Wednesday, June 22, 2005

My First World Series of Poker Event

I never thought I'd get to play in the World Series of Poker. And here I am, ready to go fling chips around with the big boys. I'm going to be playing in my first ever WSOP event today at Noon, local time. The buy in is $1500 and 20 of my friends including my brother all chipped in and paid my entry fee. I am now entitled to give them 50% of my profits. Pretty cool, eh?

By the way, thanks to: Maudie, Al CantHang, Tanya, Derek, Briana, Otis, Senor, Iggy, Joaquin, Human Head, Obie, Joe Speaker, Wil, Spaceman, Sean & Brent from Lord Admiral Radio, Chad, Halverson, Gracie, April H., and Poker Prof & Flipchip. They all get a cut of my winnings.

My friend Felicia, who is a professional poker player, said that I was "dead money" and that's the reason she didn't want to back me. No confidence? She's right. However, she and her husband Glenn (who is a poker dealer and a solid NL player) gave me some great advice. In fact, I asked some pros about advice. A lot of what they said contradicts each other and that's part of the charm of poker... there's no set way of how to play and people's playing styles vary.

My buddy Otis played in a similar WSOP event two weeks ago and he had some tips for me. I'm sure I'll be nervous but I'm not going to be as intimidated than most newbies. I've spent over two weeks here at the Rio and I'm used to the surroundings and seeing top notch pros all over the place. I'm no longer star struck. I hope that I'll be comfortable.

My strategy is to play smart and avoid mistakes. Easier said than done right? This will be a three day event. My goal for day 1 is to make it to day 2. The final day will consist of the final table which will be aired on ESPN in September, on my birthday of all days. How about that? There is a small chance, very small, almost impossible chance that I'll make it that far. I'll have to catch a lot of cards and I'll have to play flawless poker for 12-14 hours today if I want to advance to day 2.

They are expecting about 1500 players in today's WSOP event with a prize pool of well over $2.2 million. First place should get paid over a half a million dollars. Yes, this is the biggest tournament I ever played in.

I once won a 150 person tournament on Party Poker and took 3rd in two others. But those were smaller tournaments. The two biggest tourneys I ever played in before today were both online satellites at Party Poker. One was in April 2004 and the top three finishers won a seat in the $25K World Poker Tour Championships at the Bellagio. I took 12th out of 150. In January of this year, I was trying to win a seat in the Aussie Million a.k.a. the Australian Poker Championships and the winner won a seat in event and won a prize package which include hotel & airfare for two plus spending money. I played in two of those tournaments and got my ass kicked in both. I played tentative, like a pussy, in one and the other I just didn't see any good hands.

Twelve hours from now, I'll be taking my seat at table 44 and sliding on my headphones. I'm bringing my iPod with me and can't wait to fire up some Grateful Dead during my first WSOP event. This will also be my first day off in 16 days since I started working. I'm pumped and ready!

If you want to check on my progress, I will try to update my poker blog as much as possible. However, I suggest you follow Poker Wire. The girls who run the site, Jen and Heather, promised me that they will include my name in "notable chip counts" updates (the event is #22 $1500 No Limit Hold'em), so stop by their site anytime after 3pm ET or Noon Vegas time and take a peek.

Thanks again to everyone who helped bankroll me!

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