I got the schedule a little mixed up and wasn't expecting to start the FTOPS for another day, but when I woke up I decided to see what was going on. When I saw that event #1 was a standard $216 NLH tournament I decided to log on and give it a shot.
We started with 3,673 players with 5,000 chips each. I won a few pots early and had 8K or 9K when the following hand came up. The blinds were something like 40/80 and my opponent raised to 250 from early position. I was on the button with TT and I made it 900 to go.
The raiser called and the flop came down Q 9 5 with two spades. He checked and I bet 900 which was about half the pot and instantly my opponent went all in for 3,500. I had about 7K left in my stack so I wouldn't be out altogether if I called and lost, but the most likely hand for him to have there is a queen. In the end I made what looking back was a terrible call, but it turned out my opponent had AK of spades, missed, and I was up to 13K chips.
The next big hand came up a good while later, although my stack was still around 13K. The blinds were up to 250/500 and I made it 1,500 to go from the button with AJ off. The big blind who had 25K chips instantly pushed all in. I knew this was total bullshit and snapped called. He had QT off, I flopped an ace, and was up to 29K.
At that point there were 950 players left, 540 spots paid, and the average stack was around 20K.
I worked my way up to 45K with pure aggression and that's how much I had when we made the money. 540th paid $300.
After taking it up to 53K, I'd fallen back to 30K when the next big hand came up. The blinds were 1K/2K and the under the gun player limped in which was very suspicious. I figured it was likely AA. I had Q9 in the small blind and fired in another 1,000 hoping to hit the flop big and double up.
I didn't really hit the flop big, but I got some of it. The flop was 6 7 8 giving me an open ended straight draw. I checked, the big blind checked and the limper bet 3,000. At this point I talked myself out of my original read. "It doesn't have to be aces" I thought somewhat foolishly. Restraint has never been one of my strengths and I decided to be bold and move all in. My opponent didn't have pocket aces...he had pocked kings! ACK! Happily I hit a 5 on the turn making my straight and taking my stack to 62K.
I drifted up and down a little and the caught a break busting a player who had 55 when I had 88. That took me to 77K.
That's when I smashed face first into AA with JJ. I was down to about 5K when the big blind was 4K and the ante was 500 a hand. I was in last place about as broke as you could be without actually being on empty. I folded three hands and had 3,100 left when I got dealt A5. I got it all in and won. And then got the next hand all in and won. All of a sudden I was back to 30K with some hope.
Two hands later someone short moved all in with 56s and I called with A9. They missed and I was up to 67K! I'd increased my stack by 20 times in 4 hands!
One round later I got AK suited and was able to reraise all in vs AQ. Now I had 117K. What a comeback! But that wasn't the end.
I got ground down to 70K when I got dealt JTs in the big blind. It got folded around to the small blind who had 250K. He moved all in, but I thought he might move all in with just about anything here given that the blinds were 5K/10K with a 1K ante (there was 25K in the pot already) and I had the perfect size stack to attack. So I called. He showed me A3 which was more than I expected. I bricked the flop and the turn, but hit a ten on the river putting my back to 140K.
Then I got REALLY lucky. I had a little over 100K and a player made it 25K or so to go from late position. I had A8 suited and decided to shove. He called me with A9. Whoops!
The flop came down 6 7 9 giving him a pair and me a straight draw. Sadly the turn was an 8 taking me from 8 outs to win to 8 outs to chop and 2 outs to win. But the river was another 8! HA! I was up to 225K.
But this is where the story ends. I wish I could say the insanity that took me from 3,100 to 225,000 kept up. Instead I got ground down and the blinds went up and I ended up moving in from the button with 66 and got called by the big blind's AA.
I finished 38th out of 3,673 which paid $1,575. First place was $134,000 and I wasn't that far away from the final table, but this result was not bad for a tournament I almost didn't play. If I'd gone broke when I had 3,100 chips I would have gotten paid $525.