June 08, 2012
What's up guys?
Because I'm in between tourneys, I figured now was a better time than ever to do a WSOP update. This is the third summer I've spent significant time out in the desert grinding the WSOP, although it's really only my second year playing any tourneys (the first year I played solely cash games). Having a year of experience under my belt has been really valuable, although I don't necessarily have the results to back it up quite yet. Last year, although I tried my best to fight it, I definitely had the jitters in my first few events. The distractions are numerous (both on and off the tables), and overall the WSOP can be an overwhelming environment if you don't know what to expect. I think my play last year reflected my mood, and Black Friday certainly didn't encourage a profitable mindset either. Overall, last year I played like I was "just happy to be there", and this year, I feel more like I belong with the better players and deserve better results because of the amount of preparation I've done since last July.
So far I've played the 3k HU NL/PLO and the 1500NL Re-entry. Both were really fun tournaments, although I definitely enjoyed the HU tournament much more. I was really looking forward to this tourney because I spent a few days playing HU SNG's against several of my good friends using the WSOP structure so we could all prepare and gain an edge. I received a bye in the first round and then lost in a fairly standard way to some guy from the Czech Republic. He was clearly better than me in NL, and I was clearly better than him in PLO, so really it was a matter of trying to minimize the damage incurred in the NL round and then maximize as much value as possible in the PLO round. I had a chance to knock him out at one point. I had a 2/1 chip lead when we got AIPF, and my AQT8ds couldn't outrun his KQQ8ss on a T749x runout. Finally got all in with 10bb's with KK but couldn't beat his A6o and that was it for me. Was extremely happy with how I played though, and am definitely looking forward to that one next year.
I did play one interesting hand during the match. In the first level with the blinds at 50/100, he opened to 250 and I peeled with J8dd. Flop was 9TTr. He bet 225 and I c/r'd to some amount (can't remember). He called. Turn was a very nice Qx and I bet 950 into 1600 and he called. River was the not-so-great Jx. There's ~3700 out there and I have 3k behind. What's our plan? fwiw I still had my 2 rebuy chips left (you get 9k starting chips but can use them in 3k increments however you want). Didn't have too many reads on him at this point besides that he seemed very competent NL player (he beat Chris Demaci in the previous match).
On another note, the cash game action out here has been incredible so far. I've mostly been playing the 5/10/25 limits (btn straddle) and as one would expect, the games have been playing pretty big. It's common to see a 100 or even 200 straddle put on. Sitting with 10k+ is very normal in this game, and more often than not the 5/10/25 plays more like a 25/50 game. A few nights ago I had a 14k stack and was probably the 4th or 5th biggest stack at the table.. And it's supposed to be a 5/10/25 game!
One of the coolest aspects of the WSOP is having the opportunity to play with top level players that you otherwise wouldn't be able to play at other times in the year. In the 1500NL, I was fortunate (or unfortunate depending on how you look at it) to play with Brian Rast for a day. I say "fortunate" because I learned a lot playing with someone of his caliber, and was really impressed with his level of play. You can tell that he's seeing the game differently than everyone else, and it's easy to understand why he's had so much success over the last several years. I played with Vanessa earlier this year in a cash game at LAPC, and I got the same vibe from Brian that I did from her in the sense that they are both clearly much more intelligent than everyone else. Additionally, I was really impressed with his level of focus at the table. I figured Brian would have a difficult time staying focused in a 1500 buy-in, but he was completely engaged with each hand, and made sure that his presence was felt at the table.
I'll probably stay away from tournaments and grind cash games until the 5k PLO six-max on Tuesday. It's by far my favorite event of the series, and I can't wait to give it another try this year. Follow me on twitter (@jbeauprez) for some chip updates and random PLO advice. GL!
PS - Congrats to my former student Matt Maggard for his deep run in the 1500PLO a couple of days ago. Nice work man!