There were 38 that showed up to play tonight and I started at table 5, seat 7.  I actually think that I had a pretty good table draw.  There were a number of loose passives and a couple tight passives….a table type that I think that I’ve got an edge on.

The night starts out and I see immediately what the popular hand of the night is, 27.  I had it eleven times today!  The first level, the only hand that I’m involved in is free from the BB with 33 into a family pot.  The board comes out high, so it’s an easy muck for me.

The blinds now go up to 50/100 and I get my first playable situation.  I pick up AK from UTG, make a standard raise to 300 and get two callers.  The flop is A J 4 and I lead out for 500.  The opps muck and I take down my first pot. 

The next hand I get is 44 from the BB right when the blinds increase to 100/200.  There are two limps and the SB then completes, so I decide to check and setmine.  The flop comes J T 4 with two clubs.  The SB leads out for 450 and with a wet board, I decide to raise to 1100.  The two limpers get out of the way and it gets back to the SB and into the tank he goes.  I know that he likes to be passive preflop and see as many flops as he can with suited cards, so I needed to raise to price out the flush draw.  The opp decides to muck and I win a very good pot.

Two hands later, I pick up AQ clubs on the button and open-raise to 500.  The opps fold and I win another one. 

Two hands later, from the HJ, I pick up pocket 10’s and raise to 500 again.  This time, I get 3-bet to 1600 by the tightest player at the table… uh oh!  I like 10’s, but his 3-bet range is basically AA/KK and that’s about it.  Needless to say, I’m mucking my 10’s.

The next button, I pick up A3s and open-raise to 500 again and steal another set of blinds.  I end the first hour with 4825 chips.

The second hour starts and now the antes kick in.  The first orbit is uneventful for me, but a table breaks and the empty seats are filled with some tougher players, so it’s not going to be quite as easy to accumulate chips now, as I know 3 of them could easily play back at me lighter.

The first hand that I get is AKo from the CO, make another standard raise to 500 and take one down preflop.  When it gets to seat 2’s BB, he’s on a shorter stack (from playing too many hands as a loose/passive and then chasing draws) and I look down at AK clubs and raise to 500.  It folds back to him and he decides to shove his 1600 into the pot.  I call and he turns over AQ diamonds.  I get a K on the flop and another on the river, so I win a larger pot and KO a player.

I now see 77 and make my standard raise to 500 and have seat 1 (solid player that is top 10 in the league that has already won a week) short-stack shove on me.  I call and he turns over A7.  I’m not so lucky this time, as the first card on the flop is an A, leaving me a whole out, that never shows.

The blinds now go up to 200/400 with 50 and I pick up AQo from UTG, raise to 1000 and pick up two callers, the button and BB.  The flop comes K 5 2 rainbow.  The blind checks to me and I bet 1500, as I figured that I better represent the K or else the button (competent aggressive opp) would absolutely bet any 2 cards if I check.  Both opps go away and I pick up another one. 

The blinds go up to 300/600 with 75 and my first opportunity is from the button.  I look down at 67 and decide that it’s a perfect hand to steal with, since the blinds are tight.  I open for 1500 and take another pot down without a fight. 

Same thing next orbit, as it folds to me and I look down at 27 on the button and once again raise to 1500.  Both muck and I get more chips.  Too bad Dave wasn’t still in or better yet, at my table, or I’d have showed them and yelled “Ship It!”

I now get a short stack moved into the 8 seat, to my left.  He’s shoving any chance he gets, as he wants to chip up or bust before break.  He does double twice, but the last hand before break is my turn.  It’s his BB and it folds to me in the SB.  I raise to 1500, he shoves his 2100 in and I call.  I flip over AT and he shows A9.  I get a 10 on the flop, so win another pot, knockout another opp and chip up again.  I hit the second break with 8800 chips.

We get back from break and the blinds go up to 500/1000/100.  From my SB, I get 2 limps, then the player to my right raises to 2500.  I look down at QQ and decide to shove my 8600 into the pot.  It folds back around to him and now he really goes into the tank.  When he doesn’t snap-call, I know I’m ahead and am hoping for a call.  After a couple min, he decides to fold, so I take down a very large pot without a fight.

When it gets to my button, I now have a new player in the BB for my button, as the previous one busted.  It folds to me and I look down at K2o and decide to try to steal another one.  I raise to 2500 and get called by the BB.  The flop is 9 8 3 and the blind checks.  I’ve got nothing, but since that board shouldn’t have hit him either, I decide to follow it up with a c-bet of 3k and take down another one.

We now get down to 10 left, so I’m off to table 6 and draw seat 10.  I start the final table with a middle stack as there are three very short stacks.  The blinds now go up to 600/1200/200 and I see something that I don’t like… I’m going card dead. 

At this blind level, I don’t get to play a single hand. 

Seat 6 busts in tenth place, then I get a hand where looking back at it, I made a mistake.  The blinds are in seats 3-4 after they go up to 1k/2k/300 and seat 5 opens to 4500.  I’ve got about 9k in chips and look down at A 10.  Seat 5’s already won the league (has his ME seat for this year) and is someone that I absolutely know is a very competent player.  He’s now also a lock for the top 10 as long as he shows up the remaining weeks after winning tonight, which I’m happy to see as he’s definitely one of the ten best players in the league.  I wouldn’t expect an UTG raise to be light from him.  I tank for a couple minutes and decide to muck.  Seat 3 shoves on him and seat 5 snap-calls.  Seat 3 turns over JTs and seat 5 shows A9.  The board runs out blanks, so seat 5 gets the stack that he builds into the win tonight.  The reason that I mucked was due to two other really short stacks at the table.  I figure that I needed to get one mid FT or two lower FT’s to lock myself into the top 10.  I was hoping that both would bust out before me so that I could get the extra league points… bad move, as one of them doubles the next hand.

The blinds now go up to 2k/4k/400 and the other shorty shoves (he’s all-in either this or next hand) and I look down at 88.  Since his range should be about anything, I decide to re-shove to isolate him but that doesn’t work as seat 3 calls.  Seat 3’s got A9, so I’m ahead of him for the side pot, but the shorty shows up with pocket kings?!  The board runs out all blanks, so the shorty triples up and I’m left with the small number of chips that I won from the side pot. 

I’m looking for anything with equity to shove now, and all that I see is 28, 49, 2 10 and another 27 (all would have been losers).  It gets to where I’m UTG and I’m either going now or the next hand, whether I like it or not.  I pick up Q2 and since it’s the first face card I’ve seen, in go my last 4 chips.  I get called by seat 3 and the BB.  The flop runs out K 5 8.  Both check.  Turn is a 7 and both check again.  The river is a 3 and both check again.  The BB turns over 35 to win the pot with a pair of 3’s, so I’m out in ninth.

Getting a third final table should set me up pretty good and I’ll be very anxious to see the new standings when they come out tomorrow afternoon.  I should have moved up some places with my finish today.  With six weeks now in, my point total can only increase, as I get to drop my three worst scores starting next week (we keep our 6 best of the 9 qualifying weeks).  Also, with many of the players not making it every week, the 25 bonus points for attending all the weeks just might be what gets me into the top 10.  I'll post a comment as to where Dave and me are at when the standings come out.