There were 32 players that showed to play week 7.  I’m hoping that 7’s a lucky number, as I draw table 7, seat 7.  When I get to the table, I wish I had a different draw, as we are starting the table 7 handed and I’m not liking what I see.  This table could very easily double for a final table, as 6 of the 10 best players in the league are at it.  So much for getting a number of easy chips in the beginning.

The first few hands are uneventful, as I pick up a few trash hands and get easy folds.  When it gets to my BB, I run into an interesting one.  There are 2 limps and when it gets to seat 1, he throws out an overchip but doesn’t say raise until after it hits the table… so it’s only a call.  The reaction he had when told he could only call because he didn’t say ‘raise’ beforehand definitely said to everyone that he really wanted to make a large raise.  I get 3 more limpers and when it gets to me, I look down at 99.  In most cases, I’d make a standard raise here and try to get a few to fold, but knowing seat 2 wanted to raise and was upset by not being allowed to, I’m definitely just going to check and setmine.  The flop misses me, so I’m definitely checking and surprisingly, there is a bet before it gets back to seat 2, who, imagine this, makes a substantial raise.  Everyone mucks and he takes it down. 

The blinds now go up to 50/100 and I’m pretty much card dead.  Halfway thru this level though, I get a really good laugh.  The dealers rotate when the new one sits down and looks around the table says “Welcome to the final table. Wait a minute, the blinds are only 50/100, how did all of you end up together this early!”  The laugh was about all for me the whole level, as I see a whole one flop (K3o from the BB that missed).  However, I pick up on a huge tell on the player to my left.  He picks up AA against seat 5’s JJ and is acting very out of character.  Seat 5 makes a great laydown on the flop (wonder if he picked up on the same thing I did), but it’s definitely one I’m saving to exploit later.  It just might be one that gets me off a hand when I’m beat in week 10, when the seat’s on the line.

The blinds now go up to 100/200 and I’m going to have to start finding ways to get chips.  We’re down to 30 left now, so the tables combine and I’m not sure how, but my table gets worse as two more of the top 10 players are now at my table.  I finally get a spot, as it folds to me in the hijack and I look down at AQo and make a standard raise to 500 and get a call from the BB.  The flop is A J 5 and I make a c-bet of 575.  The opp folds and I finally take one down.

The next hand I’m in is the last one before break.  I look down at JJ from UTG and the first thing that I think of is, “Here we go again”, as I’ve got a track record of losing and getting ko’d on the last hand before break.  UTG+1 flats and the BB also calls.  The flop is 9 8 3 and needless to say, I’m leading the flop and decide to size my bet at 1175.  Both opps fold and I take down a sizable pot.  I end the first hour with 4850 chips, up from my 3k starting stack.

The antes now kick in and the third hand I look down at 33 on the button with 3 limpers.  I’m definitely deep enough to setmine, so in go 200 chips.  The flop brings three broadway cards, so needless to say, it leaves me with an easy decision when I’m facing a bet and raise on the flop.  Easy muck.

From MP, I look down at AKo and make my standard raise to 500 and win another one preflop.  The very next hand, I look down at TT and once again make a standard raise to 500.  I win another one preflop and am starting to accumulate a decent chip stack as we’re losing a number of players, mostly from the other two tables (go figure that one).

The blinds now go up to 200/400 and the first orbit, I get a bunch of trash, so I’m mucking every hand, especially when a couple of the shorter stacks shove.  It then folds to me in the SB.  I have already picked up on two huge tells on the BB (one for a big ace, the other for a big pair).  He’s not doing either, so I know that he doesn’t have a monster and due to this, I decide that I’m going to make a play with anything and standard raise to 1000 with 24s.  The BB tanks for a second and calls.  Not totally surprising, as he’s been loose passive preflop and fit/fold postflop.  We see a flop of Q 8 4 and with only one broadway card, it’s a good board for me to c-bet and try to take down right now.  With 2500 in the pot, I make a c-bet of 1300 and the opp snap-shoves on me.  OOPS!  To stay in the pot, I need to call an additional 1100 into a pot 7300 (15%).  I basically know that the opp has Qx, so I do have outs and the question is… do I have the odds to call?  I do have bottom pair and my other card should be live too, as he’s not calling my raise preflop with Q2.  Therefore, I have 5 outs and from the rule of 4 and 2, my outs have 20% equity because I’m guaranteed to see both the turn and the river if I call.  While I’m totally caught with my pants down here, I do have the correct odds to call and am definitely not going to fold and give away the majority of my stack when I have the equity to call.  I call and the opp flips over QT.  Unfortunately for me, the turn is a ten and I don’t get a 4 on the river, so I’m now left with only 1900 chips.  Hopefully, having to show down a hand this bad, it might get me called a bit lighter in future weeks, which I could then use to my advantage. 

Two hands later, we’re down to 20 left and my table breaks.  I draw table 6, seat 6.  The second hand at the table, the blinds now go up to 300/600/75.   I’m looking for anything with any equity at all, to shove with, but I look down at 28o, 69o, 37o.  It gets to my BB and I get two shoves in front of me.  I’m calling with anything even remotely playable and look down at 38o.  Well, the next hand has to be a better situation than this, so into the muck they go. 

On my SB, I get a shove by seat 8 that folds to me (surprised that nobody else called as they’re a shorter stack too), so when I look down at J9 of hearts, it’s a no-brainer shove for me.  The BB folds and seat 8 turns over AQo.  The flop is Kh Th 5c, so while I’m behind, I’ve got a ton of outs.  The turn is the Q of diamonds, so I now have a king high straight.  The river… J of spades, which gives him an ace high straight, so I’m out in 19th.

It’s another week where I could have done better, but we’ll see how having to showdown 24s in front of the majority of the better players makes them react the next two qualifying weeks and more importantly, on week 10, when the WSOP ME seat’s on the line.  I’ll definitely be taking shots the next two weeks, as the only way I’ll get into the top 10 and skip the semis is with a deep run or two FT’s… so it’s FT or busto trying to get chips.