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my WSOP adventure Part 1(long)

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  • my WSOP adventure Part 1(long)

    I know this is late, but here is part 1 of my World Series of Poker Adventure. It may be long and short on the poker details but i hope you enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed writing it. part 2 to follow in the next few days.

    “Why wouldn’t you go?”

    It’s November 2002 and the seed is planted. I had been staying at Foxwoods for the past week enjoying a good deal of success at the satellites and having respectable showings in the three NLHE tourneys at World Poker Final. Even now, eight months later it pains me to think of my short stack and my pocket jacks getting busted by AK for my first bubble finish. And yes, respectable showings is synonymous for no $.

    It was during this week last fall that I got to meet and chat with someone from PSO that I have previously had some brief but pleasant conversations with, Tim O’Neill (TKO14). We got to speak of strategy, specific hands we’ve gone bust on (I don’t believe in bad beats) and other general poker BS. Invariably, we got around to talking about upcoming tournaments and where and what we would be playing in the near future.

    “So what about the World Series?”

    I had a great time at the World Series in 2002. Played in a bunch of satellites and took enough out of them that I got to play in a couple of tourneys, finishing in the money (26th out of 528) in the $1500 NLHE. It was the time of my life. I always thought I COULD play with the pros but to actually DO IT was so incredibly gratifying.

    Honestly, I hadn’t given the 2003 WSOP much thought by this time. I figured I would look into the schedule when it came out and maybe try to schedule a trip around a couple modest priced NLHE tourneys.

    In talking with Tim, he made it clear that he wasn’t planning on playing in the Big One but that he had to. It’s the ultimate event of the ultimate tournament.

    “Why wouldn’t you go, crush in the satellites and play in the Big One?”

    As little thought as I had given to Vegas for sometime between April and May, I hadn’t given any thought to playing in the Big One. Good God; $10,000!!!! $10k is a lot of money for people that have a lot of money and I ain’t one of them people. How can I possibly think about playing in the Big One, much less think about actually PLAYING IN THE BIG ONE?

    A month or so goes by and I realize that I might be crazy, I might fall on my face, I might blow more money than I’d like to but I HAVE to try. I HAVE to give it my best effort and try to play in the tournament of poker tournaments.

    February, I book my flight and reserve a room at Binions. My preparation has already begun.

    If you have played with me you may know that I am obsessive about satellite play. I love to play them and I have had success here at PSO and more importantly, have translated my successes here at PSO into successes at live tournament satellites. I’m not much of poster around here at PSO so I haven’t been outgoing with advice and strategy (something I’d like to change but I’m so damn lazy that it has taken me 4 weeks to put this together) but I will say something here that I would swear to. PLAY the satellites here at PSO. PLAY TO WIN. If you can beat the satellite games here, you can beat the games in the real world. There isn’t much glamour, there are no write ups in Card Player, but live satellite are very beatable and the experience you get from playing satellites at PSO are extremely close to the experiences you will have playing them for real. Sure, I’ve never played in a NLHE satellite that has had an ante, but we’ll leave that one for another day/topic.

    My plan is quite simple. Wait with anxious anticipation. Think of nothing but Las Vegas in May for the next 4 months. Cross days off the calendar. Look forward to going to St. Thomas with my girlfriend and other friends for the main reason of when I get back, I’m that much closer to heading to Binions.

    Seriously, the plan is to go to Vegas the Tuesday before the Big One as there is $3,000 NLHE tournament on that Thursday. That gives me 24 hours to play as many $3K satellites as I can as I expect this to be best chances to get in. After the Thursday, I figure I’m left with playing single table satellites at a $1000 a pop for the chance to get in. I’m only planning on bringing a $5-6K bankroll so I’m hoping to make a good hit with the $3K sats and avoid the big fluctuations with the $10K.

    PRACTICE. I play at PSO obsessively. I can’t blame this on preparation for the tournament, as I would be playing obsessively anyway.

