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WSOP ME 2006 Trip Report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by PokerJohn, Jan 23, 2007.

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  1. PokerJohn

    PokerJohn Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5

    My Trip Report

    This is my first post, and may be a bit long and definately poker intensive.
    I wrote this last summer, in general I really only speak of the WSOP ME, which only took 1 day for me, we were there for another 8 days, but those days have been erased from my memory by alcohol, but I digress. Here is my WSOP Trip Report



    Unfortunately this trip report will be quite a lot shorter than I had hoped, but it still should contain some decent poker content and other WSOP observations.

    Les and I arrived Thursday afternoon, and had the longest cab ride to TI with some horrendous traffic. Check-in was easy, and we headed up to the PokerStars suite to get the PokerStars clothing/bag/random stuff. After filling out some terms and conditions they handed me a bag, and we were off to the room to unpack. The clothing was extremely nice stuff, thick and made from good material, I was impressed. To my surprise, there was only 1 T-shirt, 2 hats, and no polos, but instead of t-shirts and polos they provided a hockey jersey, soccer jersey, baseball jersey, basketball jersey and a nice jacket.

    After unpacking, Les and I decided to find a place to eat and then head down to the Rio. We decided it would be best to just hit TI, Mirage, and Caesars and find a place somewhere in those 3 hotels (those familiar with Vegas know why). Of course we ended up hitting our default eatery, Cheesecake Factory in Caesars. For those who have never eaten at Cheesecake Factory we highly recommend it, the food is wonderful and the portions are very large, and of course their cheesecake is the best. Neither Les nor I were that hungry so we decided to split a club sandwich, and then an Oreo cheesecake (a w e s o m e). On our way out of Caesars we decided to get yards of Margarita from one of the bars (they also had a yard of Long Island, but it was like 40 bucks, though probably worth it if I wanted to fall over).

    We then began the decently long walk to the Rio (made longer by the fact that Les was wearing uncomfortable shoes and was walking at a snail’s pace). After arriving at the Rio we tried locating the WSOP, and it took a little while until we found the long hallway that leads to it. This was a sight to see, banners, advertisements and people everywhere. Soon after we found the will call desk, and they provided me with more terms and conditions, a seat assignment, and a WSOP card. I was assigned seat 9 at table 167. I was worried that the tables would start out 9 handed, and I would be stuck right next to the dealer. Being right next to the dealer just adds 1 more headache to playing, not only do you have to worry about the normal stuff, but you also can’t see around the dealer to see the people in the 1 seat and 2 seats. You also have to be very careful in protecting your cards sitting right next to the dealer, not only are players folding in your direction but the dealer may scoop up your cards on accident. I found out that we would be starting 10 handed which means I wouldn’t be able to see the 1 seat that well, and I would have to turn my head to see the 7 and 8 seats, but at least I wasn’t right next to the dealer.

    Les and I then headed into the Amazon room to see exactly where my table was so I wouldn’t be looking for it the next morning. As soon as we stepped in the room we were amazed. The room was gigantic, with tables wall to wall, and people milling about everywhere. It turns out this would be the most awestruck I would be the entire time, just seeing the immensity of it. After we located my table, I wanted to look around the room and see what was going on at the moment. After wandering around looking at structure sheets for different SnGs, bracelet events, and second chance events I decided we had probably head back to the room so I could get some sleep. For the trip back we decided to take a cab, turned out to be a wonderful idea as the yard of margarita was starting to kick in, and the realization that I had been up since 7AM for work Thursday morning.

    The next morning we woke up, and took the PokerStars shuttle to the Rio, it was humorous to see so many nervous poker players refusing to sit near each other all staring out the windows being silent. I could feel the nervous and excited energy in the bus, even before we arrived at the Rio. After getting to the Rio we found out that they weren’t letting anyone anywhere near the Amazon room until 11:00AM, with the tourney starting at 12:00PM. So Les and I decided to split ways, her heading to Starbuck’s for a pastry and coffee, and me to the free breakfast buffet that PokerStars was providing their players. After eating as much as fast as I could I headed back to Starbuck’s to see if Les was ready, she informed me that the line took so long that she had barely sat down. After she got done eating we headed towards the poker room, on the way there they had the Gaming Life Expo, which turns out to be another convention hall filled with big booths set up by almost every big online poker room, it was absolutely surreal. Les and I wandered through the expo for a little while before heading to the main hallway outside of the poker room. This place was absolutely packed with people including advertisers, ESPN cameras, magazine interviewers, poker players and their friends and relatives. We stayed in the hallway for what seemed forever. At one point Les and I were trying to find the restrooms, and while we tried to wade through the inevitable crush of people some ESPN cameraman shoves a camera in both of our faces as we try to dodge around him.

