...does it take to get to the money in the 34k?
Lets find out...
1. The nice lesson learned from stupid mistakes we make is that when other make them, we have an easier time recognizing them. Thus it was when early on I called a 4xBB bet after limping with Jh9h for small-ball only. The flop is JJ6 and the original raiser bets out pot. What does this tell you? Easy, he has QQ, KK or AA. (I dont see 66 raising to 4xBB early on.) This was such a bad lead by him, I figure I will raise now rather then later despite the no-draw board. He cant wait to go broke.
2. I have 6k, and a 2k stack shoves pre-flop from the SB AFTER I raised to 300. Despite only having 300 invested, the shove makes little sense to me. I call with QQ and he shows A7o. Really early for that kind of steal from the SB. Not smart.
3. With blinds up to 200/400/50, I am in the BB with AQo. Player with similar size stack raises to 1000. This is a good place for a re-steal because of stack sizes, and I push over the top all-in for 6500. SHOCKINGLY he called with KTs. Wow. But for some reason my hand holds up.
4. Same level and this time I am the first raiser to the pot with 9dTd. I expect to get credit for a bigger hand as I have played tight. I get a CALL from the SB. He checks the flop and I c-bet for 1900 into 2500 and after some time, he folds. (Flop was KQ6 with 2 hearts)
5. The time for small-ball is over... I raise from the cutoff with AcTd. The button calls. The Flop is T96 (with 2 diamonds) and I am not in a mind that I want to "extract value" here out of position. I decide I want to shut 're down right here and prevent a scare card from ruining my hand. I bet pot. He folds.
6. Stack is dwindling in the 250/500/50 level as I have GARBAGE over and over. I am in the BB with Ac9C when a short stack moves all in for 8k. I have 17k in my stack and without even really considering it, I FOLD.
7. There are less then 10 players to go out before the money. I have a LEAN stack, but by no means critical. with the blinds at 500/1000/125 and my stack at 12k, I could easily fold to the money. But I am actually looking to accumulate chips. 1 to my left is the tournament leader with 90k, and I have seen him pay off an all-in with a mere AJ earlier. I have JJ in EP and make it 3k. BIG STACK who has been calling lean but not trying to freeze the table, bets 11k in effect daring me to play for my stack on the bubble. As I shove my chips in, I notice we are FOUR from the money. He shows AK and after the flop I am way behind and bubble out of the 34k.
So either way, I guess the answer is 7. (or 6 if you dont count the #6 fold)