Belated UpdateJul 03, 2009 – 21:07PM
During the 3 days of the $3k I didn't have much time to update. I was sleeping surprisingly well during the event and almost missed the start on day 1. On day 2 i had some other things to take care of and almost ran late for the 2pm restart, which was obviously then pushed back to 3pm but I was already at the Rio so didn't drive back. We didn't finish play until after 3am on day 2 and then I had to switch from my condo to the hotel room I'm staying in the rest of my stay, so I didn't get settled into my room until nearly 5am and had a 1pm restart on day 3.
Since then I've been relaxing and unwinding a little, trying not to think too much about poker, although I did play the $1500 at the Bellagio yesterday. Did okay, but the Bellagio tournaments accelerate REALLY fast after 100/200 25 ante and I found myself with 13k at 300/600 and on my first re-steal ran into TT with J9s and didn't get there.
I know you guys want to hear more about the 3k, so going to do my best to do a somewhat short recap. On day 1 my first table was REALLY good. I had some good players (including Johnny Lodden) to my left, and most of the players at my table were European but competent. I had two players to my left though who were overplaying hands and playing huge pots. I managed to get a bunch of chips out of one of them when I flopped a set versus his top pair and my set held. They were holding back their add on chips so i only got a little over 3k on that one, but I was able to see cheap flops and know if I hit they would overplay their hands.
After that I got moved to a tougher table with online players Maridu, Jordan 'scarface79' Smith, NoahSD, and later on Tony 'Bond18' Dunst. NoahSD was playing very aggressively and I had a physical read on him that allowed me to call down with 99 on a T-4-4-Q-7 board with two hearts by the turn. By that point I had quite a few chips and was really able to play a lot of post flop poker. I felt like I had a very solid read on the table and was able to play really well post flop versus everyone. I had a Russian player named Sergey (hopefully I spelled that right) three to my left who was tough to play against and didn't like to fold.
I don't mean to sound like i'm complaining at all considering my finish, but I actually ran pretty poorly in pre-flop all ins throughout the tournament, on day 1 I had 3 pre-flop all ins, QQ vs 99 (I won), JJ vs 66 (I lost) and 55 vs AT (I lost). I had enough chips I was able to go through most of those though and ended the day with 66,500 chips, good for above average.
On day 2 I started at what I thought was going to be an easier table, given that the only player I knew was Antonio Esfandiari. Turned out that wasn't the case at all though, there was a really tough Russian player (not Sergey, this one finished about 15th and I'm not about to try and remember his name). Both Antonio and the Russian were three betting a lot and generally not making life easy as I was the 3 seat and they were the 5 and 7 seats respectively. After folding to 3-4 straight three bets I finally 4 bet with AJo when the Russian 3 bet me. He woke up with KK and 5 bet and I was committed so I called. Ace in the window no problem and doubled through to about 120k. After that i got into a groove stealing a lot of pots from early position as opening from later almost always induced action as well as 3 betting some of the weaker players.
I slowly built my way up to about 270k in chips and was actually I believe the chip leader in the tournament shortly before the bubble, although they weren't covering me at all so I just know I had more chips than the rest of the listed leaders. I was actually pretty inactive on the bubble only stealing a few pots as my table was not a good one for bubble abuse. After the bubble burst I think I doubled every short stack at my table. I remember doubling AK with AJ, K9 with 55, and QQ with AKs. I did bust Nenad Medic who was short with QQ vs his T9o. I think I had a few other all ins versus short stacks post bubble, but generally it didn't go well for me and I got down from 270k high point to 70k at 400/800 after doubling another short stack with 44 vs his 66.
Isaac Baron moved to my table then and even though I really didn't want to play a lot of short stack pots with him since I knew he knew my all in range and would play optimally against it, we had some unavoidable situations come up. In the first he raised QJo in the CO and I had A2s and 70k in the small blind and I felt I was ahead of his range. I shoved and he called and I flopped A high with two of my suit. Isaac was live to a 3 out gutter on the river, but I won then on the very next orbit he was short and shipped AKs on the button and I had TT in the big blind and called. I won the race and suddenly had 170k again. Blinds got bigger but through re-stealing the rest of the night I finished with 230k and pretty much no showdowns.
Moving into day 3 I was a very short stack, but I had 20 big blinds and knew what to do. I stayed alive with some steals/re-steals and eventually had a player in the small blind move all in when i had 270k. I squeezed out ATo and called. He had KTo and I flopped the ace to make the sweat somewhat minimal. Shortly after that Jason 'TheMasterJ33' DeWitt (hopefully I spelled that right, he played amazing in this event) raised and I had AKo. I re-raised and he folded and suddenly I was above 600k and over average for the first time in a while.
It wouldn't last long though. It was folded to a short stack in the small blind who announced all in. Blinds were 8k/16k 2k ante so there was a lot of money in the pot. He moved in for 130k. He was super tight though and I actually considered folding my A4o, but there was just too much in the pot. he was the type of player I really didn't expect to be ahead of very often there, although he would move in with KQ and some other hands i was a slight favorite over. I only had to call 114k more into a 168k pot though so the price was good. Turns out he had A6o and I wasn't a huge dog, as we chop a lot. The board ran out with two low cards that didn't make a wheel or my 4 and I doubled him up. Shortly after that I had about 400k and opened for 40k with 99 in the CO. A player on the button announced all in and had about 700k. Max Greenwood and Jason 'JCarver' Somerville (another amazing player) had about 280k and 500k respectively, so it was a 500k effective shove. Both players folded, although one of them (Max I think) thought for a bit, making me think he might have had something like AQ or something.
I had played against the button a lot on day 2 and had seen him shove with A7o and T3s, but both times he was MUCH shorter. In general he was fairly tight though. The only big overshove I'd seen him make before he had AK. I also had played with him enough to know he's never shoving AA/KK there. I felt like his range would include a lot of AK/AQ type hands, and maybe even 88. With the dead money in the pot and a little over 20 big blinds behind I felt it was worth a call given his range. He ended up having QQ, which surprised me, and I didn't get there and busted 12th.
I was very happy with my play all 3 days, and I made a handful of mistakes (all of which I got punished for) but for three days of poker I was very happy with my play. I could have folded the 99 since I really didn't think he had lower pairs very often except maybe 88, but there was a lot of dead money in the pot and I felt like the price was right versus his range and was playing for the bracelet. Folding the 99 would have essentially put my back to where I was to start the day with 20 big blinds, and I really think that he had AK/AQ a lot there, and even some wild bluffs sometimes given my image from the previous day versus this player.
It was nice to make a deep run although I'm obviously a little disappointed it wasn't deeper. I'm happy with my play though and feel I'm in a great spot play wise to make a solid run in the main event. I'll be playing Sunday (1C). Good luck to everyone else playing unless you're at my table!