Archive for the ‘2011 WSOP’ Category

Heinz, Lamb, Staszko Remain in 2011 WSOP Main Event

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Yesterday, the November Nine played down to the November Three. Pius Heinz of Germany, Ben Lamb of the United States, and Martin Staszko of Czech Republic survived the day and will return to the Rio tomorrow to determine the 2011 World Champion.

The story of the day was the assent of Pius Heinz. Players started the final table with the following chip counts:

Martin Staszko (Czech Republic), 40,175,000
Eoghan O’Dea (Ireland), 33,925,000
Matt Giannetti (United States), 24,750,000
Phil Collins (United States), 23,875,000
Ben Lamb (United States), 20,875,000
Badih Bounahra (Belize), 19,700,000
Pius Heinz (Germany), 16,425,000
Anton Makiievskyi (Ukraine), 13,825,000
Sam Holden (United Kingdom), 12,375,000

The chip stacks going into play for tomorrow are as follows:

Pius Heinz (Germany), 107,800,000
Ben Lamb (United States), 55,400,000
Martin Staszko (Czech Republic), 42,700,000

Heinz is the first German ever to appear at the WSOP Main Event Final Table and is now poised to win it all with more than half of the chips in play.

The fourth through ninth place finishers were as follows:

4th: Matt Giannetti (United States), $3,012,000
5th: Phil Collins (United States), $2,270,000
6th: Eoghan O’Dea (Ireland), $1,721,000
7th: Bob Bounahra (Belize), $1,314,000
8th: Anton Makiievskyi (Ukraine), $1,010,000
9th: Sam Holden (United Kingdom), $782,000

PinnacleSports.com is offering the following odds on who will win the 2011 WSOP Main Event:

Pius Heinz, -106
Ben Lamb, +210
Martin Staszko, +392

As they were yesterday, every hand from tomorrow’s action will be broadcast “semi-live” (on a 15 minute delay) on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.

Wow, What a Run!

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

My run in the Main Event ended shortly into day six. I looked down at QJo on the button with 11 big blinds which is basically the stone cold nuts in that spot. I moved in but unfortunately the small blind had been dealt KJs and I couldn’t find another suckout to stay alive.

Overall, I’m really happy though. What a run that was! From early on day 3 onward, I never had more than 40 big blinds. Showed up to day 4 with 852 players remaining unsure if I’d be one of the 693 to cash, and then just somehow kept surviving, and surviving all the way to 133rd for $54,851!

It was a much needed deep run and score at a much needed time. I’m going through some various changes in my personal life right now, so it was nice to have something to be excited about and distracted with for a week. It’s been a great trip. I’ve gotten the chance to meet a lot of really great guys. There are so many smart and interesting people in the poker world. I think one reason I really like the WSOP is it’s sort of the only time of the year where a lot of the cool guys in poker are in the same city together. It can be challenging connecting up with people since everyone’s schedules are so hectic, but even just getting the chance to chat with certain people for an hour all summer is great.

There are a few great guys still in the tournament that I got the chance to become acquainted with and am rooting for. One is 888 Poker sponsored pro Tyler Bronkowski. I played with Tyler on a couple of different days. I could tell he is playing tremendously well. He kind of reminds me of my run in ’08: picking spots very carefully, dragging pots without seemingly ever having to show his cards. That’s the ideal path through the mine field that is the Main Event, so I wish Tyler well!

Another guy is Bryan Devonshire. A couple of blogs ago, I highlighted what I thought was a bit of an awkward or at least ironic situation at the table. Bryan, a former UB sponsored pro, was getting a massage at the table after another guy at the table told everyone he had $50,000 trapped on UB. With so much money stuck on Full Tilt and UB, there’s been some more tension at the WSOP this year than usual. Players with money stuck on those sites have every right to be pissed off, in my opinion. My observation regarding Bryan’s massage was just an example of one of those sort of awkward or unsavory moments resulting from the problems of Full Tilt or UB that I think everyone in the poker world wishes didn’t exist, but it was a non-incident that didn’t need mentioned on my part. I don’t begrudge Bryan’s choice to get his back rubbed when it’s sore from sitting down all day. He’s a very sharp, charismatic guy, and a very tough player. He’s got a great shot at getting all the chips in this one!

