I always look forward to short-handed tournaments, because play tends to be fast and furious with fewer players at the table ... and generally players tend to play even faster than they need to in these tournaments.
My starting table was nothing short of my expectations. Most pots were raised and many were three-bet pre-flop, and several went to showdown.
There was only one familiar face at the table, Richard "knucklehead" Friere, an Atlantic City regular.
Unfortunately, the $3k starting stacks in the $1,500 events mean that you need to be very cautious about the spots you choose to commit more than a few big blinds to the pot ... even in the first couple of levels.
I spent the first two hours playing a ton of small, insignificant pots. I was precisely even at $3k during the third level when the following hand came up.
Six-handed, with the blinds at $100/$200 (no ante), I found A♦ Q♦ under the gun.
I had a pretty solid image at the table, so I decided that raising would likely cause almost all weaker hands to fold. I had been limping into a decent amount of pots, so I also felt that limping in would not cause my opponents to be too suspicious.
Finally, as mentioned, most pots were raised before the flop at this point. For all of these reasons, I decided to limp in with the intention of moving in if anyone raised behind me.
I'd like to note that I rarely make this type of play, and almost never do it with a hand as weak as A-Q. However, you always must Matt Stout: