The World Series of Déjà vu

Since the WSOP, I've been on vacation. I have a very tight schedule coming up this autumn and it was the only time I could squeeze in some relaxation. I took a trip by myself to a Greek island called Rhodes and went windsurfing for the first time in my life. The island is home to some very famous surfing spots and I tried it out for a few days. It was actually much more difficult to pick up than I thought it would be. For the first few days of training, you're basically standing in one spot learning technique before you actually get out on the water. It took me ten days before I could get a decent ride but I had a lot of fun. I loved the little village I was staying in and really felt a sense of community among the surfers and travelers there. I also drove around the island a lot, visiting different areas and enjoying nature.

I left Las Vegas pretty satisfied with my World Series. I went really deep in one of the first tournaments I played, the $2,500 4-max no-limit. With 20 players left I was the chip leader, but busted in 19th after three huge bad beats. I was 70% or more to win every time but lost them all. It was really similar to what happened to me in 2008 when I finished 11th in the $1,000 NLHE rebuy. Not only did I go out of that one on a bad beat but it was also right before the Main Event. And like 2008, I followed up with a deep run in the Main Event-- although it didn't start out that way.

One hour into Day 1 I was down to only 5,000 in chips from my 30,000 starting stack. I wasn't even tilted about it because I lost those chips in two big hands that I thought I played well but got unlucky in the end. I managed to run my stack back up and finished the day with an average stack. I had a rough Day 2, then a very good Day 3 where I built a huge stack. On Day 4 I made the money and bagged up a little bit more than average.

At that point, I was feeling very comfortable. The WSOP Main Event is the only tournament in the world with a structure and a field this good. I feel good when I have an average stack that deep because I have a lot of chips to play and don't have to gamble a lot. So I was optimistic about my chances... until I ran ace-king into aces. Normally I would fold in this situation, but I was playing really aggressively at the time. The blinds had just gone up and I had a little bit less than 50 big blinds. I raised from middle position and a guy that had only been at the table for a few orbits made a really huge three-bet, so huge that I couldn't just call. I decided that even though I wasn't short stacked, I could push here because I'd built up such an aggressive image. So I went all-in but the moment he snap-called I knew I was in very bad shape. I ended up finishing in 280th place for $37k and I left Las Vegas with a profit for the Series.

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Overall I think I played well and I was quite surprised at how weak the field was this year. In every tournament I played (except for the $25,000 six-max) I felt like I had a huge edge on the field. I'm more used to playing EPTs and they are much tougher. I was shocked to see that players would still do things like call a three-bet for a third of their stack with ace-six offsuit! I didn't get lucky in a few crucial moments, but that happens.

Now that I'm back from vacation I'm going to get back to the grind and start preparing myself for the upcoming EPT season. I haven't played online in almost 2 ½ months so I need to get back into form. In the next few weeks I'm scheduled to play WSOP-Europe and the EPT London. And right in the middle of it all is WCOOP. I plan on entering most of the WCOOP events and I'm really excited for it. Even though I'm not a big online MTT player anymore, I always make time for WCOOP because the prize pools are so huge. Also, many recreational players satellite in and make the fields softer. Most of us in the poker office went on vacation at the same time, and we're all trickling back into town now. But I'm ready for the action!

Ivan Demidov is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

Ivan Demidov
@PokerStars in PokerStars news