On my way over to the Rio now for day 1B of the main. As in recent updates I won't bust a gut trying to write and entertain, but it's a very slow clock so I should be able to say a few bits or update on the break at end of each level. Obviously with the main the poker is primary, I can always update good or bad later. Stay tuned.
Update posted at the first end of level break. I won't be posting whilst playing.
I bought in today,and sat down at my first table in the Pavilion. Couple of friendly faces chatting and enjoying their main event experience, one unsmiling pockmarked kid with his hood up and about 32k already.
First hand I sit down I get dealt 33, no set, dump. 3rd hand 22. Same story. Pace yourself sunshine.
The hoodie kid is the problem player at the table it seems after a couple of orbits, already been pretty aggressive with his button and in the last few seats. About 3 times he's barrelled every street and bet like 2500/3000 on the end at starting blinds of 50/100. First two times he pushed guys off pots, last time he got called and showed Q10s for a pair of 10's and a missed flush draw. It still won the pot so no idea what the other guy was calling with. I think this table may break soon so I'll pick my battles for now and just chill.
Older friendly guy on my right has won about 5 pots since I sat down and was climbing steadily. He just decided to run a 3 barrel bluff on some Brazilian kid on a 3456K board with 95s, betting out for 6k on the river. The kid with 444 looked most pained, but finally called anyway after 5 minutes.
First break. My 30k starting stack looks more like 32k. Good start.
update posted at start of end of level 2 break...
Back from first break and I've lost a small pot with 55 when I call a raise from the kid on my left (who has the most spindly fingers I've ever seen, he looks seriously malnourished) and the flop comes 3 overcards and now he wants to bet 1k. Fine, he can have it. Next.
Spindly fingered kid just tried a 2500 river bluff that didn't go as planned versus a guy who has played about 2 hands all day. Board is QA936. Edward Scissorhands shows 10 9 for a pair of nines, the Rock of Gibraltar calls his bet with A9, aces and nines and wins. Easy game.
Macaulay Culkin is at it yet again. He pretty much always raises his button, and always 3 bets in position. Pretty transparent to me. Very early on today, so I'll let him just get on with it, he's playing a pretty high variance game for level 2 of the WSOP main. He's sat directly on my left so if anything it's a good thing as I am not entering pots with stupidly speculative hands, and have the potential to trap with big hands if I just let him do all the raising he seems to want to be doing so early.
Seen a couple of flops, 27500 midway through level two.
Called a raise with 88 in a four way pot from the pockmarked kid, flopped middle set, and value-towned him on the river. Back up to 32,000.
Two hands later I play QQ very cute and in a three way pot I get away when it comes 567, one bets out for 1100, and gets raised to 3700. I just leave them to it. The vibe on this table already to me is to see cheap flops and let one of the three aggro-merchants just bet themselves into a pine box.
Now we're motoring. Up to 44k. Not from where I'd have expected though. The nice older guy to my right just button raised to 600 and I called with 99. Flop A93. I slow play it and he bets 1200 on the flop and 3k on the turn. Both times I just call. On the river the board reads a fairly comfortable but not out of the woods A935Q. I check, thinking he'll fire again. He does.
He bets 9000!
I can try a soul read at this point and tell him he's rivered a set of queens. I could say that he's raised the button on a steal and turned an ugly straight. So many choices.
My choice is to decide that he's full of it so I call him. He shows air, and I win a nice one. He's now down to 6300. What a great tournament the WSOP main event truly is :o)
Shortly after he gets it all in with A6 offsuit on a 623 flop, and is called by 44. He holds and doubles. He's a nice guy and I'm glad he's still in. To be mercenary in the poker sense I'm glad he won the pot because he's likely to bluff them all off again.
