I didn't make it out of Day 1 of the Bellagio $15k. I drew a difficult starting table, sandwiched between KramerTM and ImSoLucky0 (Jordan Morgan) both of whom I know from playing on the internet. Also at the table were internet player Roothlus and pros Ray Faltinsky and John Duthie. We started with 30k in chips - I was down to about 25k when this hand came up: Jordan raised UTG to 300 and I just called with KK in the BB. The flop came 9 high and I checked, he bet 500, I made it 1500 and he quickly called. The turn was a blank and I bet 2000 and he called. The river was another low card, and I really felt like he had JJ or QQ and I bet 5000 and he thought for a minute and called, saying he had QQ.
In level 2, I remember a weird hand against John Duthie. He limped UTG which he did a lot, and I had been playing pretty tight so I made it 900 with 98o in MP. Duthie made it 1500 more and I decided to call. The flop came T92, and he quickly checked and I checked behind. The turn was a 7 and he bet 1600 and I called. The river was a blank and it went check check and I won vs his AKs. I was up to about 40k at this point but that would be the most chips I'd have.
One bizarre hand that I recall was when I limped behind a couple of limpers with JsTs. The flop was J45 one spade and one of the limpers bet into the field and I called. The turn was the As and he quickly checked and I decided to check behind. The river was a 4 and he bet out almost the size of the pot for 5k. I really didn't know what to make of this bet, it felt like he was betting a ten and we were chopping with the board paired and the ace on board. I decided to call and he had 2s3s for the turned wheel. Its interesting if another spade would come on the river... because if he bet out on the spade, I wouldn't have the nuts, but in reality what spade draw could he have? Would he really bet into the whole field of limpers with KsQs on that flop? I don't think so, no one would even make that play as a bluff. My point is, I might have just called if the spade hit on the river, but I would definitely want to raise there because there is no bigger spade draw he could logically have...
I just burned through my stack in the last few levels of the day. I'd raise preflop and get re-raised and fold, or I'd get called and played back at on the flop. And I wasn't picking up any big hands preflop. Finally, a fairly bad player opened for 3000 in the last level of the day (300/600 blinds) from middle position. I had AQo in the BB with about 13000 chips. This player hadn't opened a ton of pots, but I think the fairly large raise here meant a good but not premium hand, like 99 or TT. I decided to stick my chips in there and he called fairly quickly with AdJd and he hit a flush on the turn to eliminate me from the tournament.
I got home on Sunday morning after 2.5 weeks in Vegas. On Monday night, I fired up some tournaments online. When the night was over I took down the $150+12 tournament on Stars for almost $33,000. I (finally) ran really well at the final table, coming back from the shortest stack with 5 or 6 left to be a big chip leader when it got heads up. My opponent played pretty well heads up and we went back and forth quite a few times. I got lucky a few times and eventually took it down. So satisfying to have a big win on Stars, I have run so bad on that site for so long, it finally seems to be evening out.