I came in this morning with 109,000 in chips, in the top ten percent of chip stacks. What a table I had. The champion of this event in 2004, Martin Dekjniff was in the middle of the table, but didn’t have a whole lot of chips, just under 50,000. Allen Cunningham was on my left, as was Can Kim Hua who is a fantastic player. Lastly, there was Chau Giang, who plays in the biggest game in the world at Bellagio. So, it was a really tough table, and I just decided I had to wait, and be very patient. Hopefully, some of these very good players go out, and some rabbits come in. And, that is exactly what happened.
Martin went out fairly early, he was a bit unlucky. Then, a loose player came in, took his seat, and that made things much better. Everyone relaxed, and we started chatting, and enjoying the game.
For me, I didn’t get too busy early on. I was fluctuating between 90,000-110,000. Then, I started to get a bit more aggressive as the new player came in, and a few holes opened up. I made a few moves here and there. I got up to about 120,000. Then, I picked up 88 in the small blind it was raised from the middle, and I just called. Then Can Hua moved in for his last 30,000. I decided to call him down, and my two eights held up, and another great player was eliminated. That put me up to 150,000.
Later I picked up two jacks on the button, Allen Cunningham raised from the cutoff, and I doubled him up with King Queen when my jacks wouldn’t hold up. That put me down to 96,000. Then I got involved with Chau, who is just a brilliant player. He raised in middle position, and I picked up pocket queens in the big blind. This is going back to yesterday – pocket queens was a nice hand for me. It looked very good, but I just called as he raised a lot. The flop popped out Q 6 9 with two spades again, the same as yesterday when I doubled up. I checked, and called the flop when he bet. The turn was the six of spades, making me a full house, but also putting a flush out there. I checked again, and Chau bet 20,000 – I decided just to call. The river was a blank, and I moved in. He called me with a flush with the Ace Jack of spades. That got me up to 150,000.
After that, not much happening. I picked up two kings against a good player, and got paid off pretty good with two jacks on the board. I ended up on 190,000 chips. My chip stack is in the top 5% of the field being just over half way through the tournament with 290 players left. I feel pretty good about this.