November Nine member Dennis Phillips' poker blog.
After Day 1A of the Doyle Brunson Classic at The Bellagio, Iím right where I want to be Ė above average in chips with $64,700 (we started with $45k), in 59th place out of 150 players remaining from the original 203.
Itís important to remember that you never win a tournament on the first day. Look at the final tables of major events. How often does the Day 1 chip leader go on to win the whole thing, or even make the final table? It hasnít happened in the WSOP Main Event for a very long time. Thatís why my strategy, as it was in the WSOP, was to play well, keep accumulating chips, and stay above average.
That said, Phil Hellmuth is kicking butt and, despite showing up even later than usual, heís our chip leader with $188,150. Everyone knows and respects Philís game, and that pile of chips in front of him makes him even more difficult as an opponent.
Most of the tournament is being played in the Fontana Room, but there were so many entrants that I ended up among the overflow tables in the Bellagioís main poker room. Paul Wasicka was at my table, and we got tangled up a few times. In one hand, I had AK, caught two kings on the flop and bet out. He called. I checked the turn trying to entice him to bet, and he thought about it a long time before checking behind. I put another bet in on the river and he called with a big pair. Paul told me later heíd been very close to playing at me on the turn, and he was lucky he didnít. If he wasnít such a good player, he would have lost a lot more chips than he did.
I talked with several other pros during the day, including Greg Raymer, who came over to compare my experience at the WSOP Final Table with his. Mike Matusow was at the table behind me and couldnít resist asking about The Hand (my AK vs. Ivan Demidovís AQ). Mike told me that he, and every pro he talked to, read Demidov as having AA or KK in that hand, and thought I made a great lay down. When he found out what Ivan actually had, and that heíd put his whole tournament on the line with AQ, Mike called it ďsuicidal.Ē But Ivan got away with it, and the rest is history.
Today, Iím doing some work for PokerStars while another 250 players get started on Day 1B, and tomorrow Iíll be back for Day 2 of this WPT event, trying to continue to play smart poker.
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