I'll add my thoughts on the hand as I was the guy with 500k (sick brag bro), but to correct post #9 I was also UTG and I also made the "mistake" (brag given back).
I do not think you were wrong for speaking up. I do think based on the discussion/berating/blahblahblah that took place after the hand created a dynamic that I think would lead to/pressure, at the very least,soft play if the situation were to happen again at the table. For example, if the two players "AJ" and "the other guy" were to call a short stack, we now know that their intent is to check it down and try and bust the short stack. Is that collusion? Some people will say yes, most people will say its a grey area, others will say no its +ev. The only way to know would be calling the floor to get a ruling based on the evidence available. Or tweet @SavagePoker and get his opinion because he's the best TD LDO
What I found most ridiculous about the situation was how oblivious AJ and the other guy were that their argument was basically admitting they were trying to soft play and they continued to bring it up. We should have called the floor after a few minutes of that.
For about a minute after I thought I made a mistake but then I thought about why I bet , 1 I'm here to win the tournament and 2 its a big pot I want to stretch my chip lead (chop leverage) and ohh yeah I have top pair. *You paired the turn, whatever, tap the table move on. *After that I was comfortable admitting to a "mistake" to keep them thinking about the money they should have locked up.
Great example Xander, it's funny how small the big If was. The pay jump wasn't big but it pretty much played out that way.