To say that it was an interesting event would be an understatement. I showed up a day early to register, and the place was a zoo! Registering early however was a great move, and confirm my registration after the 12 Noon start of the current days tournament meant no lines at all. The Amazon Room is huge, and very dark. No outside light to speak of, so you would have no idea what time of day or night it was when you are playing there.
I found my seat assignment, and decided to "scout it out". What I found out was my table was actually out in the "tent" outside the convention center. It turned out to be a good thing.
When I finally started playing on Saturday, my plan was to play the first hour very tight, with blinds at only 25/50. That plan when out the window very quickly as I got AKsuited twice and 5 pocket pairs in that first hours, and hit ALL of them on the flop. I quickly chipped up to almost 5,500 chips (we started with 3,000). After that my plan was back on, as the cards didnt come for the next couple of hours. Just after 3:30, during the 4th hour, I got AK again, and the flop came out AQQ. My opponent check and I bet, he just calls. Rag on the turn, same betting. Rag or the river, same betting. I figure my two pair with King kicker is good, and my opponent turns over AQ for the flopped full house! Needless to say I was crippled at that point, down to 775 chips. Two all-ins in the next four hands give me tremendous suckouts on the river both times, and I am back up to just over 2,000 as we head to the 2nd break.
I play tight poker for hours after this, probably playing maybe 7 hands in the next four hours, going all-in on the flop on ALL of them, and never got a call. I actually managed to chip my way up to 8,500 by the dinner break. At this point we are informed that there are only 630 left (out of a non-Main Event record of 3,158), so there are only 306 people left to go when we get back before we start getting paid. At this point I go completely card dead after the break, as the only hands I win were in the big blind when I am given a walk, so I have 5,000 chips - blinds are at 400/800/100 Ante - and they finally break my table at 9:40 PM (Yes, I was at the same table for almost 10 hours). When I get into the Amazon Room (finally!) we learn that the player count is down to just over 500, and I sit down with my 5,000 chips and realize how much trouble I am really in. On other guys sucks out just as I sit down to double up to 18,000, and he is the next smallest stack next to me. I can only wait out 5 hands and I get AK in the Big Blind and push it. I get a call from UTG (who has already bet out 3,000), and he flips over QQ. I never improved and out I go right around 500th.
So, I felt really good about how I played the whole time, and found it to be a great experience. I plan on trying again next year, and hopefully will cash next time.
I did manage to play some more 40/50 people tournaments at the Stratosphere (where I was staying) during the rest of my time in Vegas, and actually won on Monday afternoon (chopping 3 ways) for a $600.00 payout after tipping the dealer. In all I left Vegas up almost $800.00, and with a lot more experience at live poker and confidence in my own game.
Taking some time off now - from online poker at least. I will be up in Atlantic City the weekend of July 13th-15th, and may play some, but online I may just not play in July. I am feeling kind of burnt out right now, and need to spend some more time with my family and working on helping organize my 20 year high school reunion.
So this isnt good-bye, as I know I will be back to play in the BBT Freeroll that I managed to finish 25th in despite playing on 20 of the 39 events (I just wonder how I would have finished if I had played all of them). And with the 4 times yearly FTOPS surely coming around again soon, I will be out on the virtural felt again soon enough. I will still be here reading everyone elses stuff, and posting when I can, although it may not always be poker related.
Thank you everyone for all your support and for all that you have taught me this last year of online poker, I feel my game has gotten SO much better thanks to everyone I have met online, being it the bloggers in the BBT, or all my friends on 67 Suited.