    Finally around 10 minutes before the start of the tourney, they opened the doors, and allowed players only in to find our seats. I left Les and went to my table to get my chips. When I arrived there were only about 4 players already there. I started categorizing them as soon as I arrived, the 4 and 6 seats seemed young and very nervous, I pegged them for both being weak/tight or Tight/aggressive. The guy in the 8 seat immediately on my right seemed to be somewhat arrogant, and very over the top, he just reminded me of a gambler taking a shot. Slowly the rest of the players arrived to our table before the cards were in the air. Here is a list of the players in order around the table.
    Seat 1: Young, with some internet sponsor.
    Seat 2: Middle aged, wearing gear that wasn’t a gambling site and what I figured was his own website, I pegged him initially as a European pro/semi-pro.
    Seat 3: European wearing Interpoker gear.
    Seat 4: Young/nervous player I described earlier
    Seat 5: A little older than me, didn’t seem terribly nervous
    Seat 6: Young and easily the most nervous looking player at the table.
    Seat 7: Black guy probably in his early 30’s, seemed fairly confident.
    Seat 8: Gambler on my right, probably in his 40’s
    Seat 9: Yours Truly
    Seat 10: Middle aged Norwegian guy who I pegged as being a little bit on the crazy side.

    Before we got started the WSOP organizers decided to do a quick spiel on James Garner (actor) who was playing his first WSOP event at the age of 78 or something like that. Then the famous words shuffle up and deal and the room broke into a thunderous applause. I started looking around for Les noticing that they were allowing spectators in, and I just couldn’t see her, I knew she knew where I was(turns out she left thinking they weren’t going to let any spectators in, that sucks =( ). After the applause I could hear hundreds of decks of cards being shuffled and players shuffling their chips, it was an amazing sound, almost intoxicating.

    I vowed to watch the table and see where I could find the easiest chips. The first dozen or so hands went by with me just folding everything observing the table. But I did notice that seats 7, 8, and 10 were involved in a ton of pots, so far I was correct in my observations as I had them pegged as the loosest players as soon as we sat down. The guy in the 8 seat next to me I could already tell was the worst player at the table, he was limping almost every hand, and either leading or calling every street only to show down middle pair, K-high, or some pair made on the turn or river. I decided this was going to be the soft spot at the table, and I decided to come after him with reasonable hands. Around this time the announcer comes over the loud speaker to inform everybody that the first person has busted out of the ME, and everybody clapped, I felt really bad for whoever busted, but knowing I couldn’t be the first was always nice.

    The first decent hand I picked up was in MP, after everybody folded except Seat 6, I limped with JT suited in diamonds. The small blind completed and BB checked and we went 4 handed to the flop. The flop was an interesting 9d3d3s, giving me 2 overs and a flush draw. The SB checked, the BB fired 125 into the 200 chip pot, I pegged him for having a 9, I didn’t think he was firing with a 3 on a dry board like that one. Seat 6 folded, I called with what I figured to be 15 outs, the problem is the SB also called, this call worried me plenty, because the way he called it made me think he had the 3. the next card off was a beautiful 6d, but instead of checking around to me, the SB fired 300 into the pot, but the way he threw his chips in it was like he was scared of what might happen, almost like he was obligated to bet, but reluctantly. The BB folded, and I called. The next card was the Ac, putting a board of 9d3d3s6dAc. The BB again fired a bet this time of 700, I thought about it and just his mannerisms told me he was very reluctant to put in this big of a bet, almost like he had trip 3’s but was worried about me having a flush. I decided I wanted to keep this pot small and went ahead and called. He immediately flipped up A5d for the nut flush, and I shipped 1175 chips over to the 3 seat, ugh.

