Been slacking lately so I apologize for my tardiness, but here I am to finish my story up.
Side note: Props to Hoy for his 51k cash, if I had to do it all over again I might have pocketed the extra 1k and did the Venetian, see below for why.
So I'm sitting at the cash game in the Rio when I hear Jeff Pollack over the PA system announce to someone to "let the players in". Didn't even realize what time it was, 11:45am, 15 mins to go time.
The doors opened and a flood of people just poured into the Amazon. I respectfully got up from my cash game, went to the window to cash out my chips and wondered over to my table: Blue 24 Seat 7.
Seat 1: Think I remember his name was Jason, dude had an identical twin who was also a poker player, thought he said "Craig". Felt like I should know this guy but I couldn't place him. Played extremely well and became the table leader early on.
Seat 2: Danish guy, reminded me of the lead singer for the Presidents of the United States of America (PUSA).
Seat 3: Thought he might have been a Scandi internet pro. Sterotypical large headphones, bed head, weird face etc etc. Played pretty well but someone asked him if he was Scandi and told us he was Danish.
Seat 4: Another guy I felt like I should have recognized. Bald head, grey hoodie and sunglasses. Didnt talk at the table at all.
Seat 5: Young kid. Nothing much on him at all, didnt get involved in too many pots.
Seat 6: Angry Aussie. Cleary he was Australian, you could tell by his accent and the huge bowie knife he used as a card top...I kid. But he seemed pissed off for some reason and it didn't get much better for him playing poker.
Seat 7: Your Hero. Sporting my Ron Burgundy "I'm Kind of a Big Deal" t-shirt and listening to techno, I was ready and in the zone.
Seat 8: Disheveled Southerner. From the way he talked about the tournament circuit, this dude, I guess, must have been a pro. Although he was always slouched in his chair (think like getting a permanent massage) and bore a striking resemblance to Jay Cutler.
Seat 9: Best I can describe this guy was Indian (feather) guy with a white hoodie, shades, and a huge square band-aid on his left cheek.
Seat 10: Typical bald poker player with shades. Is he staring right at me OR is he staring right through me?
Listened to "Sultans of Swing" as I had planned until the fated moment where the legendary words "Shuffle up and deal" were uttered. I was locked and loaded baby!
First hand I am in the SB and it folds around to Angry Aussie on the button. He raises 3x BB and I peek to find A-Ko. Not one to play coy, I reraise him 3x his bet. BB folds and grumbling and mumbling the Angry Aussie folds. I win my very first hand I have ever played in the WSOP, not a bad start!
Table was pretty tight considering it was a donkament, and I had fairly good reads on most of the active people.
I folded until it got around to me in UTG, and I looked down to find 6-6. I limped and it folded around to MP who raised it 3x BB (raises were anywhere from 2.5 to 4x the BB). Folded back round to me and I just called.
Flop came 3-4-5 rainbow and I checked. MP bet a little more than half the pot and XR him right here thinking it was just a standard continuation bet. It bothered me a little when he called. Turn was a 9. I figure I am probably good here and even if I'm not I have straight outs, so I put a pot size bet in here on the turn. MP thinks about it for awhile then mucks 10-10 face up. I was feeling good baby.
I counted my stack and somehow came up with 8900 the first count, what can I say im retarded, but realized I really had 6900. Which was still good 30 mins in. Pretty much the rest of the level I spewed chips on suited connectors that never came in.
When the 2nd level started I was in the 5500 range and I continued to spew. The only hand I remember from this level is I had 8-9o on the button, identical twin raised from UTG+1 and I called. Flop was not favorable, as it was A-K-Q.
Twin c-bet this flop but I wanted to see if I could incite a fold so I re-raised him the standard 3x his bet. He thought and thought, looked me up and down and eventually re-raised me so I had to let it go, at that point I fell my closest back to the starting stack with 4900.
The break came right after I scooped a big pot with A-K on a K high flop. Got called all the way to the river by Danish headphones and he mucked.
During this time there was a weird hand I was involved in with Angry Aussie and Indian guy.
Indian guy was the BB, Angry Aussie limped, I limped from the button, and Indian guy checked. Same thing happened on the flop.... or did it?
