Trip Report Friday July 12th Day 4 of WSOP Main Event

Ok so I left you hanging at the end of day three. We were bagged and such by around 1:15am

So I haven’t really slept much at all since we got to Vegas. We are now 18 people from the money, and I have lost almost 3/4 of my stack going into the last two levels of the night on day 3.

I knew I was not going to be able to sleep even if I went back to the room and tried, so I figured I would go play some craps. Now I may be 18 people away from winning 19k, but I am still way more comfortable at a $5 craps table, than a $15 table, so I decided I would walk on over to the gold coast for some low limit craps action.

I made my way past the Rio buffett, and out the doors on the side of the property. All you need to do is cross one street and then walk through the parking garage of Gold Coast to get over there. It doesn’t take long at all. Now one thing I also forgot to mention was the Jager Bombs we did at the table after the last hand ended.

IMG_0001I made it across the street and was on the sidewalk heading to the gold coast. I looked behind me at an entrance to the parking garage since I wasn’t sure where I should enter. Just at that moment I went from walking to laying down on the pavement. BOOM. The side of my head hit a tree branch with such force that I was down for the count. It took me a good minute to stand back up, as a few cars drove right past. I finally got back on my feet and felt like I hadn’t broken anything, or cracked my skull, but was really hurting a bit.

There is a second story here, where I was not doing a very good job of making sure both dice hit the back wall when rolling. The third time I rolled I went on a bit of a heater and the table was yelling for ‘Green Shirt’. The pit boss got on me pretty quickly any time I didn’t fully hit the back wall. I might have missed 3 times. The dice moved, and so did he. But the second I got to roll again he was giving me warnings before I even threw them the first time. I made extra effort to hit the wall, but I came up short again. I was now told that if I missed the wall again, I would NEVER be allowed to throw dice in this establishment again. Really? Its 3:30am I have had a few, oh yea a tree almost knocked me out, and now this guy is ready to ban me for life from throwing dice at of all places the marvelous Gold Coast Casino. Well, I made my point, and what do you know, I missed the wall with one of the two dice. I was told that was it, I am not allowed to throw any more once my roll is over. I got pissed off, and took all my bets down cashed out and passed the dice. Told the guy if it was really that bad, I have no need to stick around, I was just trying to have fun, not trying to beat the game or anything ridiculous.

So I pretty much broke even, but may not want to use a players card next year if I come back to the gold coast. Might have to wear a blue shirt as well.

Ok so I went back to the room, and by 4:30 or so, I think they had the day 4 seat assignments up again. I LOVED what I saw.

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There were 3 stacks at the table with equal or less chips. There were also two others that only had 2-3 more big blinds than me. We had one stack that had about 600k one with 300k and another with 200k. Everyone else was a shorty. I loved this as I knew we only needed to bust 18 people, there were 92 people in the tourney that had less chips than me, and 3 of them were at my table.

So we woke up, played some video poker. Got some hot tea, as my bronchitis was really getting bad at this point. I was just coughing like crazy when I finally made it back to the room and tried to sleep.

By the time I made my way to the table, I was getting pretty nervous. I had one and only one goal to start the day. CASH. Make the money. Don’t bubble this thing. I told myself I could fold into the money if I had to, if anyone pushed back at me preflop, I would just let it go, no matter what my hand.

IMG_0002Here is my starting stack for the day. Always a good start with a Snickers!

IMG_0006Play was super slow when we started. No one wanted to play anything. We saw the big stack open more than 3/4 of all the pots, and just take most of them down. In a few spots someone else would open and take it down. I picked up AK and AQ which were the only two times I made an open myself. Both times I took them down without seeing a flop. I then saw QQ at one point where there was a min raise to open. I bumped it to 25k and he let it go without seeing a flop. We went an hour and 18 minutes before we saw our first flop at the table. Here is the first flop of the day after this 78 minute wait.

If you watched Day three on ESPN the other night you might remember Yuri Dzivielevski. He took out Tony Gregg with the KK > AQ. I played with him the entire day on Day 2C. Just as the tournament director told the dealers to stop dealing and that we needed to finish the hand we were on, before we start hand for hand. He got into a hand one table behind us. He put in a massive bluff against his opponent for that guys tournament life, but also for most of Yuri’s chips. This guy went into the tank for 10 minutes. All 68 or whatever tables were all waiting on this one hand to finish before we started hand for hand. Finally after 10 minutes, he called, and Yuri was caught bluffing, going from 200k to like 20k. At this point I think we were two or three from the money.

Our short stack Kurt Fraser was hanging on by a thread. He has not played a hand all day, and the blinds were heading his way. He was UTG +2 as we started hand for hand, and I believe his chip stack was 11.5k with blinds at 2500-5000/500. He was not going to make it through the blinds. We got some TV action on him as he may have been the tournament short stack as well as we approached the bubble.

IMG_2612It was time for a Bubble Beer of course. Miller time.


We started hand for hand, and on the first hand Yuri went all in and lost, and was one bust out of two all in and calls on hand one of the bubble. Pretty sure the first guy doubled up as he caught his card on the turn or river. ESPN has to get cameras over to each and every table that has an all in and a call on the bubble, so this takes some time.

Kurt Frasier still had one ‘free’ hand left. We played our second hand with nothing doing. There was an open, and a bunch of folds. Kurt was one of those folds.

The second hand of hand for hand again we got two players all in and a call. Pretty sure the first one was a bust out, which put us in the money, but WSOPTD didn’t announce that until after the second hand was examined and held up. Once we got the congratulations you have all made the money, I had a massive sigh of relief. I have never bought into a tournament for this much, money, and I have never cashed for this much money. The largest buy in event I have ever played was the $1500 WSOP event 9 or something like that which allowed a re-entry on day 1b if you busted day 1a.

Our first post Bubble hand Kurt Fraser was on the big blind with only 8.5k. He never looked at his hand and called the open of a guy with QQdc. He flips over 94hd and we all laughed. Flop came 8910ddd. He had some life, but diamonds were no good either. Turn was the 4h and he more than doubled to 20,500.

