WSOP, Part 1

29. June 2005 | Category: 50outs

The following was written on my first two days in Vegas:

After working loooong days on Monday and Tuesday I finally left for Vegas on Wednesday morning 6:30 a.m. The travel included a first little step by car to the local railstation and from there via mainstation with a local train to Stuttgart airport. Ticket pickup time. Believe it or not, Ticket was actually there and in my hands in 30 seconds. My flight was going to Frankfurt and from there onwards nonstop to Vegas. I got instructed by the airline to be in Stuttgart about 3 hours before departure for “security reasons” but decided to gamble and got there just 60 minute early which I figure is still very much time for a national flight. I was right and there was actually no special security check (as I had expected) so everything went very easy. I made it to Frankfurt on time and went thru the special US security checks there. There was only one small problem: when you pass the security check in Frankfurt there are no more small stores where you can buy a bottle of water and some fresh sandwiches which I had planned because the food on the flight is horrible as I know from many trips now. So I got on plane with an empty stomach and a 12 hours flight ahead. On plane I got one of few seats with somebody right beside me and the window to unfortunatly placed that you had to lay your head very far over the seat to get rest which in turn was very bad for the neck-muscles. The flight was boring, I had a little headache and an not-so-well stomach (the food was as bad as I thought and I ate nothing) and 12 hours seemed to last forever.

Anyway, I got to Vegas on time, came quick thru immigrations (Vegas is so much different than all other immigrations as the officers are actually friendly and quick while in all other places I found them offensive, arrogant and very slow paced) and jumped into a cab “go’in to the Rio!”. I tried to call my buddies but their mobile phones were off.

Then I was there, the WSOP 2005! Wow, large nice room there in the Rio’s pavillion and everybody was there. The daily event $1000 NLHE with rebuys was just underway about 2 hours and the room was a who’s who of poker. Despite this and me knowing a hundred people there the very first one greeting me with “Hello my dear friend” was – my special friend “Davood Mehrmand”. I already wrote about him and my feelings for him but it has to be said that my respect for him grows from event to event as he is living a live that I would like to live and he looks to manage some kinds of the poker pro life well enough to keep being there.

At the Rio’s I tried at first the “All americal Bar&Grill” which I found very good. Then I registered for the WSOP, found out that Pokerstars had not yet registered me or paid my entry into the big one (quick and dirty thoughts of online poker site CEO’s steeling their customers money went thru my head) and entered a satelite. I busted out there in a multi-way pot all-in before the flop with 99 vs. TT. Next up was a stud satelite but when my pocket QQ lost against pocket JJ which made two pair it was over in 4th spot.

Then my buddies finally called, they had sleept the afternoon and wanted to go to the Palms to play their evenings $200+R NLHE tournament. I went over there, bought in late and met them there. Frank was on my table as “JJ” Bourtner (I guess I spelled that wrong) and one or two other good players along with one sucker and the rest of average guys. As expected both Frank and I lost against the sucker, he re-raised his pre-flop all-in which the guy called with AJo. Frank had QQ but an A on the turn ended his tourney. I got my money in against him with A9 and two pair on the flop but he made a flush and that was it.

Back to he Rio. I felt tired and awake at the same time, 30 hours no sleep now. I am glad I made some rules as I found myself watching the bigger cash games. These rules said “no cash game higher than 30-60 while the bankroll is in no good shape” and “no cash game the first day”. I am glad I holded to that and played only small satelites instead. I made nothing there, got bad beated two times and sucked in the third (after winning the $300 last-longer bet with some guys) which made me go to bed. On my way to bed I played some black jack hands but sticking to my own rules “no black jack sessions over $500 unless the bankroll is in shape” I was able to get up with this small loss and went to sleep finally.

After sleeping only 4 hours I was awake again, Frank came in from the “Last chance” tourney at the WSOp where he got 13th out of 250 players with a horrible beat: he had 52 of spades in the SB, one limper, he called as did the BB, flop comes 9-2-2. SB and BB checked, limper made minumum bet, Frank went all-in with a decent stack, BB folded and limper called showing KK. So far so good but the limper caught runner-runner flush and that was it after long hours of good play for him.

