I recognise one guy at my starting table, a hoodie in large mirrored shades who always says very little, and always reminds me of a giant bluebottle. Past experience has shown that late in a tournament he's happy to treat hands such as A 10 like four of a kind, but he always seems to be in the mix, so I guess it's working out for him.
Lots of small ball stuff understandably during the early rounds. We begin with 15K which is plenty with a one hour clock starting at 25/50 blinds. The guy on my right has already had his KK shredded by a set, and his straight destroyed by a flush, so he's now looking more like 8K, and is playing more pots this early than he probably should be.
The first hour is uneventful for me, and I don't win a single pot, despite having quite a few AK's AQ's suited Aces etc. It's all minimal, and my 15K looks more like 13,500 now.
First break after the second hour, and I'm on 12K without winning a single hand in 2 levels. Not overly concerned, the structure is great, and I've got plenty of patience and time to get going. The secret in my mind is just to not bleed off too many chips too early. The guy I said who was ready to pop earlier is now long gone. He kept playing hand after hand and trying to fight his way out of the downward spiral, and it never happened, despite him having some decent holdings.
I've come down to my usual spot out by the benches in front of the Rio for the 20 minute break, in order to defrost from the absolutely freezing atmosphere inside, and also to get away from the incessant poker chat from the hoodied millennial neckbeards. Today isn't my lucky day. Some loudmouth and his buddy sit down right by me, and he wants to playbook every bloody hand for the last 2 hours. I stick on my headphones and listen to a bit of Hans Zimmer to blot out the droning. The smell of weed outside on the breaks is far harder to mask, but you can't have everything. Caesars in their wisdom have also decided that an outdoor portaloo (branded of course) right at the entrance is a masterstroke of customer convenience and marketing. An outdoor crapper in the middle of the desert in 115 degree heat...what could possibly go wrong? I think I'll pass.
Flopping the nuts in the WSOP and then losing always sucks. It just happened to one guy, but luckily it wasn't me.
On a flop of 6 7 10, a betting war breaks out between the guy with 98, and an older guy who has 66 but decides hes not going anywhere, even for 15K plus. It all goes in, and an immediate 7 on the turn pairs up to give the old guy a boat. It's not pretty, but in these things you'll see far worse as the day unfolds.
We just hit level 4 and the 25 antes have kicked in. At this stage it doesn't change too much for me, and I'm still sitting pretty on 23K or so.
Break at the end of level 4, and nothing to report...won a few, lost a few. Still on 21K, which is just fine. Off out for some sun.
Midway through level 5, and the Aussie kid to my right just dusted off a bunch of chips to a guy with AA when the flop came Jack high, and he'd been in there raising with KJ. I did say he had trouble slowing down...
I've gone from 21K back down to 15K, by virtue of having AK three times and losing all of them. The final one I released it on a K 2 3 Q board in a three way pot. They both got it in, and one turned over KQ whilst the other showed 22 for a flopped set, so I guess even though I'm getting beaten up, I'm still tuned in quite well.
Level 6 now at 50/150/300, on the run up to the 75 minute dinner break, and I'm not catching anything. I'm still on around 15K whilst people are committing suicide all around me.
Down to 12K when I raise with AJ offsuit, and the housefly makes it 2500 to go. I'd likely need a miracle flop so I let it go, just as our table breaks. My new table is going to be the NEXT one to break also, so I won't get too comfortable.
My table breaks literally about 3 hands later and off I go again. At my new table, I sit down and immediately look down at KK. It's raised before it gets to me, so I bang it to 4800 out of a 12500 or so stack. He moves in and tables 99 when I call, and there are no horror stories, and I find myself back up on 26K or so as we approach the dinner break and a 75 minute rest. Watch this space.
I win a decent size pot with AK against a guy with Queens when I flop a King and he doesn't slow down. I'm now up to around 35K as we hit level 8. The screen shows we have 3,191 players in the field today.
We return with 1,110/3,369 remaining, and at 100/300/600.
Now starting the last level of the day and I've won and lost a couple, but am holding steady on 39K. It's been a very good table, in more ways than one. I've been able to steal quite a bit. The guys are largely a nice bunch, and it's been a good atmosphere. Hopefully we don't break.
Of course... we break.
A new table is always a tough one to size up, especially if you don't know anyone. You can be a robot like all the millennials, and sit and say nothing, but then if that's the case why did you bother leaving the house to begin with when you could just sit indoors and keep clicking buttons all day instead? I decide the direct approach is the best way to handle it, since I don't recognise anyone, and it looks like even though my chips are healthy, I might still be the lowest stack here.
"Christ, they're even uglier on this table!'
A pause, and it gets a laugh. Mission accomplished. No one likes a table of po-faced robots. Off we go again.
Though not on a level with the previous table, this one isn't too bad either. I win and lose a couple, nothing earth shattering, and they call last 6 hands of the day. The time when no-one really wants to go broke, but sometimes the odd opportunity presents itself.
No cigar today however. It passes without incident, and I bag up a healthy 38,600 and a well earned night's sleep after today's fun and games. My first event I played for 10 hours or something silly for nothing, today slightly over that. However, I'm still in the hunt, and in 2 days I return, for a crack at bigger and better things once the day one's combine. Happy with my game today. I was hardly ever all-in, and I sized up the opposition just fine despite playing I think six or seven different tables. I'll look at the calendar to see what tomorrow brings now that I know I'm playing on Monday.