IMG_0007So the goal of the day was accomplished, but now I wanted to chip up and move up the ranks. The next hand after Kurt tippled up he pushed all in for 20.5k. I had KJcc > AQxx I flopped a K and knocked him out. My stack was back up to 103,500. I was glad that he had cashed as I had made a point to say that I wanted the entire table to cash. Just felt like it was good karma not to be the guy that ruined one of the 18 peoples days that busted before the money. My low point on the bubble was around 65k, but with this hand I was back to where I started the day. We got picked up by pokernews on these hands as you can see here. It will be interesting to see if we make the ESPN broadcast, as these were pretty much back to back hands just after the bubble and he was on bubble watch and the cameras were all there for this. Stay tuned next Tuesday on ESPN!!

IMG_0009Kurt seemed like he was pretty happy to cash. He would be the last person I bust in the tourney, but the only person I busted that made the money. He tossed his banana peel over to me after the hand. I kept it around for good Karma. Well, at least long enough to post a pick and put it up on twitter.

Still in the first level of the day, I was not getting hands and was just waiting for something to play. I finally was dealt AKss. There was a min raise open a three bet, and I came over the top for about 100k. I got called by the 3 bet and he flipped over AKxx. I was free rolling when the turn brought a second spade, but a red river ended that and we chopped the pot. I picked up minimal chips in that hand and was up to 111k. This is the first time in 4 days that I was all in and at risk.

We did hit the first paybump before the break as the payout went from 19k to 21k.

IMG_0010We went on the first break of the day, and when we came back blinds were at 3000-6000/500. When we came back I played two orbits without a hand worthy of seeing a flop. Every pot got opened, three bet, and I just kept folding. While we were folding we had a new player arrive at our table with over 1M in chips. I took a pic, posted it to twitter saying 1M chips just arrived at our table. Little did I know he was going to be the end of my run.

IMG_2623Not more than 20 minutes after I posted this pic, I again was dealt AKcc. I only had 80k left at this point. The player with 1M chips opened to 13k and I pushed the remainder of my chips into the pot. He flipped over 88 and we had a race. That race lasted about a 2 seconds as the card in the window was an 8 with a flop in which I was drawing dead. Just like that the dream was over. What a run it had been. I wished the rest of my table good luck and waited for the payout person to arrive.

Turns out that two of my table mates did make very deep runs. I was knocked out by George Wong. He went on to finish 28th for $221k. I also had been playing on day 4 with Bruno Kawauti. He finished 15th for $451k. Not too shabby. I expect to see them in the next couple weeks on ESPN.

IMG_2625I was given my payout stub, went through the process and got in line to collect my money. I placed 535th for $21,495. It was such a somber sad line of folks when we were in line waiting for our payouts. This was the same room just 4 days ago, I was chopping close to $100,000 in cash with 5 of my new best friends. Min cashing the Main event was pretty much the best and worst feeling all at the same time. So happy to make it, but so frustrated that I missed out on an opportunity that is not easy to come by.

It truly was an amazing run, 5 full days of poker. I just want to say thanks to my virtual rail. I tried to update twitter as much as I could and having everyone back home as well as old friends that heard about my run rooting for me along the way was amazing.

I think I may have gotten somewhere around 10-12 hours of sleep over the entire trip. I will say WSOP really had things moving along nicely. I wanted cash and a check and it took less than 10 minutes from the time I got in line to the time I had my $$ in hand.

In that ten minutes of waiting in line, I was able to use Hipmunk on my phone and book a red-eye home that night. Very excited to get home to my twin 3 year old kids and my wife, who had been holding it down back home while my trip extended quite a bit longer than expected. It was still only 4pm and my flight didn’t leave till 11 something.

IMG_2626I made one mistake this day I regret. I had run out of green t-shirts. All of them had been worn for more than 14 hours of poker each day, and with the trip well longer than expected I put on a clean Blue tshirt on day 4. I am known for my green t-shirts and should have known better. Of course the only day I don’t wear green I bust. Lesson learned, never again.

IMG_0030I went back to the room, got my stuff packed up, and asked on Twitter where I could go get a great meal. Quickly got some responses and decided on Sage over at Aria. I called over there to see if I could pass with shorts and my one and only polo shirt. Of course it was green. (just wait for it, gambling is coming and its good)

I decided I was going to take $500 go to Aria, treat myself to an expensive meal and then go light a few hundred bucks on fire at the craps table before I got out of town. So I got the 9 course meal at Sage. I think this was something like $150, and I ended up doing a beer paring with it for another $80.

IMG_0015The meal was great. I have had better, but it hit the spot after busting the main. Paying $275 for a meal for 1 at the bar, eh whatever. I was ready to play some craps.

IMG_2642I always play $5 when I can. It was Friday night at Aria, the lowest table limit was $15 and I bought in for what I had left of the $500. The dice were only two people away from me, so I was excited I would get to roll soon. Wait for it. I never rolled and I almost missed my flight. Here is my rail at 8:20pm. Two girls and a guy rolled up to the table and put themselves into the next to roll position. This was an interesting dynamic.

The two girls. One knew craps and was ready to throw her money down and play, and roll. She was wearing a black t-shirt with some machine gun on it, for some range in Vegas where you can shoot machine guns, which they had just come from or something. The second girl was wearing a bikini with a fish net type top over it. They were there with a drunk guy, that had no idea what craps was, but he threw down $60 at this $15 table and was ready. She got the dice around 8:30pm. Here is the progression of my rail as she rolled.

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This girl rolled and rolled and rolled and rolled. She was hitting hard 6’s like no other. I was on every number with a come bet, with max odds, and ended up having to bump the come bets to get more $$ out there. Never did she roll a 7, even on come out rolls as my come bets never came down over the course of this roll. The table was going insane. Every single roll she picked up the dice, and put them in front of her friend in the bikini and she blew on those dice. It was like something out of a movie. I colored up at 9:56pm when she finally threw a 7. She rolled for an hour and 26 minutes. I have never seen anything like it and it was a great finish to my trip. The guy that bought in to the table for $500 next to me and was betting very heavy from the start had over $30k in his rail. The shooter bought in for $100 and had close to $1,000. The guy who bought in for $60 had well over $600. Final thought of the day. Should have worn my green polo instead of my blue t-shirt for day 4 of the Main Event!

