Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day Two FTW!

What a difference a day makes.

On Friday night, actually not even that early on Saturday morning, I sat right here in this same spot and wrote from a kind of stream of consciousness my feelings about the poker I played that night with Chad and CK and Blinders, and how, even though I repeatedly lapped up Blinders' chips with my usual aplomb, I just generally had a horrible session at the tables otherwise and really just could not get anything going. I remember sitting here only about 28 hours ago typing how I really didn't even feel like playing in the World Series today, the very thing I have always looked forward to the most about my annual trips to Las Vegas over the past few years. And believe me, I really felt it when I wrote it, as I purposefully sat right down and wrote about that session within just minutes of returning from the scene of the carnage to my room here in the MGM.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, however, sleep had done its work to help me start getting my head set straight about the whole thing. The conclusion I drew draw about what happened in Friday's cash session was, quite simply, that I allowed myself to play cash poker when I would never even think of denying that I am really a tournament guy and not a cash guy. And then I kept on doing that, over a span of probably 8 or 9 hours in the afternoon and evening, even though I could feel myself not getting anything going and getting more and more frustrated all along the way. And even though I had a lot of fun sitting with Chad and CK and chatting it up, overall I let myself spend that entire day at the cash tables when I wasn't enjoying myself and wasn't playing well, instead of coming out here and doing what I set out to do. A week ago I was writing here about my plans to play a poker tournament every single day of my Vegas trip, and yet here I am just a handful of days later, playing frustrating cash for 9 hours on Friday and not even playing a single tournament until Saturday? It occurred to me when I awoke on Saturday that that is ridiculous. And I resolved to change it.

So eager was my subconscious mind to put that whole cash session behind me, that I did this cute thing where I woke up on Saturday bright and early, like around 7am, even though I had been up like every night of this trip until a good 5am or later the night before. Even after just two hours of shuteye, I simply could not sleep without starting to take care of my issues from the night before's decision to play cash: I was going to go and register super early in the morning for WSOP Event #51. I already wrote earlier on Saturday about that whole thing, and how Harrah's once again funked up and left themselves woefully short on space for the last weekend $1500 nlh tournament of the 2009 World Series. The end result of all this was a record turnout for the Venetian's $560 buyin nlh tournaments, as every table I sat at on Saturday had at least two or three people who described having been shut out of the WSOP that morning and thus ending up at easily the next most popular tournament series of the summer in Sin City at the Venetian.

So fast forward to the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza. 792 runners started play for $560 apiece at 12pm sharp, with me seated at Table 75, Seat 10, which I love the more I play live poker because I can be very close to the flop which makes it as easy to see as possible. This was especially good because it would prove to be the exact seat I would sit in for the ensuing nine hours. Nine hours of what was probably the live tournament with the most shenanigans I have ever seen, nine hours that started off (as usual of late in my sparse live play) with me bleeding chips in drips and drabs while trying to make something happen, but then slowly but surely morphed into me being the table chip leader, and the guy that everyone was afraid to get mixed up with.

Unfortunately I don't have the time right now to write up the entire tournament -- which I obviously will do later this weekend -- but suffice it to say that I have now officially made my first Day Two ever in a live tournament, out of maybe five chances now (three WSOP events and one WSOP Circuit event at Caesar's in AC). I played extremely well, saw some of the craziest things happen that I have ever seen in a poker tournament (if I forget, somebody remind me to tell the stories of the two pocket Aces hands that went down), and I survived a couple of ugly-ass suckouts, luckily both against relative short stacks (JJ < 99 allin preflop, and J8 < AK allin on a KJ8 flop when of course the turn and river brought running pairs), one won big race (66 > ATo, probably my most significant hand of the whole tournament on Day One) and then unfortunately lost one big race just a few minutes before we stopped play on Saturday evening (AKo < JJ) on a hand where I had already raised and I was forced to call someone else's push for like 3-to-1 odds knowing full well he was holding a pretty high pair (I figured Queens). But I really played great poker on Saturday, the best I've played in a tournament in quite a while, and in just a few minutes I will jump into a cab and head back up the Strip to the Venetian to to see if I can catch a break early and try to regain the stack I had around 1am last night.

I enter Day Two with 157,000 in chips (starting stacks were 15k), having been as high as 300k earlier before losing the AK to JJ hand. Of the 792 who started, we are down to the final 48 as play resumes today, with the top 72 finishers getting paid. The Deep Stack tournaments are known for the top-heavy nature of their tournament payouts, really weighting the big prizes to the final table and especially to the top 3 spots, even moreso than other poker tournaments in general, so right now I stand to make only like $800 or something if I bust in 48th. But we're already well into the money, something which I did not focus on a bit until we went hand for hand starting with 73 players remaining. Luckily hand for hand did not last three hours like my last big tournament cash in Vegas in the WSOP shorthanded holdem event back in 2007, but rather only took I think 2 or 3 hands until 2 players busted at the same time. OK so with 792 runners and 15,000 starting chips, divided by just 48 players remaining, the average chip stack to start play on Sunday will be 247,500. So instead of 2x the average stack if I had just won the AK vs JJ race, I will instead sit down to a stack that is just 60% of average, making me what I figure is somewhere around 31st or 32nd out of the 48 runners remaining.

Needless to say, I will have my work cut out for me if I am to really make a push in this thing, and I'm going to need to win some pots and hopefully get a little lucky early to get myself back into position where I can muscle some people out of pots. Just a few pocket Aces in the first couple of orbits ought to do the trick, don't you think? Just two Aces maybe, I'm not trying to be Astin here. But I will definitely need a little bit of luck and some really hard work to last deep into the night tonight. And whenever I am finished, I will update here as well as continuing the posts I've already started describing the tournament in more detail (nobody forget those two AA stories I have coming, both are pretty awesome) as well as some of the awesome perks we got to enjoy this time around courtesy of the MGM, thanks to my brother the insane-0 gambling maniac.

Wish me luck!

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Blogger Bayne_S said...

good luck

7:33 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Git some!

9:53 AM  

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