Guest Blog Post from Beau - WSOP trip report
Well, we had a few more join us for our annual trip to the WSOP this year, up from three to five. We got in to LV on Wednesday and I was in a hurry to get to the Rio to try out some satellites as I didn’t take the time to try one in the last two trips. The Rio offered all sorts of satellite from $125 to $1025 buy-ins. We chose the other end and decided to start with a $175 buy-in. This one paid three $500 tournament chips plus $120 cash…winner take all, however it seemed that once you got down to the final two or three everyone was ready to make a deal. These satellites were fairly aggressive in that you started with $1,000 in chips, 25/50 blinds moving up every 15 minutes. I got off to a great start and accumulated about $4,000 of the $10,000 on the table but ultimately ended giving some back and chopping the pot when we were down to three people… with the chip leader taking half the payout and me and another taking a quarter each…net win, $405-$175 = $230. Feeling pretty good I try another satellite as that one lasted less than an hour. The next one available was a $125. When we sat down a guy in seat 2 proposed a last longer bet to the table for $100, I took him up on that as well as 3 others. So at this point the satellite pays out two $500 tournament chips plus $120 cash, as well as $500 to whoever last longest of myself and the four others in the prop bet. So on to the second tournament, again I take a commanding lead, but give some back and make it to the final three for a second time with one of the last longer participants. We decide to chop it with the chip leader, as well as me and one other chopping the last longer bet in half. With all that said, I net out $335. By this time it’s about 4am and the real tournament starts in 8 hours. These two satellites have enabled me to discount my entry fee to $1500-$565 = $935. Not a bad night’s work. Oh, by the way…before the first satellite we got a chance to see Erick Lindgren win his first bracelet in the mixed hold’em event. I guess that removes the saying, “one of the best to never win a bracelet” label from him.
Day 2 – we get to the Rio right before the start of the event and take our seats. We start with 1,236 players with a $375,000 payday to first place. I don’t have any pros at my table (in fact in the immediate 15-20 table area the only one I spot is John Juanda), and the other players at my table seem like they might be on the same level as me. We start with $3,000 in chips and $25/$50 blinds. I kept track of hands as I played them, but won’t share them since I was knocked out at the end of the second hour. The pace was kind of what I expected, which I knew wouldn’t suit my style. In a 6-handed game you have to be more aggressive and take more chances than I would typically like to. I felt like every time I tried to make a move I got played back at or bullied with some big bet and since I was playing less than premium hands I was forced to fold or put a good portion of stack at risk. In the end I got dwindled down and had to make a stand with AK and got knocked out with a middle pair. Oh well, lesson learned…I’ll stick to the full-table games.
Day 3 – speaking of full table games, that’s just what I figured I needed to get involved with. Both the Venetian and Caesar’s offer deep stack tournaments on a daily basis, so I figured I’d try one of those out. The Venetian was $540 and CP’s was $330, so three of us decided to go with Caesar’s. The structure was very good for patient play. You started with $12,500, $25/$50 blinds and 50-minute levels…plenty of time to be patient and play my game. There were 668 players and first place paid $50k.
At this point I don’t remember the specifics of very many hands, so I’ll share the ones that were most significant. About 2-3 levels in I’m dealt KK in about 5th position. Blinds are $200/$400 at this point and 4th position raises to $1200. I think about it for a bit and decide to raise and see where I’m at. I make it $3000 (about 20-25% of my stack) and everyone folds around to the SB (chip leader/aggressive guy…maybe $30k in chips). He contemplates for awhile and finally raises to $9000. It gets back around to 4th position and he looks confused and doesn’t know what to do, however after a minute or two he finally folds and its back on me. His bet has forced me to go all in if I want to call. I sit for a bit and try to remember what this guy has been doing and all I can recall is how aggressive he has been and wonder if he is trying to push me out or if he has AA. I finally decide he has doesn’t have AA and if he doesn’t then I can more than double up and have control of this table. I eventually push all-in and he insta-calls. I shake my head and say I guess you’ve got aces, huh? He says yep, and you must have Kings. I nod and look at the guy next to me who just folded and he says, man, I folded QQ. Well, I guess I need a miracle or I’m about to be out early two days in a row. Do you believe in miracles??…K-10-3-x-x. Hello table chip leader! (I think I heard somewhere…maybe from Johnny Chan…that you’ve got to have at least five or more of these situations occur in your favor to win a tournament.) Now that I’ve got something to work with I ride a wave that averaged me around $30k in chips for the next 5 hours or so. After that, other than an unbelievable AK/AK chop I was involved with on an AKK board (I think we were both equally pissed/relieved) nothing really happened. The table I was at averaged about $25k in chips and eventually once we were 7-handed we were broken down and moved to other tables. This is when the trouble started. I went from an average table stack of $25k to an average $60k stack table. It looked like I was back to getting pushed around. It was tough because the dynamic totally changed. At the other table with $400/$800 blinds the standard pre-flop raise was about $2k. At this new table everyone who wanted to get in on the hand was raising to $3500, so there was no chance to limp. I just had to wait for a premium hand or at least position. The other issue was that we were fast approaching the money bubble. 