IMG_2659I was pretty happy where I finished up. I made a mad dash to the cab line, got back to the Rio (crazy brand new BMW 5 series picks me up at the Aria, is this for real?) , ran to the room, grabbed my bag and got in a cab to the airport.

I made my flight with about 25 minutes to spare. My wife and kids picked me up at BWI on Saturday morning, and we made our way up to Baltimore for the weekend. Luckily she brought me some clean clothes!! It was great to be home, Vegas is fun, but it was time to get home and be with family. I had a great time, and look forward to my WSOP trip with my dad next year!

Stay tuned into the blog. I have two tourneys that I know I am going to play in September. Borgata is holding their Borgata Poker Open. Hopefully we will have some more stories to tell.

I plan on playing Event 1. A $560 buy in with a 2 Million Dollar guarantee. It is going to be a madhouse, but they do a great job up there. I will be heading up for day 1b for this tourney on September 4th.

I am also planning on playing the $3,500 Borgata Poker Open Main Event. I have never played anything higher than a $500 at Borgata and am looking forward to it. This will be Day 1b on Monday September 16th.


Trip Report Thursday July 11th Day 3 of WSOP Main Event

I tried to sleep in the best I could, I finally got to bed around 2am. Of course this still didn’t work for me, I was awake by 5am as there was a massive thunderstorm that rolled into vegas and woke me up.

I took a look online to see if the table draws had been released yet, and I was still waiting for them.

By 8am I had the data I was looking for. Quad Jacks somewhat failed me though, as their tracker software had people missing from the table. I took to the phone and did some research to see what was going on.

I_MG_9912 was not the table chip leader. We had a Russian at the table with more than 300k. I was second in chips though with 231,500 and the tourney chip average was only 108,000.

The only name I knew was Greg Mueller. Ex Hockey Player, turned poker pro. Known for spending more on massages during the WSOP than a main event buy in. I don’t really know him, but I did get a chance to rail him and Daniel Negreanu back in 2009 when they went deep in the 10k 7 Card Stud Event. I got a bunch of pics, but this one stood out to me as he looked pissed I was taking photos of him.

Notice the girl giving him a massage.

I am first to arrive at the table, and all our chips are still in bags.  We have to wait for at least a second person to arrive before we can open them up.


IMG_0003We get that second person to show, and I dump my bag.  I love this shot of all my chips just dumped on the table.  Not my peak of the tournament but I enjoy the chip photos as you have most likely picked up on,  and this one seemed good enough to make the title photo of the blog.

He shows up, is all smiles, having a great time.

My day starts out kinda slow.  I made a move with air, and got popped by another player at the table.  I thought about sticking with it, but let it go.  He showed the bluff as well and I was down to around 205K.

I was then dealt 22 and saw a min raised pot with the Russian and Mueller.  Flop came 2sXsXs and Mueller bet out for 3K.  I loved the flop, but hated the idea of seeing a turn or river.  He bet 3k and I bumped it up to 25K.  He let it go and I was back to 225,700K

IMG_0012IMG_0011So Mueller calls over a massage girl to start working on him very early in the first level.  I look over and notice ITS THE SAME GIRL FROM 4 YEARS AGO!!! The camera crews are all over this today for some reason.  Pokernews came over to do a story on massages with her later in the day and they were using a bunch of the footage from her working on Mueller.  So 4 years later, I pretty much have the same picture of the same two folks.

Good times

I am still feeling this table out, and playing somewhat slow.  I get into a couple bad hands where I just barely came up second best.  I lost J9 < J10 where J was second pair on the board.  (Down to 204,400)    I picked up some blinds and antes, and then lost another mid sized pot to take me down to 189,500.

I was getting frustrated, so what else was there to do, but to declare Miller Time and get some lucky beer level going.

Just before the break I won a small one to go to 195,000, and then was dealt QQ and took down the hand with a four bet bringing myself back to 209,400.   I was not happy at all with my play that level, but I was glad that my stack did not take too much of a beating.  When I looked at the count of players left we were around 1500+ but we had lost over 200 players in two hours.

When we came back from the break, I again got QQ and got it all in pre flop against 44.  Again not a huge stack, but I was happy with the knockout which took my stack back above the day’s start and I had 242,700 IMG_0015

I kept the run good going but as more and more people were busting the break order was getting closer and closer.  I am up to 249,300 just before we break and I get moved from Brazillia over to the Amazon Room.


Greg Muler was kinda funny in that he was vocal about how disappointed he was that we were breaking.  He said we had a “lot of ticky tackys here at this table”  He immediately came over to me and shook my hand and said it was nice playing with you after he said this.  He was obviously joking around with me, and wished me luck.

I get to my new table and it looks like one young internet pro and a bunch of recreational players.  There is one big stack that has me covered, but not by much.  Just as I settle in and tweet how much I like my new table draw I get out of line with KJ.  I raised pre and got 5 callers.  Flop came out  QJ8 and I put out a continuation bet, all but one let it go.  Turn is a blank and we go check check.  He bet out 22k on the blank river and I made the call thinking he was making a move.  He flipped over AQ and I was down to around 200k.

I was up and down a bit from 200 –> 210  and then finished the level at 195,000 to go on break.   I figured I needed some type of boost so again I went to the snickers and posted the photo when we got back to it.


Sure enough, I sit down and win the first hand back taking me back up to 210,000.

At this point in the day the table changed drastically.  We went from 7-8 recreational players to 1-2 of them as they all busted and were replaced by guys I didn’t know, but lots of headphones and hoodies.

