3 PM Feb 7 2012, Harrah's, 16th (34 entries)

This tournament started out fairly well as I managed to double my starting stack of 6K to 12K with aggressive, solid play during the first four levels. My cards were somewhat hot for awhile, but then they cooled down, eventually leaving me without many chips for the higher blind levels.

With my stack at 10K and the antes and blinds at 100-500-1000 (not to mention, levels only 20 minutes long), the time had come to take some chances and try to steal the blinds more often. When it got folded around to me in the cutoff seat holding

I felt the hand was strong enough to move all-in with at this point in the tournament, so I did. Wouldn't you know it, the button insta-called me! He thankfully had a somewhat smaller stack than mine (about 70%), but still, this was not what I wanted to see! The small blind folded, but then the big blind deliberated for awhile. He seemed close to calling, but eventually decided to fold. The button turned over

leaving me with only a 29% chance of winning the hand. No ten (or three diamonds) came on the board, so my stack was suddenly diminished to just a little over two big blinds.

I had to act fast, but waited a few hands when no cards came. Then I luckily caught the

and of course went all-in. It was a fairly automatic call for the big blind, who held

with a decent chip stack. This time I was a 72% favorite to take down the pot. Fortunately no jack fell, so I did just that, more than doubling up to 6800 chips.

The very next hand I caught

and went all-in for the second time in a row. The small blind, the same player I had just beaten with my pair of tens, had about twice as many chips as me and decided to just call. Then the big blind, who had more chips than him, went all-in. This gave me a chance to triple my stack up to a decent size should I win the pot. The small blind decided to fold his hand, making the task a whole lot easier. The big blind turned over

making me a 57% favorite to more than triple up my stack! Then, quite a bit to my dismay, the flop came

Suddenly I had to worry about my opponent making a flush, not just an overpair. His odds of winning the hand went from 43% up to 52% with that flop. When the turn came

those odds went up to 100% and I was out of the tournament in 16th place.