I handed over $630 of which $550 went to the prize pool, $50 went to the house and $30 went to the dreaded "Staff Appreciation." I did get a free hat which I am in favor of and a $5 off food coupon which I think makes no sense. $5 off of food, only good on that day, not including alcohol, gratuity not included? Why all the buzz kill on the $5 comp? I don't know why they bother with this.
We started with 20,000 chips, blinds of 100/100, 30 minute levels and eventually 377 entries. Here is my sad looking starting stack. Poker looks so much cooler on TV (or in cash games).
In this snapshot you can see the board all the players see with the tournament status and the prizes. $56,680 for first is legit!
Also of note, like at the Phase Zero tournament the big blind posted the ante rather than have every player ante once antes became part of the structure. In fact there were no 25 chips in play in this tournament. After 2 tournaments of this structure I am a fan of it. It's a pain in the ass to get everyone's attention so they can ante and every now and then there is confusion about who anted and who didn't. This eliminates both of those problems and reduces the need for smaller denomination chips which some shitfaces insist on using to bet something like 2,375 when 2,400 would be just fine. Shitfaces!
My first big hand came in the second level with 100/100 blinds and a 100 ante. Two players limped for 100 and I made it 500 to go with KK. After my raise the first limper made it 1,200 to go.
"Mother fucker!" I said to myself. This was a weird spot as maybe half the time someone limp re-raises it's AA (it might be more than half the time), but sometimes it's QQ or AK and every now and then it's something else. So I kind of had to put him on AA, but I didn't know this guy so I wasn't sure enough to make an Ultra Epic Mega Legendary Fold (UEMLF!).
Later in a tournament or if your in a cash game, almost always you should and will just get it all in preflop if you have KK and someone else has a big hand, but in this spot I decided to just call him down. I threw in 700 more to call and the flop came down Q93. The villain bet 1,500 and I called. The turn was a 7 and I called 3,500 more. The river was a 3 and I called 7,500 more. Sure enough he had AA. Drat! After that hand I was down to 7,500 chips, but happy I didn't go broke with KK on a fairly innocuous board.
Then I had three medium size hands go my way: 1) I got dealt A7, the board ran out Q73A6 and I got action from a Q 2) I got AA and stacked a shot stack who had T8, shoved on a JT9 flop and bricked out 3) I got KK again against the same dude who had AA previously - this time he had QQ, but he just called my 3 bet preflop and a A high flop killed the action. I like numbered lists when it's a list of shit I won!
At this point the blinds were up to 300/500 with one 500 ante, I had it all the way up to 35,000 and was feeling really good.
In the next big hand I called an under the gun raise to 1,500 with 44, the button called as well and the flop came down 223. The preflop raiser checked and I bet out 2,500 thinking if no one else had a pair I'd probably take it down, but I'd have some showdown value if I got called by something like AK or AQ. The button quickly folded, the raiser called and I put him on...wait for it...AK or AQ. To my horror the turn was an A! My opponent checked and I checked behind thinking maybe in some universe he'd have KQ, but in my heart of hearts knowing that I'd be toast without a 4 or a 5 on the river.
To my delight my the river was a 5 making me a very unlikely and well hidden straight and my opponent bet out 3,000. I glanced sideways at his stack and it looked like he had about 15,000. After a little thought I decided to make it 11,000 figuring I'd give up a few thousand in potential value for a better chance of being called. He quickly shoved all his chips in, and I quickly called. While I was starting to think how weird it was that he'd snap shove AK there and not just call he said "Quads" and rolled over 22! WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUDGE!? HOW THE?! WHY THE?! DEUCES!? This was highly disappointing. To make matters worse he actually had 18,000 in his stack when he shoved the river.
After that hand I was down to 4,500, but bounced back with 3 little pots: 1) I open shoved 99 and everyone folded 2) The small blind in an act of total foolishness limped in with QJ after everyone else folded, I shoved with A6, he called and the board ran out garbage 3) I shoved for 9,200 with 77 over a raise to 2,200 and he folded. Numbered lists of victories!
This little flurry put me up to 13,400 with 190 players left (average was about 40K at that point).
Finally, with blinds of 500/1000 this dude who was a total wild card (he did a full standing multi-pump fist pump whenever he won a big pot) made it 4,500 and I looked down at TT. I don't think I'm ever folding TT with 13 big blinds so I shoved, he had QQ and I bricked out.
Looking back, getting KK against AA, running a wheel into quads and finding myself with a short stacked TT against QQ was totally insurmountable. All three of those are death sentences and I'm happy I squeezed two extra lives out before getting the final blow.
Next up $380 NL Hold'em at Lucky Chances.