17 September 2007

Saving The Best For Last At WSOPE

The WSOPE has been going great and, luckily, I have saved the best for last. All of the tournaments have been run very well and I really like the new structures. One thing they do here is spread out the players to three different casinos. Imagine only having one Day One at the WSOP in Las Vegas, instead of dragging on Day One for four days.

The HORSE event was first and looked like a great chance to win a bracelet since the field is so small. However, it is a super tough field. I had Phil Gordon, Howard Lederer, and Jeff Lisandro at my starting table. I felt that I played well, but just could not catch any cards. In limit games, it is very tough to bluff.

My starting table for the PLO event was the toughest starting table I have ever had to play. Kenny Tran, Devilfish, Juha Hellpi, Mark Vos, Robert Mizrachi, and a super tough young Swedish kid. The end result was the same as the HORSE – I just did not hit enough hands and was not able to make a run.

Unfortunately, even though I didn’t get the result I wanted, I lasted long enough in the PLO to miss the Ultimate Fighting Championship 75 event here in London. I was really looking forward to watching it live but had to settle for ordering it online and watching it on my laptop.

My tournament game feels like it is peaking at the right time and I have had a gut feeling the past few days that I was due for a big result. The first two days of the Main Event have been almost perfect and I will try my best to keep it going on Day Three.

Day One did not start well, but got better. I was playing very tight the first five hours and not catching any cards. I was down to 8,000 from the starting 20,000. I finally looked down at KJ of spades and called a raise. The flop came J high with two spades, I had top pair and a flush draw. All of the money went in on the flop and I hit a J on the turn and a spade on the river. This turned out to be the turning point.

I had 24,000 when I was able to make a very good read on a player who obviously wanted to gamble. He was low on chips and we were coming up on the dinner break. His body language and attitude were telling me he wanted to get his chips in as soon as possible.

With blinds of 100-200 I raised utg with 77, he raised to 7450. I took a long time and finally decided to call, since I knew there was a big chance I was in better shape than a coin flip. He had A2 and I was in great shape, but he spiked an A on the turn. I was down to 17,500 instead of 32,500.

These are the times in tournaments where it is very easy to go on a little tilt and usually bust out quite quickly. Luckily for me, it was dinner break and I had time to cool down and regain focus.

At the dinner break I had a good feeling that the rest of the night was going to be good. I built my stack to 76,000 with only two showdowns. I was very happy with my performance after the dinner break; I don't think I could have played any better. I did not have any cards, but was able to pick up a lot of pots without showdown and build a stack.

At the end of Day Two I was still the chip-leader for my heat. We were down to 84 players and I was in second place behind my good friend Gus Hansen. My starting table on Saturday included Gus and Daniel Negreanu. You can bet there were a lot of interesting hands with Gus and me at the same table. I can’t tell you about them now but you can follow the play on PokerNews.com.

Wish me luck and hopefully I can keep up my great play.