I kind of hang around early and win some small pots. Finally I pick up a hand and open to 600 on the button at 100/200 with KK. The big blind calls. The flop is KJ9 and he checks to me and I bet like 800. He calls and leads for 1500 on the blank turn. I push and he tanks and claims he folded KJ. That's just ridiculous. At this point I decide to bluff more to take advantage of these people. Shortly after this Amir Vahedi sits down as a really late alternate and immediately doubles up when he gets like half his chips in preflop with 54c calling a reraise and pushes the Q73 2 club flop, cracking aces on the river. After that he calms down a little, though he's still in lots of pots. So some guy in Paradise Poker gear makes it 600 from early/middle postition and I assume he's probably not very good because he's already lost some chips doing weak looking things, and because most people on Paradise aren't very good. Amir calls. Paradise doesn't have enough chips to cripple me and seems slightly on the loose side, I've been super tight, and Amir can have like anything, so I decide to run a squeeze and make it 2600 with 66. Paradise thinks for a while and folds, and Amir folds very quickly.
The next big hand comes when Amir opens to 700 at 100/200 a25 as he does fairly often and I deicde to make it 2700 on the button with the Q7o because restealing is fun and I still should have a pretty tight image. Amir calls. Oh crap. The flop comes Kxx. He checks and I bet 5000 of my ~7000. He instamucks and I decide to start breathing again. I don't really remeber much after that. I win/lose some small to medium sized pots but go card dead and eventually shove A9 into AK and bust around 7:30. I walk around for a minute or 2 then figure I might as well get in the night tournament as well starting at 8pm.
I'm an alternate but not that far down the list and get in before the end of level 1. Hasan Habib and Simon Trumper are the only names I recognize at my table. Trumper seems to play very straightforward and has the standard online tell of raising more than usual with a strong but tricky hand like AK or JJ/TT. Habib likes to control pot size and his standard raise is 2.5xBB. He also limped a lot early and seemed to play well postflop. I really don't pick up any hands early and win a few small pots. Our table breaks and I eventually end up shoving 87 spades from early position for around 6500 at 300/600 a75. I get called by AKh and the flop comes 732 one heart. Turn 4h. But the river is an offsuit 3 and I double up. Then I win a huge flip. I make it 2200 with 33 from the cutoff at 400/800 a100 and the button pushes. I call getting well over 2:1 and hold against AJ.
From this point on I start picking up some hands at the right times and bust some shortstacks. At one point there is a raise and reraise all-in in front of me and I actually look down and find AA. That never happens. I build a nice chip stack but take a hit when AK<
Then a huge hand happens. The chipleader makes it 10K to go in early/middle position at 1500/3000 a500 and I call on the button with AQs. The flop comes QTx rainbow and he checks. I bet 15K and he moves me in. This is just a weird line and I can't think of any reason he'd play a real hand this way so I call. He tables AJ and I dodge a king to take the chiplead. At some point I call a shortstack push in the BB with 66 getting 1.5:1 (probably marginal but I think it was correct) and flop a set to bust his AJ. I make the final table as chipleader with over 200K of the 1.04M in play. People are already trying to talk deal but I'm not interested yet. I'd much rather try to donk off my chiplead. The following hand is completely ridiculously and shows how weak/tight live players can be, especially when a lot of money is on the line. It's folded to me in the CO and I make it 22K with A4h at 4K/8K a1K. The button folds and the SB who's 2nd in chips tanks for like 2 minutes and folds. The BB quickly calls and the flop come Q53. The BB checks and I fire 35K. He folds and says he had a middle pair. The SB says he folded JJ??? since he ddin't want to get in a huge pot with me. I tell him I only had 2 overcards so it would have been a race and it looks like I actually had a Q. Now donk time.
A good solid player who I've played with a lot in 2/5 NL raises on the button and he's 2nd or 3rd in chips so I just call with AJhh in my BB. The flop comes 832 one heart and we both check. The turn is the Kh. I check and het bets 30K. I raise him all-in for 80K more with my overcard and nut flush draw but he doesn't buy it and calls with KQ fairly quickly. The river is the very pretty As and I'm over 400K. Woot. I lose some back quickly though. I raise A9 in the CO to 22K and the BB instapushes for 61K more. I don't think he's that strong and reluctantly call getting a bit less than 2:1. He isn't very happy with the call until he sees my hand, and his AT holds. I guess my read was sorta right though. fwiw the villian in this hand was Eddy Scharf who has 2 WSOP bracelets in Omaha and I remember from the 2004 WSOP main event coverage when he finished very deep so I figured I had to respect the possibility he was on a complete resteal as I'd been fairly active, though I hadn't seem him make any crazy moves yet.
Anyways, shortly after this hand we agree to talk deal and the fine people at Bellagio run the chip chop numbers for us. I'm still chip leader with over 300K. Like I said in my earlier post the entire time I tried to act very reluctant because this deal is very good for me and I know it. I would have been quite willing to take a couple grand less if it came down to it but no one wanted to risk busting 6th for only 7K when they could walk away with a lot more right now so everyone agreed. I'm sure the fact that it was 7am had sometihng to do with it as well. I took home $44K. I guess I left a fairly small tip for the organizers/dealers but really they already get their cut from the $80 entry fee so I don't see why I should be expected to leave more really. I just did it because it's standard practice and I didn't want to leave with a bad reputation or anything. Also, the Bellagio dealers really are quite good so I didn't mind that much. I guess this just leaves a combined day 9/10 report where I continue my heater playing 5/10 NL.