Over the two day 1’s, there were 2496 players that bought into the $365, 500k guaranteed tourney.  I’m in day 1B and draw table 85 seat 4.  When I get to my table, I find out from the table chat that three of the players are ones that know each other from the Horseshoe $2/$5 NL cash games and have already won a seat into the main event.  I also find out that two others have made deep runs in this particular tourney over the last two years, so I definitely have a very tough table draw. 

The table dynamics are about what I’d expect when I find this out.  The cash players are splashing chips all over the place and the tourney players that had made deep runs are taking advantage of them by being patient and letting them bet off their stacks.

For the first two levels, I’m definitely in the patient column, and I have basically no choice in the matter… I’m so card dead that I can’t even play a hand.  The entire first level, the best hand I had to start with was 79o. 

At 75/150, I finally look down at a hand to open with, as it folds to me in mid position with 77.  I’m promptly 3-bet and have the 3-bet called by 2 of the cash guys (go figure this one).  I’m plenty deep enough to setmine, so I call.  The flop is A K T.  Needless to say, not what I want.  The one that was in the blinds leads out for about 3/4 pot, so needless to say, I’m mucking it. 

When I get to the button, I get another chance.  It folds to me (yes, even the cash guys folded) and I look down at 55.  I make the table standard open to 375 and am 3-bet by the BB to 650.  I could have mucked, but I’m still very deep, so I call.  The flop is A J 3 and the opp leads for 925.  Needless to say, that’s a fold too.

I’m quiet again until the end of level 4, when it folds to me in MP with AK diamonds.  I make the table standard raise to 450 and get not one or two, but FIVE callers.  The flop is T85 with two hearts and when there is a bet and a raise in front of me on the flop, needless to say, there goes another one into the muck.

The next to last hand of the level, I’m in the BB and I win my first pot the easy way… I got a walk with 37o.  At least I can say that I won a pot now.

When I come back from the first break, I get a real hand win on the first hand.  I look down at AJs and open to 500 (upped it from 450 due to the antes) and I get two callers (two of the cash game guys).  The flop is A 4 6 and I make a c-bet of 825.  The both muck, so I win a real pot and finally get above the starting stack of 10k, as I’m just over 11k.

Now the game of musical chairs starts.  My table breaks and I’m off to table 74 seat 9.  I thought I was card dead before, well, it keeps up, but now, instead of 26o being the hand of choice, now it’s T2o.  I don’t get to play a single hand at this table and as the blinds go up and I pay them, I’m off again.

I now go to table 63 seat 9 and am down to just over a shove stack.  When I get there, I see another thing I don’t like.  I just paid the blinds at my old table, so where do I end up at… right in the BB.  I do get to play one on the second hand, as I have an older gentleman in the seat to my left that stacked a couple people as he’s got a mountain of chips.  It folds to me in the SB and I look down at K8s and make a standard raise to 2.5BB.  The opp tanks for a minute, and as he’s mucking, his cards, shows me an A.  At least I got that play right, as I won with the worst of it.

I’m still card dead, looking for anything to shove with and about half way thru level 9, my table breaks again.  This time, I’m going to table 88 seat 8.  I don’t have any chips to speak of (a smaller shove stack) but I’m off to an interesting place… up on the stage!

I take my seat and see that there are two smaller stacks, like me, and a number of huge stacks (over 50k).  The last hand before break, yes, I said last hand before break D’OH!  I look down at 66 and with 6BB, needless to say, here goes nothing.  I’M ALL IN!  Another short stack shoves (I had him covered by a few) and when it gets to the BB, into the tank he goes.  After a couple min, he calls.  The blind turns over pocket 10’s and the other guy has QQ.  OOPS!  The flop brings a Q, so I’m out at the end of level 9. 

Right play, horrible timing.  In 4.5 hours of play, my best pocket pair was 77, I had AKs once and AJs once.  That was it.  No AKo, AQ, KQ, AJo, nor AT’s at all.

Now, I look at my choice of either driving home at rush hour (puke) or jumping into a cash game.  Easy decision to get onto the $1/$2 NL list when it’s only about 60 players deep.  About 45 min later, I’m in a cash game on table 33 in the poker room (Dave busted and jumped in a $2/$5 game).

I get to the table and I quickly see that there are 2 regs and the rest of the table is full of enthusiasts!  A great combination considering that over the 6 hours I was at the table, the enthusiasts reloaded for over $1k combined!

Unfortunately, I’m getting the same cards that I was upstairs, so I’m stuck in a very narrow range (+/- $20). 

I now get two very interesting hands.  The first one, I’m in the SB and a loose player that would raise pre, but play passive postflop raises to $6.  I look down at QJo and knowing that the BB is loose/passive, I’m calling as I should be able to outplay them postflop.  The BB calls and we see a flop of 4 4 4.  Well, a 4 is definitely within both players ranges, so since they’re passive, stationy postflop, I check.  We see a free turn card, the case 4!  Well, once again, they’re well capable of having Ax or Kx, so I need to check again and they check behind.  The river is an ace, guaranteeing a 3-way chop.  When the cards are turned over, the BB had Q7 and the other had Q8.  Too bad that the case Q didn’t come on the flop because I’d have probably stacked both of them.

Here is the last hand for today’s blog and it is the most interesting.  UTG opens for $6 and is quickly followed by UTG+1’s 3-bet to $15.  Mid position and the hijack call and I’m thinking to myself… if I have anything with equity, I need to call this, as the BB is stationy and won’t go away.  Unfortunately for me, I look down at 95o, so into the muck it goes.  The button and the BB call, so we get a 6-way flop of 4 4 4.  There is already $90 in the pot and being first to act, the BB open-mucks?!  Yes, the stationy reg open-mucked.  Now the fireworks start.  UTG shoves their last $72 into the pot.  UTG+1 snap re-shoves for $95.  Mid position snap-shoves $120!  The hijack now goes seriously into the tank, as he can’t believe what just happened.  Obviously he’s got some sort of pair for a full house.  After about 5 minutes, he decides to muck, what I soon find out to be 99.  The button now snap-shoves as the 1812 overture is going off in his head!  What did the others have…? UTG had JJ, UTG+1 had TT and MP had JJ.  That was the largest pot of the night.

I’ve got two days of play this next week.  The Tuesday night league and a WSOP mega-satellite on Thursday.