Vegas: 2013

Summary:  Lots of fun….Plenty of heartache….and a Final Table appearance?!

Andy (ID: 44Drew44Down) was the winner of the Simone Team Poker prize package ($1000 WSOP entry plus $500 for travel expenses).  He dominated the 6 month long promotion (was the #1 point winner) and was the last man standing in the 30 person live Grand Finale.  We had high hopes that he would continue his domination on the trip to Vegas.  His report is below.  Also joining us in Vegas was Marcio Andrade (ID: OneBeerBuzz) and Jason Nassi.  Below are the trip reports…

 

From Andy:

I was at about average ($5k) for the 1st two hours and then got AKo with a raiser in front of me.  I shoved all in because the player wasn't playing good hands.  He deliberated and called me with his life on the line with J8s.  He rivered the flush and I was left with $250 in chips.  Ouch!  I sat patiently as the blinds came around and tripled up when I was 1st to act.  On my small blind, I doubled up again and then doubled up one more time in the next 20 minutes and suddenly I was back over $3,000 in chips.  I hung in through the dinner break and played about 7 hours before getting low again and shoving all-in with 77.  I ran into JJ and was out in 750th place out of 2,880 players.  Not bad, the money was at 297 and 1st place was $454,000!  Thanks Chris for a GREAT time!!!

  

From Marcio:

On June 29th 2013, I was lucky enough to be in the WSOP in Las Vegas. 

As you can imagine, I was in a countdown mode to the event many weeks before we actually got there. From what I learned from the previous year, I decided to arrive one day earlier to relax and get ready for the Saturday event (started at noon). I had been to Prague the entire week on business travel, so I could use the extra time to rest.

Tournament Day: Morning Fun

If you have not yet met Chris, he is a genuinely nice guy, and very good at what he does. He invited me to join him and his dad Saturday morning for breakfast at the Sao Paulo Grill (which, by the way, happens to be where I come from). I got a chance to chat with Chris and his dad, and hear some great stories. 

We had already registered for the event, and we hung out for a while before the tournament started at noon. I encourage any poker player to one day come to the WSOP…even if to only experience the environment. There are literally thousands of poker players from all over the world congregating, and all with the same goal of winning a WSOP bracelet. There are many “off” main WSOP calendar tournaments going on, so, it’s worthwhile going to experience it even if you don’t have the bankroll for a $1K or $1.5K buy in tournament. Event #53 had 2816 registered players, and the winner took home $665K!

Table Action

I started feeling a bit anxious as you can imagine, but quickly settled in. I felt that players in my table were fairly inexperienced, except for the guy 2 seats to my right. In chatting, I learned he was a professional Brazilian poker player and I was happy I had position on him (his name was Armando Sbrissa and he ended up in 217th place for $3,041 payday; I won a huge hand against him, on a very good fold from him). 

The action started pretty slow, and for the first 2 hours I had won a fair share of hands, and had built about $7500 in chips before the first break (we started with $4500 in chips).

I played mostly solid hands, when off position, and with position I would play a bit more lose. 

Last Hand

I believe it was around the 4th hour of play, and blinds were 75-150. I had about 30x the big blind and was playing overall pretty tight. With one hour rounds, there is really no reason to rush, and you have to pick your spots wisely…at least that’s my strategy J

I was on the button, and the guy on 5th position called, and the action came to me. I looked at my hole cards, and I was holding an A2 of diamonds. Typically a hand I quickly fold, but given I had position, I called to see the flop. The small blind (on my left) completed, and the big blind guy raised to 450. My thinking was that he was either trying to win the pot, or he was actually holding a marginally good hand, such as small pair (22,33,44,55,66..or A5, A6, A7….etc)

The guy in 5th position calls (I put him on a marginal hand as well) and I decided to call to see that flop. 

Flop: 3D, 4D, 5H…so, I flopped the straight with a flush draw!! I know I am way ahead, as I had not put anyone on a connector hand such as 6-7. 

The small blind checks, the big blind (raised pre-flop) bets to about $1K (1.5 x the pot). The guy in 5th position folds, and now action is to me. As I said pre-flop, I thought he could be holding a small pair, and could have hit a set, or be trying to push me out with an Ace. My thinking was how much to raise to keep him in, or simply call and see the turn. But I have been burned too many times for slow playing, so I decided to come over the top for another $1K and see what he did. So, I now committed over half of my stack.  The guy thinks for about 20 seconds and moves all in. Now, I am pretty sure he either have an over pair (such as 6s, 7s or 8s…) or he actually made a set…either way, I was confident I was way ahead. 

I called the guy’s all in, which put me all in as well. He turned over, and indeed he made a set of 4’s. I was pretty excited …as I had read the guy well, and I was way ahead. The turn card is a Jack of hearts…BUT the river is a 3 which paired the board, and gave the guy a full house….and delivered me a very sour loss. I talked to a few poker friends, and it looks like I played the hand correctly, but in poker you need to have luck on your side as well. 

Overall, it was great to experience the WSOP and I just hope for a more profitable outcome next time around. 

