Running deep in the WSOP Main Event - Account and strategy of a poker pro (Part 2)

teampro-thumb.JPGSo, I left part one midway through day 6 where I was about to move to the feature table. I went there with about 4.3m chips and I cruised to about 5m chips just winning small pots and not doing anything crazy. I then had a mad couple of levels towards the end of the day. I check raised bluff the South African guy with K9 on 558 and then bet a J turn and he made an insane shove with just 86. I then called an Eric Lindgren under the gun raise with Q♣9♣ on the button. In hindsight this was far too loose as Eric is more on the tighter side, plus he was one of the shortest stacks so he most likely has a strong hand here. Ben Lamb completes from the big blind, and the flop came T85 with two diamonds, one club. Eric made a continuation bet, and I decided to peel one off and see how the hand developed, as I had a gutshot, overcard, and a backdoor flush draw. Unfortunately, Lamb made the call too.

The turn came the 6♣ and Eric bombed the turn. I have three options here

  • 1) Fold. Seems kinda tight as I have a double gutshot and now a kind of hidden flush draw.
  • 2) Raise all-in. This would be a fine play generally speaking, as you take down the pot sometimes and when called would be about 40%. However, Eric had bet about 25-30% of his stack into two people on a very scary board. In my opinion he always has a very strong hand here (he actually had AA). That leaves...
  • 3) Call. So I called, and then Ben Lamb called as well after some deliberation.
  • The river came a 9 and Lamb decided to bet 1m into about a 3.5m pot. Lindgren snap folded, and I decided that Lamb was polarised to a 7 or a busted flush draw. I don't believe he would bet 2 pair in this spot, as there is a 4 card straight vs two players, so it's quite hard to get called by a worse hand. I ended up tanking for about seven minutes as I wanted to really make sure of my decision. My first instinct was to call, but using logic and Ben's body language for me, this was an easy fold really, and he ended up having 67 for a rivered straight.

    So I lost two big pots, was down to 2.2m at 25k/50k, and on a rapid decline from my peak of 5m. I then picked up AK, raised, and was called by Brian Yoon. The flop came K97 with a flush draw. I bet and he called. I was already hoping for a complete blank, as my image was bad and I was hoping to get three streets of value from a worse hand. The turn came off perfect which was a 3. I barrelled again. He tanked for a while and called. The river came an 8, and at first I was a bit worried about that card. After a quick think, though, I ruled out JT and a lot of suited connectors from his range, as we were both around the 40-50 bb mark, and I didn't think he would be speculating with a marginal hand. Also, I think if he had a big draw and even JT he would maybe have raised the flop or turn. So I decided to go for a big bet to get maximum value. I bet 800k into 1.2m. He tanked for ages and made the call with AQ high, which wasn't great play from him, but my stack went to 3.7m which is what I ended the day on.

    jp_kelly_wsop_2011_recap_2.jpg

    Day 7, I was off to a dream start. I doubled up in the first orbit with AK vs Matt Giannetti's AJ to get to over 7m chips. I then knocked out a short stack with AJ v AQ to go over 8m. I folded AK on AA9J8 board to Andrey Pateychuk and have been reliably informed he had a full house. His bet on the river seemed so strong to me even though my hand was under represented. Over 8m and cruising making big, correct folds I felt in the zone. I was moved to the secondary feature table midway through the day. I felt so comfortable, the table was much more pleasant than the main feature table. There seemed like a few weak spots as well although Ben Lamb, Devo and Anton Makievski were playing well. I didn't really play many big pots and just chipped up to well over 9m and found myself in the last four tables. I had a major hiccup though when I decided to 3 bet the new player at the table, Kenny Shih, with K9o and I barrelled off on QQ763 into his flopped quads, QQ. That was a severe blow to my stack and confidence. I feel the play was fine, but maybe I didn't need to do that as I didn't know too much about him. My plan was to just put maximum pressure on the amateurs, as I felt they would want to make November nine over making a big call down.

    I made a mini-recovery from 4m back to more than 5m when I think I made a big mistake. Sam Barnhart opened under the gun off a 27bb stack. It was folded to me in the big blind, and I had AKo. Most people would say this is an automatic hand to get all in. However, Sam was a very tight player, and I would be almost able to play perfectly against him post flop if I just called. I decided to three-bet. He then shoved all in, and obviously I made the call getting a great price, but I wasn't happy about it. He had JJ and won the race which left me crippled as it was near the end of the level. the man in 28th place got eliminated and there was a redraw for the last 27. I would've much preferred to stay seven-handed, as I would be able to get back into the tournament more easily with my 12 BB stack. Unfortunately, I ended up shoving JTo into AA and I was eliminated in 26th place.

    I had a great time this year in the main event and am very happy with my play overall. I think I showed the right amount of patience and aggression to really make an impact on the main event. Next year I might re-think my schedule as I found seven weeks to be a long hard slog this year. I loved the Main Event and can't wait to play it again next year.

    For now I will be playing as many EPTs and UKIPTs as I can, plus continue to grind PLO online. Also, there is WCOOP coming up so I will have to look at which events I would like to play, I might even head over to Las Vegas for the EPIC poker league event in September.

    Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed reading about my WSOP adventure.

    Follow JP on Twitter @JPKellyStars

    JP Kelly
    @PokerStars in World Series of Poker