There were 348 players that showed up to play day 1C of the HPT deepstack, 779 total.  For my flight, 44 cash and 36 transfer to day 2.  I start out at table 14 seat 3, Leon (Sailor Moe) is on table 17 and Dave is at table 27.

The day starts and off we go on the roller coaster.  The first four levels are very uneventful as I win a few small pots preflop and lose a few, most of which are failed setmines. 

I do however win one interesting one.  I’m in the BB and get the SB that completes.  I look down at A7o and raise to 4bb, which is called.  The flop is QT6 with two spades.  When the opp checks, I fire out a half pot c-bet as I could very easily have any of the flop or a pair.  The opp quickly snap-calls. The turn is what should be a total blank in the 3 of clubs.  When the opp checks again, I fire bullet number two that gets called.  The river is the 9 of spades, completing the flush draw and the opp checks again.   Well, I’ve got absolutely nothing, so I figure that the only way I can win the pot is to fire off bullet number 3, so I do so.  The opp now goes into the tank and due to it, I’m putting him on a pair, but not a king, so I figure I’m dead in the water if he calls.  After about a minute, he calls, says king high and shows K5o?!  I table my ace high bluff and somehow win the pot.

At the end of the first session, I’m up a few chips from our 15k starting stack as I have 16550, Leon’s at 20k and Dave’s at 10k.

The second session starts and I can’t hit a thing to save myself as I keep trying to setmine and miss on flops with AJo, KQs and KJs.  As I get down to 13k chips, I get a tap on the shoulder from Leon, as ran into QQ and is out.  My stack continues to go down, as by the time the blinds hit 100/200, I’m down to 11k chips, as I just can’t catch a break.  The table is one that I feel I should be able to take advantage of, as there are some bad LAG’s (including the K5o guy), a couple tight passives and two TAG’s.

After I steal a couple blinds with trash, one with an initial raise and the other with a 3-bet in position, I get the first big hand of the night.  I get an open-limp from UTG and then the LAG decides to flat it on my button.  I look down at AQ clubs and make a standard raise.  The initial limper calls and the other guy goes away (since I already won 3 pots off him, he probably got tired of playing pots OOP to me).  The flop is 456, all clubs!  UTG checks and since he’s expecting me to c-bet, I gladly oblige with a half pot value bet… and get check/raised!  Well, if he’s interested in playing a big pot, I’m all for it with an A high flush.  With his raise amount, any re-raise pot-commits me, so I shove.  I’m expecting to get snap-called as most players that limp/call a raise then check/raise the flop are fancy play syndrome players with AA or KK.  As expected, the opp snap-calls and proudly shows KK, even without the K of clubs.  OOPS!  I easily fade the other two cards and take in a 24k chip pot.  This hand here is a great example of why not to limp a monster hand and why fancy play syndrome will not work longterm against thinking players.

I hit the second break with 26450 and I’m not sure how many chips Dave has, as all that he says to me when I ask him is… you have more.

The third session is back on the downswing as I start to go card dead as the blinds are now going up, and the antes are now in play too.  When it gets to 200 players left, I’m sitting with 22000 chips.

I now see what my least favorite hand of the night is, 99.  Over the next level, I see the hand three times.  All 3 of them are big losses.  One runs into a bad board, so I only lose my opening raise.  One gets an 8 high board, where I get shoved on, on the turn by a set and have to fold.  The third, I call a 3-bet preflop from the button, call a flop bet on a 7 high board, then get shove and re-shove in front of me on the turn when an A hits, so that’s an easy fold.  Luckily, in-between them, I’m able to steal a couple pots or my stack would be in deep trouble.  After the last of these, I’m back down to 16k chips.

As I steal a pot preflop with junk from the button to get back to 17k, I find out that Dave is out as he ran QQ into KK. 

