i went back to the palms hotel room where i was staying with jason, to find jason playing some 200/400 triple draw with FWF. i told them about the AQ hand i played against nobles, to which jason sighed and presumably went on some more life tilt.
there were 135 players left, and this is the point where i start checking up on info on the tournament and see that there are lines on who will make the final table. the line on me i believe was around even money...haha, ok it was probably around 9/1, which wasn't bad considering i had 930k in chips to start.
but i suppose this was when i started thinking seriously that i could make the final table, and it wasn't some pipe dream to play the world series and be on ESPN.
first things first, i thought to myself, everyday is another battle.
my starting table looks friendly enough, i reunite with my old buddy from day 1, thomas walhroos, and richard gryko, a short stacking ninja who i've played with on multiple days.
the blinds start at 6k/12k with a 2k ante. at this point of the tournament, i'm not as safe as i was on previous starting days, as i had around 80 BB, when i usually hovered around 100-120. i still had breathing room, but i knew there was never a time to let my foot off the gas.
"seat open, table xxx" kept going as rampantly as ever. i wondered why people still kept busting so fast, did they not realize they were playing for bajillions of dollars? in the first level, there were around 30 eliminations, almost 25% of the field gone.
meanwhilist, i chip up and chip down, trying to stay afloat. by the end of the 2nd level, i have around 800k, losing ground slowly. i wondered if i was just going to try to hold on...after some folding to some repops, i'm all the way down 750k, 700k, 650k...then i drop to around 600k or so. i was staying aggressive, but i was definitely getting outflopped and couldn't keep the pressure going.
then at 6:15pm, nearing the end of the 3rd level at 10k/20k blinds with a 3k ante and down to a paltry 560k, i look down at my hand to see some beautiful kings. i make a standard 60k open early position. the big blind, who seemed a bit tight, moved all in. he hadn't shown much aggression throughout the tournament, so thoughts of the scene with rounders with damon and malkovich started floating through my mind. but the day i fold pocket kings preflop for 25bb, is the day phil galfond and phil hellmuth can call me a nit.
i called and he table AKo. not the best hand i want to see, but i'll take it i suppose.
flop JJ9 two hearts.
the dealer slowrolls a...6h. i have Kh, giving the guy 2 outs.
the dealer gives me a juicy Td, and it's gogogo time.
my nit image is a success as i showed that i even thought about folding with pocket kings. the rest of the table bows down to my pressure and i go on a rush in a hurry. i win a 55 all in for 375k against my AQc w00t flipaments, and i'm almost up to two million.
then kevin aaronson and william thorsson decide to join my table. i can no longer take control and have to balance my strategy again. aaronson and i get into a couple tangles, but nothing too serious.
towards the end of the day an interesting hand with aaronson and another player comes up. EP raises to 100k pf, and aaronson calls late position. flop comes 876 two hearts, and EP overbets all in for around 850k. ridonkulous. aaronson thinks for a while. EP goads him saying, "you'll be on TV if you make this call." by this time, ESPN cameras were all over, and it seemed certain that this hand would be televised anyway. (it wasn't) aaronson quips by saying, "let me see if i've made enough money to call you." (164k at that point was the payout) aaronson decides to call with QQ. EP tables ATh, and it's close.
turn K, river 6, and QQ is g00t. aaronson remarks that he had made a mistake earlier against EP, and i say to aaronson, now you'll be on TV, LDO. (again, it wasn't, i suck at telecastaments)
after a few more eliminations they decide to end early (around 11:30) before the 5th level was finished, because they were simply eliminating people a lot faster than they expected. they announced that day 8 would be an off day, because of the speedy tournament, and we packed up our baggies with goodies. i only increased my stack by around 40% or so, which wasn't too bad.
at the end of the day, i went back to the hotel room to be greeted by FWF. it was his last day in vegas, as he was going back home from all the craziness.
FWF looked at the payout sheet and told me,
"man, play for like 15th," he remarked. "there's a [censored] of money at the top of the tournament, you should probably be still trying to chip up. oh yeah and one other thing, don't get involved with prahlad friedman. if it ever gets heads up with you and him with even stacks, you should deal for 2nd place + 1 dollar."
"thanks for the confidence, jackass," as i pondered looking out of the hotel room. but nothing really could take away from the thrill of victory.
another day, another battle.