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.
I 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.
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.
Play 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.
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.
So 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!!
Kurt 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.
We 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.
Not 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.
I 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.
I 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.
I 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.
I 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.
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!
I 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.