2500 starting chips. 4495 entrants. 600 places paid and first place will take a little over $365,000.
I got off to a great start with QQ on the second hand, raised 3x UTG+1, half expecting it to be folded around. I get two callers and bet the pot on a 8h 7c 4c flop. One fold, one call. The turn was the 6s, and I check-called a half pot bet. The river was the 2c, so I bet half the pot again hoping to take it down or get reraised if he had a flush. He just called and it seems my QQ had been turned over by 55 who had an OESD on the flop and hit it on the turn, that was annoying. I had to stop, take a deep breath and remember to stay calm. I was down to T1740 after only 2 hands !
Life was made more difficult for me by a loose-aggro player on my immediate left, that shut me out of a LOT of hands where I would have liked to have seen a flop but the guys standard raise was 8 to 10x the BB. It took half an hour for me to get a really solid read on him, during which I was forced to fold two nice suited connectors preflop which would both had made straights and I before I had a good read I called 88 and folded on a K high flop. I wish I'd push right then, cause I later saw that him betting the pot on the flop meant he'd missed. Now I had to hope I'd get some good cards when he raised.
Called a couple of standard raises with decent starting cards (88 & AJ suited) and missed the flop and had to fold to aggression both times. 40 minutes gone and down to T1235. Limped QJo UTG+1 (bad) got to see a QA4 and bet out, only to be check-raised by the BB. Down to T1015 !
limped again (urgh how bad am I playing!) with AJo UTG. The button raised to 150 and I called, the flop comes A high with two clubs and I risk a check-raise allin and win my first pot. Up to T1505. Ok, now I can relax a bit, at least I won a pot. Remember I'm supposed to be playing good strong poker.
Call a min raise from UTG+1 with KJo. 4 callers and miss the flop.
Raise to 100 with JJ UTG+2, get called by good player on the button. Check-call the A high flop and figure he's trying to take it and seeing as I check-raised allin the last A I had, so I check-call and then bet out when a King hits the turn, he folds straight away. Up to T1740. My heart beat has returned to normal, I'm looking forward to the break, and I feel like I have balls again at least.
AA on the button, UTG limps, a bad player who bets far to much raises to 150 in MP. I risk just calling. UTG folds and the flop comes Qd 2c 9s. MP takes a long time to bet 200 and I figure thats a big enough pot to win right there and reraise to 550. He folds and I win another pot. Up to T2100.
First break - made it this far at least. A rollercoaster of a first hour, down down down then up up up. I'm quite surprised by the amount of action at my table, previous $1M's have been very tight in the early stages, in this there are chips flying around almost every hand. I'm happy to have T2100, for now it gives me enough to play with. I have a decent read on everyone at the table and the 9 players we started with are still here. One is down to T606 after two muppets went handbags on the turn after the board came all diamonds, they both checked and then reraised each other to the point of allin, one had two pair (with no diamond) and the other had trips (also with no diamond) the trips made a full house on the river and that guy, which just happens to be the aggressor on my left now has T5313. There are 3740 left and I'm in 2746th place. 755 players went busto in the first hour. I could very easily have been amoung that number.
AQ in the SB, short stack limps UTG and I raise 5x. Short stack folds.
Limp with 7c9c, miss the flop and fold
AJo SB, just limp in with 4 others and miss the flop. It's checked around and then bet on a K turn, fold.
QJs button+1, call 3x raise from the guy to my left, a new player who looks decent. SB calls and the BB (who has a good record) pushes and everyone folds, I have T1650.
With T1550 and the blinds at 50/100 I get KsQs UTG, raise 3x figuring I aint raised a hand for 40 mins and might get respect from such an early position, a similar sized stack to me (starting to get short) pushes for the third time. It's basically for all my chips. If I fold this then my next hand will be a push-or-fold one anyway. I figure he has a low pocket pair and it's a coinflip, which I need at this stage so I call. My read is good, he turns over 77 but I miss everything. Q9 off next hand I'm allin on the blind and win a very small pot vs 33.
Fold for a couple of hands with only T310 and eventually push A8, get called by BB who has J10 and flops a 10. Busto'd 2851st.
I didn't play great poker at all. But I think I did an ok job in difficult circurmstances. I was pleased with the way I chipped back up after dropping so many in the first half hour, and if the KQ flip had gone the other way I'd have been well back in the race. Can't win em all right ? At least the $100NL cash game at Stars showed me some love after I busted out of the tourney. In the space of about 20 hands I had KK hold up, AJ flop two pair and KJ flop two pair and river a full house. I made a buyin and a half and then quit and went to bed, still loving the game.