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2019 WSOP Vegas trip

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  • 2019 WSOP Vegas trip

    I recently spent a week in Las Vegas and played not only in the WSOP Big 50, but also played some cash games.

    The cash games totally reinforced my view, that Planet Hollywood has the softest games I’ve found in Vegas. I played two nights there and one night at the Mirage.

    The Mirage was a wash, as I started out at a $3/$6 limit table for about an hour, until I could get a seat at $1/$2 NL. I ended that night down a whole dollar at limit, and was up $10 at NL. The fun part of that evening was being able to run into RichyRob, as he was playing $2/$5 in there that evening. It was one of those nights where I played ok, but just didn’t catch a break when I had an opp dominated. Had three big hands, where I was against a player where I had their Ax dominated and every single time, the board run out two pairs, so we chopped. The games were good, I just didn’t catch a break and if I can basically be even when I don’t get a break, that’s a good thing.
    PH on the other hand, I did get a few hands to hold. The first night, I didn’t pick up much for cards, but made the most of a couple spots to get in and see flops with some marginal hands in family pots (go figure that a $1/$2 game would have a number of limpers and/or callers LOL). The best hand of the night was one where I got in from the button with J9s after the table standard raise to $7 and 3 calls, both blinds stayed so we saw the flop 7 ways. I flopped top pair and a flush draw and when it checked to me, fired out $20 and got two callers. The turn 9 gave me two pair and when it checked to me again, bet $45 and got one caller. The river was a blank and when checked to again, bet small, to try and get a one pair hand to call. The opp tanked for a couple of minutes and called my $40 bet. The way the opp looked when they were tanking, if I had bet more, I think they snap fold, so I got the most out of the river bet.

    The second night, I hit a jackpot hand early in the session. I open QQ in the cutoff, to $7 and got calls from both blinds. The flop was Q83 rainbow and when it checked to me, peeled a free turn card, as neither opp was on a full stack, so didn’t need 3 streets of betting to get it in by the river. When I saw the turn A, I’m just hoping that someone had one and leads into me. Well, I got more than I bargained for. The SB, that started the hand with about $100, OPEN RIPS! As the 1812 overture is going off in my head, the BB folds, so my play is very easy... snap call! I then felted another shorty (started the hand with about $60), when we got it in on the turn on an A68K board and I had AK. I ended the two days at PH up just under $250… if I could get into these games every day, Dave and Richy just might make me want to play more cash than tourneys yet.

    My target for the week was the WSOP Big 50 and I decided to play day 1C. My reasoning for it was that this was the only flight where I played day 1, got a day off, played day 2, then got another day off before the field combines on day 3. 7183 players decided to enter flight C and overall, there were 28,317 entries for the tournament. I expected to see 22k-25k in it, over 28 thousand people is crazy huge!

    We start out with 50k chips, playing 50 min levels and we’re told that instead of the 12 levels that flight A played, we’re playing 13 levels, to narrow the field down a bit more, due to how many entries there were. Instead of starting in one of the three main ballrooms that are used for the WSOP, due to the number of players, I’m starting out down the hallway from the regular poker room, in what used to be a bowling alley, on the other side of the casino. With that many players in it, you’d think that I’d end up with a table full of recs… well, not so much. I peg the player on my right within the first orbit, as the best opp at the table (he’s the only one other than me that isn’t open-limping) and within the first 30 min, see him make a couple very solid plays, that reinforces my read. Well, I find out later in the day exactly who he is, Matt Waxman, that won the $15k buy-in WPT Tournament of Champions last year. The rest of the table, however is a bunch of rec fish and one guy from New Orleans, that thinks he’s Mike the Mouth and never shuts up (but unlike Mr. Matusow, that has the game to back it up, this guy’s a total passive fish).

    The first 2 hours, I’m playing some pots, as I get a number of hands that I want to see flops with, especially family pots and win some/lose some. I’m at 49600 chips at break and played the whole two hours between 46k and 55k. I had a lot of small pairs where I tried to setmine and missed, which is what dropped me to 46k, but did hit the table loudmouth in a pot where he open limped and I got to see a flopped 2 pair with Q3o, which is how I got up to 55k.

