Right about where I wanted to be...
I have been more excited to play this event than any other at this year's world series as it is a very tough field and prestegious event, and limit hold'em is my best game. I expected the field to be under 200 and to be very stacked.
Instead, I found my first table to be the best I could have ever hoped for. I didn't recognize anybody besides EF Hutton, and he self-admitedly said he was not a limit player. The seat to my left was open for the first 90 minutes which was fantastic cause I got the button twice every orbit and could play back at my opponents trying to steal the dead blinds hard and force them to release their hands. I hit 15k from the 10k starting chips in those first 90 minutes with the first level of 50-100 and second of 100-200. I was simply running over the table and making some hands at the same time. I was in complete control, getting free cards that I shouldn't have gotten (and thus making hands that I shouldn't have made... that was fun. They all saw that I kept sucking out but couldn't realize that it was because of the play of the hand that I got there in the first place), and I was getting paid off in spots that I should have never been paid off in. In one hand I held the A K , opened for like my fourth straight hand, bet the garbage flop with two diamonds, got called in two spots, bet the K turn and got called in one spot, and then made my flush on the river and got paid off by AJ high.
Shortly before the first break Tony G sat in the seat to my left in front of the previously un-claimed stack. I wasn't too happy about this obviously. I have never played with him but know the reputation he has for being loose and aggressive. I thought this may cramp my style. Fortunately for me Tony never played back at me unless he had a hand and it was pretty easy for me to avoid getting into bad spots. In one hand I opened with the K Q , he 3 balled it, and we saw the flop heads up. It came T9x with one heart and I check called. The turn paired the nine and it went check-check. The river brought a K, I bet, he raised, and I successfully folded to his AK.
We went to dinner with me holding 12500 after a couple of frustrating levels 3 and 4. When we came back the players started to bust, and the table started getting sicker and sicker. The 10 seat was replaced by Minh Ly. He busted and was replaced by Eli Elezra. The 9 seat busted and was replaced by somebody that was good - forgot the name right now. The 8 seat busted and was replaced by Joe Sebok. The 9 seat busted and was replaced by David Plastik. The 5 seat busted and was replaced by an excellent player named Pat. I was in the 6 seat. I busted Joe with a sweet little five outer on the river, and he was replaced by Howard Lederer.
Meanwhile though, I continued to run over the table. I was still only really getting played back at with real hands. I did have to slow down a little bit to maintain some of my credibility though, because the excellent players surrounding me wouldn't let me keep up with my shenenagians for too long. I'm looking forward for my table to break though, because a fresh reputation helps my LHE tournament game a bunch - plus it'll be nice to not have some of the world's best to my left! We were scheduled to be broken next, but I'm curious how'll they'll arrange all that tomorrow.
So I end day 1 with 33,100 in chips, average is 22,500, and there are 115ish players remaining of the 257 original runners. Blinds will be 400-800, so I am feeling good with 21 big bets to dance around with. The money is at 27 and we play to the final table today.
My good friend Rick Fuller is the chip leader heading into Saturday's $1500 NLHE massive field event. The story of the table is the Phil Hellmuth is second in chips playing for his eleventh and record setting bracelet.
ESPN wants to cover the event.
Bluff told them to go screw themselves.
Before the series started, ESPN picked their events, and Bluff picked a bunch of others to be broadcast live on the internet. The problem? The tables are sequestered in a cave behind a black partition. This sucks big time for the players as they lose out on the experience of a WSOP final table. The best part of my final table was the support of my friends and the celebrations of pots won. It's so much fun. With this cave, you don't get any of that.
Furthermore, the players receive zero compensation for this while Bluff charges $50 for a subscription for the webcasts throughout the series.
Now, with ESPN wanting to televise the table, the players are losing out on the tens of thousands of dollars of potential endorsement monies plus the future notariety and endorsements that comes with TV tables.
If I was on that final table, I would try to rally the rest of the players to refuse to play in the cave.
If all else failed, I would refuse to show my holecards to the camera. It's complete bunk that the players are taken advantage of like this.
Thanks to all of you who supported me at my final table. It made it truly a memorable experience for me and has been the highlight of my poker career thus far. Thank you also to those of you who have sent me text messages and e-mails of congragulations. I appreciate it so much!
Peace and good luck,
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