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Blog 4 – The Mecca of Poker – WSOP

Posted by Gaurav Law on 2011-07-05 at 12:00 AM

OK so it’s been a while since I’ve gotten down to writing & thanks to a “lil” nudging from Adi – here it is.

The last time I blogged was in April after the Macau Millions & it was a pretty low couple of months with nothing exciting happening pokerwise other than a trip to EPT San Remo (0 scores – lucky to break even thanks to 1 heater in a cash session) & some deep runs in Steps on Stars for the Passport. I missed the PokerGuru team in Macau due to being tied up with commitments at work & regret not being there for some of the parties after Indians kicked some butt at this tourney – well done boys!
I guess the good thing then was that I managed to save up a lot of my energy & “rungood” too for the 1 trip that I believe every serious poker player – pro or not – should make once a year– the WSOP in Vegas. The reason I say this is not because of the huge fields (which are juicy for some events) or the chance to get to know & play with the biggest names in the game on the same table for 12 hours a day – but because for a poker player – winning a WSOP bracelet is still considered the ultimate recognition. There are super hi-roller tournaments elsewhere where the buyin itself is $250,000 – but if you manage to win even a $1000 WSOP event – no questions asked – you have your own little piece of poker history which no one can question!
I was only in town for a couple of weeks & week 1 went with primarily with work commitments & generally being a good husband & not leaving the wife alone every evening for 12 hours. I did manage to get some short cash sessions in at the Aria but nothing significant to write about.
The 2nd week was where it got real intense – I was alone & kicked in a routine of lots of poker at the Rio & very little of anything else. My 1st bracelet event was event #32 – $1500 buyin – the final field was 2828 players & I managed to finish above average after Day 1 pretty confident of getting into the money. Day 2 & I played some of the tightest poker of my life before the money bubble – the min cash was just $2786 – but it wasn’t about the money – just about playing my 1st bracelet event & making my 1st WSOP cash – I folded JJs to a 3 bet when 99% of the time in that spot I would shove it right back in his face. Anyway as the poker gods always have a sense of humor – 1st hand after we made the money & there were hi-fives all around – I 3bet AA’s & got it in v JJ’s – a J on the flop & I didn’t know whether to be sick or just happy that it didn’t happen 2 mins ago!
Confident after a semi-good result I had a very good cash session at the Bellagio the next day & then got it altogether again for Event #36 – $2500 – 1734 runners. I’m not gonna get into details of this one cos I posted quite a lot of it on my Facebook page – but lets just say that the last few hours of Day 2 were some of the most exciting & scintillating of my poker life so far. At 1 stage I was down to 3 BB’s after losing with AA v AJ all-in preflop & then somehow managed to get back to above average in the next 2 rotations – it was SICK! And then there was also a period near the end when I got moved tables & with 2 young super-aggro internet kids on my left – I had the feeling for the last hour that there was NO WAY I could outplay them – I had absolutely no clue what 2 cards they were playing – I saw 1 of the guys drag a monster pot which was 5 bet pre-flop with 58off & then clean out another guy later with KK when he shoved the river for a huge overbet & was called light. I decided just to play my hands & quietly folded for like 40 minutes praying for the day to end. I remember making only 1 move with J6off which I thought would get respect cos of my tight image but 1 of the kids played me like a fiddle with a min-raise & it was either a shove or meek fold for me & I opted for the latter planning to save it all for the next morning & hopefully a very different table draw!
Day 3 was exciting but I was short & I knew needed some magic to go really deep – when there was a shove before me & I looked down at AK I felt like it could happen – but a Q on the flop put all that mojo to rest cos the other guy had QJ. My next bad beat was in the cash cage when I was informed that appx 30% of my profit was going to be held back for Uncle Sam & inspite of all my protests & claims that I’m NRI from HK blah blah – all I was given was an official looking form & told that Canadians get their tax money back all the time so go ask them. On further checking with Adi it turned out that’s the way it works for Indians there & not me nor our Indian government is ever seeing that money again!
Pretty tilted – I then went onto play 2 Single Table Sit N Go’s & it gives me GREAT pride to say that I got the bloody money back & this time ain’t nothing was being deducted 😉
I’m posting some pics here of the highlights of the WSOP for me – played with Brad Garrett – Ray’s elder brother from Everybody Loves Raymond & u can see from his expression in the pic after he busted – he’s WAY funnier in real life – would pay $1000 extra just to be on his table next time 🙂 Also some pics to show you just how huge the halls are & how awesome the ESPN Final Table area is.
Next year I really hope PokerGuru puts together an Indian contingent for the WSOP & I’m booking my spot in that house now itself cos there’s NO WAY I’m gonna miss it!
Lastly – I’ve just booked my tickets & stay for Goa for the Aces Unlimited tourney in end-August so I’m excited to play with you guys after a while & really looking forward to having some good times there! Till then – take care & run good!

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Gaurav Law

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