My original plan was to skip the June 17th WSOP Event 31 ($3k PLO) event in favor of grinding out the Venetian $2k NL event. The main reason for that decision was that I’m trying to focus more on making money than chasing bracelets this summer thanks to the US Department of Justice. I’m becoming more and more interested in PLO, though, and felt so comfortable in the $1500 PLO event that I decided to enter it instead of playing the Venetian event.
I ended up folding WAY more than I ever do in PLO in that tournament and never really got it going after a decent start. I somehow found disconnected Badugi hands over and over, and I guess I may have been playing too tight but it just never came together for me. I ended up busting with A-K-T-9 against my buddy Stu Yancik’s K-K-J-8 on a J-8-x flop after grinding out a 25-30 BB stack for a while.
I got a brief lesson from Sam Stein in the Poker Kitchen at the Rio right before the event started that began with me asking him whether he liked my line in the hand where he ended up busting me in the WSOP $1500 PLO event. I probably should have pushed this lesson a bit longer and squeezed more out of it, because Sam ended up taking down the event for a little over $420k and his first WSOP bracelet. Congrats, Sam!
I played WSOP Event 32 ($1500 NL) on June 19th and managed to double up in the first level when a psycho Euro randomly decided to cold4bet me with A-9o, cbet a Qs-9s-6x flop and checkraise all in on the river after a 6x turn and 2x river. I hero called it off with K-K and was good. I didn’t win another significant pot the rest of the day though, and grinded it out on my leather ass until after dinner break when I jammed 10 BB from the cutoff with J-T and ran into TJ Cloutier’s A-K in the small blind.
Back on the grind as usual, I played WSOP Event 34 ($1k NL) on June 19th. Nick Binger got a tad belligerent with the Queen and the Eight offsuit and four-bet piled the cutoff at 25-50 for about 2k after I 3-bet him from the BB with K-K. I won that pot, but lost a couple other standard pots and ended up getting it in with Ah-Qh against Ax-9x preflop on the short stack for a 4500 pot at 50-100 and losing.
On June 20th I finally managed to muster up the energy to show up for my first Venetian Deep Stack event on the summer, a $1500 NL event. I bricked the nut flush draw in a big multi-way pot and ended up getting the rest in with A-A against a set of J’s on a draw-heavy Kx-8s-6s-Jx board where I was actually shocked that I was beat when the money got in with the way the hand played out, to be honest. You’d think a “deep stack” event would warrant more than two sentences in a blog, but that’s all she wrote!
Somehow undeterred, I showed up on June 21st for WSOP Event 36 ($2,500 NL)…to eventually take another blow to the chin. I played a couple interesting pots early including one where I raised under the gun and got EIGHT CALLERS at a nine-handed table, then flopped a set. Easy game…sometimes.
I ended up grinding out a 8-9k stack from 50-100 til 200-400, when I got it up to 11k was facing an open from the same guy who raise-called Jeff Madsen’s shove in a similar spot (HJ/HJ1 vs CO/BTN) for TWENTY-FOUR big blinds with A-5s earlier. I woke up with Js-Jc, piled it in, and was sooooo eager to get called off light by this clown. He called with Ah-Qc though, and windowed a Queenball. I turned an open-ended straight-flush draw for a total of 17 outs but bricked the river.
I think this stretch of time was about as much of a fail socially as it on the felt, as well. Normally I’d talk about how I went out with all of my friends to unwind between tournaments, but during these events I’d always bust the tournament too late at night and not feel up to it or nobody would want to go out on the nights that I did. One night we got all hyped up and ready to go out as a house, but our roommate Pete Lubrano popped his shoulder out of the socket and we ended up taking him to the emergency room and sitting with him for few hours there.
Now I’m all for skipping the night out in favor of being there for my friend, but I think where we went wrong is our failure to make the best of it and have the best of both worlds. I’m pretty sure that the few hours in the ER would have went by much more quickly had we rolled in there with a bunch of alcohol and maybe a Nerf football or two. We could have shown that ER staff and the triage nurse how to party fo sho!