Off we go in today's WSOP event, the Monster Stack. I know a lot of people who treat this as their "main event" if they're not actually planning to play the main itself. Lots of chips, lots of play, lots of entrants.
So far liking the table. My 15k start stack is already up to 16500.
A little early action on my 9 handed table. The board runs out two clubs, two hearts, and an ace with one guy I know betting all the way and firing 5500 on the end at 25/50. He eventually gets called by a European (is that racist?) kid who has AKh. It's good and the other guy shows clubs for a busted draw. He's down to 7k already.
I'm back to starting stack after releasing 99 on an 8 high board on the turn. I got shown KK.
Currently midway through level 2 at 50/100. The general standard of play on my table seems pretty competent, with no one going for broke too early. The long clock sometimes takes its toll on people's mindset after a few levels so it's still to early to know who will crack up first. Hopefully it's not going to be me.
Well, I didn't crack, but I did fall victim to that darling of the WSOP, the guy who can't fold AK. I just flopped trip 10's, bet it heavy all the way and he caught runner runner with a pair on board to make Broadway. Well played. Grit teeth. 10k.
Nearing the end of level 3 and there's been little to report. The woman I played the pot with at the break is out. She played fairly solid, but ultimately called off her chips on the river with QQ when the guy had KK. To me it's still too early to be stacking off with just a pair unless it's preflop, but of course everyone plays different, that's the beauty of the WSOP.
Currently still on 13k and letting life tick by fairly uneventfully.
It seems like the WSOP design the levels specifically so they go up when it's my big blind. I guess at 100/200 it's not so bad. On we march into level 4.
3/4 of the way into the next level and nothing to report. I've had nothing but a few baby pairs that have missed flops, 13k is now 11k. I'm playing pretty tight right now as there are chips to be had but it's 100/200 and I'd rather conserve for now than splash around too much this early.
I'm seated right next to the stage in the Brasilia room, and I know when we return from the break Phil Hellmuth will be having his ceremony virtually on my lap to celebrate winning his 14th WSOP bracelet. A fantastic achievement sure, and he's certainly a great player. Personally I cannot stand his demeanour at the table, the way he talks down to people and tries to belittle them if they beat him in a hand, whining when he loses about donkeys and terrible luck. To me (and I talk at the table a lot) it's disgusting, and thoroughly unprofessional to act the way he does, especially against recreational players who we need in the game every year for the good of the poker economy. Some people can be bad winners as well as bad losers, and if you are never going to have to find a tournament buy in again with your own money then I really don't think that acting like a swaggering douchebag is the way forward. My two cents. OK, my 3 dollars. Anyway, I'll be taking an extra 10 minutes outside in the break to miss the ceremony. Congratulations sure, but I'd far rather someone more gracious and humble was up on stage 5 feet away from me.
Restarted and I've won a small pot at 100/200/25 to put me back on 10k.
Down to 8500 after I raise blind on blind with AQ and he calls with a rag-king and flops a king. Frustrating at the moment as I can't connect with a single flop. The temptation to start 3 betting light is there right now but I think it's a bad road to go down. Breathe and clench...
7k. Called again. Outdrawn on the flop yet again. Not complaining, just have to adapt to what's going on. One guy just jammed the 9 10 3 flop with 10 9 and was called by a big stack with Q9, so there's certainly value to be had for betting your hand hard.
Level 6 and we've hit 150/300/25 with me on 7k. A few shorter stacks (than me) are getting shove happy with 3-4k so I need to hope if I get something I don't get caught in the crossfire of somebody desperate.
Finally caught a small flurry of cards, even though I had to work for it, and I'm now back up to 9k. A long way to go.
Back to 7k again as we near the 3rd break at the end of level 6. I raised with 1010 and got reraised to 2400 and 150/300/25. Something smelt wrong so I mucked, he showed me KK. Break time.
Back from break and plodding through level 7. Just raised with JJ and folded to a shove. Others might have called but I decided against. 7k.
Now halfway through the level and I'm still around 7k. Had my first all-in of the day but it got through uncalled. Missing flops with pocket pairs for fun. Starting to feel the pinch a bit with it costing 1050 a round.
The big stack earlier who caught an amazing run of big starting hands and got paid every time was on 50k. He lost a huge pot a bit earlier with a straight vs a boat, cutting him down to 10k. He just shoved under the gun, and I look down at 1010. I guess a lot of people would consider that their moment, but I'm still not one of them, so it goes in the bin and on we go. Hopefully a bit of patience gets rewarded.
