Thirty one players showed up for the last of the qualifying weeks tonight.  I start out at table 5 seat 6 and see that I actually got a pretty good seat draw, as only one of the players that started at my table is one that I have to watch out for.

The first hand that I get involved with, I look down at 77 and make an opening raise to 150 (3BB).  I get one caller and see a flop of AKQ.  Needless to say, I’m not c-betting and when the opp bets, I’m folding.  The opp mucks an A face up. 

A few hands later, I look down at 33 and decide to open again for 150.  This time, I get two callers.  The flop is K 3 8, all hearts.  With a set, I make a c-bet of 225 that is called by seat 2.  The turn is the 4 of hearts and when the opp checks to me, I’m checking behind, as if they didn’t have the flush already, they have it now… but I do have 10 outs to improve.  The river is the 6 of hearts and the opp makes an almost pot-sized bet.  Needless to say, with 5 hearts on the board, my flopped set isn’t good, so I muck and the opp shows the A of hearts.

The blinds now go up to 50/100 and I’m look down at QQ.  I make a standard raise to 300 and get a caller.  The flop is just about as bad as I can get, with both an A and a K.  When the opp leads out 500, needless to say, into the muck the queens go, as I’m definitely beat again.

On my next small blind, it folds to me and I decide that with the BB being a player that likes to see flops, I’m just going to limp and try to outplay the opp postflop, which I think will be an easy play, as I have a big skill edge over the BB.  The flop is 237 and I decide to lead out for 125 and when the opp folds, I finally win a pot.  Needless to say, my hand wasn’t in the same area code as the board, but they don’t know that (I’ve been known to play an effsea every once in a while… lol).

The blinds now go up to 100/200 and I really need to find a spot to get some chips as I’m starting to get short.  I look down at KK and make a standard open to 500 and get two callers.  The board is a low rainbow and when the first opp checks to me, I lead out 750.  The both muck and I take down a decent pot.  Both opps are known to play connectors, especially suited, so I had to bet to get them off a straight draw.  I sized the bet at only about half pot instead of 2/3 as there were no OESD combinations available, but they could have had a gutter.

The last hand before the first break, there is an open on my BB to 500 and I look down at pocket jacks.  I decide to flat and get another bad flop, with an A and K.  That hits the opp’s range hard, so I check/fold.  I end the first hour with 4075, so although it isn’t much, I’m plus chips.

The second hour starts and the first orbit, I’m totally card dead.  We are now down to 20 players and who ends up in the seat to my left… JD with chips.  I’m hoping that he’ll end up making a donation to me to get me to the final table, LOL. 

Needless to say, the first time I’m in the blind, here goes JD open-limping from UTG to try to get into a pot with me.  It doesn’t work out for him, as one of the other opps raises and takes down the pot preflop.

The blinds now go up to 200/400/50 and on my BB, I get an open by seat 1 (will play light and is really lucky) to 1025.  I have 2525 in front of me and look down at AhKd and needless to say, I’m shoving.  It gets back to seat 1 that says “Well, you caught me but I have to call” then counts out the extra 1500 chips and puts them into the pot.  Seat 1 flips over QJ of spades, so I got them in good.  The flop is good news/bad news.  Q 8 4 but all hearts and I have the A of hearts, so I have 15 outs and even though I’m now behind, I’m still the favorite to win the hand.  Unfortunately for me, the last two go 3 3 with no heart and I’m out in 18th place.

I’ll be in the semifinals next Tuesday at 3pm, then hopefully the finals at 7pm.  Dave is straight thru to the finals and JD will be joining me in the semis.

I’m going to get to play a bonus tourney next week too, as I’m going to play the deepstack HPT tourney on the 29th, as I will lock up winning a $100 live stake this Sunday, when the series that it’s a prize for is over.   The top 5 win and I’m in first with no possible way to get knocked out of the top 5.  We start with a 32k stack after the dealer toke and it’s the same structure as the WSOP ME, except that it’s 30 minute levels.