    FINALLY, its Tuesday night and I’m boarding my flight in Newark. 5 minutes before we take off, “Mr. Spitalnic?” “Yes” “Can you grab your things and come with me to First Class.” Sweet!! I’m still in New Jersey and I already feel like a winner. Granted, I have no chance of sleeping on this flight, I have no interest in any of the movies, I’m not much of drinker so I probably don’t get as much of this, my second First Class trip ever, as I should, but that ice cream with hot fudge made me feel like I was at the final table.

    There should be slot machines in every airport. You can’t get off of your plane in Vegas, see and hear all those beautiful slot machines without smiling. VEGAS, baby. VEGAS! It’s been a long 13 months since I’ve been here and I’ve thought about being here for at least half that time (I know – I have a problem – but I’d bet most of you reading this have shown similar symptoms).

    I get to Binions and check into my room. It’s after 11:00PM local time or 2:00 AM for my east coast body. I worked all day and sat (comfortably) on a plane for over 5 hours and I’m exhausted. But OF COURSE I have to play some poker before going to sleep.

    I go downstairs and figure out the lay of the land. The main tournament is going on in what is the Bingo hall 10 months out the year and the live action and satellites are downstairs. What is that? A $175 satellite for 3 $500 tournament chips and $100 in cash? OK, I’ll play. I sit my tired ass down and play my game. Slow and steady early, mix it up towards the middle and sheer aggression towards the end. It’s the only way I know. Down to the me and another guy. I have about 70% of the chips and offer him a $500 lammer. He takes it and I go to bed happy.

    For the rest of my satellite play I kept good records but took no notes. I’ll throw in some of the hands I remember but they are few and far between. For the next satellite I play a $3K and get down to the final 3 and we chop it up evenly. So far I’m 2 for 2 and I think that I’m invincible. Just as I planned it, I can’t be beat. All ye poker players yield before me! Of course, I proceed to bust out of the next 3 I play.

    Here’s one of my favorite hands that I have ever played. Early in the sat and I’ve got a little less than I’ve started with. I’ve got AK clubs and make a standard raise and get one caller. Flop comes QJ9 all clubs. Wow. I’ve never hit a royal in HE before. Better give me opponent a chance to catch up. Check/check. Meaningless card on the turn. Check/check. River no club, no pair. Gotta try to milk something here so I make a smaller than pot bet. Opponent stares me down and eventually decides to make a small raise. I push all in and the guy thinks for 30 seconds and eventually turns over T8 of clubs for the straight flush. Ummmmmmmmmm. Ok. I show my hand and walk away. Needless to say, I’m back down to reality.

    After this hand I need a break so I go for a walk and eventually turn up in the tournament area. What’s that? A super satellite? Sure I’ve got $220. I sit down and turn my 200 chips into 1200. I don’t rebuy and get down to about 40 players with pretty close the same 1200 in chips. My TT can’t beat a AJ so I walk away again realizing how much I dislike super satellites.

    It’s getting pretty late but I figure I won the one I played last night before I went to bed and extremely tired, why not try it again. I’ve lost all my profits this day but sit down at a 5K sat. we get down to 3 players and start to talk a deal. I have about 9K and the others have 8K and 3K. The short stack wants a 2 of the 10 lammers we are playing for and I say no deal. A few hands later I wake up with QQ. I put in a standard raise, the guy with the other big stack makes a raise. I think for 5 seconds and go all in. he calls me with 88. no surprises and I’ve got 18K to the small stacks 2K. I offer him $750 and he says no deal. A couple of hands later, I’ve scooped my first satellite and again, I go to bed happy.

    Thursday is a new day but starts out the same as the day before. I play in 2 3Ks, 2 5ks and 1 10k and bust out of all of them. I remember being disappointed in my play for the first couple but the last 3 I always went out with the best hand. I play another 10K and again I make it down to 3 players. Two of us have mid stacks in the 15-18K range and the other has around 8K. we can’t work out a deal but we do work out a bathroom break. It’s pretty amazing to think that we have been playing a satellite for nearly 4 hours. Soon after our impromptu break is over the other large stack breaks the small stack. Immediately, we discuss a deal. I trailing 18K to 22K so I offer to take $4800 if he takes the seat. He agrees but then realizes that he doesn’t have enough cash. He might have offered to pay me the next day but I tell him that I’ll take the seat and I’ll give him $5200 as I had the beautiful sound of tournament lammers rolling around in my pocket. I count out 10 of them hand him $200 in cash, tip the dealer and I’m led upstairs to get my receipt for the Big One. The receipt prints out and I’m there. I’m going to be playing in the World Series of Poker Championship Event. Bursting, I call home to leave a message for my girlfriend that when she comes out to Vegas on Wednesday, she may be watching me play.

    to be continued.....

