3 PM Feb 4 2012, The Golden Nugget, 19th (45 entries)

Having just been knocked out of the Caesar's tournament rather early after less than two hours of play, I decided to head up to downtown Las Vegas and play a 3 PM tournament at the Golden Nugget. It would be the first time I'd ever played there.

My stack stayed right around the starting level of 8000 chips throughout the first several levels, occasionally rising to around 12K, but then dropping back down. I was getting pretty mediocre cards, yet managing to stay afloat.

When we went on break with the antes and blinds about to rise up to 200-1K-2K, I was still surviving with a stack of 11K. I went out for a little walk and almost didn't get back to the table in time to play my first hand at the new level. It had already been dealt, but I made it to my seat just in the nick of time. Good thing, too (or so it seemed...), because my cards were

How sweet! It was great to finally have a hand after being dealt so many rags. The player two seats to my right opened with a raise to 7K. I of course put all of my remaining 11K chips in the middle. Everyone else folded except the raiser, who called with

I was a 71% favorite to win the hand. Then the flop came

making me a huge 98.5% favorite to double up. The turn came

which wasn't good, because it left my opponent with four outs on the river instead of none, but the odds were still way in my favor (91%).

The river was extremely unpleasant though:

This sort of thing is bound to happen every now and then in poker. Sometimes it works in your favor, sometimes it doesn't. Instead of doubling up and remaining in the hunt, I was out in 19th place.