11 AM Feb 25 2012, The Mirage, 21st (48 entries)

Today for the first couple hours I was getting no cards whatsoever. It was an exercise in patience to keep folding before the flop on almost every hand.

Some of the players in these tournaments play a very loose aggressive game. In one hand fairly deep into the tournament I was in the big blind holding

The player under the gun raised 3x to 6000 and the player to his left called. Everyone else folded until it got to me. With the antes and blinds at 500-1000-2000 and eight players at the table, the pot had 19,000 chips in it and I only needed to call 4000 more. For this to be a good call, I only need an 18% chance of winning the hand, so it should have been an automatic call on my part, but I folded.

Much to my dismay, the flop came

To make matters worse, both players started putting lots of chips into the pot after the flop and they continued to all the way until showing down their cards at the end. If I'd only called preflop, I would probably have at least doubled up on that hand.

Oddly enough, the player who raised under the gun was holding

Almost as strange as this was, the player who called him was holding

The player with the ten-seven of diamonds won the pot.

Despite getting horrible cards during the first four levels and watching my stack gradually dwindle down, later in the tournament I managed to win a decent pot here and there and stayed afloat. The last hand though was extremely disappointing, because after taking good care of my chips the whole tournament, I picked a bad time to move all-in on the flop holding only

with the flop being

It turned out that the other player had put in a small raise preflop to try and steal my big blind, holding only

I had checked the flop, then he put in a suspiciously small bet of only 4000 chips (the antes and blinds were at 500-1500-3000). I then made the mistake of going all-in with the gutshot straight draw. My odds of winning the hand were about the same as they were yesterday when I hit the flush on the river, only about 21%.

Another queen fell on the turn, so I was out in 21st place.