Saying that...when the hand comes up you kind of have to play it.
My 36K just became 24K when I raised blind on blind with QQ. The shorter stacked big blid called and I fired the flop for 3K when an Ace a 5 and a 7 hit. He quickly called. Another Ace on the turn, and I bet another 3K. He dwells, and then raises me back for another 5K more, leaving about 9K behind. In my mind he's absolutely never ever bluffing here, so painful as it is, I just have to release it, and get ready to rebuild a bit.
We're almost at the start of level 12, and no update on players remaining yet. I'm not overly fussed. Just keep playing my game.
Won a small pot with AQ on an Ace high flop, but then lost a bigger one with 77 on a 944 flop when I had to fold to a bet of over half my stack. I'd like to grind this for a while, but at 200/600/1200 with a sub-20K stack I may need to get busy and try for the double up whilst I have enough chips to make it meaningful. With a 40 or 50K stack then playing lots of small pots is very attractive, with what I'm looking at now, not so much when you keep missing flops. Never mind. Grit. Teeth.
The Aussie lady on my table started today with a healthy stack. When the board in one hand ran out four cards to a Royal Flush, and also paired in a big pot, she looked pained and lost around half her stack. She rebuilt a bit, and then bluffed off a huge chunk with Ace high to the guy on her right, so she's now on fumes. Stuff like this is worth being aware of, as sometimes short stacked people get desperate, and do something in a hand that ruins your own plans, so I'm keeping one eye on her.
Screen now says about 1,780 players remain, so still a good 900 or so off the money, not that I'm thinking about that right now.
Well, my hand just came up, and I grabbed it by the balls and shook it. Whatever the hell that means.
I am in the big blind in a 3 way limped pot with 87 offsuit. It comes 6 8 9 rainbow,and second to speak I check as it looks like the cutoff may bet. He does, for 3500, and the small blind calls. If someone's flopped a straight then I'm unlucky, but with my chips, tossing a pair and a straight draw here I think is definitely an error. I ship it, and the cutoff calls, tabling 86 for a flopped two pair after the small blind has folded. Not ideal but I'm live.
The immediate 5 on the turn is a welcome sight to give me a straight, and no disasters on the river mean I have a second wind and am now back to 31K again. Right. Let's start over!
Just found Kings and got zero action, and then found 10 7 offsuit and also got no action, but raised with it anyway and picked up the pot. It seemed like the right thing to do.
Approaching the first break and I'm basically back where I started on 39K or so. Still liking this table a lot. Only one guy looks remotely dangerous, and the rest are either passive or recreational, though I don't have enough chips to start going crazy just yet. Off outside for some sun.
We just hit 1,100 players, and also the start of level 14 at 300/1K/2K. Blinds and antes are now starting to bite, and with around 200 players left until the first money level, people are getting jittery and punting with all sorts of hands preflop. Time to play smart.
That sucks. Just lost a scabby one when I raised with 33 and a bigger stack called off with KQ offsuit and hit a King, bumping me down to nearer 20K. I'm not in my comfort zone now stack-wise, and having played (I think) pretty well for a day and a half almost), it feels a bit rough to have come off worst in a few borderline hands in the last few levels. Still, it is what it is, we just have to do our best and keep on going.
I decided from the get-go that playing like a pussy probably wasn't going to get me very far in terms of results, and I'm certainly not shy about moving chips around. I go down to 16K which at 300/1K/2K is a pretty bad spot, so when it's folded to me and I see As 7s, I decide to not get fancy and just let them have it.
I'm not in love with it when one player dwells up, and then finally calls for probably 25% of his stack. On our backs, and...
Me: As 7s
Him Ad Js
OK, I can wax lyrical about hand selection, but I really don't like his call, irrespective of him having me locked up to three outs or a flush. He has about 4 people to act behind him, and I'm not folding, since I'm all in. But of course, as said, we all play differently. I's not what I'd have done with his stack anyway. Off we go.
The universe appears to agree with me, and I get some love by flopping a Seven. He picks up a straight draw but bricks it, and we hit the next break with me on a better but still not amazing 34K.
Back from break, and tantalisingly close to the min-cash, which of course isn't what I'm about, but is worth keeping in mind as it affects the table dynamic quite often. The nice old Hawaiian guy on my left is crippled on around 5K, and when all are folded to us in the blinds, though I don't like it, I feel I have to move him in no-look. He duly calls, and we both flip over K7, albeit me having the Kd 7d.
I flop a flush draw, and turn a seven, and river a King, so we chop with much mirth from everyone but the kid who missed his flush. On we go. He busts shortly after, but was fun to play with.
25K and the screw is tightening. I've seen an A9 shove get called by J 10 for 45K, and A3 vs A7 for 60k or so. Some of these guys are truly frightening... even if it's for all the wrong reasons.
Well kids... it looks like we are on the actual bubble here with 940 players, and 939 getting some monies. I've dropped back to 19K or so, but know what to do in situations like these. Hopefully someone else can be the sacrificial lamb at this point in the game anyway. If you see that I've busted on the stone money bubble, then I'll give you three guesses what the exit hand was.
A good 20 minutes or so passes. A lot of it I think with assorted poker players tanking and dwelling up unnecessarily, not actually realising that they've stopped the tournament clock, thus rendering any stalling utterly pointless. I never said these guys were too bright.
Anyway, now we're $2,300 to the good. Next stage is at least two double ups.
It's getting tight, as I'm totally card dead, and now we're at 500/1500/3000, it's super expensive to play. A couple of guys at the table have big stacks, and where I am right now, it means I just have to get busy and hope for the best, as we've got to the money stage, and now we just need to get the rub of the green when it matters most.
It's been dire since the bubble, and I've stolen two pots with oxygen, but it doesn't cover the cost of living. I need a double up. I'm down to 11K which basic maths tells us all is not enough. I squeeze out a queen under the gun, and decide that with 4 big blinds, that will have to do. I jam.
I get one dwell-call, and then the Aussie woman I played with yesterday decides to shove for around 75K. I consider this good news based on what she's turned over so far as it may isolate us. It does, and she flips over JJ which to me is superb.
I turn over both cards. I have Qd 6d. Not ideal but it's the race I need and I was in first.