Shortly after this, I get into the biggest hand of the tournament for me against the only stack at the table that has me covered.  I called an open of a min raise with Ah7x.   The flop comes out 7h4h2x.  I am first to act and check.  The original raiser puts out a continuation bet of 8k.  I raised him to 25k and he calls.  Turn is a black 3.  I bet 40k.  He thinks about it for a long while and makes the call.  At this point, I know I am not good, but I have the A of hearts and if we can get a third heart on the river I should be able to steal this thing.  Out comes the river 6h!  Here we go.  I grab a big old stack of yellow chips, put a few orange ones on top and push it out to the middle.  65k is the bet.  He is pissed, he goes into the tank for a good two or three minutes, but he convinced himself that I had the hearts based on my check raise on the flop. He finally let it go, and I showed the Ah.  He mumbled for a good ten minutes that he folded a big pocket pair, and he only called while he knew he was ahead, but let it go when he knew he was behind.IMG_0024

IMG_0025After this hand I looked down and I had 355,500.

I was feeling pretty good, not the chip leader at the table, but was having fun, had that bluff not worked I would have had about 70k left, but that hand was a game changer for me.

I slowed down for a while and was not picking up many hands.  I lost a little bit, but then looked down at 77.  I managed to call an all in of 63k as the last to act.  Was hoping for a flip but he turned over KK.  Board ran out dry, and next thing I know I am back to 265,000.  I was feeling a little too good as I somehow managed to get it all in preflop 77 < KK against a 63k stack.  I still had 265k.

Last two levels of the night after dinner.  When we get back I declare lucky beer level.  Shortly after I look down at AA.  There is an open, and I open at the 1500-3000/500 level to 7.5k.  We get two callers, and then a three bet to 27.5k by the biggest stack at the table.   It gets back to me and I slide out an additional 100k stack of orange chips.  Everyone lets it go, including the big stack.  This is now the 6th time in the tourney I have had AA. and I am 6 for 6.  Chip stack is back up to 294,000.

Lucky beer level keeps going pretty well for me as I chipped back up to 343,000 with little to report.  Only hand I mentioned on twitter was getting 77, raising and taking it down for a fairly small pot.

Just as I was tweeting that my table had mostly pros, and one dirty old man making comments I look down at KK.  Get ready for it, this will be the biggest hand of the tourney for me, and I am not happy the way I played it.   I can’t remember if it was opened to 12.5k or three bet to 12.5, but when it came back to me, I re-raised it up to 40k. The dirty old man thought about it for a while, and made the call.  Flop came Q26.   He checked and I checked behind.  Turn is a J.  He checks and I bet 35k.  He raises me to 70k.    This is where I just can’t believe I didn’t think about things a bit better.  I made the call, but should have thought about what he could have had so I could figure out what I was going to do on the river.  The river comes another 6 and he goes all in for 137k.  I put him on AQ and made the call way too fast.  When I look back at it, I needed to put him on QQ or JJ, as these are really the only hands that make sense.  When I play the hand back in my head AQ is most likely going to let it go preflop for 40k.   This is a massive hit to my stack as he flips over QQ.  I have 111,500 now and we have just over 2 hours left to play.

IMG_0045 IMG_0044Here is my stack, and here is what that pot looked like sitting in front of DOM.

I have been watching the player count like a hawk and we were getting pretty close.  This was not what I wanted to do to my stack before the bubble.  I was in a great spot to steal a lot of blinds and antes on day four before the KK hand.  Now I had to navigate my way in the 2000-4000/500 level with ~25 big blinds.  Not in danger, but not really loving it either.

I didn’t see much for the rest of the level, and I had to let a couple of hands go on the flop.  I was down to 75k on the last break.

We went on the last break of the night, and of course I got another miller light for lucky beer level (actual last level of the day lucky beer level)   First hand back I picked up AQ and check raised the Q high flop to take down the pot, boosting my stack to 115,500.  LUCKY BEER LEVEL.


Things slowed down in the last level.  We were busting more than one player a minute in level 14.  Now on level 15 we got to the point where there was 72 minutes left in the level and we were 71 people from hitting the money.  It seemed within reach, but the bubble historically has occurred on day 4, but we were down a little bit from last year, and apparently one of the levels was removed/changed, from last year.

We found out on twitter that it wasn’t happening for sure on day 3 as WSOP had no one on  hand to pay people.  So if it had gotten that close, I have a feeling they would have ended the night early, since even playing to the bubble could be problematic if they can’t pay people.

Not much else happened for me this last level.  I worked to keep my stack right about where it was.  I picked up a few small pots, and at the end of the day I had 97,000.  Not how I wanted to end day 3 after peeking out around 355,000, but I made day 4.  We were only 18 players from making the money.  When I see the chip stacks of the players remaining, there are more than 90 that have a smaller stack than I have.

Walking out of the amazon room I bumped into Greg Mueller as I was heading down the hallway.  We chatted briefly about how our day had ended, and he gave me some advice for after the bubble.

IMG_0053IMG_0050Knowing that I am this close, and after the day I had, I could not sleep, so what did I do?  I decided I wanted to go throw some dice at 2am over at the gold coast.

There is a story there, that involves a tree knocking me down to the pavement. Maybe I will add it into day 4, as this day 3 story is way overdue.

Trip Report – Wed July 10th Day 2C of the WSOP Main Event

I stayed in bed, trying to sleep but awake for most of the morning. I finally got up cleaned up, and ate some food at the Rio, and headed back to my Day 2C seat. Not before I blow my nose and BAM bloody nose #1 of the trip. Last year I ran into bloody nose problems as well, but I have had such a terrible sinus infection the entire trip thus far. I managed to get it under control after about 10 minutes, and just had to be super careful not to blow it, or touch it for the rest of the day.

