I played the Foxwoods 3k event yesterday. The second biggest event is normally the toughest field, because the biggest event has satellite winners and the television exposure. Where the second biggest is normally a small field full of a many talented players.
I felt like I played real well the first 4 levels. Pulling the trigger several times and picking up pots, something I have been really trying to incorporate into my game. The best example of this was a hand where I had raised preflop and bet the flop and turn, then on the river my lone opponent bet into me, I felt like he was weak but probably had me beat. I thought for a second and raised his bet and made him laydown his hand.
Things were going smoothly, I had built my starting stack of 10k up to 25k, by playing mostly small pots and never getting all my chips in the middle. Then this critical hand happened.
Blinds 300-600, 75 antes, 3 limpers, I limp with 75 clubs, the button limps and the SB calls. Seven players plus antes, the pot is 4950. The flop came out J98 all clubs, a great flop for my hand. It was checked to me, and I bet 4200, allowing anyone with a big club to draw to the flush but also giving them a bad price to draw. The button thinks for a while, he had almost 18k in chips and eventually calls, everyone else folds. The turn card was an offuit ten, and with the pot being ~13k, and my opponent having about the same left in chips I put him all in. He agonized for a second or two then called, with the Ace of spades and Queen of clubs, giving him the irrevelent stright, and the Queen high flush draw. The river card peels off one of his six club outs (six of clubs gives me a straight flush) and he takes this monster pot of ~40k, leaving me with a little over 8k.
I was devasted after this hand, feeling I had played soo well up to that point, then having this happen. In the past I have noticed in my tournament game that as soon as somethig bad happens I give up. My thought process was it is so hard to win a tournament, if I dont get all the breaks, I couldnt win. I have been trying to fight this urge. I was able to build my stack up to 35K in the next 2 hours and at dinner I was just below the 40k average mark.
My stack dwindled to about 24K, then with the blinds at 800-1600 a solid player opened for 4100 and I shoved all in from the small blind with AQs. He called with AK and I was sent to the rail ... ahhh
We have been playing 75-150 holdem the last couple days, so that is my plan again today. Then to get a good nights rest for the main event tomorrow, which can be followed on pokerwire.com.