68th place and better would get paid and we were down to about 100. The last hand before the dinner break I turn to the guy next to me and mention that I hate to play these last hands before a break because it always seems like something bad happens. Well, what would you know, I look down and see AQs. I am in about 6th position and at this point the blinds are $800/$1600 with $200 antes, so the pot is $4400 before anything happens. As I contemplate a call I notice that both the SB and BB look like they are ready to stand up and leave so figure I’ll take this pot down right now with a raise. I make it $5000 and it folds around to the button. He thinks about it for a bit and finally pushes all-in for a huge chunk of my stack. It folds back around to me and I start think…what did I just say about these hands?? The button is a terrible player from what I have seen so far and I have a good feeling he doesn’t have anything or might just have a weak ace. I think about it for a bit and finally decide that he doesn’t have anything and this will put me in the $55-$60k range and position to make a run deep into the money if I can win this hand. I call and he just hangs his head. I guess I made the right decision. He flips A-10 offsuit and I start to get excited that I made a great call until… 10-6-4-x-x. Great…I now have about $7500 in chips and have to go on a 1.5 hour dinner break, only to come back and probably be felted in one hand. Not so fast, my friend. I get back and see that I can fold four hands until the BB gets to me. At this point it is $1k/$2k blinds with a $300 ante making it a minimum $6000 pot every time. Well, we are down to about 85-90 people and I am disgusted that I will probably bubble, until three hands later I look down and see AA. I play the part of the guy who has given up and say, well I guess I’m all-in. Call. Call. Call.. …are you kidding me? Please hold up. This was such a blur with sidepots and cards everywhere I don’t even remember what anyone else had, all I knew was that I had just more than quadrupled up…woohoo! Needless to say, I had no more miracles come my way other than just outlasting the bubble to finish in 64th place, 12 hours later with a payout of $430. I was pumped to have made the money, but that was a long time to win that little, however I guess I could have gone out 10 hours earlier on the KK. : )
Other than these two days there was no other real significant poker play. I had a couple of ridiculous runs at craps that actually kept me positive for the trip (after all expenses, wsop entry, etc, etc…) and three other stories to share, two from me and one from Bill.
Bill was playing in the Golden Nugget’s daily $105 tourney and had gotten down to two tables. He had two all-ins in front of him and decided to push all his chips in to try and knock one out and double/triple up. The dealer takes all of Bill’s chips that have been pushed out in front of him and counts them down to see what the total is. Bill stands up to watch the action and as he does that the dealer scans the table and then proceeds to scoop the folded cards from the guy to Bill’s left plus Bill’s cards and dumps them in the muck. Bill’s like…what are you doing? They call the floor over and says, well, sorry you didn’t have your cards protected and you can’t fish them out of the muck (even though he tells him what they are) and worse than that you can’t have your money back, so unless the board shows a nut straight, flush or boat (that chops the pot) then you’re out of the tourney. Needless to say that doesn’t happen and his tourney is over. WTF? Anyway, as unbelievable as this story is, I had just heard the exact thing happen at another table at the Caesar’s tourney. How can that be the right thing to do? They should at least give you your all-in back. Ridiculous. Lesson learned, always use some sort of card protector other than your own chips.
Last two bad luck/good luck stories…on Saturday we decided to bet the horse race. Even though Big Brown was the overwhelming favorite we were thinking that if any other horse can pull this out it might be a big payday, no matter how big a longshot. With that said, I put $2 bucks on every horse to win except Big Brown (as well as an exacta box with BB and the field to hedge my other bet). When I saw the longshot win, I was pumped because the $2 ticket I was holding was now worth $79. When I went to cash it in, the payout on the computer said $10.80. I told the cashier that it couldn’t be right, it wasn’t enough. They called a supervisor over and he said you bet race 10, not race 11. Whaaaaat? I guess the guy I bought the ticket from punched in the wrong race number and I didn’t check the ticket…unbelievable. As bad as that luck is, it has to turn right? As we’re wrapping up our last night with a little blackjack downtown I notice that I am down a little for the trip, but am ok with where I am at until the following hand comes up that could end up being shear disaster or an incredible finish. I’ve won a bunch in a row and decide to push $200 in the circle with Bill playing some random chips on top to make it $229.50. I get 22 to the dealer’s 7 and ask Darin if I should split, he laughs and says of course….Winner, winner chicken dinner. (the dealer flips a 10 from underneath for a 17…see attached pic). Lucky for me they don’t allow doubling after a split