The Quest for the Seat - 2010 WSOP (Part 7)

by Gary 10. June 2010 21:49

When I started writing the “Quest for the Seat” blog series, I was really hoping to not hit the double digit number of posts. It’s not looking good!

I went to Vegas to play in the WSOP ME satellite on May 30th and June 5th. Neither went as I had hoped.

The May 30th satellite wasn’t too bad. There were 52 entries and I got my share of cards. I didn’t have to play too creatively to win enough pots to get me deep into the tournament to be a seat contender. Unfortunately, as the field narrowed, the hands I kept getting weren’t what I needed to win. I made a few mistakes of trying to steal blinds from early & middle positions with suited connectors, and to make things worse, I kept flopping huge draws that never panned out. By the time we were down to 11, 2 were getting a seat plus almost $8k to the 3rd, I was the short stack at a pretty aggressive table. I picked up a few small pots here there. The final hand wasn’t much to write about. The table bully made his standard raise from middle position. I defended my big blind w/ Ad9d. The flop came 9h7d2d, and being the short stack that I was, I shipped it. For the first time, the table bully had a hand QdQh. I never improved and was out. Looking back at the tournament, the things I would change, were those suited connectors out of position, simply need to “quit them”.

The June 5th tournament was a completely different story. 71 people showed up to the event, allowing Rio to give away 3 seats plus cash to the 4th. I started the day with 2 goals: make it past my prior finish, and leave with the seat. Needless to say, I didn’t achieve goal 2. Goal 1, is questionable.

I was pretty much card dead the entire day, which probably kept me out of trouble. About half way through the tournament I picked up my first pocket pair: mighty 44. I limped with it in the early position (got a little excited) and was raised by a player in late position. I made the call and we were off to see the flop. Flop came Qx5x3 and we both checked. The turn brought a 2x and I fired a bet, which was reluctantly called, at this point I put my opponent on 2 big cards w/o a Q. Pretty sure he had AxKx or AxJx. The river brought another Q. This was actually a good card for me, if I my read was right. I fired a 1/3 of the pot bet, and after some deliberation, he folded. This was my first meaningful pot of the day. I was up to just below the chip average.

A few orbits later, a "regular" raiser made his standard raise under the gun. I made the call w/ QxJx on the button and the small blind joined the fun. The flop came Jx4h7h. SB checked, original raiser made a 2/3 pot c-bet and I called. Unfortunately, the player in the SB shipped his stack into the middle. The UTG player instantly came over the top for all of his chips. My stack was somewhere in between the two. I made what was the obvious decision and folded. SB turned over 44 for a flopped set and UTG rolled over KK. Of course, the board ran out QxJx!!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy w/ my play. Just once in a while I’d like to make a donkey call and get this lucky! Make one DUMB play and I’m the instant chip leader w/ 35 people left.

I saw no real hands pretty much for the remainder of the tournament. Picked up AK & AQ back to back while pretty short stack and managed to double up against a shorter stack that held KQ.

As we played down to 2 tables, roughly 16 players, the only stack shorter than my shoved his remaining 9BB under the gun. When the action folded to me in the BB, I looked at KK and insta-called with my 13BB stack. The original raiser rolled over Ks4s and was devastated to see my beautiful hand. The flop brought not help with 7s2h3d. The turn was definitely a sweat, bringing a 6s. Of course the river was Js. Sending the pot over the all-mighty Ks4s! I was down to 4 BB, and folded my SB. On the button I picked up KdQd and called a MP raiser, who held 99. The flop came 9hThJd, giving him a set and me a nut straight. He never improved and I doubled up. I folded for one more orbit and had my BB raised by Mr. K4. I made the call w/ 8d6d intending to ship any non-face card flop. The flop came Ac8xTc rainbow and I shoved. He called, showing KcJs. The turn was a Qc, leaving me drawing dead. To make things worse, the river was a Jc, giving Mr. K4 a royal flush. Really??? Do I really need him rubbing it in? Foot in mouth

I finished 13th and went to sleep.

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The Quest for the Seat - 2010 WSOP (Part 6)

by Gary 26. May 2010 00:06

Two months in and still no seat!!!