I was able to take advantage of a lot of the new chip count integration stuff going on. QuadJacks built a tracker that really made this cool. I was able to get a feel for who was at my Table.
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Lets take a look at some of these names.
Amit Makhija – @amak316 – $130k in cashes in 2013 WSOP. Played the $111,111 One Drop, $176k in cashes in 2012, and $226k in WSOP cashes in 2010. Great. Super. All I can say is thank god he is on my right.
Salvador Dicarlo – $189k in cashes just this summer. Took 3rd in a $1500 event.
Yuri Dzivielevski – $109k in 2011 for some big tourney he took 3rd in Brazil
Steven Kelly – $404k in WSOP 2010, Bracelet Winner in the $1500 Shootout
Mark Redding – Yep, thats me. Just in case you forgot, of you need to remember how the heck I am playing in the WSOPME — Trip Report – I am playing Day 1C of the 2013 WSOP Main Event! (

Looking at my table online, there were millions in earnings sitting around me, and all that they could find on me was a $632 cash from a WSOPC event in 2011. Quad Jacks Tracker was great for helping me figure out who people were and I thought I would use it again if I made Day 3.
IMG_0003IMG_0006As we took our seats I wasn’t all that worried about anyone other than Steven Kelly as he was the only stack at the table that had me covered. I almost had 1.5 times as many chips as Amit and Salvador.

I had a slow start to the day, and was down below 60k before I played my first hand. I was dealt AK, opened the pot, was popped all in by a short stack. I made the call, AK > 1010 and my stack is back to 74k.

I decided I was going to loosen up early and get my lucky beers flowing. Within minutes of having that first Miller Light arrive at the table. I was dealt AA for the fourth time in the tourney and it held up for a good sized pot. Up to 105k. Pocket AA is now 4 for 4 for me in the main.

Last hand before the break I won another big hand with 1010 vs K5 aipf against another shorty and was at 122k on the first break of the day. I keep getting involved with short stacks. I did make an effort to avoid the big stacks, and pick off the shorties when I had a hand. This has been working quite well for me as I am winning flips against the shorties and never putting myself in all that much risk.

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At this point I was the table chip leader. Another cool thing that they had going this year was the use of the “My Stack” application on the iPhone. I was able to update my stack into this application, and see where I ranked among others that were being tracked, and or others that were updating their stack as well. At this point, I was almost on the first page of names.
My stack was large compared to the rest of the table, and I kept getting into pots with short stacks which allowed me to put them to the test. Any time they bet into me, I was able to slide out my stack of orange chips and put them to the test. Most of the time I had it, but others I got a speech that in any other tourney they would call me in this spot, but not in the WSOP main. I really tried to not get into huge pots with chip leaders, but also to apply as much pressure when I had a strong starting hand or caught a piece of a flop anytime it got heads up with shorties. This worked very well for me and I chipped up to 135k. And then to 138,500.
IMG_0009I then played a big pot with AKdd. The flop came J72dd. A mid sized stack of ~30k shoved all in on the flop. I thought about it for a while, and made the call. He flipped over 1010, and after looking at the hand calculator I feel alright about the call. IMG_0010The board bricked and I doubled him up, and my stack was back down to 105,000.
At this point 105k is still a huge stack at the table. I was able to use it to my advantage without really playing any hands and move my stack right back to 121k without tweeting any hands of importance.
I again got into a hand with a shorty with QhQx vs 1010 where he flopped 8910hhh. The 3h hit the turn and the river did not pair the board and I was right back to the 135,000 chip mark.
I got into a big hand with Amit. I was holding 79dd in a 6 way min raised pot and the flop came 678hhh. He bet the flop, I raised and he shoved for around 40k. I tanked for a little while, but I put him on a hand like AK, AQ. I called and he showed A2hh. I was pretty much drawing to runner runner. First big misstep of the tourney that cost me a good portion of my chips for me. This knocked my stack back to 95k.
Within minutes of making this mistake, I get QQ, open the pot, and a 13k stack from @davidv1213 David Vamplew (~$3 million in tourney winnings) shoves all in. I call with QQ and he flips over AJxx. He turned the A and doubled through. At this point I was down to 80,900. Told myself I needed to turn it around from here.
I opened a hand with AQ and had a 20k stack shove into me. It just felt like AQ was good. I made the call and AQ > AJ for another knockout and taking my stack back to a much more comfortable 115,000.
A little bit later I look down at 55 and call an open to see a flop. Two way pot and out comes a beautiful flop of AA5. Check check on flop, I bet 15k on the turn. He shoved for the rest and I called. He showed A8. The turn and river bricked and this took me to 141k while busting another player.
As I am writing this, it is very apparent now, that short stacks just kept shoving into me when I had a hand. Next hand I played I took out another short stack with 1010 > AQ aipf for 10k and now I was up to 150k.
Doubled a short stack yet again in the same QQ < AJ situation. He flopped an A. This again was a short stack that didn’t hurt my stack too much. I went to dinner with 134,900.
Dinner breaks are somewhat of a madhouse. All the restaurants are full, and the line at the food spot over by the sports book was insane. I chose to pick up a fruit tray at Starbucks and go back to my room and eat it.
That was when I saw this from Phil, it seemed fun to play back at him. I like Phil, I think he is great for the game, but he does love to tell everyone how amazing he has it. Phil is in the same room with me. He is not all that far away, and I have to pass his table every time I get up to run to the restroom. There is action at his table with a massive rail, as well as the camera crew pretty much constantly for all 10 hours of play.
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IMG_0012The fruit tray was actually pretty good! I got some quite in the room, and took the super hot Rio elevator back downstairs for the final two levels of the day.
I started chipping up after dinner with no hands to report. Just winning pots, and my stack was up to 169k. I actually didn’t report a single hand of mention to twitter over a two hour span. Just kept updating the ‘My Stack’ application with small increments where I took down the pot with no contest. Was using my stack to my advantage. Opening pots, making continuation bets and raking in pots.
So I have pretty much been drinking a beer a level all day just to stay a little loose. This is one very two hours, so we are not going nuts or anything. Last level of the night my stack was at 161,600. Amit declared that last level of the night is always lucky beer level for him, and since I had been already drinking, I figured I needed to get in on this. I declare Miller Time. So we both ordered beers and all I can say is wow it worked for both of us.