Finally, there’s Ben Lamb. I’ve been familiar with “benba” since 2008 when he beat me heads-up in the Sunday $500 on PokerStars. It appears Ben is a lock to win WSOP Player of the Year. He’s had a truly incredible series and is now capping it off with another deep run in the Main Event (he got 14th in 2009). If I had to pick one player to win this whole tournament with 90 players left, Lamb would be my pick. I’m also rooting for him because I booked a bet today on him to finish 29th or better. There might not be more than a small handful of guys in the world who have a higher expected ROI in the WSOP Main Event than Ben Lamb.

Well that’s pretty much all from me from the 2011 WSOP! I have a flight out of Vegas early in the morning. I’m going to spend my last night here relaxing, maybe a enjoying a couple of drinks to celebrate the deep run, and bowling at Gold Coast. It looks like I’ll finally get to meet the legendary Nat Arem who has decided to come allow himself to be hustled for some low stakes on the lanes! *stretches and gets bowling game-face on*

It’s been a fun ride! Thanks for your support everyone!

Made Day Six!

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

I don’t know how, but somehow, improbably, I’m still in the 2011 WSOP Main Event. I’m really tired and I’ve basically already written this blog 140-characters at a time on Twitter, so I’ll keep this brief.

There’s 144 players left and I’m one of them. I don’t have many chips; I’ve had under 40 big blinds since early on day 3 and somehow I’ve made it to day 6. Tomorrow, I’ll start with 11 big blinds. Short-stacked for sure, but it’s tournament poker; anything can happen!

I’m just really happy to be in. The poor sleep and poor nutrition and no exercise is catching up with me, but adrenaline and excitement of going deep more than compensates for it. I’m just going to keep playing my best and believing for as long as I can. No matter what the outcome at this point, I couldn’t be happier with this result. I’ve had less than 2% chance of surviving all of the all-in hands I’ve played.

Who knows? Maybe it really is the #yearoftheginger!

After we bagged up chips, I stood in the middle of the room and looked around for a few moments and all I could think was, “wow, is this really happening?” Going deep in this tournament is the most fun and most surreal experience. I can’t even describe it. The hype. The media. The drama. The four- or even five-figure swings in equity on every hand you play. It’s an indescribable rush and one that I’ve found hard to duplicate in any other way. I’ve jumped out of planes before, but the WSOP Main Event might be better.

Thanks for your support, everyone! You have no idea how much it helps.

Back to a normal life soon, but hopefully not until later this week!

Got Through Day Three

Friday, July 15th, 2011

I survived day three of the WSOP Main Event despite actually losing chips overall on the day (started with 96k, ended with 90k). Blinds will be 2000/4000/500 tomorrow so I’ve got about 22 big blinds. There’s less than 900 players left and 693 finish in the money so tomorrow would be a pretty good time to use up some of my life runhot.

Luckily, I was never all-in today which keeps the total number of times I’ve been in all tournament at one (where I only had to fade one out once). I did, however, get about half of my chips into the pot in a coin flip situation with TT versus my opponent’s AK. He turned an Ace but I went ahead and binked the Ten on the river which felt pretty sweet.

I never got below 60,000 and never above 150,000. It’s been a pretty non-volatile tournament for me so far which is ideal; if you’re constantly having to survive all-ins, your luck will eventually run out. Since I’m pretty tired and we start day four in less than 12 hours, I’m going to keep this brief. I’ll only talk about one hand from the day, and it wasn’t even a hand I was in. If you’re interested in more specific hand content from the day, you can check my Twitter feed where I relay the details of some of the action throughout the day.

The most interesting hand for the day for me wasn’t even one I was involved in. It was probably the craziest thing I’ve seen at a live poker table.

A player opened the cutoff to 7,100. The button made it 18,000. The player in the small blind four-bet to 41,000 with AcQd. The cutoff folded and the button called.

The flop was Q76 with two clubs. The small blind player (Adam Katz) bet out 58,100. The button (Daniel Retallick) called. The turn was the 4c. Katz led out for 85,000. Retallick shoved 140,000 more (effective). Katz called (with top pair, top kicker, and nut flush draw). Retallick showed pocket Tens leaving himself one out (the Tc would give Katz a flush).

With 700,000 in the middle, while the average stack was 200,000, the Ten of diamonds came on the river! Retallick binked a one-outter for like $200,000 in equity! It was the craziest hand I’ve ever seen with my own eyes.

