I survived another amazing day in the World Series of Poker Main Event!
I wish I was able to keep notes on every hand, but I figured it was more profitable to pay attention to all the hands I wasn’t involved in, rather than taking notes. I will say the start of the day was not very good for me. The first couple of levels were pretty tough.
Backing up a bit, during my off day, I did my homework on my opponents. Here were my notes on my Day 2 table draw:
|1||Eloy Rios||77,200||129||$3,248||Only two cashes, both in 2013.|
|3||Michael Alea||18,100||30||Unknown. Filipino.|
|4||William Colmer||56,000||93||NY guy from Day 1. Too tight/passive.|
|5||Timothy Pughsley||30,100||50||$59,000||8 cashes between 2004-2014.|
|6||Victoria Ondis||26,000||43||$14,362||13 small cashes 2009-2018.|
|7||Bahman Jahanguiri||39,100||65||$391,316||19 cashes 2010-2018.|
|9||Nick Cipiti||29,700||50||$123,728||21 cashes 2011-2018. 454th in 2016 Main.|
So my game plan going in was to leverage (abuse?) my table chip leader status and put the pressure on everyone else. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t work out so well. I quickly ran into a couple of really unavoidable second-best hands. For example, with AQ, on a board of QJ4A7 rainbow, I ran my top two into KT for the nut straight. Then, a few hands later, I got AQ again and ended up against AJ on a really unfortunate A7JQJ board. Ouch.
Finally, I got KK, but had to fold it when it became apparent I was up against a full house on a board something like 2582J. I called out his hand as 55 when I folded. It’s no fun folding KK on a board like that, but sometimes tournament poker is more about avoiding the catastrophes than anything else. The guy later told me he actually flopped a set of 8s and turned the boat. I believe him.
After that, things got better. I had a fun hand where I called QJs on the button from a solid but tight player. I got the feeling he had a pretty strong hand and I could make some money if I hit the board hard. The flop came QQ4. Nice! I just called his flop bet, figuring he had a solid pair. Another player called behind. Then the case Queen came on the turn, giving me quads! Wow! Three-of-a-kind on the board usually turns the game into a battle of who has the bigger pocket pair for the best full house. The villain bet into me and I made a moderate raise. He called and I decided I was up against KK or AA. The river brought a J. Villain checked and I bet huge–something well over the size of the pot. He tanked quite a while. Finally, he folded. I was going to muck, but he asked what I had, so I showed the J, as if I thought Queens full of Jacks was good. 🙂
Anyway, things picked up from that point. Several players eventually busted, and we ended up with new players filling their seats. I was quite happy that they didn’t break any of the tables in the Miranda room, so we could settle in comfortably at the table. One of the first new players at our table was Arash Ghaneian, who sat on my immediate left. He’s a really interesting and fun guy of Iranian heritage. He also happens to have made a solid living player poker for the last 18 years, mostly in the big cash games around Vegas. But he does play the big WSOP events, and he won a bracelet in the WSOP HORSE event in 2015. He also finished 63rd in last year’s Main Event.
I really tried to stay aggressive today, putting the pressure back on my opponent. As it turned out, a German pro, Sebastian Langrock, ended up two on my right for the last half of the day. Sebastian actually won the German version of the TV show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” a few years ago. More importantly, he won a WSOP bracelet last year in a PLO event. Unfortunately (for him), I ended up 3-betting him nearly every other time he opened a pot, and I don’t think he ever won a hand against me.
At the end of Day 2, I bagged 233,000 chips. It wasn’t quite up to my stretch goal of 325,000, but I’m pretty happy considering the rough start to the day. At one point, I was under 75,000.
So now we’ll see where we stand after Day 2C runs tomorrow. Then we all combine into Day 3 on Saturday and try to get into the money. More to come . . .