Nick Wealthall: My WSOP misery
by Nick Wealthall
I have to write a blog about my WSOP Main Event, I guess. The sad fact is there isn't much to write. I owe a huge thanks to PokerStars for putting me in but sadly I couldn't return the favor with a long run.
On the plus side, unlike my first year playing, I was super comfortable from the start - I don't think I'll encounter being phased in a big tournament again
The line of the day was from some wag who, when it was announced the oldest player in the event at 90-something was in the field, commented: "I can't believe he took the risk and waited 'til day 1D!"
My table was great - with one active player who was decent, one tag player who was good and the rest pretty horrible. I was able to chip up really easily and only lost chips when I made a big unnecessary bluff early on. Once that was out of my system it was plain sailing but without any big hands.
Until I busted in level 3 just before dinner.
It was so, so frustrating - the ante was about to come in and I felt like my table wouldn't adjust properly at all and I'd make chips easily. I had 115 bbs at the start of the hand and pocket sevens on the button. Decent player opens, horrible player flats and I call. Flop is A-J-7 no suits - a good flop for me, reader! I have a set! Good player checks, bad player bets I flat; we're heads up. The turn is a 6 bringing a spade draw. Bad player bets I raise; he calls. River is a 4♣ - he checks I move all in, he tanks for two minutes - he calls and shows a soul-crushing set of jacks.
The funny thing about the hand is that obviously I think I'm ahead the whole time and I'm just trying to get his money in. On the river I have no clue what he was thinking about and it was a really shocking nit roll - I was so surprised when he turned his hand over. I mean I'm sitting there making all the weak signals praying for him to call (trust me, my lips were curling under, I was fidgeting and staring, the works).
When he finally turned his hand over I didn't take it well. I was fine about it one drink later, just disappointed. In an interview a few days later new Team PokerStars Pro David Williams summed up the feeling of going out on a hand that was brainless in how much it played itself. "It's like the main event got taken from you," he said. We don't play poker because we're passive, we play it because we like to influence action and I feel like I didn't have much of a chance to do any of that.
Apparently the WSOP was still going on after I bust - but as soon as those jacks hit the felt I lost interest. Next year?