    I decided that if I was going to do anything in this tourney I was going to have to accumulate some chips, especially if I can get involved with the guy on my right. This guy is cracking me up, he is calling all sorts of raises, my favorite 3 hands happened almost right in a row, the first one is the 7 seat raises preflop to 150, the 8 seat calls, and it’s just him, and the 7 seat to the flop. The board comes 8Tx, and the 7 seat fires, seat 8 calls. Turn comes a J, and seat 7 fires again and seat 8 calls. The river is a Q, leaving a board of 8TJQx, so obviously any 9 makes a straight, and the 7 seat fires the biggest bet we have seen so far in the day, a bet of 1500 chips, the 8 seat looks at him for like 2 seconds calls and shows his Q5o, the black guy turns over K9 of spades, and the 8 seat gets happy when he can’t see a K on the board, only to be told by the dealer that the other guy has a K high straight. The 8 seat looks a little dejected then starts making comments about how great of a slow play it was, and how he had him tricked and this and that. And the 7 seat finally comments dude, I didn’t slow play, I had king high until the river when I made my straight then I made a big bet. So the 8 seat starts in with well either way, well played man you played that great, etc. I can almost see everybody looking hungrily at the 8 seats chips.

    The second hand is probably the best of the tourney, Seat 1(tight as predicted) and seat 8, get into a big pot, and on the turn the board reads AsTs6s4s, seat 1 bets big, seat 8 calls. River is some low inconsequential card, the 1 seat bets big again, I would have put my life savings on him having the Ks, the way he had been playing all day, he was only going to put in two big bet whenever he had the nuts. Well the guy in the 8 seat starts in talking about how he just doesn’t know if he can fold a flush, and he keeps asking the guy if he has a flush. I start feeling bad thinking the 8 seat has the Qs or the Js and won’t be able to lay it down. He finally reluctantly calls, and flips over the deuce of spades, saying that he just couldn’t fold a flush. I think about 3 players at the table jaws dropped. Of course seat 1, had the nut flush, against the 8 seats Kc2s (I don’t know how he got to the river with the heavy action I told you this guy sucked).

    The next hand the 8 seat actually wins, but it shows how much of a donkey he really was. There was a preflop raise from the 7 seat (not that uncommon he had been showing a tendency to raise hands like ATo, KJ, and small pairs), so the 8 seat calls him. The board comes down Th52, seat 7 bets, 8 seat calls, turn is some random heart(you know where I am going with this right?), seat 7 again bets, seat 8 calls. The river is some other random low heart. With a board of Th52xhxh, the 7 seat finally checks, and the 8 seat bets 1500, seat 7 reluctantly calls getting some pretty good pot odds, and flips over ATo, for a flopped top pair top kicker. And of course newbie in the 8 seat flips over 72 hearts and wins with his flush talking about he is glad to get his 1500 chips back etc. etc.

    The next hand that I get involved in is at the 25/50 level with the button at the 3 seat, 6 seat folds, 7 seat limps, 8 seat limps, I look down at ATo, not a powerhouse, but a hand not completely worthless against the 8 seat. I go ahead and limp, not wanting to build a pot against the 7 seat, especially since I am in early middle position; it folds around to the SB who completes and the BB who checks. The flop is a beautiful AT4 rainbow; I decide I am going to try to build the pot against the 8 seat who I know will call me. Checks around to me and I lead for the full pot of 250, folds around to the 8 seat who surprise surprise calls me. Pot of 750 to the turn when the J comes down completing the rainbow, I expect the 8 seat to lead into me, but he quickly checks, I can almost see in his face he has something big this time.

    Side Note: Earlier in the tourney this guy mentioned to me that he never folds a K, because K’s are his lucky card….. I know. So I was actually fearing something like KQ at this point.

