I'll get to my satellite debachle in a minute. But first other news.
I finished 368th of 844 in the PL 5-card draw. I got my starting stack of 5,000 up to 14,000 and felt pretty good about how I played, but after hours of playing pretty well I think I got a little too aggressive late. I opened for a pot sized raise with AAKK2 got reraised and moved all in. My opponent had a pat straight, I didn't make a full house on the draw and that was it.
In the $215 limit I finished 818th of 1,800. Can't say what went wrong here. I got off to a slow start and was short stacked for a long time, but I ran my 5,000 chip starting stack up to 10,000 at one point before making a quick drop to zero chips.
In today's $215 NLH tournament (event #9) I lasted all of 20 minutes. I signed up late so as to avoid the mind numbing first few levels where the stakes are super low. Again we started with 5,000 chips. With blinds of 25/50 I lost 500 chips when I raised with AQ, got called, missed, bet the flop, got called and check folded the turn.
Shortly after a player with about 1,500 chips made it 150 from the cutoff. I reraised to 450 with AK, he moved all in with AQ, and I called. The turn and river were both queens.
A little while later a player open raised to 150, the next player made it 500, and I moved all in for about 3,000 with TT. This play wasn't crazy, but I probably should have folded. The guy who made it 500 had AA and knocked me out.
Now that that's out of the way let's talk about that satellite yesterday. Top 4 players got $10,300, 5th place got $375, and I finished 6th and got $0.
With 8 players left and blind of 250/500 with some small ante I had 16,000 and was in 2nd place, but the small stack was 8,000 or so and the big stack was less than 20,000. We were all pretty even.
Then I busted the small stack. He (insanely) moved all in from the button for 8,000 with 69 and I called from the big blind with AJs. He flopped a 9, but I turned an ace. That put me in first with 7 players left as the blinds went up to 300/600.
In a normal tournament where each place pays a different amount, it almost always the right thing to do to be active and aggressive and use your big stack to push your opponents around. But in a satellite situation where the top 4 all pay the same amount you have to ask yourself "do I have enough chips that I can just cruise the rest of the way?" Sometimes it feels like you have enough chips that your victory is all but sure and then later you find that you've been ground down to the point that you're back in jeopardy. When that happens you end up thinking "why didn't I make a few small moves when I had some chips?!"
What made this situation difficult was everyone had a solid stack. Nobody was under pressure. Even the shortest stack had 20 big blinds and the structure of the tournament was very slow. I didn't need to do anything crazy, but sitting back completely wasn't an option.
We played that way for a good 45 minutes (the blinds moved up to 350/700 at some point) and I managed to keep my stack close to 25,000 for the whole time. Twice I folded hands I would have called with in a normal tournament. Both times, I raised to 2,100 and someone reraised all in to about 12,000. The first time I folded AJs and the second time I folded 77. I didn't want to be taking significant risks unless I had to.
Then the point came where I had to. A player on the button who was the most active at the table made it something like 2,000 to go. He had maybe 15,000 chips total. I had AQ in the big blind and I can say for sure that the only move here is to go all in. So that's what I did. He thought for a little while and called me with 88. And he flopped an 8.
Now I had less than 10,000 and was the short stack. A few rounds went by and then I got dealt A8 suited in the big blind. The small blind moved all in and I thought this was a good spot to get my money in. After all if he had a really good hand you'd never expect him to just move all in like that. But it turns out he had AK!
The first card I saw on the flop was an 8 which gave me a few milliseconds of joy that lasted until I saw that there was also a king on the flop. And that was it.
I look back on everything I did and it all makes sense. But I'm certainly left playing the what if game. What if I call with those pocket sevens or AJ? What if I folded that A8? What if I'd been more aggressive earlier? What if I'd done anything other than what I did, because the end result was THE ABSOLUTE WORST thing that could have happened.
This was a very, very, very tough loss to take. One of the worst I can remember. It takes a lot for me to still be pissed the next day, and while I certainly feel better than I did yesterday, and I know I won't even care in a week or two, I'm still pissed.
Later today, event #11, $530 no limit with $3,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. This one is a 2 day event.