I went to Majestic Star to play in a Mid-States Main Event Qualifier.  When I go to sign up, I find out that there were about 50 that had played the day before, so I’m expecting more since the weather, while cold, it was not snowing.  We start out with 6 tables that were not full, but with the players that re-entered, I’m guessing that there were about 60 players that entered.  One in 5 transfer, so that means that there are about 12 seats available to the $1100 ME that starts on Friday.

This is the first time that I’d tried to qualify for a Mid-States main event, so everything was new to me.  We start out with 12k chips after the $10 dealer toke and the blinds are 100/100.  I think I’ve got the worst end of the table draw, as I recognize 4 of the other players at my table from the other WSOPC and HPT tourneys that I’ve played.  While I don’t have a bunch of history with them, I know enough about them to tell that they’re not bad players.  This is in comparison to the table behind me that three of us name the knockout table.  The first two hours at it, they knock out almost the entire table!

I see where this day’s going to go very early and see what the popular hand of the day is… T5o.  UGH!  I also find out within the first two orbits that I’ve got about the worst seat at the table.  The two loosest players are on my left and the tightest is on my right.  Not exactly the combination that I’d like to have, but I’ll try and make the best of it.  On the third orbit, I finally get to see a flop, as there are 4 limps (only the second unraised pot at the table) and when I look down at 28o, I gladly check my option in the BB.  Needless to say, the flop totally misses me and it’s an easy check/fold when the bets start flying.

The blinds go up to 100/200 and the action starts to heat up even more (minus me in the 2 seat along with seats 7 and 10).  I just can’t catch a hand for anything.  At least everything is a very easy decision.  I finally look down at JTs, but being in mid position with a raise and a 3-bet in front of me, it’s going into the muck too.

I finally get to see another flop when it folds to me in the cutoff and I make a standard raise to 500 with KTs.  I get called by the BB and see a flop of A 9 7, all hearts.  Well, I’m holding spades and when the BB leads out for a pot-sized bet, which screams and A with no heart, I muck again.  The opp flips over AQ of clubs, so at least my read was correct.

The next hand, it folds to me in the cutoff and I look down at ATs and once again make a standard raise to 500.  This time, I get three callers and see a flop of 9 8 3.  The SB leads out and gets raised by the BB, so into the muck my cards go.  This turns out to be a large hand, as the BB busts when his set of threes runs into the SB’s set of 8’s.  Good thing I missed that flop.

The blinds now go up to 200/400 and I’m back to being card dead.  With all of the raises and 3-bets preflop, I can’t even find good steal opportunities.  We do, however, lose another two players at this level and the KO table behind me takes out another 3 players, two of which re-enter.

The blinds now go up to 300/600 and seeing how I haven’t won a pot yet, I’m starting to look for a place to take a stand.  On the second orbit at this blind level, I get my chance.  In my BB, I get the loose guy two to my left to open to 1500.  I look down at pocket tens and have 7200 in chips.  Any raise pot-commits me, so… I’M ALL IN!  The loose guy snap-calls me, which is NOT what I want to see.  He flips over pocket queens.  The flop is the J of hearts, 4 of clubs and 9 of hearts.  The turn, however, gives me a bunch of outs when I see the 8 of hearts.  I have the ten, so I now have an open-ended straight flush draw to go along with my tens.  The river… 7 of hearts.  Jackpot!!!  At least I didn’t get knocked out, without winning a hand.

In the last orbit at this blind level, I finally get a steal spot, as it folds to me on the button and I look down at A6o.  I make a standard raise to 1500 and win another pot.  I end the first two hour session with 14600 chips and am lucky to even have a chair.

A table breaks during the break, so we’re now down to 40 players remaining.  I’m guessing that I need to get to about 50k chips in order to have enough to transfer, so I’ve got my work cut out for me.

We start out at 300/600/100 and the action picks up, as the short stacks are now forced to shove.  I’m hoping to get a hand against one of them, but it doesn’t happen.  Three shorties at my table double up, but the ones at some of the other tables are not so lucky.  As this level winds down, we now have 31 left and another table is getting ready to break. 

Just as the blinds are getting ready to go up to 500/1000/100, I look down at JJ.  The other table is breaking and in one hand, I’ll be down to 12BB.  Since this is the last hand at 600 for the BB, I’m sitting on a 21BB stack and decide to make a standard open and be ready to get them all in if anyone raises or shoves.  If it had been the next hand, it’s an easy open-ship.  It folds around to seat 9, who shoves and has me covered by about 1k chips.  Needless to say, I’m calling… I’M ALL IN!  The opp flips over AKo, so we’re in a classic race.  The flop is Q 8 3.  So far, so good.  The turn brings another Q, so the opp now has 6 outs and only a 12% chance to beat me.  The river… A, so I’m out in 30th place. 

That was not the finish that I was hoping for, however, the day wasn’t a total disaster, as I got a postcard for $5 in freeplay for the machines in the mail last week and was able to turn that into $160, so all in all, the qualifier only cost me $100, instead of the full $260.

Another good thing happened at the end of the month too, as I finally won the Blue Shark Optics series that I’ve been trying to win for just over a year.  Top 10 after top 10 without winning, I’m finally going to be getting a pair for wearing when I’m playing live and got rid of the ‘most top 10’s without ever winning it’ title.  There are two winners, one for the weekday series and another for the weekend one and it was a PSO sweep last month, as I won the weekday one and Sailor Moe won the weekend one.  The finish was pretty ironic with some karma involved too.  In the last weekday game, there was one person at the FT that had an opportunity to pass me and they were taken out of the tournament by Sailor.  Then, on Friday, there was one person with an outside chance to knock Sailor out of first and I beat her HU to win the tourney.  I call that one a WIN-WIN!