    I decide to fire a little under pot, to 500 chips, he quickly calls again. I have alarms going off in my head, and I don’t know how I will play a non A or T river. The river is some inconsequential little card, and he checks to me, and I just can’t believe he actually has a hand this time after throwing down K high and middle pairs against everybody else. I think about firing out 1250 chips, but in the end I wuss out and check behind. I flip my flopped top 2 pair and he turns over a set of Ts. I start lamenting my terrible luck until I realize that against this opponent I could have lost a LOT more chips if he knew how to extract chips. I start feeling better about myself, even though the more I think about it I should have fired out on the river, I know that I would have lost those chips, but when I look back on it, it was still the right play. So I just shipped 800 chips to the 8 seat, but I am lucky it wasn’t any more. By this point we are more than an hour into the first round of play, I haven’t won a single pot, and I have bled off some chips through second best hands, and limping and folding on the flop. I had about 7.5k chips at this point.

    Towards the end of the level, I get involved in the last pot of the level for myself. Again Seat 7 raises to 150 from UTG+1, and Seat 8 calls. I decide to fire out 500 chips with AKo, the best hand I have seen thus far. It folds around to the black guy in seat 7 and he calls my raise, and seat 8 surprisingly folds. Two of us to the flop with a pot of 1200 or so, the flop is an ugly QTx, giving me 2 overs and a gutshot. I immediately start putting this guy on a hand, I figure AA,KK,QQ would have reraised me preflop. So I figure he has 88,99,TT,JJ,AK,AQ,or AJ. He checks to me

    Side Note: I should mention that earlier this level he lost a big pot to the Norwegian on my left where he checked a set to him, and then the Norwegian hit a higher set on the turn, and they got a lot of chips in the middle. He vowed to not slowplay anything anymore, and he seemed to be telling the truth, he was making big hands and betting them heavy throughout.

    So I decide that this narrows his range to something like 88,99,JJ,AJ,AQ,AK. I fire out 750 chips on a continuation bet, he calls somewhat slowly, I felt this bet would fold out 88, 99, and AJ, so I had him pegged on JJ,AQ,AK. I was losing to 2 of these and tie one so unless I hit my A ,K ,or J, I decided I would shut it down after the flop. The turn and river brought absolutely nothing and we checked it down he flipped over JJ, and I shipped 1250 chips to him.

    So now I am completely at a loss, I feel like I played fairly well the first 2 hours, but I have run into some back luck and second best hands. I vow that I will come back after the break and play the second level as well as I can, and not worry about the first level.


    After we return from the break more madness ensues, the blinds move up to 50/100, and I catch 55, and 22, both times I try to limp in only to get raised and reraised behind me and I have to throw them away. I continue to bleed. The next pot I get involved in I am in the BB, and seat 2 raises to 300(I had noticed that after the first level he had started to get a little more active), seat 4 calls, and I call with AJo getting 3.25 to 1 on my money. The board comes down Q high and I check, resigned to fold after somebody bets, it checks around. The next card is a blank and we check around, and the river is another blank and we check around. I flip up my Ace high, and both players muck their cards. At this point I have no idea what these guys could be playing, I figure both must have had KJ, or JT or something. Wow, it felt good to finally get pushed a pot, however small it was.

    Turns out the next pot I win will be in the BB, when I see a free flop with 93o, and I hit 1 9 on the flop and another on the river and bet out small and Seat 7 calls and I get pushed another pot with my trip 9s.

    After a few blind steals/c-bets go awry, I am back down to around 6k, when the last big hand of the level comes.

    I am on the button with 89s, and after a few limpers I decided to limp, the SB completes, and the BB checks. Flop comes down with 779 giving me top pair. The Norwegian leads for under the pot of about 400, I decide that he has been firing way too often and call with my top pair. The turn is a Q, and he checks to me, I decide to check behind trying to induce a river bluff. The river comes an almost perfect 7, and of course the 10 seat obliges and leads the river for 1k I decide to just call, and turn over my 9, of course he flips TT, and I am crushed. After this pot and a few laps around the blinds, I finish the second level at 4k.

    After the break we start the third level which jumps up to 100/200, I have about 20 BBs, and realize I am going to have to make some desperation plays. By this time Les is finally able to come in and watch me which makes me feel much better. I start this level playing aggressively I remember coming over the top of a raise with AK all in, getting the other guy to fold.

