Monday, July 7, 2008

My 1st WSOP Recap

Well, it's hard to explain how to feel right now. I went out there not knowing exactly what to expect considering I play less poker than almost everybody else in that room.

The scene was a spectacle to say the least. With thousands of people walking around between the Main Event, the super satellites, the cash games, poker pros, celebrities and the Poker Expo, it was sight to behold.

The first hour or so of playing, I think my inexperience showed. I was nervous and tentative and questioning whether I even belonged in the same room as some of these guys. These players were more aggressive than any others I'd ever played against. Found out after a couple of hours that one of the guys at my table was Dr. Amir Nasseri from High Stakes Poker. Good aggressive and fearless player.

I lost a couple of pots early after playing hands and trying to get a feel from the table. We were playing 7 handed until an 8th player showed up at the end of Level 1. My confidence grew after one big hand.

Blinds are 50-100 and a player in early position raised preflop. There were a couple of callers including myself with KQ offsuit. Flop came out Kx8s9s. Original raiser makes a continuation bet and I decide to call with everyone else folding. Turn brings a blank and the original raiser fires out an even bigger bet. I go into the tank for a bit because I know I can't pin my hopes on top pair and a queen kicker but something did not smell right to me so I make the call. The river brings another blank. No flushes or straights on the board and the he fires out a bet of 8000, which I remember correctly was about 3/4 of the pot. Again I go in the tank. The only hand that worried me was AK, but the way he was betting, especially after the river, screamed busted draw to me. If I called and lost, I was down to 1000 in chips less than 2 hours in the tourney, which would have been an embarrassment to say the least. In the end, I trusted my read and made the call. He angrily mucked his cards and I took down the pot, mucking mine as well. I caught him later on a break and he told me he was on a flush and straight draw. Hands down, the sickest call I've ever made.

By doing this, I think it gained me some respect at the table in that I wouldn't be bullied, plus gave me confidence that I could play with these guys. Helped that it made me table chip leader after the 1st level.

If I had to do it over again, I probably should have tightened up once I got some chips, especially after getting up close to 40K after level 2. Playing QJ got me into trouble more than it helped me, and it seemed like I had that hand a lot. Again, something to take with me for the future. Gaining confidence was good, but I should have stuck with my style of play instead of loosening up.

I did hear a couple of comments from other players that were positive, including one from a frustrated player asking me to "give him something" because he couldn't get a read on me after a raise. Of course, he was the one who eventually knocked me out with the 4 outer.

My biggest fear was that I wouldn't represent well, but I feel like I did. When it was over, I realized I could play with these guys, some of whom were the best in the world. I outlasted the likes of Dan Harrington, Josh Arieh, Freddy Deeb, Gavin Smith and last year's runner-up, Tuan Lam.

I will warn everyone that once you get a taste of the WSOP, you'll want to go back. I've already set my sights on playing in next year's as well, so all you Dead Money players better start practicing because I will be looking to repeat and getting another shot at the Main Event.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The dream is over

Frustrating ending to say the least. You get all your chips in with the best hand and you get rivered with a 4 outer.

I'm down to 10K in chips. Blinds are 200-400 with a 50 ante. I have pocket 10s in middle position and raise to 1200. Small blind calls.

Flop is Q-10-9 rainbow. Blind checks and I fire out 1500. After a pause he pushes all-in, has me covered, and I instacall with my set. He turns over KQ. I'm sure you know where this is going.

Turn is a blank and the river brings one of his 4 outs in the form of a Jack, giving him a straight and ending my tournament.

Definitely a disappointment after starting off so well, but in the end, I had all my money in with the best hand. Can't ask for much more.

Ill add my final thoughts when I get in front of a computer.

Level 4 update

Took a huge hit. Down to 12,300 and it's all because of one hand.

KdQd in middle position with 2 big stack limpers in front so I limp. Flop is Kc8d3d. 2 limpers check and I bet 2/3 pot. Guy after me calls everyone else folds. Turn brings Qs giving me top 2 and 2nd nut flush draw. Figuring he's chasing I bet the pot and he calls. River brings 6d and I check. He bets enough for me to call and he turns over Ad2d for the nut flush.

Antes are starting to take their toll

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Level 3 update

On a 90 minute dinner break and I've taken a hit. Down to 23,350.

My new table is more aggressive than the last one and I found out the hard way. 2 hands stood out this level.

First one and aggressive player to my right raised preflop and I called with QJ. Flop gave me top pair and I thought he was bluffing. Ended up with 2 pair but he outkicked me.

Second hand was a standard raise from a tight Asian player in middle position. I called with QJ suited. Flop comes J-6-6. He fire a weak bet. I raise and he comes over the top. I reluctantly folded showing my jack. I had him on a higher pocket pair.

Be back in a few hours

Level 2 update

Up to 36,400. Was down under 20k at one point after being outkicked with 2 pair. Table broke and I took the 1st 2 hands I played.

Big one came when I flopped bottom 2 pair with an ace and a flush draw on the board. Smooth called until the river when I made a boat and raised. Other player reluctantly folded top 2.

Level 1 update

I'm sitting with 30,400 in chips thanks to the sickest call I've ever made. It would have left me with 1000 in chips but instead I'm close to table leader. Ill give details later.

I'm the youngesst at my table and we're playing 8 handed. We played 7 handed for an hour and a half. A couple of pretty aggressive players at my table.

Started off poorly and lost a quarter of my stack half hour in. Played too scared and timid but got my confidence back when I made that call.

More in a couple of hours...

Almost showtime

Still 5 minutes until the doors open and it's quite a spectacle between the crowds, the cameras and the poker expo.

My table was moved from the Brasilia room to the Red room which I believe is part of the Amazon room.

Ill check back in a couple of hours.