Unfortunately, it looks as though my ambitions of playing the in the main event of the Aussie Millions will have to wait for another year.
The final satellite today was for eigth $12k packages plus $4k for ninth, with 100 runners. I played pretty well and saw some decent cards, but sadly busted out in 33rd. I'm not too disappointed - that's my fifth live tournament, and I have placed in the top half every time.
I started out with a rush in the first hour - the deck smacked me in the face for a little while. I started out by making 2k or so (starting stacks were 5k) with a top straight vs a 2nd straight (but with 3 diamonds on board). Shortly after that, I had K9dd (maybe overlimped or maybe in the BB). Flop came K98 and I led for half the pot. Big stack on my right raised and I called. Turn was a K, and he check/called a big bet from me. River 8, and I bet the pot for nearly all my chips. He called and mucked with an obscenity after I tabled - I guess he had the case king.
I got a bit lucky when the short stack pushed all-in and I called with AT in the BB. He showed AK, but I hit the ten to put him out. Coincidentally, this was the same guy I busted on the bubble with aces in the qualifier - and once again he took it like a complete gentleman. After this I was probably up to about 13-14k in chips, and still only in the 2nd level (50/100).
Our table was the first to break, sadly and I had to move. On the new table, I turned up a nice looking pair of black kings. MP who had been busy in a number of pots (and was quite short) raised, I reraised and he shoved. I called instantly, and was dismayed to see aces which held up. This put me down to about 11k.
After that, the deck went a bit dry on me. I had a couple of steals/Cbets snapped off, and struggled for a while with 6-7k chips. Our table broke again, which was probably no bad thing for me.
At the new table I raised the first hand in with something like A9 on the button. As the blinds crept up to ludicrous levels (400/800, 500/1000 with the average stack only 12k or so), I found myself able to steal blinds fairly often despite getting snapped off a couple of times. From a low of 6k, I shoved with TT to pick up about 3k, and won blinds and the odd limp with hands like AQ, 66, A3 on the button.
With 35 players left and blinds at 500/1000, I was actually sitting reasonably solidly with around 15k in chips. Then the blinds came around a couple of times with no stealing opportunities. It folded to me in the SB holding J9. I raised of course, but the BB shoves back at me forcing a fold. He was a nice bloke who played pretty tight in the blinds and I have little doubt that he had the goods (QQ he claimed). I now had only 8.5k, and a few hands later I pick up AQ. MP limped, as he had done rather frequently. I raised to 4k, and it folded back to MP who shoved. With only 4.5k more, I called. He showed KQ, but unfortunately hit his three outer to bust me out in 33rd. Maybe I should have shoved the AQ, but on the whole you cant be too unhappy about being all-in as a 3-1 favourite.
I'm not really disappointed at all. I played pretty well, and got pretty close to the action end of the tournament. I got unlucky a couple of times in the middle, but overall saw my fair share of good cards. One thing I noticed was how fast the blinds seemed to rise: after only about three and a half hours, the BB was up to around 1/15th of the average stack. It makes playing real poker rather difficult.
One little side-note: The tourney took place in Burswood's new poker room, which is quite nice and thankfully isolated from the infernal slot machines. The aircon was stuffed though, so it was a bit of a furnace. After about three hours of play I was ravenous, having had too light a lunch. I took the opportunity to grab a Danish in the ten minute break, but the slow service at the bar meant play had already resumed by the time I got back with Danish in hand. At this point, I discovered that they have a very strange no food rule in the poker room. Do they really expect people to survive for six hours of poker with no opportunity for nourishment? Anyway my Danish was banished to the bottom of the drinks table, so I ordered a Banana smoothie from the drinks waiter. The concoction that arrived was this ridiculous thing topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. I ate the cream with the supplied spoon while exchanging glances with the tournament director (and carefully not touching my Danish).