On the last orbit before the next break, I make another good play as I squeeze from the SB with 88 and get my stack back up to just over 24k.  However, this doesn’t last long as I raise with AJ and get called by the BB.  The flop is J high with two spades and the opp check/calls.  This opp’s been known to play just about any suited cards already, so I’m immediately putting them on the spade draw.  Sure enough, the turn is the 3 of spades and the guy open-shoves on me.  Well, I know I’m beat, but tank a few seconds to see if I can get a tell on him other than always playing suited cards.  I muck and not only does he turn over the flush... but shows a two-gapper for a straight flush!  I hit the break with 17800 chips.

We get back from break and the blinds are 500/1k/100, so I’m sitting on a re-steal stack and the last thing that Dave says to me is, “You know how to play a 17bb stack.”  I get my shot in the first orbit, as I get the loose guy on my right that opens to 2500.  I look down at AK and “I’m all in!”  The blinds quickly fold and I get snap-called by pocket tens.  They’re not ahead long though, as I see a king in the window.  I hold and am back up to 38k chips.

With 140 left, the blinds now go up to 600/1200/200 and I now get to start having fun with the guy on my right.  He’s getting short, because of doubling me and trying to now limp into pots, instead of raising, since he’s low on chips.  The next two orbits, he tries to limp on my BB, when it folds to him in the SB.  Guess what the result is when he limps… “I’m ALL IN!”  He quickly mucks both times and I’m now up to 40k.

The next time it’s my BB, I change things up on him and check with T7o when he limps.  The flop is 983 and he leads into me for just over a min-bet.  Needless to say, with an OESD, I’m not folding to a dinky bet that prices me in.  The turn is a blank and when he checks to me, I check behind.  The river is a 6 and he checks to me again.  With the nut straight, I’m absolutely making a value bet and fire out 3500.  The opp goes into the tank and after a couple minutes, calls me and shows 86 for two pair.  This gets me up to 44k in chips.

The blinds go up to 800/1600/200 and I don’t get to play a hand at this level, as the rest of the table has to shove basically every hand, so as we get down to 115 left, I’m sitting with 38k chips.
I steal another, then can’t play for an orbit, then steal another, then lose some to blinds and antes.  I hit the dinner break with 37600 chips and about 90 left, so about half the players left get ITM.

The blinds are now up to 1k/2k/300, so I’m back with a re-steal stack.  I get a great place to use it the very first hand as there is a raise to 5k and a flat by the player on my right.  This time it’s me with the pocket tens and “I’m ALL IN!”  The others quickly muck and I’m up to just under 50k chips.

The blinds go up to 1200/2400/300 and I hit one of those streaks that are really annoying.  Spots where I can open-raise with mid pocket pairs to try and steal some blinds and antes… but they all backfire as I get bad boards or shoved on preflop.  If it’s just one shove, I’d take a race with 88, but I’m not calling when I get a 3-bet shove and a 4-bet re-shove in front of me.

The blinds are now 1500/3k/400 with fewer than 80 left and I’m reduced from a re-steal stack to a shove stack.  This level was the estimated stop point for today, but we have to play down to 36 left, so obviously, we’re going to need a few more levels to get to this.  With 75 left, I get a shot, as I look down at 33 and shove.  It quickly folds to the BB that goes into the tank.  He calls and shows AQ diamonds.  The flop is the 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and 6 of diamonds.  The turn is the 7 of diamonds and with a river of the 9 of diamonds, I’m out when the opp goes runner/runner/runner for a flush. 

Win that hand and I’m looking real good for being ITM and having a great shot at having a realistic stack for day 2.  For the cards that I did get, which didn’t include any monsters (although with what happened to Dave and Leon, I’m glad I didn’t get into a hand with QQ), I played very well and am happy with the decisions that I made.  I’ll get a few more shots at it in other HPT tourneys this week, as I’m playing in the Bounty tournament on Monday, the Survivor tourney on Saturday and will throw in a Main Event satellite somewhere during the week too.