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I’ve had a couple of weeks break since the PokerNews Cup wrapped which is the longest break I’ve had at home since the start of May. I’ve spent the time working hard on PokerNetwork and playing as much poker as possible. I had two days during October where I played 3,700 and 5,100 hands, which is close to the number of hands I’d been playing in a whole month. The end result was a break even month. Sigh.

Yesterday I decided to take a shot at the first event in the Full Tilt Online Poker Series. It was a $216 6-Max No Limit Holdem event which massive to attract a massive 5,124 players to just break the guaranteed $1 million prize pool.

Fields of this size just blow my mind as I struggle to comprehend how on earth I’m going to get through it unscathed. However I came ready to play as I shut down all distractions and other work to focus on getting through each level. Things started off well after I flopped a set and got paid off by a dude with top pair, top kicket to get myself heading in the right direction.

I kept chipping up and really only had three big clashes for the whole tournament. In the middle of the tournament I raced with AK versus pocket queens. The flop was three diamonds and since I held the only diamond, I had huge outs. The king on the turn was all it took and I was up in the top quarter of the field. From there I was able to maintain my spot with some steals and re-steals while staying out of trouble. I busted a shortish stack with AK vs an overplayed AT, and then as we the field thinned I was able to win a race with TT vs AJ when I spiked another set.

With 600 to go and top 492 paying cash, I then got disconnected from the server for roughly twenty minutes. I had to reboot and by the time I got back my stack had gone from an above-average 47k, to a less than impressive 30k. So sick, and so costly. At that point we were about 15 players away from the money, so I limped into the money on a short stack rather than the average stack I should’ve had if it wasn’t for the disconnect.

From there it was a battle to try and get myself back into the game as the players kept dropping away quickly. I managed a few steals, re-steals and one double up when I got very short. With about 250 players to go, Aussie young gun xMONSTERxDONGx joined my table, which sparked a few railbirds to join the fun. I hung in there without catching any decent cards and was basically just keeping my head above water. As we entered the 7th hour of play and the blinds at 2.5k/5k/500, the action folded to a big stack on the button who made it around 14,000 to go. I had 55k, and decided that I had some fold equity and decided to shove on him with my As3s in a re-steal attempt. He tanked for ages and I realised I had the best hand, but he might be priced in to call. He had about 220k, and although it was about a quarter of his stack he decided to call with JTo. I guess it was the right call as its 41k to win around 80k. He’s only in trouble against a domating hand or big pair, but is likely to be racing against a pocket pair or overcards. The board fell jack high and I was out in 127th place for $790. First place paid $195,000. Sigh.

A rock solid tournament where I don’t think I made any mistakes or misteps, which is about all I can ask for. If I win that race I’m back to average chips with 120 players left as we approach the big bucks. Oh well, still a decent result in an insanely huge field, and my second FTOPS cash in two attempts. I doubt I’ll play any other events as I’m off to Manila on Tuesday to work at the APPT, which is the start of a crazy busy two month period. Hopefully I’ll get time to write sometime!

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