    The second two-hour session is more of the same. I’m staying active and seeing flops, but not hitting much. I am keeping up with the blinds for the most part though, as I picked up three real hands against Matt’s open and three bet him. With the two of us being the only ones at the table that have 3-bet basically at all, when one of us does 3-bet, we’re staying out of each other’s way. I did lose some chips late in the session, as I finally flop a set of 7’s, but I got the raw end of the board and had to fold it on the river, as the other cards ran out not only 4 to a broadway straight, but also 4 to a flush. I did have one hand where I ended up in a big pot with KK on a Q high board, but of all things, the opp in the hand had the other two kings, so all we did was to chop the blinds and antes up. I finished it with 43400 chips, which is still a healthy stack, as the blinds will only be 400/800/800 after break, as the WSOP has set up these tournaments with a big blind ante format.

    The third session is where I get to make a move to at least get back above a starting stack. Toward the end of level 5, I open AKo and a shorty that only has 11k chips shoves on me. If folds back around to me and for another 11bb’s, needless to say, I snap call. His ATs gets no help, so I’m back over a starting stack, at 53k. The other level in this session is just a bunch of junk, so it’s time to be patient and I’m now sitting on 48600 chips with the blinds being 600/1200/1200 after the break.

    As we get back from this break, I notice that there’s multiple media people in the room now and I soon see why, as the table next to me now has Shaun Deeb at it and he’s got a whole pile of chips, I’m guessing about a quarter million. Level 7 is more of the same, as I’m just being patient and seeing the recs start to make mistake after mistake at the table. It would be nice to pick up a hand to take advantage of it, but I’m seeing a bunch of junk. The person that is hitting hand after hand though, is Matt, on my right, as he’s up to about 130k chips, as he’s gotten two opps to punt off their stacks to him with 1 pair. As we hit level 8 (800/1600/1600), I’m sitting on about 30bb and hope to find a spot to pick up some chips. I get that spot when I look down at QQ from UTG and make an open to 4k and get two callers (button and SB). The flop is AQ9 with two diamonds (I have Qd). I make it 8500 and both players call. The turn is a total brick and with an SPR of basically one, I get the SB that now leads into me for 9k. Well, my chips are going in the middle regardless and I see that the button is already grabbing for chips before I act, so I decide to just call the 9k and see if I can keep the button in… well, the button rips! The SB tanks and tanks and decides to fold and I put my chips in with my set. The opp turns over K6 of diamonds (yes, they called an UTG raise with it preflop) and when the river is a club, I’m now sitting on over 90k chips.

    I saw a few flops after this that missed and I hit the 4th break with 78000 chips, which is 39bb since we’ll be at 1k/2k/2k when we come back. I’m hoping to find another spot before we hit the dinner break, in another two hours, to chip up some more. Toward the end of level 9, I find a spot, and for any of you that know my play or have read my blogs, this one is different than what you’d normally see from me. I open QJs from the cutoff and the player in the BB calls me. I have what I think is a pretty solid read on them, as I’ve been playing with them all day, as they are one of the players that has been at this table from the start. They’re passive preflop and with their draws postflop, but they will bet or raise if they have top pair or better and won’t just call. The key to this hand though is one other thing I’ve picked up on. Even if they bet their 1 or 2 pair hands on the flop or turn, they will fold them to a big river bet (and had shown top pair twice and a lower 2 pair one other time face up as they mucked). I also have a very solid table image, as where I have played a number of hands, I’ve only gone to showdown when I’ve bet the river, with big hands. The flop is T43 with two diamonds and a heart, so I have a flush draw and two overs and when checked to, I bet about 40% pot, that is called. The turn is the Kh, so I’m now open-ended with the diamond flush draw. The opp now donks into me, so I know he’s got the king. He sizes it really small, so I’m thinking he has a weak king and with my combo draw, I’m peeling a river. The river is the 8 of hearts and the opp tanks for a couple min and bets small again. Well, one flush draw came in, but unfortunately for me, it wasn’t mine. I know he’s got a king, which means that he can’t have the flush that hit and that the best he can have is in reality, two pair and he’s got the same look that he had when he folded to river raises in the past and if I fold, I’m down to basically to 14bb and if I raise, the only amount that makes sense is a shove. Well, the tourney cost me $500, that I essentially won online a couple weeks prior, when I hit the daily 500 again, so I said to myself, ‘The hell with it, if I go out making a play, so be it’ and SHOVED on him! He didn’t even tank. He said ‘Nice flush’ and mucked a king face up LOL!
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  • #2
    I get up to a stack of 120k chips at the next level (2500 for the bb) and hit the dinner break with 103k, as the blinds are starting to eat into everyone’s stack, as we’ll be at 2k/3k/3k after dinner, so anyone still on a starting stack, has an M of about 6. We have three more levels to play until we bag and after getting my stack up to 125k from a couple preflop steals, the floor comes to our table and says that not only are we breaking, we’re moving to another room. We bag up our chips and 6 tables worth of what’s left walk the entire way across the casino, to the Pavilion Room, which takes about 15 min, so combined with the time to bag everything up, we just lost about half a level. When we finally get to the room, one of the floors there is handing out seat cards and I’m going to the green section, table 265 and as I walk to the other end of that section, I see that it’s probably not long until I move again, as they’re breaking tables in that section too. When I get to my seat, I find that I do NOT have a very good seat, as I see two players that I recognize right away. The seat 2 to my left is an HPT main winner, that I have some history with, and 2 seats to my right is Jamie Gold, that won the main event. I soon find out that the player on my immediate left has a clue too, as he’s not only got chips, but totally outplays the 5 seat, for their entire stack.

