the leaders get completely out of my league.
11:45pm: Limped in early position with 89 of diamonds. Flop came 7-10-K to give me an oesd. The first limper minbet, I hesitated and then pushed in. Everyone folded except for the minbettor, who eventually fishcalled with just A-10o, for second pair - top kicker, but a hand that would lose to ANY King in my hand, and yet he did have the lead when making the call. Until the turn came a 6, and I hit my first straight in literally as long as I can remember. Up to 9600 chips, average stack is 9100.
11:48pm: Next hand, my J4 is good when I bet on the turn following three checks on the flop. Just over 10,000 chips and still going fairly strong.
11:52pm: I bet 4x the BB with my A9o, and get no callers.
11:53pm: Dealt AKs in first position. I just call. I smooth call my opponent's minbet on a flop of Q-10-4, figuring I have the inside straight draw, plus the two overs, and they are concealed since I just called with the big slick preflop. When the dream Jack comes on the turn, I also just smooth call a minbet, hoping to make some more on the river. The river pairs the top card on the board (Queen), but my straight remains good as I move in and elicit a fold from my opponent. Nearly 13,000 in chips with an average stack of around 10,800 chips.
12:02am: Dealt my third KK of the tournament. First position already bumped it 3x, so I raise to 4x his bet, and he folds, leaving me with 15000 chips for the first time tonight.
12:03am: I limp in with 3 other callers with 66. Flop comes 752 rainbow. First position minbets, I raise him 5x his bet. He deliberates and the folds. I'm up to 17,400 chips, with an average just under 12,500.
12:07am: Dealt pocket Aces. The button raises 2x with it's folded around to him, so I raise him about 3 times his bet. He reraises me, I push, and he calls and flips AQs. I win that pot, bust him from the tourney, and have over 26,500 chips, with the average at around 13,800. I'm in fairly good shape now for the first time all tournament long so far. And that guy is a SuperFish, because it was OBVIOUS at that point that I had at LEAST KK if not AA after the 3rd raise.
12:19am: My A7o sucks out against my short stacked opponent's AQo when I hit two pair with a 7 on the turn. I am now up to 31,000 chips. Average stack is just under 16,800. Largest stack is 71,000+. I'm still in very solid shape in the tourney, which right now has just 412 left out of 2311 entrants. Top 220 to be paid.
12:24am: I enter the second break with 30,880 in chips. There are just 377 players remaining in the 22k guaranteed tournament, with almost 2000 players already eliminated. Blinds are about to go up to 600/1200 with a 50 chip ante, so the price of poker is really getting up there as we head into the final stretch before the payouts begin.
12:35am: First nine hands of Round 3 bring nothing higher than a 10. I can't even steal blinds with this cripe.
12:39am: I check from BB with 59o, just one caller. Dream flop comes 558. I bet small, induce a call from my opponent. Turn is an Ace. I execute the slow play to perfection, checking now on the "scare card", and my opponent checks behind me. River is a rag, and I bet 2x the pot, expecting to take it down right there. I'm thrilled to get a reraise allin, which I quick call. And my opponent flips....A5. He takes down the pot with his boat over my flopped trips, and I am absolutely crippled at about 5200 chips remaining, one of the shorter stacks remaining in the tournament. What a fugly way to go, on a setup like that. It would have been impossible for me NOT lose a lot of money on that hand. If anyone disagrees with my play, I'd love hear about it in the comments.
12:43am: I move in in middle position with my last 5555 chips with 33 and no one in the pot yet ahead of me. The guy immediately to my right is the only caller, and he shows AK. But, consistent with my repeated history online, I can't beat AK with a pair in ANY race situation no matter WHAT I do, and this was no exception. He hits his Ace (on the mullaflucking river, of course), and I am out in 280th place. No cash, nothing to show for my tremendous effort. It's enough to make me sick.