There were 31 players that decided to show up for the league tonight.  I start out at table 5, seat 1 and see that I get an interesting player assortment at my table and I wish that the seats were reversed.  I’ve got the tightest player in the league on my right and the toughest competition at the table in the seat to my left. 

The first hand, I win the BB and it folds to the SB, which completes.  I decide that I’m going to raise with ATC and look down at T4o.  I raise to 200 and win the first pot of the night when the SB mucks. 

I’m at it again the very next hand.  I’m in the SB and there are two limps in front of me, both from very passive players.  I look down at A2 of spades and decide to complete and hopefully see a flop.  The BB checks and I flop a whole flock of ducks… 2 2 2.  Well, I’m going to see if someone else is going to take a stab at the pot, so I check.  Unfortunately, everyone checks behind me.  The turn is an A.  Well, I’ve got one of the other 3 aces and hopefully someone else does too.  I check again and seat 6 makes a half pot bet of 100 that I call, while the other two muck.  The river puts a third club on the board and I definitely want to make a value bet here.  The question is, with an extremely passive opp, how much will they call.  I decide to lead out for 350 and get paid off by an A.  I wanted to get value, but I didn’t want to bet too much and have the opp fold.  As quickly as he called, I probably should have bet about 500-600 as he’d have probably called it too.

Two hands later, I get a limp, then a raise to 300 (6BB) and look down at 22.  I wouldn’t mind setmining with them, but getting an out of character, huge raise from a player not accustomed to making overbets, combined with the fact that the limper is sticky, I really don’t want to call with ducks here and be in a 3-way pot when I don’t have a large enough stack to setmine.  Into the muck my ducks go… and go figure, the flop is A 9 2 and I would have gotten a ton of action from the other two players when the turn is another A and they have the remaining two aces.

The rest of the first hour is really easy for me as I’m getting a whole lot of garbage.  The good thing though is that a number of players are busting.  I hit the first break with 2400 chips, down from my 3k starting stack. 

There were a number of players that busted the last hand before break and when I get back, I see a rack and a seat card in front of me and I’m off to table 7 seat 4 to balance the tables with 21 left.  When I get to my new seat, I see that I’m at a huge chip disadvantage at this table as there are three monster stacks. 

The first hand that I’m involved in is from my BB.  I get a limp from seat 8 (the league leader) and it folds to me.  I look down at Q8 and decide to check.  The flop is Q J 5 with two spades.  I lead out for 600 and the opp, after tanking for a minute, decides to shove on me.  I have top pair, but a bad kicker and the board is very wet.  After tanking for a minute, I decide to muck and the opp shows me AK of spades.  It’s a good thing that I folded, as while I currently had the best hand, he was the favorite to win the hand.

Losing that pot didn’t help me much, as it now leaves me with under 10BB and since I need to get a deep run if I want into the overall top 10, I’m going to do what I can to accumulate chips.  Two hands later, I look down at AJs and when it folds to me, I’M ALL IN!  Everyone mucks and I pick up another pot. 

On my SB, I get a raise from seat 6 and when it folds to me, I look down at AA.  Needless to say, this is an easy decision… I’M ALL IN!  The opp tanks for a second and calls me with 56s, so I’m a huge favorite for about a tenth of a second.  The flop is 4 5 8, so the opp now has a number of outs.  I start to get sick on the turn, as it’s a 6, giving him two pair.  I lost my two previous hands where I had aces and I was hoping that this wasn’t the third in a row.  The river… the 7 of hearts for a chop!  Well, I didn’t win with three AA’s in a row, but at least I didn’t lose this one and go out 21st.

One of the other players busts, so my table is breaking.  I’m now off to table 6 seat 8 with my very small stack of 1400 chips, which isn’t much at what is soon to be 200/400/50.  The blinds do go up my second hand at the table and needless to say, I’m looking for any spot to get my chips in.  I get my chance when I look down at AQ and open-shove... I’M ALL IN!  It folds around to seat 2, that only has 75 chips in front of her and she shoves.  The BB also calls as he’s got a decent stack and I’m pretty sure that he would gladly see me go to the rail.  Seat 2 shows 77 and seat 4 shows 46o.  I catch an ace on the turn and more than double up and get a KO in the process.

The very next hand, I look down at AK and since I’m still short… I’M ALL IN!  Everyone mucks and I take down another one. 

As the blinds go up to 300/600/75, we are now down to 15 left (my table is the shortest).  A little over half way thru the level, I look down at 66 and here we go again… I’M ALL IN!  Everyone folds and I get some badly needed chips.  We end the second hour with 13 players left, but I’m only sitting with 2200 chips.

We come back from break and the blinds are now 500/1000/100.  Needless to say, anything even remotely playable, my chips will be in the middle.  It doesn’t take long, as it folds to me and I look down at KQo and once again… I’M ALL IN!  This time, the player to my left starts thinking and counting out chips.  He raises to 4400 to try to isolate me, which works.  I’m expecting to see either an A or a pair here, but what does he flip over, but KJo?!  I can’t believe it, but I’ve actually got him dominated!  That doesn’t last for long though, as there is a J on the flop.  When the board runs out blanks, I’m out in 13th place. 

Too bad I didn’t win the last hand, as there were some others that busted soon afterwards, so I’d have gotten a FT if I didn’t get three-outed.

Seeing how this score will replace a really bad finish, it should be a help to my standing.  It will also be interesting to see if anyone above me missed, as a number of players will not be getting the full bonus for playing all nine weeks.  I will pass anyone that is within 10 pts of me and missed one week or anyone within 25 pts that missed two weeks. 

Even if I don’t make the top 10 and get to skip the semis, there will not be a full field of 30 players in them, as there were only 32 total players eligible before tonight and could go lower if some miss another week. Having to be in the top 10 out of 22 players, sounds a whole lot easier than being in the top 10 of 30.

I’ll be doing an extra blog on Sunday night, as I’m going to be playing in a qualifier for the Mid-States Poker Tour.  The top 20% of the players in the satellite will earn an $1100 ME seat.  It’s a deep-stack satellite with longer blinds, very similar to the satty that I made it into the HPT ME thru last August, so I hope that lightning will strike twice and I can be playing in a main event the following weekend.