In previous years, we have had a separate WSOP blogging section. This year, we are condensing blogs written from the WSOP and placing them here. This is mostly due to a diminished interest people have in maintaining a WSOP blog. A separate WSOP blog section makes a lot more sense when you have a team of people blogging from the WSOP. Unfortunately, due to real-time platforms like Twitter, the traditional WSOP blog is dying a slow death. Poker players find less reason to sit down and write a nice blog at the end of the night when most of their thoughts were dispatched 140 characters at a time throughout the day.
But in the spirit of keeping the WSOP blogging tradition alive, I will be posting period updates from my time in Vegas in this space. If you or anyone you know is interested in blogging their thoughts from the WSOP, email me at cory [at] pokertips [dot] org. Provided your content is something our readers will find interesting, we would be happy to accommodate you with an audience!
Alright, moving right along…
I was fortunate enough to be among those participating in today’s record-setting $1,500 no-limit hold’em event. The field size of 3,157 was the largest ever for a single-starting-day $1,500 event at the WSOP.
With it having been nearly two months since I’ve played in a poker tournament (thank you, Southern District of New York!), I was a little curious to see how I’d feel at the table confidence-wise. Thankfully, I didn’t feel rusty at all. On the contrary, I felt very good and confident about what I was doing and quickly ran the 4,500 starting chips up to 8,700. Unfortunately, that would be my peak for the day.
I lost a few random pots including one where I unsuccessfully attempted to check-raise a TT7-6 turn after leading out the flop with QQ. I value bet the King on the river but was called by King-Six. Darn.
From there, it was a few hours of being card-dead and not really getting into any good situations before shoving 99 for 15 bbs and losing a flip to AK. I can’t complain about the result, though. The couple month break from poker has given me a nice perspective on the game. When you’re playing constantly, it’s easy to get attached to short-term results. To really be successful at poker long-term, you have to totally block all of the variance out of your mind. Poker is about making the right decisions regarding things you can control. You cannot control the cards that come off the deck. You can only control how you play them. My philosophy is play the cards you’re dealt as well as you know how, and don’t focus on the rest. Spending energy worrying about how you’re running is such a drain. Play good, block the rest out.
There was a nice buzz at the Rio today thanks to the presence of NBA all-star Paul Pierce in the field. It’s great when high-profile athletes bring their money to the poker felt. I’m always rooting for those guys to win. Additionally, I’m rooting for the players they’re seated with not to wear them out with annoying, fanboy behavior. When these athletes decide to give poker a try, it’s the responsibility of all poker players to make that a nice experience for them (outside of robbing them blind, of course). Put yourself in their shoes and think about the courage it takes for them to show up and buy-in to the WSOP. It’s an unfamiliar situation where they have a lot to lose and not exactly a ton to gain.
I’ll be heading back to the Rio tomorrow for a $1,000 event. Before I head over there in the morning, I have to check out of the Stratosphere. A few years ago, I lost $7,000 in about 30 minutes playing blackjack here (never betting more than $200 a hand; that’s running bad). They were pretty aggressive about throwing me offers ever since then. On this trip, I decided to take them up on it in an effort to see how many free rooms I can get while in town. I’ve got two nights waiting on me at TI next. I’m kind of skinning these places because they’re comping me based on my play when I was more of a degenerate and/or baller than I am now. But I’m okay with that. They skin people all day. Why not skin them back?
On that note, it’s time to head downstairs and redeem my $150 in free promotional chips! If you’re interested in shorter format WSOP updates, follow me on Twitter. And for more thoughts from the WSOP thus far, check out our latest Weekly Shuffle.