The Big Play

Ace of Spades $10K Guarantee Satellite (1,000 chips)

I’d already bought in for the game but DV hadn’t arrived yet and I decided to play for his seat since they were trying to round up a couple of players for the last satellite. I didn’t keep track of the cards, but I took a chunk of the stack from the woman opposite me early on, then another couple of medium-sized chunks from around the table before. As the match dragged on past the big game’s starting time, the staff was anxious to get the tournament under way and they jumped the blinds up, which led to the quick elimination of several players, with most of the chips going to two guys at the other end of the table. Eventually, they got into a hand and I was heads-up with a significant chip disadvantage. We got moved to another table since the one we were at was needed for the $10K. I managed to get even or a little bit ahead in heads-up by some good cards and some bluffing, then the tournament was starting and since both the other player and I were already bought-in we just chopped the prize money. DV had to pay his own way in to the big game.

6 players, tied for first. +200% ROI.

Ace of Spades $10K Guarantee (7,000 chips)

Right off the bat there was an announced “dealer appreciation fee” of 10% of the buy-in, which  got you an additional 2K in chips. It’s pretty hard to ignore a nearly 30% increase in the stack size for that price, but I felt it was a bit sleazy to not make it known up-front. I hope it’s not something that spreads to other venues.

I sat in seat 1 of table 2 the entire game.

I caught A?A? on my third hand and steadily increased my opening bets against seat 4 in SB. Checked on the river and SB bet 1K. I raised to 2K (we were still at 25/50 for blinds) and he called but the aces held and I was up to about 13K.

Pressing hard with AK won another several hundred shortly thereafter.

Had K?5? on the BB and caught top pair on the flop. The board straightened out with K?8?7?6? by the turn, and I hung on. 5? hit the river and I ended up takig down the pot from what was probably a stronger king.

Player 79 and hit second pair on a flop with an A?. I made a good-sized raise and everyone went away.

Lost about 1K after raising with A7, but I was up to 17K at the 90-minute mark.

Playing Q?Q? with an A? on the flop cost me about 3K. I made up for it playing Q?T? in a hand with five players in for 800 pre-flop. The first cards were K?J?8? and I bet out 1,500, which got folds from everyone.

Lost a big hand with AK? when my straight and flush draws didn’t make it and a full house did.

At two hours into the game I was down a bit, to 15,650, but made it to 22K by the second break.

I’d played 7?7? and stayed in with a board of 3?A?6?3?. When 7? hit the river, a short stack in seat 8 went all-in and I called him, with my full house being best hand.

DV wasn’t doing so well, down to about 10bb. After this, no players were allowed to rebuy, I did the add-on for 50% of the buy-in and 7K in chips (not nearly as good a deal as the “dealer appreciation”).

Open-raised to 1,500 with A?Q? and took the blinds on one hand, then lost 3,500 calling an open-raise by seat 4 (who had speedily recovered from our initial meeting) with K?J? when the flop went nowhere. K?J? lost me another K shortly thereafter, and perhaps I should have noticed a pattern here.

Blinds were up to 300/600, I raised to 1,500 with A?J and got three calls. Everyone checked to the river and nobody got anything. Nobody else even had an ace.

A?7? again cost me 1,500 after I opened and nothing hit on the flop.

My last hand was K?J?. A new player had been moved into seat 2 and taken out two from our table in a short span. I raised after getting top pair with a K? on the flop, he went all-in, I called and he showed A?K?, which held through the river.

DV actually laster a while longer than I did, but was still out well before the money.

4 hours. Placed around 50th in a field of 79. -100% ROI (-180% buy-in including door, dealer appreciation, and add-on).

Aces Players Club 1 Re-Buy (7,000 chips)

Took in 800 early on pairing my nine with 9?T? on the flop. Ditto with A?J? and jacks. Forty minutes in I was up to about 9,300.

4?5? in the BB raised and checked down to the river won me 1K when my paired 4? was the best hand. By the first break I had crept up to 10,400.

A lucky pull with 8T on BB made me over 5K when I hit a pair of tens with a straight draw on the board as well. that severely hurt the player three seats to my right, but he came back with an all-in against my raise with 8?8?. I called, he showed A?J?, another 8? came on the turn, and he never paired but the rest of the board made him a jack-high straight and he took back several thousand.

Only about 10,800 at the 160-minute mark.

I played K?Q? strong but two seats to my left the big stack at the table went all-in after the flop J?T?8? and I didn’t pull the trigger, losing over 6K. Busted out on the next hand when I called an all-in from the guy who’d busted my eights, and he showed A?Q? against my A?J?. Both of us paired our non-ace cards, but that wasn’t good for me.

2.25 hours. Placed 16th or 17th in a field of 23. -100% ROI (-120% buy-in including door).