8500 as we approach level 8. Still tiptoeing around disaster.
This table has suddenly become a bloodbath. AQ just shoved for 15k and got snapped by KK. Obviously kings lost. Wonderful game, poker.
Finally some life... Back up to 13,500. Found aces (well played) and limped. The original early chip leader raised and I 3-bet. He shoves. Let's gamble. He tables KQ off and is drawing dead on the turn. How quickly it turns.
And turn it does.
Next hand I squeeze out an ace round the back and raise to 1200. The big blind shoves so I look at the other card before I fold.
It turns out to be another ace, so I decide not to fold after all. He shows 1010, and no havoc ensues. I'm suddenly on 25k as we reach the midpoint of level 8.
A new player just joined the table on my left, with around 40k, saying he just LOST a 130k pot before he got here when he flopped a full house and got rivered. One guy with a short stack said "I wouldn't know what do do with 100,000 chips", to which the new player replied "apparently I didn't either". I lolled.
It's level 9 returning after the 90 minute dinner break. Went to Nora's Italian in a Lamborghini. I guess life could always be a lot worse.
Returning with 21k at 300/600/75. I lose the first pot coming back with AQs when I get shoved on. Marvellous. 18k.
Sigh of all sighs. Proof positive that if you have a lot of chips you can call with any old dogshit. I just made it 2k with AQ. A 50k stack with K6 decides to call from the 300 small blind. He flops a king and I lose the pot. Nice. Down to 14k. Two more blank orbits and it's now just over 11k having done nothing wrong.
Raise with 99 to 2k. Get THREE callers. 10 10 4 flop and two guys take off. Down to 9k and getting frustrated that I'm always getting called or raised.
I'm not at all happy, but happy at least to make the colour up break. I just jammed the button because I keep getting 2 or 3 callers who have crap, so this time it was like "fine...call that then". No customers. Coming back on 9,000.
Halfway through level 10 and my double up chance came and I was too smart to take it. Woman has just come to the table and raises to 3000. I have 7000 and look down at 33. Another player looks interested so I just fold. They get it in. AK vs JJ. Good fold. Flop 322.
I'm on 4k with nothing going right since dinner.
I jam with an ace with about 4 big blinds and get called by A2. Turns out I have A4. We end up chopping so I win virtually nothing. Down to 4,000 with the 400/800 blinds approaching me very fast. I've had enough. I jam no look and get called by 66. I flip over 10 6...great.
Not so bad when I flop a ten and win. The guys mumbling to himself about the shove, but I'd probably feel much worst if I'd actually bothered to look at what I had in my hand before I jammed it in. Screw it. Back to 9k.
Just hit the last level of the day, level 11. 500/1000/100, and me on 8500 surrounded by 50k, 70k, 130k stacks. Not a great spot but I'll certainly be going down fighting.
I guess this is when you need to get lucky!
I decide with 8100 I'm not being blinded down to fumes again, so in go the chips with 77 at the right moment. Or the wrong moment. The guy on my right calls (he said with 99 and given the last 13 hours I'm not inclined to disbelieve him). The big blind reshoves for 35,000. My original caller passes and the raiser shows aces. Great.
I tell the table "don't worry, I'm normally REALLY good at these...". A few laughs ensue as I prepare for the executioners axe to fall.
Board runs out J 9 10 10..........8, giving me a straight to crack aces and triple up! I say very little and just stack 'em up. The AA guy looks a bit like someone just finger-banged his cat, and my neighbour is talking about how he would've stacked him totally if he'd called with the 99. I don't think he wanted to hear it. I'm on a giddy 28k, my high-point of the day! :o)
A few hands later AA guy is out. He looked kinda tilted, but found QQ and walked into the monster stack's (literally) 95s who made a flush. He ran really bad and was unlucky at all the wrong times but that's the game.
Just chopped a pot with AK vs AK, I wasn't in the mood to mess around and just tanked half of it in to a raise. He decided to get it in and I guess we were both happy to split once the dust had cleared. We're now playing the last 3 hands of the night. So hopefully I'm bagging up and getting some sleep after a truly gruelling 14 hours of tournament play.
Bam. Bagging 31,500. High point of the day. That is all. :o)