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Well, day 2 wasn't as much fun as day 1.

Started out the day with 13,300 25 minutes into level 8 (300/600 with 75 antes). I wasn't getting very good cards for the rest of the level, but was stealing enough to end the level at 13,600.

Surprisingly I started at the table with about 3 stacks smaller than mine. The only person I recognized was the Allyn Shulman, the wife I think of the guy who runs Card Player magazine. There was one massive stack who's name I believe is Bo Schlestedt, some Swede. Later in the day I heard him explain to someone that he won a big tournament in Europe, has lots of endorsements, doesn't pay tournament entries, etc, etc. He was very good.

First hand of the level someone busts, third hand Bo busts two more.

Not sure if this was in that level, but definitely the most amazing hand I've seen. Player on my immediate right raises a standard amount, I fold, player on my immediate left goes all in for a small amount more, first player calls. Player on my right flips over AsKs, player on my left shows AcKc. Flop is JcQcTs. Turn is the Js, putting two royal flush draws on the board. River is of course the Qs, giving him a runner runner royal flush. It was probabably the most amazing hand one could produce, and it didn't happen on the Internet.

Next level (400/800/100), more of the same, I ended the level with just under 13K. No real playable hands, just a bunch of stealing. For whatever reason until my final level, I don't think I took a single hand to showdown. 95% of hands through went to whoever raised preflop, so that was that.

After the one guy got busted out when his royal didn't come. He was replaced by a massive stack. So, on my immediate left and his immediate left were I believe two of the biggest chipstacks in the tournament. Both played really well too, although I probably would have been even more aggressive. My guess is these two guys are going to go far.

Onto my final level, 500/1000/200. I was shocked when I saw the antes were doubling, I knew that I would have to make a move this level or I was done. Fortunately, early I get AA in the SB. A player who slightly outchips me moves in ahead of me. I of course call and hope the BB calls as well to triple me up. He folds and I double up against the initial pusher, who was stealing with total garbage.

Next hand I played was my bustout hand.

I am in the SB again and get dealt QQ. Bo, the Swedish pro guy raises UTG. He wasn't very loose, but I felt he could have a wide range of cards here, and I felt good about QQ against that range. Action folds to me. So blinds are 500/1000, he raised to 3500. I have about 22K. I could call, I could do a standard raise, or I could push.

I didn't think calling was a reasonable option. Although I had recently doubled up to over 20K, average in the tourney at this point must be 50-60K, so I really need to find spots to accumulate chips, so I am definitely reraising here. If I reraise, I don't want to do a min raise, so I'm going to have to raise it up to about 10K at a minimum. But if I raise it 10K, and he calls, I will have to play out of position, and likely have to check/fold if an A or K flops and he bets big, while leaving myself with 10K which is pretty much dead at this point. So, I felt I was trapped in a situation where I had to go all-in.

So push I did, and he thought long and hard. He muttered something that if I had AA, I would have hesitated more before betting. He has more that 150K chips here and decides to call. He turns over AK.

Flop is fine, but turn is a K and river is a blank and IGHN.

I guess it is easy to second guess yourself but I'm sure there is a better way to play the hand. Knowing what the flop cards are, I should have done a stop-go type manuever and I probably could have gotten him to lay down his hand, but I don't think it is a reasonable way to think about the hand. I do know I got my money in with best hand, and that's about as good as I can do.

I went out in around the high 900s place. I guess it feels good to have outlasted 4/5ths of the field. I made it about 6 hrs or halfway through day 2. I'm reasonably happy with this performance, but there is always the hope that you cash big.

I do have a bigger appreciation for the luck factor involved in winning a 5000+ person tournament. Yes, it absolutely takes tremendous poker skill to get through all those people, but the amount of luck you need is enourmous. That statement seems very self evident, but I have a much bigger appreciation for it.

I feel my biggest downfall in the tournament was due to the table makeup of my two tables, it was pretty much impossible to ever accumulate chips. I felt I encountered very little totally dead money, but it was there and someone was able to pick it up, and those people will go very far in the tournament. I'm sure some pro found a table with 5 internet nits who won big freerolls who gave their money away in level 1. It is tough to compete against that.

I enjoyed the experience however and right now expect to be back next year, and maybe try to satellite into other 10K events around the country. At some point I can get lucky.

I feel pretty exhausted right now and am just planning on hanging out in my hotel tonight. PP paid for my hotel through the week but I'll probably go home tomorrow. Thinking about playing the Bellagio tournament again, we'll see.

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