Archive for the ‘2011 WSOP’ Category

The Heat is Off

Monday, June 13th, 2011

A $1,000 no-limit event brought 3,175 players to the felt, including me, for a longshot, pipe-dream attempt at WSOP glory today. I tossed away a third of that opportunity on the very first hand when I raised with KQ suited and check-called an AQ9 flop, an A turn, and led a K river only to be met with AJ.

From there, I managed to remain a turd in the pond for a few more hours before three-betting preflop with KK, having two players call out of position, and shoving after their checks on a 995 flop only to see a 3 on the river doom me in. That was a bad, but good-bad, result for this event. Ideally, you’d win the whole thing. But short of coming close to that, an early bust-out isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you.

The upsides of the early bust-out tonight included: a.) getting to watch game 6 of the NBA Finals and seeing Dirk Nowitzki deservedly win an NBA championship, and b.) knowing I’ll get to wake up tomorrow and play the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha event where I’ll have by far my best chance of winning a bracelet in this series. You know, like a 0.2% chance instead of a 0.05% chance.

That event lends a higher opportunity for WSOP glory than most other events I play for two reasons. First, and most importantly, the field size is dramatically smaller. The two events I’ve played so far this year have had over 3,000 players each. Tomorrow’s event drew a more modest field of 885 last year, a field I managed to finish 22nd in despite it being my first-ever live pot-limit Omaha tournament. The second reason tomorrow’s event is my best opportunity for a bracelet might be because of a higher overall edge against the field. It’s really tough to say for sure, but last year’s $1,500 pot-limit Omaha event sure did feel pretty fishy compared to the average no-limit event of the same buy-in.

One final small thrill of the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha event is a higher density of pros at your table. While that’s theoretically a bad thing, some of those players tend to be quite bad, plus it’s always fun to play with someone you’re familiar with from watching poker on TV. I have a dream of one day playing a hand of poker against Doyle Brunson. Realistically, an event like this is the only spot where I really have much of a chance!

Back Among the Masses at the Rio

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

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.