Well, you know, I did this last year and this year I'm actually feeling pretty relaxed. Last year I think I was much more nervous, much more excited. This year, just sort of going along for the ride and see what happens.
Finishing ninth was not enough to have a little more freedom in my life, but if I win it then I will. I absolutely refuse to finish ninth this year. That was very devastating even though I didn't think it would be going in, it ended up being. Didn't prepare myself for it, so maybe try to prepare myself better, but outside of that, playing poker and it is what it is.
There was one hand that I feel I could have done something differently. Raptor Benefield min-raised an early position. He had about 15 big blinds. With that stack, he has two options, either min raise or shove. And a min raise probably means he has a strong hand. Folded to me and I look down at ace-queen. I feel, looking back on it, I should've just open folded this hand. Instead, I made a small three-bet and a mere four-bet out of the blind. Now Raptor folds and I fold. Had I folded, Amir had two kings and Raptor had two Jacks and they probably would've gotten it in. Raptor could have doubled up, but he was in bad shape and he might have busted ninth and I would've had a few more chips and anything could've happened after that.
At the time, I think I just didn't think it through. I acted too fast and I needed to take my time and really think about these spots when you get way down there. I mean, as you get deeper and deeper, the main event gets much tougher. I think there's still some soft spots left and a lot of very tough players. But as you get deeper, more pressure is on and you see a higher level of poker.
I have been running very well. I am also very happy with how I'm playing. Well, this year I think it's even bigger than last year. If I do make the final table, I mean that's just a major accomplishment and I'm sure there's just lots of sponsorship opportunities that were not there last year, just because, back to back, nobody's done it. This year I also have a lot more chips, so I'm looking better at this time than I was last year, but still a long way to go. Still a whole, another day and a half. I think if I make it, it will be such a big accomplishment, and as a poker player this is what we dream about. And nobody even really dreams about making it twice. So it's big. Much bigger than just the money.