Hey guys so as many of u know i got stupid lucky this summer and I managed to win a bracelet. Without sounding too douchey (I realized that I've probably already failed at this but oh well) I'd like to tell you guys the story of my summer. I will warn you, it's long;
It started out great. I got to Vegas on the fifth of June and arrived at Manhattan Condominiums (right by South Point). After spending all of last summer at the Rio I can't even begin to describe how pumped I was to not be doing that again. So already things were good.
I sold a package on here and the 1500 6max on June 7th was supposed to be my first event, but the next morning I woke up with the itch and decided to hop in the 1500 shootout. I had played it the year before and gotten heads up with a big chiplead but ended up getting coolered and losing. This year I was able to win my first table after hitting a one outer for half the chips in play and then winning a flip for it all against a very good player, James St Hillaire.
I was feeling really good heading into the second day, already having locked up my first ever WSOP cash. I got a very nice table draw and was able to chip up early and put myself in a really good spot. Unfortunately as the day went on I played poorly before ultimately getting my last 15 or so bbs in with 10s vs 8s and losing. I was pretty bummed but still happy to have cashed.
That weekend my roommates girlfriend came down and we all went to Bellagio to walk around and I got the itch again so I sat in a 10-20 game with like 7k. As I was buying chips I was dealt 4's in the BB and saw a raise to 80 and bunch of callers so I threw in 60 more. The flop came 984 rainbow and it checked to this old fishy dude who looked like a James bond villain and he bet 300, which was called by a nitty looking swede directly to his left. I made it 950 and the fishy old dude called pretty quickly and the swede folded. The turn was a 10 putting a backdoor flush draw out there and I wagered 1750. The guy thought about it for a bit and stuffed for like 5k total or a little more. I shrugged and called and he had 109o and he held for two rivers.
So now my trip was getting really good and I decided to go to EDC that weekend which turned out to be a blast. I don't do drugs but the energy there (I know it sounds gay) was amazing, and I'm sure if you went then you know what I'm talking about. After a ****ty trip in 2011, this years Vegas trip felt like it couldn't have started off better. And then it got kinda ****ty.
I decided to play PLO for the first time cause I was bored at Rio and sat in a 5-5 game with 4k. The first hand I was dealt aj85 double suited, and raised to 100 in ep and called got by the cutoff and button (who had straddled to 25). The flop came qj4 with 2 clubs and one heart. I had nut clubs and backdoor hearts so I bet like 275 and the button called. The turn was a 7 of hearts giving me a gutter in addition to another flush draw. I couldn't see how many chips he had so I asked and he said "five". So i potted the turn and he thinks and says "pot". I see him throw in a stack of bills and realize he meant that he had 5k. I feel committed and call and lose 2 rivers vs just a bare qjxx. Bummer.
I keep playing wsop events almost every day and although I'm playing pretty ****ty I somehow am managing to get it all in good in each one and lose. (karma I guess). I make a day two in 1500 but it just ends up being a mincash. ****ty.
At this point the last event on my schedule is the 5k which I am really pumped for. I get to play with legends like Tony Dunst and Kyle Julius but end up busting in the last level of the day. I'm pretty tilted and upset and basically ready to go home for a bit before the main but then I realize that it's only a week away and I might as well just stay.
I decide to sell a package for the last 4 no limit holdem events before the main so at last I have something to do. The first of which is a 1500 with a massive field full of not so good players. I manage to hero call a middle aged man with a polo and get shown quads. NH sir. Not all hope is lost though as I catch wind of these things they call "Mega satellites". For Just 550 dollars I can win 10k. Perfect.
I play my first one at 8 that night and basically bubble at like 2 in the morning. Perfect. The next day I come back, get owned by Dwyte Pilgrim (who is hilarious btw), re enter and bust again just as quickly. Now at least I can play some PLO, great right? Not so great.
I manage to lose 5k playing like a complete re re and cap it off by bet folding aaxx on a 1055 flop with a fair amount of money already in pre just to get shown jj89 by some assclown. One of the big reasons I folded was cuz I only had 900 left and I needed it to buy in to the 1k which was the next day. Yeah I know, I'm a fkn boss.
So I tilt buy in at 4am and head home with my head down and my trusty roommate Aaron who I bitch to for the entire ride home. He says I really shouldn't play tomorrow and I tell him I have to, cuz I'm tilted and it's obvs the best way to win back money.
I wake up bright and early at 12;20pm and rush to get over to the Rio, because I've been coming late to every trny and I don't want to miss too many hands. Immediately my diligence is rewarded as I get Aces my first hand and manage to stack a fish who decides to get it in with Kings. Already I am feeling better about my chances and life in general.