Pockmarked kid just got chopped down from 45k to under 10k. Basically he had JJ on a JA3 flop, an ace fell on the turn and he stacked off to a guy holding A3 who made aces full versus Jacks full. He looks ashen now and I'd expect him to probably be even more aggressive now to try to get back into it. This is a great illustration of how easy it is to mis-step in this event and be chopped down to matchsticks when there is no need to be getting so active so early. There is another day one tomorrow for Christ's sake, it's very tough to win it today on level two.
Second break and I'm off out for some sun. I'm happily sitting on 45k right now and have never really been under any pressure. Perfect.
Back now for level 3 and we're at 150/300. A few players on my table either love a gamble, or have no idea how to play a two hour tournament clock. Some of them are now down to 5-10k already, which creates a new problem. Some of these ballonheads are going to be going for broke now far quicker, because they played the way they did in levels one and two. They have zero chance of winning, but they can destroy your chance of winning if you let them because they are short stacked and suddenly 66 looks like a great hand to get 10k in the middle to take a shot at 150/300. Don't do it. Seriously.
One shaggy haired guy in a baseball cap and headphones ripped into the dealer a while ago for not showing a players cards when he mucked them quite high. I'm a big believer in never being a dick to either dealers, or the people who prepare or bring you food and drink... Because you never know. It's just not worth it. There are ways and ways of saying something and the guy seemed quite rude about it so I stuck up for the dealer which he seemed to appreciate. Possibly karma took a hand shortly afterwards, and shaggy got chopped down to 5k when Longfingers rivered a flush on him. I seem to be in the mood for playful nicknames today.
Anyway, I'm still on about 42k and not doing very much right now, happy to let the mayhem unfold around me as we are almost at the halfway point in this level.
Became a victim of my own aforementioned prophecy when I played a pot with the pockmarked kid who's short stacked. I didn't double him up but took a hit when I flopped a pair and a small flush draw, and lost to a bigger pair. 38k.
Got it back pretty quickly from Longfingers when I raise with AsJs and the flop comes 8 10 Q with two spades. Nice flop for me. We dance round a little bit and I river a non-nut straight and am back on 43k again. He's chip leader on the table, is on my left and has about 70k. Nice enough kid, and certainly capable and aggressive. Patience.
People really are getting stir crazy on this table. AK and AQ just got 13k each in the middle preflop. It ran out 33422 and they chopped. The AQ was the nice older guy in my right who looked like he was about to have a massive heart attack as the board cards were dealt. I gently said to him to settle down a little now he has a new lease of life from the split pot. He didn't listen. The very next hand he shoved again preflop with AQ offsuit (we're at 150/300 and he had 13k), and he got called by JJ and is now out. Sad, but it's survival of the fittest and all that.
I've lain low for a lot of this level and seen some shocking stuff. A few bustouts and people overplaying the crap out of some hands I wouldn't even call a raise with on day one of the main unless times were desperate. I've pretty much just played solid so far. The odd timed steal but nothing to go mad about.
I've just hit 51k. Flopped a set of threes (I actually seem to be flopping sets today), and housed up on the turn. Milked the other guy with a 4k river bet with my underfull. 90 minute dinner break is approaching and I'm quite happy with progress so far today. Grab some food, go back to the room and have a hot bath and relax for a bit. I'll even leave a few minutes early if it doesn't cost me any chips to avoid the traffic shenanigans as people bottleneck out of the Rio exits.
Shit. Plan B.
Nothing poker related don't fret you panicky investors. Whilst in the middle of level 3 someone's phone bleeped at the table and they said it was a flash flood warning. An hour ago it was lovely and sunny out and in the 90's, so how bad would a bit of rain in Las Vegas actually be?
Bad. Really bad. Biblical flood bad.
I normally tease my US pals about how terribly they all drive if there's a bit of rain on the roads here. Everyone goes at 4mph and panics when the windscreen wipers have to be used. This time I'll give them a pass. My dreams of a hot bath, civilised in room dining and all life's comforts for an hour quickly vanished once I was out on the road. The water on the streets at some point was literally halfway up the side of my car whilst the rain came down and everything fogged up terribly. I'm used to bad weather driving in the UK but I have to say this was pretty scary stuff.