Adam Katz couldn’t have handled it any better. He let out some profanity, which was totally understandable, then said “good luck, everyone” and walked away. I would have found a box of puppies to punt across the room and I’m probably one of the more cool-headed players out there. I couldn’t believe how well he handled it.

For his part, Retallick was completely humble. He was shaking and could barely mutter a word. Everyone was in shock. It may well have been the craziest hand to take place in the room all day. You don’t wish that type of misfortune on anyone, but hey, that’s poker!

At some point in the next 16 hours, I’ll have either bubbled the Main Event or cashed. Gonna get lots of rest and hope the variance gods can somehow produce the latter outcome!

A Successful Day Two

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

I played day 2b of the WSOP Main Event today. My starting table was super unusual. I showed up with 43,950 chips to a table full of solid players. Bryan Devonshire, Jon Friendberg and Matt Jarvis were all in a row across from me. Everyone else at the table was solid too. What made it weird was that we were all fairly low on chips. The average stack at our table was ~40k when the average stack in the tournament was more like 60-70k. I was pretty concerned about the table draw, but it turned out to be not too bad. There was hardly ever a big pot played as most of us seemed content on staying out of each other’s way.

One small, funny thing was Devonshire enjoying a $2/minute massage right in the face of a guy at the table who had just confessed he has $50,000 trapped on UB. I don’t think it crossed Devonshire’s mind as being in any way inappropriate. Most of those UB guys were happy to take money from the site, but never actually felt personally responsible for the product they were endorsing. I guess that’s just par for the course in our cashgrab culture.

To give you an idea of how tough the was, here were two topics of conversations discussed at the table:

1. What it was like playing on PokerRoom.com (a site that long since ago defunct and didn’t service U.S. players after the UIGEA).
2. What stats you like to appear on your HUD when playing online.

Those are two pretty solid indicators that you’re playing at a table full of competent players.

Anyway, given how awful the table draw was, I was fine with having broken even over the course of six hours before the table broke. My next table was much better. Even just within 20 minutes of play, it was obvious to me that I only needed to be concerned about one or two guys.

There were only three pots I played all day in which I put more than 20,000 into the pot. I’ll share the details of the most interesting one.

During 500/1000/100, I raised to 2,400 in middle position with 99. A French player that had shown some spazzy tendencies called in position. The flop nearly brought a tear to my eye, A96. 17.5 hours into the tournament, it was the first set I had flopped. I led out for 3,200 and the French guy called. A 7 came on the turn. I led out for 5,200 and had to contain my excitement when the French guy raised to 15,000. He was fairly pot committed at that point, so I didn’t bother trying to do anything fancy and just shoved my remaining ~38,000. He insta-turbo-snap-called me and showed 77. So awesome! Floated me on the flop and then turned a worse set. Can’t ask to get any luckier!

That got me up to 106,000. I was moved to a new table shortly after that which was much tougher. For the most part, everyone was pretty competent. I peaked at 123,000 before not winning a pot in the final two hours of play to bag up 96,400 for day three.

Overall, I’m very happy with how the first two days have gone. I was only all-in once fading one out and haven’t been below 40 big blinds at any point. Day three is hugely important; it’s pretty much the make or break day for everyone in the field in terms of determining their chances of cashing. I’m happy to have a day off tomorrow because after that, it’s poker day in and day out until the final table.

2011 WSOP Main Event Day One

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I played day 1D of the Main Event yesterday. Things went fairly well and I was able to bag up 43,950 chips from a starting stack of 30,000 by the end of the day. It was about as smooth of a day as you can hope for; I was never below 23,000 (and never above 50,000).

I had a really, really great table draw. The three players to my immediate left were all that middle-aged, married-types who were just happy to be there and waiting for Aces before getting involved. That allowed me to open up lots of pots knowing I was basically going to get three quick snap folds basically every time. Anytime you can play a lot of hands is a good thing. It widens your range so much in your opponents’ minds that it makes it easier to get paid off when you actually have the goods.

Rather than blab about a bunch of banal hands, I’ll just share what I thought were the two most interesting hands of the day.

Hand #1: With a stack of ~35k during 150/300/25, I opened to 750 in middle position with 76hh. One of the middle-aged dudes called. The only opponent I had really been at all concerned about popped it up to 2,050 on the button. Normally I might just give it up there, but I had just won the last few pots and felt like playing the rush, so I called. The middle-aged dude came along as well. The flop was 652 with one heart. Two checks to the aggro 3-bettor who bet 2,300. I called and the middle-aged dude got out of our way. The turn was the 9h giving me a flush draw. I check-called a bet of 5,200. The river was the Ten of hearts giving me a flush.

