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my WSOP adventure Part 2(long)

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  • my WSOP adventure Part 2(long)

    I know, i know. I say a couple of days and here I am a month later with Part 2. I can make some excuses but it's mostly that I'm lazy and enjoy playing poker more than I enjoy writing about it. Please read Part 1 in the Trip Reports Forum before reading on. Hope you enjoy....


    “Let’s chop it up.”

    I woke up Friday still feeling buzzed from having my seat. For those of you thinking that the buzz was more than poker related, well I’m not that type of obsessive, just the degenerative gambling type. It’s 3 days before the Big One but I feel I’ve got some more satellite business to attend to.

    I’ve been looking forward to running into Tim (TKO14) for the past day or so. In discussing our plans for the WSOP I had thought that Tim was coming out on Thursday but I hadn’t seen him yet. I’ve been on a few of these poker trips where I take a week or so off from work and play poker for a bunch of days without having a live conversation with anyone, with the possible exception of explaining to the dealer how to properly split a pot in Omaha 8 or better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not much of conversationalist and I generally enjoy keeping to myself, but there is definitely something for being able to share your experiences (particularly when you are doing well) and talk about your mistakes so that hopefully you can learn from them. I was certainly looking forward to seeing my PSO brethren Tim again.

    More important than looking for Tim first thing Friday morning was going down to the big board that had all of the entrants for this years Big One and see if my name was there yet. Damn. Not yet. Maybe it was all just a dream. Maybe Part 1 of my trip report was all BS (ok maybe it was a little BS but it’s the best I remember). Naaaaaahh. I still got a receipt in my wallet and I’m ready for a few more days of satellites.

    I go downstairs and scope out what is going on. I don’t see Tim but do see that the next satellite is about to go. This one is a $175 table and I figure it’s not a bad idea to slow down a little and try to grind out a fewer smaller satellites. For some reason it seems that Mr. Macho I Already Got My Seat in the Big One has taken my seat and not all that surprisingly, he don’t play so goot (I always wanted to use that word) and busts out with nothing to show.

    Knowing that I’m going to be in Vegas for another 8 days, I don’t think my bankroll is going to cut it. I don’t particularly like the structure of the $175 satellites and I wouldn’t mind playing for a little higher stakes. I make the walk of shame that we have all taken before….to the ATM. I walk over to the Las Vegas Club for this lowly moment because I hate having any poker player that I’m up against see that I don’t have one of those endless rolls of C-notes that so many of the other players seem to have.

    I walk back to Binion’s and check the big board again and there I am. Number 302. There’s my name for all to see. SPITALNIC, PAUL T. What the hell??? I don’t use my middle name or initial for anything and I especially don’t use a WRONG middle name or initial. My middle initial is I not T and I’m a little upset. I go over the Binion’s staff to see if there is something that can be done but I don’t push too hard and come up with some warped logic that maybe Paul T. Spitalnic will have a better tourney outing than Paul I. Spitalnic ever had.

    I go downstairs and play a couple of $5K sats back to back. I take a 1/3 chop in the first and a 2/3 chop in the second and I’m back on top of the world. “ATM…I don’t need no stinkin’ ATM”.

    I try to place this odd feeling that I’m having. It’s not the excitement or the pride from my satellite play. Oh that’s it….starvation. I don’t have the best diet on an ordinary day but if out somewhere playing poker bad either goes to worse or non-existent. I take another sweep around looking for Tim but still don’t see him. I go off looking for some quick pasta or Italian type fare but for some reason I stop at the first quick place I see and have the absolutely worst Chinese food I’ve ever tasted.

    I go back to Binions and there is Mr. TKO14 in the middle of satellite. I say hi and try to sweat him but as much as I love playing NLHE satellites, it is boring as hell watch them. I go for a walk to check out the main tourney room and watch a little of the final table play. Even watching the finest pros playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars gets to be boring. It just goes to show you how good the editing is on the World Poker Tour.

    I go downstairs and find that Tim has busted out of his satellite. We start talking and he asks me if I’ve eaten yet. Ugghhhh. Not only have I eaten but I’m still feeling nauseas. I still get to tell him some of the details of my trip and he is genuinely happy for me.

    Over the next 4 days we talk some great poker but I’ll remember the non-poker conversations for a lot longer. Tim is one of the most fascinating individuals I’ve ever met. I have a vague idea of things I’d like to accomplish in my life. Tim, not only has a specific list of extraordinary accomplishments, but he is driven, intelligent, courageous, motivated to cross these successful tasks off on a regular basis. Tim, if you ever need a new career (and I know you won’t because you are and would be successful at anything you ever did) you should look into motivational speaking because I can honestly say that you helped me think about what is important and where I’d like to be – and you did this without even trying. Thanks.

    Having said too many nice things about Tim, I should now talk about his poker play. How can I say anything bad about a guy that plays for the “intellectual challenge”? Actually it would be pretty easy but for now I’ll leave it at Tim has had far more success than I at the truest test of poker ability. But next year, I will take that triple draw low ball crown and wear it proudly. (how’s that coding coming PSO staff? – we really weren’t kidding)

    Back to the poker.

