There were about 200 players already in the tournament as I entered one hour late.
With blinds at 200/400 and a 50 ante, I look down at 9♣-9♦. It checks to me in hijack-1. I have 14,000 and bet 1,500. Two callers, seat 5 and seat 7 with 50,000 chips. I had not seen many hands so I didn't know much about the players. One hand that I did see involved seat 7 going all-in on the turn and getting called. The caller had trip tens but seat 7 had the nut flush.
The flop is 3♠-8♠-J♦ and I bet 3,000. Seat 5 folds but seat 7 calls. The turn is a Q♥, he checks, and I check. The river is a 2♦ and he moves all-in. I needed some time to think through this one. Was he on a flush draw? Did he interpret my check on the turn as weakness? I had seen him go all-in before and he had the nuts. Could he be holding Q♠-x♠ or J♠-x♠? I doubt it since those hands would at least bet before the river. With what hand would he check-call the flop, check the turn, then go all-in...9-10? Unlikely, I'm holding two nines. None of it was making much sense. I could fold and still have 20 big blinds. If I call and lose, I can rebuy. What would you do?
I put him on a busted flush draw and called. He flips over A-K and I scoop! Got several "Nice Call" from the table.
A new player got moved to our table with a short stack. Not too long after, he shoved and I called with A-5. He had A-K but the board paired twice so we chopped.
The blinds were 800/1600 with a 200 ante. I was in the BB with 7-5. There was a min bet and a lady with only 4,500 moved all-in. It folded to me and I decided to put in 2,900 more to win 13,400. We checked the flop. The turn was a 7 and the river a 5. She had K-K and was not happy to be knocked out by my pitiful hand.
Then I called an all-in by another short stack. I had J-8 and he had 10-7. The flop brought a 7 but an 8 arrived on the turn. He started to get up but changed his mind when a 10 came on the river. I lost close to 10,000. I chipped up nicely after that but didn't have time to write down the hands.
I got moved to another table but wasn't there for long. I did witness a massive pot between 3-3 and A-4 on a board of 2-3-x-5-x. They broke the table shortly after. I ended up in seat 8 at the new table. By the second break, there were 60 players left and I had 90,000 chips.
The blinds were going up fast. An older lady moved all-in with 40,000 chips and I looked down at A-K. I moved all-in and everyone else folded. She flipped over A-J. The flop was A-K-9, the turn brought a Q, but the river was a harmless 8. That got me up to 140,000 with 50 players remaining.
I called 6,000 with K-J after the big stack called. The BB was also in the hand and bet 10,000 on a J-10-7 flop. The turn was an 8 and the BB bet 20,000. Both of us called. The river was a K and he bet 20,000. The big stack called and I called. The BB showed J-10 (I think), the big stack folded, and I scooped. This got me up to 220,000.
The bubble broke shortly after. The blinds were skyrocketing. I called a pre-flop bet of 36,000 with J-J. The flop was ace high with two hearts. I folded to a bet.
I didn't get many playable hands until we got down to 18. The blinds were 10,000/20,000 with a 3,000 ante. The BB called 20,000 and seat 2 moved all-in for 100,000. I looked down at A-Q and moved all-in for 74,000. The BB folded. Seat 2 flipped over K-K. The flop was A-J-10 and I had to hold my breath. The turn and the river were bricks.
Then I got dealt A-Q again. I called a 55,000 bet from seat 3. The flop was J-10-9 and he checked. I moved all-in with 120,000 and he thought about it. He decided on a call. He flipped over A-Q also! We chopped.
I didn't see anything worth playing for two orbits. Each table was down to seven players. I looked down at K-10. Seat 3 bet, seat 4 called, and I moved all-in. They both called. The flop was K-x-x, seat 3 bet, and seat 4 folded.
Seat 3 showed A-A! I went up against the cowboys twice and outdrew them both times. But I couldn't dodge the bullets. After seven hours of play, I cashed for less than $200 profit but enjoyed the battles on the road to the final table.