IMG_0013Within minutes of getting that beer, I was dealt AA yet again at this point, and won a very good sized pot to take me to 223k. (We are now 5 for 5 with AA in the tourney)

I gotta say, while I wasn’t thrilled to double him up in the hand where I called drawing to runner runner, but sitting next to Amit made the day pretty fun. He was pretty easy going, friendly , and just made the day flow by pretty easy. I somewhat learned that lucky beer level is only supposed to be the last level of the day, but I may stick what worked for me.
Used my stack at the end of the day and continued to chip up. I finished the day, bagging 231,500. What an amazing end to the day. The last two levels, I always had it. I was flopping the world, and winning pots. I didn’t really slow play anything, and we didn’t see many hands to the river for showdowns, but my chip stack grew slow and steady all day.
Here is some end of the day chip stacks.
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Day 3 may take me a week or so to get posted. There was a LOT of play / hands and I want to cover it all, but this week is crazy hectic for me. I will do my best to get it up when time permits.




Trip Report Day 3 – Tuesday July 9th – My Day off while Day 2A and 2B play

This is Day 2A 2B of the Main event.  I have the day off.  I haven’t spent much time with my dad yet, since I have been playing poker pretty much non stop since we arrived in Vegas.  We we make a point to hang out all day.
I made a call over to United Airlines to cancel my flight home Wed morning.  I was supposed to fly back home around 6am on Wed.  When I called they told me that they were happy to help me with the transaction and based on their records, I would get a $147 credit for my flight.  Sounds good.  Here comes the kicker.  All I have to do is pay the $200 transfer / modification fee when I go to rebook in order to get my credit.    So all in all, I would owe them $53 if I wanted to use my credit.  Great.  perfect, well executed.
I had never been to Aria, and wanted to see it so we hopped in a cab to check it out.  It was Tuesday morning in Vegas, and Aria just didn’t seem all that exciting.  We were not impressed.  We were thought that we would go see Zartaina, but after going there, we were not sure.  We hopped in a cab, and went up to Bellagio.  Sat down and played some $10 blackjack for a while with my dad at Bellagio.  Bought in for $100 and cashed out for $100.  Not much happened there, just having some fun.  We needed to eat so we went to he spot next to the floral gardens (my wife does like calla lilyies) and sat down for a meal.
While we were playing blackjack someone at the table mentioned the Michael Jackson One show over at Mandalay bay.  I went over the concierge to figure out what type of tickets we could get.  We picked up two tickets for the 7:30 show.
We decided to go play some low limit craps.  We hopped in a cab for  Casino Royal 20x odds, $3 table.
This was going to be fun, so I thought.  20X odds, I buy in for $200 and am ready to light this table on fire.  We have made the Casino Royal a standard pit stop every year for my dad and myself when we come for the WSOP.  The craps tables are super low limit, and the cocktail waitress can bring you 10 miller lights in 30 minutes if you can drink them that fast.  The dealers are rude, say super crude things and its not a very friendly establishment at all.   Normally we love it.
I hop in and start betting heavy quickly.  I’m putting $30 on the 6 and 8 while playing $3 pass line bets with $40 behind.  We roll through half the table making a point and then rolling a seven.  I’m down $200 before I even shoot.   Out came another $200 to try at it again.  I get the dice and decide I am going to roll a heater.  Almost put the entire $200 across the felt, and BAM 7-OUT.  Pull out another $200.  I have been at this table less than 10 minutes.  This is not what I meant by lighting the table on fire.  All my money is burning up on it.  We had a couple people make points, but this table never got going.  I somehow managed to pull a total of $1,200 out onto this table in the course of an hour or so.
I called it quits, while my dad just kinda looked at me like what the hell are you doing.  This is a $3 table.  He said to me, if you wanted to bet like that we should have stayed at the Bellagio.  They wouldn’t be making comments at us like these dealers over there.
I managed to hit for $100 on a slot machine while my dad was still playing craps.  When he went to cash out, I hit again for $100.  We then got the hell out of there and drove over to Mandalay Bay for the show.
Of course we didn’t manage our time very well and were running late, so we had to grab something quick.  We picked up a sandwich and a yogurt before the show.
This show was amazing.  I like the circ de soleil shows and this one did not disappoint as they really integrated the music from Michael into the show and did some crazy cool things with it.  If you are in Vegas I would highly recommend this show.  Tickets were around $308 for the two of us and we were pretty far back, but it was the best they had since we got them 4 hour prior to show time.
From here we took a cab to the Palms, played some more craps and blackjack.  Lost about $200 at those tables, and then called it a night back over to the Rio.  I needed to try and sleep as I had day 2C of the Main the next day.
All in all it was a pretty fun day except for whatever the heck happened at Casino Royal.  I have never really had a blow up like that before at the craps table.  Told myself not to let it happen again, and moved on.
My dad woke up around 5am as he was flying home to Cleveland early that morning.  We went to sleep around 1am, and up at 5 ready for Day 2C.
Once I was awake I couldn’t sleep.  I stayed in bed and rested, but was on my phone most of the morning, looking up table draws, and chatting with my friends back on the east coast.
Stay Tuned.  Day 2C of the main I have a bit more hand history to and #chipporn to include.  I was not quite as sleep deprived and I remember the days a bit better.

Trip Report – I am playing Day 1C of the 2013 WSOP Main Event!