On a final note, if you are reading this and considering using Chris as your Realtor, feel free to contact me as a reference. I’ve used several realtors over the course of the years, and there is a reason Chris is successful at what he does. He is very knowledgeable, experienced and great working with his customers. 

Regards,

Marcio Andrade, CFM

 

From Jason:

This was my first WSOP, and I couldn't wait to cross this one off my bucket list. I've visited the Rio a few times during WSOP season, but never to actually take a seat in one of the tournaments. Until now!

My wife and I flew in to Las Vegas that Sunday morning, first flight we could get out of San Francisco. I was getting pretty anxious about the timing, since we didn't land until 10:30am, and I'd still need to get over to the Rio to get signed in for the 12:00pm first deal, but that was much ado about nothing. I met up with Chris Simone, got my registration, and was seated at my table with plenty of time to spare.

Once the cards were in the air, my nerves settled quickly, and I got down to business. I lost a few blinds in the first half hour of the tournament, no cards coming my way. I was none too pleased to have to survive an all-in after 30 minutes of a 3-day tournament, although that's better than NOT surviving the all-in! When we reached the end of the first level, I was at 2975 chips, from a starting amount of 3000.

Soon after the second level started, I racked up my first WSOP knockout, with my AA holding up against KK! It sure felt good to knock out one of the other 2,883 players in the tournament. I finished the second level at 3475 chips.

After a short break in the action after level 2, my table was merged. The new table where I moved to was where the cards really turned in my favor. I pushed all-in with KK, and it held up against A9 suited. By this point, I was sitting on over 8000 chips. Probably a coincidence that my wife had just shown up at the Rio to cheer me on, but I'm attributing the good run of cards to her! Soon after that all-in, I put another player all-in, and my AA knocked out his JJ. Boy was I loving this new table! I initially counted myself as having 14000 in chips at this point, but that must have been a miscount based on another count a few minutes later. Probably more like 12000 in chips. Still, that was pretty good.

Unfortunately, my table needed to merge again, and as level 4 wound down, I moved tables. This third table was not going to be nearly as kind as my second table.

40 minutes into level 5, I stepped into the danger zone. The blinds were 100-200 at this point, and I was in the big blind. First player under the gun raised to 600, and four more players followed him in at 600 apiece. Then the player with the dealer button made his power play, raising to 2400. The small blind folded, and I looked down at my cards... a pair of Jacks. With over 5000 in the pot by that point, I read the raiser as trying to make a stab for a big pot. I glanced quickly at his remaining chip stack, calculated that I had him covered by about 1000, and then I declared, "All-in!"
 

Five folds behind me, and the raiser instacalls me. Uh-oh. He turns over AA. Same scenario as the second knockout I had, only the tables were turned, and now I was way behind. Only another Jack would keep my chips from sliding two seats to my right. Alas, no more Jacks were to be found on this hand, and I lost about 9000 in chips in one hand. I was down to a paltry 900.

By this point, it was only a matter of time. I could survive a couple of blinds, but the Hail Mary all-in was imminent. I get junk for the next several hands. My big blind comes around, and I look down to KQ spades, so I say once more, "All-in!" Someone else calls my 900, and shows his AK against my KQ. No queens, no spades, no straights getting filled. I was out of my first WSOP after 4 hours and 45 minutes.

When it was all said and done, I felt pretty good about my play. I made one bad read that destroyed me, but I don't feel too bad about it in that spot. I'd been afraid that I'd blow my chipstack within the first hour, and I played for almost five full levels. And as a side note, I saw that I outlasted a Main Event winner -- 2004 champion Greg "Fossilman" Raymer was knocked out a while before I was, and was loitering about 20 feet away from my final resting place.

It was my first event, though I suspect it won't be my last :)   - Jason Nassi

 

From Chris Simone:

Through a poker group I play with once a month I managed to win my way into the Saturday $1500 Event#53.  Started with $4500 in chips.  Sitting two to my right was Michael Binger (Click for info).  I was playing pretty conservative, but also looking for spots to get creative.  Not much to report during the first level (first hour).  Managed to build my stack up to about $5500.  On the last hand of the second level I was happy to take a $1200 pot off Mr Binger and I ended the level with $7500 in chips.  For the next two hours I slowly donated about $3000 in chips and found myself back down to $4500.  Towards the end of Level 4 (4 hours in) I managed to double up with KK off the chip leader and was up to ~$9000.  Sometime in Level 4 Binger was knocked out (…wish I could say it was by me, but it wasn’t!).  In Level 5 I looked down at AK suited and managed to lose about $3500 on the hand…down to $5000.  Near the end of Level 5 the blinds were 100/200.  An early position player made it $600 to go.  There was 1 caller in front of me (I was on the button).  I looked down at the dreaded JJ.  I decided that with $1500 already in the pot I wanted to try to pick it up right there so I pushed all-in with my remaining $5000 in chips.  The early position better called me with AQ.  Flop came 8,9,10 rainbow.  I was in decent shape, but the turn put up an Ace!  The river was no help and I was OUT.  Gotta win those races if one is going to make it deep!

