I won my seat to the 2014 WSOP Main Event on WSOP.com through a $27 rebuy where winner took all (the $10k main event seat), with about 80 entrants or so.
I wasn’t scheduled to play until day 1 C, which was on a Monday. So I flew in a few days early on Friday. I took it easy on Friday night, had a few beers and hung out with a couple of friends, and called it a night.
Saturday I played a side event, which was a $235 buyin 1 day tournament at the Rio which attracted 725 entrants, and paid $27,000 to 1st. I decided to play this tournament because I wanted to get into the ‘live poker’flow, as I’ve been playing strictly online on the NJ poker sites lately. Also since it was only a 1 day tournament, I would still be able to take Sunday off to relax. I ended up bubbling that tournament 80th, and went back to the hotel for some late dinner.
Sunday I relaxed at the pool, ate some good food, and watched a few movies in my hotel room. I stayed at The Cromwell, which was formerly Bill’s Casino, across the street from Caesar’s and Bellagio. It’s brand new and pretty nice overall.
WSOP Main Event Begins
Monday came around, and I got to my table. My table draw was relatively tough, although I didn’t recognize any players there. The play was surprisngly faster and more aggressive than I had expected it to be. You start with 30,000 chips, and blinds start at 50/100, increasing every 2 hours.
My first level did not go well. I lost a decent sized pot with QQ to AA among a few others, and was quickly down to 18k in chips by level 2. I definitely was not happy about this, but I wasn’t too disappointed either as I always remind myself that every tournament you ever win, you will always lose pots and go through bumpy roads along the way.
The following level, 100/200, went a lot better. I was able to chip back up to about 27,000 chips before the 3rd level. I didn’t have many big hands, but I played a lot of pots in position, and was able to take most of them down. The 3rd level was similar to the 2nd, and I was able to chip up to 37k before dinner break.
After dinner break the blinds were 150/300, with an ante of 25. I got off to a hot start after flopping a flush and getting paid 3 streets, and also winning a small pot with pocket Queens. I was up to 47k, playing good, running good, and feeling good. That’s when it started to turn.
I lost a big pot vs. an older gentleman from Venezuela when I flopped top 2 pair after raising in with 9 10 suited. He called me down with a gut shot and a turned flush draw, and hit the gut shot on the river. That brought me back down to about 35k. From there, I was up and down from 30k to 40k, but couldn’t get much traction or hit any huge hands, until my last.
In the last level of the night, with only 15 minutes until day 2, I was dealt pocket 5’s. I flopped a set on a Q-5-2 flop, and my opponent stuck around for the turn, which was a 7. A fateful 7, as he had 77 in his hand. He check raised me all in, I called, and when the 9 hit the river I was out.
WSOP Main Aftermath
I felt pretty sick walking around the Rio for about the next hour. Losing set under set always sucks, but busting the main event with it really just felt unfair. Being so close to day 2 also enhanced the sting. Even though you know the tournament is a long shot going in, you always feel like you can win, and that you’re going to make a deep run.
But after about an hour or so after being eliminated, the reality of it all sets back in, and you realize that there are about 5,000 players of all ages, types, and skill levels who are thinking the same thing. Playing the WSOP main event is fun , exciting, and can be life changing. So if you play it, enjoy it. But be prepared to feel pretty sick for about an hour after, as this is just the likely outcome for most joining.
See you guys there next year.