At this point, I can either lead out or check and hope my opponent bets. I felt like he was screwing around with air so often here that I decided to check and hope he’d fire a third barrel trying to buy the pot. Another reason I like the check is that I’m in a really tough spot for probably all my chips if he raises after I lead out. I didn’t think it was impossible that he sprung to life on the turn with an Ace high flush draw or something. So I checked. He checked behind and showed 65! I was really sick when I saw that hand because a.) he could have easily value-bet the river big there and b.) he was probably never folding to my ~9,000 bet on the river.

So it was nice to win that hand and get up to close to 50,000, but pretty frustrating that he was able to make that great check-behind with two pair.

Hand #2: Near the very end of the day, I got moved to a new table. On my immediate right was an Italian guy with 4,000 chips, but he won two all-ins (both times showing a solid hand) and had 15,000 when the following occurred.

During 200/400/50, it folded to the Italian guy in the small blind who moved all-in for his 15,000 into my big blind. That’s definitely a peculiar play. I squeezed my hand slowly. The first card was an Ace so I started to get excited. The second was an offsuit Ten. Ugh… brutal. It couldn’t get much closer.

I tank for a while trying to pick up a read on him or something. He was mostly just staring stone-faced at the center of the table. It was going to be about a third of my stack to call. I felt like I was probably ahead a fair amount of the time, but figured it was a flip against small pairs and stuff like KQ a lot of the time too. I also thought it was totally possible that he had a better Ace than me (like AK) and didn’t feel comfortable playing the pot out of position so just decided to shove instead.

After thinking for a few moments, I decided 80% of me wanted to call. So to give myself a chance to fold, I asked someone at the table to pull out their cell phone. I said that if the minute-digit on the time is an 8 or 9, I’ll fold, but otherwise I’m calling. A lady pulled out her phone and revealed that the clock ended in an 8. I shrugged and said, “well, I guess I have to fold,” and did so face-up. He mucked, but in the banter that ensued later, claimed he had A9 and I believed him.

He said he couldn’t understand why I didn’t snap-call with ATo to his “short stack” shove. I tried to explain to him that he wasn’t a short stack, but he wouldn’t listen. Forty big blinds is definitely not a short stack in any tournament, especially one with a ridiculous structure like the WSOP Main Event.

I was 80% wanting to call there. I’m curious how much more or less other players would have been interested in calling in that spot because it’s such an unusual one to find yourself in.

——-

Today is a day off before going back for day two. I’m switching hotels over to the Palms which I’m pretty excited about. The place I’ve been staying (Tuscany Suites) has been pretty dusty and it’s messed with my allergies. I haven’t slept as well the past few nights as I would prefer. The WSOP Main Event is definitely not the time or place for not feeling your sharpest. Thankfully someone invented Benadryl so I’m not too worried.

Finally, the Main Event drew a great field-size of 6,865 players this year. Not bad considering there’s $150 million+ trapped on Full Tilt! I think it’s time for all the wizards out there who were making extreme predictions like 2,500 players in this year’s tournament to put their tail between their legs. I’m kicking myself for not pounding over 5,250 players (I adamantly refused a friend’s request to book his over bet saying I loved that side of it, but never actually got around to betting it myself).

Alright, I’m going to go check into the Palms and maybe go take a yoga class today to relax. If you want to follow along the action in the Main Event tomorrow, follow me on Twitter. And follow PokerTips while you’re at it!

Doyle Brunson Skipping WSOP Main Event

Monday, July 4th, 2011

The most legendary player in the game, Doyle Brunson, will sit out the 2011 Main Event. It will be the first time he’s missed poker’s most celebrated tournament in several years. Though he is said to have sat out for a fair amount of the WSOP during the 1980s.

In a Tweet, Brunson explained why:

It’s a shame to see a Main Event come and go without Doyle’s participation, but hey, if the guy is burned out on poker, the guy is burned out on poker. And if the reason why is because of the U.S. government, then it feels fitting, even on July 4th, to say, “screw you, America!”