I get moved to another table and my first hand Iso raise a fish with a5dd and cbet 500 on a 1023r flop. He makes it 1100 and I call and picture the 4 of diamonds in my mind which rolls off on the turn and he shoves. I call and hold against 106dd. At this point I'm pretty chipped up and I continue to run good for the rest of the day. We get to the bubble at the end of the night and for maybe the first time ever, I get to be the one taking advantage of it. I raise with bad hands and watch tight players fold good ones and shake their head with sighs of jealousy. It's awesome. I bag up as one of the chip leaders and go home feeling a lot better than the night before.
The next day I wake up and race over again only to find Aces (not on my first hand, common guys that would be ridiculous!) and stack a shorty. I'm cruising until I get queens vs a chubby innpersy look alike whos a lock pro (very nice guy) and he has ace queen. He spikes and ace on the river and I am feeling poopy again. Not too long after that he opens, Alex Outhred 3bets and I jam with jj. He snap reships and Alex folds saying I guess Ace King is no good. It isn't, as the lock pro has Ace King and I win all my chips back + a little more.
At this point I've got plenty of chips when Dutch Boyd gets moved to the table. Now I've never liked Dutch Boyd so I reallly kinda wanna bust him. I get the chance early when someone opens utg, dutch flats and I squeeze jacks only to have dutch 4bet jam in my face. I figure he's too old school to flat Aces or kings preflop so I'm good a decent amount of the time plus I really want to bust him. I call and he has Queens and I see a bad flop but decide to secretly will a jack on the turn which comes and he groans. Sorry dutch
Now I've got a lot of chips and i decide its a good idea to pick up Aces and Kings when old guys open, because they generally have it. So I stack two of them and now I have even more chips! Shortly after I get moved to a table where I meet my nemesis, Nghi Van Tran. I don't know what it was about this dude but I just couldn't win a pot off him and he ****** knew it. Every time we'd play a hand together he'd just laugh and say "why u play, u know u can't win" and "okay give me more chips" and **** like that. And I kept doing it. When I finally broke from that table I had went from the chip leader of the tournament to just about an average stack.
I get moved to new table and immediately get into a weird spot. I have 99 in the cutoff and make it 21k at 5-10k with 280k behind. This young Asian on the button who seems ok makes it 100k with 300k behind. I feel like I'm always flipping so I jam and get rewarded with a hold vs Ace Queen. I win a few little pots here and there and build my stack up to 800k before I get AK suited on the button. I raise and the big blind (mean looking young italian 3bets). I 4bet and he 5bets small and scary but we get it and he has queens luckily. I decide to look at his face instead of the flop which immediately pays off as I see him groan and look sick. Not much later I end the night with a massive chip lead with about 15 people left.
I wake up feeling great and rush over to Rio to climb the big pay ladder. I win a few pots early then get 3bet and fold like a ho a couple times and before I know it were at the final table. At this point I have a slight chip lead but a few people are nipping at my heels. My plan is to play ICM and try and make some extra keesh since mothafckas be mad short and sht.
Early in this guy on my right shoves 12bbs utg and I call with AKo. It folds to my nemesis who gives me a look and makes it 700k total at 12-24k, with about 700 back. I have a bit more than that if I fold and I decide to do so because I don't think he's ever doing that with worse. He ends up having queens and I would have lost the race so I feel even better about the fold and we lose our first casualties.
We then go on break and my girlfriend gets in from NY and gets to the Rio with perfect timing. It's the first time she's ever been in a casino with me and I think she immediately wishes its was her last as she walks through the Rio. We hug and embrace but then then the clock starts and its time to climb more pay bumps.
Everyone is playing pretty tight it seems except for my nemesis (Nghi), who now seems to be owning the table. He keeps laughing at me and it's not fun, but I stay patient and soon another shorty busts. Then Joe Kuether (the best player at the table imo) gets it all with this Italian dude blind vs blind and knocks him out. Then Joe knocks out the next player and now he and my Nemesis have most of the chips. Great.
Joe and Nghi seem to be trading chips before Joe knocks out a funny loud fish in 5th place. Not much later Nghi opens the button and I jam 25bbs with 10s and he wakes up with Ace King. The door card is a 10 and I finally beat my nemesis. A few hands after that Joe opens and Nghi shoves 13?ish bbs from the cutoff, I reship with AJss from the sb and the board runs out 10105qq and I knock out my nemesis. (cliff: this guy had a really weird style and I won't say he was a good player but he got really unlucky at the final table. He must have lost 5 or so big flips like at altogether).
