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Old 07-16-2020, 09:00 PM   #1
DogFace
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Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

Super slow time of the year with few live MTTs on the horizon for a while, so I thought I'd throw this out there. Have you ever played the WSOP Main? Which year(s)? How did you qualify, or did you buy in directly? What was your experience like? How was the level of play? Any notable hands or stories?

Personally, I haven't ever played it. I never quite had the bankroll back when I was playing a lot online (2009-2010), and I've only recently started playing live MTTs (2018). I'm aiming to do it within the next couple years though.
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Old 07-17-2020, 05:31 AM   #2
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

In 2010, I qualified on Full Tilt in a $26 satellite that had a 4-seat guarantee, which ended up having a significant overlay as only about half the needed players entered. I burst the bubble 5-handed with AK > QT. The final table actually had a pretty good sized amount of people in the chat railing which I thought was wild at the time.

So anyway, they gave me the choice of $12k in FTP tournament dollars OR cash with the stipulation that I must play the main event. I chose the latter option. I was living with my parents at the time and when I told them I won a trip to Vegas, my dad was like "I'll drive." So, about a week before the main event, my dad, brother, and I made the 24-hour+ drive from MN.

I was flush with cash from doing well in a couple live tournaments in the month or so leading up to the main so I thought I'd take a shot at a $1k bracelet event. All I remember from that event (my first bracelet event) was Jerry Yang was at my table, and I got knocked out pretty early with JJ to QQ on a QJx flop.

But I was here for the main. I chose day 1A (there were four choices at the time). I guess I was ready to get going. My table was incredibly soft. We started with 30k and I was over 50k at one point during the day from things like being able to value-raise a 2k bet to 10k with bottom set on a 3-flush board on the river. Yeah it was that soft. But that's also what makes it a minefield as they say. Late in the day, I had dropped back down to near starting stack before I lost a good chunk of my stack when a player limp-called my raise with 76o and flopped a straight against my KK. I bagged 5k.

I had a few days off before day 2 so I played a couple daily deepstacks (without success) and single table satellites. I had $1500 in lammers from winning one of the satellites so I decided to take those + $580 and enter a $2,080 main event MTT satellite which if I won, I was going to either put my brother in the main or sell the lammers. So anyway I was a card rack/luckbox and ended up winning a seat. Stuff like AA > JJ AIPF in level 1, AK utg > AQ bb for 10 bb approaching the bubble, and AA > ?? near the bubble when a big stack tried to abuse the bubble and 3-bet me light, I snap-shoved and he snap-folded. From there it was just folding my way to the seat. So I put my brother into day 1D where he did great and finished the day with 92k (including straight flush > nut flush).

My day 2 was short-lived when I shoved 10 bb with TT and ran into AA.

I said he did great on day 1, but on day 2 my brother ran kings into aces, lost with top set to a flush, and lost AKs < TT to bust late in the day. Sad times. But the experience overall was good. We started the drive home immediately.

That's the only time either of us has played the main event.

Last edited by jmmj05; 07-17-2020 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:23 PM   #3
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmj05 View Post
In 2010, I qualified on Full Tilt in a $26 satellite that had a 4-seat guarantee, which ended up having a significant overlay as only about half the needed players entered. I burst the bubble 5-handed with AK > QT. The final table actually had a pretty good sized amount of people in the chat railing which I thought was wild at the time.

So anyway, they gave me the choice of $12k in FTP tournament dollars OR cash with the stipulation that I must play the main event. I chose the latter option. I was living with my parents at the time and when I told them I won a trip to Vegas, my dad was like "I'll drive." So, about a week before the main event, my dad, brother, and I made the 24-hour+ drive from MN.

I was flush with cash from doing well in a couple live tournaments in the month or so leading up to the main so I thought I'd take a shot at a $1k bracelet event. All I remember from that event (my first bracelet event) was Jerry Yang was at my table, and I got knocked out pretty early with JJ to QQ on a QJx flop.

But I was here for the main. I chose day 1A (there were four choices at the time). I guess I was ready to get going. My table was incredibly soft. We started with 30k and I was over 50k at one point during the day from things like being able to value-raise a 2k bet to 10k with bottom set on a 3-flush board on the river. Yeah it was that soft. But that's also what makes it a minefield as they say. Late in the day, I had dropped back down to near starting stack before I lost a good chunk of my stack when a player limp-called my raise with 76o and flopped a straight against my KK. I bagged 5k.

