Sorry for the delay, work's been kicking my hiney this week! Woke up early on Saturday, and we both hit Gold Coastâ€™s breakfast buffet. In my opinion, their breakfast is on par with Rioâ€™s, but a steal at $6.49 compared to the $11.99 Rio charges. After a couple eggs benedict, a chocolate waffle, bacon, some Mexican eggs, and coffee, we played some nickel slots and quarter VP with no big wins or losses. Iâ€™m a big fan of Gold Coast, itâ€™s clean, comfortable, quiet, and has better slot/VP paybacks than most other strip-area casinosâ€¦a good change of pace, nice way to ease into the day. I left Jen at Gold Coast and headed over Harrahâ€™s for the poker tourney. My round started promptly at 1:00; I wasnâ€™t too nervous, but very excited to have a shot at some cash and a spot in next yearâ€™s WSOP. The final 150 players would make the money; first also received $20,000 on top of the free entry, 150th won $300. From what I could tell about my table, there were a couple of very inexperienced players (i.e.- no idea how the blinds work), a couple of solid players, and the rest falling somewhere in the middle. I decided my strategy would be to play very conservative at first and let the bad players knock themselves out, then switch to super aggressive mode and hope for the best. In the first round ($25-$50 blinds), I was dealt A-10 of clubs and raised to $200, two others called. The flop was 10-x-x, I made a pot-sized bet and everyone folded. That brought me up to $2,400, and I was very relieved to win the hand without a fight. Shortly after I found pocket nines in early position and raised to $400 (blinds had increased to $50-$100). Only the big blind called: a middle-aged, f-bomb dropping, whiskey-drinking dude from Ohio who was wearing a super-ugly Hawaiian shirt and tinted sunglasses. He had already raised all-in a couple of times, and showed good hands when he did. I was not happy this guy called. The flop was 6-6-5, all different suits, and he immediately went all-in. I was in a difficult spot, he could have had a number of hands that would beat me (pocket tens through aces, A-6, pocket fives), or he couldâ€™ve been just bluffing with a couple of big cards like A-K/A-Q. He also had more chips than me, so if I called him and lost, Iâ€™d be out of the tournament. After a minute of thinking it through, I decided to fold and wait for a better opportunity to bet all my chips. He never showed his cards and scooped the pot. Towards the end of the third round ($100-200 blinds), we were down to six players, and I decided this would be time Iâ€™d change gears and start mixing it up. I was in the small blind with A-6 of spades, and three other people had just called before me. While it's not a great starting hand, I thought a decent raise would scare out the others. Raised it up to $700 (mistake #1, I shouldâ€™ve just bet all-in for my last $1,600 or so) and two of the limpers calledâ€¦not exactly what I expected or hoped for. The flop was 8-5-2 and I checked to see if anyone had a hand (mistake #2, shouldâ€™ve gone all-in), the other two checked as well. The turn was 5, so I finally went all-in thinking that couldnâ€™t have helped anyone (mistake #3!), and was called by a shorter stack withâ€¦..A-5. I only had a single $500 chip left, so I had to wait for a decent hand and hope for the best. Unfortunately the best one I saw was J-7 of diamondsâ€¦I would be the big blind next hand for $200 anyways, so I rolled the dice & went all-in, and again called by two players. I donâ€™t remember the flop, only that it had two diamonds. The same guy who beat me with A-5 bet to force out the other player, and I thought I had at least a fighting chance with my flush drawâ€¦only to see the other guy flip over K-2 of diamonds. Now I DIDNâ€™T want to catch my flush, because itâ€™ll give this other guy a higher flush & knock me outâ€¦I needed either a jack or seven to stay alive. Of course, another diamond showed up on the very next card and I was eliminated. Why do I never catch my flush when itâ€™ll make me a winner, but this time, with only a maximum of seven diamonds left in the deck, I hit it??? It's just about quitting time, Iâ€™ll try to get the rest of the report out over the weekendâ€¦featuring Mikey and the Coasters.