Chapter Two | Event #38 | The Poker Player
Event #38: $1,500 Fixed Limit Event
This tournament was my only reason for coming to Las Vegas. The 249 players in this tournament included Antonio Esfandiari, Joe McKeehen, and Jonathan Duhamel.
Unfortunately, none of these players were at my table. That would have been cool. I did spot Antonio, who walked right by me during a break. Despite having communicated with him online, he had no clue of my identity, and he probably wouldn’t care anyway. (Remember, this was at a time when I still hadn’t revealed my identity.)
My table did consist of Hal. You might remember Hal from the WSOP Main Event a few years back. He’s blind and made the money in that event. He seems like a really good guy, but with someone telling him the cards on every single hand, it slowed the action at our table.
We estimated that we saw about 30% fewer hands than every other table in the tournament. This didn’t allow us to build our chip stacks as fast as the players at other tables. Of course, we didn’t discuss this until Hal was knocked out. I knocked him out, but he had already been dwindling for a while.
Everyone who played at our table either got knocked out or maintained a decent chip stack around 30,000 (started with 15,000) throughout the day. I was the only player who went on a rollercoaster ride from above 30,000 to below 10,000 and back up to above 30,000 three times.
In Need of Re-Charging
I would play well and then make an error. Been awake 24 hours straight and made the stupid mistake of showing an 84-off bluff to a guy I was trying to get on tilt. I max-raised him pre-flop, then came over the top of his raise on the flop. He tanked and folded.
Showing that bluff might have led to short-term gratification, but when you’re attempting to cash in a poker tournament, short-term gratification is your enemy. After that hand, he didn’t respect any of my bets, nor did anyone else at the table. STUPID!
Another stupid mistake (due to fatigue) was calling open-ended straight draws on small pots, which didn’t make any sense whatsoever. It was easy to see my errors after the tournament. I was completely spent and couldn’t think straight. During the tournament, I was literally fighting not to fall asleep, which is incredible considering the buy-in.
I ended up finishing 74th of 249 players. Not bad, especially considering the circumstances, but not good enough. This had been my story of that year. Then again, there was always the Main Event, which I planned on traveling back to Las Vegas for two weeks later.
Poker Tip: Never Play Poker on a Travel Day and always be well-rested for the tournament!