I had a few days off before day 2 so I played a couple daily deepstacks (without success) and single table satellites. I had $1500 in lammers from winning one of the satellites so I decided to take those + $580 and enter a $2,080 main event MTT satellite which if I won, I was going to either put my brother in the main or sell the lammers. So anyway I was a card rack/luckbox and ended up winning a seat. Stuff like AA > JJ AIPF in level 1, AK utg > AQ bb for 10 bb approaching the bubble, and AA > ?? near the bubble when a big stack tried to abuse the bubble and 3-bet me light, I snap-shoved and he snap-folded. From there it was just folding my way to the seat. So I put my brother into day 1D where he did great and finished the day with 92k (including straight flush > nut flush).

My day 2 was short-lived when I shoved 10 bb with TT and ran into AA.

I said he did great on day 1, but on day 2 my brother ran kings into aces, lost with top set to a flush, and lost AKs < TT to bust late in the day. Sad times. But the experience overall was good. We started the drive home immediately.

That's the only time either of us has played the main event.
Fun story. Thanks for sharing.

Qualifying off a $26 ticket is just nuts! You're basically freerolling at that point.

If you watch those WSOP ME shows from around 2008-2010, there's an awful lot of FTP and PokerStars gear out there in the field. Did they try to make you wear anything as part of qualifying on their site?
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:24 PM   #4
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/1...22/?highlight=

From 2014. I could summarize it but why spoil the ending!
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

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Originally Posted by Beachman42 View Post
https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/1...22/?highlight=

From 2014. I could summarize it but why spoil the ending!
Just read through it quickly. Nice run! Sounds like you had a good time.

Obviously this was a few years ago, but how did the level of play compare to other small WSOP events you have played? Did you feel like the pressure of the big tournament had more people spewing and doing crazy stuff, or the opposite?
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Old 07-18-2020, 12:50 PM   #6
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

My ME record is pretty legendary.

In 2005 I played a 33r rebuy in Stars for a seat - was in 99 total and outran about 110 ppl for a seat, hotel, etc wearing the “Team Poker Stars” gear. Just prior to the ME my father was placed in hospice and so obv couldnt go to Vegas. I couldn’t get a refund, and tried to see if theyd let a buddy play the seat. The day before I was to play I ended up on the phone with Lee Jones and he said nothing they could do.

Flash forward to 2011. Im with family on a Disney trip and on laptop. I have about 3k in my Full Tilt account and jump into a 2500 or so STT for a ME package. Once it starts I realize its a hyper turbo lol - 500 chips and 5 min blinds, a real luckfest. I end up heads up with Billy Gazes, FT pro, with about even stacks and like 7bbs each. We get it in - my K9 v his A10 - King high flop, 9 turn - we in the Main! Three days later Black Friday.

2013 Im finally going to play the Main. First I want to satty in though. So play two $1k sattys the day before and bust. Buy in day one (so in $12k) and bust the second hand after dinner break day one - played awful.

Ive really enjoyed playing WSOP tournies, but the ME and me just dont mix.
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Old 07-18-2020, 02:58 PM   #7
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

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Originally Posted by arcdog View Post
My ME record is pretty legendary.

In 2005 I played a 33r rebuy in Stars for a seat - was in 99 total and outran about 110 ppl for a seat, hotel, etc wearing the ďTeam Poker StarsĒ gear. Just prior to the ME my father was placed in hospice and so obv couldnt go to Vegas. I couldnít get a refund, and tried to see if theyd let a buddy play the seat. The day before I was to play I ended up on the phone with Lee Jones and he said nothing they could do.

Flash forward to 2011. Im with family on a Disney trip and on laptop. I have about 3k in my Full Tilt account and jump into a 2500 or so STT for a ME package. Once it starts I realize its a hyper turbo lol - 500 chips and 5 min blinds, a real luckfest. I end up heads up with Billy Gazes, FT pro, with about even stacks and like 7bbs each. We get it in - my K9 v his A10 - King high flop, 9 turn - we in the Main! Three days later Black Friday.

