Monday 7th Of July
It’s day 1d of the WSOP Main event. And today I play.
Woke up early and just could not get back to sleep. Decided to join Steve for breakfast in the Augustus café downstairs before heading over to the Rio.
With a 30,000 starting stack and two hour clock there would be plenty of play. You cannot win this thing on day one so there is no point trying. My goal is just to make day2. I would stay tight and only play premium hands. I won’t mix it up or get jiggy.
Early on in the level 1 with the blinds at 50/100. I raise to 300 with pocket 10’s. The button calls and the small blind re-raises to 1000. I call and so does the button. We see the flop of 10 7 7. Lovely, I knew I’d start getting my sets sooner or later. The raiser bets out 2000 which I flat call as does the button. (Slobber!) The turn is an 8 and it’s checked to me. I wipe the saliva from my chin and bet out 5000. Just the button calls. The river is a queen. Not a great card but I’d have to be very unlucky if he’s holding QQ. I bet out 7000 more and he calls. He mucks his hand and said well you either had it or you didn’t. I couldn’t ask for a better start.
There is a raise to 300 and with a few chips behind I decide I’m gonna see some flops. (like that made a difference) The board is Kh 9s Jd and its checked to me. I take a free card and the turn is a tasty looking 9d. However a bell was ringing in my head. What hand would not bet out at this flop. The nut straight maybe, or even a set. The guy was no rock. Indeed he was the re-raiser from the hand listed above. He bets out 400 and I just call. The river is a 3 of diamonds and he immediately bets 2000. Now I may be ahead but frankly I doubt it. The diamond on the river didn’t seem to register on him. If he didn’t already hold the nuts surely it would slow him down. I could easily be chasing a flush draw, after all he has no idea how tight I am. I pass quickly showing the 9 and said, “your full house is good.” He thought about showing and then mucked his cards. Whether I was right or not, and I am sure I was, if I’m not happy in a hand I am going to fold. Nobody else on the table knew either if it was a good fold either. I like to think this would let know I was reading the game well, making them nervous about taking me on. Today at least. )
I pick up pocket kings and raise to 300. I get one caller. The flop is 9 T 3 with two diamonds. I bet 500 and get re-raised to 1300. I call and the turn is the 6 of diamonds. Worried he may have made the flush I check and he checks behind. The river is the 2 of diamonds. I check and he bets 2000. A made flush would probably bet the turn so I figure he was bluffing when raising the flop. He was but he has the jack of diamonds and had hit runner runner a flush. DOH!
A new guys joins us late and he immediately gets busy raising constantly. With the blinds and 100/200 he makes it 550 in my big blind. I call with Q9 off suit. The flop is Kh 9d 5h. I check and he bets 1000 which I call. The turn is 2 of clubs. I check he checks. The river is the ace of hearts. I check and he bets out 4000. A big river bet. Now the ace brings 3 to the flush. My reasoning is this players style would mean he would almost certainly bet the turn if he was drawing to hearts. So I don’t think he has the flush. I on the other hand look as if I may be chasing hearts so I doubt he bets if the ace has hit him. I conclude I am ahead and make the call with 3rd pair. He huffs and puffs and throws his cards in.
I get Q9 of spades next hand. The whole hand plays out almost exactly as the one above and again I make the call with 3rd pair to a different player. He obviously wasn’t paying attention.
It’s 30 minutes into level 2 and I have close to 70k in chips. With the blinds at 100/200 it is folded round to the small blind who makes up the extra 100. I check with 53 of diamonds and the flop comes 3 5 7, two hearts. He bets 300 which I make 800. He thinks before just calling. The turn is a black 2. He checks I bet 2000, again he ponders before calling. The river is a black 6 and again he checks to me. I check too. This guy is in his 60’s, he is a complete calling station and totally unbluffable. I check and he flips over 63 of hearts for a rivered 2 pair, beating my two pair. It was a cooler, he had a big draw and I doubt I go away in his situation. This however starts a run of coolers. I keep flopping top pair with 2nd kicker against top pair and top kicker. I flop nut flush draws and miss. I flop straight and flush draws and miss. I hit trips and run into made full houses. Before I know it I am down to around 37k.
I then get a little run of cards. AA but no callers. Very next hand, KK but no calls. The very next hand after that I get AK, I raise and get 1 caller. The flop is Ace high. I bet he calls. The turn is and ace, I check hoping he tries to steal, he just checks, damn it. The turn is a harmless 8, I bet and he just calls with AQ. How did he get away with that.
I then start catching cards again. I raise with 78 of spades and get a call from a guy who’s just determined to beat me. The flop is 7h 7c 6c, lovely. I bet out he calls. I pray for the 8 of clubs hoping he has the flush draw and BANG there it is on the turn. I bet small hoping for a re-raise he just calls. The river is a blank and again I bet, this time bigger. I doubt he will re-raise here regardless of what he has but a made flush wont fold. Unfortunately he just passes but I am now up to 63k and its time for the diner break.
The place is bedlam. Over 2900 played today, indeed Harrahs had to turn 800 or so players away through a lack of space. Getting to the restaurant was a nightmare. Luckily we had pre-booked. The Devilfish joined us and was very generous enough to pick up the bill.
I return to the Amazon room and the blinds are 150/300 with a running 25 ante. I soon picked up QJ of diamonds under the gun. I limp in and its folded all the way round to the small blind who makes up the extra 150, the big blind checks. The flop is Kd 10s 8d. I have an outside straight and flush draw. The small blind checks and the big blind (the calling station from before) bets out 600. I could re-raise here but if I miss I commit too much. Besides this guy is ripe to pay me off. I haven’t won a pot off him and I am so over due. I just call and the turn is the ace of hearts giving me the nut straight. He bets out 2300. I raise to 5800 and he pushes all in for another 30,000. Delicious I call hoping he has no outs. He turns over QK for the second pair and inside straight draw and can only chop. The river is a blank and I am now sitting on a stack of over 100k. CMON!
I begin to bash the table and get myself up to around 120k. I must be top 10 stacks in the room yet they still manage to find someone (Joe Saunders, seems steady, look out for him) with more chips to bring to the table. He seems to be happy to stay out of my way but this slows me down. Although we tangled in a couple of pots neither of us were going to war.
It’s the last level and the blinds are 200/400 with a running ante of 50. I then get QQ in early position and make it 1200 to go. The rock to my left makes it 3000. It is folded to me and I cautiously make the call. The flop comes Jack high. I check and he bets out 5000. He has around 25k back. Normally in this situation I’d be happy to set someone all in. I’d still be in great shape if I lost with close to 100k. However, this guy had been tight all day. I said I will fold and show you a big hand, if I do, will you turns your cards over? He agreed and I showed my Queens. He turned over his aces and I’d dodged a pretty big bullet. Phew!
I finished up on 135k and am in excellent shape for day 2b. I cannot play better than this and if I can take my form into day2 and hot a few cards I really fancy going deep again.