My Day One ended in decent shape, I was sitting at 42,000 and feeling decent. I got my table draw and started googling the names. A couple I didn't have to, Jennifer Harman and Theo Tran. I thought there was a chance it would be the TV table, but that was not to be. The rest of the table wasn't much better, there was a 2+2 cash game grinder with a huge stack, jburleson and a couple other tough spots. The one great thing is that my position at the table was great. I had position on the most aggressive players and the big stacks. So my table draw blew, but my seat draw was near perfect.
I ended up playing very passively on the day, which is pretty weird for me. The table was so aggressive, it just felt right. Early, this worked like a charm. Theo Tran raised the button and I defended my big blind with a call with KJ. I flopped top pair and check\called the flop and a big bet turn. I rivered top two and checked again and Tran checked behind and mucked when I showed.
Another hand I had JJ and opened and only Harman called. The flop came QQ9 rainbow. I checked and she checked behind. The turn was an 8 and it went check-check. The river was another 9 and I value bet kind of big. She thought for a bit and called and my Jacks were good. She said "I don't know why I called, I thought you had a Queen actually."
The first level, things were working great. I took a bunch of pots away from Tran, who was opening a TON of pots. The last hand of the level, I took one away from him with a flush draw. I was flashing back a couple years to when I had position on John Pham and owned him all day long. I think I finished at like 65,000 and was feeling great.
The first hand of the second level I called Tran again with a small pocket pair, fives I think. The flop came down Ace high, he cbet and I folded and he showed AQ and said to me "That’s a pretty good flop for me. I guess we are going to be playing a lot of pots together today, huh?" I dont think he was happy about it. He had someone behind him playing back at him which was ruining his plans for the day. The thing is, he should have been happy about it. He pretty much owned me the rest of the day.
The first level, I was making all the right decisions, after that it was him and I was one step behind pretty much constantly. I lost like the next 6 pots I played to end up back at like 38k. Then one hand cost me a bunch of chips. The cutoff raised and Tran called from the button and I called from the big blind with 98hh. The flop came down like KJ5 with two hearts and it checked around. The turn was a brick and I bet out about 2/3 of pot and the cutoff folded and Tran called. The river was an Ace and I bet out strong again. Tran reached for a stack of chips and made a raise that almost put me all in. Man that hurt. I mucked and he shows the "bluff" 85dd and bottom pair, which was actually good. He was bluffing with the best hand. I guess I had been check calling a ton and me betting out made him suspicious? Or maybe I am just a tellbox. Whatever it was, I was owned.
A few hands later, he raised again. I shipped him with KJo which I think is super standard giving how much he was opening. The guy right behind me reships (sigh) and it folds back to Tran who calls it all (double sigh) and says "You guys are in trouble." and show Aces. The other guy had AQ. The flop gave me a ton of life KQ9. The turn and river both bricked and I was out.
I don't really have any issues with that shove though, just bad timing in my opinion. Tran was playing great and I can't say he didn't deserve the rest of my chips, but him having Aces there is pretty gay.
The Main Event is such an awesome structure. 30,000 in chips and 2 hour levels is absolutely nuts. After the tournament I was thinking about it a lot. I survived for about 15 hours of play. Figure about 35-40 hands per hour means I had about 550 hands. I had Aces once, it folded to me in the sb and I raised and bb folded. Kings 3 times, twice an ace flopped (tho I won them all). No queens. Jacks a few times, no tens. 99-22 about 20-30 times and I flopped zero sets. I don't think I hit one draw. If it wasn't for a great structure I would have been out much earlier. I do feel pretty good about how I played. Most of things I second guessed after the tournament were all in small pots. It would have been nice if I could have had a little more to work with. Still tho, I had chances.
I definitely want to play more "big" live tournaments. I am just not sure if the Main Event is the way to go. The Borgata has a ton of $1000-$3000 tournaments with awesome structures. There is a very good chance I play the Aruba classic this year. Next year's Main Event is a long way away and a lot can change, so who knows. Hopefully the next 12 months go better (pokerwise) than the last 12 have gone.