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It's 2:00 a.m. and I just got in. 2,126 players started, 121 remain. Money started at 198 players, paying $2,176 for players 154-198. Players 104-153 get $2,902 and the next increase is at 103 players remaining, increasing the payout to $4,383, or something like that. We played 13 hours tonight.

One interesting new method for the bubble is as follows: When the players remaining is within 3-5 of the bubble, the TD (tournament director) announces that all table will play one more complete round. If the money isn't reached, then those players knocked out in that round go home empty handed. If, however, more than enough players are knocked out to reach the money, all the players knocked out share the money that was reached. For example: In tonight's play, the pre-money round started with 201 players. In that round, 6 players were knocked out, using up payout places 196, 197, and 198. The $2,176 for each of those three places ($6,533 total) was divvied up among the 6 players knocked out with each getting $1,088). This method spares the time consuming hand-for-hand procedure and provides no incentive for anyone to try to play slow and try to wait out the opposition to slip into the money. I think it is a much improved method.

High points along the way tonight. At the first table, at one point, I was in the little blind and a rather aggressive player on the button with about the same size stack, made a bit larger than normal raise. I was pretty sure he was making a steal attempt. I looked down at AsQs and pushed in on him. I was wrong, he had KK. God smiled on me and I picked up a spade draw on the turn and spike an Ace on the river. It left him with one T25 chip and gave me about T5,000. Later, at the same table, after a previous raise, I re-raised with QQ and got re-raised by the shorter stack which I had to call. The raiser showed another KK. Fortunately, I flopped a set and increasing my stack to about T9,000. Those were my two crucial pieces of suck out and gave me enough chips to continue on.

Out table broke and I was sent to table 153 where I stayed the remainder of the night. Michael Mizrachi's younger brother Eric was there and was the chip leader there the whole time I was there. He closed the night with T75,900.

I had built my stack up to T14,000 around level 8 when I limped in w/AQo behind the guy on my right who had limped UTG. Everyone folded to the big blind who called. Flop was x-x-x with two diamonds and everyone checked. Turn was Ad. Big blind bet T1,200 and UTG waited awile before he called in a really "I'm not sure I should do this" kind of a way. I re-raised to T4,000, pretty sure I had the best Ace and intent on knocking out any flush draws. Big blind called T2,800 all-in, UTG folded and Big Blind turns up KdJd for the nut flush. That dropped my chips to around T8,000. Then I went card dead for awhile, eventually getting down to around T5,000. By this time, blinds were T400-T800 with T100 antes, or, T2,200 per round. My "M" was batting around between 2 and 3. I kept looking for the spot to go all in but the guy on my right was pretty aggressive and had a big chip stack and kept taking the opportunity away from me. Finally, I caught a 22 with no raisers in front of me and went all in and took down the blinds, but not before Eric Mizrachi, with the huge stack contemplated calling. He finally showed an Ace and folded.

As we got withing 20 of the money, I kept having conflicting thoughts: (1) tighten up and try to make the money; vs. (2) Go for it, regardless of the money, and try to get some chips. When the opportunity finally got there, I had a ready made decision. A guy in seat 6 limped in and it was folded to me. I looked at AKo and moved all in for T5,000. UTG limper thought for a bit and called. His stack was about T1,800 more than mine. He turned up Jh9h. I flopped an Ace, but there were two hearts on the flop. Fortunately, no hearts came and I doubled up. That T5,000 was my late tournament low point. With T11,000 in my stack, I was able to survive the bubble and then started getting some good cards/situations. I have a very tight and aggressive image at this table and that has undoubtedly helped me past some otherwise callers who were afraid I would show them the nuts. It really made a differece in my "small M" results, helping me survive.

At the evening break, average chip stack is T26,355; I have T33,400 and am number 40 on the chip count, tied with Michael Mizrachi. Play resumes at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

Several interesting side notes: Barry Greenstein came to our table with about T12,000 when I had about T15,000. He got tangled up with the player on his right and tried a really aggressive move on the player on his right. Preflop there was a standard size bet by seat 6 and Greenstein just called. Flop was AQx rainbow. Seat 6 made a minimum size bet of about T1,200, Barry raised to T2,400 straight, Seat 6 raised to T3,600, and Barry raised another T4,000. Seat 6 then went all in and Greenstein folded, leaving himself short-stacked with about T2,000. A round or two later, he went all in, over a previous limper and the blond gal went all in with T13,000 over the top. Heads up Barry showed K9s and blond girl showed KK. Earlier that evening they said that she also took out Ted Forrest with KK.

About this blond. I am pretty sure she never paused talking to take a breath from the time I sat down till 6 hours later when we broke for the evening. The blond (who made sure everyone knew her name - Marina Baroco) is a fairly good-looking gal with plenty of cleavage showing, who seems never to cuffing shut up. She is obviously trying to be somebody and, it seems, trying to sell herself or her personality. She was hitting on anyone sitting next to her and really put the moves on Greenstein. I kept hoping she would get busted out but she keeps finding miracle cards. She got all in, short-stacked, with AJo against AQs and spiked a J on the river. We were next to the aisle and she had a cheering section who yelled and screamed everytime she had a success. I just put my head down and groaned when that Jack appeared. She has T15,000 and I keep hoping she will get knocked out just to give my ears a break.

That's it for tonight. It is 3:45 a.m. and I think I am getting tired enough I will be able to go to sleep pretty soon. I have already drunk up all the wine I had in the room.

I'll report more tomorrow. Hopefully really, really, really, late.

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