An uninspiring start, though uninspiring is fine at this stage. I'm sure one or two people will be spraying re-entries round like confetti, but in level one of an $1100, I tend to find hoping someone steps on a land mine with KJ or similar to be the better approach, so for now let's just see if we can find someone happy to blow their own brains out, and save the swash and buckle for a bit later. Only 50 or so runners thus far in flight 1A, which normally isn't great but with a $200K guarantee, the less participants the better. My table generally seems to know what it's doing, so let's see what transpires.
Managed to lose a small pot with A10 suited on a 2 7 8 10 board when 10 6 offsuit got stubborn and rivered the 9 to make an idiot end straight. Character building stuff nice and early, but small money so no huge deal. I drop to about 17500 from the 20K starting stack, but run it back up to 21K again pretty quickly as we hit level 2.
It's funny, because it's true!
I've had to snap this, and also pinch myself. I occasionally have visionary powers, but if you believe in omens and such claptrap then this has to raise a wry smile from even the most battle hardened.
I get moved tables as they re-arrange things to accommodate new players. rarely ideal, but first hand I call a raise to 450 with 10h9h, and flop 7s 8s Jd for the nuts. The raiser leads out for 675, I make it 2500 and he ships. OK, I'm careful in these events but I'm not going anywhere. Roll the dice and let's see what kind of trouble I have to dodge.
He flips over...KJ offsuit. Comedy gold. He clearly saw me typing earlier. He is drawing dead on the turn, and considerately draws his service revolver, salutes us, puts it to his temple, and splatters his grey matter everywhere. Our intrepid hero is up to 37k. Lovely Jubbly.
I bobble along without doing much and hit 45K as we begin level 5 at 50/150/300. 65/82 currently playing, and it's not a rocking and rolling table, more a gentle jazz blues odyssey, so I'm not getting out of line and am happy to be 20K above average at the moment with little stress.
Level 6 and little to report, other than that I'm tuned in nicely and making the odd tactical steal. Up to 51K without the need to show down anything. The table can play for sure, but I have them all covered, and in a poker tournament, that is a big edge, with people knowing it's going to get more expensive going through the streets, and that it might cost them their whole stack and not just a chunk of it. Good times right now.
Down to 41k by virtue of doing little wrong, but missing quite a lot of flops with playable hands that bricked out. 63/105 remain and we're now at 75/300/600.
If I were someone else I'd likely be frustrated by the last 90 minutes or so and be swinging at pots by now. I've seen little, and have struggled to win a hand. My roughly 50K peak has dropped to 38K, which whilst still (marginally) above average is not ideal. However, I've done nothing wrong, so am ploughing on, but treading carefully and waiting for the tide to turn. We have a full table again, courtesy of new players, and you can be a bit more selective about when to enter a pot again. Shortly we'll hit 100/400/800, and it`ll be more serious.
Suddenly, it got more serious, and our intrepid hero got mugged. I made trips with KQ on a Q96Q8 board, and the 10 7 suited who stuck around made a straight AND a flush, to cost me around 18K. Ugh. Shortly after I get outkicked in two consecutive pots, one versus a short stacked all-in, and now I'm on under 20K. This has been a brutal last few hours.
My table just broke, and whilst it's all random, I'm pretty glad it did. I've not seen a run as bad as that to go from big stack to small stack over a number of hands in a long time, where I either had crappy cards and had to surrender, or connected, and ended up second best. if I didn't have a bit of discipline, I'd likely be gone by now. So, little to do but clench up and try to rebuild. However I may need to play a speculative pot to do it, as i'm now on 14K with the average at 46K. C'est las vie.
Restart and we're at 100/500/1000. Registration has only just closed for day 1A, so that means you could buy in for a mere seven hours. Christ almighty. 45 remain from 113 starters, and I'm one of them, albeit with a depleted stack and 15 big blinds. Off we go.
Steve, my "lucky" dealer at the Venetian (ironically but good naturedly put) is in the box. I call him the Angel of Death, even though it's all in jest. I always struggle to win a pot when he's dealing to the point where it's now become a running joke between us. I drop to 7K, get it in with AJ and get called by A10. The board runs out 88266 and we chop. It feels like winning. At least he didn't bust me.
Shortly after I play a 3-way pot with my short stacked AQ. I find KK and 1010 playing back at me all-in preflop. I spike the ace and it holds, putting me back to 29K again. Sobering stuff. Just starting level 11 with 40 players remaining. Time to get busy.
Another level of hanging on by fingernails. Dropped back to 19K almost in the blink of an eye. We're 37 handed midway through level 11 at 200/600/1200.
For anyone who is thinking about playing tournaments seriously, or even full time, this is a cautionary tale. My day just ended after around 8.5 hours, with 4 of them riding high and enjoying the benefits of a big stack, the second 4 getting bludgeoned by the deck and being everyone's bitch, before finally running into aces when flopping top pair, and busting in around 32nd place. My hand was a pretty trashy Jack-rag in the big blind, but it was a 3 way pot, and by this time I was back in sub 10BB territory and first to act, so I took a stand, and the AA decided quite rightly to give me a spin. No freakish outdraws and home we go. A bit deflating after such a nice start in the day, but the only consolation is I wasn't spewing chips around, and I mostly knew where I was at in hands, even if where I was at was in trouble with a steadily dwindling stack.
I could theoretically punt at this tomorrow again for day 1B, but I think it's unlikely. Nothing wrong with a stab at a decent score, but putting over 1/5 of the budget into action for the first event is probably a no-no. It's just bad business. The next likely confirmed event is the $300 rebuy on the 5th, but I'll review the schedule and make a decision.