Monday, April 26, 2004

$1500 Stud WSOP Event--Part I

Sorry, but I am going to have to post this in pieces. It is just very overwhelming for me, and I feel that I would do my best writing if I pondered a bit over each sentence, versus the chop job I did yesterday for my Friday wrap-up. Please enjoy!


On Saturday we got to the tournament area about 45 minutes early. There was no line, and I bought my seat with lammers quickly. The woman doing the entries said there were just a little over 100 signed up so far. Bingo, exactly what I was hoping for. I knew there would be tons of late arrivals, but I was certain there wouldn't be more than 400 entries total.

I was disappointed to draw the one seat. Ick, what can I see from the one seat? Nothing, that is what! Fortunately, the tables are big, so I felt I would be able to scoot way over to the left, in between the one and two seat.

A crowd started to enter the tournament room and buy into the Stud event. Finally an announcement was made that we had exceeded last year's high of 177 participants.

It was time to start the tourney, yet there were still at least 50 people buying in. The final tally was 258.

Boy, was I a dummy. I thought that the biggest names would stay away from this tourney. I thought they would be taking a breather from the month-long play at Bellagio, or perhaps playing in the 2k event. I had no idea that these guys are really playing all the time. They don't seem to take breathers, they don't need to sleep, eat or rest, lol. They were all there, en masse, the biggest names, the players with the most bracelets, the who's who. And here I sit like some dummy, knowing I've been duped. Oh, well, at least it was a virtual freeroll.

I took my seat, to find a lineup of unknown faces. The two seat was a Frenchman with long hair. The three was a guy with one of those huge, waxed mustaches that it twisted into a point about 3" out from the side of his head (making each side at least 6" long). Glenn was afraid he was going to lean to the side and poke someone's eye out. The four seat was a youngish (for Stud), serious looking cleancut guy with glasses. The five was originally supposed to be empty, but later sold to a middle aged guy. The six was vacant when we sat down, but a few minutes into the tourney, Ted Forrest took the seat; the only WCP at our starting table. The seven was an older, grumpy guy. The perfect 1-5 player. He wore sunglasses, and acted strange. He certainly wasn't in a good mood during the whole time he was there. The eight seat was an older, heavy guy who wanted to play every hand, and paid for his looseness in such a tight-oriented game.

I took Ray Zee's advice and stole lots of pots during the first hour or two. Once Ted sat down, the dynamics changed a bit, but I was still stealing a lot of pots, due to Ted's tightness during the first few levels. I made it to about 2000 in chips before I took my first bad beat. I ended up taking two river beats during the second level, but still clawed my way back to a medium-short stack with frequent steals and simply showing down the best hand at the river.

I am such a tight player that it is hard to get me to bite, if I even have the slightest feeling that I am being roped into a trap. I usually can get myself out of situations that will cripple me, instead of blindly calling all the way to the river with a second best hand. This is not because I'm a WCP, but because I am super-tight and suspicious by nature. When a player catches a seemingly brick-looking card, innocently sitting there on his board, which doesn't match anything, yet stiffens up and comes alive, I feel trips SCREAM in my head, and get OUT. A lot of players just don't see the obvious. I am fortunate that I am so tight and cautious.

Ted outplayed everyone at the table, without them even knowing it. He made some truly world class moves, and realized quickly that I was the only one who even saw or realized what he was doing. He often smiled at me after a hand, or nodded. He was fast to pick up on the fact that I was no WCP, but that I was aware enough to know that HE was. We built up kind of a body language rapport that I didn't see him engaging with the other players in. I certainly wasn't either, as they just weren't aware of much of anything.

I never thought there would be so much dead money in a Stud tourney, but there surely was. I'm not positive if these guys won a sat to get in, if they were just rich and bored, or what. I have truly seen better 1-5 Stud players. Heck, even 1-3 Stud players in AC!

I started to need protein after a couple of hours. Glenn brought me a shake. Ted asked what I was drinking. I told him it was protein. He asked if it was good. I smiled an almost-grimace, and told him I'd had to drink them for five years, so I probably wasn't the best judge of whether or not they were "good" anymore, because even if they were fantastic, to me they were just medicine. He understood immediately and said something like, "After five years of the same thing every day, it can't taste good, huh?" I answered in the affirmative.