    Just in case you’ve been paying attention, my successes came in spurts and my failures seemed to be protracted. I play and lose 2 more $530 sats but at least I’m now ready for my true education. Having played poker for the better part of the past 4 days, I’m ready to take in some of what Vegas has to offer. I know what you are thinking….you poker schoolers have a one track mind….no it was time for some real gamblin’. Sure anyone can play blackjack and craps (and we tried) but it’s the real mans man kind of game that will really get your blood pumping. Oh yes, it’s three card poker. It was at the three card poker table that Tim taught me optimal gaming strategy. Never look at your cards and always bet (sounds like some of the players here at the school). The dealer eventually turns over your cards and determines if you are winner. For example, if you bet something like $15 a hand and $15 somewhere else and then bet the required $15 and somehow your 3 cards make a straight, you get paid a good amount of money. If only I can perfect my NLHE game as well as I have 3 card poker. A guy can dream, can’t he.

    Saturday morning is the last of the $5K satellites and these are the games that I have felt most comfortable and had the best results. I manage to get in two shots and both times I bust out in 4th with fairly dominating hands (99 vs A8 and QQ vs AQ). I’m frustrated but feel that my play is peaking before the big one which is only 48 hours away.

    The only satellites remaining are the $1030 buyin or the $175 buyin. I know that I don’t want to play any $175s and I shouldn’t play too many $1030s I decide to scope the room, looking for a favorable table with a lineup that doesn’t look too imposing. I recognize a player at a particular $1030 that is getting ready to go but I’ve played in over 20 satellites in the past 4 days and everybody is starting to look familiar. But this one guy looks particularly familiar. He looks at me funny (I usually get this reaction from the ladies) and says “Paul?”. Still not quite placing him I reply with “Heyyyyyyy! How’s it going?” After some delay, I recall that a couple of guys from my home game were planning to be in Vegas for the weekend for a wedding. To give you an idea of how bad I am with names and faces, this is the guy that hosted several of the games.

    Finally placing him, I see that he is getting ready to play in his first satellite (I’m pretty sure ever) so I give him my 30 seconds worth of advice. “10 players left don’t get involved with anything less than QQ”, “7 players left mix it up very little”, “4 or 5 players let, mix it up very aggressively”. After telling him this I do a little thinking, this guy isn’t that good in our home game and he is playing in first serious tourney situation ever….. Hmmm. I try to balance this with the fact that I have never once beaten him in any heads up confrontation. It doesn’t matter what the two cards we each have he will take it down. Liking the rest of the lineup I decide to give it a go. I tell my hometown player “when we get down to heads up, we’ll chop it up”.

    The satellite starts and I’m not at all surprised to see my friend mixing it up very early. He keeps showing down hands like J9 and 87 and of course, winning with them. This proves my point of what the hell do I know and why would anyone listen to me. Call with the worst of it and hit the flop and enjoy the rage of the “good players”. Seems to work against me pretty often, maybe I should try it sometime.

    After the first hour or so I find the one or two good hands I need to double up with and I’m ready to sit tight until down to 5 players. Another hour goes by and we are pretty equally stacked and down to 4 players. We all agree to save our buyin of $1K each and are playing for the rest. I’m sure that my friend from home will end up calling all in when he has the worst of it but I’m kind of hoping it isn’t against me. The old Karma thing of thinking I can’t beat him and being hopeful that he can bust the other guys out even with the worst of it. Sure enough he knocks the 4th place finisher out but surprisingly with a better hand. We play 3 handed for quite some time. I don’t know this 3rd player but he is playing very tough. He’s making some strong reraises and getting out of the way when it looks like he’s beat. Basically, he’s playing the way I’m trying to play. We are still pretty even in chips when my friend makes a standard raise, I get out of the way and the good player comes over the top. My friend thinks for about 5 seconds before saying call. They turn there cards over and friend has A8 suited against AK off. I know what’s going to happen before the dealer even gets to burn a card. Sure enough the 8 falls on the flop and the good player looks like he’s just taken a right hook to the face. No change on the turn or river and we are down to 2.

    Most of the time when I feel I’m the much stronger heads up player I’ll agree to save some more of the prize pool and try to play out the rest. Knowing whom I’m up against and given my comment at the beginning of the satellite we agree to chop up the remaining pool. Just in case you are wondering, I did agree to take a little more in the chop than by just chip value.

    I have never seen this guy, or any poker player for that matter, as happy as my friend was as they were counting out our winnings. I went over to shake his hand and he practically picked me up in a bear hug and was just plain giddy. I was truly happy for him as well as being pretty satisfied myself.

    It’s about 36 hours until the Big One. I’ve already proven to myself that I can play satellites with the pros. What I’m anxious to find out is can I do it in the championship event of the World Series of Poker.

    to be continued…..

  • #2

    Good post Paul.

    I like the story about the WSOP newby. What an experience, first time and get to chop $1030 buy-in satillite.

    Sounds like a great story. Sitting on the edge of my chair, for the conclusion sometime in August, I guess. 8)


    • #3
      Excellent report Paul....still enjoying your tales!

      Ill try not to harass you too much for part three.....for at least a week or two! LMAO


      • #4

        Its like being there, i love these tripp report!!! :lol: ...Can't wait for part 111...daisy777


        • #5

          thxs 4 the report can't wait to read the final.

          Tony D



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