What a series this was for myself and The Orangeville Poker Tour. This past year I ran a bunch of satellite poker tournament to The World Series of Poker for The Orangeville Poker Tour. This resulted in The OPT sending 10 players to play in The WSOP and another 5 members went for the trip.
Out of all the members that made the trip 6 members cashed in various tournaments, including 6 total WSOP cashes, a Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza win, and a Caesars Mega Stack win, with myself cashing 3 out of 3 WSOP Events I played before going back for The WSOP Main Event, where I busted with 30 minutes left in Day 1, when my flopped nut flush was all in against two pair just to have the board pair on the turn to send me to the rail.
So where should I start about my latest trip to Las Vegas for The WSOP? I decided to leave a day early so I could get there in time for the $3k Shootout Event, which I knew would be a pretty tough field, but for some reason when I looked at the schedule it was calling my name to play, and I also thought it would be a great learning experience for me as I am sure that I would be playing with a few pros in this event. The event drew 587 players. In a shootout type format you have to win your tables to advance onto the next day and guaranteeing yourself a payday of just over $9k.
Professional Poker Player Greg Mueller was at my table and a couple of european pros that I really do not know and another Pro Brandon Cantu who joined the table late. I was on my "A" game and was making good reads and hitting cards when I needed them just to have some of these players shove their whole stack in when I am holding the nuts. One hand I really do remember is when Cantu raised and I looked down at K K, I reraised, and Mueller then decided to reraise as well, and now the action was back on Cantu. He sat there thinking for awhile, which made me think he either had 8 8, 9 9, 10 10, A J, or A Q. He ended up folding and the action was back on me, and since I had Mueller covered and a fairly good size pot already in the middle, i decided to say "All In', meaning that Mueller would have to put his tournament life on the line to make the call. After he thought about it and saying to me "All I can hope for is that you have Queens" he made the call with A K, and my hand held up and I sent a pro to the rail. Once I made it to heads up play, I was dealt A K and I was up against J J all in pre flop and I spiked a K to cripple my opponent, and it was only a matter of before I would win and advance to day 2 guaranteeing myself a $9k payday.
Day 2 brought on an even tougher table with basically everyone except myself and one other player having over $1 million in tournament cashes, the bigger names were Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari who won $18 million in the one drop tournament, and Jason Koon. I witnessed Antonio and other player raising and reraising each other on every street just to see the other player All In on the river with A 8 suited for Ace high and Antonio showing K 10 off for a flopped pair of Kings. I was the second player eliminated at this table when my 9 9 ran into Koon's K K, and I was sent to the rail $9k richer and some great experience gained.
Next up for me was Event 41 a $3,000 buy in No Limit Hold'em Event. Really no big hands for me in Day 1 that I can remember, just slowly grinded the day away and steadily grew my stack to 112k in chips, that to my surprise I was sitting 7th overall going into Day 2.
Day 2 started very quickly for me, as I eliminated a 2011 WSOP Bracelet winner when I raised with 10 10 and he decide to push All In with A 7 and my 10's were good all the way to the river, and he was gone. Then just before my table was to break, action was folded to me with 9 10 suited on the button, which I raised and the SB called. The flop came 9 A 9, which I thought I was in good shape and when the SB shoved for the rest of his stack and I called he showed K 9 for the same three of kind but with a better kicker as I took a little bit of a hit there. I was only at my table for a few hands when I reraised with Q Q to have two callers and the initial raiser push all in, which I called and was up against K K and now I found my chip stack a lot smaller then when I started the day. I managed to hang on and make the money finishing 121st place out of 1,394 players for a $5,900 pay day.
Wow, I have now played 2 WSOP Events this series and have cashed twice, needless to say I was pretty happy with myself and the way I have been playing. Next was Event 46 that drew 1,607 players.
This was a very exciting tournament for me, that gained me a lot of extra experience. At my table was former November Niner Dennis Philips, Pokerstars Pro Liv Boeree, another former November Niner Joseph Cheung, 888 Pro Tyler Bonkowski, and Annie Duke. I had a very big hand that gave me a pretty good stack. It is folded to me when I have A A, which I raised, and got calls from Liv, and another player, and then Cheung reraised in the SB, and the BB pushed all in, now action was on me, with two smooth calls after my initial raise and Cheung reraising, I didn't want to just call the all in as I didn't want to go up against that many players, and with the players in the hand so far I had them all covered except one. I decided to go all in as well, and the other two players folded which I wanted and Cheong called showing K K, the other player showed A K, and my A A held up eliminating 2 players on this one hand. I ended up making Day 2 with 79k in chips to be sitting in 38th spot.
The first hand of Day 2 was not to good for me at all. I look down at 6 6 under the gun and raise it up, if folds around to the SB who makes the call and BB who also makes the call, the flop comes Kh 6d 2s, SB checks, BB bets, and I call, and SB folds, turn is a 7h, BB bets, and I raise him up 3 times his bet, and he shoves all in which I call with my set of 6's, and he tables Kh Jh for top pair and flush draw, the river comes another heart and I lose almost have my stack on the very first hand. The rest of the day was up and down, but I once again made the money busting out in 152nd for a cash of $4,800.
So 3 for 3 for just under $20,000, not to bad at all, and my trip was coming to an end, but I was feeling good, and I came home with a smile on my face, and ultimately decide to go back and play one of the biggest poker tournaments in the world, The $10k buy in WSOP Main Event.
The Main Event attracted 6,598 players with a top prize payout of $8.5 million. I was pumped and ready for Day 1, but it did not go according to plan, as I found it one of my toughest days playing poker, my big hands were not getting paid off, and my bluffs were not working, and I was also pretty card dead most of the time, so I was trying to pick spots to get some chips. I saw my chip stack grow from the 30k starting up to 45k, just to see it crumble down below starting going into the last level of Day 1. There was about 30 minutes left in the day when I flopped the nut flush and had an opponent push all in against me which I obviously called, and he showed top two pair, and the board paired on the turn to give him a full house and I was out of the tournament.
Overall it was a great experience, and lots of fun having so many OPT Players there.
The Orangeville Poker Tour has already scheduled 5 WSOP Satellites for next year, so if you are interested in playing in any of these to win your way to Vegas, then just visit The OPT's website here.
Also please excuse any grammar and spelling mistakes, I wrote this quickly pretty late when I should have been in bed.