Cooler City

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

It’s been an eventful past 48 hours for me in the WSOP. After getting the chance to troll Joe Sebok, I bagged up 51,400 chips and returned for day two of the $1500 NL. Around 340 players returned with 270 paying. Unfortunately, with about 300 players left, I ran Kings into Aces all-in preflop for about 80% of my chips. Thankfully, the villain didn’t have me covered and I was able to stumble my way into a min-cash before busting with J7hh that I shoved into A9ss. For the amount of chips I showed up to day two with, that was a disappointing result; but I’m happy to have recorded a cash at the WSOP for the fourth straight year.

I was right back at it in another $1500 event yesterday. And like the event prior, I built up chips nicely increasing the starting stack of 4,500 to 24,000 by dinner break. After dinner, I played a pretty interesting hand.

It folded to the small blind who completed to 400. I checked with 65 offsuit. My opponent led out for 600 on a rainbow flop of 973. I called. We both checked another 3 on the turn. When a 6 hit the river, my opponent led out for 2,000 leaving himself about 6,000 behind. I felt like it was a value-bet with a 9 and that if I shoved, he would probably fold most of the time. So I shoved. I was right. He wasted little time folded. But when he did so, he showed A3! I couldn’t believe what a bullet I dodged there. I definitely would have called if I was him. I guess he must have put me on exactly T8 or something because that’s just about the only hand I could have there that is beating him (I would have raised preflop with any pocket pair that I boated up with and something like 93 or 73 is just so unlikely that he can’t make that hero fold).

Going into the last level of the night, I was at 39,000 chips and feeling really great about my chances of making day two and recording back-to-back cashes. Then I ran into the Lady from Modesto.

The Lady from Modesto was on my left and had been running hotter than the sun all day. She showed Aces a couple of times and basically won every pot she played (which wasn’t a ton because she was fairly tight).

On the hand before the one I’m about to talk about, the UTG player moved all-in for 15 bbs. The Lady from Modesto re-shoved her ~60 bb stack in the seat immediately after him. She had another monster, Kings, and busted the UTG shover’s Jacks. On the very next hand, it folds to me in the small blind. I look down at Ace-Queen of hearts and tell the Lady from Modesto that I’m only raising because I have a good hand and that I’m too afraid of her to do so otherwise (I wasn’t entirely joking). I raised the 800 bb to 2,400. She dropped out a stack of high-denomination chips. It looked like about 7,000 or so. My immediate instinct was that she was winning pots and feeling good and wasn’t about to let anyone steal her blind. But being that I had a very strong hand, I moved all-in for 39,000 total. She snap called and said, “I hope you don’t have Aces.”

Yup. Pocket Kings back-to-back hands to bust two players. That’s how hot she was running!

It was just such an unfortunate bustout because I very rarely blow 40 bbs in that spot. She needed all of the cards to align for me to get it all-in with Ace-Queen against her. All it would have taken would have been one person opening the pot, me three-betting from the small-blind, her four-betting, and both of us folding (and I do think I would have folded after some eye-rolling). Unfortunately I was the first guy to open the pot and obviously it’s close to impossible to fold AQ suited in a blind-versus-blind battle.

Anyway, I hope the Lady from Modesto wins the whole tournament. She’s certainly got the chips!

Alright, gotta head over to the Rio for today’s $1,000 event. This is my last event of the series before the Main Event, so time to get all the chips!

A “Final Statement” on An Encounter with Joe Sebok

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Today was WSOP Event #28, a $1500 no-limit event. I got to the Rio an hour late and stood in a long line to late register. By the time I took my seat, blinds were at 50/100, starting stacks of 4.5k.

I’m going to spare you a lot of banal commentary on how I got chips (except to say that I did get QQ all-in preflop against KK and bink a Q on the flop to stay alive) because there’s more interesting stuff to report:

With one hour remaining in the day, I took my seat after a color-up break to find Joe Sebok, a guy who has made several hundred thousand aggressively promoting and defending UB, an online poker room that has twice scammed the poker community out of millions, sitting on my immediate right. I’ve monitored and written a little about Joe Sebok and UB so having the chance to be seated less than a foot away from him felt fateful.

