Well, with no thanks whatsoever to the Las Vegas traffic that has been brought to a standstill by the F1 clusterfuck, I manage to arrive by the skin of my teeth in time, and sit down before the first hand is dealt. 73 players remain from 574 originals, and we're all in the money. As most, if not all of you will know, whilst being in the money is always nice, my primary goal is to try to win the damn thing, so we'll see how things unfold.
I try not to look at the pay structure, money jumps etc. because I feel like it can affect my play. At present, my game is pretty much hand driven, as a fold from everyone and another round of life, or a call and a full double-up are both fine. The cardinal sin here is to bleed to death, and get so low in chips that a double up doesn't really help. It will likely be hold tight and push hard as we approach level 17.
60 remain, and I've had nothing so far. Time to start rowing for home. I've now shoved twice with no customers, which is good, because I wouldn't have liked a race with the hands I jammed with... 56 left and almost at level 18.
Short stack ninja, and I've grinded (ground?) like a bastard. I find AK in the small blind and shove, knowing I'll be called by the big blind, who has a lot of chips. He duly obliges, and flips over K6 offsuit. We avoid a sick-bucket moment, and I jump back up to 100k. The blinds are now 5k/10k/10k, so now it's really crunch time, get a stack, or die in the attempt.
Short-stack play in the later stages of a tournament is something of a balancing act. The cool kids who know everything except how to get a real job for the most part will jam with any ace, any pair, and two face cards, because it's what their buddies all do. This is why a ton of those people who had far bigger stacks than me are now out before I am. Personally, I've always thought that's a horrible blanket strategy, and that it's a much more situational thing. There are players on this table that I'd jam on with six high if necessary, but there are also players here that I'd fold ace-rag to in a heartbeat. Not just because it's a shitty hand unless you flop a miracle, but also because a lot of them are either incapable of folding if they have chips in the pot (and I really don't want a call whenever I raise with a shitty hand), or else they believe (sometimes rightly, sometimes not) that it's just mathematically correct to call with any two cards. I'm still on about 90k, and 45 now remain. I've just made the first 15 minute break, so mission accomplished so far. My table also just broke, which at present, I'm not sure is a good thing or not. A new bunch of unsmiling gremlins to deal with have appeared. One has his hoodie up, sunglasses on, headphones on, and is on his mobile. So, it's the complete package...
Level 20 now, and it's costing 40k per round to play. Time to ship! 42 players left.
Sigh. I think I ran a decent race, but I got tripped over at the last hurdle, when I needed a result. I'm bleeding slowly and have only 70k left. There's an open to 30k, and I look down at KQ offsuit. I'm in the big blind in a few hands again, so I decided I need to shove, and am not even fussed if I get called, as long as I'm not getting killed by something like AK or AQ. The original raiser doesn't look like he's in love with my move, which gives me confidence, however, now a stack which isn't too much bigger than mine, who hasn't put anything at all into this pot decides to tank for a while and then go all-in for just over 100k. Now I might be in trouble.
The original raiser folds and we go on our backs. My KQ is up against... A 10 offsuit! I'll take that all day long in this spot with additional dead money left behind. I'm pretty amazed that he put the 3rd raise in with that with nothing at all invested, but like I said, we're all different. The original raiser it then transpires had made a move with 76 suited. So my shove on him was 100% right, but I got unlucky (for now) and ran into the 3rd player who decided that A 10 was to be his Waterloo.
He immediately flops an ace, and it's goodnight from me in 41st place.
No complaints. I think I played pretty well, was aggressive when I did have chips and chances, and I played a short stack well for around 4 hours on day 2. Something I don't think that too many players can do particularly well, certainly the newer breed of shove-monkeys... Or maybe they don't want to. Same thing. It feels good to get a result under my belt for the trip, even if it was just a relatively a small one. I feel like my game is still as good as it was now the cobwebs have blown off, especially when it comes to sizing up players and opportunities. A bit of a rest for me, and we'll be onto the next one in due course. Thanks to those who sent the odd message or five x
I pick up $1,167 for my efforts, which isn't first place (clearly) but isn't bad for just a single $400 bullet.