I haven’t had any success to report playing online. The last 2 weeks have been incredibly frustrating. I’m starting to wonder if trying my luck at B&M casino would be a more fruitful venture.

Morongo is running a $240 Main Event satellite this upcoming Friday the 28th. I’m contemplating driving down to play. My only concern is the Memorial Day traffic is going to be a B*TCH!

The World Series are also starting in a few days, with satellites starting this Thursday. Driving to Vegas for a day is also not outside the realm of possibilities…

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The Quest for the Seat - 2010 WSOP (Part 5)

by Gary 25. May 2010 23:13

I’ve been hacking at the $1.10 multi-rebuy tournaments for almost 2 weeks now with no positive results to report. I keep getting close, but not close enough. I’m starting to wonder if online poker is rigged! Yell I know it’s not, but common!!! Whoever has more chips wins the pot regardless of their holding!?!? Every time!?!?! (well maybe not every time, but it sure feels like it).

I went back and started to look at the hand histories for all of these multi-rebuys tournaments. The ones I won, I didn’t really get lucky against any specific opponent, I just stayed out of trouble and didn’t get sucked out on when I had the best of it. Guess that in itself is lucky.

This is not meant to be a “bad-beat WAH WAH WAH” post, but here’s something that I’ve pretty much grown accustomed to. BTW, these hands aren’t happening just to me, it just seems they happen to everyone who’s got less chips than the next guy. These are just some examples, they're not the worst beats ever, it's just that they all happen at really critical times... (there are pleny of other bad beats, they're just not as important)

Pretty passive table, most players fold, anyone w/ an Ace raises or shoves. Pre-flop raise, BB call. Flop: BB checks, UTG bets, BB calls. Turn: BB checks, UTG goes all in, BB calls. River: 2-outer for tournament life!

Donkey fest final table, 4 get the seat. Hero shoves on the button & is insta-called by SB


The following hand didn't happen to me, but I have had my share of perfect runner runners. That was just sick!


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The Quest for the Seat - 2010 WSOP (Part 4)

by Gary 25. May 2010 21:57

I finally got around to playing my second $700 buy-in satellite. My wife took the kids to a birthday party and left me all alone to concentrate. Did I mention how great & supportive she’s been of this whole thing? This time around, I lasted a little longer. I played probably as tight as one can while trying to keep up with the chip average. That’s pretty hard to do when you’re not running all that well. I managed to grind it out to the last 10% remaining, unfortunately that wasn’t enough and I was out, again!

Back to the $1.10 donkey-fest!

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The Quest for the Seat - 2010 WSOP (Part 3)

by Gary 25. May 2010 00:10

Not having been able to find any suitable satellites to play in the B&M casinos, I turned to my “less desirable” option – online poker. I started with the old trusty Full Tilt. After jumping through some serious hoops to make a $100 deposit, I donated $80 of that to a stage 1 satellite and the rest to micro stakes SNGs.

I’ve always heard good things about PokerStars. So I figured I was going to give them a try, especially since Full Tilt all of a sudden was having a problem with my original deposit (I’ll save this story for another day). I deposited $100 into my PokerStars account and was off to the races. I played several “Double or Nothing” SNGs just to “build up” my online bankroll. Having had some success in those, I was ready for another $80 step 1 satellite. Needless to say, it didn’t go as planned as I was back on the rail. Another $100 went in, and this time I decided to try one of the “crapshoot” tournaments: $1.10 + Rebuys Triple Turbo. Not only is this an unlimited rebuy tournament for the first 90 minutes, the levels are lightning fast. After losing a couple of those I finally struck gold. I won a “crapshoot” and now had $700 tournament chips + some cash. “This wasn’t so bad, why not give another one a try” – I thought. And wola, I had won another $700 seat. After trying my hand at several more multi-rebuy tournaments I bought in to the $700 – 10 seat guarantee satellites. That lasted no more than 1 hour. I was completely card dead and whenever I had a hand, I got outdrawn.

Have no fear, multi-rebuys are here. I was off to the races and sure enough, after grinding it out for a few days, won another $700 seat.

