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WSOP Main Event Day One Bustout

For the first time since 2007, I failed to make it to at least day three of the WSOP Main Event or cash in at least one event during the series. I’m generically disappointed about this, but not super upset or anything. I played my best and that’s all you can really hope to do. Here’s a recap of my day at the WSOP Main Event.

I got off to a scorching start in level one increasing from 30k to 46k without ever dipping below the starting stack or facing any type of a challenging decision. It was a dream level, basically. I won every pot I played, hit flops and got paid off, bluffs went through successfully. Awesome.

Level two started out just the same and I was up to 55k in pretty rapid order. That would be my peak for the tournament.

I started bleeding back down when a couple of bluffs got picked off and a thin value bet with QQ on T9xcc-9c-T got looked up by a flush. (This would be the start of a larger theme of QQ cursing my equity in the tournament).

I was still happy with how I was playing. The hands where I made failed bluffs were good logical spots to take that line. I just ran into the top of my opponents’ ranges. If they have just the median of their range, the bluffs probably work.

After losing a bunch of pots, I was back down to 27k when the following hand came up.

Amnon Filippi raised to 650, I raised to 1,350 with a pair of whores (queens). The flop came Q93cc. He checked, I bet 1800, he called. “Don’t let draws get there, don’t let draws get there,” I was thinking as the dealer burned and turned.

King of clubs on the turn.

Amnon led out for 3,200 leaving himself 5,700 behind. It was an interesting spot because I think you can make a case for folding, calling or raising. I opted for the latter and put Amnon all-in. He wasted little time calling and showed a red Jack-Ten. The board didn’t pair and I was left with 14k after having four times that amount just a short while ago.

I think I made a small mistake raising all-in on the turn rather than just calling. Calling with the plan to call his shove on any brick river (or fold if the river is something like a fourth club or a Jack and he shoves (and shoving those cards as a bluff if he checks)) was probably a slightly more valuable line. But I think it’s really tough to ever just fold in that spot despite my instinct telling me I was beat when he led out on the turn.

I dwindled from 14k down to 8k through a combination of paying blinds and folding to three-bets after opening the pot. During 200/400, I got my chance to double-up. A player made it 800 in early position and two players called. I looked down at pocket biatches (queens) and had a pretty easy shove. A British gentleman who lost a $5 prop bet to me earlier that England is larger than Kansas in terms of square mileage re-raised all-in. I was out of the tournament when he turned a set of Tens to win the 17k pot.

It’s definitely a major bummer to get knocked out of the Main Event, especially on day one, and especially via a bad beat after the day started so promising. But strangely, I’m not that disappointed. I’m actually pleased with myself at how not disappointed I am. Getting knocked out of the Main Event is never fun (they call it the “worst day of the year” for a reason), but this year it feels like less of an awful thing than it usually does.

The way I look at it is that I played my best which is all you can really hope to do. I would probably be more upset if I felt like I had made some crucial, glaring mistakes during the event. But I have to feel happy with the approach I took. I was focused, confident, and not afraid to mix things up and put pressure on my opponents. I have no significant regrets.

I’m going to be in Vegas for another five nights. I don’t really have a whole lot planned. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a few workouts in, get some work done, and stay out of trouble. I’m sure I’ll be tempted into some cash games at certain points when I’m bored.

Vegas strikes me as a particularly insane place on this trip, but in a way that makes me sort of love it. I wouldn’t want to spend indefinite amounts of time here, but being here and knowing I’ve got a departing flight in a few days is pretty sweet. There’s a reason people are so obsessed with this place. It’s an action junkie’s heaven. I can’t imagine how anyone could ever get bored here. There are a million negative things I could say about this city quite honestly, but I still love that it exists. I’m not sure I want to live in a world where I don’t know that there’s a Las Vegas out there somewhere waiting for you to get on a flight and come join the action.


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