I ended up settling for a chicken burger on a side street and abandoned any hope of making the hotel in this horrendous weather. I'm just about to carefully limp back to the Rio. If I clear the next 2 levels to wrap up day one then my reward can be a nice hot bath tonight in 5 hours or so. Wish me luck getting back to the Rio!
We're back and I survived the horrors of Las Vegas flash floods. Seriously. That shit was actually scary and the small snippets of video don't even slightly do it justice. There were cars strewn all over the roads broken down and about a third submerged in fast flowing rainwater. One local just said it's far and away the worst rainfall he's ever seen here in 19 years. And it came out of nowhere in minutes. Anyway...
Things have heated up a little at the table and a few people are serial raising the minimum. I'm happy to just let it happen right now. Too many people let their ego get in the way of trying to accomplish the job of going deep in the tournament. It's impossible to make the money on day one, and I'm still continually astounded by the people who always seem to be trying to do it despite the fact it's physically impossible. Ho hum.
Longfingers has a media blogger who keeps walking up and talking to him in Spanish or something right beside me. I appreciate that it's someone's mother tongue, but it's actually a bit irritating when he continually does it when the guy's not in a hand, and sometimes stands there chatting for like 10 minutes before wandering away for a bit. I don't want to be "that" guy. The one who continually finds stuff to bitch about at the table. This table has its share of people who appear to not give a shit. Not posting antes repeatedly until asked, getting up and walking away from the table after looking at their hand (essentially folding out of turn), flashing cards, all the normal misdemeanours that people who know the game and the etiquette of it wouldn't do. You have to remember that the WSOP is a hugely eclectic mix of both abilities and cultures here. When people are either unknowledgable, or are just plain ignorant I always try to rise above it and not get pissy and be the guy who quotes the rules. Sometimes it's irritating when you can see that people do it on purpose.
45 minutes left in level 4, and I'm on 46k. Seen a few flops but not really getting out of line at all.
Shaggy has been a serial raiser on my big blind. He just did it again to 1400, so this time I tanked a little and then jammed 4k straight back up him. He looked somewhat disgruntled and shuffled around a bit, then showed me AQ offsuit and mucked. That'll learn him.
End of level four, and finally break time. I'm on 47k.
Not sure if my battery will hold out for the entire last level here, but I'll do my best.
Pockmarked kid is now out. He was short all day after being crippled by aces full earlier when he had jacks full. Finally 98 suited raised his blind and he shipped his last 4k or so with 33. A nine flopped and that was that.
Now at 200/400/50. Last level of the day and the one where the blinds and antes actually start to bite a bit if you're short stacked. I see people do very queer things on this level, a couple of pretty big pots already, none of them with much of a hand. The last level of the day certainly makes some folks do some odd stuff...
Stole the odd one, and lost a few small ones. I've hit 50k with 1 hour 15 min to go today.
Occasionally a pretty big hand does come up however... Longfingers just added 30k to his stack with AA against a nice but weaker player's KK. Some people would shrug and just say what can you do? But the truth of it was that an ace flopped, and the KK didn't need to be in the spot he found himself... Calling off his whole stack to an all in raise after he reraised preflop to 10,500 at 200/400. Longfingers is now on about 100k.
iPad died so I wasn't making too many notes. Also I was intent on paying attention on the last level of the day anyway. The good news is...
I'm through to day two. I bagged up 53,700 which is healthy. Stole a few and won a few legitimately today but was overall solid and just let others make the mistakes, which is what day one of the WSOP main for me is all about.
Tomorrow will be a day of rest. I'll do a video or write something once I surface after a long sleep. I've played 10 hours today and with breaks it adds up to around 13 hours out and about. My bed and some happy thoughts beckon...