Lets just say this again.  I am playing in Day 1C of the 2013 WSOP Main Event!  I am a low stakes player, mostly play in two home games.  I am just a normal  dad that gets to go to Borgata to play in a $300 or $500 maybe once a quarter if I am lucky. When I play cash, its at a 1-2NL table.   I have put the WSOP ME on my bucket list as something I wanted to play at least once in my life.  I have somehow just turned my $235 into $12k+ and a shot at playing this thing!!
Lets go back to that phone call with my wife.  I “told her the good news”.  The first thing she said to me was, you just won twelve thousand dollars, but you going to take ten of it an buy into a poker tournament?  I responded with “yes, yes I am.  I don’t know when I will ever get this opportunity again in my life.”  She said sounds good  have fun, and I walked into the line for tournament registration.
Before my trip, we had talked about the potential of me winning a seat in the Main and what that would mean if I made day 2.  We basically said we would cross that bridge when we got there, since it wasn’t all that likely.  At this point I did mention to her, that making day 2 would mean that I would miss my 6am flight home on Wed.  She just kinda rolled with it.
So I had just under 4 hours to try and rest, but that wasn’t working for me.  I went to the room, shut the blinds, and tried to fall asleep, but between the constant buzz of my phone, and the big day ahead all I could do was try to rest a bit before I got back down there to play some more poker.
I got cleaned up, threw on another green shirt, went downstairs at the Rio and followed a similar routine to my previous day getting food before playing the deep stack.  Noon was getting closer, so I made my way back to the Brasilia Room and took my seat in the main.
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My table draw shows seems fine.  No one recognizable, Jennifer Tilly is one table behind me (you can see her in the photo of me at the table), so we have a lot of cameras in our area, but they are focused on her.
I pick up AA twice in the first level but went from 30–> 35 –> 31 –> 26 –> 34.7 all in the first two hours of play.  I was not comfortable at all at the table, I was tired, and playing super tight in the 50-100 level, and I decided I needed to loosen up a bit and get some beers flowing.  Start of lucky beer level. I always see one of our east coast pros Mike M. picking up a snickers or something of the sorts, so I busted that one out as well.
Second level I called a larger than normal three bet with QQ to see a flop.  I flopped top set, and got it all in on the turn after we went check check on the flop.  He had AA, and I took my stack up to 45k.
We are at the 150-300 level.  I get dealt JJ UTG.  I opened got one caller, then it was 3 bet, then it was four bet , then it was five bet.  I let it go preflop as there were still 3 people to act behind me.  It never was raised again while four people did see a flop. The flop came J high and they played a 100k pot.  Would have liked to have seen that flop for an extra 4500.  A set of Jacks was good enough to win that hand.  I was frustrated after the hand, but didn’t want to see the hand escalate more with the three and four bettors still left to act.  I was behind in that hand pre flop as we saw AA (from the 5 bet) win the pot.
Another 20 minutes went by when I opened with AJ.  A < 10K stack shoved with 1010.  It folded back around to me and I called,  flopped an A and knocked him out.  Up to 50K or so at this point.
We came back from dinner on Day one with 48,050, and I got involved with AK of diamonds. He shoved preflop in front of me for about 17K and I called.  He showed AA.  I hit the flush on the turn and I was up to 66k
I chipped up to around 70k and got involved in a big hand late in the night.  I had the nut straight, and put a guy to a test for his tournament.  He wanted to call but managed to let it go.   I finished day 1 with 72,225.  I am very happy to double my starting stack on the first day.
At this point we bagged up around 12:52am Vegas Time.    I have been awake sine 5am eastern standard time the previous day.  This puts me being awake 47 hours straight.  I was really starting to struggle in the two levels after dinner break.  My focus was not there, I played super tight and just tried to keep building my stack without getting into any huge pots with any other big stacks.
I did send a text to my wife to let her know that I would not be coming home as initially planned at 2pm on Wed.  We were playing Day 2C on wed starting at noon Vegas time.
I got back to the room around 2am and did get some sleep this night.  I was up around 7am the next morning, and had the day off from poker to hang out with my dad.
Will post my day off tomorrow.

Trip Report Day 1 – Sunday July 7th

Flew out to Vegas Sunday July 7th with my dad. I have set my plan to play in the $550 4pm Satellite this same day for a shot at the WSOP Main Event.

We flew out of Cleveland around 7am and got into vegas around 10:30-11am. My dad and I arrive at the RIO and we can’t check in. We put our bags with the bellhop and make hang out a bit. I really wanted to go be back in the poker area when day 1B of the WSOP Main event starts so we walk all the way back there, to see what is going on.
This is the first time I have ever been out to Vegas during the WSOP while the main was going. For the past 4 years we have always come early in the series, and I have taken a shot at a $1000 or a $1500 event and have not had anything to write home about. We saw the opening ceremony, where Doyle started things off, and then took his seat in the Main to a huge ovation from the crowd.
My dad and I have some lunch and then I made a plan to go play some cash games before the satellite, and he went to the Palms / Gold Coast to play Blackjack and Craps.
I sat down around 12:44pm Vegas time with $200 at a 1-3 NL table at the Rio to get warmed up for the day. Little did I know that this would be the start of something much longer than expected.



