How is your summer going? Mine is going really well, and I want to review a couple of the reasons why.  I guess the biggest reason is that I was finally eligible to play in the WSOP.  I’ve wanted to play it since I was 12, but I had to wait until I turned 21 because Nevada thinks it’s important to prevent young people from gambling even though older people have much more to lose.  Anyway, I was very excited for my first WSOP.  I spent a few weeks in preparation.  I got a great deal on the flight to Vegas, and I coordinated with some friends from Minnesota who were renting a house out there.  I also spent a lot of time reviewing tournament structures and finding backers for the two bigger events that I played.  Below is a list of the tournaments I played along with the results.

$1,500 Shootout:

46/948 for $4,411

I coolered Phil Hellmuth to knock him out, and I went on to beat my first table.  My second table was terrible.  I had Joseph Cheong and Josh Arieh two and three to my right respectively.  I’m also pretty sure I was the only guy at my table that didn’t have half a million in live cashes.  I still felt like I played pretty well.  Maybe I didn’t 4-bet Joseph enough.  I know he likes to 5-bet all-in a lot, and I never had anything I could call a 5-bet with.  Very frustrating.

$1,500 Millionaire Maker Day 1B

I busted the Shootout with 7 minutes left to register for the Millionaire Maker.  AK < QQ AIPF busted me early in day two for $3,411.  I felt like I made some really good decisions.  I also got to play with Erick Lindgren for a few hours.  The structure made the tournament a mini-lottery with a little skill edge.  It was still a lot of fun competing in my second biggest live tourney ever.

$1,500 6-Max

I busted in the second level by bluffing all-in, with queen high, drawing dead… 3, 2, 1, blastoff.  A couple friends asked me why I decided to 3-bet with Q9s, call a 4-bet, float the flop, and shove the turn with air.  What they didn’t realize was that I did that four other times in the Shootout and the Millionaire Maker without getting caught.  Oh well, I guess you live and die by the sword.

$240 Big O Tourney

9/200 for $1,011

There were no tournaments or big cash games going on this particular day.  I also wanted to see the renovated Golden Nugget in all its glory with its silly water slide that goes through a shark tank, etc.  I found out they had a $240 Big O tournament going, and I had nothing better to do.  I learned how to play Big O in Tunica, and I’ve done really well playing it in random cash games this year.  I busted mostly because I had Leif Force directly to my left.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, he’s basically the Tom Dwan of split pot games.  He dresses like Russel Brand, walks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo, and crushes souls everywhere he goes.  He’s also a super friendly guy, and he made a deep run in the Main Event this year.

$240 PLO8/Big O Tourney

No luck.  Playing bad and running bad is not a good combination.  Don’t try it.  It can be costly.  It’s also not very fun.  On a different note: the sushi at the Golden Nugget is excellent.

WSOPOC Events 1-15

I fired all of them and busted all of them for a total loss of $2,500.  I think my online game might be a little rusty, which probably has something to do with the UIGEA.  I definitely wasn’t used to the “new” ranges that people are using online.  Give me a week or two in Vancouver and I’ll be back to crushing souls.

$600 PLO8 at Venetian

Busted late in day one.  Probably the best I’ve played PLO8 in my life.  Got coolered in one of those spots where I’m gonna scoop 30% of the time and the other guy is gonna scoop 10% of the time.  Where’s the next tournament?

$1500 PLO8

Same thing…

$1,500 Monster Stack

Got my soul ripped out on day two.

AA < 98s all-in preflop lolz nh gg


Sold 40% of my action for $1,500.  Busted.  Went back to the Pavilion and won a ton playing a 24-hour, six-max 5/10/25 PLO8, Big O, Big Easy, Big Sleazy, and No Limit Hold’em mix with unlimited restraddles and a lot of Vodka Redbull.  I don’t go into degen mode often, but when I do… I make things real.

$1,500 Mixed Max

13/1,475 for $19,942

I went for the short-stack squeeze play with 55 and ran into AK and QQ.  #ShipIt #RiseToTheTop #LFG #OneTime #Etc

I took my “one time” and parlayed it into a 19th place finish.  I’m pretty sure the only mistake I made was underestimating Cheryl Peng.  I did the same thing everyone else did.  I was like, “Oh, this super cute Asian girl won a satellite into the $1,500 Mixed Max.  Good for her.”  Then there was this hand at the beginning of day two where the CO opened with KQ, I 3-bet the BTN with QQ, the SB 4-bet with AK, and she came over the top of everyone with air… and got us all to fold.  Two hours later the SB and I were kicking ourselves for not doing our table draw research.  I don’t think I’ve ever been that far off in profiling someone at the table.  I guess I got “Penged” and… I kinda liked it.  At the same time, I learned what my dream girlfriend looks like.  Any girl that can 5-bet me with air, that isn’t Vanessa Selbst, is a keeper.  Call me?

$1,111 Little One Drop

Busted when I check-shoved a combo draw into top two.

$565 WPT500

Busted when I shoved a combo draw into a pair and a combo draw.

$10,000 Main Event

Sold 60% of my action at a 1.2 mark-up.  I placed 89/6,683 for $72,369. That ends up being a $26,148 profit for me from a $2,800 risk.  I made some of the best reads I’ve ever made.  There were four different spots where UTG opened, BTN 3-bet, and I folded AK out of the blinds instead of 4-betting all-in.  The first time the player UTG 4-bet with AA and the BTN 5-bet all-in with the other AK.  The second time the player UTG 4-bet all-in with QQ and the BTN called with AQ.  The 3rd and 4th times the player UTG 4-bet and the BTN folded.  Although those hands didn’t go to showdown, they had similar player types with similar ranges.  Overall, I feel like I played great.  There were a few spots where I saw good cold 4-betting opportunities but I had bottom 10% hands with no blockers or suited-connected equity.  I decided to pass on those spots and maybe they would’ve allowed me to generate a little extra profit.  I’m definitely gonna review some 4-betting ranges on my laptop so I’ll be ready for the Florida State Poker Championship that’s coming up soon.

Summary: $18,556 in buy-ins, and $57,723 in cashes, ends up being +$39,167 in net tournament gains.  If you add my cash game winnings and subtract 4K in travel expenses, you’ll see that I had a good summer.  I think it’s mostly for two reasons:  (1) I spent a lot of time preparing in order to minimize travel expenses and focus on tournaments/cash games with the highest expected value for my skillset  (2) I did a good job of doing the simple things like not partying the night before tournaments, getting a good night sleep, eating a good breakfast, managing my bankroll, minimizing tilt, and staying focused toward the end of some of those really long days.  C’ya next summer!