Las Vegas WSOP Oct/Nov 2021 Trip Report

 

After what seemed like an eternity, the World Series of Poker was finally back on in Las Vegas in Oct/Nov 2021!  All players/staff/dealers needed to prove they were vaccinated (which was a good thing).  We were all itching to get back on the felt chasing the elusive gold bracelets…  Because live poker was on hold a bit, we had a bit of a backlog of Promo prize winners from TheSimoneTeam.  On top of that, I ended up taking 3 trips myself during Oct/Nov.  Collectively, we were able to bring home some WSOP Cash!  See below for all the gory details…

 

10/2/21 – Chris Simone’s Las Vegas WSOP trip report (Vegas trip #1)….

As a warm-up to the upcoming Monster Stack WSOP event, I decided to take a trip to Las Vegas to play in some of the earlier events.  I brought my Dad and brother along this trip.  I also ran into Bill (BBPrint) and his son, Jonathan (Triskelion...cashed in one of the bracelet events!), and Mark (MarkT) while there.

The big draw for this opening WSOP weekend was the $500 “Reunion” event.  This was the WSOP’s kickoff “welcome back” event.  They expected a huge crowd because they were offering a guaranteed $5m prize pool.  They had 3 starting days (Flight A/B/C).  You were allowed to play in any/all and they allowed a maximum of 1 re-entry into each if you busted out.  For each of the 3 starting flights, they would play twenty two 30-minute levels and get to about 5% of the field remaining (95% of the players eliminated).  Then, all the remaining players from each of the starting flights would be joined for Day2.  To get “in the money” you need to get in the top 15% on any of the starting flights.

When I headed down to play in my first event (Flight B), I found myself with about 45 minutes to kill.  Soooo, I sat down in a $2/$5 cash game to kill some time.  On my very first hand of the entire trip I get dealt pocket 2s.  There was a small raise and I called.  Flop came 2,2,3.  Flopped quads!  I checked....there was a big bet, one other caller, then I called.  Turn was a 7.  I checked…big bet, one other caller, and then I called.  The river was a King.  I bet and everyone folded and I raked in a big pot.  20 minutes later I got up and cashed out ahead more than the $500 buy-in for the first event I was playing in!  :-)

First attempt: “The Reunion” Flight B… This event started well for me.  ~4500 players started this event.  To get into the money, you had to get at least to 669th place for the day.  Play will last for 11 hours on this Day1.   Within a couple of hours I had quadrupled my starting stack of $50k in chips up to over $200k.  At 7 hours into this event, my AK was All-in preflop against KQ and QJ.  I managed to knock out 2 players and I was up to $515k in chips.  With patience and some good luck, I found myself into the money!  My stack peaked at $850k in chips about 9 hours into the event.  At 10.5 hours into the event I took some lumps on a few hands.  I was getting short and pushed all-in preflop with A10 suited and ran into AJ and got knocked out in 347th place.  Paid $1083.  A great start!  But I didn’t make it to Day2.

Second attempt:  “The Reunion” Flight C… Trying once again to make it to Day2.  This starting flight had 5897 players.  To put that into perspective….it is ~630 poker tables full of players!  Each player started the day with $50,000 in chips.  Over the course of the first 2-3 hours I had built that up to $80,000.  Unfortunately, my KK ran into AA and I lost $55k knocking me down to about $25k.  But in this game, things can change quickly… On the very next hand, my AJ doubled me up to ~$55k and the very next hand (QJ suited) won a nice pot getting me back up to $78,000.  After 4 hours in (Level 8), my stack was sitting at a comfortable $100,000.  An hour later at the dinner break it had grown to $167,000.  Just kind of held my ground over the next 2 hours maintaining my stack.  7 hours in I had $165,000 in chips and the blinds were $4k/$8k.  I was a little below average and needed to start pushing to accumulate some chips.  Today’s starting flight had 5897 players and I needed to get to 885 to make the money.  There were about 1690 players left at this point.  Over the next couple hours my stack fluctuated between $273k and $190k.  When we were about 10 players from the money I managed to win a nice hand pushing my stack up to about $285k.  I held on until those 10 players got knocked out, and I was once again in the money!  My stack was probably about $250k at that time.  What always happens in these large tournaments is that there are a lot of small stacks just barely hanging on trying to make it into the money.  Once be money bubble pops, you always have a LOT of the small stacks playing really aggressively trying to either build a stack or get knocked out.  I managed to patiently wait for a spot and I knocked out 2 players with one hand and my stack shot up to $560,000.  An hour later at the end of Day 1 I bagged $1,170,000 in chips and had made it to Day 2!  My stack was slightly above average.

