As only the second live tourney I've played since the casino's structure changes, I wasn't quite sure what to expect tonight. Honestly, there were quite a few changes. First, the starting stack was increased to 8000 chips. Also, the add-on was for 1500, the largest it's been. Finally, I learn that the casino isn't allowed to rebalance any tables until after the rebuy period ends, so one table was playing heads-up for about 20 minutes due to one player busting two others early.

They removed the first level of 25/25, and has been replaced with a straight jump to 25/50. The first level, despite the fact that at most we were playing 5-handed, was fairly active for me. I learn a lot of the limpers are weak, as they will limp and fold to moderate raises. I managed to take a pot from a limper by raising Q-Js. I also noticed EVERYONE limping - seat 7 limped utg with J8s, A4o, seat 1 limp with 9-10s, and seat 4 (I'm seat 2) limp with 9-4o. Most of my wins this 20 minute level were small. I won the blinds with A-Ko, chopped a pot with A5o against a limped A4o, stole from two limpers with K-Jo, and even managed to take one down post-flop after getting a free flop in the big blind with K-2o.

Level 2, with 50/100 antes comes. I get pocket 2s in the big blind and check my option in a heads-up pot. The pot is checked all the way down, and my 2s get counterfeited by 7s and As on the board. The button bet on the river, I folded, and he showed that he slowplayed trip 7s one street.

A few hands later, I see seat 1, an iffy player, raise. I look down at 6-7s on the button and, because we're still deep, I decide to call. Seat 9, a younger aggressive player who still has a bad limping habit, calls in the big blind. The flop is 7-7-4 rainbow, sweet! Seat 9 donks out for 500 into a pot of 950, which he had been doing quite a bit. Seat 1, the aggressor, now flat-calls. Because of this call, I start to worry that one of them could possibly have 65 or something stupid like that, so I raise to 2000. Seat 9 folds, and seat 1 tanks for a minute before folding... AJs? Why was he calling and TANKING my raise with A-high and no draws?

I managed to raise K-10o a while later, which got a call, but my c-bet took down the pot. Shortly afterwards, I got A-Ko and raise. I got one caller in the small blind, which was seat 7. Because I didn't believe I could get him to fold on a fairly wet board that I whiffed, we managed to check down the flop, turn and river, and he turned over pocket 9s. I mucked.

Oddly enough, one hand later, there was an all-in situation almost 90bb deep - both seat 9 and seat 4 got all their chips in on an A-high flop, and when seat 4 pushed, seat 9 sighed, said "I guess you have two pair," AND STILL CALLED. He had A-Ko. Seat 4 - A-Qo, which lost. Seat 4 is crippled.

Blinds go up to 100/200, making this the last level for rebuys. First hand, something interesting happened: during the rebuy period, a set of stacks for all 10 seats is set out, and these stacks still have to pay blinds while the button moves, essentially creating a bunch of sitouts for the rebuy period. It folds to me in the small blind, and because the big blind is one of these stacks, I get a walk. Yay! Also, seat 1 busted seat 4 with 55>K8o. Seat 4 rebought on a different table, but we got a new late-reg player at seat 6.

The only hand I had this level was pocket 6s, which I stole the blinds with. I also see that seat 6 is a huge calling station - he called TWO large raises on a wet A-K-7 board with bottom pair. This is a huge read.

We end the level and I'm up to about 11,000 chips. And this is where another new feature shows up - they added a second add-on. This one, for $10, is an additional 3000 chips, which is about 10bb at this level. I decide to take it, as most of them are, and so I've got about 14,000 chips for about 46bb.

I move tables the moment we get back, and the final player total is revealed - 23, which is VERY small for a night tourney. I'm finally at a full table.

