I had posted a series of posts on this over in the AVP section under the title "nit life". I played cash games at Bally's here in Vegas for a bit because I do fairly well there and because they had a promotion with their weekly freeroll that gave away 4 seats each week to the WSOP Colossus. I was lucky enough to win one of those seats and I played in Flight 1E yesterday starting at 10AM. Here's my experience.
Unfortunately, I was card dead all day. I think in the first 4 levels, I voluntarily put money into 3 pots. We started with 5,000 chips and the structure for the first 18 levels played on day 1 was as follows:
1 = 25/50
2 = 50/100
3 = 25 ante and 75/150
4 = 25 ante and 100/200
5 = 50 ante and 150/300
6 = 50 ante and 200/400
7 = 75 ante and 250/500
8 = 75 ante and 300/600
9 = 100 ante and 400/800
10 = 100 ante and 500/1,000
11 = 200 ante and 600/1,200
12 = 200 ante and 800/1,600
13 = 300 ante and 1,000/2,000
14 = 400 ante and 1,200/2,400
15 = 500 ante and 1,500/3,000
16 = 500 ante and 2,000/4,000
17 = 500 ante and 2,500/5,000
18 = 500 ante and 3,000/6,000
These were 30 minute levels, so it was a fast structure for a WSOP event. As you can imagine, getting nothing early, I was a pretty short stacked by the time we got to level 5, even though I had managed a double up with AJ vs KJ on a J-4-4 flop. But, as Teddy KGB put it in Rounders, I kept "hanging around, hanging around."
During level 7, I got moved to a new table in the Brazilia room and had a handful of fairly aggressive players at my table. With my short stack, this handcuffed me because it was almost never unopened to me in late position, which meant I very rarely had any steal opportunities. Also, I was so short that after a raise, I had no fold equity, so I had no chance to re-steal, I had to have a hand with some possibility to be best or make the best hand because even a shove from me was going to get called by at least the initial raiser.
That said, I kept playing short stack ninja, and managed to hang around with a few well timed pushes, most of them with good aces from early to mid position that went uncalled. I did build my stack a bit with one of my rare late position opportunities when I shoved with 4-4 -- unfortunately, the small blind was a really short stack and called with J-3 and hit a jack for the main pot, which was probably about 60% of the total pot. I also chopped when I ran AK into another AK -- still got some of the blind and ante money there, which helped my tiny stack.
Finally, I got a double up opportunity when I had AQ suited. An early position player who was aggressive, and at that time, a really big stack, raised to 2.5 big blinds. He got a call and I shoved for about 10 big blinds. He re-shoved to isolate and the other guy folded. The original raiser had Q-10 suited and my unimproved ace high took the pot. The guy's re-shove apparently saved me because the guy who folded claimed he had 4-4.
Shortly after that, I got 7-7 and was able to make a normal raise from early position, I got 2 callers from the blinds and flopped a set on a J-7-3 rainbow board. I bet about half pot and got called by the small blind. Turn was an ace and after he checked, I shoved. I read him as strong, but he must have had a hand like KK or QQ because he folded and said "I wish I had put you all in on the flop." After that hand, I was at my peak chip stack for the day -- about 32,000. Of course we were on level 11 (200 ante and 600/1,200), so my stack still wasn't exactly "healthy", but it was at least playable.
Then, I went back to being card dead. Through all of level 12, 13 and 14, I saw 2 playable hands. I had A-7 off, which I open shoved on the button and took the blinds and antes and I had J-9 offsuit in UTG+3 facing a UTG raise for most of my stack, which I folded. On level 14, I considered a 3 bet resteal with 4-6 suited, but the original raiser was UTG and had been playing fairly solid. I was so short stacked that I had no fold equity and I was only UTG +3, so there were still 6 players to act. I don't think it was the right spot, but it was the only close decision I had for those 3 levels.
Other than that, I had complete garbage and just kept folding. However, while my chip stack kept dwindling, I managed to stay alive and other people didn't. So, not only did I manage a cash, I hung on through a couple of pay bumps. Ultimately we got to level 15 (500 ante and 1,500/3,000), and I was down to 6,000 chips and in the big blind -- I was literally going all in with any 2 cards. A somewhat grumpy and arrogant player looked at my stack and asked what I had behind, I said "I've got 25 behind". He said "that's not 25,000" and I replied "no it's 2,500". He then said "that's not a lot" and raised. I joked "Sir, I haven't had a lot all day, so why is this any different?" The table (except him) laughed. Needless to say, I went all in for less than his raise. Actually, I was in a coin flip -- he had 6-6 and I had Q-9 of hearts. But he flopped a set with only 1 heart on board and after a turn brick, I was drawing dead. I had asked the dealer for a turn heart for at least a sweat, but it wasn't meant to be. As I was waiting for the payout clerk, I wished the whole table good luck and I said that the table was going to be a lot less fun without me there, but that they should try to enjoy the experience.
So, I had a lot of fun. I played the best that I was able to given my cards and the players at my table. And in my first ever World Series bracelet event, I managed a decent cash of $1,136. It isn't life changing, but considering I won the seat and it was a freeroll, I'm really happy with it.