Above: The sign at the airport says it all.
Event #34 at the WSOP was the same event (Seniors, aged 50 or older) I played in last year. I did lousy the first time, and was determined to do better this time. There were 3142 runners.
Gadzooks came by and gave me a hug for good luck and railed me for a while -- thanks! Four of us limped to see a flop: 10-5-5. Two players checked and I made a pot-sized bet and everyone folded. Zooks gave a "Woot" as I took my first pot -- my hand: ♥3 ♦3.
It wasn't long before a player busted out. He took it well: "Rebuy!" he yelled across the room, and everyone laughed. We laughed, but T3000 in chips isn't very much, even if the blinds do start at 25/25.
We played one hour per level. After each two hours, we had a 20 minute break (and the bathroom lines were l-o-o-o-n-g). I tweeted this joke: Reg players play 2 hours and get a 20 min break. Seniors play 2 hours and get a 20 min nap. So, maybe it wasn't so funny. Don't worry - I'm keeping my day job.
I found there was a big disparity in skill level. Many of the seniors were bad players who had no clue. Some were medium players who had a slight clue (some of those were aggressive and some passive). And then there were a few who knew how to play. Because of this, it was very important to figure out early which players were of which type. I call it profiling, lol, and I think I did a good job of this.
Here's a deal that was fun. I limped in with ♠Q ♠10 and only the two blinds stayed in. The flop was Q-6-2. The small blind bet 300, the big blind folded and SB turned over ♥Q ♦3. The dealer said "Whoa, there's another player left." I could see I had him beat (better kicker), but wasn't sure how to procede. Finally, I raised another 300 to 600 and he called. The turn was a rag, and the SB bet 300 and I raised to 600 - he called. The river was another rag and the SB again bet 300, and I raised to 600 -- he folded. That was strange, but I guess he could tell my raise was a suck bet. If I wanted to bluff him out of the hand, I would make a bigger raise.
I continued to mostly fold, but won pots when I played and worked my stack up to around 11,600. It was near the end of Level 6, and the blinds were 200/400 with a 25 ante. (The next day, I thought it was something different, but I checked my tweets to verify that this is correct.) There were 1450 players left, so the average stack size was around 6515. That figure is the mean, but the median size is less because of the so-called "big stack factor." The Poker Grump has blogged about this, but I don't remember exactly where. Maybe if he reads this, he'll leave a comment.
From middle position, I raised to 1200 with ♦9 ♥9 and two players called. The first caller was a loose, terrible player and the other was new at the table, so I had no profile on him.
The flop was delicious: ♣Q ♠9 ♥4 and the pot had 4400 (counting the bets and the blinds and antes). There are different ways to play a set, but because I was the original raiser, I decided to lead out for 2200 and hope it looked like a weak continuation bet.
The first limper called, but the second re-raised to 6800, leaving him 2100 behind. I called and the first limper folded. The pot was now 19,300, if my math is correct. At this point, neither of us are folding. The turn was a 10, making the board Q-10-9-4. Yes, K-J would make a straight, but we both knew from the betting that neither of us had that. In fact, the villain has A-A and had gotten cute pre-flop (by not re-raising). When I called his huge re-raise, I guess he got scared and when I checked the turn, he checked, too.
The river was the ♥A, giving him set over set. He hit his two-outer to win this giant pot. He bet his last 2100 and I made a crying call, as it were. By now, I was pretty sure he had three aces, but I couldn't find the fold button.
That left me with 1500 in chips and I busted out shortly after that -- GG me.
Yes, I could have put him all in on the flop or fourth street, but that wouldn't have changed anything. I guarantee he would have called, so the end result would have been the same.
I checked here, and the winner took home $487,994. What is it they say? Wait 'til next year!
Odds and Ends:
Lightning36 arranged a breakfast for bloggers to meet. It was set for 9:30 a.m. Apparently that's too early for
The latest "thing" for poker bloggers seems to be to come during the WSOP, but not play in the WSOP. Instead, they play cash games, and take the $1000 or $1500 or whatever they had budgeted for tournament play and play in maybe three $350-type tournaments. The Venetian seemed to be the most popular tournament venue. That makes sense, I suppose, but it's still hard for me not to take one shot at a bracelet. I can get lucky with the best of them, and if lightning strikes, I want to be there.
My trip included pickup from and return to the airport. The shuttle driver asked for the booking number for all the passengers. The guy to my left whipped out his iPad, tapped it twice and handed it to the driver for him to copy the number. That was pretty cool, and gave me a case of gadget envy. Do any of you have an iPad and how do you like it.
I did some high tech of my own. Instead of printing out my boarding pass (that is so 2000), I had it sent to my phone. When you board the plane, you stick the phone face up and the scanner reads it. Save a tree and all that.
There were no doubt others, but I saw two bridge players: Bob White of Raleigh NC and Rob Crawford of Henderson NV. Crawford cashed 154th.
Players in Event #34 with me who I had heard of: Barry Shulman, David Sklansky, Dewey Tomko, Surindar Sunar, Tom McEvoy, TJ Cloutier, Al Krux, Barry Johnston, Sam Grizzle, Tom Schneider, Daniel Shak, Chau Giang.
The WSOP was held at the Rio, shown above.
Above: my $1000 souvenir.
The two photos are by me, MOJO, and taken with my iPhone camera.