I had no intention of engaging Sebok in some impromptu debate about UB. I’m here to play poker, not listen to the defense mechanisms of some delusional, spoiled manchild. But while I wasn’t about to try to engage Sebok in a debate, I was certainly game for some slowrolling, trolling, and other childish antics. And believe me, those things are childish. I have never slowrolled anyone in my life. I have never celebrated in an obnoxious manner after winning a pot, nothing. Anyone who has played any poker with me can vouch for my having pristine etiquette at the table. But tonight, I saw no need to apply that same level of decency to a guy buying into tournaments with the blood money from a poker community fleecing/cashgrab. My personal opinion is that he should be unwelcome at poker tournaments until he returns UB money to affected players and I was happy at having a chance to create that atmosphere for him.

A half hour into Sebok’s addition to our table, I got my chance to troll. Keep in mind a lot of the back and forth is me recalling from memory and paraphrasing. I’m sure Sebok has his side of the story and I’m sure that it differs from mine in it’s perspective.

With a stack of somewhere in the neighborhood of 27,000, he raised to 1900 during 300/600/75. With around the same stack, I called (in the seat immediately after him) with Ace-Queen offsuit. Everyone else folded. Sebok bet 2400 on a flop of Ace-King-Six. I called. He bet 4100 on the Ace turn. I called. He bet 7200 on the King river. I took a few seconds to count out chips and put in a call (I’ll explain later why there was zero reason to raise). Sebok insta-mucked his hand. I waited as long as I could to show mine, the table had to insist that I show (and I do have to, so I did after waiting a few seconds). I turned over my hand and clapped/fist-pumped right in Sebok’s face while saying “that felt nice!”

He said, “wow, way to be a dick.”

I said, “yea, I’m the dick here.”

Him: “Oh, you’re one of those guys huh?”

Me: “Yup, one of those guys who doesn’t like you.”

(Now, while this convo was happening, I was counting out my chips after winning the pot and crossing way over into his space. Like basically counting his chips in as obnoxious and obvious of a manner as I could).

Him: “Ahh… yup. Another internet forum tough guy. You guys know absolutely nothing about anything. You just read some stuff online and believed it.”

Me: “So why don’t you tell us what happened?”

Him: “Every time I try to, I get shoved out.” (whatever that means) “You guys know nothing.”

Me: “I know you blackmailed someone to protect your UB allowance.”

Him: “You don’t know anything about anything. That was completely made up. Aguiar’s friends even all come up to me apologizing for it and saying it was wrong.”

Me: “Oh WOW… really? Like who? Name one of his friends who has said that.”

Him: “All of them! All of them have said it!”

Me: “Okay, so if all of them have said it, it should be easy for you to name one of them so I can go ask him.”

Him: “All of them, all of his friends.”

Me: “Okay, so just name one of them.”

Him: “I don’t have to, it’s all of his friends.”

Me: “I just don’t see why you can say that but then not give one name of someone who has said that to you.”

Him: “I don’t have to, just go ask anyone.”

Me: “LOL… okay. I can see you’re in a deep state of denial, there’s no point in talking to you.”

Him: “Okay, tough guy.”

Me: “To be honest, I have to give you a lot of credit. It takes a huge pair of balls to not only show up and play these events, but to actually run your mouth at the table too! I honestly am impressed in a way.”

Him: “Good, I’m glad I could impress you.”

Some other guy: “Are you two friends or something.”

Me: “No… NO… He is not my friend.”

Him: [more stuff about internet tough guys who know nothing]

French-Canadian guy (to Sebok): “Man, it is so bad how you handle this stuff. You put yourself into a deeper hole because you just handle it so bad. I laughed so hard when you were telling a guy to confront you… on Twitter. Twitter is not a confrontation!”

Sebok gets real defensive and starts explaining to the guy that he was trying to move the confrontation away from Twitter to real life, but French-Canadian guy just kept repeating, “it’s so funny though, you challenge people to dual… ON TWITTER!”

Sebok was getting more steamed and defensive with the French-Canadian dude. By this time the banter between he and I had calmed down. I did notice however that he kept staring at me as if to intimidate me which is just so LOL. I’m 6’4″ 230. He’s probably something like 5’8″ (very short guy, lots of little man syndrome) and probably 165. I mean, it would require a whole new degree of stupidity on his part to do something physical. And we’re talking about a guy who has done lots of stupid stuff!

Once play was done for the day, he seemed to sit and wait for me to finish bagging my chips. Then he got up from the table at the same time I did. I thought he was going to follow me out into the parking lot. I wasn’t sure how I would have handled that other than just to be sure I wasn’t the one who initiated any physical contact (I obv have like less than zero interest in going to jail for trolling Joe Sebok). But a cooler Sebok-head prevailed and I never saw him again after walking away from the table.