“The Reunion” Day 2:   The combination of the 3 starting flights for this tournament had 12,973 entries.  1500 poker tables full of players!  Starting Day 2, all the players who made it through the three Day 1 events were combined.  There were “just” 683 players remaining.   1st place would pay a little over $500,000.  My day started out well.  Within the first 5 hands, my AA took out the QQ of a poker pro and my stack was up to $1,850,000.  Blinds at this point were $30k/$60k/$60k. I took out another small stack and I was up to about $2.2m.  Then a critical hand….  I’m under the gun with JJ.  I raise it to $180k.  One player calls.  Then a player with a huge stack (he started the day 2nd in chips) from the small blind raises to $625k.  I tank for a bit.  We’ve only played about 15 hands at this table so far.  I had limited info on the player, but what I had seen was that he was being very aggressive with his stack.  I saw him play one hand to showdown (K7) very aggressively when he only had one pair, so I pegged him as maybe not the best player and/or playing his big stack as a bully.  I decide to call with my JJ to see what flops.  If an Ace (or maybe a K or Q) flops, I will be able to get away from the hand.  If a Jack flops, I will be golden.  Well, the flop comes 9s,6d,6c.  He is first to act and he goes all-in.  Ugh!  Time to think….  AA, KK, QQ and I’m dead.  10,10 or 88 or 77 or any other small pair and I’m golden.  He could have a hand like A9 but that seemed a bit unlikely.  I never for a minute thought he had a 6.  He could also very likely have a hand like AK or AQ which would still give him about a 25% chance of knocking me out.  I tanked….  Eventually the clock was called on me as I was trying to piece this hand together.  In the end, I kept thinking about the K7 hand he played really aggressively and that prompted me to make the call.  He turned over AQ and my Jacks held up!  I was up to $4.5m in chips!  Phew!  About 2 hours later, we were down to 283 players.  The average stack was $2.2m and I was sitting at a comfortable $3.8m.  Another big hand occurred about an hour later.  Under the gun (first to act) opens for $300k.  One caller before it gets to me.  I look down at AK.  I make it $1.3m and get a call from a huge stack.  The flop comes 10h 4h 4s.  He checks and I check.  The turn is a Kd.  He bets $1.3m  I go all-in for $2.6m.  He folds.  I’m now up to $6.0m.   An hour and a half later we were down to 142 players.  The average stack was $4.6m and I was at $7.3m.  Blinds were $120k/$240k/$240k.  ~18hours into this tournament (11hrs from Day 1 and 7hrs from Day2) we were down to just 90 players and my stack was at $8.5m.  Just about everyone is getting short stacked as the sum of the blinds and ante at this point is almost $1m.   An hour later we were down to 72 players and I still had an average stack.  Things are getting very exciting as an unimaginable sea of poker tables/players is now reduced to just 8 tables in a roped off section in the Amazon Room at the Rio.  Two hours later, I was still battling.  We were down to 46 players and my stack was at $10m.  I had a decent run over the next hour and my stack had built up to $21m with just 35 players left (4 tables).  An hour or so later we were down to just 3 tables…27 players.  My stack of $20m was getting pretty short.  The blinds were $1m/$2m/$2m.  I got involved in a hand I probably could have gotten away from.  It was against the huge stack at the table.  It ended up with a board of 4s,5d,Qs,Qh,5c.  I had the 5 for the small full house.  He put me all-in on the river.  I tanked and replayed the hand to try to figure out what he most likely had.  He played it really weird and it didn’t seem like he should have a Queen based on the way he played it.  I eventually ended up calling and he turned over QJ for the better full house and I was eliminated in 27th place.  Paid out $18,117.  Not bad for a $500 tourney that I won my way into!      It was late, but to unwind a bit before heading off to bed I sat down in a $2/$5 cash game.  15 minutes later I rivered a full house and dragged in a nightcap of a pot for $2300 lol…

2300 pot cropped.jpg

The next day I bombed out of another WSOP event fairly early so I hopped into a smaller daily $400 event with 168 players.  I ended up cashing in 12th place on a bad beat that would have put me into the chip lead.  Always good though to get into the money.