2013 Im finally going to play the Main. First I want to satty in though. So play two $1k sattys the day before and bust. Buy in day one (so in $12k) and bust the second hand after dinner break day one - played awful.

Ive really enjoyed playing WSOP tournies, but the ME and me just dont mix.
Pretty brutal.

I'm almost surprised that you didn't reg the 2020 Main right before Corona went wild. You seem to be cursed like that.

Wishing you better fortune if you fire it again in the future.
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:16 AM   #8
jmmj05
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFace View Post
Fun story. Thanks for sharing.

Qualifying off a $26 ticket is just nuts! You're basically freerolling at that point.

If you watch those WSOP ME shows from around 2008-2010, there's an awful lot of FTP and PokerStars gear out there in the field. Did they try to make you wear anything as part of qualifying on their site?
They didn't make me. I chose to. I was told via email a hotel room number at the Rio where I could pick up free gear. I wore an FTP cap and hoodie.
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Old 07-19-2020, 08:02 AM   #9
riverph7
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

I played ME in 2006 . It’s wildest story of my life . Before 2006 ME I have never played poker in casino or anywhere. In fact I had no knowledge how to play poker.

My connection to casinos was casual trips to see any novelty resorts/vacation to island and drop some $$ here and there without knowing what I am doing.

It was 2005 , I was working at a well known equity trading firm . We always discuss mathematical odds and outcome for different games.

One day my Boss dropped a magazine at my desk and told me “ This is just perfect for you , look in to it “ I glanced at the cover but didn’t understood what the magazine was all about. Due to busy trading day forget about the magazine.

Next week my boss asked me if I read the article he was talking about? I said don’t know anything about casinos and Poker. I don’t know the game, never ever played so not my interest. After his insistence I read the article about a year long fantasy league contest about WSOP ME seat give away. With his help and some tutoring , and reading many books,I entered the contest like other thousands of people. After a year with just luck I won free seat to WSOP main event seat ,and $2000 for expanse.

Went deep with just luck but didn’t cashed. Greatest thrill of my life.

I knew not even 1% at that time what I know now about poker.
Which is very minimal ��
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:51 AM   #10
WillyWonky
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

Main event such a special tournament. Like so many others I watched the moneymaker run on ESPN when my only experience was £5 home game stt’s with friends , dreaming of playing it some day. That summer I discovered online poker and 2 years later I qualified on Doyle’s room for $215 (this was on the Tribeca network , possibly the softest of all time)! Even better , my good friend who had just started dabbling in online poker , talking 0.25/0.50 pence cash games, somehow got a seat in a freeroll just a few weeks before the main so I had a travel companion!

It was our first time in Vegas and we were in awe of the sheer scale of the place, we honestly thought the Rio was the best hotel we’d ever seen . Of course, now I know it’s a complete shithole but at the time it seemed amazing. Being from Scotland , the whole concept of drinking buckets of beer outside in a huge pool was a big novelty . We spent the first few days acclimatising, playing some blackjack and just wandering around the strip. As part of my package I got to meet Doyle and get a hardback copy of super system 2 signed by him (which i still have), it really was one of the top books on poker back then! The Pavilion used to be a huge WSOP and poker companies merchandise area with loads going on, I think it really helped the sense of occasion especially for the fans who just went along for a look:

Anyway, onto the main itself. I remember the sounds and size of the room being unbelievable to me , and there was more razzmatazz to the kick off of the event than there is now with more dancers and music etc. My first hand I got JJ on the button and 3-bet a 150 UTG open to 500 (10k starting back then) , honestly shaking and shitting myself just wanting to win the first hand. Think I potted it on a ten high flop and was relieved to take it down, and relaxed from there. I’d hardly played live at all but the standard then had to be seen to be believed , was actually fun to watch and seeing the hands that were turned over and the range of characters that came and went from my table. My highlight was knocking out Robert Varkoni who I know had won a few years previous, it even got the cameras on me which I was very excited about and I made a very brief appearance on ESPN! Can’t even remember how I went out but think it was at the end of day 2 when the whole table was drinking beer after beer.

