Tuesday, June 12, 2012

WSOP - Part Deux

See here for Part 1.

Mizrachi needs no intro for most readers of this blog. He's phenomenal. He's also known for being really patient. That's not what I saw. He was in almost every pot when he first sat down and would raise or reraise aggressively. This included 4 or 5 betting pre-flop in multi-way pots. I was unfamiliar with this strategy in LHE, but it seemed to be working for him, often winning without a showdown.

Apparently I was the only one who noticed. Most everyone else got out of his way. I vowed that the next time he raised I would three bet. It didn't take long. He 4 bet, even though there was no one else to get out of the pot, so I 5-bet capped his ass. He lead the flop and I raised. He reraised and I capped. He lead the turn and I raised. He reraised, and at this point, I decided to look back at my cards. I only had AK and it was an uncoordinated low card board. Shit. I just called. He checked the river and I checked behind, proudly showing my AK. He took one look back at his cards and mucked.

I would do this to him 2 more times within the hour, both times winning at show down. After that, we never hooked horns again. I'd like to think it's because he was intimidated, but I know better.

At each break, I kept thinking, wow, I made the next break. I made dinner. I made level 5. Suddenly it was after 1 am and I knew we would end the day within the hour. Time for power poker. Everyone else was shutting down, so I took that as a time to raise more aggressively. It worked for a bit and I chipped up to about 22,000, before running into a guy with an acutal hand on the last deal of the night. I finished day 1 with 20,700 and felt like king of the world.

Then I get a tweet from Otis who tells me congrats, you are the chip leader at your day 2 table. 2nd place it Alan Goering. Well, I suppose I shouldn't too surprised. Most of the amateurs were falling away, leaving a lot of known pros.

Alan's style on day 2 was the exact opposite of The Grinder. He rarely played pots and often check-called. If checked into, he would usually bet and most often had the goods. Humberto "The Chark" Brenes sat down in the 1 seat (Alan was in 2 and I was in 6) and before long, told me that I raise too much. I took a few pots off him before I ran my AK into his AA on a King-high board. Before that, my chip stack got up to about 41,000.

Alas, then things started going south. Nothing memorable, just a lot of draws getting there against my made hands. Could I have played better? Sure. I got overaggressive with Ks-8s when I flopped a huge draw and had to give it up on the river. Same with 88 and 33, when I got counterfitted on the turn and river. Bah.

I finished 91st, 9 away from the money.

It was an incredible experience, one I hope to duplicate in the future. I will likely avoid NL. LHE was great, but I really want to play Razz. I hear there's a Brat out there who thinks he better than me.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

WSOP 2012 Trip Report

I made no promises that I would blog again, but I was asked nicely, and I do have some thoughts about my experience. I signed up and played Event #13, the $1500 Limit Hold 'em event starting Tuesday June 5th. Here are my thoughts, in no particular order:

Stayed at the Hard Rock in the HRH tower. Tried Pauly's trick (fold up a $20 and hand it to the clerk while asking about upgrades). It turns out the clerk was actually the hotel manager who refused the dough, but still gave me a sweet suite.

My room number was 10826. After going to the 10th floor twice, I was unable to find my room. While trying to convince the hot, tattooed staff member that I'm actually a pretty smart guy, she patiently explained that the "1" was the tower number and the "08" was the floor. The room was 26. Of course, how silly of me! At least she could have said that everyone makes the same mistake, but no. She left me feeling  like I was the only moron who couldn't figure this out. But she was hot.

Everyone at the Hard Rock, staff and guests, have tattoos. I was severely under-tatted.

I walked past a craps table with an obvious 1st time shooter (switching hands, pulling the dice totally off the table while talking, etc), so of course I turned $200 into $600 on a 45 minuted roll. Should have been pressing harder. Yes, he hit every point. No, I didn't have a fire bet.

Dropped the cash for the buy-in. They seemed surprised to see cash. Apparently many folks sign up with chips.

Went straight to play some high-end limit. There were about 30 tables of 20/40 and higher and ALL were filled, many with a waiting list. So I played 2/5 NL, a game I do not feel great about, while I waited. Within 20 minutes, I was up about $1800 and actually WALKED AWAY.

I got to bed early so I could be rested for the event. In other words, before 1 am.

I was up at 6.

Decent breakfast at Lucky 24/7 in the hotel. Then off to the Rio for some cash games. You know, in order to relax. Broke even just before my event, which started at 5 pm.

Tons of Twitter messages were a HUGE inspiration. Cards were in the air on time and I began chipping up right away. I got used to folding 20 to 30 hands in a row and then getting very aggressive when I had cards. I won several pots with AK over AQ or AJ where we both had just Ace high. Saw the river more often than not, so you needed the cards.

Unfortunately, things started going south when several draws got there against me in really big pots. I never slow played or check raised up to this point. I was just playing ABC poker. It was working, too. I probably should have shifted gears sooner, but before I knew it, I was down to 150 chips (we started with 4500). I got all in with AQ. 6-way action insured my demise. But wait... I win the main pot? Really? Now I've got 900 and get it all in on the very next hand with KK. That holds, too? Triple up! Suddenly I am back in this thing and feeling pretty good.

And then Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi sits down three seats to my right.

To Be Continued...