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The Quest for the Seat - 2010 WSOP (Part 2)

by Gary 24. May 2010 23:08

Feeling good about my big score, I’ve set out to continue my quest by going over to the Hollywood Park Casino to play in a $100 double shoot-out tourney for the seat. I got there around 4:30 PM on Sunday. The advertisement stated that the first level of shoot-outs were taking place all day, w/ the final table scheduled for 7PM. To my surprise, they were in the process of trying to put together table # 3!!! After some time, we got 6 players who were willing to put up double the buy-in to play for the $1k. Well, that was not time well spent. The levels and stacks (even w/ double the chips) were short and the play was fast. Two players at the table didn’t fold a single hand (I don’t think). After getting knocked out of that tourney I was down $200 and on my way home.

Undettered by the events at Hollywood Park, I decided to take a stab at the Ventura’s “Player’s Club” two-tier $100 buy-in satellite tournament. After several weeks of calling them (the tourney runs only on Thursday night), there finally appeared to be enough interested in running the game. I drove for about 50min in the afternoon and when I got there, they had 8 out of the 10 players needed. After some negotiation w/ the floor person to remove the entry fee for the remaining 2 players, we polled the 8 players to see if they were interested in buying up the remaining 2 seats. $200 / 8 players = $25 / ea. To my surprise, 4 of the 8 players refused! They were there to play $125 (100 + 25 fee) tournament and NOT a penny more. WOW!

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The Quest for the Seat - 2010 WSOP (Part 1)

by Gary 24. May 2010 14:05

I hear and read about many players and their "quest for the bracelet". While that is an admirable quest to be on, I'll start with a much more simple & attainable goal: “The Quest for the Seat”. More specifically, the quest for the seat into the 2010 WSOP Main Event.

For several years now I’ve been interested in playing in large $10K buy-in events. It started with my winning a $10K seat into the Bicycle Casino’s Legends of Poker event in 2007. Having spent about $200 to acquire the seat and the experience of playing with some of the biggest name pros had me hooked. I did the same in 2008 & 2009, although I did spend a little more than $200 those years.

Last year, I decided to give the WSOP a try. I drove to Vegas the day before day 1D of the Main Event started in hopes of getting in. I left the house at 2:30 pm to play in the 8pm satellite. Got to Vegas at around 7:00 PM and plucked down $1060. At around 4:00 AM on Monday morning, I had my seat. I texted my wife to let her know that I’ll be playing and won’t be driving home that day (she’s great at supporting this hobby of mine, btw). I played Day 1D (the busiest starting day WSOP had that year), and managed to grind it to the end of the day. I grabbed a hotel room at the end of the day and spent the night. I didn’t want to spend the entire week in Vegas, so I ended up driving home every other day (more or less) while playing in the event. I managed to make to the end of Day 3 when I got knocked out just outside of the money.
This year, I decided to do things a little differently. I wanted to PLAN my Main Event. Get in before the absolutely LAST chance and actually have accommodations planned.

So in March of 2010 I started to actively look for WSOP satellites. Turns out that pretty much none of the casinos that I frequent run ANY WSOP satellites… What a bummer!!! (with the exception of the Hollywood Park’s pathetic attempt at a satellite).

I found a $200 satellite at Pala Casino (about 3 hours away). I was off to my adventure. I got there at 9:30 am for the 10 am tournament to find out that I was number 3 on the sign-up sheet (did I mention they needed 50 players minimum to guarantee a seat). BTW, Pala, if you’re going to guarantee a seat DO SO. Guaranteeing a 10K seat in $200 tournament which requires 50 entries isn’t much of a guarantee, most of use can divide 10,000 by 200 to figure out how many players it takes to cover an entry. By 10:00 there were 11 people interested, 7 agreed to play a single table tournament w/ 2 places splitting up prize pool. We were able to convince the floor to let us run the tournament with the original structure: $25K starting chips, 30 min rounds, and 25-50 starting level. This was the longest SNG I ever played. It lasted almost 7 hours and the first all-in didn’t happen until almost 4-hours in. I managed to win and turned my $200 into a whopping $950 – Good seed money for my quest!

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Play The Player blog is LIVE!

by Admin@PlayThePlayer 28. April 2010 12:01

Welcome to the blog! Hope you enjoy it!