The plan for the day was to hit the gym in the morning, have lunch with some friends and then catch the afternoon tournament at the TI.
Once I was done at the gym, I had an hour or so before it was time to meet my friends. We were eating at the Orleans, so I played a little 2-4 while I waited and won my buy-in for the TI tournament, so the freeroll was on. After lunch, I made my way over to TI and got signed in jsut a few minutes before the tournament started.
There was a very good turnout, 57 entrants. I have to say that the TI seems to do a great job with the daily low buy-in tournaments. They run them four times a day, the structure (considering what kind of event it is) is good and when I have been by, the turnouts have always been good.
The first few levels were a rollercoaster for me, mostly because I kept catching hands either in the blinds or in early position that warranted a raise, but left me playing out of position after the flop without really kitting the flop hard (overcards to a good pp or missing on AK). So, I was up, I was down, I was up, I was down. Ended up the third level with only a few chips over starting stack.
I've gotten the feeling that in these low buy-in events that the first couple of levels after the first break tend to be very significant. People can't reenter the tournament after busting out anymore, the blinds have gotten up to the point where if you haven't chipped up then you are playing 10 or fewer blinds deep. I was lucky yesterday as I hit a couple of hands that allowed me to pick off other short players and build my stack up to 1.5 to 2 times the average. From there I was able to pick spots and (pretty easily) get to the final table. I had a pretty good stack by this point and was able to make a couple good position plays to keep myself ahead of the blinds. GOt down to three handed with the second biggest stack, but the spread between the big stack and the third stack was less than three big blinds, but everything was really fluid. Also, even though I was second, I still only had six big blinds, so the game was definitely in the shove fest category. I shoved with K10 offsuit from the button and got looked up by the big blind who had an ace. He had me covered and I was out in third. I was pretty happy with how I played the middle part of the tournament.
Today is Golden Nugget day. We got a room for the night, I will play in their 11am tournament and also a charity event there this evening. If I'm available around 2pm, I'm going to hit up the weekly poker discussion group across the street at Binion's jsut to check it out.