12:30 PM Mar 3 2012, Luxor Casino, 4th (20 entries)

Decided to go check out Las Vegas's pyramid casino today and enter in their daily 12:30 PM tournament. Finishing 4th out of 20 entries is the closest I've come to the money without cashing in quite a while. The top two places got paid, so I didn't quite go out on the bubble, but almost.

When it got down to the last four, I had the short stack with about 11K left in chips. Just a few hands after the blinds had risen to 1000-2000, I caught

on the button. The first player folded, so I felt it wasn't too bad a plan to move all-in with this admittedly somewhat marginal hand. I mainly hoped that nobody would call, but that isn't what happened. The small blind folded quickly, but the big blind, who had the chip lead, chose to call with

This wasn't too bad for me, as I had a 40% chance preflop to double up and be right in the thick of things. With 20 players each starting with 4000 chips there were only 80K chips in play, so 23K would have been a better-than-average stack had I won the hand.

Alas, the flop came bad for me:

My chances of winning the hand plummeted to just 3%, then the turn card sent them to 0%:

It's debatable whether I should have pushed with the KT so close to the bubble, as I had enough chips left to fold more than a dozen hands. I probably could have watched at least one player go bust. I might then get some lucky cards and double up multiple times in a row with whatever chips I had left, to possibly avoid going out on the bubble in third. Of course, waiting a little longer would also have provided a chance to catch a monster hand. I don't feel it was any big mistake going all-in when I did though. I could have easily stolen the blinds or doubled up.