    Side Note: A little before the 4th hour was over I decided that if I was going to open up my game enough I was going to have to start drinking, so by this time I am on my 3rd or 4th rum and coke, and my game is really opening up.

    The only really great pot that happens during this level is towards the end of it whenever I have 88 and I am on the button. It folds to me and I raise to 700(standard raise at this table), the BB calls me and we see a flop of 544.

    Side Note: This guy in the 1 seat was by FAR the tightest player at the table, but he had lost a HUGE chunk of chips whenever him and the 3 seat got involved in a huge pot, on a T high board, and finally the 1 seat folded KK face up with only 3k chips left in his stack.

    I decided that the guy in the 1 seat only had like 2k chips left after calling my raise, and I didn’t want some scare card to come on the turn, so I moved all in after he checked to me on the flop. He almost immediately called, and I am scared out of my mind, until he flips over A5, the turn is the scary 3, giving him 4 more outs, but the river bricks off a 6, and I bust this guy and get his last almost 3k chips, buoying me to close to 8k chips, my high water mark after the first hour or so of the first level. I can’t believe my luck to almost double up about an hour before the dinner break, and by this point I need food bad, I have finished plenty of rum and cokes, and had only eaten breakfast.

    Towards the end of the 6th hour of play we are told that we are breaking tables, and they ship me off to table 23 I believe. Once I arrive I look around the table and notice that even though I have 8k chips I am in trouble. The 3 guys on my right all look to have at least 20k chips, and there are a couple people on my left that have close to that many chips. I play for a little bit and break even and then they announce the dinner break.

    I meet up with Les and on our way out she bumps into Dan Harrington and takes a picture of him, and then I decide I need to use the restroom, and I run into Barry Greenstein and ask him how he is doing, he tells me he is still sitting on 10k, and he asks me how I am doing and I tell him he is doing better than me I am sitting on around 8k, I wish him luck and Les and I head over to the Tilted Kilt. The Tilted Kilt is a pub/bar, which turns out to have wonderful food. Les and I were both surprised with how good it was, especially their fries. I recommend the fish and chips to anybody that is at the Rio.

    After dinner I feel energized and ready to go, after I get back the real action begins in the fourth level with blinds of 100/200 and antes of 25. I notice that at this table I am going to have to push in over the top if I want to play a hand as every hand is raised before it gets to me, and the standard raise is rather large at 800-1k. Before too long I get in a groove and start making plays at pots, but both times I make a move for the pot, 1 of the 2 guys on my left call me and lead into me on flops that I just can’t play. I have to fold.

    Finally I pick up AKo in the small blind and have a couple limpers to me; I have about 6k chips at this point. I decide to make it 800 to go, and I get 2 callers. Putting the pot at around 3k or so. The flop is a terrible 762 rainbow. I think about moving in, but finally decide against it and check, and it checks around, next card is a 7. This time I just want to see if my AKo is good, so I decide to check and call a decent sized bet, I have both players pegged for overs, and possibly not even an A, again it is checked around. The river is a 6, putting 2 pair on the board, and 3 hearts on the board; I check my cards and notice I have the A of hearts. That means nobody can have the nut flush. I check, the next guy checks and the guy at the end fires out 1500 chips, about half the pot. I think about it for a second, and then notice the other guy is already indicating he is going to fold. That means I only have to beat this guy, who very well could be bluffing with anything. I think about it for about 20 seconds and call with my A high expecting to be good at least 25% of the time, and splitting somewhere around 50% of the time. Of course the guy turns over JT hearts and I am knocked down to 3k chips. I make 1 more good steal this level when a player in the 1 seat raises to 600 chips, and I look down to see AQs, I decide to push from the SB, and he thinks about it and finally folds, I show him my AQ and he says he had 77, I wish he had called, I could have used a coinflip at this point.