On Sunday I played in the $1000 WSOP event #54 with Jason and Andy.  I was getting beat up left and right in this event…playing plenty of hands but not hitting anything.  When I was down to about $1200 in chips in Level 2 (you start with $3000) I pushed all-in with AK suited against a weak player that had raised in front of me.  She called me with an A10.  I thought I was in good shape until she rivered a straight on me!  This was not my tournament! Lol…

 

I did play in a couple of the Rio’s daily $235 deepstack tournament.  These are large field events and last year I cashed twice in the two events I played in.  Maybe I could continue my streak this year.  The first one I played in had 1633 players and it paid 171 places.  After about 9 hours of playing I was knocked out in 90th place in the money!  Paid $592.  Pleased.  The next day I played in this same event since I’ve been having such good luck with it (…it must fit well with my style of play I guess).   In this event there were 1493 players and it paid 171 places.  After a LONG battle that started with over 150 tables full of poker players I found myself at the final two tables!  Just 20 players left and I was in good shape.  We started the tournament with $15,000 in chips.  I found myself sitting in front of over $3,000,000 in chips!  I was pretty much tied for chip lead with one other player.  Amazingly fun…this is why we play the game with this goal in mind!  With about 18 players remaining an interesting hand developed between me and the other chip leader.  I had played with him for hours so I had a pretty good read on him.  The blinds were $40,000/$80,000 with a $10,000 ante.  He limped from early position and it folded around to me on the button.  I had a K7 offsuit and I checked.  The flop came AA7.  Something about his mannerism told my gut that he didn’t have an Ace.  He bet $200,000 and I called, so now there was $700,000 in the pot.  The turn came another Ace!  Interesting… I have a full house.  It is possible, although unlikely that he has quad Aces.  He could also have a pocket pair.  He comes out firing with a large bet of $1,000,000.  Time to think….what could he have….  It seemed more unlikely now that he had the fourth ace as he would have likely checked or value bet it.  $1,000,000 was a large bet and it felt like he was trying to steal the pot.  He could have a pocket pair higher than a seven.  But if he did then why would he bet so large….seems like he would want to value bet or that he wouldn’t bet so much since it was possible that I had the Ace and he might want to just test the waters to see what I did.  What did this $1,000,000 bet mean?.....  Of course he could also have a 7 although I didn’t think it was likely (unless it was pocket 7s) as he limped from early position.  It seemed possible that he played this way with a KQ suited or a smallish pocket pair so I decided to make the call.  There was now $2.7m in the pot and this was likely the largest pot of the tournament so far!  Spectators and people from the other table started to crowd around to watch this huge action.  The river came a 2, a safe card for me.  He pushes all-in with an almost $2,000,000 bet!  Yikes!!  I went into the think-tank for several minutes.  I replayed the bets and the hand to try to piece together what this guy had.  I still didn’t think he had the Ace.  I concluded he must have a pocket pair or this is a stone-cold bluff!.  If it’s a bluff then obviously I’m good.  If he’s got a pair then the question becomes…which one??  Since I had the 7s there were 5 possible pairs lower and 6 possible pairs higher (roughly 50/50).  It would cost me $2m to win $4.7m…better than 2:1 on my money.  I kept thinking….and thinking… In my mind it all came back to his bet on the turn.  To me it said “pair smaller than 7s” (or a 7 or a bluff).  But should I risk my tournament on this?  After a while more thinking I made the call.  People were crowding around…they couldn’t believe how big this pot was!  Then I got to hear the sweetest words possible…”Well if you called me I must be beat!”  He turned over pocket 3s and I scooped a pot of over $6,000,000 in chips!!!  Took me 10 minutes just to stack it!  The photo above is what $6,000,000+ chips looked like stacked in front of me!

I went from being tied for the chip lead to doubling up and was sitting pretty.  With those chips I cruised into the final table of this 1493 person tournament as the chip leader!  The average stack was about $2.5m and I had around $6.5m in chips.  I wish this story had a really happy ending but unfortunately it does not.  I managed to get into 3 coin-flip situations (twice where I was ahead) and I lost all three of them.  After about 14 hours of poker I ended up getting knocked out in 8th place with a payout of just under $5000.  While I was quite pleased having gotten that far, I of course would have loved to have done even better after getting to the final table.  I guess that’s poker!

I’m already counting the days until the Tahoe WSOP!  This year it takes place at the end of October.  I plan on being up there from the 24th through the 29th if any of you would like to join us.  If you are reading this you should consider joining us in Tahoe…it is always a blast!  I will also be putting on a VERY short promo to take TWO lucky winners with us to play in the World Series of Poker in Tahoe this October.  If you haven’t received an email with information on the upcoming free promotion feel free to send me an email at:  Chris@TheSimoneTeam.com   This promo will be the easiest one yet to make it to the Grand Finale!

Thanks again for thinking of me whenever you hear of someone needing professional real estate services.  Our business continues to grow significantly.  You are all helping to make me look very good in our real estate community!  With your help, I continue to be ranked in the Top 1%for all agents in Santa Clara County.  Thanks for your continued support!