I played in the $2,500 six-handed event at the WSOP today. Harrah’s has corrected a lot of their screw-ups as operators of the WSOP, but one screw-up they are yet to correct is the late registration conundrum. I registered this morning around 11:00 a.m. and was put in the Miranda Room with a couple hundred other players, most of whom also registered with not much time to spare prior to the start of the tournament. The problem with this set up is that, in general, the best players all wait to register until the last second. This means the competition in the Miranda Room is much tougher than average.
I sat down at my first table to find Matt ‘ch0ppy’ Kay on my immediate right and Alex Jacob on my immediate left. Surviving that draw mostly unscathed, our table broke and I was relocated directly in between Shaun Deeb (who has probably played more multi-table tournaments than anyone in history) and Erick Lindgren.
The other players at these tables were no slouches either. There was, at most, maybe one weak player at each table.
Okay, back to how Harrah’s screws this up. When players bust out of the tournament in the Amazon Room, they break tables to clear the way for Miranda Room tables to be moved in. So when you move from the Miranda Room to the Amazon Room, you aren’t assigned to an empty seat at a random table, your entire table is moved intact. Basically your sick table draw from Miranda remains a problem to deal with even once you’ve been moved to the Amazon Room.
So Harrah’s makes it a point to break these late registration tables first once they’ve been moved to Amazon, right? Wrong! Tables that are moved from Miranda to Amazon are placed at the very end of the table-breaking queue. What does this mean? It basically means that if you register late for tournaments, you are encased in a bubble of players that are significantly better than average for the duration of the day. This is pretty inexcusable on the part of Harrah’s. It definitely forces players to question whether or not they should play an event, especially six-handeded events where the table draw is of increased importance, if they are unable to register for it well in advance.
Despite being at stacked tables all day, I more than held my own for the most part. I wouldn’t say great players are particularly dreadful to play against. I mostly know what they’re doing and how they think, and plus you already know they’re good as soon as they sit down (whereas with players you do not recognize, you have to spend perhaps several orbits trying to figure them out).
In level five, I check-raised all-in on the turn with top two pair. My opponent made some calculations out loud and concluded, “I don’t quite have the pot odds to call, but I’ll call anyway.” He turned over a flush draw and binked it on the river for a 100 big blind pot.
That was likely the last World Series event I’ll play this year before the Main Event. I’m flying back to Houston tomorrow and think it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll come back to Vegas prior to the weekend during which the Main Event commences.
Yesterday, I went golfing with Dave and Leif Force on the par three course at Angel Park. I was giving both of those guys strokes, which was unfortunate for me because we were all pretty evenly matched. I’m normally a clear-cut favorite over Dave, but yesterday he golfed out of his mind and beat me straight up. Leif also edged out victories against me with the half a stroke I was giving him on each hole. I’ve ran terrible against that guy in prop bets the past few days.
To illustrate how hot Leif runs, check this out. We we teed off some hole and Leif hit a terrible shot into the bushes and desert. Normally when you hit it onto this part of the course, you’re an underdog to find your ball, and even if you do, you typically have to take a drop anyway since it’s stuck in some bush. So we drive the cart up to where we think Leif’s ball went into the shit, and this is what we find:
Surrounded by nothing but desert and bushes was this completely out of place little patch of grass on which Leif’s ball came to rest. He was needling so hard when we discovered this. I just stood there shaking my head in disbelief and had to take a picture so I have something to look at when I want to feel depressed.
One more fun prop-betting anecdote: a couple nights ago I was hanging out with Sebastien and his friend Steven. Sebastien bet me that I couldn’t write down all 50 states (abbreviations accepted) within two minutes. I didn’t waste much time taking him up on the bet. I don’t know that crappy little song that they teach kids to help them memorize all the states alphabetically, so I just had to visually go through my head writing down all the states. I went from West to East zig-zagging from North to South. With like four seconds left, I knew I was forgetting something from the Northeast. I got down ‘Ver’ for Vermont like right at the buzzer to ship the bet. It was a pretty sick win in a bet that turned out to be much more difficult than you might think. I’m actually going to challenge people to this prop in the future, because I think it’s the type of prop where people will naturally be way too overconfident about their chances.
Alright, one last totally random anecdote: I went to this awesome Thai restaurant last night called Lotus of Siam. Apparently it’s pretty popular among a lot of poker players. I saw Chad Brown and Vanessa Rousso sitting at a big table with others I didn’t recognize. And the table next to mine had three guys I didn’t recognize who perturbed me (up until they left) with standard poker-talk that was impossible not to overhear like, “okay get this… I’ve got Ace-Jack in the cutoff, right..?”
Ugh, so annoying.
Anyway, the meal was really awesome and anyone really into eating good food should check it out next time they’re in Vegas.