I missed only two hands since we started like 45 minutes late. I arrive for my BB and defend with 87s, miss the flop, and check/fold. In my quick glance around the table as I arrived and had to play the hand right away I didn't see anyone I recognized. Upon further inspection Phil Ivey is definitely in the 9 seat but everyone else is unnkown to me, most appear to be random live players so it looks like a sweet table draw. My initial impression turns out to be correct, it really is a pretty soft table, but I'm pretty card dead early on and the few random plays I make don't work.
Hand 1: We're now at 75/150 NL, I'm down to like 8500 from starting 10K. UTG limps (people had been limping lots) and I find QQ UTG+2 and make it 600. It fold to Eric Seidel in the SB (he had just recently been moved here) who calls, some old guy in the BB calls, and the limper calls. The flop comes a perfect AQx with 2 clubs. They check to me and I fire 1750. Seidel folds, and the BB makes it 4K. Folds to me and I move in and get called by AK. Up to 20K.
Hand 2: 150/300 blinds limit holdem (I'll talk in terms of blinds instead of betting limits for the loimit hands). Ivey raises in MP, the SB cold calls, and I call with KQo in the BB. The flop comes QQ8 2 diamonds and I checkraise Phil. He calls and a blank turn rolls off. I bet he raises and I call down and lose to AQ. Back to 17Kish. Shortly after this I get moved to a new table which sucks. Im in the 6 seat, Dutch Boyd is in the 2 hole, Josh Arieh in the 3 seat, Jeff Madsen is on my left in the 7 seat and Freddy Deeb is in the 9 seat. Tough table.
Hand 3: I raise a few hands when I get to the table then get card dead again. Finally I raise AJo in MP at 200/400 NL and the BB moves in for 4K total. I call getting 2:1 though I'm likely dominated and lose to AQ. Down to 9K.
Hand 4: I've managed to chip down to 6Kish now. I raise KK to 1200 still at 200/400 NL and the BB calls. Flop Q65 he check/calls my shove and Q3s is no good. No idea where that came from but I'm back in it.
Hand 5: Arieh is playing very aggressive as usual. He raises in the hijack at 400/800 blind limit and I decide I'm 3-betting anything playable in the SB. A8s looks pretty huge for this purpose, so I 3-bet and he calls. Flop ATx he calls my bet. Turn is a blank and I decide to check, he checks behind. River is some card I forget and he calls my bet and mucks.
Hand 6: Arieh again raises in the hijack and I have KQo in the SB. I know a 3-bet isn't going to get a lot of respect but I still think I have to 3-bet there. He calls and raises my bet on the J8xhh flop. I call and fold a blank turn, resisting the urge to do something stupid.
Hand 7: I raise QJs in the CO, still at 4/8 limit. Madsen 3-bets from the SB and I call. I flop gin: T98. I raise his flop bet bet and he calls down with what he later said was a big pair. Back over 20K.
Hand 8: I've chipped down a bit to 13.6K now at 800/1500 blinds limit and another new table. I raise 22 in the hijack and the button 3-bets to 4500. I call and the flop comes 754. I have the best hand there enough that I can't really fold to his c-bet but calling down leaves me with 1500 only, so I have to checkraise and make sure to get full value the times he doesn't have a pair. He calls and raises my turn bet which I have to call all-in and lose to A5o.
The line for the $1500 NL tourney on Saturday was so long that there was no way I was waiting in it. I ended up playing at the Venetian instead. My wire transfer finally arrived on Saturday and Steve final is playing at the final table of the $5K mixed holdem tourney today. He's coming in 2nd in chips. Good luck Steve! I'm exhausted so sorry if some details are lacking in this report.