There were 36 players that showed up to play the league tonight, but even though it’s the same number as last week, there were a number of new faces.

I start out at table 5, seat 4 and immediately see that I got the really unlucky part of the random seat draw as this could be not only the final table of the league finals, but the final handful at the final table.  I have two prior league winners, two very accomplished players, let alone another two that are very capable of league top 10’s… definitely the toughest table in the casino, without a doubt.

I start off by winning the BB (not a good thing) and I see how the night’s going to go the first two hands.  Both of them I get dealt small pocket pairs and try to setmine with them.  One by raising, the other by limping behind.  Both of them are total misses on the flop, so I need to muck to flop bets.

Later the first orbit, I pick up another small pocket, 44, and make a standard raise to 200 after a limper.  The BB calls and I get a flop of J 8 3.  When it checks to me, this board should have missed him, so I make a standard 1/2 pot c-bet and get snap-called.  The turn is a 10 and he fires out a bet of just under half pot.  I have extensive history with this opp, both live and online and when he leads into me, when he knows that I have something is big trouble.  I tank for a couple seconds, then let my pair go.  I find out later that he flopped a set of 8’s.

The blinds go up to 50/100 and I’m quiet this whole level, as I’m getting total trash.

As the blinds go up to 100/200, we’re now down to 30 players left, so I get a full table.  Of the new players, seat 1’s the one I’ve got my eye on as he’s already got chips and is another of the players that could easily end up in the top 10 when things are done.

From the CO, I get a min-raise from seat 8 and it folds to me.  I look down at TT and with just over 2k in chips left from my 3k short starting stack, since any raise pot-commits me, I’M ALL IN!  It folds to the opp that goes into the tank.  He says twice, “You’ve got AK?  Yeah, you’ve got AK”.  He makes the call and turns over 88.  The board runs out blanks and I double up.   I hit the first break with 4050 chips and in very good shape for what I hope is another deep run.

We get back from break and now the antes kick in (100/200/25).  The first orbit at this level is very unexciting, as I’m getting total junk.  On my second BB of this level, I get into a huge hand.  I get a raise to 500 from seat 9 (loose/passive).  A call by seat 10 (another loose/passive).  A call by seat 1 (loose passive pre that can turn into a loose aggro postflop).  Then a call by the SB.  All of this action puts 2425 in the pot.  I have 3250 in my stack and look down at QQ.  Well, with this many in the pot, I’m definitely raising and since any raise pot-commits me, I’M ALL IN!  It’s also a spot where I can get called by much worse than my queens, as it’s a perfect squeeze spot.

The initial raiser now snap-folds, but the first caller re-shoves.  Seat1 mucks, so the decision is up to the SB, that tanks for a minute.  Before he even makes a decision, seat 10 prematurely flips over his cards (AA).  Well, having seen the cards, that makes the SB’s decision easy… snap-fold.  I flip over my queens and I see a flop of A K T, so I’m in deep trouble, but I do have 4 outs to a jack.  The last two are low cards, so I’m out in 27th place. 

We get to drop two of our scores as long as I play all 9 weeks, which I do, so this is hopefully one of the drop scores.  I’m 100% happy with my play too, as winning this pot, where it’s a huge +EV play against everyone else’s range, I’d have easily been set up for another final table run.

It will be interesting to see the standings, not only to see how far I drop from my first week 5th, but also to see how many players have missed a week.  To qualify for the semis or finals, a player has to play 7 of the 9 weeks and if you miss one, you lose out on 10 bonus points.  If you miss two, you lose even more.  Hopefully I have another couple deep runs in me so that I can skip the semis.

On a better note, I did win an online MTT Monday night that had 58 players in it, including at leat 3 pros, so hopefully that can be a springboard to better things.