Day 1B WSOP ME 2019

There was a range of emotions as I sat down to play my first ever $10,000 buy in event. It’s always been a dream of my mine to play The Main and finally it was a reality. The nervousness quickly subsided in the first level.

We started off with 60,000 in chips and blinds at 100/200/200. With 2 hour levels, I wasn’t expecting many bust outs on day 1. I was surprised that we were starting the tournament with a big blind ante and this made things difficult since we started the day 6 handed. We played 6 handed for about 30 minutes until another player joined us and we were 7 handed, then another couple hours and we were 8 handed. It wasn’t until level 3 that we finally had a full table of 9 players.

While playing 8 handed, i estimated that there were 3 pros (including myself) and 5 amateurs. For most of the day I didn’t have much difficulty slowly building up my stack. I was able to take advantage of weak play and felt very comfortable at the table. I never got much lower than the starting stack and by dinner break I was up to about 75k in chips, one the chip leaders of the table.

After the dinner break we had a few more hours to play. In that time I played a tough hand where I lost a majority of my stack. It was extremely frustrating to to play well all day then lose focus and play one hand poorly. A breakdown of this hand is at the end of the blog. I made some moves and battled back to end the day with about 37k in chips. Day 2 restart tomorrow at 11am.

Overall, it was an enjoyable day. However, it was frustrating to find out that players are allowed to register for day 2 before it starts, skipping day 1 and receiving a full starting stack of 60k. I think this is the first time they have done this for the Main Event. It’s OK though, nobody said winning a poker tournament would be easy and i’m just going to have to work harder on day 2.

Below are a few interesting hands that I played yesterday: *Spoilier Alert* The last hand is the one I feel I misplayed. Opinions welcome for all hands that I played, I can take the heat!

Level 1, blinds 100/200/200. Playing 6 handed. I raise in early position to 500 with 10 10. 3 callers. Flop: 10 10 8! I flopped quads! Flop was checked around. 9 on the turn brought a possible straight flush draw. I bet 800 and got 1 caller. River was another 9 (10 10 8 9 9). I bet 1500 and the other player folded showing AQ of clubs for a missed nut flush. Wish he had hit it!

Level 2, blinds 200/300/300. Playing 7 handed. My stack: 65k. Early position raise to 1600. I call with 33. I noticed that the raiser was a recreational player so his large preflop raise was concerning, but since we were deep stacked i called hoping to hit my set. Sure enough I did, flop was 3 8 K. He checked the flop and I checked as well since I was concerned he may have flopped a set of kings and also to disguise my hand if he didn’t. Turn was a blank and he bet 3k, I called. River was another blank and he fired another bet of 5k. I called and sure enough he had KK for a set over set situation.

Level 2, blinds 200/300/300. Playing 7 handed. My stack: 55k. I raised in middle position to 700 with JJ. 1 caller behind me then the big blind re raised to 3700. The big blind was European, most likely a pro so I expected him to make some moves. Sticking to my motto “I won’t get bluffed by Europeans!” I called the 3700. Flop was Q 5 9 and he bet 3500, I called. Turn was an 8 and he led again for 7500. A sizable bet but I wasn’t ready to give up my JJ and called. River was a blank and he checked. I checked behind knowing he had to show his hand. He showed A7 off and I scooped the pot.

Level 3, blinds 200/400/400. Playing 8 handed. My stack: 70k. Early position raise 900, I called on the button with J10 (HH). Flop was Q 9 x (HH). I flopped a straight flush draw! Initial raiser bet 1200. Having position and not being sure what the raiser had, I just called. The turn was a 10 adding a pair to my hand. He bet again and I called. River was a 2 and he made a small bet of 3k. I missed my draws but still made a pair. 3k was a fair price to see his hand and I paid. He had JJ and took the pot.

Level 4, blinds 300/500/500. Playing 9 handed. I had about 70k to start the hand. Several limps from early position. I was on the button with A8 (HH). I thought about raising but elected to just call the big blind. Flop was 9 6 x (HH). An older, tight player to my right bet the flop and I called. I was pretty concerned that he flopped a set so I didn’t want to raise in position. Turn was the 7 of diamonds adding an open ended straight draw to my nut flush draw. Surprisingly the player jammed all in for about 30k! I was pretty sure he had 66 for a set of sixes and this put me in a tough spot. I started the hand with 70k so I could afford to make the call with my open ended straight and nut flush draw, but with only 1 card to come I didn’t think I was quite getting the right price to call (less than 10k in the pot). I folded and the player later confirmed that he did have 66.

Level 5, blinds 300/600/600 Playing 9 handed. My stack size: about 70k. Quick back story…A new player sat down and raised UTG. Not knowing how this player plays, I called with AQ and several other players called as well. I missed the flop and folded to a bet. Another player called. The hand played out and the new player showed down 9 10 (SS). Seeing this hand play out showed me that the new player wasn’t waiting for premium starting hands to raise with. So a few rounds later he again raises in early position to 1500. I flat with 67 (CC). Flop was 4 7 Q. He bet and I called. Turn was a 6, giving me 2 pair. This time he bet 5.5k. I thought strongly about raising the turn and essentially committing him to put the rest of his stack in. However, I changed my mind and just called hoping he would bet again on the river and I would get more value. River was a 10 and he quickly jammed all in. I was pretty upset that I let him see a river and his bet was a little larger than the size of the pot. Ultimately I decided that I did beat a few hands and the pot was too big to just give to him, so I made the call. He tabled Q 10 for a rivered 2 pair.

That hand set me back to less than 30k with about 1 hour left in the day. I played aggressive and made some moves (including winning some decent pots with 10 and 3 high) to finish the day at 37k.

Thanks for reading, i’m still in OK shape going into day 2, and i’ll keep everyone updated tomorrow!

-Ben