I finished 1st out of 19 in the first tourney, and 5th out of 20 in the second tourney. Although poker is considered a skill game, it takes luck to win tournaments due to coin-flip situations in which you start with the worst hand. I had my share of luck in the first game. Here were a few situations:
-3-bet shoved KQs from the SB, then the BB 4-bet shoved to isolate me. I knew I was crushed and he flips up AA to confirm, but I hit a K on the flop, and another K on the river for the bad beat.
-Tripled up with QQ in the BB vs ATs and 88, which sent me to the final table as chip leader with a few bounty chips.
-Ran terrible for a while, then with a stack of 30k and blinds at 5k\10k, I faced a min-raise to 20k holding K2o...a really gross spot. I tanked for 2 minutes and realized I'd only have a few chips left after paying the SB, so I reluctantly made the call. Villain flipped ATs but I flopped two kings and river'd a 2 for the full house...unbelievable.
-Final hand, heads-up: Shoved Q8o from the SB and got insta-called by QKs. He hits two pair but I hit runner-runner spades for the queen-high flush.
Can't remember much from the 2nd tourney, which ran until 3am or so. Pretty much standard play on my part, and I busted on the bubble with QTs vs KTs. What I do remember is Shaun J with a stack of 9 bounty chips, which grew to 11. He knocked out over half the field and went on to win 1st! Sick, sick run.
Even though my tournament results are solid, especially having missed the first month, I think Shaun and John Dar may be the best poker players in the group based on hand-reading ability, and picking up tells. Several others are good at tournament flow (especially Charlie), but I wouldn't want to play those two guys for very long in a cash game, where serious sustained poker skill is required.
Looking forward to next month, and hope to keep making final tables.