Level two has kicked off. Currently almost 6000 players are in this from combined day 1A and 1B flights. Am at around 14,200 after a little set mining that didn't bear fruit.
We reach the first break and I'm still hovering at about 14,500. We return at 25/75/150 and now have a full table, half of which are speaking and having fun. The other half appear to be mute.
A bit of drama as the nice guy on my left (an L.A cop), can't get away from KK preflop against the unsmiling unspeaking Asian girl, who very clearly (to me at least) has AA. They get all the marbles in and he busts. Shame, he was fun to have at the table.
I've danced around a little, and have dribbled down to 13k, but am now back over starting stack and sitting on 15,800. No real danger at the table, except me if I decided to spazz out, which after all these years I'd hope is now at least moderately unlikely.
Approaching level 4 now, and nothing of note to say regarding hands or stacks. I can make some stuff up if you'd like some drama, but for now let's just focus on waiting for someone to pop me up to 40k by level 5 please.
At 25/100/200 I limp with AA, (of course. The guy to my right who has just only sat down and replaces the cop who busted, makes it 600 to play his very first hand. Three more people flat the 600 and it comes around to me.
Now, as most of you know, I like to talk. I will get inside people's heads, and I will exploit player's greed, errors, weaknesses, and emotions if at all possible. That's actually a huge part of poker, unless you're an internet dweeb with a HUD and pages of hand histories. People can say that some of this could be shooting an angle, but as anyone who has ever played with me knows, I will never actually break any rules. If a player makes a hand or betting judgement based on the information given, and that info proves to be flawed and that leads to their downfall, then they're fair game, but I do like to push people's buttons whenever possible. This is a lead up to what happen's next at the table, because I was EXTREMELY careful about the way in which it played out to make sure I didn't do anything that could be classed as underhand. Read on...
The action is back to me (some of you already know what's coming), and I take back my 200 chips, and now toss out a 100 chip...and a 5k chip together. This clearly makes my action a raise to 5,100 at 25/100/200, however, people like to invent a scenario that might work to their advantage...namely that I must have made a mistake.
Now, in the old days, players would try this trick often. They would ham it up by looking shocked,trying to take back their bet, even outwardly announcing they have made a mistake by throwing in the 5k. Now, I know all this of course, and I fully meant to make the raise, but the greed of others can of course cloud their judgement, and it's on this fact I rely. I say nothing, I don't look shocked, worried or even slightly upset. I just sit there. The dealer looks at me and says "raise", implying indirectly that I did in fact make an error by throwing in the chip. He even raises an eyebrow! From a theatrical standpoint, this actually couldn't have come at a better time.
The raiser senses a spot to pick up some easy chips, and immediately pushes his whole 15k stack in. All others fold and I call of course.
"Oh", he said "you meant to do that...".
"Of course" I reply. I think he's more upset with himself for falling for it, than with me for making the raise. As I say. I know the hustle, but was very careful to stay within the full boundaries of the rules. If someone's greed gets the better of them it's all good. I actually played a tournament at Caesars years ago, where a guy threw out a 5k chip in error, and it clearly was 100% an error. so I made it 35k knowing he couldn't possibly call. He then sighed and said "well, I've put in 5k so i have to call now" (NO!!!!!) and he called for 30K more and flipped over Q2 offsuit, and then proceeded to make quad deuces with it. How we laughed on the walk back to the hotel that day $1000 poorer.
Anyway, he has AK, I have AA. He flops a King and nothing else so he's out after one hand, and the good guys bump up to 35K as we near the second break. perfect.
Onto level 5 and I return to look down at AK offsuit. As we just saw, it's pretty easy to fall in love with this, and stack off light if you're of a certain disposition. We're at 50/150/300, and there's a raise to 750, and then a reraise to 2100. AK costs me 50 chips and goes into the bin, with which I'm just fine when we still have 6500 entrants.
I just splashed back a few more against a stubborn blind who refused to let his KQ go to a bet on each street. Not catastrophic, and certainly well worth the price of admission just to see what he was calling me down with.
I just raised with AK, and heads up the other player bet the King high flop fairly hard. I flatted, and on the turn he now bets 3500, with another 6500 behind. It's not a great spot from where I'm sitting. A ton of players just punt off 10k here and if they're wrong then they're wrong. I can live with the small losses in spots like this, and to a lot of guys a fold here is absolutely out of the question. A lot of these guys however aren't actually making any money playing poker tournaments.
28k at level 6. as we hit 50/200/400.
My stack is going back down again, and some peculiar play is going on at the table. A couple of very weird hands have played out, and I've missed a lot of flops. One Englishman at the table is clearly very inexperienced playing live, but is a nice guy and is doing his best. The Asian girl who won with the AA earlier has basically sat impassive ever since, and hardly played a single hand. The English guy just busted by shoving AQ on a 934 flop, and getting called by A9. A guy from Belize who is part of some online poker team by the looks of it, is pretty active, and I have him earmarked as a spot for chips later once the limits get bigger as he's too aggressive too early on in the tournament.
Dinner break in around 20 minutes and I'll be happy to see it. I've seen no cards and lost every pot in the last level or so. It's not all bad, none of them have been terminal, but I have dropped back to 24k or so after my heady start this morning.
New table, dinner break...20K.
I raised an aggressive kid with a draw and got myself back to 29k. A few hands later he jams for about 4k and I prepare to call with 88. The Japanese kid behind now makes it 25k all-in, and I of course fold my 88. They flip over A5 and AQ respectively, and I of course immediately flop the 8. Sigh. patience. Back to 26k.
Japanese kid and French kid at the table just play a huge (ish) pot all-in preflop for around 50k. One has AK offsuit, the other has 10 10. Japan wins with 10 10, and I'm mentally scratching my head as to what the hell just happened...
Momentum time. Up to 48k after getting more aggressive on the flop even when missing. Roughly halfway through level 8 now, and approaching the final break of day 1B. Blinds are currently 75/300/600, and screen shows a total of nearly 6,700 entrants.
Final break of the day, and I'm still on around the 40K mark. I have a couple of kids from the UK on the table. Not too much dancing around but they can obviously play a bit, nice enough guys. For now the table is OK without trying to force things too much as my stack at the moment is just fine, and there's good potential to get paid if you connect on the right flop here.
After coming back I've been selectively pilfering a few chips here and there, I've got myself up to a very healthy 60K at last. Table is still pretty volatile with people spazzing out all over the place, so I'm picking my moments as I'd rather not let someone else's shocking play chop me back down to a short stack needlessly.
One of the young English kids just shipped 24K preflop with KJ offsuit preflop. He gets called almost all-in by A7 suited, and looks like going home, but rivers a King, to now be on 50K+ when he was virtually out the door. Not judging, people can do whatever they like. It's just not my style, rightly or wrongly.