A Nevada fortnight, by Julian Thew
by Julian Thew
Well I'm just back from my annual fortnight in Vegas and whilst it wasn't as profitable as my last two visits I really enjoyed throwing myself into two weeks of solid poker. The Brits had a great WSOP this year with five friends all winning bracelets... inspiring stuff!
For me, the first week was a mix of tournaments, a Binions Mini-WSOP Main Event, a few of the Deepstack comps at the Venetian and two WSOP shots over at the Rio. Cashing in three from ten probably isn't a bad ratio, but they were min cashes and it wasn't really much to write home about.
My biggest disappointment was another poor show in the WSOP Main Event. It's always gutting when you get knocked out of that one, it's just so big, but I always find it a double whammy; there's the initial numbness you feel as you shuffle out to the taxi rank but that usually ebbs after a day or so. Then, usually when I'm home and when the field gets down to its last hundred runners or so, the disappointment flows again as you follow the fortunes of the last few who battle with monster seven-figure stacks for a seat at the biggest of
I guess six Main Events isn't a huge sample size, but just once I'd like to get some momentum going, get my paws on some chips and go deep. This year I played pretty well on Day 1, the table was OK, the only problem was that no one was giving it away and we didn't lose one player. I finished on my starting stack, 30,000, and given the super slow structure I was fine with that.
Day 2 saw a couple of raise and c-bets getting re-popped and it wasn't long before I was down to 20,000. With blinds at 250-500/250 I was far from panicking but prepared to gamble if the right spot presented itself. A tight player in the cut-off made it 1,225, the SB called and I jumped in with 3-3; the problem was when I looked back at my stack I spotted that I was missing one orange 5,000 chip and suddenly realised I'd made it 5,225 by mistake. I let out half an 'oh...' before I shut-up but I'm pretty sure everyone had spotted my gaff. The cut-off folded but the SB (who had me well covered) moved all-in. I instinctively knew he would do this, I mean my mistake is just so exploitable by a big stack. I'm pretty stubborn at times and called pretty quick, but when he flipped up 9-9 I knew it was over.
In hindsight, I'm still OK with my call in most events, but this was The Main Event, like Christmas an event that comes just once a year, an event that is paced so slowly that you can grind a short stack for days. Reflecting on it now, I just really wish that in the moment, I'd seen the bigger picture, accepted that I'd made an error and just swallowed the loss.
The second part of my trip was spent playing $2-5 cash and a handful of STT's at the Venetian. On the whole every table had a lot of soft spots and it was quite satisfying to win back all my tournament buy-ins.
The first half of the PokerStars UKIPT season is behind us now and it's time to start planning an assault on the second half. First stop will be the Edinburgh leg of the UKIPT followed swiftly by Season 7 of the EPT. Wow, has the EPT really been running for six years? Time flies when you're having fun...