Hey all. Sorry I haven’t been writing new blogs lately but I was in Vegas for 28 days (not straight) grinding the MTT’s. To say it was a rough month would be an understatement, but if you follow my tweets, you know that I did not get the results I wanted.

I don’t want to write all about bad beat stories (I do have a few), but I would rather stay positive and write about the last tourney I played, which was the 10k WSOP Main Event. I will enjoy this more anyway since it was my first ever ME and I did end up min-cashing for 19k. My backers and I were very excited to get most of the money back that we had spent this summer in Vegas. It was really cool to make it all the way to Day 4 and I want to share some of the experience with you guys (and girls).

Since I don’t want to make my blog too long, I will break it down and write a total of 3 blogs to cover all the days. Let’s start with Day 1.

My first table in the ME was not the easiest. I had heard stories and talked to friends about how the ME has a ton of fish in it, but unfortunately for me, they were not at this table. I was the 2nd oldest and after a few orbits, I realized I had gotten a bad draw. The two most aggro kids were in seats 1 & 2 and I was in 10. Oh goodie. There was also an Italian Kid (he looked 15 btw) that was in seat 8 and he was some online stud from Italy. The Italian Media took about 4000 pictures of him throughout the day.

The tourney started and after a few orbits, I came to the conclusion that this was going to be a tough table to get a lot of chips without hands. Not a big deal since we do start with 30k and there are 2 hours levels.

In my first big hand, I got QQ utg at the 100-200 level. I raised to 450, it folded to Mr. Italy, he tanked, and made it 750. He had only played about 3 hands in the first level so I didn’t think at this point that he was doing it light. He was in the CO so I guess his range was pretty open still.

When it got back to me, since I was OOP, I figured I could put a 4th bet in and get him to fold almost anything but a monster and I would take the pot there. My thinking in this spot was 100% wrong. Even though I was OOP, I should have flatted because once I 4 bet, I only get worse to fold and better to put the 5th bet in. Also being OOP, he can put the 5th bet in light and I would have to read it as a monster. Looking back this was a mistake but luckily with 30k in chips, I was ok if he put the 5th bet in. Btw, my 4th bet was 1800. Probably a little high. Should have made it like 1350.

He tanked again and made it 7k. Whoa that’s a monster bet. I know a 5 bet is a 5 bet, but that seemed way too high for AA and KK. Problem is these kids are so good, they make bets like that to seem like they have air and it may have been inducing me to shove. His range still has some bluffs in it, but I didn’t want to risk anymore chips so I folded. He did not show so I have no clue what he had. He played the hand great if he had air and if he had AA, he should have flatted me there I think.

After that I went into total grind mode. Just tried to steal in a few spots and didn’t really play in too many pots. At the second break, I saw Bart Hanson outside and we talked for about 10 minutes about my table and about Day 1 in the ME. He said to play a lot like a cash game and protect my stack. He said if I could keep it around starting stack all day and make Day 2, I would be fine. I truly value his opinion and I decided to listen to him and do exactly what he said. If you are reading this, thanks for your help Bart. I really appreciate it.

After the break and the dinner break, my stack was around starting stack. The highest I got was like 38 and the lowest was 26. I could not win 2 pots in a row no matter what I did and I was just in grind protection mode like Bart told me to be.

The 2nd to last level of day one, I finally pick up AA utg again. I don’t remember the stack sizes in this hand but I was prob around 27-28k and the villain in seat 2 (aggro kid) had about 60k. It’s really not important what we had in chips.

So I raise like 2.2 and he 3 bets me to like 6x. I think the blinds were 150-300 but I am not sure.

When it got back to me, I figured I would gamble a little and try and build my stack with a monster. I have talked to a lot of my friends/coaches about this spot against the aggro kids, and even though I don’t do it as much as I should, I flatted. I know I am OOP but I also know that he is going to C bet 100% of the time so I will get at least one more street of value. Also, if the board comes really scary and he bombs every street, I can get away from it.

I flat and the board comes KK4dd. I have the Ad just in case. I check and he quickly leads a little over half pot. I do put a K in his range, but since there are only two left, it is a small percentage of it. At this point, he has some kind of hand since he 3 bet me so early in the hand, but I am still ahead of a ton of his range.

The turn was a 6c. Total brick. I check and he tank checks. Maybe pot controlling with like 88-QQ? I can almost take the K out of his range for sure because I think he bets the turn with a K 100% of the time. He may be scared I have a K also so the check makes sense.

The river is a pretty 2h. Nice. Now the decision to lead or to check and try to get one more street.

After tanking for about 20-30 seconds I decide to lead. I am not sold that he will try to bluff here against a player like me with a tight image. He has watched me play all day and I have not shown a bluff yet. Also with my age, he can’t think that I would float him OOP to bluff him on the river.

I ended up betting about half pot and he snap called. I turned over my AA knowing it was good and he said some 4 letter bomb and mucked his hand. He also said he knew I had AA when I led and he just couldn’t fold his pair. After more analyses, I figure he had JJ or QQ and I might have let him off some money. I may have lost the turn by not 4 betting pre and leading all three streets, but in reality, I probably only get 2 anyway because either he folds out or I check the turn also. It was a pretty cool hand and I am glad it worked out for me.

With one level to go, they moved Bart onto my table. What were those odds? It was cool having him there. We talked a lot but I kind of shut down because people were getting a little more aggro because they didn’t want to go to Day 2 short. Of course I was super card dead so I am not mad at the way I played the last two hours. Bart ran into some coolers and folded top 2 on the turn when the 65 year old made a huge turn raise into 2 players. It was a good fold because the guy did have a set. Bart ended with about 18k.

I ended day 1 with 32k. Seemed like a lot of work for 2k but I was pretty happy with the way I played. I definitely missed some spots that I hopefully won’t miss next year, but getting through Day 1 of the ME with over starting stack was a really good feeling.

That’s the end of Day 1. I will write about Day 2 next week. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.





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