It's being my 3rd eligible year to play in the WSOP due to my age and also since I started playing poker and I still haven't played!! This isn't a huge surprise, a few months ago I played a few satellites on Stars to try and qualify but I was only wasting money, played numerous Step 1s and never even made it on to Step 2, I could have played at least 7-8 of these and never to have progressed is just a disgrace I think. So what do all good poker players do when they can't beat a level or lose money at it......... yes they move up so thats what I did. I bought into a step 2 and was onto step 4 without having to replay step 2 or 3. So I decide to hold off on Step 4 for a few days and then one Friday evening I play, after about 4 hands I get a phone call and there is a mobile phone site down in Sandyford........ just great, have to go through the M50 traffic at 6pm on a Friday and leave me $215 buyin tournament. So I'm on the way over coming up to the toll bridge and I ring the network monitoring center and what do you know the site is back on air. Well this probably just sums up my WSOP attempt this year. I didn't play another sat after that and that was about 2 months ago now.
But I still really wanted to go as I thought my game has come on a lot this year and I have went from 50nl-taking shots at 200nl with 20Bi and moving straight back down to 50nl afterwards but I'm now back up at 200nl and very well rolled with over 40BI and getting closer to a magical 5 figure bankroll in so far less than 100k hands which is a good achievement in itself I think. I've also played a few live tournaments this year and played fairly well in them I thought so with that in mind I was going to buy into either the Stars 200 seat guarantee or the Full Tilt 150 guarantee but as it got closer to the time I realized that working Monday to Friday just doesn't really fit in with the playing satellites to 7am on Sunday morning. I could have asked for the day off and probably got it too but hell if my boss/parents/girlfriend thought I was going to take a day off work so I could play a poker tournament then this wouldn't go down well at all. Now don't get me wrong this wasn't really the reason I didn't do it. I just didn't really want it enough this year and I feel this time next year I want to be playing 600NL and 1kNL, then I will be in much better shape to be thinking of Vegas for the WSOP so I will have plenty of time and a much better bankroll to be playing such tournaments. I do intend to go to Vegas this year in October with my girlfriend and another couple, it won't really be to play poker thought but I'm sure I'll get a few cash hours in when I am over there.
I played the APAT on Saturday, was hungover as could be on Saturday morning, didn't get to bed to 6.30am but don't think it affected my game to much in the early stages anyway, later in the day I was getting tired for sure but in deep stacked tournaments this is probably to be expected. I started off on a table which has had 3 dead stacks and as these guys had paid in they weren't going to be lifted until they were blinded out which took about 5 hours, this left for lots and lots of easy steals and at one stage another dead stack came into my right. One guy from Birmingham wearing some Full Tilt gear had a dead stack to his left and 2 to his right, he had the best seat in the house as the guy who was button to his BB let him have 6 walks and this guy as counting them each time and letting the table know about it, unfortunately I was in way too early a position to be stealing them but that didn't stop me stealing other peoples blinds, by the time I was on 35k the biggest pot I had won was 4.5k which says it all really, the guy to my left who was just unbelievably tight I was able to take his BB 6 times in a row when it was folded around to me in the SB and he never played back once, same went for when I was on the button, nobody wanted to play back at me at all.
By the time I was on a stack of about 40k I got involved in a 36k pot against the only player at the table who was willing to play back at me. I opened AhJd to 3k at 600/1200 in early position and he called on the button. The flop was Ad3d3x and I lead for 5k, full sure I have the best hand and I was prepared to call a shove. he shoved for 9k more and I snapped called him, he tabled 7d8d with the flush draw and the fact that I had the Jd he was about 25% to win the hand, but he hit a 9d on the turn and even then I still had a good few outs to hit but it wasn't to be. After that I was back down to about 24k when I should have been on about 60k so it was a bit of a setback. My stack didn't get much bigger than this for a long time.
We got moved tables when we lost the dead stacks so I had to adjust a good because I had to go from 6 handed to 10 handed and straight onto a new table full of new faces. I played very few hands at this table, stole the blinds a few times and at this stage players were dropping like flies. When we got down to the last 30 people it slowed down a small bit as they were going to end the day when they got to 20 people or at the end of the 14th level, which ever came quicker. I was on about 25k and the blinds were at 1k/2k so I was in push or fold mode, I could never get a hand to push with and when I did someone else had pushed before me. I got 55 and 77 during this time but I felt they just weren't good enough to be calling off most of my stack with. So then a player with an 80k stack opens to 10k at 2/4k and I ship over for 13k more with TT and he calls with his AQs, I was feeling good about it as TT had been hitting sets on this table all day long, and when the flop came ATx I had the hand almost locked up. Now at this stage I felt is where I should have started pushing more to try and not get blinded out as the blinds were going to be 3/6k soon. Instead I played tight and eventually pushed with ATs and got called by AJ and he held up.
Now I was in deep trouble, we were on the 3/6k level and I had about 20k in chips and 1 more person needed to be knocked out before that day ended so it comes to my BB and I don't look at them until everyone else has, I don't usually do this but thought this was a good time as I don't want to be giving out any tells that I have 72o or something. So the SB pushes on me and I snap call him with my AJ, hes got 8sJs and even on a A8x flop which has 2 spades I get knocked out when the spade falls on the river. Overall I was very happy with how I played in this, don't think I done a whole lot wrong all day but just didn't catch the breaks when I needed to. I think I will play a few more live tournaments in the next few months, there is a €500 game on in my home county Donegal in 2 weeks so I might take a trip home to play that.
The one bad thing I would think about the tournament was the need to clap for every person that got knocked out, fair enough having a clap for the first knocked out and then one for yours truly when I was the last person to go on the day. It's just a bit annoying when you are in the middle of a hand and everyone all of a sudden and when it gets to the stage when people are getting knocked out quickly you are clapping every few minutes. Our table did have a really good clap when the first dead stack eventually got knocked out!! Was kinda funny to see people take a look around and nobody leaving the table!!
So I got in 5.5k hands of cash this week which wasn't to bad considering I didn't play at all on Saturday or Sunday. I ran good at 200nl and played less than 200 hands at 100nl. Will be playing 200nl full time now unless the games are really bad or I fall below 35BI for 200nl. I think I am adjusting well enough to 200nl and the added aggression so far. I started off really tight a few weeks back but I have opened up a lot more and have become more aggressive myself. I am also approaching 100k hands for the year so I will likely do an update with all my stats for each of the levels varying from 0.01/0.02NL to 10/20NL!!! Stats for the week and a graph are below:
Until my 100k hands update in a few days.......
2 days ago