WSOP Circuit Caesar’s Trip Report

by , May 2, 2008 | 10:29 am

As I surveyed the room, it was about what I expected/hoped for. Mostly pros and several table with 5-6 well known players per. Sure, it would be tough as could be, but what a great experience nonetheless. At first glance, Ted Lawson was the only player I recognized at my table, sitting to me immediate right in the 2 seat and fresh off a win in one of the prelims. Then I saw that Mark Newhouse was in seat 6. Okay no biggie. Come to find later that Theo Tran was in the 1, John Racener the 7 and Michael Esposito in 5. There was also a very aggressive Asian kid in 10 who appeared to be a pretty good player at first blush.

Level 1 (25/50 75 minute levels) was fairly uneventful for me. I probably played only 4-5 hands, winning 3 without any real decisions. I flopped a set of 3s and won about 2000 to get up to 12,300 at the first break. Tran, Racener, Newhouse and Seat 10 were playing a lot of pots, opening with a wide range of hands. Esposito and Lawson were playing it pretty close to the vest. Seat 8, an amateur calling station who took forever to act after getting clarification from the dealer for the bet or raise every single time managed to win a few pots and became any early target.

In Level 2 (50/100), I was again pretty card dead and played about 3 hands. I raised on the button with T9hh got called in two spots and check-folded a flop of AJx. Then I raised to 300 with QQ from MP and was called by seat 10 in the big blind. The flop came down 8s6s4h. He checked, I bet 600 into 800, and he check-raised to 2175. Given the board, his most likely holding here seemed to be a pair with some kind of straight draw and flush draw, something like 98, 87 or 65 of spades. I thought for over a minute before deciding that, with stacks this deep in level 2, I didn’t want to commit to the hand with a raise, or worse, have to consider folding to a push. I had a little over 11k at the time, so I finally called the other 1575. (Shannon Shorr recounts a similar position with an overpair during level 1 in his blog) I’m not sure it was the right move and may have actually been my worst option. Folding seems really weak-tight there, but with stacks this deep, I’m not sure it’s not better than calling. My final feeling for calling was that it seemed that many of the cards on the turn would either obviously help me or hurt me. As it turns out, the turn was an offsuit 9, he bet around 2200 and I folded. I think that is a pretty easy fold there. He showed 96s for two pair.

In level 3 (100/200) I went over 50 minutes without playing a single hand and dropped down to 8500. Then I opened from the lojack (one before the hijack) with QJoff. (Aside: Not sure if I’m making up the term “lojack” but if I am, let’s try and make it stick. Dario Minieri was moved to a table right next to me, and on his first hand he folded under the gun saying, ”tight is right” to much laughter. Pokerati deserves some credit for that.) The calling station called in the big blind and we saw a 9-high flop with two spades (I had the queen of spades). I c-bet 1200 and he called. The turn was the Ace of spades. Check, check. River was an offsuit 9. I checked and he won the pot with KsJh. Yucky. Queue raised eyebrows around the table, though I’m not sure who they thought played the hand worse.

I then called a raise from Tran in the SB with 55. Esposito called, too, and the flop came K45, one spade. We checked to Tran who bet 1200. I called and Esposito called. The turn was the As. Tran led out for 1600, and I moved in from around 4400 total. Esposito thought for a while with what I assume was probably AQ or AJ and folded. Tran went into the tank for about 2 minutes asking me if I had AK over and over. Not sure what he had here, I’m assuming AT or somesuch. He finally folded. That got me back to around 12000 heading into level 4.

Level 4 (100/200 25 ante) proved to be my last level. On the first hand of the level, I was in the SB with A5 and took the flop unraised and heads-up with the BB. The flop was 455. I check-called the flop. Turn was a 9. Check-check. River blank and I got the BB to call half pot. That got me to my high water mark around 12500. On the very next hand, one I’m still not sure about, I raised the button after two callers with KQdd to 600. Esposito made it 1400 to go, and I was the only caller. Flop came QJTr. He led out for 1700, and I called. Turn blanked, and he bet 2200. Seemed like a smallish bet that was either looking to trap with AK or scared with AA, most likely AA. I folded, but I’m not sure about this play. When I folded, Esposito said “I didn’t want to see a flop with that hand.” Given that when he made his raise there could have been up to three callers, I interpreted that to mean aces, but again, I’m not sure. I didn’t play another hand until my next button when Tran opened in the cutoff to 800. I looked down at two black kings and made it 2000 to go with 8500 behind. With my table image at this point, there is really only 3-4 hands I can have. It appeared as though Tran, who had about 15k was thinking about pushing but finally called. The flop came Q45r. He checked, and I bet 2500. He thought and called, though it looked like he almost pushed. Turn was an ace, and it went check-check. River blanked and I folded to a 2700 bet. He showed pocket queens and was sick he didn’t raise me on the flop. Not sure how I didn’t go broke there. At the time, I would have insta-called a shove on the flop, but in thinking through it afterwards, I’m not sure there is a single hand he could that I could beat there if he did shove on the flop. I think he knows I have a hand, and I don’t think there is any way he would do that with AQ (a hand I think he would bet-fold on the flop).

I bled down to around 3400 after calling a couple of raises and folding on the flop. Then Racener opened for 800 UTG, Lawson called and I stuck the rest in with AQo. Racener insta-mucked, but Lawson went into a very talky tank for almost 3 minutes, asking me over and over if I had AK (again). He had had over 20k in chips, around 2600 to call, and the pot was laying him almost exactly 2-to-1. He finally folded pocket fours face-up which shocked me. A couple of orbits later I busted somewhat insignificantly after again re-raising Racener all in with 55, getting called by Esposito with AKs and having Racener Re-shove with KK. Gotta win races.

Overall, it was a lot of fun and a very different experience from the WSOP Main Event. Even though the structure was virtually the same with 75 minute levels, it played very, very fast, and I wasn’t as prepared for that as I should have been. Hopefully, I can get a little of the 07 mojo back for June and July.

9 Comments to “WSOP Circuit Caesar’s Trip Report”

  1. Dan M

    It’s amazing you had this much to say about a tourney where you didn’t even make it to the dinner break.

  2. ItsOverJonny

    He’s used to charging by the hour, where being verbose is a virtue.

    I’m waiting for someone to respond with “TL;DR, Cliff’s Notes please”

    But I personally like the detailed accounts, especially from such a good player.

  3. Fawcett

    It is amazing Dan runs a poker site that finally has an entry about playing poker and he complains…

  4. DanM

    Aww, you just made me laugh, Fawcett. Thanks for your feedback. Can I stay with you next time I’m in town for the home game?

  5. Karridy

    Great recall, TBR. Don’t listen to Dan. He only commits wins to memory. His bankroll spreadsheet is equally biased and therefore about as reliable as his reporting.

  6. DanM

    Aww, Karridy, you just made me laugh. Thanks for the feedback. Can I stay with you and/or the missus next time I’m in town?

    So let’s talk about Randy’s play … it was brilliant until he was eliminated.

  7. Tulsa

    Did it seem odd to anyone that in your Level 2 QQ hand their were two six of spades on the final board? Or is that part of the new WSOP rules Dan’s been blogging about so hard?

  8. Tulsa

    “there were”. typo. can’t fix. bugs me. Dan, get me an admin username and password, please

  9. DanM

    You get the prize for being the first reader to make it all the way through the bottom of the third paragraf.

    Can’t find the “there were,” by the way. And as long as we’re on the topic, E-diddy, have you officially moved to putting punctuation outside the quotes? I’m very torn on this difficult punctuation issue.