 

All in all, a fantastic 1st trip back to Vegas!

 

 

10/16/21 – Las Vegas WSOP trip report….Time for the Monster Stack $1500 event.  (Vegas trip #2)….

The winner of my Las Vegas Promo was Erik Stuart (pokerID: eastuart), so Erik got to join me in Las Vegas to play in the $1500 WSOP Monster Stack event.  We met up in Vegas the night before to get registered and then the event started the following morning.  Below are our respective trip reports…

Erik’s Trip Report:   Battling the Monster

It's rare that a poker player is *requested* to tell his stories of woe on the felt, but as one of the lucky beneficiaries of a Team Simone-provided seat at the 2021 WSOP, I get to tell you about my bad beats, coolers, and other mishaps with the excuse that I'm *supposed* to do it. So, without further ado, here's the full tale of my adventure in Las Vegas with Chris on the weekend of October 15, 2021.

 

I flew in Friday afternoon from SFO, planning to meet Chris and register a few hours after I landed. It was a gorgeous autumn day, and wanting to enjoy the fresh air and exercise my legs before what would hopefully be a dozen hours of sitting the next day, I decided to walk from the airport to the Strip. (I've made the walk before, and it's not bad at all - well under an hour.)

 

Local law enforcement had other ideas. I was less than five minutes outside McCarran when a police vehicle spotted me, turned on their flashing lights, and made a U-turn, stopping in front of me. I was told that walking was "unusual behavior", asked where I was going (to which I responded that I was staying at the Rio), and then ordered into the back of the car, where I was further questioned. When I asked whether I was allowed to walk, they responded "we're not sure it's a good idea" (which didn't exactly answer my query). They decided to drive me back to the airport, and deposited me on a bus, which then proceeded to take me on a thorough tour of the outskirts of Las Vegas. It did not, however, bring me anywhere near the Rio. (I did get to experience a young woman boarding the bus leading a companion of indeterminate sex on a collar and leash.) Eventually the bus did cross the Strip, and I disembarked and made my way to the Rio on foot, arriving at roughly the same time that Google Maps had predicted for my original walking route.

 

After checking in and relaxing a bit, Chris texted me that he had arrived at the Rio, so I headed down to the tournament area, where we eventually met and made our way to the registration cage. We showed the clerks our COVID credentials, paid our money, and received our table assignments. Chris and I were located fairly close to each other - about one table over and two tables down, in the Brasilia room, where they have poor lighting in order to accommodate the stage for the TV table. (I like that room, actually, since it's notably smaller than the Amazon, making it easier to get out and to a restroom on a break.)

 

I'm not a grizzled WSOP veteran, but I'm not a newbie either. Previous experiences include the 2006 Main Event (where I was unceremoniously bounced out in level 2), the 2017 Main Event (where I got tantalizingly close to the money, surviving past dinner on day 3); and the Big 50 and Little One For One Drop tournaments in 2019 (middling performance in the former, close to the money again on the latter). I was hoping that 2021 would be my first cash (alas, I'll have to wait until at least 2022 now).

 

After a good night's sleep and a breakfast with Chris at the Hash House, we found our tables and got ready for some serious poker. The Monster Stack has a very nice structure - a starting stack of 50,000 chips and 60-minute levels. It's perhaps the best structure in the WSOP after the Main Event.

 

It's a good thing, too, because I was absolutely card-dead for about the first three or four hours. No high pairs, no Big Slicks or AQ- I had a couple of suited Ace, X (that didn't hit a flop at all) and a couple of medium suited connectors (ditto), and nothing else. I was able to get a decent read on most of the players at the table - in particular, identifying the big fish as the guy in seat 6. He did, in fact, end up busting out first (even after doubling up with 88 vs. AA), but, sadly, his chips eventually went to someone else's stack. I won a couple of small pots with pre-flop 3-bets and post-flop c-bets, but the general story of the first four levels was a consistent downward trend in my stack.

 

After hours of patience and seeing my stack dwindle to about 33,000 chips, I finally picked up QQ and 3-bet the player in seat 7, who was playing a ton of pots. (He was growing his stack and seemed pretty skilled, though his performance in this hand suggests otherwise.) He called my 3-bet fairly quickly.