Okay, for why I never raised that hand. I think first of all, now knowing he had air, you’ll see that never raising got max value out of him. Secondly, there is simply zero value in raising him on the river. PokerNews reported on the hand and acted like I was some fish for raising on the river, but PokerNews is painfully retarded and bad at what they do. There is just no value in raising on that river. He never calls with anything I beat because he knows I have an Ace there 100% of the time when I shove (getting no fold equity). And with the non-zero possibility that he had quad Kings, I gain literally nothing from raising. Okay, end of that rant. I was just annoyed that PokerNews and people at my table were acting like I was dumb for not raising. Not raising was 100% standard.

A final note to Joe Sebok: if you decide you’d like to make a real apology and return all UB money you earned to players affected, I’d be proud. I’m also happy to help in any way. We can advertise to our U.S. readers on how they can file a claim to get some of their lost UB money back. Would be easy to give like a year for all players with UB to verify how much they have on there, then you (and any other UB shills/affiliates) return all money you made to an account that is distributed to affected players based on proportion of how much they lost to UB. It’s doable and you should consider spending a few thousand on the right lawyer to help you with it if you value your reputation in poker at all.

Anyway, I made day two with 51,400 in chips which is quite good. I think average is more like 35,000 or so. We should be in the money within a couple of levels. You can follow me and my chip count updating account on Twitter if you care to follow along with live updates from the WSOP (pending phone battery life).

A Day Off in Vegas

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

I took a day completely off from poker today in Las Vegas. There weren’t really any good tournaments starting today and I’m already registered for the $2,500 6-Max tomorrow (more on that later) so I decided to try to get out and “do something” versus gravitating towards a cash game table.

In Vegas during the WSOP, finding people to “do something” with can be quite a challenge. It’s the only time of the year you’re in the same city as a lot of friends of yours, but you actually have less time for each other than you do the rest of the year while chatting on IM. That can be very frustrating. It’s probably partially because of laziness on the part of poker players and partially because of the hectic schedules people have during the WSOP. There are literally so many tournaments to play and live games running that it’s rare for a group of players to be able to get together and do something that has nothing to do with poker.

Every year I’ve been out here, I’ve tried to make an effort to have a few days on my schedule that have nothing to do with poker. A lot of poker players are smart and entertaining people to be around. There are certain niceties of hanging out with other poker players that you don’t really get with non-poker players. Poker players have their own language and way of looking at the world and it’s nice to sometimes have the chance to interact with your own kind in a non-poker setting.

One poker friend of mine whose enthusiasm for socializing at the WSOP I have always appreciated is one of our poker forums members, Oliver ‘SwoopAE’ Gill. Oliver has a lot of energy he directs towards being a champion of scheduling plans with poker players. It’s nice to have someone asking you if you want to do something, especially when you’re usually the one doing the asking (and dealing with the lack of interest which is typical).

So today, I scooped up Oliver and few other Australians from their condo rental just east of the Strip. We made the long trip to a mini golf place during rush hour. Of course, we did some gambling on the mini golf course. With six of us playing, we decided that everyone would give the winner a certain amount except for the second place finisher, he doesn’t pay and the last-place finisher gives double. We also added a hole-in-one prop where you got a certain amount from everyone if you made one and got double that amount if no one else made at least a 2 on the hole.

Only one hole-in-one was made and it wasn’t by me. I basically played middle-of-the-road and didn’t have to worry about being the guy to pay double near the end, but also didn’t really have much of a chance of being the guy collecting the cash. Overall, it was a fun outting and a great chance to do something outdoors away from a soul-sucking poker setting.

It’s back to that setting tomorrow for the $2,500 6-Max event which is probably the hardest event on my WSOP schedule this year. I’ve played it each of the past 3 years (got 18th in 2008). It’s definitely a pretty tough event but if I’m focused and hungry for chips, I feel okay about my chances. An upside of the 6-Max events is that you have so much more room to spread out at the table. I really enjoy the chance to stretch out and get comfortable when you’re normally forced to sit as if you’re in the middle of the back seat of a car between two people.

In 6-Max, your table draw is very important. How much your expected ROI is affected between the difference of a good table draw and a bad table draw is a great deal more than in a full-ring tournament. Hopefully I’ll draw a table full of donkeys, but admittedly, there probably won’t be very many of those in this event.

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