378 players started out in day 1B for HPT event 1.  With 268 playing in day 1A, yesterday, the prize pool is going to be well over the 100k GTD when it closes after day 1C tomorrow, as we almost put 100k into the pool just today. 

I start out at table 30 seat 6 and Leon (Sailor Moe) is at the next table in seat 6.  We start off with 15k chips and blinds of 50/100 and don’t get to play a hand the first two orbits, as unlike it normally is at the start of one of these tournaments, my table’s not limping.  It was actually a welcome sight… but didn’t last for long.  I get my first winning hand of the year, as I get an open from the cutoff to the table standard of 250 and I look down at ATs in the bb and 3-bet to 750 and take one down preflop.  The rest of this level and the 75/150 level, I’m seeing a few flops, but not hitting anything other than the couple steals that get thru.

That changes as the blinds go to 100/200 as the table now turns into a limpfest and with 33, I’m more than happy to oblige and play a family pot setmining from the bb.  The six of us see a flop of AJ3, JACKPOT!  I lead out for 800 and get two callers.  The turn is a blank and I fire out 1500 and get the second of the opps to call.  The river is another blank and I fire out 3300.  The opp tanks for a minute, calls and flips over AT and gets to see my flopped set of 3’s.  This gets me up to 17200, so I’m back above a starting stack.

A few hands later, I get a limp from UTG and look down at KK in MP and raise to 800 (table std open was 600 with no limpers).  That sure didn’t stop anyone, as I see another 6-way flop and it comes AQ2.  The open-limper donks and gets raised before it even gets to me, so needless to say, I just lost the absolute minimum as my kings are going into the muck.  Both players showdown raggy aces.

I then lose some chips setmining 88 and 66 that miss, but in the next orbit, I get my cowboys back and make the same raise over the same open-limper.  This time I see a heads-up flop of AT6, all diamonds.  I get donked into again (know it’s another raggy ace), but since I have the Kd, I’m happy to call and see a turn.  The turn is a blank and the opp checks, so knowing I’m behind, I check behind.  The river is the 9d and when he checks this time, I fire out 2500.  He tanks for a little while, then mucks.  Wasn’t expecting to win with KK by a 4-flush, but I’ll take it as it gets me up to a stack of 19500.

The blinds now add in antes at 100/200/25 and guess what I get again… same guy open-limps, I raise my KK to 800 again, but this time I see a 5-way flop.  UGH!  AQ9 with two hearts is the flop and go figure, Mr A/rag donks again… so once again, I lose the minimum as I muck, then the table goes nuts and I see a 3-bet and 4-bet.  A/rag folds and the other two showdown sets.  I end the first session with 19125 and find out at break that Leon is sitting on 27k.

As we get back from break, I thought that the first 2 hours was frustrating due to the KK’s not holding, but I hadn’t seen anything yet.  I start out by opening AQ and get called by 2 loose guys and then a shorty shoves.  The shorty’s loose too, so I re-raise to isolate and do so successfully.  The opp turns over 66 and flops a devil, so I double him. 

The next orbit, I open AK from UTG and the cutoff (another shorty) shoves, well, I’m not folding here for another 2500 chips here either, so I’m off to the races against 33 and double another one when the board runs out 9 high.

I then pick up TT and make an open from UTG+1 and get 3 callers for a flop of AKJ.  I check, they go nuts and I lose the minimum again with a pocket pair that’s no good.  I’ve got a great table for accumulating chips, just can’t get anything to hold, but do still have a resteal stack of about 8k chips.

Just before the second break, I get my resteal shot.  Loose guy that got lucky and has chips opens and I look down at 99.  I’M ALL IN!   The opp tanks for a sec, then calls me with 89s.  My nines hold, so at the second break, I’m back up to 19k chips and find out that Leon’s at 21.5k.  The 99 hand was the only hand I won the entire 2 hours.