 

The flop came J-high, and I c-bet perhaps 40% of the pot. He called quickly again, and when the turn was a blank, I went all-in for slightly more than the pot. He thought for less than a minute before calling with pocket 4's and a gutshot, which I was, of course, happy to see. The river was harmless and, for the first time, I had a few chips to play with.

 

At some point in the mid-afternoon, Maria Ho sat down at our table. She wasn't doing too well - maybe 25,000 chips? - and, though she won the first pot she played, she ended up busting out after only about 15 minutes when she got all-in preflop with QQ vs. AK and a king flopped. That was the only person I recognized at any point at my table, though someone did sit down (with a gigantic stack) late in the day whom others at the table recognized.

 

I built my stack up to a high point of about 85,000 before the dinner break, then dwindled to about 55,000 late in level ten. at which point came my "heartbreaker hand". A player in early position raised to 5,300; two loose/aggressive players to his left called. I found QQ in the hijack, and shoved. The original raiser thought hard, and called, with the two callers folding quickly.

 

The raiser (whom I have covered) showed KcJc. I was about 70% to win, at which point I would have had over 100,000. The flop, however, wanted to torture me: Jd7c8c, giving him a terrifying 14 outs. The turn was the 10h, but the river was a soul-crushing 10c, and I was left with a mere 20,000 chips (10 big blinds, and only a few minutes away from a big blind of 2,500 chips).

 

A few hands later, on the last hand of level 10, I was in the small blind. It was folded to the button, a very loose player who seemed to enter every pot that was folded to him (and some that weren't), and he raised to 5,000. I found a suited ace and shoved, but got re-raised by the big blind, who woke up with TT. He hit a set on the flop and quads on the turn, and that was that. (It's the second WSOP tournament in a row for me where I've been busted by quads, incidentally.) I'm not certain where I finished, but I'd guess it was somewhere roughly in the middle of the 3,520 entries.

 

At that point, my focus turned to 1) rooting for Chris, who was still battling with a short-ish stack and made it to Day 2 and level 14, and 2) looking for a good tournament to play on Sunday. I found the $800 Deepstack at the Venetian, which had a nice structure (40,000 chips, 40-minute levels, and a very slow blind progression), and proceeded to make a good run. I won a monstrous three-way all-in pot in the middle of day 1 when my middle set busted top-two pair and an open-ended straight draw, and nursed my stack all the way to Day 2. The pay structure was tight, only paying 27 places in a field of 256, and I finished 30th, agonizingly close to the money.

 

It was a fabulous trip to Las Vegas overall, with a ton of great poker (about 28 hours over 2.5 days) and, of course, the pleasure of meeting Chris. I'd say that I wish that all of you would have the opportunity to come to Vegas with him next year, but I'd be lying, because I'll definitely be doing my best to qualify for and then win the Grand Finale so that I can come back myself. :)

 

In all seriousness, Chris is a great guy, a wonderful host and patron, and a darned good poker player, as well (as his deep run in the Reunion event proved!). It was a delight to meet him, hang out, and poker stories, and it was a pleasure to join him at the 2021 WSOP. Thanks a ton to Chris and Team Simone!

 

Chris Simone’s Monster Stack Trip Report:  This is the event I’m always looking forward to.  I played in this event with our Promo Winner Erik Stuart (eastuart).   Lots of starting chips and 1 hour levels.  I’ve played this event 4 times in the past, cashing twice.  This year’s event had 3520 players.  528 made it to the money.  I wish there was a happy ending to this year’s Monster Stack event, but unfortunately not.  I did make it to Day 2 (~14hrs into the tournament) but ended up getting knocked out about 200 spots from the money.  I played in a few other smaller tourneys (managed to come in 10th out of 284 in one of the Rio daily Deepstack events, in the money).  Looks like no hardware (bracelet) this trip  :-)

 

Oct 29th:  Greg Cullup (pokerID: GregAK) Colossus Trip Report:  Greg was one of the co-winners of my Tahoe Poker Promo.  Normally, we would go to Lake Tahoe and play in a WSOP circuit event, but due to Covid that event got canceled.  So Greg got to come to Vegas and play in one of the events there instead.  Here is his trip report…

 

Thanks to Chris and the rest of the Simone Team, I was able to participate in the 2021 WSOP in Las Vegas. The event I chose to enter was Event #55, The Colossus, a 3 day tourney with two day ones. This was scheduled to start at 10AM on Friday October 29, but due to some technical difficulties (dealer shortages was the popular opinion), I was able to be seated at 11, and cards were in the air about 11:30.

