Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rest of Vegas

After bubbling the 5k I had a few days open so I entered a $350 tourney on my own dime at Caesar's. I played super well and ended up losing 3 hands where I was at least a 70% favorite at the final table. If I had won any of those (especially the last one AQ < AT) I would have made at least $10k more. As it was, I am still very happy with my first live cash being over $14k.

The other highlight was busting some lady who for whatever reason felt she had to enter every pot that I played.

My next tourney was the 3k WSOP event where my KK got cracked by A3s on a 337 board fairly early.

I then made another day two and my first cash in an WSOP event when I cashed the 1.5k event. I had a huge stack going into day 2 - I was 7th out of like 150 players, but I made a huge bluff against the eventual winner on the turn with 55 on a 227Q board and he had AQ.

My last tourney was another bad beat when my JJ < TT in another 1.5k WSOP event.

After that tourney, I was scheduled to stay in vegas for like 5 more days, but I was just vegased out, so I switched flights and came home early.

Looking back on it, the trip was great. I played well, I made some decent money, and I will definitely be playing some more live events in the future. I played against some well-known pros and even busted one (Eric Seidel) who is the current #1 ranked player.

Tomorrow we are off to Santa Barbara and I will be staying in So Cal for the next 2 weeks so I probably won't be posting or playing much.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 2 of the $5k NL Event

So I made it through a grueling 13 hour day and was in good shape with over 70k in chips to start day 2. I had a hard time sleeping that night as I was both exhausted and amped over the possibility of not only cashing but making some major cash in my very first event - being in a strange bed didn't help either.

I had thoughts of just sitting on my stack and folding to the money but that's just not my style so I just tried to relax and play my game and take the opportunities as they came. I actually was pretty aggressive early on and people were folding to me. I then made a bad double barrel bluff against an older guy at the table which lost me some chips but I still had a decent stack. Soon thereafter an older French guy got moved directly to my left and I had played with him the day before and knew that he made some bad shoves. With blinds at 800/1600 I got dealt 99 from the button and made a standard raise to 4500ish and Frenchie overshoved like 35k more. It folded to me and I snap called much to the table's surprise. I was delighted when he showed A9 offsuit, but wasn't as happy when the A came on the flop. That hand decimated me, but I was able to chip back up to about 20k when I then ran AK into TT and couldn't win that race and I was out in 80th place when 72 got paid.

I was definitely disappointed in the result and just went back to my hotel room to sit and sulk. But I was happy about my play and can't be upset about getting all my chips in when I was way ahead. I also had not played much live, so it was a confidence builder to know that I could get deep in a high buy-in event against players who are some of the best in the world.

Next post will detail my foray into a Caesar's tourney and my first live cash.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Las Vegas Recap

Day 1

I arrived in Vegas on Tuesday, June 10 in the afternoon and checked into the Imperial Palace which would be my home for the next ten days. It's one of the crappier hotels on the strip, but it is on the strip, it is cheap, about $50/night (I was staying with a poker friend to make it even cheaper), and it has a bed, shower, and tv which is all I really need. I unpacked and then headed over to the RIO to get my registration finalized. I had heard of hugely long lines the previous year, but I must have picked a good time because I had no wait and was quickly registered for the $5k event the next day, as well as a $3k and two $1.5k events in the upcoming days. Since I had time to spare, I went in and checked out the main poker room and got to just soak in the atmospehere a bit. The whole thing really is a zoo. When I got there the last three tables of a big buy-in ($5k) rebuy lowball event was going on. Because this event was so expensive to play, the field was stacked with well known pros who I have spent the last 5 years watching on t.v. Doyle Brunson, Mike Matusow, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Erik Lindgren, were all playing and the crowd was 3 people deep with people snapping pictures. There are usually at least 3 different tourneys going on at once during the series, and this day was no different, so across the room were hundreds of other players in a different tourney and there is a constant chirping of chips being shuffled and shouts of "seat open" at table x when a player is eliminated. After watching the big names play for a bit, I headed back to my hotel and just watched tv and relaxed until the next day when I would be playing my first WSOP event.

Day 2 - Day 1 of the $5k NL Event

I think I was probably the only player to arrive to the RIO on the free shuttle which runs every 30 minutes from Caesars, but I got there plenty early and just waited for the fun to begin. The structure of this tourney was very deepstacked, we started w/10k in chips and blinds just starting at 25/50 with one hour levels so there was plenty of play.

I picked up AA early to win a small pot and that helped to ease the nerves. Other than that there was nothing really spectacular. The only really two good players at the table were directly to my left, which didn't leave me much wiggle room. I lost a decent sized pot w/AK and was down to about 7k with blinds at 200/400 when a young internet player to my right who had just been moved to the table raised and I woke up with AQ in the cutoff and shoved. The BB called me w/TT and I won that race to stay alive.

After that I was able to chip up simply by stealing and restealing. I didn't show down any other hand until late at the end of day 1 when I was fortunate to have my AA run into AK and doubled through to like 70k. Since I had never played live before I felt a little retarded going through the process of bagging my chips for the next day (I forgot to put the confirmation sheet in the bag before sealing it so had to do it over), but I felt super good that I had survived the first day and had a decent chip stack and a really good shot to make the money the next day. We finished that day with like 120 players and 72 would get paid. The one thing I was super surprised about was how tired I was. We played for 10 hours, but with breaks we were there for over 13 hours and by the end of the night I was just blitzed. I also had a really hard time sleeping that night. I am generally a pretty laid back guy, but being in a new bed, going deep in a high buy-in event, and having a shot to make big money all kept me from getting the deep sleep I craved.

Next post will detail my quick day 2 and then my first live cash.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back from Vegas

I wasn't due back until Tuesday, but I played my last tourney today and realized that I am just spent. So I came home early. Vegas was profitable and educational. I'll write about it tomorrow.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Off to vegas on a Good Note

I got deep in the Sunday Warmup today but then lost a race, went card dead and I was out in 35th. I was definitely hoping for a final table there as first was almost $100k, but it just wasn't meant to be.

Still, I am clearly playing very well, my bankroll is in good shape so I can leave and feel fine when I get back, and since I am being staked for Vegas there is really little downside to me going. Tomorrow I need to tie some loose ends around the house, and then I'm off on Tuesday. I'm excited to go.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Winning is FUN!!

Took down another smallish tourney on Tilt today.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Swingy much?

After 2 really frustrating months I have had back to back nice days and everything feels good again. Got 4th in the 40k daily guarantee on Tilt for close to $5k. So that's about 10k in the last two days, which makes me feel good again.

This is definitely a game that plays with your mind. I just need to remember that these good days should return when I'm grinding through the days where nothing seems to work.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Little win = Huge confidence boost

I won the 17.5k guarantee on Tilt which is a $75 FO tourney for $5.7k. My bankroll had been in a slow and steady decline prior to this the last couple of months so it just feels good to win again.

Next week I am off to Vegas and I'm looking forward to it, when I get back my wife has some time off work so I'll be vacationing until probably mid July. I want to get into some basketball/volleyball leagues when I do get back in July and will also look into volunteering. Either at a Boys & Girls Club type place or maybe some sort of pro bono work now that I can actually practice here in CA.