Main Event Reflection

Posted: July 23, 2010 in poker

I had an intro here but accidentally deleted it. Let’s cut to the action…

Day one was a little rocky, I actually lost a 60k where a guy spazz bet/called off his last 12k at 100/200 w/AK high vs my AQs on a 9776 two spade board and held. I ended w/25k, slightly below avg. but still 60bbs. I thought my tourney would end after I bled down to 9k on day 2. I ended up squeeze shoving over a utg open and flat with KQs at 300/600 for 8k. The button re-jams, folding out the first two players who claimed to have 77 and AK. He tables AK to dominate me but I was fortunate enough to make broadway. I would go on to end the day w/100k.

Day 3 I again find myself in a huge pot that will for all purposes cripple me. I limp KK utg at 800/1600 200 ante and play a 3 way pot against just the blinds. Flop is 877, I have black Kings. Sb leads 5k into 6400, bb flats. I flat. Pot: $21400. Turn 3. Sb leads 20k bb tank flats with 40k behind. I have both covered w/100k total in front and elect to jam. Sb folds, bb calls, tabling J8, the sb says he folded T8 so only the case 8 will save him, which he promptly found on the river. This happened to end day 3 leaving me with ~18bbs(44k) going into day 4, approaching the bubble.

Day 4 was easily the softest day of the tourney for me. I was actually extremely fortunate w/all of my table draws throughout, day 7 included, but day 4 was a cake walk. The first hand of the day I opened AQ utg and was flatted by a loose passive older man to my left. Jason Mercier was the bb and someone I consider a good friend, one way or another that is relevant as he squeeze jams his 60bb stack. I would be calling off this spot against most randoms but I’m pretty confident he’s never squeezing light as he knows the only hands in my opening range that I would ever consider laying down in this spot, w/this stack, is AQ and TT(both of which I would usually limp/jam had it not been the first hand of the day). I fold and he later tells me he had TT. It obv worked out as I go on to run AA into QQ to double, KK into JTs on Txx to double again. Upon chipping up to 225k I opened QQ utg+1 at 1500/3k. The button is a younger kid who has stayed totally in-line all day and has me covered. He 3 bets to 21k, I flat. Flop 956 two hearts, I ch/call 25k. Turn 6s I check, and he over jams ~175k. I fold face up. Later I take the same line against the same kid, I open AK same spot as before he 3 bet to 26k at 2/4k. I flatted, Kxx I ch/c. Turn paired middle pair, I ch/c his over jam. He has KQ and I hold. He later told me he had A7hh the hand I folded QQ. I was fairly certain I was folding the best of it, but the table dynamics were so soft I thought better spots would present themselves. Also I was somewhat sure that if I showed the QQ I would come off as semi weak attempting to avoid awkward spots and that he would attempt to put me in the same situation again. After that hand Jason and I basically ran the table over finishing w/400k and 600k respectively.

Day 5 started off great w/a super soft table. I more than doubled w/o being all in and had about 1.3 Mil once the dynamics changed. 4 guys I have experience w/in 10/20 NL games sit down all w/over a mil (blinds were 4k/8k) as well as Theo Tran and JP Kelly to my left, also with above avg. stacks. I feel like every pot was 3 and 4 bet, seeing flops was tough and for the first time all tourney I was forced to play very TAG. I chipped down to about 800k when a misclick gone good happened. Duey Le, who was the CL to start the day and now has well over 2.5Mil, opened the hi-jack at 5k/10k to 27k. I’m in the 1 seat and think the action has folded to me, so I elect to flat TT, that is until the dealer alerts me to the fact that the button has yet to act in the 9 seat…dammit. He’s completely competent and has over 1 mil in chips. He 3 bets to 75k which I assumed was to force me out w/a hand that isn’t going to play very well 3 way, as well as AA and KK. So I tank and decided I hate a 4 bet, but an over call isn’t going to hurt me as I play post pretty well in these spots. Duey folded. Flop QT9 two diamonds. I led 125k into 200k. He called. Turn 6h I over jam 550k into 450k assuming he has either AQ, KK, AA, JJ or AJ/AK that I can’t get any more value from, as well as QQ or KJ that I’m going broke to anyway. He snap calls w/KK. I go on to end the day w/1.8 Mil which is about double the avg.

Day 6 went extremely smooth. I had Bryn Kenney to my right and that’s about it. I chipped up all day just flatting him in position and woke up a couple of times in good squeeze spots where he was driving the action. I ended day 6 with 5.5 Mil and was finally creeping on the leader board at 12th.

Day 7 was a nightmare far as the mistakes that people were getting away with. I won the first hand I played w/K high vs The Grinder, who w/in an orbit dusted off his top 3 stack from 7 mil to below 3 just never folding. First major pot I play was a very straight forward player opened in mid pos and got flatted by the sb who had 25bbs. I squeeze to 10bbs from the bb w/AQ both players flat. We checked around on a KQx board. Turn K sb leads 1/5th pot leaving himself 600k behind(25/50k blinds) I flatted, player behind folded. 7h was the river, which completed a back doored flush. He snap jams, which I planned on paying off but if ever there was a card for him to check hands I beat(i.e. non king or non flush) that would be the one. I decided he can’t be bluffing and I fold face up, he tabled K7s for a full house. It was so frustrating to chip down in that manner against such a huge pre flop mistake.

I hung around 3-4 mil until I moved to the second feature table. One of the first hands(I anticipate this being one of two hands I make it on tv for) I flatted a c/o raise w/ATo from the sb. flop: QJ7r and I ch/r to 800k leaving myself 2.5 behind. He flatted. We check a turned J and I elected to check the river upon improving w/the Ac. He checked back and I scoop the pot. That line was somewhat important for my essential bust hand. With just over 4 mil to start the hand at (40k/80k) I flatted a c/o raise of 200k from the bb w/T6dd. The flop was 636r and I chose to take the exact same line as the AT. This should show close to max profit I can gain here as I doubt he ever folds to my ch/r and could be floating dead w/a hand like AK, AQ, KQ etc. I ch/r his 245k c-bet to 650k. He called. Turn 8d giving me a fd also. Ch/Ch. River 2c. I tanked and decided to lead big as I think he’s never folding a pair and has room to both hero call w/A high or bluff jam random floats. Only problem w/this mentality is that I’m paying off the random 45s and houses he may have made. I bet 1.2 of his 3.1 mil stack. He jammed. I just couldn’t really find too many folds here, though w/1.9 behind I would still have over 20bbs. I called and saw my dreams dashed as he rolled over the 88 for a house. I was all in w/42o in the sb to bust the next hand…

I’m not sure if this game has just jaded me so much or if I just managed to keep perspective, but I honestly didn’t have one negative emotion upon busting. It was really one of the most physically/mentally draining experience of my poker career but emotionally, aside from the KK one outter, I remained extremely even keeled. It was an amazing experience I hope to relive in the future.

Post WSOP the boys and I have escaped into the mountains of Tahoe. If you haven’t done it yet, book it. This lake is one of the most amazing places I’ve had the privilege to visit. The activities available are endless, from boating to fishing to jet skiing to playing NL at Harrah’s. The only disappointment this trip has been that we don’t have anywhere to build a fire, but there are other ways to make smores. I haven’t really spent much time thinking up what my plans will be for the rest of the year, aside from going to Borgata for the WPT in Sept. All of my goals have been met so I guess step one will be to start a new list.

Thanks to everyone who kept a close eye on me throughout the WSOP, it was unbelievably humbling to see such over whelming support. I did a couple over the phone interviews for Pittsburgh papers/magazines so I’ll be sure to post them if they run…

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