End stage tournament life is fragile.
This evening's 7:00 pm at Del Park drew 105 runners. At 1:40 am, I stood outside in the 17 degree evening, getting some air during the break. We were nearly 7 hours into the tournament. When we returned to the tables, blinds would be $6,000/$12,000. Average chip stack was $112,000. I was sitting on $123,000, and feeling fairly good about my play. But, with 13 players left, and only 10 spots paid, a cash was far from a good bet.
This year, I've vowed to stay aggressive in these spots. No folding for a min-cash. I want to be chopping.
First hand back from the break, I look down at QQ. I open from the cutoff to $34,000. The small blind calls. The flop comes out Ace-high. Of course. Small blind shoves for ~ $100,000 or so. I fold.
Two hands later, I'm sitting on the button with $90,000. It folds around, and I look down at AT spades. I raise to $32,000. Small blind shoves and has me covered. I know I'm likely behind, and quite possibly dominated. But I have to call. Big blind flips KK and I don't catch my three outer.
To the rail in less than 5 minutes . . .