12 PM Mar 14 2012, Bicycle Casino (L.A.), Winnin' o' the Green, 70th (96 entries)

I started this tournament in early position with three playable hands. They kept getting better and better, too. Second to act, my first hand was

This is not really the type of hand I like to play in early position at the beginning of a tournament, so after the player to my right folded, so did I.

Under the gun, the cards on my second hand came

Including the last hand of my previous tournament four days ago, this was my second AK in the last two hands. Maybe partly because I was up against AA the last time, I chose to limp into the pot. Several other players limped behind me, including both blinds. The flop came

I check-folded to a middle position bet, so this time the AK only cost me 50 chips instead of 16K chips (not to mention my tournament life).

The next hand I was in the big blind holding

The player to my left opened with a 3x raise to 150, then, strangely enough, five more callers followed. By the time it got around to me six players were in for 150. I put in a sizable raise to 1650 hoping that everyone would fold so I could pick up the more than 1000 chips that were in the middle. To my surprise and dismay, almost the complete opposite happened: only one out of six players folded his hand. So here I was with pocket queens, the blinds were at 25-50, and 8400 chips were in the middle before the flop!

The flop came pretty good for me, too:

That is, it seemed pretty good up until the small blind pushed all the rest of his chips into the middle! After a small bit of deliberation I felt I had to call, so I did. To my dismay, three more players put all of their chips in too.

I couldn't believe how poor the small blind's all-in hand was, when he turned his cards over:

Another player only had two overcards and a gutshot straight draw, holding

I don't remember exactly what the other two players had, but at least one of them must have had an ace or a king probably. For the time being anyway, my pair of queens was the best hand.

That situation changed extremely fast though, when the turn came

The player with the JT had just hit his gutshot for the straight, but it also gave the small blind two pair. Perhaps to an even greater degree of dismay than I had just experienced with that turn card, the unfortunate player with the straight had to watch the river card come

So the small blind, holding the measley 38 of hearts, took down the huge pot with a full house.

This tournament allows players to re-enter for 80% less than the initial buy-in and they get 80% more in chips (6K instead of 5K), so I as well as two others who also lost all their starting chips re-entered the tournament after that hand.

My stack got up to about 9K at one point, then it gradually dropped down until I finally went all-in with about 4500 left, after being raised by another player after the flop. I was holding

and the flop had come

The other player was holding

I was a 42% favorite to win the pot, but no 8, J, or K came on the turn or river, so I went out in 70th place.