    I blind back down a little bit, and move in 1 or 2 more times with AK both times to float around 3k chips and 15 big blinds. The next break hits and when I come back the blinds are 150/300a25; I am in absolute desperation mode at this point. We are starting the 9th hour and 5th level, and I only have 10 big blinds left. I vow to start pushing in late position when it is folded to me with anything reasonable. Of course for the first 2 orbits everybody is raising/re-raising like crazy and I can’t do anything with my 83o’s, and J4o’s. Finally I pick up KK, but it is folded to me and again I push all in, but only steal the blinds. Finally it gets down to it and after the first hour of the 5th level or so I am in the SB, and it folds around to me and after posting I have a little over 2k chips. I decide that I am pretty much pushing everything in this spot, and when I look down and see an A I definitely am pushing. Immediately after I push the BB says I call, I am sickened when I see he has KK vs. my A2s, and I start gathering my things, the flop puts another K out there to give him trip Ks and I am done. I say goodbye to everybody and wish them all luck. As I started walking away from the table I felt dizzy, I wasn’t as disappointed with myself as much as I thought I would be. I felt like I played some decent poker. It was the most surreal moment of the tourney when I was walking towards the rail and Les. As we were leaving I was trying to figure out how many players were left, Les initially thought there were only 90 tables still playing, but I figure there was closer to 110. This means I finished almost squarely in the middle of my day around 1100 out of close to 2200 people. There were still 3 more day 1’s left since I was playing day 1A.

    I texted everybody what happened and we got a cab to go back to the Rio. One interesting thing as we were walking out we walked right by Norm McDonald, talking to Norman Chad, Les almost asked if she could take a picture with them, but she chickened out. The next morning Les also told me that while she was watching me Matthew Lillard busted out and walked right past her talking to his friends about how badly he played.

    The next morning I couldn’t really sleep, and I started reflecting on my play the previous day and realized just how bad my cards were. I only had 6 pocket pairs (just for reference, I played 9 hours at about 35 hands per hour which means I played about 315 hands, a pocket pair should come about 1 time every 17 hands, which means I should have had closer to 19 total pocket pairs) Not only did I only have 6 pocket pairs, I never had AA,QQ, or JJ, on average I should have had at least 1 of each. I did get KK once but only stole the blinds, and I did have TT 1 time, but lost to 88. The more I thought about it I was amazed that with the terrible cards I had I was able to make it as far as I did.

    The WSOP was an absolutely amazing experience. I was surprised that I wasn’t more nervous throughout. I was also amazed at how bad the play was, maybe it was a bit skewed because of the guy on my right and generally my entire first table, but I was still shocked about some of the awful play I was seeing. Almost immediately after busting out I started thinking about next years WSOP, and how fun it will be to again try and qualify, and play in this championship event. Maybe next year I can try a few of the preliminary bracelet events so by the time the ME rolls around I can be in a groove.

    Anyways thanks for reading.

    John
     
  2. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

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    Very cool... Thanks for letting us in on your wild ride!
     
  3. hanoscf

    hanoscf High-Roller

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    Wow!

    Sounds like an awesome experience! Thanks for the great report!!
     
  4. Smarra17

    Smarra17 Poker Queen

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    Great Post

    First of all welcome to the board...

    Thanks for the great trip report, it was great to get a first hand experience on the WSOP. It is something I would love to do some day.

    Sammi
     
  5. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    Great blow by blow of your WSOP experience. Did you have to buy into it or did you win your entry into the tournament?
     
    Back where we belong
  6. PokerJohn

    PokerJohn Newbie

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    I won my entry online on PokerStars. They took care of the entry, 9 days accomodations at TI, and $1k for getting up there.

    Cheers!
    John
     
  7. blackjack

    blackjack Monkey!!

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    Very cool. :thumbsup:

    Too bad the cards didn't come your way. Nice that you did not have to pony up the 10 grr to get a seat though. You held your own in a tourney that most of us will only ever dream of entering.

    Great read!!
     
  8. tahoeden

    tahoeden Tourist

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    wsop

    Great report....sounds like a great time at the wsop.
     
  9. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Great story, and a fascinating read for us poker-heads on the board. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

    Mikey
     
  10. jefferson66

    jefferson66 Tourist

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    Awesome, TR, truly fascinating to read for those of us who'd kill or die to get in there. Guess it's back to the PS tables tonight...and see what kind of WSOP entry tourneys are going....
     
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