I have my pal Ray from the Wynn on my left, and lovely Lisa with whom I've played a lot before on my right. The rest are saying very little and look like they have little to contribute to our friendly chat.
I win a small pot with Ray when I get KK vs his 10 10 and the board runs out JJ3 and turns an Ace, which kills the action for us both.
Shortly after I lose one when I turn a straight flush draw, and river a small straight. The guy who stayed in all the way with 77 hit his middle pin to make a bigger straight. As we near the end of level 2 I'm still on the 18K starting stack.
I get pushed around on a few hands. I fold JJ on a 10 7 5 4 board when the guy bets 3K on the turn at 75/150. I decide a bit later I'm not having it, and I 4-bet shove versus my pretty neighbour on the right when the action goes 500, 1600, 4500, 15K all-in. She dwells and then finally folds, I know she's good enough to lay down QQ or worse preflop, so I take the stand with AK and it is a success. Up to 21K.
Outside in the sunshine for the first break. Tough(ish) first table but I'm still sitting on 20K or so right now which is just fine.
My side of the table is moving chips around. Ray just made a questionable call and found himself drawing semi dead versus top set. The other side of the table are doing a lot more calling than raising right now. Screen is showing 60/77 players and counting, so on I plod.
Just lost a lump when there's an open to 500, and a reraise to 2k. I flat the button with QQ (the reraiser isn't passing so let's see a flop). 3 way we see a 7 10 J flop and the reraiser makes it 5K straight, we both fold, and both have QQ, so unless he spazzed with AK on the flop, we were both in a bad spot. Ho hum.
The old guy who beat my QQ just won another big pot with quad 7's and stacked someone who couldn't help paying him off. It's lovely on days when the planets all just line up and you catch these hands and get paid. Sadly, for me at least, they are few and far between and I'm having to actually work for the chips.
Ray busted, and also I just got a bad beat. my table broke, so now I have to start all over. I'm told the guy now on my left is the biggest high roller at the Wynn, and plays slots for fun at $500 a spin just to pass the time. What a life. Meanwhile my 20K went to 16K, then 13K, and now 11K by virtue of not much happening. Great stuff.
Level up and we're on 50/200/400. 59/92 remain.
The one seat seems to have taken it upon himself to press my big blind each orbit. He just did it a fourth time so I jammed 9k and showed him 52 offsuit once he folded. It had the desired effect, as he tried another raise shortly after, and I shipped AQ. His memory was fresh and he made a bad call with AJ and luckily I held. Back up to 20K, whilst he's now on 5500. That'll learn him.
18K at the break. We come back at 75/250/500 with a new player at the table. He wins a HUGE pot and doubles up immediately, when his Kc4c backdoors a flush, and the idiot end of a straight can't find a fold for 10K on the river. What a great life.
My record of getting the shaft when I do everything right continues.
I find AdAc (easy) and limp under the gun, waiting for one of these knuckleheads to put in a scabby raise. One player duly obliges and makes it 1500. I take back my 400 call and throw out a 5K chip and a 500 chip. The dealer announces "raise" and I flinch, momentarily. I'm very careful in spots like this, as I am 100% not shooting an angle by saying anything, or employing any cheap theatrics. I simply let other people's greed get the better of them if they decide to interpret my move as a mistake, which is what happens here.
The guy says "I don't think you meant to do that". I of course, say nothing. He then goes all-in for 12K more and I snap-call. He sheepishly turns over J 10 offsuit. I guess I did mean to do that.
The flop comes out 6 7 8, OK......
Jack on the turn. I still say nothing but now fear the worst.
River is a 9, which makes him a dirty straight, and awards him a huge pot, whilst putting me back down on around 5K. Well played Sir. I say nothing. All I can do is play the hand perfectly, and get someone to put all their money in bad, which is what I did. The rest is academic.
I shove a hand or so later, and am now sitting on 7500. At least all this yoga I've been doing gives me breathing practice. Life could always be worse. My pretty friend Lesli keeps making me laugh whenever she walks by, so it's not all bad.
I make a stand with AK offsuit a while after, and some guy decides that K6 offsuit is worth taking me on with, I avoid disaster, and am now back to 15K again. Dig in Kevin.
About to hit level 8. 51/99 remain and I'm still on 15K.
I just declined to play 10 8 offsuit on the button to a small raise, because I'm not an idiot. Of course the flop came 7 9 J rainbow, and two people took off. Poker can be painful sometimes. Make the wrong decision and you would have got the lot, make the right move and get violated for it.
Lisa busted when she had a tough river call with QQ and walked into AA. The aggression has upped now that we've hit level 9. 43 players are left and I'm below average, but comfortable.
Cancel that. I'm a long way from comfortable.
I have 6c 3c in the big blind and there's a small raise. Four players call and I complete. The flop comes 236 with two diamonds. OK 54 kills me, but that aside it looks fairly safe.
The original raiser bets out, and I decide I'm going to raise him when it gets to me. He's been quite active and has done this with one pair and even nothing quite a bit. Another player calls, and now a third player makes it 6K to go.
This is a tough spot for me. An overpair I'm not fussed about, since when last I looked two pair beats one pair. 54 is a worry, but that aside only diamonds or a set are scary, and with top two, a set is unlikely unless it's 22. There's about 21K already in the pot, and I have around 17K left. Shove or fold. I decide to shove. I'm not sure if the reraiser will fold, but am almost certain the others are not going to play.
The original bettor insta-mucks, and the second caller also folds. The reraiser looks pained and asks for a count, a good sign maybe?
He finally reluctantly calls for most of his chips, and turns over... 33 for a set. Shit.
Turn is a 5, so I now chop with a 4 and win with a 6.
River is a Queen, an that's that.
There's normally a "key" pot in these things which makes or breaks you. For me getting the AA smashed all-in preflop was a huge blow, but I recovered pretty well. The death blow was of course this hand. I could have folded, or of course not played the hand at all, but if you don't get your feet wet in these things you really have no chance at all. Not defending it, but sometimes you have to mix it up, and given the play of the table, I think running into middle set when I had top two was just unfortunate. Who knows, I'm sure an expert can put me straight. There always seems to be one or two around.
Exit level 9. More to come later.