Vegas trip recap

I decided it was time for me to finally write up a quick report on my recent trip to Vegas for the WSOP.

I’ll start by saying that six days in Vegas is a long time.

By the end of the trip, I think I put in about 50 hours of poker, give or take. I’ve never played that much poker in that short of a timespan; it was a good test. For cash games, we played mostly 2-5 NL at the MGM Grand, and some 1-2 NL at Hooters when we were feeling less inspired. I was up 500 after the first night, then blew it on a couple tourneys the next night without cashing. I finally finished down about 700 by the end, thanks to a few bad beats on large pots.

The WSOP tourney was a lot of fun. I only lasted about 3.5 hours. This was easily the biggest field, buy-in, and blind structure I’ve ever been in for a poker tourney. I’m used to playing in tourneys which have blinds going up every 15 or 20 minutes, so I figured I’d really need to show some constraint and tighten up. Turns out this was not the best idea. There were most likely several spots where I could have been more aggressive.

I have to say that I wasn’t feeling all that great about my chances for a few reasons:

  • I’m just not that good
  • It’s my first WSOP event
  • I’ve got three pros sitting at my table

When I get to my table and get situated before the tourney, I take a look around and at the players sitting at my table. Two seats to my left is a guy wearing two gold bracelets and a big fat gold ring. These aren’t just any bracelets, one of them is a WSOP bracelet. This guy’s name is Scott Clements, a 25-year-old up and coming poker pro. He actually ended up finishing 5th in this tourney. about 20 minutes after we started playing, David Williams sat down just left of Scott. So now, we’ve got both David Williams, runner-up in the WSOP main event in 2004, one WSOP bracelet and over five million in poker winnings, and Scott Clements with one WSOP bracelet who went on to finish 5th in this event and also won another bracelet about one week later.

I got four playable pre-flop hands during my 3.5 hours of play – AA, AQ, AQ and KQ. I won pots with both the AA and KQ and lost with the AQ. I then got blinded off for a while and got rivered for the last of my chips. My brother Mike lasted about an hour longer than me.

It was really cool to see so many well-known poker pros. We saw everyone from Chris “Jesus” Ferguson to Joe “The Elegance” Beavers. I learned a lot, had a great time, and look forward to playing again in the future, hopefully with better results.