2008 WSOP Trip Report

by admin on June 24, 2008

For the second year in a row I arrived in Las vegas expecting to play in a WSOP event but failed to do so.  Last year I didn’t play in my planned event because the place was such a zoo, but Harrah’s made a lot of improvements this year so that wasn’t at all the problem.  The problem was that I played a $330 megastack event at Caesar’s on Friday and played so poorly (getting it all in with top pair-top kicker with 100BB) that I decided I would be just throwing my money away at the WSOP and I didn’t want to do that.  So instead I played another $330 on Saturday and played the best I could play.  End result?  Made it to day two of the event (meaning I both cashed and bagged chips for the first time in a major tournament) and ended up busting out 22nd out of 560 or so for a $809 win.  First place was $47k and I think the minimum at the final table was $3k so I was dissapointed, but I played the best I could so I am happy with that turn-around.

Some interesting hands over the few days I was there:

Late in the $330, we are in the money with a couple of hours to play to get to the end of day one and I have about 12BB when the average was about 20.  I am on the button with A::dJ::d, folds around to a woman in the cutoff who makes a standard 3BB raise.  I read it as a blind steal from late position and so I push.  A young aggressive kid with a big stack in the Big Blind then goes in the tank and ends up pushing all-in and then even worse for me the initial raiser called.  So I’m thinking I’m going to be in real bad shape but it turns out the kid had Q::hQ::s and the woman had K::sK::c so I was actually not as bad as I thought, about a 28% favorite to win.  Had there been an AA or AK out there I would have only been about 10-12%, so I was very happy to see QQ and KK and no diamonds.  Although not as happy as I was when I saw an A on the flop and then another on the turn!  This was the only time I sucked out all tournament.  14 hours of play on Saturday and 1 hour on Sunday and I never saw AA in my own hand once.

Down to 22 people in the $330 and I’m sitting on about T120,000 with blinds T8,000/T16,000 with a T2,000 ante.  So less than 8 BBs and with the huge antes an M of only 3, which is square in the red zone.  I played three orbits on day two, the first time on my button I mucked T::h5::d when it was folded around to me (blinds were 6/12 then and I had more chips) I pushed all in on a steal with an OK hand like K::d5::h the second time around and this was third time.  Had 3::h5::h.  The blinds had stacks of about T500,000, big but not so big that I thought they would make a super loose call. So I pushed and got called by A::hT::d.  Again, not as bad as you would think, I’m still about 38% to win and other than seeing A2 it was about as good as I could have expected to be.  A 3 was on the flop but so was a Ten and I couldn’t catch up – busting in 22nd.  Felt kind of stupid busting out with 35 but I think it was the right play given the blind levels and my chip stack. 

$2/$5 no-limit at the Rio.  I sit down and buy-in for the max, $500.  On my third hand I pick up K::hK::s in late position.  After a couple of limpers I raise to $30.  Kid with a big stack on the button re-raises to $90.  I re-re-raise to $270.  Oh oh, he instapushes for the fourth raise.  That pretty much always means Aces but with over half my stack in and no read on the guy I have to call and sure enough he shows A::dA::h and I’m felted within 5 minutes.  The good news is I buy back in for another $500 and by the end of the night I am up to $1,200 so I ended up making a couple hundo.

Same $2/$5 no-limit game.  This one I wasn’t in but it was the biggest suck-out I saw.  Can’t remember the action but the same kid who cracked my kings gets it all in after the flop with a bottom set of twos but he’s up against top set of Jacks.  River comes the case duece for the 1-outer huge pot.

My last poker of the trip was the $340 nightly at the Rio Sunday night.  We start with T5,000 with blinds T25/T50 with 30 minute levels.  Not as good structure as Caesar’s but not terrible.  Should be fun.  I start UTG and fold.  I get raised off my BB and SB.  On my fourth hand of the tournament I get 8::h9::s on the button and call an early position raise to see a flop of T::hJ::hQ::c.  Not a play I would normally make but I wanted to see some flops with drawing hands to get some early chips.  Original raiser leads out with a T300 bet, I raise to T1,500 with my flopped straight and he pushes all-in.  He could easily have a flush draw here, or a set, or two pair, and I’m happy to gamble with any of those scenarios so I call.  Of course he shows A::cK::c for the flopped broadway straight and I bust out with the idiot end.  I don’t mind my play here though.

I ended up losing a little bit overall, but nonetheless a good trip.  I am thinking seriouslly about coming next year for a few more days and playing solely in the Megastack at Caesar’s.  Also, I stayed at Imperial Palace this time because I forgot to make a reservation until the last minute and I have to say I was pretty happy with the IP – in particular it’s close proximity to Caesar’s.

Looking forward to ’09!

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