I must've been distracted for a second because I had no idea what was going on. This is what I know: There was a bet in front of Indian guy, he was claiming he was not given the option to check or bet and the dealer had thought it was a check round, Angry Aussie was vehemently sure that the dealer never brought in Indian's Big Blind and it was not a bet. Normally not a big deal but the dealer had burned and turned.
The floor was called and the dealer was explaining to the floor the situation but Aussie kept interruprting and saying the dealer was wrong. The Floor says in the dickest tone I've ever heard a floor boss say, "Mike (the dealer) is a workd class dealer, he dealt the final table of the Main Event last year and is one of the highest rated dealers on my staff. Now who do you think I'm going to listen to in this case you or Mike?" Naturally that set Aussie even further. They removed the 10 that had been dealt and restarted action from the flop. This time Indian checked, which kinda pissed me off a lil I wont lie for wasting my time, and Aussie bet. I folded, Indian called. The new turn was a 9, and Aussie bet again with Indian calling. They both checked the river and Indian wound up up winning with a pair of 9s. Aussie showed a 10 that would have won him the pot had the original turn played.
I bet you would not be surprised to know who got busted from our table first, cursing and mumbling the whole way.
The second person out was baldy shades who I bluffed with my sixes, he couldnt get anything going and finally just shoved with nothing and got bounced.
The break came and I checked in with home base on the stats, Pokernews was reporting that Identical twin at my table had 12k. I had around 5500.
Got to see Men the Master rush past me when the break came and Liss filled me in on the rest of the pros that were spotted playing in that event.
Before play resumed they did the bracelet ceremeony redeux playing the correct version of "God Save the Queen" instead of the Sex Pistols version, at the time I had no idea why they were apologizing and re-playing the national anthem. Then they presented the bracelet to the Iranian guy who won in a touching tribute to his homeland.
Back to play, 2 new guys joined the table to replace those who got bounced. I won another hand early in the round, although I cant recall specifics to get my chip count back up over the 7500 threshold.
To wrap this up, about halfway through level 3 the following hand occured:
UTG+1 & 2 limp, folds around to me in the SB and I see A-Qo. I raise 3x BB to 450. UTG1 folds UTG2 calls.
My read on UTG2 is weak player, he made a horrible laydown 2 hands earlier against young danish dude when for the umpteenth time he pushed all-in as a short stack.
Flop is Ax-5x-8x
Flop is a good flop for me with no possible draws of any kind. Since im OOP I throw a half-pot bet of 600 out there. UTG2 quickly raises to 2500.
The raise confuses me because I dont think hes that strong to limp UTG2 twice. If he had a set here would he raise me that much? Would he limp A-K twice? I decide he hs to have A-10/A-J. And after a pause, I push all-in.
Dud starts tanking hard, mumbling "what did I get myself into? You dont have two pair. You raised pre-flop and bet 600 on the flop...."
At this point I know my read was absolutely right, A-10 or A-J. I almost started to say "your a-j is no good here" but i stopped myself.
After 5 mins of agonizing deliberation he calls and flips up A-J.
Anyway, so the river was a Jack and my heart dropped out of my chest. I sat motionless realizing that my WSOP had ended on a 3 outer. Well not ended, I still had 500 in chips but I was done, mentally was fried.
Finally busted 2 hands later when I ran my 10-9ss into 10-10.
I got to take the walk of shame for my first and possibly last time. On my way towards the cab area at the font of the casino I passed by Chris Ferguson again and waved.
Some things I forgot to mention was LJ stopped by to wish me well, was nice to finally meet one of the most famous bloggers out there. Also got to meet Al as he walked up and down the rows. I'd also like to apologize to both of them as I didnt really even say goodbye when I walked out the Amazon, too stunned to really talk.
The rest of the trip saw my NL holdem skills diminish, my head was done and I basically ended up losing what I brought with me, the flight home could not come soon enough.
So in review, I absolutely loved everything about the WSOP. The atmosphere, the people.... Vegas, however, left me unimpressed and unfulfilled. I would say its because I was a big loser, but even Thurs and Fri I wasnt getting the hype. I will say the other cool thing was meeting TJ and Mike, and getting to play at Binions(lasted 10 mins in their tourney btw).
Maybe I went hoping I'd come home and wouldn't have to go back to my shitty job, maybe I just tried too hard. For now my Hold'em brain is off, I dont know what to do to get back and I'm rushing this post so maybe I'll get into details I skipped over these last two.
Thanks for reading.