Guess who just bubbled in 3rd in a Stars 4000 FPP WSOP satellite, with the top two getting a trip to the Main Event, after more than nine hours of play?
That'd be me.
Surpisingly, I'm not all that upset. I should have been done in the first 15 minutes, when my KK ran into AA, but I flopped a set and was off and running. Had a couple other silly escapes, such as running KK into AA again, but versus a short stack, so it wasn't deadly. Also managed to flop and turn trip queens with AQs versus AKh with all my chips in the middle, so I really can't gripe.
Final exit was kind of bad, though, as my K7d looked kind of bad heading into the flop versus A10o, until a lovely K flopped, and a harmless turn came, and I was halfway out of my chair when an A hit on the river. But, umm, yeah, we won't talk about that.
Fairly proud of myself for hanging in there and not losing focus, as I was on the shorter stack of things for what seemed like forever, and managed to hang in. Got as high as second when it was four handed, but got short again towards the end. Short enough that neither of the lemurs left when it was three-handed would agree to a save for third, so I ended up with a princely sum of $0 for my efforts.
But hell, all it cost were FPPs and I played just about as well as I could, so there is that. Maybe I'll feel differently in the morning, when it sinks in how close I was, but for now I'm not too upset, mainly worn out and feeling like there was little else I could have done differently.
Edited to add: The Morning After
Hmm, still not too upset. I think a good bit of it is that I was playing a short stack for hours, and was playing pretty aggressively at that, determined to give myself a shot even if it meant getting caught stealing. It was sort of odd, as the big stack stopped betting anything more than the minimum bet/raise, once he accumulated a big stack. But he'd play all sorts of hands, and take them to the river. He'd just never exert real pressure or anyone or make them play for all their chips.
I guess I can't argue with that strategy, as he got a seat, but he let me hang in for forever, as he'd min bet or call to the turn, I'd shove with nearly anything, and he'd fold. The frustrating part is that he wasn't knocking anyone else out, so we just shuffled chips around for forever and I couldn't get the double I needed to really be a force. When it got down to four handed we literally played two levels, a little over two hours, and only lost one player that entire time.
Two hands stick out, in the damnit department. The first was when it was six handed, and I was the short stack at 40K, with the leader at 150K or so, and blinds somethng like 2K/4K. UTG limped, the SB completed, and I checked my BB with 3d4d. Flop was Ad 7d 10d. UTG bet something like 10K, SB called, and I pushed. Surprisingly, both UTG and SB called.
Turn was Kd, putting Ad 7d 10d Kd on the board. I start cursing the poker gods, shaking my head. They check it down, but I'm still resigned to getting bounced, as they're likely just checking it down to knock me out.
River is 6d, putting the flush on the board. They both check it down again. I'm still mentally preparing myself to be gone. They flip over Ac 2s and Ah Jh respectively and we chop it three ways. I was too dumbfounded to still be alive to get upset at the fact that I was a 96% favorite on the flop to win a pot that would have put me near the chip lead.
The other damnit hand came when it was four handed. Like I said, the chip lead wasn't being aggressive at all, so there was lots of limping and min-betting/raising. UTG folded and I was on the button with 5d6d, with blinds of 4K/8K. I was the short stack at 70K, the SB was chip lead at 200K, and BB had about 140K.
I limped with my 5d6d, SB calls, and BB raises it 10K more. This is fairly unusual, as BB hasn't been aggressive at all and is usually happy to limp/check and see flops. I nearly called, telling myself I needed a double and it's not the worst spot, as I;m fairly certain the big stack SB will just call, and if I hit the flop hard I can likely double through BB's big pair, which I'm fairly sure he has.
But I finally folded, convincing myself that, dude, I have 5d6d, and that I need to conserve my dwindling ammo for a better spot when I'm betting agressively, not calling off 10K more with 5d6d.
I fold, SB calls, and of course the freaking flop is 5h 5c 6h. (Edit: I screwed the rest of this hand up when I first posted it, merging two hands in my noggin'. I would have won the hand, as the BB had JJ for an overpair, but SB ended up taking it down when he rivered a flush with Ah10h. My first recounting had BB winning it when he rivered a boat, but that was a later big hand he won against the SB. Sorry.)
I can't beat myself up too much, as calling off 10K more with 5d6d is pretty marginal there (especially with a stack of just 66K), but I'd have likely tripled up and been a solid second if I make that call. The frustrating part is that I recognized the opportunity given the conditions, read the situation correctly, but talked myself out of pulling the tigger. In retrospect, as the short stack I'm reaching fold or shove territory anyway, so it doesn't make a huge difference if I enter the next hand with 66K or 56K, and the chance to double is pretty juicy, even though I'll insta-muck my hand 90% of the time after seeing a flop.