This weekend I am planning to forgo my usual cash game routine to play in the first event of the WSOP Circuit at the Horseshoe Hammond, which is a bit over an hour drive from where I live.   The structure for this tournament is pretty good, with 10K chips and blinds starting at 25-50 so 200 bb’s deep.  Rounds are 30 minutes early in the event, increasing to 40 minutes at level  13, 50 minutes at level  22, and 60 minutes at level  26 (and 75 minutes at level 32, but I’m guessing the tournament may not get that far, or let’s just say I sincerely hope I see 75 minute levels in this thing since it means end game action and a fat score).   I like this touch to the tournament structure.   A bit faster progression through the early levels is fine imo, and in the later stages the deeper you run, the more play you’d like as the money is involved and at the final table payouts become significant.  I think it helps remove a bit of the “bingo” element that can occur late when the blinds get so high relative to the stacks that the remaining players are all pretty much forced to gamble.  How much it mitigates this I hope to be able to report personally next week, but at least it is sure to help with the end game variance.   

Not happy with the rake structure this year… last year the event was $300+40 which was fine, but this year they upped the event to $300+65.  It’s a gross rake, but I can’t blame them for charging what the market will bear.  These preliminary events are filled with recreational players who don’t play many live tournaments during the year, and they will mark events like this on their calendar and play regardless of whether it’s $340 or $365.  I kind of fit into that category myself… although I’m not a recreational player, I think there is much better value in grinding cash games and play very few MTT’s as a result.  The rake this year did make me hesitate, but the field should be quite soft I’d expect and large (it’s a re-entry event), so I think there’s still enough value for me to make an exception and play despite the bad rake.    The rest of the schedule isn’t a good fit for me mostly, but I may play the HORSE event the following week (I’m undecided), and I also may try a satellite to the $1675 Main Event. 

If you are interested in following my progress this Friday during Day 1B, I will tweet updates, you can follow my twitter @TheLangolier.   Also John (JWK) is playing Friday 1B as well, and since he doesn’t tweet I’ll give updates on his progress too when I see him on breaks.   Any PSOers who will be out there for this, drop John or I a line, we’d love to meet you.