I get into a huge pot 2nd hand at the 150/300 level. In middle position, I limp with J-10 of diamonds because a couple of players limped behind me. There are several more limpers and we see the flop. The flop is 10h-9d-8d, giving me top pair+a straight flush draw! I'm getting the money in here every time, so when it checks to me, I bet 1200. I thought this was 2/3 of the pot, but I may have miscounted: it easily could have been 4/5 of the pot. Anyways, seat 6, an older gentlemen, min-raises me. It's folded back, and I check his stack - he has about 8000 behind, so I reshove. He snap calls, and he flops the idiot-end of the straight, 7-6o. And it's the 7 of diamonds too, claiming one of my outs. I've still got 14 outs, but the turn and river are both black Kings, and I'm crippled to 12bb. Literally all that's keeping me alive is the add-on, and seat 4 (my direct left, who I've played against before), says there was nothing I could do - he'd get the money in there every time as well.

For the next while, I'm looking for a shoving spot, and not finding any. I had some decent hands, but they were Q-10s and K-10s utg, and at a full table, I'm not THAT desperate left with 12bb. But eventually, it's folded to me in the cutoff with K-Jo. I shove my last 10.5bb, and the man on my left snap-calls with pocket Queens. I sigh in disgust as the flop is blanks, and the turn is no help either. River - KING. I doubled up to 6900, and have a workable stack, although the blinds go up again.

I'm completely card dead for the 200/400 level, but I noticed that there's a LOT more raising than I expected there to be at this level. Some of these players actually know how to be aggressive. Also, the standard raise so far is 3x.

Level 6 at 300/600, I'm card-dead again. I did notice seat 2, my right, limping utg with A-Jo. But at the end of the level, I get another spot: utg, I get A-Qs, and I shove my 5700 chips. Seat 7 sighs, and is obviously upset that I shoved, and he folds. Seat 9, the same aggressive seat 9 from my last table, tanks. I hear him audibly say, "I hope you've got two high cards. If you've got a big pair, I'm in trouble." Eventually, he calls... with pocket 4s? Obviously he's hoping for flips to take him all the way. But on the flop, there's an ace! I double up to 11,700, enoguh for almost 20bb.

The blinds go up again, and here's another change. The casino finally added antes to the tournament! So the blinds are 400/800 with a 100 ante. Unfortunately, I run into trouble on the first hand - utg, the seat on my right, min-raises. He gets about 4 callers. I look down at A-10 of clubs, and because of the enormous pot-odds, I decide to call. The flop is Q-x-x, and the blanks are clubs. The board somehow gets checked around, and we see a turn, which is a blank. This time, the aggressor makes a delayed c-bet of 3000 chips into a pot of about 9000. Everyone folds, although seat 1 tanked, and I think: why is he waiting till now to bet? And why so small? I'm given JUST the right pot-odds to call for my flush, but it's almost 1/3 of my remaining stack. After tanking, I call. The river is a blank. UTG fires out 3000 again, and I muck.

He says he was hoping I had a Q, and claims he had pocket Kings. Why the hell would he check on a wet Q-high flop in a 6-way pot with pocket Kings?! That astounds me. But unfortunately, I'm down to 6000 chips.

Worse, I'm card-dead for the rest of the level. By the time the 500/1000 with a 200 ante comes, I'm down to 4bb. I'm getting no shoving spots, as seat 6 keeps limping EVERY HAND and isn't giving me the proper fold equity. Eventually, desperate with 3000 chips, I shove 7-6s utg. And I get 3 callers. I stand up, ready to lose. I flop a 6, but there's a 10 and an A on the flop, too. The turn - another 6! Now seat 6 bets into a dry side-pot, and the others fold. He had 10-9o, and I quadruple up to 12,000!

Next hand, I get to see a free flop with A-3o. I flop a 3, but that's not good enough, so I fold to a bet.

Next level is new - 700/1400 with 300 ante. I got another check in the big blind with K-8o and flop middle pair, but that's not enough when everyone checks the flop, so I fold.

Next hand I get AQo in the small blind. Seat 6 limps utg again, and I shove my 9000 chips. The big blind, who now has a bigstack after busting several players, calls. Seat 6 tanks and then reshoves his 10,000 chips. The big blind has A-Js, which is a fine call for a big stack against a short shove. But UTG has A-8s, and thought it was good in a 3-way all-in. I'm dominating both, but the turn is a J, so I'm out in 12th. UTG is out in 11th, and we bubble the final table.

I got very lucky this game, but my rungood didn't last long enough. I hope I get something like that again so I can get some moneys back.