It’s kind of a circus at the Rio. There are so many people playing every event and the registration lines are hours. People are waiting hours and then giving their chips away.
I got into Vegas at 9:30am on Wednesday morning. I couldn’t check into my hotel room until later, so I headed over to the Rio and decided to play a little nooner tournament. I got fourth. All day I was tangling with one of the house dealers and I spotted a little tell. It finally got four-handed and there was this spot where I could have used it, but didn’t pull the trigger. We were the middle stacks and he raised all-in for a little more than I had. The blinds were huge at this point… like 20% of our stacks. I look down and see K9o. Normally, it would be a fold… but there was something that told me he was on a complete steal. I folded anyway, figuring that at best I was 2:1 and I’d be better off just shoving against his blind. I asked him to show a bluff, and he turned over 54o. I’d really regret not calling that bet when two hands later I shoved with KJo and he called with AQ. No help. I picked up a few hundred dollars for my trouble.
The first WSOP tournament I played was the $5k Mixed Limit and No Limit event. It was a new structure where we’d play half an hour at no-limit, then half an hour at limit. My first table had John Friedberg, Neverwin, and Doug Lee… with Todd Brunson getting moved to the table pretty early. I had to work just to stay even and never really got a good start. Then I got moved, which can be the kiss of death in a tournament. My new table was no better… Jeff Madsen, Josh Arieh, Freddy Deeb, and Sam Grizzle. But there were worse spots. A few tables over, Johnny Chan, Phil Ivey, and Daniel negreanu were right next to each other.
I continued to struggle to stay about even, then the following hand came up in the limit round that I should have been able to get away from. I had KQs from early position and brought it in for a raise. Mistake #1. Should have just folded to begin with. Freddy Deeb in the SB re-raised. I called. The flop came out K95. He fires out. J'appelle. Turn comes a J. He fires out again. Now there aren’t too many hands I can put him on that I can beat, except a pure bluff with something like AQ or 67s. But I decide to look him up. Mistake #2. The river came another J. He fired in again. I called again. He turns up AK and I’m pretty short-stacked.
Then the NL round came around and I made an open push with ATo. Freddy Deeb called in the BB with 88s. The flop came out with a ten and an eight. Ouch. Turn was an eight, river was another ten… so I ended up making tens full versus quads. But that is kind of a sidenote, since the money went all-in preflop. So that was it… my end of the first tournament at the WSOP.
The next day was the $1500 NL event. It started an hour late because of all the people trying to get in. Early on I got a pretty nice chip lead at my table with 6000 by sucking out. I raised with 87s and the SB called with 55. The flop came 875 and we got it all-in. The turn came a 7 and I was saved from an early exit.
The same player worked up his small stack back to about the 3000 we started with and then got his revenge. With the blinds 50-100, I raised to 300 with KK from second position. A player calls and the kid from before makes it 1100. I reraise all-in. The guy in the middle folds and the kid thinks for a second before declaring that he’s caught and calls his last 1900 off with Q7s. The flop was Q72. So then I’m back down to where I started. I hung around for awhile longer, then with the blinds 100-200 I raised for 600 with A8s, got called with QJo, and got it all-in on the flop with two hearts and a Jack flopped.
Today I play another mixed tournament… this time Omaha/8 and Stud/8. I have to buckle down and not make any mistakes. I think it’s a real leak to be a smoker. I start to really crave nicotine about an hour into the two hour sessions between breaks. I’ve got to focus today… take my time and not give any bets away. Every bet counts in a tournament.