I played my first WSOP event last week, the $1500 NL event, where the
field was split into two halves, for approximately 2000 runners each
day. Russell and Becker already signed up for day 1a, Saturday, so as
they took their seats I went to the cage to see what was what. The
lines were short so I didn’t mind queuing for 5 minutes to get info.
Turns out there were only 200 spots left for day 1b. Thankfully I just
won back some $600 at the $5 craps table at Gold Coast, but I was still
short a few hundred. So I visited the ACM, and prayed for skif-skaf,
since I wasn’t sure with the time change whether I could make another
withdrawal that morning. It rained Benjamins and 3 minutes
later a had a receipt for Event 2 day 1b.

[Russell/Becker bustouts redacted]

Took my seat Sunday, and during the first orbit it became increasingly clear that I had lost my card cover. Great, I’m already beat and I haven’t even played 1 hand. I improvise with my Italia pin but I’m still unhappy. Took my first hand with A♣ Q♣, no one called so I took the blinds. about an orbit later I’m heads up with the button, holding 6♣ 6♠. Flop is A K 6. My first 2/3rds size bet gets called. Turn is a brick and my second fire (600) takes it down.

Then about half hour of nothing until an UTG raises to 250 and gets 4
callers including me on the button with 5♣ 6♣. Flop is
Q 3 5♠ and I figure I can’t hang so I’ve mentally
checked out. Somehow it gets checked around and I get my 6 on the turn.
UTG bets 1000 and its all folded to me. I’ve put him on a big pair,
maybe TT that he thinks is safe now, or a set, which means I lose my
last longer bet and we’re three schmucks who dont get past level 1. I
shove, he calls, and shows AQ. He’s left with about 150, I’ve got about

A couple more people bust out and the table is broken, and I get moved.
The new lot doesn’t seem terribly different except for an LA Asian try
to table captain. Random bobbing and weaving for another 45 minutes.
the guy to my left is short stacked, and from the small blind shoves the
rest of his 1600 into a limped pot to try to take it down.. Pay
attention kids, this is my downfall.
1000 in antes and dead money, everyone folds to me (I’m the button
again) and I’ve got 4 4♠. 2600 more chips gets me north of
8K, which is close to the big stack at that point. 1600 to win 2600 and
I’m sure he’s on random paint and hopes to hold up against A-x. I say,
“OK, let’s see which overcards you have.” We flip and he’s showing KJ.
Dealer flops and since I’m in seat 9 I can’t see the bad news until the
dealer removes his hand, all-in flopped two two and holds up.

I’m not tilted, but i think i was a little too eager to make myself
whole asap, and make a few ill-advised raises from early position to try
to take some blinds. This is the point in the tournament where players
started getting more aggressive, and I ended up having to lay down 66 to
a reraise, and folded another hand that in retrospect shouldn’t have
limped in from early. I’m down to 2K and make two all ins to take
blinds plus antes — once with TT — but got no traction. Right after 4
oclock break I get AJ UTG and shove. KK calls and I can’t pull off a
70/30 chance.

So that’s how I spent $1500. Don’t weep for me, I got it back and more
over the rest of the trip. I was surprised — and I guess pleased —
that I wasn’t buckling under the pressure of a Big Tournament. I made
the same moves I would have made at Rounders or that dump near port
Authority. A little more thought probably went into everything, and
that’s all good too. I think I learned a lot from it.