The next morning, I’m ready to play the $200, 1 in 10 transfer, main event monster stack satellite with 5 seats guaranteed.  The tourney starts slow with entrants, but we meet the guarantee with over 6 levels of late reg left.  I start out at table 21 seat 7 and it’s kinda weird, as this is my third tourney and I’ve been in the 7 seat for all of them.   I see that I have a three faces that I recognize (don’t know them personally, but have seen them on tv at HPT main final tables before) and luckily for me, they’re on my right.  I also recognize 2 of the other players from having played with them in previous HPT events last year. 

This tourney starts out unusual for me as I’m the most active player at the table.  Win some, lose some but I’m playing about a 30VPIP and for the first 30 minutes, don’t have to show anything down but AJ that flopped top pair and rivered two pair, getting 2 streets of value.  I’m opening decent hands, small pairs, suited aces, suited connectors, etc, so while I may look out of line to everyone else, I’m really not.

As the table starts to play back at me, I look down and open QQ, get 3-bet and see a 4-way pot when I call.  I decided not to 4-bet, as the player that 3-bet me is one that I do have history with, an older guy that’s tight, normally on the passive side and always showed up with a real hand when he raises or plays a big pot.  The flop us 783 rainbow and I decide that while the board should have missed the guy that 3-bet, it could have hit the others and if the 3-bettor has AK, he’ll check and the others could then check behind on a draw for a free card… so I lead out.  The guy that 3-bet pre, min raises me.  Seat 1 calls and I call.  I now know that I’m up against a pair and seat 1 has a set or draw, most likely a draw.  The turn is a 5 and I check to seat 9.  He bets, but he bets smaller than he did on the flop, which something isn’t right with.  If he had AA/KK, he should want to set up a pot-size where he could get it in on a favorable river (saw him do this to someone last year), but this bet’s too small to do it.  Seat 1 mucks and I call as I’m thinking he’s now got 99-JJ.  The river is a J and I check to him again.  I expect him to bomb the river if he does have a set of jacks, but will most likely check everything else and when he checks behind, I’m fairly sure my QQ is good and it is as he mucks TT face up.  I hit the second break with 28950 and we’re now up to 6 seats with 5 levels of late reg left.

The next three levels are fairly uneventful for me, as I turn to being pretty card dead, however, at the start of 300/600/75, I win two decent pots, one on the flop and the other on the turn, so with a stack of green chips now, I’m the one at the table designated to buy up all the greens as they’re being raced off at break.  As we hit the break, I’m at 38100 and we’re now up to 7 seats available.

Two levels later, registration closes and we find out that there are 85 entered, 8 seats with 9th getting $825 and less than 50 left.  I get a raise, call and 3-bet and I look down at AK clubs in the SB and call along with the open-raiser and the other guy goes away.  I flop two clubs and check/call a c-bet from the 3-bettor along with the other guy.  The turn is the 3c and I check again and call a bet from the button.  We see a heads-up river that is a total blank, so I lead the river and when called, table the nuts.

The next hand is one that I totally butchered that drops me down to 23bb.   I get an open and call with 99 to setmine from the BB against one of the main final table guys.  The flop is all low cards and I check/call the flop.  The turn is a 10 and when I check, the opp bets small and here is my big mistake in the hand as I should have let it go, but didn’t think he had a 10 and could have overs that missed.  The river is a blank and he bets small again.  I don’t think he’s got any of the board, so I mistakenly call again and get shown JJ. 

We’re down to under 40 left and the blinds are now starting to eat into everyone’s stack at 1k/2k/300 and I’m on a resteal stack with 30k.  The blinds go up again and I’m down to 15k and shove AQ and get called by the BB with A3.  Q on the flop and I double to 34k.  It looks like a stack of chips, but everyone’s short and I only have 11bb. 

With 30 left, I get moved to table 26, go figure, seat 7 LOL!  This is not a good change for me, as this table is loaded with chips and has 4 of the best opps left at it.

I shove twice and get no takers, but just due to the blinds/antes, I’m now up to 50k chips with 26 left, but at 2k/4k/500, I still only have a shove stack.  I know I need at least another double-up to get in, so when I look down at TT from MP, “I’M ALL IN!”.  I get called by a shorter stack with A6 and am now up to 80k chips, still needing chips to get in and now with 20 left. 

The blinds go up again, so I only have 10bb and get moved to table 25 to balance them and guess what seat I end up in, yup, seat 7.  As we hit the next break, there are 15 left and I’m at 50k chips, which is a whopping 5bb!  As we come back from break, I shove twice, just to pick up blinds/antes to keep going and with everyone short, it’s all shove/fold now as the largest stack at my table is only about 10bb.

Now for the drama at the other table, Louie looks at his cards, throws them down in front of his stack without a card capper, waits a bit and then says “ALL IN”, but his hand is already mucked!  He goes off, the floor and then the TD are called and it is determined that his cards are mucked (not sure what action happened the cards were mucked).   No clue what he had, but when he sees the flop, he now really goes off.  “That’s my flop!” gets up, cusses up a storm,  throws his hat, and gets escorted out of the room for a penalty.  Note for anyone playing live.  Always keep your cards capped and make your decisions clearly, so everyone knows what you’re doing.

As we hit the final table, I’m sitting 9th in chips, but with the blinds now at 10k/20k/3k, the majority of players are at 5bb or under.  The shorty draws the button and gets it in the first hand and doubles (99 guy from last night), so he’s now about even with me and 3 others. 

On my BB, I get a shove and look down at junk, so have to muck, leaving me with 2bb.  The next hand, it folds to me in the SB and I look down at K6o and “I’M ALL IN!”  The BB (guy still on tilt from the other table from his cards being mucked) calls with 37o and when the board blanks, I double and am hopefully now safe. 

We then lose a player to guarantee me at least the $825 cash as KT shoves, is called by A6 (for 3/4 of his stack) and holds when an A hits on the turn.

The next play by an opp made absolutely no sense at all and the hand includes my best play in the tourney.  An older guy sitting about 4th in chips and UTG+2, min-raise opens to 40k.  Everyone has been shoving for well over an hour and this guy now min-opens?!  Seat 3, with basically my stack, now shoves over him.  I look down at 99, which on a 3bb stack is normally a no-brainer call… BUT… this is a satty and playing 99 here would be ICM suicide, so into the muck my pair goes.  It gets back to the old guy and he, is the one that makes a horrible call with AK.  He’s comfortably in, if he mucks every hand and decides to play an unmade hand against QQ and be in a race.  QQ holds and the old guy now goes from a guaranteed seat to 2bb. 

The next hand gives the BB a walk and when the old guy is UTG the next hand, he shoves his less than 2bb.  It folds to the big stacks to the left of me and 4 of them call.  Seat 10 ends up with a broadway straight to end the tournament, so I’m in the $1650 HPT Main Event. 

There are three day 1’s, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I’m going to play on Friday, so that I’ll have Saturday off if I can make it to day 2.  Dave is playing the main on Saturday and Leon (Sailor Moe) will also be playing on Friday, so PSO has 3 shots at a huge payday, as the winner normally gets 6-figures.

I had also planned on playing another monster stack satellite tomorrow for the main, and still plan to play it.  This one is 1 in 5 get a seat and with the seats being transferrable, I’m going to play, hope to get a seat, then sell it and put the $$ into my bankroll.  Give or take a bit, the vouchers normally sell for $1500 and with a day 1 after the satty tomorrow, I should easily be able to sell it pretty easily tomorrow or Friday.