I played in the last event at the LAPC prior to the main event. It was another $1k event with about 500 runners. Like last week, I got off to another fast start. On the second orbit I was dealt QQ from UTG, raised, was called by a later position player and bet every street. The guy mucked the river and I won about 1500. From there my stack pretty much stayed the same, at around 4-4.5k (we started with 2.5k) for the next few hours. There was really no eventful hands to report until...
About 2 minutes before the 7pm dinner break I raise on the button with KJs. Both blinds call. They were solid and aggressive players. The flop came Q95rags. They checked and I checked. The turn brought J and two of the same suit. They both checked again. There was approximately 1k in the pot. I was 99% sure that my TP, good kicker was the best hand. There was no way that these guys would check twice with a hand that could be me. I raised to 1k and the SB thought for about 10 seconds and pushed (we had about the same stack size). Given my initial read i decided that he was either making a move or was on a flush draw. I beat him into the pot and he showed A5 and a flush draw. He didn't improve and I was off to the races with a great stack of 8.5k at the dinner break.
We came back from the break and I quickly win $1k more when I made a blind steal attempt from late position, both blinds called, missed the flop, both blinds checked and took it down with a c-bet.
For the next two hours things didn't go quite as well. I just couldn't get things going. I did catch AA/KK/QQ. On the AA and KK hands I raised and nobody called. On the QQ hand, an aggressive opponent raised from LP, I reraised and he called. I led out the flop with a 2/3rds pot sized bet and he called. An A fell on the turn and he led out and I folded. He showed a flopped set of 5's, so the A actually saved me. This guy and i were tangling a lot and I was ready to go to the felt with my QQ.
The same guy was constantly raising my blinds so one time I called his raise from the BB with nothing and led out on the flop (still with nothing). He raised me all-in and I folded. That one cost me 1k.
One interesting hand that came up along the way: I have J8 from LP and call with two limpers in front of me. The button calls so for of us (the BB too) see a flop of J95. The first two players check, I decide to check to see what the button does (I intend to check-raise if I feel he's trying to bluff at it). The button bets 1k which is about the pot. The first EP player pushes and the next EP folds (he later showed AJ for TPTK and was also intending to CR). I fold and the button calls with J9 for two pair. The other player (who was my aggressive nemisis) shows QT and hits his K for a straight and doubles up. He was all-in and would have been out -- this is important since...
I now have about 7.5k which isn't great, but it's not horribe. Blinds are 100-200 with a 25 ante so I still have plenty of play. Here's my knockout hand, it pretty much played itself I believe:
I'm in the SB. Two limpers and my aggressive nemisis makes it 2300 more so there is about 3k+ in the pot. I look down at AK. With so much in the pot already and given the wide range I put on the raiser, I decide to push. He calls instantly and shows QQ. I don't improve and am out at 11pm with about 100 players left.
I was pretty happy with my play. You need to win hands like my AK/QQ hand. If I do, I'm at 15k and am one of the top 10% in chips. I also had AA/KK 3 times after the dinner break and didn't get action once. I had QQ and lost about 1.5k and then lost my stack with AK. You must win some money with these hands, but I didn't. What are you going to do?