I stood up, took a long shower and went over to the Mirage to change some money. There I thought “what the hell”, sat down at a BJ table (no poker cash game running there) and won my $500 back in 15 minutes. I got myself a buffet comp, went to the spa and took a 60 minutes massage and an hour in the whirpools before getting a nice breakfeast in the “Cravings” at the Mirage. Now I am back in the room and have an hour to go until my first event starts, the $1500 stud. I bought in yesterday night. I am feeling well now, rested, massaged, clean and positive with a light and tasty breakfeast inside. My next goal is making it to the dinner break after about 6 levels in the event! I have a game plan and a strategy ready now I hope the cards will come my way!

WSOP 2005 – Stud $1500

From noon on I played the thursday’s $1500 seven card stud event. It feelt so much better to be rested and well feeling and I was actually quite optimistic. Despite this, the very first level saw me down to 400 chips from the initial 1500 chips due to three lost big pots where some bully tried to run over the table and got [very] lucky in key hands against me. Anyway, I broke thru when my aces finally held up in the second level and after the first two levels I was sligtly ahead with about 1800 chips for the first time. Level three and four saw me increasing my stack to about 5000. The event had 472 players, very nice for a stud event and was full of poker superstars like any event here. I had luck and missed any (known) professional player the whole tournament. I got some nice cards in levels 5 and 6 but not wining big pots, for example I got 4 jacks with a small pot on the showdown and had a Royal Flush in 6 cards but got no action on it (no showdown). My cooler came at about end of level six when I lost a mega sized pot with kings up against trip queens with no queen on the board. The beauty of stud 🙁

From there on I was trailing behind and never got any real momentum again. I managed to get slightly below average chip count but got crippled again when I had to change table after the diner break in level 7 and had to lay three pairs in five hands against a hot running player with many chips. I hanged tight with my small stack, surving two all-ins (playing all-in myself). Then I got moved to a different tournament area when 90 players were left including my buddy Frank. Some of the stacks there were very deep already and my few thousand chips were no real danger to most players there. Anyway I guess I played perfectly there for an hour when I got my money in with two pair on fifth street for a raise against two players, one with a big stack who wisly folded but annother one which I had covered (by about 400). He thought forever about my raise, called with his one medium pair, got nothing on 6th street and called my all-in bet. My bad luck was that I had 2 diamonds on board and he figured me for one pair and a flush draw, very reasonable despite the fact that this assumed one pair already beat his pair. The cards were opened and he stood up recognizing his wrong read but the miracle happened and he hit his 2 outer for a better two pair on the river. Argh. Right the next hand I got AQ-Q and moved my remaining chips into the pot getting called in two spots. No wonder here as one of them catched two open baby pairs which were good on the end as I did not improve and was therefore eliminated in about 55th spot.

Frank had no better news, with 40 players paid he got 45th when his trip tens lost against a flush (a very bad beat)

I tried a $225 satelite later that night, resisting the urge to play cash game holdem (but it was very close as I was already on a list for 50-100 and got called to my seat when I finally kept to my self-established rules. I busted out there as the first player when I run into aces and flopped top pair queens.

Exhausted I bought in for next days event a $2000 NLHE and went to bed after eating a great tasting sandwich at Subways.

This is old news. We are back from Vegas now almost a week. Sorry to say that but I really can’t get myself to write in any detail about it. The mixture of bad beats (virtually hundreds) and bad plays (some) is devasting. I played alone over 20 satelittes of all limits between $175 and $1030 and got zero-nada-null out of them. In the WSOP events I got close to the money two times, played badly annother two times and was card dead in 4 other events. I avoided the pitfall of high limit cash games but the lower limits haven’t really treated me well. One example: I lost $1500 straight in a 20/40 holdem game without winning a single pot, went to my “home game” 7stud 20/40, lost a $1000 there without winning a single pot and then changed the casino for annother $1000 holdem 20/40 session without winning a single pot!

This is how the whole trip have been – add the fact that we tried to leave somewhat earlier, waited 5 hours for some seats on stand-by, didn’t made it, waited another 3 hours for our luckage just to get informed that it made it’s way to Frankfurt without us and me catching a flue waiting there at the airport. Then you get a feeling how it have been.

I have some interesting stories to share but I am not in the mood to talk/write about them now. Give me some time.

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