I'll try and remember some interesting hands if i can. I played like 19 hours so will see what the memory bank can pull up.
I got off to a good start and my table seemed quite tight with not much action. I managed to get my stack up to about 13000 when i moved tables. I got seated next to Fabrice Soullier and he took most of my chips of me in level 3 when i held KK v 56 (thats what he told me he had) on a 55QT6 board. The interesting thing about the hand was that after i had already commited about 8000 of my stack, Fabrice bet out 4000 on the river when the flush arrived as well, after earlier just calling my bets. After thinking for about two minutes if i could beat any hand, the dealer told me to hurry up. I have never had that happen in a big event before. His reasoning? Well... the other tables had played a few hands whilst i was thinking. He called the clock on me. By this time i already knew i was folding, and did so. I was a bit annoyed and asked him to find out after if he can ask me to hurry up and call the clock on me. He later came back and apologised.... and said he was wrong which was good of him.
I went to the dinner break after 5 levels with just 3600 chips after dropping as low as 2000. For some reason though i still had a good feeling about coming back from such a low chip stack. I built up to about 6000 when i doubled through of Christer Johannson. Blinds were 150/300 and i limped in late position with QK after another limper. Christer limped as well. It flopped 69T.. and i bet 1200 when it was checked to me. Christer called. The turn was the J to give me the nuts. I counted my chips as if i was about to bet and at the last minute checked as if i had changed my mind. Christer put me all in and i got my double through as he had a pair and a straight draw.
I managed to bluff someone of Aces a bit later with J4. He had limped UTG and it flopped 259. I bet out and he called. Turn was a 3 i bet again and he called. River paired the 3 and i bet again he folded AA. That got me up to about 25000.
I had QQ v JJ for for another 10000 chips and was on about 35000 when i got a big double through towards the end of Day 1. Blinds were 600/1200 and i raised in late position with JJ to 4000. The small blind reraised me to 15000 and i pushed for my stack. He thought for a while and i knew my hand was ahead, at worst he had two overs. He eventually called with TT and i finished Day 1 with 63000 and average was about 42000.
I felt pretty good going in to Day 2 about my chances given my stack size and i felt i was playing good. Had a horrendous start to Day 2 though. I doubled up two short stacks when they both 3 outered me, which put me back down to about 37000. I remember looking at the clock and realising i hadn't won a hand and we had played 53 minutes. Time for some action... i like this hand. I am UTG and decide to make it 5000 to play without looking just to try and win a hand and pick up some much needed blinds/antes. Late position pushes in for about 12000. I probably have to call any two cards. I squeeze my cards and find AA amazingly, and he has AQ and i get back to my starting stack.
As much as i have always enjoyed playing EPT events the blind structure seemed to go wrong from about Level 13/14. I had remained on about average stack and found that i had just about 12/13 big blinds. This for me meant i was not putting a raise into the pot, and leaving it behind. So i played all in poker from there on. From my memory when i have been average stacked at a similar position in EPT events before, i have always had 18-25 big blinds which is fine. There was very little flop play or limping for the rest of the tournament.
There was also a problem around the bubble. We played about 7/8 hands in 80 minutes due to the dwell ups occurring on the 7 tables we were playing hand for hand on. This was very frustrating for most of the players. We entered a new level during the bubble and it was 10-12 minutes before the first hand was even dealt in the new level.
After the bubble finally broke i continued my all in or fold poker. I was totally card dead so most of my all ins were with marginal hands/rags that i didn't want to be called with anyway. I got my only double up of day 2 luckily with about 30 left. Blinds were 4000/8000 and i had 80000 and pushed all in with 57 off. The big blind called after a while with AT after saying i was going to push with any two (which was correct). We both flopped a pair but i turned two pair to get back to about average stack again.
I wanted to keep my stack at a level where if i reraised preflop, i had enough to push players off the first raise without them being pot committed. I did it once with T4 when the button raised, and again with QQ which was the only time i wanted a call in the last 3/4 levels.
I kept going as i was never called when i pushed all in.... but this gave me no chance of a much needed double up either. I moved in three hands on the trot when we were 7 handed with 21 left to try and get something going with AJ, 47 suited and JQ. That got me back to an ok stack. I had to pass to a reraise all in though, when i opened with AT suited and the small blind pushed all in.
When we broke down to two tables i had 150000 and the average was 300000. Blinds were 8000/16000 with a running 2000 ante. So there was 40000 if i could push and not get called. I decided to push in the cut off with Kh2h and the button woke up with AK. I actually flopped a flush draw and was dreaming of a double up but it wasn't to be.
Wasn't too disappointed compared to other big tournaments when i have come close. I never held the kind of stack i needed to have a real shot at winning. I don't think there was anything else i could have done considering how Day 2 went. I always try and win, so often in the late stages i will be very busy trying to accumulate chips and may get caught ;-)
I am trying to get registered for EPT Poland but it may be too late. I have just booked flights for Bellagio WPT in April as well, and am planning on playing three warm up events plus the main. With Monte carlo and perhaps Cardiff in between the next 6 weeks look very busy!