 

I was taking my goals one at a time - break, dinner, bag, bag, bracelet - and a few hours in, I achieved my first goal. I hit the break up from my starting stack of 40K, with about 65K in chips.

 

Shortly after the break, I peel back ATo from the UTG and I flat because I'm not happy with my position.  Another caller or two between me and villain in the cutoff position - he pops to 2k (4xBB) - button and both blinds fold, I call, other 2 fold so we have about a 6k pot with me and the villain heads up. Flop comes A-J-Blank rainbow - I check, he bets the pot at 6k (12BB). I call, turn comes w my 10, I lead out, I don't remember the exact amount, maybe 16k (80BB). He thinks about it a bit then jams for about 60k, I call my 55k off, and the river is of no help to me.  He had AJ and I was eliminated.

 

I was really only worried about KQ, which could have been in his range if he was suited, or a set (this would have been more likely given his positional range), or the AJ. I blocked one Ace, as well as the potential set of 10s, so part of his range included AQ and AK which would have been draws, so he may also have been jamming to realize some of that equity. I may have overplayed my 2 pair given the results, but I'm not too ashamed and would likely play the same situation the same way again. And maybe next time I'd hit my 2 outer.

 

I licked my wounds and participated in two more tourneys at the Resorts World casino (I'd highly recommend their poker room, as well as most of what I could see of the casino as well), but got outdrawn twice, and ended my 2021 WSOP/Vegas experience with no cashes, but a bit more big (9399 entries!) MTT experience.

 

Thanks again to Chris and his team for this opportunity to represent The Simone Team in the World Series of Poker - see y'all on the felt!

 

 

Nov 1st:  Chris Wardner (pokerID: 6xChamps) $600 Deepstack event:  Chris Wardner was one of the co-winners of my Tahoe Poker Promo.  Normally, we would go to Lake Tahoe and play in a WSOP circuit event, but due to Covid that event got canceled.  So Chris got to come to Vegas and play in one of the events there instead.  Here is his trip report…

 

I played in event #61 the Deep Stack Championships. After navigating the crazy long line at the cashier to buy in, I sat down and quickly realized this wasn't going to be the typical WSOP table I knew from past WSOP's.  Usually a WSOP table at these stakes has a few drunk folks from the UK, Nebraska, Oklahoma...all sunburned and on vacation quite happy to lose their buy in so they can go home and say they played in the WSOP........Instead, sitting to my immediate right was poker professional Kelly Minkin. After a few rounds of play and table chatter I figured out that there were 2 more pro players at the table. I was as card dead as I'd ever been, but there were a couple highlight hands for sure.  We started with 30k in chips and after 3 levels I had played exactly 3 hands, picking up blinds and antes plus a small pot with almost 4k in chips. When the blinds were 400/800/800 I found myself with suited 10/J hearts in middle position. Kelly Minkin min raised and I called. 4 people took a flop of  J, 8, 4 with the 8 as a heart. Min met from the SB, fold from the BB Minkin and I both call. 10 on the turn hits someone drawing to an inside straight, which I didn't feel was likely. SB checks, Minkin puts out 3K and I raise to 6k....SB folds.  River is a 7 and Minkin bets 2K. I raise to 4K with top 2 and she calls with A8.  That was the last significant pot I would see until I busted. Later in the tournaments Minkin raised to 2K, I called with K10 off and then we got squeezed with a 10K bet by one of the other pros. As soon as I put out the call, I know I had made a mistake. After we both folded Minkin and I had a chat about that hand and I told her I knew I had messed it up. She was very nice and said that the "A$$hat" probably had the goods because he doesn't know enough to run a squeeze play".....the whole table had a good laugh. The tournament ended for me on Day 1 with the blinds at 3k/6K/6K. I was down to 20K ish in chips and was dealt pocket jacks on the button. Raised all in and got called by the BB with 89 suited. I flopped a set, but he flopped a straight draw when the flop came J 10 4 and then hit on the river with a Q.  Ugh!

 

It was an awesome trip, and so great to be back in Vegas for the WSOP....I just hope it's in the summer next year so all the home game players will come out and give me their chips.

