And...off we go for some nice 2017 action. A semi jovial almost senior table, and our hero gets a nice welcome back to the world of tournament poker. With 6h3h in the big blind (the way all good stories start) I'm heads up on a 775 flop, check the Ace on the turn, and the 4 on the river making me a straight looks like a minimum but welcome early leg up. My opponent bets 100 (blinds 25-50, so I dutifully make it 525 from a 5k starting stack. He makes it 1700! I tell him to enjoy the 525 and muck, he shows 75 for a flopped boat.
2 hands later we find aces 3-way. The board runs out J5K2Q, and my shaking adversary flips over K2 for two pair. We both checked the river, but this still isn't the start for which I was hoping. I guess 3500 is better than it could have been had I got too frisky.
Half way through the first level and I think for now we won't be trying to force the issue too much.
Level two, and I'm on starting stack. We now have a dinosaur dealer, with tiny arms who can't reach the chips. As a result we're all pitching chips at the centre like baseballs, to keep the pace of the game going. At least everyone is smiling as we do it.
An uninspiring second level is drawing to a close as we find we've lost two pots to the same guy who has rivered a four-flush with a rag card twice versus my two pair. This has taken me back to 2700 again. More irritatingly he is coughing incessantly, which whilst not his fault per se, doesn't bode well with a few cases of Legionnaire's disease reported at the Rio lately. Just when we thought poker couldn't get more of a risk element to spice it up a bit.
Today's event is currently showing 1600 odd entrants. Some of them extremely odd. Time to get out to the benches for some rays and a 20 min break.
Back from break and the speeches are rattling out. I was out in the sun by the benches as per usual during the 20 minutes, and the seedy underbelly side of poker just reared it's head and became visible in a few guises. A late middle aged woman was screeching down her cellphone at someone about money. She was practically in tears. "Well I gave him $300, and he knows I'm good for it", etc, etc. Lots of swear words continued, along with a very well known name in poker followed by the world "scumbag". She then stormed off after hanging up. To be honest, that's the most heed I paid to the conversation. Around the Rio you hear the same thing 50 times a day as people live on their cellphones and try to hustle a dollar from someone. A few guys arrive and dissect a hand history, and explain to one another how it was supposed to be played. It's kind of the same white noise to me. Some people just love rattling on about that stuff, but to me mostly it just reveals how badly some people still play and how one dimensional their thought processes are.
Going back through the main hallway you see people of all shapes and sizes. Obese, paraplegics, people dragging oxygen canisters around behind them after returning from a cigarette (!!!). Morbidly obese people on those mobility scooters, some reasonably average and unimpaired looking people, still riding the mobility scooter, as the chore of putting one leg in front of another is just too much to bear when there's poker to be played. This place really is a freakshow in every sense of the word. It's good of course that some people have a love for the game and want to keep playing, but Las Vegas at this time of year is even more of a circus than normal. I love it and hate it all at once.
Back to the fun of the WSOP...
Currently doing little but folding. The antes have kicked in now, and whilst I've been the recipient of a decent amount of pain today, quite honestly no-one has done anything horrible or out of line. With 2k from a 5k stack, at the moment I'm conserving and waiting for a double up spot that looks right.
We've had three bustouts on our table, and all morning it's been pretty hand driven. Ideally you get lucky or make some luck early on and have chips with which to dance about. If not it's a grind, which is where I find myself now. No complaints, just not the ideal kick-off. I've won a small pot with a shove, but at 425 a round with a short stack you have to punt and hope to win a flip or get a lot of folds to get some chips together again.
A touch of love from the gods, when my now micro stack calls with 77 and 5 way we see a flop of 10 10 3. I open shove, and get called in two spots. I actually feel at this point like I'm good, and though I like the 2 on the turn, the Queen on the river doesn't fill me with confidence. They both check and one tables AK. Back up to 3500 again and still in with a squeak.
A slow burn in this level as I haven't seen much but neither have I lost any hands of note. There have been quite a few casualties on the table, and we've been joined by an assortment of beardy-weirdy internet nerds with neckbeards hoodies and baseball caps. One seems to think that staring very hard at his opponent anytime he bets will make them fold. It doesn't work and he still doesn't seem to get this, which is mildly amusing. A big stack just called him down and then shoved when he bet the river. Our hero insta-mucked and proceeded to give the winner a filthy stare for the next three minutes. Jolly japes.
Tables all around me seem to be breaking and I've a feeling we'll be going shortly. Next break is in 10 minutes, and I'm still on around 3600.
Onto the final level before dinner, and as we hit 50/200/400 I'm back to finding a spot and jamming. With 1750 in chips it folds to me in the hijack seat, and I see an ace and ping it. There's 1050 in the middle already and the second card is irrelevant at this point, therefore I don't even look at it. The big blind calls when all fold and turns over KK. Ugh. Timing.
Board runs out with no salvation and so that's that for event one after a pretty tedious five hours. Great cards early but everything went bad, so I was essentially playing catchup all day. No complaints however, technically I don't think I made any errors of note. Onto the next one which will be the PH $600 500k gtd tomorrow.