Friday, June 10, 2011

My second shot at the World Series of Poker

Today I decided that I was willing to spend approximately half of my profit from the Binion's HORSE event (i.e., about half of $200) to take a shot at entering the $1500 HORSE tournament at the World Series of Poker--which happens to be tomorrow (OK, technically later today, Friday).

I went to the Rio this evening and entered one of their 8-handed $215 HORSE one-table satellites, with the winner to receive the buy-in plus $70. Nothing for second place. I failed miserably--first one out, in fact.

I went to a cash game in the cavernous Pavilion Room, and thought about my performance as I played. The fact was, I had done it badly. I had not anticipated how incredibly fast the structure was, and too often I went partway with decent but not great hands. Given the short ratio of stacks to blinds, that was something I just couldn't afford to do. To put it bluntly, I had been too timid and unwilling to gamble.

I got lucky in the cash game and made $209 in 40 minutes. Ignoring that little $6 deficit, it felt like I was being given another shot. Yes, I know it's completely irrational to think of that win as reimbursing the satellite loss, or even to be thinking of the satellite buy-in as part of my winnings from Tuesday. They're all separate, or all fungible and intermingled as part of a life-long game, if you prefer. I get that. But there are times when my rational side battles with my irrational side, and this was one of them.

So I cashed out my winnings and entered a second HORSE satellite. Remarkably, three of the eight players in it were among the eight of us that had been at the final table in the Binion's event, so I had advanced knowledge of the playing styles of two opponents, which turned out to be a significant advantage in a few spots.

And I won it! With the turbo structure (whole thing took less than two hours), there was obviously a lot of luck involved, but I definitely adjusted for the pace better than some others did, and greatly stepped up my aggression, as the structure demanded.

I was kind of despondent going into heads-up play, because my opponent had me at a 5:1 chip disadvantage. But he played incredibly passively, never willing to put in any money unless he had a strong hand. Since most of the time in heads-up play you have nothing, that's an enormous leak. I just kept hammering at him, showing him that I wasn't afraid to get all my chips in, and he would back down time after time. I knew that he was thinking that he would just wait until he had a big hand and use my aggression against me, but the few times he played back at me, I just folded, and he never adjusted to account for that fact. After it was over, I was chatting with the dealer (one dealer for the entire satellite) about the turnaround, and he said that he couldn't believe how the other player squandered his lead and played so passively.

In the last hand I caught a lucky crub on the river (they always get there!) to make a flush in stud, beating his straight, check-raised him all-in, and that was that.

I collected the lammers:

which I then quickly exchanged for this:

which, in turn, I hope to soon exchange for something like this:

I can guarantee you one thing: I will last longer than I did on my previous attempt at a WSOP event (which was, shamefully, only about 20 minutes). It would be hard to go broke that fast in a limit event!

Must sleep immediately. (Sorry, Tony, but it's such a good closing line, I'm going to keep borrowing it.)


Anonymous said...

Rakewell, good luck and look forward to a review of your bracelet winning weekend!

Anonymous said...



good luck in the event, ship teh run goot!


also lol@tbc ""

gl pwn it, hope u updates on twit

Michael said...

Congrats on the satellite win and good luck in the WSOP event. Definitely pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Grump! Good luck in the event. I hope you take it down.


Memphis MOJO said...

That's great to hear! GL in the biggie.

Josie said...

Holy Shit! Congratulations! You can win this!!!!!

Listening said...

Will be railing you all day - keep us Twosted - I couldn't believe last night how fast that thing played, or how long you were HU relative to the rest. Know you have the skills to take it, a bit o' luck and we'll really be havin' fun!!

See you later on Twitter

NT (aka Cardgrrl) said...


V. v. v. proud over here. Go get 'em!

JT88Keys said...

Nice job, Grump. I hope you go deep and hit a significant payday.

I'm looking forward to railing you through Twitter and the chip counts.

Snickers99 said...

Woooooooooo!!! Congrats! Good skill (which is what I trained my GF to say when I go off to play poker)!

Anonymous said...

Good luck grump... hey that photo of your entry ticket has your Total Rewards number on it. Not sure if anybody could use it for something but might want to edit it out. Can't be to careful these days.