 

 

11/6/21 – Chris Simone’s Las Vegas WSOP Main Event trip report (Vegas trip #3)….

Many of you might not know the story of how my Poker Promotion came to be… In 2006, I played in a $340 satellite on PokerStars and won a seat into the 2006 $10,000 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.  Up to that point, I had probably never played in a live poker tournament for more than $100.  Walking into the WSOP convention center for the first time and seeing an almost endless sea of poker tables and players is quite a spectacle! This was my very first WSOP event.  I had a great time.  I built my stack up to 3.5x the starting stack and made it through about half the field of over 8000 players.  I ended up losing half of my stack holding QQ, and the other half of my stack also holding QQ.  That is where my QQ nemesis was born!  Overall, I had so much fun I decided to put together a fun poker promotion so that I can bring others to play (…and also so that I can come back each year to play J )   I’ve been running my local online poker promos since 2007 and have brought 61 of you to play in WSOP events. Lots of great stories over the years.   I’ve been itching to play in the $10,000 Main Event again ever since, but I haven’t wanted to put up that amount because I do still consider myself mostly just a recreational player.  Well…based on my nice finish in The Reunion event (and taking into consideration the tax implication of a $19k+ win), I decided this was a good year for me to take another shot at the $10,000 Main Event!

I arrived back in Las Vegas on Saturday 11/6.   I registered for the Main Event that evening to avoid any lines the next morning.  I was playing in Flight D on Sunday 11/7.  The Main Event this year actually had 6 starting flights.  Ultimately, there would be 6650 participants with a prize pool of over $62,000,000.  First place would be $8,000,000.  Min cash would be $15,000 starting when they got down to 1000 players.  That was projected to be at the end of Day 3 in this 9 day tournament.  Each player starts with $60,000 in chips and the blind levels are 2 hours long.  It is truly a marathon of an event…

Main Event Day1:  Obviously, the first goal is to make it through Day 1.  During Day 1, about 30% of the players get eliminated.  I took a big hit early on when my full house lost to Quads and I lost 1/3 of my stack (Ugh!).  I was playing very conservative.  Over the next couple of hours I clawed my way back to a starting stack of $60,000 when I flopped a set of Jacks and rivered a full house scooping a nice pot.  I had it up to $65-70k when I got into a hand with AQ.  I raised preflop and got 2 callers.  The flop was AQ4.  I continued to push and got one caller to the turn.  The turn was a 6 (two to a flush now on the board).  I make a good sized bet and get called.  The river was an 8 (no flush possible).  I make a large bet.  The other player (semi-pro in his ~10th Main Event he had mentioned earlier) thinks for a while and then puts in a huge $25k raise.  That raise would have been for about half of my remaining chips.  It also only left him with $16k behind.  I tanked.  Ultimately, I felt like his hand must be very strong (i.e. a Set) if he is willing to do that, and I folded.  He then showed the bluff…ugh!  Took me about an hour to claw my way back up to the $60k starting stack.  On the last hand of Level 3 (6hrs in) I was in the big blind (blinds were $200/$400).  Under the Gun raises to $800 and there is one caller before it gets to me.   I look down at 7h2h.  I comically play this hand in cash games and would never really play it in a WSOP tournament, but since I was getting 6.5:1 on my money I decided to make the call.  The poker gods rewarded me with a flop of K77.  I check, the original raiser checks, and the 3rd player makes it $1600.  I call.  Original raiser folds.  Turn is an 8.  I bet $2600 and get a call.  The river is a 3.  I bet $4000.  The other player folds and I scoop a decent pot.  Heading into the dinner break my stack was at $77,000.