    I’m at this table for about 35 minutes, before it breaks and I just can’t catch a break. I’m either mucking trash, or getting out flopped. I did play one hand against Jamie, where I saw a flop with 99, but it was an easy fold on the flop, because the flop was AKJ and with a 3-way flop and Jamie leading into both me and the player on my left, I’m never ahead. It was a fun table to be at though, as Jamie was talking the whole time and while I was mucking my trash, he was joking around and I started firing some 1-liners back at him when I didn’t have cards in front of me and he had a comeback for every single one of them. Both of us were cracking up laughing the entire time.

    Even though I was having fun at the table, I wasn’t upset when the table broke and once again, I’m handed a bag instead of a rack and now I’m off to the Brasilia room. As I enter the room, I’m handed a card for the red section and move to the table in the back corner (not sure if I’ll have to move again today).

    As soon as I get there, we get the notice that the blinds are up again and we’re into the last level of the night before bagging. I’m down to a resteal stack, as the blinds are 3k/5k/5k and I’m down to 75k chips when I move there. I find my spot the second orbit, when there is a min raise from MP and I look down at TT on the button, so my decision is easy ‘I’M ALL IN!’ I knew I was ahead of the opener, that had chips and was playing about 50% of hands. What I did NOT like seeing was the BB reshoving over the top of me! The initial raiser quickly mucks and when the opp turns over AK, we’re off to the races. The race doesn’t last long though, as a T on the flop puts me miles ahead… but it wouldn’t be poker if the turn wasn’t a Q or J and sure enough, there’s the Q. I dodge the river and more than double up, to 145k.

    The TD stops the clock and says 7 hands remaining and, in that time, I tried to steal one with a preflop raise and got not one, but two shoves behind me, so that cost me 10k chips and I end up bagging 119,000 chips to head to day 2 with.

    The next day, is a day off and the first thing I do is to see where I’m at, 1150th out of the 1504 left from my flight and 1078 will cash, with a min cash being worth $750. I’ve got work to do, but I’m in pretty good company as I see one name, I recognize that has the same exact stack that I do, Lee Watkinson and the last time I looked, he’s pretty good. I then pull another of the pages to look at where I’m starting day 2 at and see that I don’t have any really big stacks at the table.

    As I’m doing some research into the players that are at my table, my initial thought is that the best opp at the table should be the guy from Scotland that is 2 to my right and the next best is a guy from France that is 2 to my left, but really short… but after watching them play the first level the next day, I had those reversed. I also see that two of the pokernews reporters are following the French guy and I find out that he had won an EPT and a platinum pass. He was being patient and spun his short stack up to about 350k within the first level of the day, by outplaying and knocking out two of the table midstacks.

    The bubble the previous two day 2’s happened about 3.5 to 4 hours into day 2, so I know I’ve got work to do to get there, but it seems to be coming a lot quicker today. As we hit the end of the first level, the blinds go up to 4k/8k/8k and I’m sitting on 19bb and we’re about 250 players from the money.

    I get a bunch of trash the next orbit, so am now down to 16bb and find a spot when the player that is my mark for a double up, opens to 3x. She’s wild loose and calling anything and when she does raise, it’s to 3x if she has a marginal hand (seems to love ace/rag) and to 6-9x if she has a big hand (and she’s playing about 70% of hands and going to showdown with them, so I know all the trash she’s playing). I look down at pocket jacks and I’ve got an easy decision, ‘I’M ALL IN!’ It folds to her, she thinks for about 10 seconds and mucks. Same thing the next orbit when I see 77, she opens to 3x, I rip again, instant muck. Well, I like this, as I’m not only keeping up with the blinds, but adding chips on top of it.

