Sunday, June 07, 2009

WSOP Event #11 Recap

** Warning ** This post is going to be long and have a lot of poker hands in it. **Warning**

I will try and recap as best as I can, but to be honest after three days of play and little sleep in between a lot of the hands that I played have been merged/forgotten. All of the WSOP this year start with 3x your buy-in in chips. So I started day 1 with 6k in chips and very early on chipped up. I was paid off w/AA, flopped a set of 88 against AK on a K8x flop, and picked up a flush on the river against what I am imagining was either a set or two pair against Court Harrington within the first two hours. So I was quickly up to somewhere around 20k in chips when I had my first table move.

My next table had Michael Craig, a FullTilt pro, seated two to my right. I know his game pretty well since I have played with him quite a bit online. I quickly bled chips away at this table due to bad beats and lost races - my 55 lost to 44 and TT lost to TKs all-in pre against short stacks, so I was pretty quickly down to like 10k in chips with blinds at 200/400 when I finally won a flip against Michael Craig when my JJ held against his AK all-in pre. Bill Gazes, another well known FullTilt pro, was then moved to our table and after basically just maintaining my stack I was able to almost double through him when my 88 won a race against his TJ all-in pre.

My last table move of the day placed me directly to the right of Tom McEvoy who won the Main Event 20ish years ago and is a pro for PokerStars - he also recently won the Tournament of Champions. We never really got involved in many hands. I must say that all of these pros/higher profile players were all extremely approachable and seemed like decent guys - guys who almost anyone would enjoy having a drink with and just shooting the shit. My big hand at the new table was fairly soon after I had been moved to the table when the button who had about an even stack with me raised and I was dealt TJs in the BB. I am guessing blinds were at 400/800 and both of us were probably right around 25k in chips. He raised to like 2500 and I reraised to somewhere around 8k with the thought that I would often take the pot down right there, or I could shove almost any flop if he called as a bluff. Instead, he put me all-in but I was getting right around 2:1 on my money (probably a little better) and since he had me covered he could easily be using his stack to try and bully me so I really thought that my hand had over the 33% equity it needed to justify a call. I called, he had 66, and I won that race which propelled me to my ending stack that night of somewhere around 65k.

Day 2 began with just over 200 players and 171 got paid. I got a very fortunate table draw because I was the chip leader so I was able to bully the table quite a bit, especially as we got nearer and nearer to the money bubble. When there were only 177 players left I was able to force a guy with about 25k in chips to fold QQ preflop when I had AJ just by using my stack as a weapon. After he reraised me, I put him all-in and he wasn't willing to take the risk of busting out with only 6 players. So by the time we hit the money and our table got broken up I was probably up to about 100k in chips.

My next table was very very chip rich, the player immediately to my left is an internet wonderkid named benba who had me outchipped and he used his stack very very aggressively - which meant if I wasn't willing to play a marginal hand against him, it was better just to open-fold. I chipped up a bit against him when he 3 bet me and I 4-bet jammed him with AQ. He then got involved with another very aggressive German guy named Olav directly to my right in a huge pot where Olav got sick of benba's 3 betting and just jammed with QKs only to have benba turn over AA. Unfortunately for benba (and fortunately for me) the flop came 3 diamonds and Olav flopped his flush. Soon thereafter I won a big pot when I hit a set of 9s against another good internet kid who either had a big pair or trip Qs on a 9QxxQ board. I then won a couple of nice medium sized pots and just maintained a decent stack for the next couple of hours. By the time we were playing the last couple of levels we were down to like 36 players and had been playing for over 10 hours. I had made two marginal calls against shorter stacks and run into better hands so my stack was down to about 200k when another good young internet player who had been playing very tight openshoved for 15 BBs. There was quite a bit of drama in the hand because Olav did not hear the all-in declared and no chips were pushed forward so when it folded to him he raised a small amount and was forced to keep those chips in the pot even though he did not know that there was an all-in player in front of him. He folded but was pissed and began arguing vociferously with the floor and basically telling the dealer she was a stupid old cow. Meanwhile, I wake up with AJs and had a really really tough decision. I know that if I can put the all-in on a range of hands like A8s+/any pair/QK/some suited broadways that my AJ is ahead and should call. However, he had been tight, so if his range was more like AT+/88+ then I should fold. I took quite a while and ended up calling. Hand wise it ended up being a bad call as he flipped over AQ but I think I ranged him well. Results wise it was a great call when I binked a J on the turn. That was basically it for that night and we played down to 25 players. At 3 am we bagged our chips and were told to come back the next day at noon. I ended the night with just over 400k with blinds starting the next day at 8k/16k.

