Jerry's Las Vegas WSOP Trip

This year it's my turn to try the WSOP. I went out June 14th and returned on June 18th. I played a lot of poker. Here's a recap:

Here's a link to the blind structure for this tournament for those of you that are interested.

June 14th

I got in OK, the trip was fine. I had (barely) enough time to check-in, run to the RIO to register for the WSOP event and race back to the Orleans in time for the noon poker game. But I'm glad I did! 64 players started and they were paying the top 7 places. I managed to bide my time and (after 5 hours) I made it to the final table. But the final table held 10 players so I still wasn't in the money. After another person went out we decided to give 8th and 9th places $100 so then we were all in the money! When it got down to 6 players, someone suggested chopping the pot. I was chip leader and didn't really want to, but I agreed so I could make the Thursday online game. Still a $515 payday from a $75 buy-in wasn't too bad. Plus I managed to play 5 1/2 hours of very enjoyable poker!

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to register for the online game so I missed it. Kathy won (good job hun!). I'll try to write up a report about that game when I get back, but I missed most of it so don't expect much.

Play begins tomorrow morning at 10 AM (1 PM for east coast people). I've been up far too many hours so I'll sign off now.

One more thing, the WSOP will stream the final table of the Seniors Tournament on their web site. It's unlikely I'll make it that far, but you never know!

June 15th - WSOP day!

10 AM - Level 1 - 25/25 - 3000 chips, 4128 players remaining, start of the tournament.

Well actually it was delayed until 10:30 AM becuase we had a record crowd. 4128 players. The largest single day start in the world. Each player had 3000 in chips to start. At my table was Sam Barnheart. He finished in thetop nine last year (I think). Anyway he's a nice guy and I got to play with him for the first two hours.

12:50 PM - Level 3 - 50/100 - 2000 chips, 4102 players

Just biding my time. No real good hands, but no real trouble either.

3:10 PM - Level 5 - 100/200 - 2350 chips, 3714 players

OK starting to get short stacked. It's pretty much all or nothing. Went all-in a couple of times and took the blinds. Just treading water.

6:40 PM - Level 7 - 200/400 + 25 ante, 2450 chips, 1471 players

Made it to the dinner break. But now my work is cut out for me. Very short stacked. Need real help. Fortunately, I made a good call that doubled me up. This was followed by pocket Aces that almost doubled me up again. A few other good hands and no real mistakes left me pretty good.

9:00 PM - Level 9 - 300/600 + 75 ante, 13,125 chips, 1010 players

Probably could have played this level better. I called an all-in with A-J suited and the all-in had A-K. I could have waited, but he had done this earliuer with much worse hands. Lost about half my stack. Later called an all-in with pocket 10's. All-in and A-J and the Ace fell on the river. The blinds at this level were murder.

10:20 PM - Level 10 - 400/800 + 100 ante, 1200 chips, 750 players

Desparately short stacked. I have two hands before I'm in the big blind. First hand is Q-5 offsuit. I fold and I'm down to 1100. Next hand is K-J offsuit. I push all-in (literally one chip). My raise is only $200 more than the big blind. With 3100 in the pot already there's no way I'm not getting a caller. I just hope it's not 2 or 3. But EVERYONE FOLDED! They all expected the big blind to call (he's getting 16-1 on his money, there is no way he should fold - but he does)! My big blind comes and the big stack goes all-in, they aren't letting the small blind give me walk. I have pocket 2's. I need another double up so I call. He turns over pocket 10's and they hold up (just like mine didn't earlier). I'm out.

They don't keep track of position until they get close to the money. I figure I finished around 730th or 300 places short of the money. Still I played over 9 hours of poker against some first class competition. It was great!

... and I have a noon game set up for tomorrow! More to come (I hope)

June 16th

Stayed close to home today. Played in both the tournaments here at the The Orleans. Didn't make it to the first break on the first one. I only had 3 playable hands. The first was AK off. I raised and got two callers. The flop came Queen high. I made a continuation bet, but both called again. I had to shut down after that. Later I called an all-in with pocket queens. The guy hits a straight on the river. And finally, short-stacked, I went all in with my pocket 2's. I get called by j-8 in the big blind and he hits the jack to put me away.

I did better in the evening game. I was slowly going up, but basically just staying alive until I got moved to a table with a real chip bully. He would call with ANY 2 cards. He doubles a number of people up, but managed to suckout (or end up with a hand) often enough that he had a huge stack. My strategy was to wait until I had a good hand and could push all-in and let him double me up. But, again, the blind were taking their toll. I had about 8000 chips with the blind at 600/1200 and a 200 chip ante, when I found pocket 8's. The second highest stack went all-in, then I called and the bully went away. Caller shows A-J and an ace pops up on the flop. Not a great result for yours truely. Still I played for about 4 hours and that was fun.

Tomorrow I may explore other casinos. They don't have an evening hold-em game here on Sundays. So it's go elsewhere or play a cash game. Not sure which it'll be. Let you know tomorrow

June 17 - Happy Father's Day

Played in the noon tourney at the Orleans. I was pretty card dead until I found pocket queens. I raised and got one caller.. The flop was jack-high with a possible straight draw. I didn't put the caller on the straight draw, but thought I would end it so I pushed. He thought about it then called with his pocket aces. Oh well - what can you do?

For the evening I decided to play the deep-stack event at the Aria. It was $125 for 10000 chips with 30 minute levels. Games usually run 11-13 hours. So I was trying to be conservative. I called small raises with A-J and some medium pairs, and limped with a few small pairs. I made it to the first break, but was done to about 6000 chips. The I put on a clinic on how not to play A-Q suited. Here's the situation:
The blinds where 100/200 and 25 ante. I was just before the dealer button and everyone had folded to me. The dealer button had a tell and I knew she wasn't going to call. The small blind was loose so he'd call with a wide range. Big blind might call if the small blind called and he had a hand. I made a small raide (650) knowing that I would have position for the rest of the hand. Dealer folded, small blind re-raised (2200), and the big blind folded.
I called - first mistake! but only a small one. When he raised I had to think I was behind. I should have just let it go. But I had two high cards and position. If I didn't catch I could still get away from the hand.
Flop came 2-A-9 rainbow. He checked and I checked - second mistake! And a big one! I had started to think he might have called with a pocket pair, but doubted he would have raised with 2's or 9's. I didn't think he'd have aces since he raised so much. The only hand I was worried about was A-K which was a possibility. I should have bet just to find out where I was.
Turn was a King. worst card in the deck for me. He bet out 3000. I was still worried about the A-K, but had convinced myself he had a weaker ace. So I pushed all in. He had KK, I never saw it coming. If I'd bet the flop he'd have folded. Three strikes and I was out.

Still I had a good time and it's really not all that different from our home game (the food wasn't as good). Having a dedicated dealer was nice. I recommend the Orleans games. The play is causal and dealers are fun. The Aria was a step up in stress. The number of players is higher, the stacks are bigger and the players more serious. Start at the Orleans and play the Aria when you're ready for the next step.

That's all for this trip. See you all at the July game!

Home Page