Monday, June 12, 2006

Lake Tahoe WSOPC event

- Played in only 1 WSOPC event; event #4 $1000+$60 NLHE. 145 runners, top 9 paid. Finished 19th at about the 8 hour mark.

Random points of interest
- The structure of this event is identical to sub-$5k buyin NLHE WSOP events; however instead of having starting chip stacks equivalent to the buyin, the starting stack was T$2500 (100bb for the first 1 hour level). Additionally, the vig is slightly better for this event than a $1k WSOP event (8.5% vs 9%)
- Players are permitted to buy into the event up to the end of the 1st round of play.
- The level of lighting in the Harveys poker room varies significantly (even between different seats on the same table), and is, on average, substantially dimmer than the regular poker rooms that I frequent. Some seats at some tables had very good lighting.
- The only name pro that I noticed in this event was James Van Alstyne. He busted somewhere in the middle of the field.
- 2nd place finisher in event #4 was Shannon Shorr. He was a whopping 21 years and 3 days old at the start of event #4. His other notable accomplishment is finishing 4th in the 2006 Aussie Millions main event for over $200k.
- The field was very soft. During my ~8 hours of play, I observed exactly 1 hand played where a player who made a postflop bet or raise proceeded to muck before showdown. This was not caused by the somewhat fast structure of the tournament. Ignoring the first two levels (where virtually all players reasonable stacks), I observed 8 hands where players with chip stacks > 40 bb put in their entire chip stack on one of the postflop streets with worse than TPTK with no greater than 5% of their chip stack already in the pot. A typical example of this would be for an early position player to limp with 2 big cards, flop or turn top pair, then bet/re-raise all in (or raise/call-reraise all in) in very bad shape.
- The Saturday 7pm Mega satellite (only 1 of 2 scheduled for this series) drew only 20 runners for a total of 2 main event seats.
- Based on a small sample size, it appears that over 80% of the runners in this event were visitors from outside the Lake Tahoe area. This should not be surprising as Lake Tahoe is a tourist destination, but this player distribution contributed to a higher percentage of tournament newbies, poker newbies, or bricks-n-mortar newbies than I had expected in a $1k buyin event. Unfortunately I have no data on how many entrants satellited into the event.

My mistakes and/or logistical problems
- Inability to read instructions: The web site for the WSOPC event clearly states that all events (besides the main event) are 2 days. Since I could only be in town on Saturday and Sunday, planning to play in the Sunday tournament made no sense.
- Lack of discipline: With very little sleep, I gave into the temptation of entering event #4 instead of resting up for the 7pm Mega. However, this probably turned out to be best for 2 reasons: 1) the field was very soft in event #4, 2) only 20 people enrolled in the Mega (where I had been hoping to play in a satellite for a minimum of 6 seats)
- Tardiness / Lack of preparation: I arrived at Harrah's at 11:45am for the 12:00pm event. Harrah's is on one side of the street, and Harveys is on the other. I find a parking space in the Harrah's lot and head in to find the poker room. I then get directions to the poker room which turns out to be over in the Harvey's building. I reach the registration desk by 11:55pm. As I don't have a Harrah's players club card, I need to head to another line to first get this. Somehow all is taken care of, and I actually reach my seat, the 10s, a few minutes after 12pm as the cards are in the air for the first hand.
At the time, I'm wearing a pair of prescription sunglasses (I really don't like to wear contact lenses) and have left my regular glasses in the car. The lighting in my seat is so bad that I cannot read my hand without substantially exposing the cards to direct lighting. I muck the first hand, and UTG busts when his flush draw does not hit. After the 2nd hand, I get up to head back to my car to get my glasses. This took ~15 minutes round trip. 2 other players at this table have already busted.
- Poor play: I made at least 3 mistakes in the first four rounds that I particularly dislike.
i. 12x bb mistake with a ~100bb stack. During round 1, I raise 2 limpers in MP+2 to 6x bb with AJs; folded back to 2nd limper (who has done nothing retarded in the whole ~dozen hands I have watched him play) who makes it 18x bb. This is an easy fold since there are almost no good flops for my hand. I call anyways; the flop is a 3 rag rainbow, and I fold to a 20x bb bet. The 12x bb wasted on this hand would have been far better served limping into many many more hands during level 1.
ii. 2.5-7bb mistake with a ~21bb stack in level 3. I'm in the BB. It is folded to the cutoff who, for various reasons, is very likely to attempt to steal. CO has about 50x bb, has been paying a lot of attention to other players and is easily capable of folding. He raises to 3.5x bb. I elect to call with 83s with the intention of stealing the pot on the flop on good boards that miss me. Flop comes Q74 rainbow, I check, CO bets 11.5x bb. I then wake up to realize the only way I can steal this pot given our stacks would be to donk 2/3 pot on the flop, and I muck.
iii. 12bb mistake with a ~20bb remaining stack in level 4. I open raise for 3.5x bb in MP+1 with 99 and a ~30bb stack, substantial table chip leader (probably close to overall chip leader) cold calls in CO and I believe he is an experienced tournament and NL player, all others fold. Flop comes Q high rainbow with 2 rags one of which is a heart. I bet 6x bb and CO quickly calls. 2nd heart rag falls on the turn, and I bet 12x bb. CO raises all in, and I muck.
CO is calling on the flop with a Q or better or with nothing with the intention pushing me out on the turn. In either case, CO is putting me all in on the turn. I should not be putting a single chip in on the turn unless I have the intention of going all in, which I did not. CO flashes a Q before mucking his hand.

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