Anyway so now we are 3handed, Joe myself and very nitty old Brazilian dude. Right off the bat Joe starts owning me and making my life hell. I am getting a little flustered but before I know it, Joe and the Brazilian get it all in for about half the chips in play on a q109hh flop. Joe has q10 and the Brazilian has j10. The turn is a brick but the river is an 8 and now Joe is the shortstack. I have to admit during the hand I was rooting for Joe because it would have given me a big pay jump, but after the hand I realized how good it actually was for me. Instead of being heads up vs Joe with a big chip dis advantage I was now 3 handed with a good chance of busting him and getting heads up with the Brazilian. Ironically I busted him a few hands later and the dream scenario had been realized, heads up with a nitty old Brazilian dude for the bracelet and cash.
I'm not going to lie, I've never thought much about winning a bracelet before. I always said just give me the cash and let them have the bracelet. And I was feeling that way throughout the final table as well, I was happy to keep moving up and making more money. But as soon as I got heads up everything changed. It was almost as if the money disappeared and all I cared about anymore was winning the bracelet. And then a weird thing happened, I started to play well.
I began to grind him down and I could see was getting tired. He started HU with a chiplead but I had the momentum, and I was winning most of the pots. I could feel his frustration and tiredness adding up and I decided to make a big move. I min raised the button to 240k with j3o and he defended his bb. the flop came 665 with two diamonds and I cbet 250k and he made it 650k. He had less than 3million behind and I felt like he really didn't have a 6 and would fold anything less so I made it 1.2million. He thought for a little bit and shoved and his rail went nuts.
He had a great rail. It felt like every Brazilian in Vegas was there. They were very loud and coordinated but they were not rude or out of line in anyway. Every time he won a pot they would cheer loudly and then it hit me, the solution was simple, if I he didn't win any pots, they wouldn't cheer. Unfortunately I wouldn't have much time to put that strategy into effect as we stopped play for the night shortly after that big bluff failed. At the time, I was a bit upset. Even after losing that pot I still felt really good and I wanted to end it that night, but rules are rules and bagged up for one more day.
I didn't sleep great that night and came to the rio with a funny stomach the next day. When I got there he was nowhere to be found. We waited for 15 minutes or so and he didn't show up, so I left and told the floor guy to just call me when he did. At this point I made a power move; I took a huge a dump. I got the call on the can and headed back to the table. In retrospect his late arrival gave me a huge edge.
Right off the bat I put the pressure and he didn't know what to do. He was so nitty at heart but it was like he knew should be playing more aggressively heads up but couldn't do anything about it. I had about a 3-1 chiplead when I opened the button with AQs and he jammed 15bbs with k2o. The flop came a27, the turn was a queen, but the river smacked out an awful little ugly duckling and his rail went bananas. I was pretty crushed because I could really taste the bracelet at the point, but at the same time something else was inhabiting my body telling me that if I stayed calm, it was still mine.
He went on a run after and pretty soon he had me out chipped almost 3-1. I found AJ twice in good spots and was able to 4bet jam on him and he folded each time. Before I knew it I had the lead again and I was feeling really comfortable. I made two pair on the river with 95s and made a big value bet which he called and it left him with 10bbs. At this point, I could really taste it again but I knew I would still have to wait. So i bit in to an apple instead, and it tasted awesome.
On the final hand he shoved with k3 and I woke up with A2 and flopped him almost dead with q22 and turned and Ace and it was all over. I got up from the table and shook his hand and he was extremely humble in defeat. He told me I deserved it and that made me feel really good. I went over the rail and had a long kiss and hug with my girlfriend and then a bunch of embraces with my friends. I was very lucky to have the type of a rail I did and support for that final table. They weren't as loud as the Brazilians but they were much meaner and 10 times as hilarious. There were many times during that final table when I wanted to just crack up but had to contain myself. It provided a really nice balance with the Brazilian chanting which made everything more competitive, and it helped me relax and play my best.
I know it sounds corny, but for me that support was the best part of the whole experience. I got so many kind facebook messages, and tweets and texts throughout the whole thing that I never felt like I was alone. Having so many of my friends there and my girlfriend really made it an incredible experience. I will be the first to admit that I really don't think I am that good at poker and I think that most of friends would agree, yet I didn't feel like anyone was really jealous of me, it seemed they like they were all just happy.
This has turn into quite a ***** long story and if ur still here with me apologize for that, although I have a feeling your probably glad that you made it. I don't post very much on here anymore but I will always feel a strong connection to these forums, MSNLFR in specific. You guys have read my wells, my rants, and handled my levels without blinking an eye. I know it might not feel like it, but there is a piece of this bracelet that belongs to all of you.