Warning: the following could be construed as whining
Unfortunately, this tournament was strikingly similar to my first limit event. I was dealt few premium hands during the six levels I lasted. I had AA once which lost, AK once which lost, no KK, one QQ that won, and one JJ that picked up the blinds. Considering we played only 150 hands or so during the 6 levels, it really wasn't that unlikely to be dealt so few good hands. That doesn't make it any less frustrating though. I drew another exceptional table, there were two pros I recognized, Andy Bloch and David Benyamine. The players to my immediate right and left, I discovered later, were primarily Omaha 8 players, and there were at least two other players that didn't appear to have much limit experience. All this is irrelevant if you're not dealt cards though. It could have been a Sunday afternoon game with Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt Mildred, and Uncle Chester, and they still would have cleaned me out of all my nickels by the end of the night. That's how poker goes, it's not a fair game especially in the short-term.
On the subject of the short-term, tournaments are incredibly short-term. I wish there was a way they could deal more hands per hour (automatic shufflers?) or at least increase our chip stacks or slow down the levels. After 4 levels tonight, approximately 100 hands, I had 32K in starting chips (we started with 30K). The stakes starting level 5 were 600-1200 meaning I had 26 big bets. 26 big bets is nothing. I can understand the smaller buy-in 3000 player tournaments having 1 hour levels and fast blind escalations but not a 200 player 10K limit championship. At least start the the blinds at 25-50 and make the levels two hours like they do in the main event. Is limit somehow less important than no-limit that it doesn't deserve two hour levels?
Back to the tournament:
I actually ran my chipstack briefly up to about 42K at the end of level 3 and then I had two tough hands come up at the beginning of level 4:
I raised AA from 1st position and the big blind called. The flop was 357 and the big blind led out which I called. He led a blank turn, I raised, he 3-bet, I called. He bet the river which I called and he had 33. Net -$5500
David Benyamine raises from mid position, the button 3-bets, and I 4-bet with AK, they just call (they could have 5-bet as 4 raises were allowed). The flop is K54. I bet, Benyamine folds, button raises, I 3-bet, button caps, I call. He bets the turn, I call. He bets the river, I call, and he shows AA. Net -$6000
Those two hands brought me back down to about 30K and that's where I finished going into the dinner break. From there I was card dead, I tried to stay active raising a lot of suited connector type hands but was 3-bet nearly every time and never connected post-flop.
There was one interesting sort of fun hand that I played:
I raised KJ from mid-late position, a loose player called from the small blind, and Benyamine 3-bet from the big blind which we both called. The flop was AKK. Benyamine bet, I raised, small blind folded, Benyamine called. The turn was a J for a board of AKKJ. Benyamine checked, I bet, he check-raised, and I called figuring I was in a lot of trouble unless he specifically had JJ or KQ. As I was getting ready to make a crying call on the river, the river was a King giving me quads. Benyamine checked, I bet, and he starting talking. I couldn't hear him because I had my headphones on. But after about 30 seconds of wavering, I saw two $500 chips that had been moving back and forth between his hands fall (it was $1000 to call my river bet) and I turned my cards over. He immediately picked up his chips, I took my earphones off, and he said that he hadn't decided to call and that he was very sorry but he saw my cards. He then said he wasn't sure if he would have called anyway - I doubt this, I do think he would have called. I don't think it was a deliberate move on his part, he just dropped the chips and the chips were behind that imaginary line where they become a bet had they crossed it. I said it wasn't a problem at all and was completely my fault for turning my cards over. I was happy I didn't incur a penalty for showing my cards during a hand.
If I'm feeling up to it, I'll play the $1500 NL tomorrow.