The WSOPE Main Event was without a doubt the toughest field I’ve ever seen. Through the 2 and a bit days and the 5 different tables I played at only 2 players stick in my memory as being below average, and in the grand scheme of things they really weren’t all that bad.

During the second break on the first day I realised that my usual style for these major live tournaments of letting the chips come to me wasn’t going to be quite enough.

With that I started to mix in a few more deceptive hands, take some trickier lines and generally play a more volatile game.

A recipe for some excitement

Still, the first day was basically hell. I felt like I brought my ‘A’ game but I just seemed to keep on finding myself in tough spots. I suspect that on most days I would’ve gone broke on a couple hands which I somehow navigated myself out of.

So even though it didn’t go quite that well, I was pretty happy to be alive even if it was with only roughly 1/2 of what I had to start the day with.

I came back on the second day with just over 20 big blinds, which is basically a recipe for some excitement. Straight off the bat I went about picking players who seemed to be opening light and not paying much attention to stack sizes and I began 3bet shoving on them. I did this for the first two levels of the day and kept my stack in the 15-25BB range. Finally, I hit a rush of cards with KK and a double up against 77.

Then a few hands later, I got AA and doubled up again against a guy with 55 who was getting fed up with me. That took my stack to about 70k and finally I felt like I was in the tournament. The table dynamic featured some very aggressive play and I did my best to manufacture a tight image that I thought would be best to let me get away with a bit of floating, some delayed c-bet bluffs and a bit of light 3 betting. It also encouraged a couple nonsensical bluffs against me which I happily picked off. At day’s end I was very happy with having taken my stack from 15k to about 100k.

I bump my head on the undersized doorframe

I came back on the 3rd day with about 40BB and a good feeling for the tournament. I was happy with my table draw and the stack sizes around me and felt like I was a good shot at running deep in the event. As it happened though the 2 average stack sized players on my left busted early and were replaced with 2 of the chip leaders which effectively took away most of my flexibility.

I 3bet once with AQ and got a fold but then after that I couldn’t open a pot with most hands due to the players behind me so I was waiting for a hand which I could go to the felt with. It finally happened that it folded to the small blind on my big blind who raised it up for the second time in that position. The first time I let him have it, but after looking down at A6 this time I thought I needed to make a stand. So I stuck it in, unfortunately he had AJ and called and held knocking me out a handful of spots away from the money.

It sucked busting out so close to the money, especially considering it was a substantial £20,000. Overall, I’d say I was disappointed with the result but still happy with the way I played and even though I came back home with empty pockets it felt good to finally run deep in an event here. Got one more big one to play before heading home next week and even though I bump my head on the undersized doorframe to my bedroom at least a couple times a day I’m really starting to enjoy London.

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