Level 4 after the dinner break started with some fireworks!  On the very first hand back I get dealt pocket Kings.  I win a nice pot for $8000.  On the VERY NEXT hand I get pocket Kings again and manage to lose $8000 (and show).  Two hands later I get pocket Aces and end up losing a big hand to a player who rivered a flush and that knocked me down to $45000.  The very next hand I get dealt pocket Queens (…my nemesis hand!).  I’m under the gun and make it $1600.  Two other players call and it gets to the most conservative player at the table (…I had only seen him play 3-4 hands in 6 hours so far…AA, KK, AK, and once when he had quads).  The conservative player raises to $7500.  I think for a while.  I wonder “Is it redemption time for QQ?  Or are they going to bury me again??”  I think more.  I ask myself, “How am I going to play this post-flop if there are all undercards?  Will that get me into big trouble if he’s holding AA or KK?”  I also felt like I was reeling from the KK, KK, AA hands that just beat me up.  Ultimately, I decide to fold.  I’m not sure about this play still…  Maybe I was playing too tight.  Maybe that hand would have busted me.  Maybe I would have scooped a nice pot.  We’ll never know.  I guess I can sleep okay knowing that QQ didn’t knock me out of ANOTHER Main Event!  Nice try ladies…  Soon after, AK suited with a flopped King gets me back close to the starting stack with $55k.  Near the end of Day1 I get so see a flop for a min raise and 3 callers and flop a straight and get paid off pushing my stack up to $85,000.  I ended up making it to the end of Day1 with a stack of $77,000.  10hrs under my belt.  It was a much more stressful day than usual…undoubtedly because the stakes are so high.  Because of the large number of starting Day1 flights, my Day2 wouldn’t be for 2 days so I had a day off from the Main Event.

Main Event Day2:  New table vs. new players to start Day2.  Started out a little slow and my stack bled down to $60,000.  Then I had my first breakthrough.  I had Qs10s and I raised to $2300 and got 2 callers.  The flop came 10d7c3d.  I bet $6k and get one caller.  The turn is a Qc.  I bet $13k and get one caller.  The river is a 5c.  The other player bets $18k.  I replay the hand/betting in my head and ultimately decide to make the call.  He turns over 7d5d (2 pair) and my 2 pair are bigger so I scoop a nice pot pushing me up to $110,000.  About an hour later I once again get bullied(?) off a decent pot.  I raised preflop with suited middle connectors.  I flopped 1 pair and bet.  I turned 2 pair and bet $13k.  The player I was up against was very conservative and he raised $60,000.  The only hand I saw him play that day in a similar fashion is when he flopped a set.  I tank fold.  Down to $90,000.  A few hands later I lost a huge pot with 2 pair vs. someone who rivered a straight.  I was down to $35,000.  It was Level 8 and the blinds were $600/$1200 with a $1200 big blind ante.  Not yet time to panic, but getting a bit low.  On the last hand of Level 8 (16hrs into the tournament) my stack was at $29,000 and I was in the big blind with 7d,8d suited.  UTG with JJ makes it $2500 (basically a min-raise).  A middle position player with AA calls.  It folds to me.  Costs me just $1300 more so I make the call.  The flop comes 8c7c10d (I flopped 2-pair).  I check.  Guy with JJ makes it $6500.   Guy with AA calls.  I shove for ~$25000.  The player with JJ calls me and the guy with AA folds.  I dodge the J, 10s, and 9s and I’m back up to $71,000.  Phew!   Level 9 starts out with me winning a couple of small pots and I’m back up to $85,000.  I win another decent hand from the Big Blind vs. a min raise and I was back up to $100,000 and I end Level 9 at $117,000.  I played Level 10 pretty conservatively.  I got bullied off top pair top kicker pushing me down to $70k and later flopped a set pushing me back up to $90k.  I made it through Day2 and bagged $92,900 in chips.  At this point, about 65% of the field of 6650 have been eliminated and there are 2362 players remaining.  Average stack is $139,000.  20 hours of Main Event tournament in the books. Time for some sleep.

 

Main Event Day3:  New table vs. new players to start Day3.  Some of the other player’s stacks are in the $300-$400k range.  I made it through the first two hours of the day drifting down slightly to about $70,000.  It folds around to me in middle position and I look down at KdQd.  I raise to $8000.  It folds around to the big blind who is one of the more active players at the table.  He raises to $20k and I make the call.  The flop comes Qc7c3c.  He bets $12,000.  I interpreted this as a feeler bet to possible see where he’s at.  I think for a while and slide in my remaining $50,000.  He calls and turns over AcAd.  The turn is a 6s.  The river is a King giving me two pair, but it is the King of clubs giving him the flush.  Ugh!  I made it 24 hours and was knocked out ~1854th.  I outlasted 70% of the field but it was not enough to reach the money.  Overall, a great experience and I look forward to another opportunity sometime in the future.

We are very close to kicking off some fun freeroll events in December, as well as our 2022 Las Vegas Promo#28.  If I have your email address, you will receive an email.  Otherwise, check back here before Dec 7th.

See you all on the virtual felt!

-Chris Simone