Friday, December 24, 2010

WSOP 2011

With the WPBT winter gathering now come and gone, it's time for me to start focusing on my own annual poker trip out to the desert, to play in the WSOP and to live it up in sin city for a few days. After recording my biggest ever poker tournament score of just a hair over 50 grand back in 2009, and then following that up with a win of around 8 or 9 grand in 2010 on a mixture of poker tournaments, cash games, sports betting and even some horses thrown in for good measure, it seems like a return to the sands of Las Vegas in the summer of 2011 is all but assured. The WSOP claims to have released the schedule for the 2011 WSOP this week, but in reality they have only so far announced the start date (May 31, 2011) and stop date (the WSOP Main Event will run from July 7 through July 19 when the final table will be determined), and the location, which will be slightly off-strip at the Rio for the seventh consecutive year despite rumblings that Harrah's might be readying for a move back onto the strip to one of its other Harrah's / Caesar's properties. The full list of the actual WSOP events for 2011 is slated for release some time in January.

Once again I have no plans to play in the Main Event itself, due to constraints of timing but also the buyin, as I've played more than enough poker tournaments in my day to know that I don't want to plunk down 10 grand on something as fickle and luck-based as any poker tournament. Probably someday I will take a crack at the Main Event, but frankly it's just not something I have any desire to do these days, and I'm not sure I ever have really. But I definitely would like to make my annual appearance in the Amazon room at the Rio and sit down for one of the preliminary events, most likely no-limit holdem but there are always options on that front. I feel competent enough to play most of the games spread at the WSOP, be it no-limit holdem, pot-limit Omaha or pot-limit O8, any of the shootouts, or heads-up tournaments. Just about the only games I would not really consider playing in the World Series are limit holdem -- I was once a pretty solid limit tournament play but I long since decided that no-limit was more the game for a guy of my temperament and skill set -- as well as 2-7 lowball (no real experience playing this), Razz (I'm not an effing clown with a rainbow wig and a squishy red nose) and any limit Omaha game (again, not a clown). But this leaves most of the preliminary events as options, and although in general I tend to prefer the lower-buyin $1500 events where possible, I am fortunate to have the financial freedom to be flexible with the buyin, easily willing to play a 2k or $2500 buyin tournament if that is what works best, schedule-wise.

So, I'll know more once the official WSOP schedule is released next month (next year!), but suffice it to say that I do plan to make my annual trek again next summer, and I do not expect much resistance from Hammer Wife as I have not had for the past few years. I live in a beautiful new home that was purchased more or less with poker winnings, my wife drives a beautiful new car which is paid for monthly out of poker winnings, and things like that tend to go a long way towards easing the tension about me taking a week off in the sun to party like a rock star and try to win some money while I'm at it. Ultimately, my annual trip to Vegas isn't even about the money though -- it's really about me having a hobby that I love to do but never really get to do in a live setting other than at most three or four nights a year in Atlantic Shitty. So taking my week in the desert each summer has become kind of an anthem for me, my chance to do what I love to do in far and away the best setting in the world to do it, to get a break from a job that I work at probably harder, longer and with more dedication than anybody I know, and most of all, my chance to remember and delight in my (dwindling) youth for a few short days on a somewhat regular basis.

I can already taste that hot, arid air as I emerge from the baggage claim area and into the taxi line at McCarron airport. Is it summer yet?

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Blogger Josie said...

Nice post. You make it sound like the polar opposite of the WPBT, which ended up being more about drinking than poker but still an awesome time.

WSOP 2011 - we'll just see.

3:08 AM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

Tough call between playing a 1500 or higher buyin, as the structures are significantly better with even a $500 increase, but the competition is probably even more so.

1:07 PM  

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