Arrived on Friday, June 26th, checked in at The Mirage (my favorite hotel) and rushed to the Wynn for their 2PM Tournament to get one tourney under my belt before the WSOP on Saturday. Arrived at the Wynn Poker Room at 1:30PM to learn they sold out with a 50 player max! With all the cash games going, they only allowed five tables for the daily 2PM tourney. Was I angry at myself!!! But...it worked out for the best!
I then decided to head to the Rio and pre-register for the Saturday event as well as watch Event 49 $50,000 HORSE with the pros. So I was able to register, paid my full $1,500 buy-in and then went to the Amazon Room to watch close up and personal all the major TV stars. I was at the rail of one table right in front of me featuring, would you believe, Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen (walking around in his socks, getting up from the table for fan photos, etc.) and Erick Lindgren. I was like six feet from them...I watched their every move. Danny Negreanu was at another table and he faced me while getting an hour massage (peeled off two c-notes to the masseuse). Also watched Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Doyle, Mike Matusow (jerko), Todd Brunson, Lee Watkinson and many others. Phil Hellmuth #99 was playing in an earlier tournament in a different section of the Amazon Room.
Picked up a cab with some other players on Saturday morning to head to the Rio. When the room opened for Efent 52 $1,500 NLHE with 2,791 players, I found my way to my table at 2PM, got ready, grabbed a Red Bull...and the cards were in the air. Started with T4,500...then noticed a photographer going table to table to take every player's photo for later purchase (which I did for $29.99...a treasure). Was around T5,000 and down to T1,800. Had about T6,000 at the dinner break. Came back and moved that up to T20,200 at 11PM and then closed the night at 2AM with T17,300. Players dropped along the way and I was in it at 2,100 players, 1,500, players, 800 players...and down to 349 players at 2AM--but only 297 would cash be paid a minimum of $2,733.
Arrived back at 2PM Sunday to the Amazon Room for Day 2. Knowing that we needed to lose 52 players, I calculated that I had enough chips to make the money at two hours max when those 52 would be gone. My strategy, since I REALLY wanted to cash and not that concerned about going deep, was to toss every hand--against my philosophy but necessary to be certain of cashing. Sure enough...after 1 1/2 hours, I still had T9,000 left when we hit the money with 297 players! We whooped and shook hands. Since the payout schedule was so flat, I got aggressive and moved all-in with 1010 in a three way pot with T8,000. Didn't triple out though...missed and I was 271 of 2,791! Made it to the pay window and collected $2,733...and countless memories. I played at one table with the winner of Event 9...Ken Aldridge of NC who picked up $428,000 and a bracelet he proudly wore. And...I ordered my 8x10 glossy which is framed and on my wall.
Played a number of tournaments including the Venetian's Deep Stack Torunament. Entered a $340 DS event with T12,000 chips and 950 players. Made it down to 170 (paid 81) but went out when, in the SB, the button raised me (again) and I reraised him...and the BB called. Thought my overpair JJ was good and moved in to be called by the BB who made a set of 10s. Love playing in the Venetian!
Then hit The Mirage Poker Zone 7PM Tournament for $125. They now have a great structure with T4,000 and longer levels than before. Good dealers and cozy room.
Played the TI's $65 Tournament, but it is an all-in fest and goes too quickly. Had my KK cracked by a newbie with J10 who rivered a straight.
Great trip which included a stop at Harrah's to see the Twinkeys' dueling piano show starts at 9PM. They are absolutely fabulous and I urge everyone to see them on their next visit. They are preceded by TJ's Karaoke, a blast with singers of every type...and they're good.
In conclusion, I loved playing in my first and only WSOP event...and CASHING! Hope you have a chance to enter at some point. See you all on down the trail.