(This is a re-post from July, 2010)
I flew to Vegas last week to play in my first WSOP, event #54, NLHE with a $1000 buy-in.
Also on my agenda was a lunch date with Jonathan Little and a few of the coaches from the FloatTheTurn.com website, which was providing my buy-in and three nights at the Rio.
Ms. Duck and I enjoyed meeting and discussing poker with the FTT
crew. In addition to Jonathan (who would Final Table a WSOP limit hold
'em tournament the next day, cashing for $73,000+) were JOhnDaytOn,
JasonKobe, and HotJenny.
(L to R: Lucki Duck, Jon Little, JOhnDaytOn, JasonKobe, HotJenny and husband Collin)
specializes in NLHE, 16 tabling the $55 sit and goes on Pokerstars.
HotJenny's forte' is the Super Turbos on Full Tilt, also 16 tabling at
the $50-60 level. JasonKobe plays the $50 and $100 Double or Nothing
Tourneys on Pokerstars, juggling an incredible 30-35 tables at a time!
All of them are in their mid 20s, living the high life and making a
living at poker. Fun times and I learned a lot from each of them!
As a bonus, Johnny Chan was eating a couple tables over from us.
signed up a day early for my event and once my seat was assigned, I
went to find my table so I wouldn't have to look for it on the day of
the tourney. While there I saw Phil Ivey and Vanessa Russo playing. Too
Event #54 began at noon last Thursday. It was a
four day tournament, with two day ones (A and B). The plan was to play
down to 15% of the field on the first day, with day two on Saturday, and
wrapping up the event on Sunday.
My goals were:
1) Win a hand.
2) Make the first break (two hours in).
3) Make the dinner break (six hours in).
4) Make the second day.
6) Make the final table.
7) Win a bracelet!
starting stack size was 3,000 chips, with the blinds at 25-25, and one
hour levels. Lots of time to play some poker! Of the almost 3,900
players in the tourney, 3,100+ were playing on this day 1A.
reached my first goal on the third hand, checking my BB with QT
offsuit. The flop gave me a gutter straight draw, which hit on the turn.
I bet and the villian folded.
I lost a fair amount of
chips when I raised from middle position with pocket nines and was
called by the BB. I c-bet a Q-4-Q flop after the BB checked, but was
then check-raised. I folded. I know it sounds nitty, but I didn't want
to go down with this hand and decided to wait for a better situation.
Our table broke just before the first break and I was moved to this guy's table!
I knew right away that this was gonna be an interesting table!
Just a few hands in we hit the break and I had accomplished my second goal, limping in with 2,400 chips.
the break, there were two bracelets awarded from previous events. One
went to Mike Lee and a second to Chance Hornung. The best part was the
playing of the National Anthem, as both winners were from the states.
were up to 50-100 at level three. I was still playing tight aggressive
poker, picking up a few pots, but not gaining any traction. The guy to
my left was extremely tight, playing only three hands in the 2+
hours we played together. His hands were JJ, QQ, and KK, hitting sets on
the flop all three times. Amazingly, he just check-called the hand
every time, winning the minimum amount possible.
blinds eroded my stack, I pushed from late position for 12 BB with JJ
and was called by the big blind's 66. Thankfully, the jacks held and I
hit the second break shortly after with 2,200 chips.
a half hour into level five our table broke and I was moved again. With
blinds at 100-200 and a 25 chip ante, I was card dead and getting
short, waiting for an opportunity to push and double up. I was the BB
when the button open raised 10x the big blind, screaming of a steal
attempt. The first card I saw in my hand was an ace and I knew I would
push this hand, but I was hoping my kicker would be good, just in case
the villian had a hand. I slowly squeezed out the second card, another
ace... sah-weet! I pushed and was called by the BB's K4 offsuit. He hit
his four on the flop, and the turn was an ugly K, giving him two pair.
Did I mention that the flop also had two eights, thus giving me aces-up and the double up!
at level six (100-200, 50 ante), the short-stack raised 3X. I looked
down at AJ and pushed my 3,200 chip stack. The blinds folded and the
raiser insta-called. "Uh-Oh," I thought to myself, but he tabled AT and
my hand held, putting me above 6,000 chips for the first time in the
I reached my third goal when I went on the
dinner break with 5,400 chips. The field had dwindled from 3,100+ down
to 630 at the break.
Apparently, the dealer removed all
the face cards from the deck while I was at dinner, because I didn't
see one for the next hour. With the blinds climbing, I was able to steal
a few pots, but my stack continued to shrink. Shortly after moving into
level eight, two players with HUGE stacks were moved to my table and
sitting to my left, so the stealing portion of my game was over.
final hand was an open shove with QT offsuit for seven BB from the
cutoff. One of the big stacks called with A6 offsuit. I didn't improve
on the flop, but the villian had a straight draw which he hit on the
turn and my World Series was over.
As I was leaving the
room, the dealers were instructed to start racking chips, because day
1A was over. As Maxwell Smart might say, "Missed day 2 by THIS much!"
My final tally was 450th out of 3,138 day 1A players. Not too bad for my first try.
players in event #54 were Chris Ferguson, Layne Flack, Maria Ho, Jeff
Madson (former WSOP Player of the Year), Scott Montgomery, Men "The
Master" Nguyen, Dennis Phillips, Gavin Smith, Jennifer Tilly, and Jerry
Yang. Unfortunately, none were at my tables, so I didn't get the
opportunity to play against them.
Overall, a great trip that will not be soon forgotten!