The first was a No-Limit Hold'em event with a buy-in of $2,000 on Oct. 2. In that particular event I was playing pretty good.
Just two minutes before the third break there were 27 players left and I got reseated and was in the big blind. The big stack made it 2.5BB to go; I peeked at my hole cards and saw K-J, so I called.
The flop came 8-9-T; the turn brought a beautiful queen, so I made the nut straight and I decided to check just one more time, to lure him in.
As I expected, he made a bet and I obviously reraised. He reraised all-in and of course I insta-called. I had the nut straight - he showed a straight flush draw.
The river gave my opponent an awful straight flush.
So as you can imagine: I felt pretty sick, but neither I or my opponent did anything wrong. I cannot control the cards, so I guess this was just one of those beats you have to suffer every once in a while - not much you can do about it. But that was the end of my $2,000 event.
For one reason or another the fields of the Festa al Lago events are rather small. The prize pools get stuck at around $250,000. I think the global credit crisis is starting to hit Vegas as well (also, a lot of players are in London or Aruba), so every morning I head out for the Bellagio to check the field in that day's event and decide whether I should play it or not.
A few days after the $2,000 event, on Oct. 4, I decided to play the $3,000 event. This event was packed with pros, even though just 85 players bothered to show up. I played not too bad and was able to make it to the final table. The lineup was just cruel: