After winning a €82 online sub-qualifier to the €700 satellite on Pokerstars, I decided to try and win a ticket to Europe's biggest poker event in Monte Carlo / Monaco.
The satellite tourney offered three guaranteed packages of €14.000, 10k for the buy-in plus 4k for expenses. This is the kind of satellite I like - you don't have to win, ending up in the top 3 is enough. Due to a relatively high number of participants, the sat went up to have 4 packages rather quickly. Also, 5th place was paying €2.100 and 6th €1750 - not so bad either.
The tournament started out very well for me - I doubled up early on when I had Aces against my opponent's Kings. I played pretty tight as usual, got away with the occasional stab at smaller pots, and stayed in chipleader position for three hours.
Then I got drawn out with a set of queens by some joker who went all-in after the flop with a gutshot and one overcard to a rainbow flop ... tough one, but what could I do? I lost more than half my chips on this one.
But I kept playing my usual game and managed to rebuilt my chipstack nicely. Then, I really got lucky: with pocket jacks, I got raised, I 3bet and the other guy who was 3rd in chips calls with pocket treys. Flop comes J-3-5, and oviously all my oppent's chips end up in the middle. I am back in chipleader position.
I managed to hold on to that position until we reach the final table of nine players. My stack is 180k, 2nd has 120k, 3rd has 90k. Since 4 packages can be won here, I decided to sit this one out and wait for really strong hands. I folded TT to a 3bet in the process - in hindsight, I know this kind of fold is a mistake in a spot like this.
Worse even, I jam with KK once and the other guy with 99 spikes a 9 on the turn - luckily this guy did not have that many chios to begin with, but it still hurts and cost me 30% of my stack. Anyway, I ran very badly for a long while. My table image was so that players started pushing me around, but I never had a hand to really push back. But in the meantime, we are down to 5 players, and I have €2.100 secured. Not bad considering I only invested €82, but my eye was on one of those tickets of course.
With the blinds being pretty high now, my stack quickly gets smaller until finally all players fold to me on the SB. I have QJs and the BB has twice as many chips. So I jam, and get called - the BB has Aces! No help for me, and I am out.
Of course I was a little pissed, but after a while I decided to use the money I just won to play a different tournament. Since I am in the Dominican republic, the obvious choice was the LAPT event at Panama City, which has a $2500 buy-in. That fits the bill and now I am planning my trip there for the second week in May 2015. I'll probably spend a little more time in the area - I always wanted to go to Costa Rica, so I'll plan for a week or two more in the area.
I'll keep you updated here about it - they have two live satellites for $300 on day 1A. I'll try to get in cheap first, or buy in directly to day 1B.