$100 No Limit Hold ‘Em, Burlington, VT

$2000 was the advertised first prize (*based on 75 people entering), but only 22 people were present and the total prize money was only $900. I managed to ante about half of my stack away during the first 40 minutes. During this time two people got knocked out at my table, both rebuying. I picked up A-10 one off the button and raised. I had two callers. The flop of KQJ rainbow was a welcome sight. I bet about half my stack, one folded the other called. Turn was a rag, but I checked, so did the other player. Final card was a rag and my straight was the nuts. I went all in and the other guy called me for most of his (rebought) chips and turned over pocket Jacks for trips. The pocket jacks did me in a couple of hours later as I called a 3x BB pre-flop bet from my right when I was on the button. So did everyone else. We were down to 12 players, and I was 2nd in chips. The raiser was the chip leader. The flop came down 39Q rainbow. One minimum bet was made by MP. Everyone called around to me. I needed to clear some people out so I raised it up to the size of the pot, which would put almost everyone all in. Much to my shock three people called. I’m not liking my Jacks very much here. The guy to my right, the chip leader, goes over the top of me, all in. I figured he now has a set, or Kings or Aces so I fold. Now there’s four people in the pot. You’d figure that a pair of sevens would not be the best hand, but it is. The guy to my right, the chip leader, has put everyone all in with a pair of sevens. One person had king high, another had J8 for a gutshot draw and the other had 35 for a pair of 3s. The turn brings the other Jack and the river brings a Ace. The sevens hold up for a monster pot. I then proceed to be blinded away for the next two rounds without seeing anything. I finally go all in preflop with pocket fives and get called by some drunk guy with pocket aces. This guy had just returned from a five minute penalty for pulling the largest string bet I’ve ever seen. “100? 200? 400? would you call that? how about 600? 800? 1000? 2000? any more and you’ll be all in. I guess I’ll bet 2500.” The flop brings the other two aces and IGHN.