So I didn't beat oldbloke's 16th place from last year, but I did beat my previous best placement. I reached the last three tables. I knocked out two players and mortally wounded a third. There were 1016 starting players this year.
I was down to 55,900; ante was 6,000 and big blind was 40,000 and they were due to go up today to 10K and 60K so even though I was dealer I had a maximum of five hands left. I was dealt A/9 so although an early player raised 120K I felt it was my last real chance, albeit a slim one. In the event he had A/10 which was unfortunate (though still leaves me a 1-in-3 chance of survival), and he caught a 10 on the flop, which was doubly unfortunate. There were also an 8 and a 6 so I nearly caught a straight, but "nearly" doesn't count in this game. :-)
The hand that really did for me, as last year, was a pair of jacks. A big-stack player before me raised 60K (where the big blind was 40K) so I called, and then the dealer raised another 88K all-in and we both called. After the flop we both just checked to the end — it's often considered poor play to bet into a dry pot**. And when the cards were laid down on the table, they were:
|imc||has: Js Jh (55%)|
|all-in player||has: Ad 5c (27%)|
|big stack||has: 9d 8d (18%)|
This hand cut my stack down from 364K to 170K. I basically folded everything after that and was just blinded down to nothing. Although I could have bet on K/10 from mid-position a couple of hands later it would have been dubious (although annoying because in the end BB walked it in that hand). I also folded an A/4 which would definitely have lost to A/7 in the showdown, an A/7 which would have lost to the player with the 6 to complete a straight in the showdown, and an A/6 from under the gun where there was no showdown but big-stack player went all-in so it was no better chance than the hand I eventually went out on.
**When everyone has called an all-in player pre-flop, any bet post-flop will start a new side-pot, which is called a dry pot because there wasn't any money in it to begin with. The likely outcome of betting into it is that the other player folds and so you don't win any money. In addition, if your hand isn't good enough to beat the all-in player then making the other player fold stops him from knocking the all-in player out, and that would have benefitted you both in the long run. It's less of a no-no when you have a strong hand. In the event, if I'd betted and the other player had called (unlikely, given he missed the flop) then I'd have won a bit of money back.