12 PM Mar 10 2012, Santa Fe Station, 96th (104 entries)

This tournament started out fairly well as I built my initial stack of 12K in chips to roughly 16.5K during the first two levels. Not only did four separate hands come up where the river card gave me two pair, my opponent called with the losing hand three out of those four times. The other time it was actually a very unfortunate river card for me, as it was one of my opponent's five outs. Though I was pretty sure she had indeed hit her gutshot straight draw on the river, I check-called a smallish bet just to make sure.

Sometime during the middle of the third level, with the blinds at 100-200 I caught

in the big blind. A few players limped into the pot, then the small blind put in a 5.5x raise to 1100. Preferring to isolate, I raised to 3500. Everyone folded to the small blind, who pushed all his remaining chips into the middle. I insta-called. The small blind turned over

This isn't a good hand to go up against with AK. My winning chances were less than 7%. No lucky board cards came, so my stack was suddenly down to about 650 chips.

In the small blind the very next hand, I caught

With my stack suddenly down to just three big blinds I could see little reason to bother waiting around for good cards to come. Even though the cutoff seat raised to 800, he had been entering about 50%-60% of the pots, usually with a raise. He could have had almost anything, so I called. He turned over

My winning chances this time were 18%. Again nothing unusual came on the board, so I went out early in 96th place.

I don't think it was such a bad idea raising to 3500 with the AK, but on the other hand, the player who raised had been playing fairly tight, so a flat call might have been more appropriate to the situation. I certainly don't think you fold AK there. Insta-calling the all-in was obviously a serious mistake though. The player probably wasn't going all-in with anything less than KK, and he might not even push with KK.