Posts Tagged ‘Rio’

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2017 WSOP Trip Report – Part One (the not so good stuff)

June 28, 2017

With each passing year, I get better at doing the World Series of Poker. This goes beyond results – I’m talking about how to live in Las Vegas for weeks at a time. This year I felt I got a little bit closer to having the process mastered. I had a friend that let me stay in his time share for about ten nights for $20/night and then some friends from my high school days in Bremerton let me stay with them in their Vegas home (closer to Summerlin) for the rest of the trip for $20/night. Those prices would be 60% of just the resort fee at a strip casino! I also rented a car for about $23 a day and that proved to be about equal in cost and much more convenient than relying on shuttles and Uber to get around. Next year, I’m going to be even thriftier and just drive myself to Vegas and save on flight and car rental expenses. Finally, food is still expensive, but I did go shopping at Costco and bought some bulk necessities and I also bought a meal plan at All American Dave’s (a food truck outside the Rio). While AAD’s meals lack variety and are probably a bit overrated, you really can’t beat the convenience of ordering on Twitter and having someone deliver food directly to your seat at the poker table.

I flew to Vegas on May 30th and I flew back on June 21st and in the 3+ weeks I was there I played basically no cash games. In fact, I put in three total plays and none of them were serious sessions. I did put in an 11.5 hour marathon $4/$8 LHE play at Red Rock Casino, but I considered that a day off from the tournament grind while playing some recreational poker with my wife. I also put in a 1.5 hour $4/$8 play at Red Rock, while my hosts were playing slot machines after watching a movie at the casino. Finally, I had a successful (+$335), albeit very short (3.5 hours), $8/$16 Omaha 8 session at the Orleans. This is notable because the filterable data on my phone goes back to August of 2014 and $8/$16 Omaha 8 has been my absolute worst game (by a long shot) and the Orleans has been my absolute worst location (for cash games… I did win their weekly H.O.R.S.E. tournament a few years ago). Needless to say, cash games were not my focus on this trip. When I wasn’t playing a tournament, or I busted early, I just took time off to study or relax.

I played 11 total tournaments during my 2017 WSOP trip.

I’ll start with the six non-WSOP tournaments I played in since they were mostly uneventful. I busted $400 and $600 Omaha 8 tournaments at Venetian, both of which I went relatively deep in and didn’t cash. I busted 12 spots off the money in a $465 H.O.R.S.E. at Aria, another deep run but one in which I never had any real momentum. I went to defend my title in the $250 8-Game Mix at Golden Nugget and I did not bring my A-game that day. I was up and down in this one, but I felt like I wasn’t playing very good most of the day. My focus and patience just weren’t there. Still, the experience was notable because I had this kid named Michael Trivett at my table and you can read about my history with him here by scrolling down to this same event from last year. I saw plenty of evidence that suggested he hasn’t grown up much in the past year, but I also saw a side of him that suggests he isn’t a total dirtbag either. He had some friendly moments, so I don’t want to paint him as this constantly terrible presence at the poker table. Still, I can’t help but share an amazing exchange we had after a Razz hand we played. On 5th street I have 23-47A and his board is 92A and he raises my bet; I reraise and bet all the way after improving to a 6432A on 6th and win the pot, but then this magic happens:

Michael: I was a favorite when I raised (on 5th).
Me: Uh, I had a made 7.
Michael: I was drawing to a wheel.
Me: *speechless*
Michael: Check the math.

For those of you that don’t follow, not only do I have the best hand on 5th street, but I also have the same draw (to a wheel). I have now played with Michael Trivett twice and both times he has produced a classic moment attempting to berate me. I look forward to more encounters in the future!

I followed that 8-Game bust out with another O8 event at Golden Nugget and this time I got a min-cash by finishing in 16th, but it was really disappointing because I had double the average stack at dinner break and then came back and got scooped like four times in a row. I had basically no chips on the bubble though, so sneaking into the money felt kind of fortunate.

Finally, I played the $585 H.O.R.S.E. Championship at Binions and it was honestly kind of an embarrassing and humbling experience. First off, only 36 people entered. This wasn’t a bad thing since they had a $50K guaranteed prize pool and even with another Day One the next day, it didn’t seem likely they’d get enough entrants to meet the guarantee – so, a nice overlay. Secondly, the levels were long and the stacks were super deep. Thirdly, the field was incredibly weak – I knew I was the strongest player in room. I really felt like with the stacks that deep and the levels that long, I could overcome a lot of the variance and win that tournament way more often than my fair share. But I never had more than my starting stack and, despite the very forgiving amount of play, it was my second quickest exit of the summer. I thought I was going to print money and instead I couldn’t win a hand all day and I left frustrated and in disbelief. I don’t think my assessment of my skill level versus the field was incorrect, but it was still a good lesson in humility and I can admit that I didn’t make very good adjustments to exploit their weaknesses. I was kind of already feeling like I wanted to go home, but my performance in this event sealed the deal. I booked a flight home for the next day.

I was going to write one WSOP trip report, but in the interest of keeping my posts shorter (and thus, easier to publish), I will break it up into two parts. I played five WSOP events and I will talk about those tournaments in part 2 of my 2017 WSOP trip report.

