Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Story at Playing in A World Series of Poker Event

One of the first times I entered a WSOP event was back in the early 2000's, my guess about 2003 or 2004. Frankly, I was a bad player, but coming off the dot come boom I had money to burn.

I entered a $1,500 NL event and there was one champion at the table, Johnny Chan. I was seated two seats to the left of the dealer, while Johnny Chan was two seats to the dealer's right. It was not a good position to watch and learn poker from a champion. But I did my best.

Chan was patient and was not entering many pots. When he did enter a pot, he got a lot of respect and players folded quickly.

I recall that I was playing the way T.J Cloutier's book told me to play the game. Tight, very tight. I mean T.J.'s book taught you the fundamentals of the game, but it is rather outdated for today's action game.

Anyway, at this WSOP event I recall that it had been almost over an hour, and I may have played one hand. I hate to say it but I was bored. So bored, that I decided that no matter what was dealt to me on the next hand, I was going to raise pre-flop.

I was in one of the middle positions. Everyone folded to me, and I found Q-6. Not a favorable hand at all.

I stuck to my guns and raised three times the big blind. I wasn't sure why three times the big blind was the right sized bet, but hey, I figured it would look like I had a premium starting hand.

It was folded to the big blind who called. The flop came Q-6-6.

Oh my, I think that's a good flop for me. I checked to set up a trap, but my opponent checked.

The turn was a 4.

I checked to set up a trap, but my opponent checked.

The river was a 2.

I bet real small and my opponent mucked.

Wow, that was fun...not.

And now we get to the Johnny Chan part of the story...

The next hand I was dealt rags and folded. But a player raised three times the big blind. It was folded to Chan who moved all-in. It was a huge all-in move so early in the tournament. His opponent went into the tank for about 30 seconds, and called. He turned over Q-Q. Chan showed A-K.

At the time I was thinking Chan had made a bad play. You don't move all-in for all your chips with A-K. It was crazy...the Ace hit on the flop and Chan doubled up. What do I know?

The very next hand Chan was in an early position and he raised three times the big blind. Another player moved all-in, and Chan insta-called. The player had A-K, and now Chan had Q-Q. Chan's opponent got no help and Chan gained an even big chip stack.

My first thought: "Oh, no wonder he's a champion. He wins with A-K, and he beats A-K."

The only other thing I recall from that event was that there was a table with seven or eight pros. While seating was random, it was just one of those things. The pros complained a lot to the Tournament Director, and he broke up their table first--even though it was not first in line. Of course, a lot of other players complained to no avail.

Many years later, I witnessed where two pros did everything possible not to play against each other. They knew that the other novice players were a lot easier to pick on, and they took turns hammering the players. Yeah, including me. In fact, one of them bluffed me out of a big pot...I think. No, I'm sure of it. One day....

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