I flew back to Vegas on Wednesday evening... excited to get back to the WSOP and the $5k shorthanded NLHE event.
I flopped a set against Jason Strasser in the second level and ended up busting him when I filled up on the river and he called my all in. I was off to a great start at greater than 9k. From there everything went wrong and I was quickly down to 2k. I doubled up with AK vs J2 and I chipped up nicely to 9k again when my table finally broke. My new table was much tougher with Howard Lederer two to my left and Blair Rodman two to my right.
Lederer was very aggressive in re-raising me, and I never defended and I never had the goods. I think I played quite poorly in retrospect. A while later ridiculously good online player H@llingol took Rodman's seat. I was short stacked and pushing and re-pushing often. Finally, my bustout hand came when I started the hand with about 4800, posted the 300 BB, had KhTh and got it all in against H@llingol on a KJ4 two heart board against QJ and the J on the river sent me packing. I had no regrets how I played the last hand, just got unlucky. It would have been a huge pot for me putting me at 13k.
Next up was the 2k NLHE. I got up to 3300 early when I won a nice pot with AK vs QQ on an AAxxK board and QQ called the river bet and showed after not re-raising preflop. That was quite an interesting line. Of course I missed everything after that and got down to 2k or so. I blew 1k of it with 77 vs both blinds when I fired a continuation bet and had to fold to a push. I doubled with KK vs TT back to 2k, then lost 1k of it wtih 44 vs QQ, got all the way down to 450 at the 50/100 level and then chipped up to about 1500 again. Gavin Smith came to my table (first time I had really talked to him since New Orleans) and he ended up doubling me and then busting. I ran low of chips though and ended up pushing with JT and ran into AQ.
The next day was the $1500 Razz tournament. I had never played a 7 card stud game live so it was a bit of an adjustment, but I think I played pretty well overall. I ran pretty well and had my chips up to 4k by the second break then about 4400 by the dinner break. After that I went on a rush to 7500 or so... and then I really kind of ran out of steam. I ended up misplaying one hand against JohnnyBax when I defended my bring in when he was in the last position. I ended up making a T on the river and paying off his 9 - then eventually he busted me, about 15 spots from the money at 3:30am. Really, another frustrating finish. My friend Chris (blog to the right) ended up 11th and JohnnyBax got 4th, congrats to them, they've both never played Razz before.
Right as I busted from the Razz tourney my friend Carl Olson was making the final table of the $2k NLHE tournament. That gave me something to do yesterday (and a good reason to skip the $1k rebuy and Sunday tourneys). The final table was filmed for TV and Carl did very well, finishing in 6th place for over $130k. I know he wanted to do better, but he is one of the best players out there and just didn't get the cards he needed.
I only have one event left before the main event, and that is the $1500NL tomorrow. The main event starts on Friday but I don't play until Monday. Going to be playing a lot online (which has been very good) and I also might play a Bellagio $1k here or there.