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.

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