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2017 Poker Goals

January 8, 2017

Volume Goals:

-Play 1800 live hours
-Play 600 hours of 20/40 or higher
-Play 100 hours of Omaha 8 or Better

Comments: 1800 hours comes out to 150 hours a month which is actually less than full time volume, so I will likely beat this goal by a few hundred, but I undershot it because things happen and I don’t know how much I will be playing online. 600 hours of 20/40 could be tougher. That comes out to 50 hours a month, which means I’d have to play at least 5-6 sessions a month – far more volume than I’m currently doing. It’s all a matter of forcing myself to make the long drive to play in a game that is typically worse than the one that’s five minutes from my house. But it’s hard to get better if you don’t challenge yourself, so that I must do. Omaha is also at least 45 minutes away, but between random $15/$30 sessions at Fortune, some trips to Clearwater when I have dental/medical appointments in Kitsap, and cash games while I’m in Vegas, 100 hours seems doable.

Win Rate Goals:

-1.5 BB/HR @ $8/$16
-0.75 BB/HR @ $20/$40 or higher
-1 BB/HR @ Omaha 8 or Better
-50% ROI in live tournaments

Comments: After posting 1.12 BB/HR in 2015 and 1.8 BB/HR in 2016, I’ll shoot for somewhere in the middle in 2017. I was hoping I could do better than 1 BB/HR in the bigger games, but popular opinion seems to be that 0.5 to 0.8 BB/HR is more reasonable. I have consistently bested the higher end of what experts say you can win in low stakes limit hold em, so maybe I can continue to do that at the higher stakes, but I’m not going to count on it – I’m still feeling the games out right now and paying for my education. My Omaha 8/B cash game results have been pretty disappointing to me the last few years, but I just find it hard to swallow that I can’t win a big bet an hour in them. I think most of the games I play in are pretty soft and you should be able to win long term simply playing an ABC style. I obviously can’t expect to run at 400%+ ROI every year, but I do think cashing for twice as much as I buy in for is a decent goal. I played $15k worth of tournaments last year, so that number should increase by at least 25% which means I’d have to cash for at least $40k in 2017 to meet this goal and that is actually pretty lofty.

Training/Study Goals:

-read through MG1&2 and do all the work
-do APT weekly challenge every week
-memorize all the typical LHE drawing odds
-watch at least one WSOP FT a month
-play at least four hours of PLO and four hours of NLHE every month
-play at least ten tournaments a month

Comments: I failed to read through the two books like I planned. I have already read the first three chapters of vol. 1 in 2017 so I’m off to a strong start. Just have to stick with it. I hope to be more consistent with the APT challenges this year and hopefully they add some other interesting content. As someone so proficient in LHE, it’s embarrassing to admit that I don’t know exactly what odds you need to call with 3-outs, 5-outs, and 8-outs. I’m confident I frequently make the right decisions, but there’s really no excuse for not having all this stuff memorized. I find watching the WSOP FTs to be a good source of learning – you get to watch some of the best players in the world playing all the different variants. The last two parts of this section of goal references how much volume I want to put in on Ignition on a monthly basis sharpening underdeveloped skills. It would be highly unlikely for me to play even 3 live tournaments a month.

Possible Tournament Trips:

LAPC @ Commerce (January)

    $350 Omaha 8 or Better
    $350 Triple Stud (Razz/Stud/Stud 8)
    $350 Stud 8 or Better
    $350 Omaha 8/Stud 8

WSOPc @ The Rio (February)

    $365 HORSE
    $365 Monster Stack
    $365 NLHE

WSOPc @ The Bike (March)

Run It Up Reno @ Peppermill (April)

Spring Round Up @ Wildhorse (April)

WSOP @ The Rio (June/July)

    $565 Colossus
    $1500 Millionaire Maker
    $1500 Monster Stack
    $1500 Summer Solstice
    $1500 Razz
    $1500 HORSE
    $1500 Omaha 8
    $1500 Limit Hold Em
    $3000 Limit Hold Em (6-max)
    $3000 HORSE

Comments: Those LAPC events are set in stone, though I may miss some of them if I make deep runs as they are all two days events that intersect with each other. I’m fully intending to play those three events at the Rio WSOPc, but I have yet to book any flights for it, so there’s some flake potential there. I would say I’m over 90% to be going though. The WSOPc @ The Bike is on my radar, but in all likelihood I probably won’t be going. I will attend at least one of the Run It Up Reno or Spring Round Up, but I’m undecided at the moment. I would love to get back in that $20/$40 game at the Peppermill, but the tournament series in Reno was a little underwhelming. As for the 2017 WSOP, the schedule has not been released yet, but I’m guessing these are the events I’d be interested in playing. It’s highly unlikely my wife will let me stay in Vegas for three weeks straight again – unless I absolutely murder it – so I’ll likely have to trim that list down to 5 or 6 events. In that case, I’m more focused on playing limit events over the NLHE ones, as I feel my edge is bigger in fixed structures and mixed games. I likely won’t be selling action for anything except the WSOP, but I’ll definitely be selling for that, so contact me at maccent17@gmail.com with any interest.