Prior to the start of play on day one,the tournament director announced that a new record number of entries had been achieved.
2218 players had entered.
Blinds started at 25/25 and we were each given 3000 in chips.
I was fortunate to have drawn table number 47 blue, and knew that the table would not be break for several hours.
The table did not break until a few minutes after midnight, which had given me more then twelve hours to accumulate chips.
Whenever you are fortunate enough to stay at one table for several hours, that becomes a huge advantage, because it allows you the luxury of having to profile only one new player whenever a seat opens.
When our table broke I had accumulated about 40K in chips and average was about 25K.
Since play was going to stop at around 2am, my game plan at the new table was to play conservatively because I didn't have any information yet on my new friends or foe's. The players at my new table proved to be a mix of semi aggressive players, and semi tight. In my opinion a perfect table.
I went card dead for about one and a half levels but was still able to maintain a chip count of approximately 65K. With ten minutes to go before shut down I was in the cutoff seat with QQ and since it was close to days end. I chose to over bet my situation,because the player in the big blind had proven to play very aggressive. Therefore I made a 5X bet of 10K big blind player thought for a minute then chose to call his chip count was 36K. The board came Qs 4h 9h blind player instantly pushed in his remaining 26K with an ace high flushdraw. unfortunately my set of queens didn't hold, and my remaining chip count became about 29K.
Once your in the hands of fate there is always a few pivotal hands such as this one that contribute to a big payday or a small payday.
When day one ended we all redrew for the day two seating assignments, and although my day ended on a sour note we were down to 221 players,and they were paying 198 places. average chip count was 31K I ended with 28.7K so I was pleased that my fourteen hours of play had put me in position for (with a bit of luck) the opportunity to make the final table.
After a good nights sleep I went on the computer to check out my table lineup,hoping it would be favorable to my situation. (it wasn't) I had drawn seat nine and as luck would have it both the small and big blinds, when I had the button had large stacks. So now I just had to wait and see how aggressive these two players would be.
I did my home work and knew that 45 players were short stacked under12K so my game plan was unless I had a big hand to let some players bust out. Then when the count got to 202 (five out of the money) I would become selectively aggressive. That plan went up in smoke because the two big stacks were taking turns raising thus shutting down my game plan. However with 199 players left and my chip count at 23K bully number one raised my big blind and I was looking at two red king's. and thinking how much it would hurt to bubble. But the time to play has arrived so I pushed all in knowing that he would be calling, and saying a quick prayer of please no ace rag, because we all know that KK is an ace magnet. I was very pleased when he called my all in and turned over K/J no accidents happened,and my chip count had now returned to just above average.
That's the good news the bad news was that contrary to day one where I felt having a table draw that allowed me to camp out set up my tent,and not move all day was great. I was in the same situation here and hating it. To make matters worse the player to my right got busted, and they replaced him with a geriatrics version of the young guns that believe it is mandatory to raise every pot and he had a ton of chips. so now I'm sitting between three players who will never allow me to steal even once a lap.
So much of the success or failure in tournament play is situational. It is so important that good players must also have conditions that allow them to play creatively. Unfortunately I wasn't able to benefit or apply my skills. I knew that my only hope at this point was to find a hand and hopefully double up. I remained card dead for the next two levels but did manage when the big stacks didn't feel like raising to steal the blinds a few time thus keeping my chip count at about 50K.
After about five hours of play we are down to 69 players and the blinds are 3/6k and five hundred antie. everyone had folded to me (must be their pushing arm was wore out) and on the button I look at 99 which is not my most favorite hand, but at a time like this is looks like AA so I fired my 51K and as fate would have it the big blind called and turned over A/K 20 hours of play besting 2149 players had come down to a coin flip where I had the slight edge. Ace on the flop, and my quest for a final table appearance had ended. I finished 69th and received $4238. Just a bit shy of the 300+K that awaited the winner.
In the end you must ask yourself (did I play correctly) if you can answer yes then that is all you control. The rest is in the hands of fate.
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