Monday, February 28, 2011

WSOP-C West Palm Beach Recap

Since I am writing this as day two is ongoing you can guess how it went. I am going to break this post into two parts, Odds and Ends followed by the Main Event.

Odds and Ends

When I arrived at the poker room on Saturday afternoon around 4:30 I wanted to walk around and see what kind of a place they had and also register for the 7pm mega-satellite. The room or rooms had a total of 65ish tables split between two levels on complete opposite sides of the building. The walk between them was no more than a couple minutes though.

In the state of Florida apparently it’s difficult to add additional tables for a tournament series, or so I have been told. It will be interesting to see how the WPT gets around this when their event at the Hard Rock Hollywood goes down. Not adding additional tables and the split between the rooms seemed to cause problems from what I saw. Throughout the two weeks they had to routinely shut down cash games in order to make space for tournaments. When I looked at the cash game lists on Saturday and Sunday they were endless, unless you wanted to play $2 straight limit hold’em. I would imagine your wait would be multiple hours.

The other major bummer was the lack of single table satellites. I believe I saw lists for $40, $65 and $125 ones that were quite long. Not once when I was there did I hear one go off. WSOP officials are going to really have to give the location a second thought if they are going to keep it on the schedule.

I tried registering for the 7pm mega about two hours before it started. That didn’t happen as their ‘system’ didn’t have it available yet. When I went back at 6:45 or so I registered without a line to speak of so it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either. When playing the mega we didn’t have a tournament clock as three events were going on already and they only had three clocks available. Guess that $60 license for an additional clock was too much.

Also during the mega we had to bag our chips and move from the first floor room to the second floor room. This killed a little over five minutes of play. When the levels are 20 minutes and you only start with 60bbs its kind of a big deal.

The mega ended up generating 24 seats and I busted with six tables remaining. Only interesting thing was when I was down to t1400 and blinds jumped to 200/400 I doubled two hands in a row with AQ vs 1010 and KK vs QQ. I ended up busting when I shoved my 10bb stack in the cutoff with J10dd and the button found a call for 80% of his stack with A5dd. Soul read obviously.

Main Event

I opted to play the 11am flight which ended up getting 469 players. Surprised actually that only 244 played the late flight but a total of 713 is a solid number. Play was only scheduled for nine levels to accommodate the two flights and would end at the 300/600 level. With t20k to start a number of people would be advancing to day two, or so I thought. Only half the field survived the day.

All tables were set for nine handed and the five seat was in the well for late registrants. When cards were in the air there was only myself and one other player to my direct left at the table. The nine seat checked in but didn’t show back up for over an hour. We actually played heads-up for about 15-20 minutes. I was able to win about 600 chips in that time. A younger kid was the third to arrive and promptly tried to bluff me on the first hand when I flopped top pair and turned top two and wound up winning a t1500 pot.

As players slowly made it to the table by the end of the third level I was able to work my stack up to around t25k. A lot of small pot wins and nothing major of note. The game dynamic was good and most people were making 2.2x – 2.5x raises. Played a lot more hands because of that.

In the 4th – 6th levels the story would be win a few small pots and then turn around and lose it all back in one hand. One of the late arrivals was playing about 80%+ of his hands and was willing to throw chips in the middle. When we lost our first player about the 5th level he was replaced with a t40k stack who was a fairly aggressive player. I played a few hands where I flopped top pair, marginal kicker but folded after I faced big flop raises. I went to the second break with around t22k.

In the 7th – 8th levels the wheels fell off. First hand back I raised, flopped top pair and threw out a cbet of t900 and faced a raise to t3300 and folded and was back to the starting stack. The first of two big hands that would spell my fate occurred when I called a small raise with QJ along with two others. Flop comes 109x and ep player cbets for 900 and I call. Next to act flats and the 4th player puts in a raise to 2300. Original raiser calls, I call, then the 3rd to act who flatted shoves for 14k. Fold, fold, fold. Obvious set in that spot.

The hand that pretty much ended it for me was against the older guy in the nine seat. He raised UTG+1 and it folded to me in the BB and I called with QJ (again). The player was fairly straight forward and cbet every flop and turn. Flop comes KK7 rainbow and I check called his cbet looking to check raise any turn card. Turn was an ace. I checked, he bet t2300 and I check-raise to t7100 thinking he can’t call unless he has one of the two kings. If he does have one of them he is insta-shipping on me. He thought for about 20 seconds before calling. After my raise I had about t7400 behind. River is a brick and I bet out t6k. Dunno why I didn’t just shove. He gives the big sigh and two seconds later throws in the chips and turns over AJ. He really thought he was beat but decided to call. If I win that hand I am sitting on t30k or so and in plenty good shape. I didn’t and I busted less than a lap later.

When I was down to t15k at 250/500 I felt like I was short but really knew I still had 30bbs which is plenty. Not the best performance I have put together. I thought about staying for the last $345 the next day but ended up taking off.

Sorry to the people who had percentages of me. Figures I would cash the one of three events in February that wasn’t a part of the deal. I did offer a free cut of that one so all was not lost for them.

Next up is Vegas in June.

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