Wednesday was one of those days that was just a pain in the ass. I had discovered the night before that I had two tires going flat. I apparently picked up some nails going down Industrial. It took forever for the tow truck to come get my car and just as long to get another rental and the Binion’s elevators stopped working and I had to hoof it…
…Oh, you wanted to know about Tuesday? That, my friends, was a good day.
I felt confident going into Day 2 of the main event because I felt I had played good poker on Day 1. It’s true that the deck ran over me, but besides that I played solid, aggressive poker and picked up many small pots. I played even better on Tuesday.
I was again a card rack early and busted two short stacks in the first level. On the first hand, I picked up K-K and raised the 500 blind to 1,500. The player in the BB re-raised to 4K and I hesitated for show and finally threw my Milwaukee’s Best All-In chip into the pot. He called off the rest of his 10K immediately and showed A-K. The case king on the flop practically sealed it and I was off to the raises with this 16K pot.
I picked up K-K again shortly afterwards and re-raised a short stack who had gone all in for 6K to get heads up. He had A-Q and my hand held.
I then pulled off one of my best plays of the day when it was folded to Vinnie Vinh on the button and he raised the 500 blind to 2K. (Little did I know at the time that he won the most recent WSOP Circuit Event at Caesar’s. So much for my supposed homework.) The small blind called and I decided to try the squeeze play. I figured Vinh could have anything and was probably weak and would have to fear me raising after the SB called so I popped it up to 7K. Vinh folded and the SB called, a move I didn’t like. You wonder what my hand was? It doesn’t much matter since it would be reasonable to make this move with any two cards, but since the SB called I did need back up. I had it, sort of, with the A-7. The flop was a nice A-4-4 and I checked it to the river and bet 6K then. He folded. I played it reasonably slow because I assumed I was way ahead. Probably I should have bet the turn.
Just before the first level ended came the hand of dreams. An early position raiser made it 1,500 and I called in the BB with T-T. The flop was Th-7d-3h. I check and he bet 2K. I raised to 5K and he made it 12K. I just called. Turn is the other ten and I figured my action was killed. Nope. He bet 8K after I checked and I decided to smooth call again. When the Kh showed on the river I decided to bet out 9K and he immediately went all in for another 20K or so. The bettor, a guy in his early 20s in a Ladbrokes shirt, nearly fell out of his chair when I called in a flash and tossed over my quads. I showed quickly because I was pretty excited, but also didn’t want to slowroll. He mucked without showing. The only reasonable hand I can figure is he had 7-7 in the hole. You guys have any other guesses?
A little later in the day I lost 14K in a hand when I re-raised a shortstack’s 3,500 bet to 10K and called his additional all in when I had jacks and he had kings. That dropped me down to 95K or so.
There weren’t any significant hands the rest of the day. I built my stack up to 142,400 at the end of the day by blind stealing, re-raising and continuation bets. I’ve been fortunate that the first two days have been very easy so far as I haven’t had many tough decisions. It’s doubtful that Friday will be so easy.
We only played 4.5 levels on Tuesday because players were dropping like flies so we’ll come back at the 600/1,200 level with 200 antes for an hour Friday at noon. There are about 1,150 players left as we move to Day 3 and 873 will make the money. The average stack is about 80,000 so I am a solid 60,000 above it. In fact, I rank in the top 150 in chips I believe.
I got a terrible draw for Friday though. Here’s how Table 39 stacks up:
1 Sean Le $215,500
2 Sakura Sugawara $71,900
3 Sam Sweet $23,500
4 David Cai $35,500
5 Kent Gourding $15,700
6 Jian Jun Li $137,300
7 Brian Hetzel $32,400
8 Mark Lawler $70,900
9 Johnny Kampis $142,400
10 Bill Gustafin $228,900
Despite my high chip count, I manage to be seated at a table where not only am I third in chips, but where the two bigger stacks are directly to my left. That’s terrible luck. One advantage I see is it allows me to come into the pot first, so we’ll see how much these guys try to re-steal. I may have to come over the top of them early to show them I mean business. We’re not in this for $15,000; we’re in to get to the top!
I also want to acknowledge the support I’ve received during this run from my fellow poker writers here in Vegas. It’s helpful to know I’ve got my fellow pokerblog.com folks supporting me, as well as others like Pauly, Otis, Wil and any others I may have left out. And thanks also to my poker buddies back home in Tuscaloosa for the kind well wishings, even those without a financial stake in this ;)