We get back from break with the blinds at 400/800/100 and the next big hand is Leon’s.  He sees a flop with 33 and when he flops a set, the chips go in.  Unfortunately, he was never ahead, as the opp had 44 and also flopped a set. 

I get a couple sets of blinds/antes in a row to get up to 21k ,AQs and 88, and they now have the numbers for us since late reg is finally closed.  44 get ITM, 38 transfer to day 2 and there are 150 left from the 378 that played, so over half the field is gone.

I now open 77 for the table standard of 2k and get 3 callers for a flop of AK7 with two spades.  JACKPOT!  I lead out for 4400 and get a call from the button.  I set the bet up to give an SPR of 1 if one called or less than 1 if both call.  The button has 2k less chips than me, so with an effective SPR of less than 1, when the turn’s a blank… I’M ALL IN!  The button now goes into the tank and after a couple minutes, says ‘I know you have AK’ and mucks AT face up.  This gets me up to 32500, so I’ve finally got a playable stack again.

The blinds go up to 500/1k/100 and the shorty to my right open-limps.  I raise to 3500 (table std of 2500 plus an extra 1k for the limp) as I’d think 99 would be ahead of a limper’s range and it totally commits him, as he only has 5800 chips.  It folds to him and he shoves, which needless to say, I snap-call as it's a call with 2 blanks, let alone 99..  Well, I’m not ahead as the guy flips over AA… but his lead doesn’t last as I get a 9 in the window that holds, putting me up to 44k chips.

The next blind level (600/1200/200) is uneventful.  I steal one, but don’t have any other playable hands as others are having to shove now too.  The blinds go up again to 800/1600/200, the last level before dinner break.  I get a limp from a new guy at UTG (likes to limp as he's done it 3 of the 4 hands he's been at the table), then a shove from a 18k stack.  It folds to me on the button and I look down at QQ and since even calling here pot-commits me and I’m definitely not calling nor folding, I’m raising to isolate.  I’M ALL IN!  Everyone else gets out of the way and he flips over AKs, so the race is on… and over at the starting gate as there’s a king on the flop.  There go about half my chips, so I’m down to a larger shove stack.

I look down at AJs and from the hijack, when it folds to me, I’M ALL IN!  No takers, so I pick up the blinds and antes.  Two hands later I look at 88 and when it folds to me, I’M ALL IN!  No takers again.   I’m now on a small resteal stack, so when I look down at TT, I make a standard open instead of open-shoving and get called by the tightest guy at the table.  Good thing too, as the flop is AKQ, which just smacks his range.  The flop checks thru and I muck when he fires the turn.

As we get back from dinner, the blinds are at 1k/2k/300 and I’ve only got 18600, so I’m looking for any spot to get my chips into.  I also see that my table will soon be breaking as it’ll break with 99 left and we’re sitting on 101 left.  Nothing the first couple hands, but then I get an open from MP and I look down at 66.  I’M ALL IN!  He gets a count on my chips, then calls with AJo.  Q32 flop, 2 turn, but I’m hooked on the river by a jack and out in 100th place.

There are going to be days like this, but they’re real frustrating.  I was getting cards (KK 4 times, QQ, TT twice, AK once and AQ twice) but only had 2 wins and one of those was when everyone folded preflop.  I also had a few smaller pairs, but not much in the way of suited connectors nor broadways.  With any breaks at all, I’m easily over 100k chips, probably in the 150k-170k range as I’d have gotten paid on the overwhelming majority of hands due to the way the table was playing (lots of calls of larger bets).  I played well, avoided the coolers with KK as I lost the minimum and was reading the opps well all night.

I’ve got 2 days to get over this one, as I’ll be back at it on Monday in event 3, a $200 HPT bounty with $50 on everyone’s head, where PSO has at least 2 bullets in it, as Dave is playing, then in event 4, a $150 buy-in on Tuesday (same event that I final tabled last year).  All I want in these is to play as well as I did today and have a few hands hold and if so… don’t show up at my table or you’ll get a 1-way ticket to the rail.