What, a $12K Final Table?
Well, fine. The blind pig has stumbled into the veritable oak forest, if you will. I was over at that site I really shouldn't be playing at so much, but if you must know, you must:
Not much to say. I sat on my hands for about the first 90 minutes, playing something like two pots. In the first, I lost a set-under-set matchup to an even-shorter stack and in the second, I doubled up with kings to get above par. Finally, with single-digit M's looming, I caught a hand or two, and worked up to where I thought I might sneak into the money if I caught a big hand.
That happened when I found queens and another player had tens, and all of a sudden I was inside the money bubble. Play didn't loosen up much inside the bubble at my table, basically because we had one giant stack pounding the table while several of us shorter puppies manuevered to hang on. It was here where I had my one suckout of the event, rivering a flush with A-8 suited against A-J; the guy (the button) had shown a tendency to steal, and I re-raised from the big blind. Ooops. Well, in my defense, I was in a similar spot (except just outside the money) in a $25K event last week, and in that instance my kings went down to queens.
What comes around, goes around.
My next jump up in chips came from a re-raise/steal type of play, when I pushed all-in from the middle with A-Q, having basically just enough chips to make the play, and the aggro player in early position made the call, with a suited A-T. Given that at this spot I had done my very best rock imitation for six or eight laps, I was surprised he made the call. But he did, and didn't connect. Yay me.
I found the occasional spot to steal, then started to see some cards --- I had one little run where I caught three big hands in a row but didn't get any action, but I did chip up out of the extreme danger zone. My willingness to push, though, when I had six or seven times the big blind amount in chips, did serve me well. A short while later I made another push from early position with jacks, and found a caller from the button from a player with A-9 suited. My jacks held. Suddenly I was over $50,000 in chips and in position to think about a final table, though with several taller stacks lying in wait, I knew I'd have to stay lucky.
Well, I tried. I was one of four shorter stacks at the final table --- and 'yay' that part, at least --- but I finally got caught with my hand in the cookie jar. I'd basically stayed steady at about $55,000 in chips, dropping as low as $40K and maybe just topping $60K once or twice. The blinds, though, were already $4,000/$8,000 with $1,000 antes and on the verge of climbing higher, so I tried to steal from the button with a suited Q-8. (I was in seventh of the eight remaining spots... so no big deal.) I figured unless I ran into a monster, I'd likely have live cards and a flush draw, which is how it played out. The small blind --- who is, not coincidentally, the current leader on the site's weekly TLB, looked me up with A-9 and about twice as many chips. No loverly queens, eights, or clubs for me. My late run ended, and I went to the rail in eighth, for three (small) bills and some change.
Still a decent run, as it had been a long time since I'd made some noise in an MTT.