    We’re now down to 100 spots from the bubble, as the players are dropping very fast. As we hit our first break for the day, we’re down to 30 places from the bubble already and after the blinds go up to 5k/10k/10k, I’m sitting on 13bb. They announce that they’re going to go hand 4 hand with 7 left until the bubble and I see a spot on my button. I’m sitting on 11bb and it folds to me and I look down at 78s. Well, bubble or no bubble, I’ve got a good table image and it’s been about 3 orbits since I’ve shoved on someone, so I’m shoving! The SB quickly folds and the French guy goes into the tank, so as soon as he does that, I know he’s ahead, but I hope that I have live cards if he calls. After a couple minutes, he mucks a king face up.

    Hand 4 hand only lasts three hands and finally, we get the next announcement from the floor ‘Congratulations players, you’re all now in the money!’ Well, now I’m looking for a spot to start building a stack, as I want to make it to day 3. Within the first orbit, I get an UTG limp and UTG+1 limp and look down at AQs, easy shove… and everyone folds. LOLOL I’ve got 11bb and shove over 2 limps and nobody plays... that’s just hilarious!

    As the blinds go up again, I’m back to 11bb, but we’re now down to 850 players left and I desperately need a double up before the next break in 50 minutes. In this level, I shove 3 times, but don’t get takers on any of them (two I had a hand, the other was K4s, but fit the shove charts). The last orbit before the break, the player in the 6 seat loses a big hand (bet too small and then shoved into the opp after they had hit their draw) and he goes on total monkey tilt. He raises the next 5 hands and you can just see the steam coming out of his ears. I’m just hoping I can pick up a hand to play back at him. Well, the last hand before break, he min-opens and I look down at ATs and especially against a guy on tilt, that’s plenty good enough to go with, so ‘I’M ALL IN!’ It folds to him and he snap calls with 96s LOL. The flop has both an A and a T, so I’m now up to 275k chips with about 740 players from my flight left, and we’ll be coming back to 8k/16k/16k blinds.

    I find a couple steal spots right after break and that gets me up to 336k chips, but the Pavilion white section is now breaking and it’s my turn to move, so I’m off to the black section at table 167. I’m just holding steady at this new table, as I’m stealing some blinds and as we hit the last break of the day, two hours later, the blinds are going up to 10k/25k/25k and I’m sitting on 15bb with about 635 or so left. One more hour until day 3 and the players are dropping very quickly, as we lose three more tables within the first 5 minutes after break, but what that does is to ladder me up to a 4-figure cash.

    As we pass 500 players left, I find a spot. There is an open to 55k and two flats. I look down at KQ and rip in my 14bb. The opener has the strongest range here by far and he snap folds. The first caller quickly folds and the last to act says ‘Well, there are enough chips in the middle, so I call.’ I’m very pleased to see that he flips over QJ, as I’ve got him dominated. It isn’t meant to be though, as there is a J in the window and I’m out in 475th for my flight. Overall, I ended up 1887th out of 28,371 entries, for $1361. I thought it was a good spot and if I had held, which I’ll do 70% of the time against him, I’m a lock for day 3 unless I run into a cooler within the last 20 min of the day.

    It’s not the win that I wanted, but I played well, found some good spots and beat over 26,400 players.

    I did have one total brick after this tourney, as I played a $400 buy-in from the Aria Classic and ended up at a total aggrotard table, but never got anything for cards, so while I did beat over half the field, didn’t cash in it. But, I was up in the cash games I played, and up in the tourneys too, so happy to have come home with more $$ than what I left to go there with.
    Last edited by JWK24; Tue Jun 11, 2019, 04:42 PM.
    Super-Moderator



    6 Time Bracelet Winner




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    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for sharing JWK! you must have been a writer in a past life lol. It seems like you had a great time regardless of the cards and that's what counts. Of course we all want our name on the trophy, but its the journey that makes it special 4 sure. tx again hopefully see you on the tables someday!

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      • #4
        Well it is great to have a profitable holiday. I think you did well.

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        • #5
          thanx John, next time , more luck ))

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          • #6
            Nice read , well done John .

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            • #7
              Great read good week
              11 Time Bracelet Winner


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              • #8
                Like always, a tale well told. Your play sounded solid. Would have been great to get the chance to stack Mr. Gold. Congrats on a successful trip.
                3 Time Bracelet Winner


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