  • #2
    Excellent story, Paul!

    I will be waiting with anticipation for Part 2!



    • #3

      WSOP, just reading your post will help other's feel comfy when they sit in a sat or the big one, "pso sats are just like in the real world"...wtg in the sats, awsome!...looking forward to part 11...daisy777


      • #4
        Thank You, Paul.

        This starts out my day with a big smile!!

        Shane aka Jeff


        • #5


          Great report..................

          Don't keep us on the edge of our chair to long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          Last edited by fadmin; Tue Oct 09, 2007, 12:49 PM.


          • #6

            Luv them Sats

            Tony D


            • #7
              Looking forward to the next installment, Psp!! Good work!



              • #8

                Sure you won a couple of satellites, played in the Big One, and handled yourself quite nicely against the best in the world.........

                But when do you get to the good part........when do you talk about the real game of skill.........when do you describe how I helped change your life by introducing you to THE game.........THE game that you have quit your full-time job in order to move to Vegas and play it professionally.........

                Three Card Poker!!!!!!!!!!



                • #9
                  look who's the funny guy. i got to make some edits before posting part II.

                  i was going to save my request for PSO to bring in a new game for later but i guess now is the appropriate time. can the powers that be at PSO start working on implementing the most challenging, multi-dimensional and possibly the most profitable poker game ever invented? of course, i'm speaking of triple draw lowball. i once saw this guy who looked like he never even played the game completely dominate a table of sharks. one day i can only hope to be able to hold my own in this truest form of poker. i forget again, can i draw 4 cards?


                  • #10
                    I would LOVE to be able to play triple draw lowball here. Its a game i have watched live many time in MS.....played by some of the best lowball players around. The 100-300 limits prevent me from sitting down for a lesson....but one thing I have learned is that position is everything in that game.

                    I am not aware of any online site that offers triple draw lowball.....i think it would be a great draw for new players to the site.....offering something that the competition doesnt have.

                    Cant wait for episode 2 of your WSOP report!


                    • #11
                      You actually can draw 5...........

                      Makes it hard to bluff the pat hand after the draw, though..........

                      I would give more lessons, but Ciaffone only had 2 and 1/2 pages in his book............


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tko14
                        You actually can draw 5...........

                        Makes it hard to bluff the pat hand after the draw, though..........

                        I would give more lessons, but Ciaffone only had 2 and 1/2 pages in his book............
                        Yes. To confirm Tim, you can draw 5.

                        Mason Malmuth has written the book, Winning Concepts in Draw and Lowball which consists of 378 pages of information pertaining to both Draw and Lowball.

                        Unfortunately, this is a dying game and is desperate need of revival. Triple Draw is much more of a gamble than single or even double Draw. I prefer Double Draw personally because it is easier to bluff the pat hand after the draw.

                        I would love to see Lowball here. Currently, its only offered at one other site that I know of.



                        • #13
                          Ok Bob.........

                          You are a professional thread derailer.........I am just a beginner.

                          I am going to start a thread in the General Forum regarding my thoughts on Triple Draw Lowball........(both of them :lol: )

                          But as to my good friend Paul:

                          Your play was inspiring in had a plan, you followed it, and you always maintained a table image that engendered respect.

                          I look forward to joining you in future poker adventures!

                          And I, too, look forward to the conclusion of your WSOP adventures.

                          You are a good player and a better guy.



                          • #14

                            Excellent report, an exciting adventure, and the best part you have more too tell us.

                            I can hardly wait. Well done on part I.


                            • #15
                              Yeah, were's that part II with the girls and the wild times on the strip? Hmm, high-stakes: SB a shoe, BB a sock, and 1 / 2 articles of clothing



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