My friend and I had swapped 10% even though he’d literally only played one tournament, the freeroll to get here. Not even exaggerating when I say he was reading super system before day 1 and on subsequent nights to try and learn more! The excitement around the room approaching the bubble was immense and for him the min cash was absolutely huge having just finished Uni. I had so many beers on bubble day and was watching for hours and hours to see him triumph. He ended up reaching day 5! He eventually came to a sticky end in a blind v blind scenario against Jeffery Lisandro , who had 3d6d and flopped an open ended straight flush draw v my friends AA. The pot was over a million so a huge spot with 10k starting. He got around $50k for his 106th place which kick-started a really successful poker career for him before he moved on to start a property business. We had a few massive nights out to finish and when we got back the local paper ran a story on him haha

9 years after that and many attempts at trying to cash the main, I had a huge run into day 7 before coming a cropper in 12th in a pot of life changing size (which I was 80% to win). But it was honestly no better than my first experience of playing and railing my friend all that way. I really missed it this year and hope things are back to normal soon, it really is a special event and feels different somehow from any other poker tournament. Every year you have people on your table on day 1 who’ve dreamt of playing and you can see what it means to them, and the camaraderie as you approach bagging up is so fun and unique with beer drinking mandatory.

Probably TLDR but hope someone enjoys
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:14 PM   #11
Beachman42
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFace View Post
Just read through it quickly. Nice run! Sounds like you had a good time.

Obviously this was a few years ago, but how did the level of play compare to other small WSOP events you have played? Did you feel like the pressure of the big tournament had more people spewing and doing crazy stuff, or the opposite?
IMHO, without question the WSOP ME is the softest large entry MTT I have ever played. mid-afternoon on Day 1, I would open 2.5X from the HJ or Button without looking at my cards & no one ever played back.

After dinner on Day 1 & 2 there were so many people who were no longer enamored and just wanted to leave - the thrill wore off pretty quickly. I couldn't believe there were that many people with nothing better to do with $10K.

As I said so many times in my TR, table selection is the key to early day success. While you don't get to pick your table, you understand the concept.
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:57 PM   #12
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverph7 View Post
Went deep with just luck but didnít cashed. Greatest thrill of my life.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyWonky View Post

Probably TLDR but hope someone enjoys
I did. Thanks. The idea that you guys were so impressed by the Rio is pretty funny, but I can see how that would have been the case if you had no context or experience with other resorts in town.
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Old 07-20-2020, 02:00 PM   #13
WillyWonky
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

Haha yeh the casinos over here maybe have 2-3 blackjack tables, a few roulettes and then a handful of slot machines. The scale of it was mind blowing. Obviously after walking through the Bellagio and Wynn we quickly realised where the Rio was in the pecking order
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:52 PM   #14
RidePolaris
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverph7 View Post
I played ME in 2006 . Itís wildest story of my life . Before 2006 ME I have never played poker in casino or anywhere. In fact I had no knowledge how to play poker.

My connection to casinos was casual trips to see any novelty resorts/vacation to island and drop some $$ here and there without knowing what I am doing.

It was 2005 , I was working at a well known equity trading firm . We always discuss mathematical odds and outcome for different games.

One day my Boss dropped a magazine at my desk and told me ď This is just perfect for you , look in to it ď I glanced at the cover but didnít understood what the magazine was all about. Due to busy trading day forget about the magazine.

Next week my boss asked me if I read the article he was talking about? I said donít know anything about casinos and Poker. I donít know the game, never ever played so not my interest. After his insistence I read the article about a year long fantasy league contest about WSOP ME seat give away. With his help and some tutoring , and reading many books,I entered the contest like other thousands of people. After a year with just luck I won free seat to WSOP main event seat ,and $2000 for expanse.

Went deep with just luck but didnít cashed. Greatest thrill of my life.

I knew not even 1% at that time what I know now about poker.
Which is very minimal ��
That is quite a story! Lucky to win the contest.

I was curious what country you were born in? I can spot your accent in your writing.
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:38 PM   #15
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

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Originally Posted by RidePolaris View Post
That is quite a story! Lucky to win the contest.

I was curious what country you were born in? I can spot your accent in your writing.
Wow , I know my English is not so sound . But accent !! Thatís something I never heard before (:
Can you guess ?
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:13 PM   #16
RidePolaris
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Re: Share your WSOP Main Event experiences

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Wow , I know my English is not so sound . But accent !! Thatís something I never heard before (:
Can you guess ?
I have some education in linguistics, therefore, I want to say Russia or Ukraine. Am I way off?
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