We only had about 7 hours to sleep that night (since it took another two hours to drive there and back, shower, and eat) but I was pretty amped up and nervous so I only slept like 4 hours. I finally realized that I would not be able to get back to sleep so I just woke up, and continued what had been my daily routine the past two days - I went for a 20 minute jog, ate a bagel and some fruit, took my shower, and headed off for the final day. I was tired, but I knew that the adrenaline would pull me through, and it did.

There were enough short stacks to start day 3 that players dropped pretty fast. And pretty easly on I should have been one of them. The button opened raised and I woke up with 99 in the BB. I reraised which was about 1/3 of my stack so when he 4 bet me I couldn't fold and was not a happy camper when he turned over QQ. The late suckout karma came through for me though as a 9 was the first wheel card on the flop. That hand propelled me to 800k and gave me enough chips to lose a bad beat against a shortstacks 79 when I had AK and then win a race with AQ versus another short stacks 88. Before we knew it, we were down to 10 players and off to the big lights of a tv final table.

I guess the final table was televised on ESPN360.com and from what some people have told me, I had quite a few people railing me and cheering me on. I have been asked if I was nervous but I really wasn't. The whole thing was sort of surreal. I knew that it was a big deal, but for whatever reason it didn't stress me out at all. I was really focused on just playing good poker and letting the results happen. Somewhat early on at the final table I picked up 88 in the cutoff and the very aggressive kid who had come into the table as the chip leader raised from early position. Blinds were 15/30k and he raised to 80k. I had just under a million chips and decided to take a flop with him in position as I felt I could outplay him postflop. The flop was 2x8cTc and he checked to me. He had bled quite a few chips and I knew he was waiting for a good spot to get some back, so I decided to bet small because I felt it was likely that he would check/raise me. He complied and reraised my 100k ish bet to 275k. I was then left with the decision of whether just to call or shove all-in. A call had the advantage of allowing him to keep spewing if he was bluffing, but if he wasn't bluffing and had the T or an overpair or a flush draw, then I could very well lose value by calling because he would call a shove on the flop with those hands but might fold them if a club, a non-club or overcard came on the turn depending on what he had. Anyhoo, I decided to shove and he folded so I think it is pretty clear he was bluffing and the better result would hav been to call, but that doesn't mean my decision at the time was wrong. I maintained that stack for a while but then was coolered when a short stack woke up with KK when I had TT and that took me down to a stack where really all I could do was wait to reshove on what I thought were light raises or fold. I never got that opportunity and the blinds increased so I was then forced into a push/fold stack with 20 BBs because 4 of the 5 other players at the table had about the same stack as I did and I was not willing to raise/fold at that point. On my 3rd openshove I was finally called with TT when I had QK and I wasn't able to win that last race and out I went in 6th place.

Other than 2 marginal calls (which really weren't that bad) I think I played the tourney pretty mistake free so I am very happy with my result and my play. I had to get very lucky to make the final table (two suckouts late in the tourney) but I also had to withstand quite a few bad beats (AK lost to 79, 55 lost to 44, TT lost to TK) and lost races along the way as well. So I feel the luck factor evened itself out (although I did get lucky when I needed it most), but I also made some really good plays.

The aftermath is just a really nice boost to my bankroll and confidence. It is also a nice boost to my reputation on parttimepoker which is the site I used to get my financial staking. I know from my previous big score that it takes me a couple of days to settle back down, so even though I was exhausted last night I still only got about 6 hours of sleep. So I just was super lazy today and surfed the web, I am watching the Lakers game now, and will get a better night's sleep tonight. Tomorrow I am planning on playing an event at the Venetian because I just don't have it in me to grind 3 more days in the $2500 WSOP event which starts tomorrow.

I would like to give a big thanks to Adil, christaborg, and scgolfer for railing me the whole way yesterday. And although Adil might have enjoyed himself a little too much on Friday night he gets an even bigger shout out for railing me from Friday night all the way to the end. Quite a few of the posters from flopturnriver and parttimepoker also came by to rail me at the final table and I really do appreciate that as well. Lastly I heard I had quite a contingency following my progress online - the reason I even bother with this blog is for you guys so I hope I put on a good showing.

8 comments:

Memphis MOJO said...

Congrats on the ca$h and nicely written recap.

Ed said...

Good work!

Congrats sir =)

Slim Macho said...

hey dude! Well done on the coin haul. Now that you are rich, are you coming down to SA for the Confed Cup?

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