$570 entry with 1 million guaranteed prizepool. Seminole Hard Rock Casino, Hollywood, Florida

Day 1 Flight C: $570 entry with 1 million guranteed prizepool. Hard Rock Seminole Casino, Hollywood, Florida

I had heard to expect the play to be extremely loose, with players willing to gamble and re-enter several times. As my table started short handed, this was certainly the case. There were a couple players at my table playing most hands, and one that seemed to play every hand. Since we were playing short handed, I was forced to play with them. I knew I had to take advantage of this loose action and I was able to build up my stack pretty easily. The player playing most hands was able to accumulate chips, but then he went on a downswing and I expected him to try and make some moves to get his chips back. With blinds at 300/600/600, I made an early position raise to 1300 with 99. 2 players to my left called and then the loose player jammed all in for about 20k. I had him covered by about 8k, but if I lost that would leave me with a short stack and I still had 2 players to act behind me. After thinking for a few seconds, I decided I couldn’t let this loose player take down this pot with no showdown and elected to jam all in myself. Both players to my left quickly folded and we turned up our hands. My 99 was up against the A4 of the loose player. Fortunately, my hand held up and he left the table to re-enter. This hand more than doubled me up and I was able to slowly accumulate more chips up to about 85k by the second break. New players got moved to my table and with some big stacks to my left, it was difficult to maneuver. With blinds getting bigger and not seeing any premium pocket pairs, my stack slowly declined to about 60k. Needing to last until level 14 to make day 2, I played pretty tight. I wanted to make day 2 but I also wanted to move on with a larger stack, this put me in a difficult position. Fortunately, during the last few hands of the day I was able to pick up some good hands and win a couple small pots ending my day with 98k in chips going into day 2.

Not knowing how many spots they were going to pay left me pretty uneasy going into day 2. When I arrived I found out they were paying 300 spots with about 420 players remaining. With a long way to go to make the money, I knew I couldn’t just sit around and wait. I played hands but still was having trouble building a stack. With the bubble approaching the 300 players my stack was around 70k. At 301 players the tournament went hand for hand. Hand for hand lasted awhile(almost 30 min., but they were stopping the clock and taking 2 min. off). In this time I was forced to wait out that 1 player to go bust and be guaranteed an over 1k (t least $450 profit) payday. In one spot with the blinds 3000/5000/5000, a player opened in early position to 12k. A player to my right called and I looked down at 99. This could be a situation sometimes where I go all in, but being on the bubble I just called. The player to my left, who was playing loose then re-raised to about 35k. Being on the bubble probably influenced everyone’s decisions and we all let him take the pot down there. Finally, a player was eliminated and we were in the money. The very next hand with blinds 3000/6000/6000 I was dealt A10. After a few folds and only a couple players to my left and the blinds, I decided to move all in. Unfortunately, I was called by the player 2 spots to my left. Both blinds folded and we tabled our hands. He held QQ vs. my A10. Failing to spike an A or another combination to win, I was eliminated in 300th place. It’s always good to cash but it’s still disappointing when 1st place is over 250k.

Off the felt I had a good time hanging out with friends from Boston who joined me for the weekend in Ft. Lauderdale. We hit the beach and explored the area including the Gulfstream Casino although I didn’t play poker there.