I’ve decided to do a tournament report of my super deep run in the 2010 WSOP Main Event. Normally, no one wants to hear a story about how someone got 12th in a tournament but when it’s the Main Event, it’s a little different. With 7300 some odd players battling it out for a whopping 9 million dollars, this is a special tournament.
Day 1 — Start of Day 1C 30,000 chips 50/100 blinds
I started off in the Pavilion Room, a room even bigger than the Amazon Room, holding 300 tables. A good 100 more than the Amazon Room. My starting table wasn’t particularly soft but I only knew a couple faces. Ironically enough, one person was Diego Sanchez, a friend who was one of eight people that I bought action from in the Main Event. Pretty sick odds of us being at the same table. The table had a few online players and a couple amateurs mixed in but no one was giving it away. Early on I decided I wanted to beast the table. Try to throw around some chips and make the table mine. Within a couple orbits I had already lost 5,000 chips trying to do this. What I realized was the two players to my left were pretty good and were not going to allow this to happen but I kept doing it. I even floated out of position early on with King high and bet out when i turned an open-ended straight draw. The kid, who I later found out was a UB cash game grinder GuiGui88, raised my turn bet and here’s where my entire mentality changed. A little bit of backstory, the previous night I had watched some WestMenlo Card Runners videos because I loved his style. His videos were two years old but still they were so good. He just played tight, solid, smart poker, much similar to my style. I said I was going to play like that. However, when I got to the table I decided I wanted to play crazy. So anyways, on the turn I thought for a minute and decided I was going to concede the pot. But as I was doing this I said to myself, “Dude, what are you doing?!?! This is the Main Event. Don’t play like a monkey. Just think, what would Menlo do? So after that hand, I calmed myself down, went back to my nit cave and started playing solid poker. This mantra permeated through my game for the rest of the tournament. After this I had 22k of my starting 30k. Things were not going well.
Halfway through the 2nd level, 100/200 I overlimped in the cutoff with J8hh in a 5-way pot. The flop came JJKdd and the sb bet out 800. The initial limper flatted and I opted to flat. The turn was the 9. THe sb bets out again. This time to for 1600. The other guy folds and I don’t like this card but I still decided to call because we are most likely chopping if he does have a J and could be betting a flush draw still. The river is a 4 and he bets out again for 3800. Pretty gross bet and after a couple minutes I decided to fold. The guy answered my queries about what I had cryptically and it wasn’t until he got moved tables that he told me what he had, J9. I was pretty stoked to have made the laydown. Yet, still I was just not running well. The Aussie to my left would 3bet a third of my opens and when I did make it to a flop I wasn’t hitting them.
At 150/300 25 a player gets moved into our table. As he is sitting down he reaches into his pockets and pulls out his chips. You don’t see that very often but for anyone who doesn’t know, this is against the rules of tournament poker and strictly enforced. The dealer immediately called the floor over and the floor had to deal with the situation. I’ve never witnessed this first hand but for it to be the biggest poker tourney in the world for it to happen, just seems so brutal. The player was extremely lucky because the floor person had not escorted him to the table but had verified how many chips he had. While almost always the player would have to be disqualified, in this specific situation he was not. I think I saw the guy on day 4 and he ended up cashing too.
My lowest point came around this time when I found myself at 12k. I had made some good laydowns but unfortunately you don’t get chips for making an excellent laydown. I wish you did! It was at this point that things started turning around. I was able to win a string of pots without showdowns and get back to 15k. Then at 150/300 I was able to get 3 streets of value against the Australian kid to my left on the J34dd38 board with AJo against what I presume was top pair with a worse kicker. I was up to 22k and looking to start my steady rise to the top but it was not to be. Well, not yet at least. I lost more chips when I called a couple raises and bricked a few flops. Then, at 150/300 I picked up the biggest pocket pair I had seen all day, JJ. The cutoff, who happened to be the tightest player at the table by far opened to 900. When I say tight, I mean this was his 5th hand he had played in 5 hours. So I definitely did not want to reraise him with plans of getting it in here, even if I was on the button. So I flatted. The small blind, the Australian kid, made it 3400 to go. The cutoff deliberated and folded his hand. Initially I thought, this kid has got to be tight here because of how tight the other guy was so i didn’t feel comfortable shoving here. I was going to re-evaluate on the flop. The flop came KJ7 2 spades 1 diamond and he checked. Yeah, solid flop to say the least. I decided to bet super small and bet 2900 into a pot of 8k. Within 3 seconds he took a chunk of 5k chips and stuck them out there effectively putting me all in. I snap called and he flipped over the…wait for it……..96dd!!! Yes, 96 high with straight and flush draw runners only. As I was calling I was thinking AK, KK, AQ, flush draws were in his range but never in a million years would I have said 96dd. I immediately jumped out of my seat and said “What a helluva way this would be to bust”. The turn was a 6 and he was drawing dead. And just like that I was above starting stack with 34k.
The rest of the day was pretty easy. I played tight, picked up small pots with little resistance and slowly chipped up. It wasn’t until the last hand of the day where i played the biggest pot of the day against Diego, the person I bought action of. With 3 hands left in the day, I opened at 200/400 50 to 1050 with KK, the first time I had seen this hand all day. He flatted out of the big blind. The flop came 482ss. I bet 1400 and he called. Turn brought an offsuit 4 and I bet 3300. He calls again. At this point I’m almost positive I have the best hand. The river brings the 4 of spades. So the board reads 482ss44s. He checks and I think for 30 seconds and decide to bet 12k. Almost immediately he starts agonizing over it and is completely disgusted by my river bet. So now I think he has a flush and that this would be an easy fold. A few minutes go by and he’s still hemming and hawing while I’m just shuffling chips away waiting patiently on the other side of the table. Finally, he calls and I flip over my Kings and he immediately felt gross about his call. I later found out that it wasn’t a flush but in fact 1010. It sucks that I had to take chips from my horse but hey, that’s how it goes.
At the end of day 1 I had 54,425 and I couldn’t have been happier. Going from 12k at 150/300 to 54k in 2 levels’ time is fine by me.
End of Day 1C – 54,425 chips 1 hour left in 200/400 50 blinds
Hope you enjoyed the first installment of the tourney report. Yes, I know it’s a little long but there are a lot of cool little details that went on each day and I would like to be thorough in writing this to give the reader a better perspective on what I went through.