By 1:24pm I had already run my stack up to $724 at this table. I knew I wanted to play the $550 at 4pm, and I was already up enough to fund it. I cashed out for $694 at 2:53pm and bought into the satellite.
I spent the next hour rushing to the front desk, to check into the hotel, pick up my Dad and my bags and get into the room. The line at the counter was pretty long so this took a good 45 minutes or so.
4pm – $550 WSOP Main Event Satellite. Last shot at the main event that I was going to buy into so I thought. This is pretty much the one tourney I came to play. We only got 4,000 tourney chips in this tournament, but blinds started at 25-25 with 30 minute levels, so I thought there would still be some play. I basically doubled my stack early in the first level with pocket 10’s. IMG_2421
We started the second level, I was dealt pocket kings and doubled up a guy with Pocket 9’s after he flopped a 9 on a Q high board. Just like that I was back down to 3750 in chips.
I was dealt pocket pairs four or five times in the next level, from 77, 88, 1010, JJ. I played most of these multiway pots where I tried to set trap. I missed every flop with them, and since we only had 4K in chips, I got short quickly and ended up having to commit with 77. I ran into AA and just like that I was out of the event at 5:12pm.
They had moved the 3pm Daily Deepstack from 3pm to 6pm due to the fact that the Main event was going on, as well as all the satellites. There was a 1pm $1,000 satellite that had over 1,000 runners, awarding 101 seats to the Main. It was madness in the pavilion room that day.
They didn’t have enough tables in Pavilion to handle the tournament, so there were 14 additional tables that were set up down the hallway on the way back to the convention space. I buy into the $235 6pm Deepstack and of course, I am out in the hallway.
They call this section ‘Buzios’.
IMG_2426 IMG_2427 I get to the table for my starting stack of T15K. I do love these chips, they are the ones they used back in 2005 or 2006 for the Main, but the 25K chip caused way too much confusion and they got new ones that are now used for most of their events. They still use these chips for the employees event #1 every year, and now they use them for the deepstacks. I happen to have a huge set of these chips at home that are the same colors and graphics, but don’t say Rio on them. This is my tourney chip set though that we have been using at my home game for the past 5 or so years.IMG_2684
I chipped up a bit early but got my first double in this thing with A4. Flop came out 644 and I was able to double through a big stack at the table. Was up to 42K in chips at the 400 bb level.
I gave my dad a call to come say hi to me in the hallway. He showed up and within a couple minutes I was delt KK and AA. Both hands had a shorty just blow up and shove back at my open. I felted two in those back to back hands. Was up to 76K at that point at the 600 bb level.
I kept chipping up, was dealt AA again and again had someone shove a gift of Q8 offsuit into me. Up to 131K at the 4k bb level.
We went on break around 1:22AM at this point, and there was some excitement over in the single table satellite area. 10 people had put up $1,050 each to play a single hand for a main event seat. About 100 people gathered around the single table to watch it go down. One player was delt AK and with the K high board he took it down for the ME seat.
The field of 862 had whittled down, and by 2:06am we were hand for hand. My stack saw some swings from a peek of 171k down to 117k as the bubble broke. 90 players were now ITM, but a min cash was less than $400.
2:24am , I get the full double to 265k, don’t even remember the hand, but do remember I was way ahead and it wasn’t much of a sweat. From here I quickly started picking players off, and chipped up to 465k before 3am.
I get it all-in good against another large stack on the flop with him drawing to the two remaining kings in the deck. He catches the two outter on the river to knock me back down to 155k.
I crawled back to 264k, and then I got delt AA. We had a 3 way all in AA > KK > AJ and just like that I had 504k at 4:06am. Dwight Pilgrim was seated at my table around 3:30 am and was making things difficult with his massive chip stack. I took a stand against him and picked up a nice pot taking me to 684k at 4:31am.
At 4:46 I got invovled in the biggest pot of the tournement for me. I looked down at AKcc when big blind was 30k. Dwight opened and I 3 bet him, he came over the top with a 4 bet for his entire stack of 500k. At this point I wasn’t loving my hand, but I had him covered by about 250k. We had 30 people left in the tourney at this point. He said ‘lets do this, lets play a million dollar pot’ I made the call and he flipped over AJ offsuit. The board ran out dry and I knocked him out and had 1.2 Million in chips at 4:46 am still at the 30k bb level.
This was pretty much the last hand of any value I picked up or played post flop even though I was clearly the tournament chip leader. I went card dead after this, lost a few, doubled some shorties, and just kinda waited it out.
As the blinds were escalating, people were dropping like flies and the payouts kept bumping up. I was not getting hands, but was trying to just pick up the blinds and anties every once in a while.
I went from chip leader, to under chip average, as the bustouts continued, but I was able to navigate my way to the final table while maintaining between 600-900k. We were at 18 players at 5:20 am official final table of 10 at 6:29 am. It was moving fast.
When we got down to 6 players. it was 7am. We had been talking about chop value when we were at 8 and then at 7 players, but when we got to 6, the table dynamic had changed. We had two big stacks and 4 shorties. I was by far the shortest with 635k and big blind was 120k!! We stepped away to talk chop, as the equal chop value was over $15,000 but with the two big stacks they wanted more. No problem, I offered them $20,000 each, the four small stacks would still get around $12. We had some issues with language barriers as two of the players were from Brazil. We also had some tax concerns since any winnings by those Brazilians would be taxed immediately. We talked for about 5 min, but couldn’t get it to a point where everyone was happy so we went back to playing.
So at 7:08 we went back to playing poker. No one wanted to bust 6th as the payout was only $5700. We were getting to the point where all four short stacks were getting in danger with less than 1M in chips. I tried again to get a chop going. Everyone was willing to step away again and talk it out at 7:25am.


Paper, pens, calculators, and negotiations all went down. It got complicated but in the end, everyone agreed, we shook hands talked about being best friends, and drinking beers, got our places, and went to go collect our $$. I was the chop facilitator so I handled all the $$ getting it to everyone. We had the Brazilians take 5th and 6th place such that the taxes taken off the top would maximize the cash we would have. I took 3rd and the other short stack took 4th, and the two big stacks that were getting $20k were willing to take the 1st and 2nd places.
We claimed our cash in reverse order such that we were all waiting there for first place to get the $34,000 payout.
Once we had all been paid we had about $98,000 in 10k bricks laid out. I paid everyone what was agreed, we all double counted it, and then we had about $130 extra. Not sure how that happened, but we just split it 6 ways again.
I walked away from my $235 with $12,248. In all my chop negotiations, I made it clear that I wanted to play the main. We took some photos of us with more than we actually won, just for fun.
I tweeted out at 7:42am that I was selling 20% of my main event seat. I called my wife told her of the good news, my Dad showed up while we worked the cash chop, and at 8:09am I bought into the Main event with $10,000 cash.
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The tourney started in 3 hours and 51 minutes! I go back to the room to try and get some rest, but I can’t sleep. Plus my phone is buzzing like crazy with people back home saying congrats or buying a piece of my Main. By 8:30am I had sold 14% and by 9:30 I sold all that I was going to sell of 16%.
I rested in bed, but never slept, I was too excited for the day ahead. I got cleaned up, showered, got down there for the start of things……

Intro – PokerDad


Just a quick intro. My name is Mark Redding,  I am a 33 year old dad of 3 year old boy/girl twins.  I live in Virginia and am a Software Developer / Systems Engineer.   I have an amazing wife that just took care of everything back home while I stayed in Vegas twice as long as expected this year.  I have two hobbies that grab my attention.  Poker and Kiteboarding.  I take a yearly trip with my dad to Vegas during the WSOP.  I had a crazy trip this year and thought I would start a blog to capture it, as well as give me a place to post about my play in the future.

I have a thing for green t-shirts when playing poker.  I have at least 10 green t-shirts that make the rotation, although some  get more play than others.