I played the $2.5k and $5k events at Fallsview this weekend and it proved to be a wise decision not to go to PCA. Both events were as soft as I expected, but the $2500 being scheduled for a Saturday and Sunday really drew a huge field and was even juicier than I could have guessed. 444 players showed up and the prize pool exceeded wan mirrion dorrars.
I got off to a good start flush over flushing a guy to double early but then hung around 25k for quite a while before reversing back to the 10k starting stack. Things were looking grim as the blinds were big and my first shove with Q6s was snapped of by 77. I flopped 2 pair though and then I won JJ>AQ vs the same guy a few hands later. Shortly after that I busted another guy somehow, I think another flip, and I had chipped up to 80k before I knew it. The rest of the day didn't go as well and I had to rebound at the end to finish with 56k. there were around 68 left with 40 getting paid.
On day 2 I just crushed from the very beginning. First I busted a short stack calling his shove with ATo and holding vs 76s. I then raised over an UTG limp with 88 and the guy next to me, who had just taken like 3 minutes to call a 20bb reshove with AK, moved in for an amount that gave me almost 2:1 on a call. I sighed and threw in the chips hoping to see AK, but instead he had 55(!). Then I stole some blinds on the bubble to have 210k when we reached the money.
They did a redraw for seats at 40 and Timex got moved to my table with 280k. Now guaranteed money people were willing to gamble again, so it was a rather opportune time for me to pick up QQ, AA, and AA within the first couple orbits. I busted a player each time, the last being timex himself when he jammed pocket 2s over my pocket 1s (he had already lost some of his stack by then). Then I opened AQ UTG, got flatted by some guy who likes to call, and the BB shipped 15bb. I called and held vs the 93o. Actually. Then I won another big pot when I opened 66 UTG+1 to 23k and got repopped to 50k by a guy who had flat called me with AK in the same spot the orbit before. I was therefore very confident he had a big pair so I did some math and decided to call getting a bit over 9:1 implied odds, which is probably a small mistake. Even though I'm only 7.5:1 against flopping a set I don't automatically win when that happens, but fuck him for minraising me and maybe I score some image points as being the bully chipleader who doesn't fold to such nonsense. Obviously I flopped a set and held vs AA. After that I won another smaller pot and had over a million when 2nd place was barely 500k. I made the final table with just under a million and was still chip leader.
The first hand I played at the FT was huge. 2nd in chips who had almost caught up to me opened in EP to 41k at 6k/12k/1k and the guy on my right called. I called with 77 and the three of us saw a flop of T73 rainbow (easy game). They checked to me and I bet 72k. It seemed likely neither was very strong but I have to bet anyways and I was thrilled to see the original raiser bomb it to 246k! He had around 450-500k behind and from playing with him I knew he was capable of spewing, but I really doubted he would be bluffing in this situation. In the end I still decided to just call afraid he might somehow hero fold if I shove as it's live poker but he'd probably autoshove the turn with an overpair anyways. Plus if he does happen to have AK somehow he might accidentally make a pair. The turn was a king and he shoved as expected, I snapped and beat JJ. After this pot I had 1.85M of the 4.4M in play with 9 left. 2nd in chips would have had maybe 600k.
Unfortunately from there I did not run so hot. I lost two flips against short stacks and later AJ vs AK to drop below a million. Another player from Waterloo, David Quang, had stolen my God-mode and run up the big stack. We eventually ended up heads-up with me behind 3:1 in chips. The heads up was incredibly one-sided. He probably made the best hand at least 75% of the pots that saw a flop and there just wasn't anything I could do about it. I was down to 500k when I got all-in A6 vs A9, but flopped three sixes to get back where I'd started. I then coolered him AQ vs AJs in a pot that would have put me roughly even in chips, but he rivered a J-hi straight to take it down. Second paid $141k obviously a great score, but payouts were pretty top heavy and first was twice that. Nonetheless I was still thrilled to get the year started in such a positive way.
I played the $5k on Monday and was able to double my stack without playing any particularly interesting pots, but then I went card dead and eventually lost JJ vs AQ. I'm off to Australia tomorrow for Aussie Millions where I'm planning to play basically everything except the 100k. If I can be even half as successful as I was there last year 2011 will be off a to a great start indeed.