Monday, April 13, 2009

Looking Ahead to the WSOP

I've been spending the afternoon of my day off working out how much I owe all of my backers (there were 14 people who had a piece of the action this time around). Some people have asked me if it sucks to give up a piece of my winnings and I can honestly say it doesn't. I wouldn't have played all of the events I did if it was all my own money and it's a great feeling to win money for your family and friends.

I've proposed to all of them that they reinvest some or all of their profits in the WSOP which will start for me on June 5th. In the last 4 series of tournaments in which I took on backers (WCOOP, FTOPS X, FTOPS XI and SCOOP) I've had profits of 160%, 265%, 0% and 154% of the original investment. I guess I didn't realize how good of an investment I am until I just wrote that last sentence!

The WSOP is where I'm hoping to cash in on the good will I've built up. This is the most important and most prestigeous set of poker tournaments in the world and I'd play every event no matter what percentage I had of myself if I could. It attracts the worlds best, but it also attracts plenty of the worst.

Everyone who watches the WSOP on TV and plays poker at all dreams of going to Vegas and taking their shot. Thousands of players descend on the Rio every summer many of whom have never played a tournament at anywhere neat the stakes of the tournaments they enter and some of whom have gotten most of their experience in home games against who knows what kind of competition. These yahoos have no chance against the likes of me!

Of course there will be plenty of players who are better than me, but no one is so good that I don't have a chance against them. I'm good enough that no one can dominate me. In fact I think I've made vast improvements in the past year, and I'm head and shoulders better than I was in 2006 the last time I took a big shot at the WSOP.

Here is a look at my tentative schedule:

Friday June 5th - $2,500 6 handed limit hold'em
June 6th - $1,500 Seven Card Stud
June 7th - Off
June 8th - $2,500 no limit hold'em 6 handed
june 9th - $3,000 HORSE
June 10th - The HORSE starts at 5 pm so I'm hoping I'll make it to day 2)
June 11th - $1,500 No Limit Hold'em
June 12th - $1,500 limit hold'em
June 13th - $1,500 No limit hold'em
June 14th - $1,500 HORSE
June 15h - $2,000 No Limit Hold'em
June 16th - $1,500 No Limit Hold'em

July 6th $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event.

That's $29,000 in tournaments. All of the preliminary events are 3 days events so if I make the money is any of them I'll be on to day two and if I make a final table it will be on to day 3. That means I almost certainly will not get to play all of the events listed and if I do well and still feel up to it I might stay in Vegas as late as June 21st.

Notice that I have TWO HORSE tournaments in there! I'm really excited about both of those.

Another thing that's good is the WSOP organizers have increased the number of chips everyone gets in every tournament. The first three years I played at the WSOP you got one chip for every dollar of buy in. For a $1,500 tournament you started with 1,500 chips and blinds of 25/50. This is one of the reasons I went broke early so many times. It's not hard to get all the money in with those stakes and that means you have to put yourself at risk. Of course I also got massively hosed time after time, but maybe I could have survived those beats if I'd had a deeper stack.

Last year they made a massive improvement DOUBLING the number of starting chips in each tournament without altering the 60 minute rounds, or the structure of blind increases. This doesn't double how long the tournament takes (the most significant factor in terms of overall tournament length is the amount of time they give to each round). In fact it only makes the tournament a little longer, but it does make a big difference in the early stages of the tournament and allows skill to come in to play to a greater degree. This year they've taken it even farther. This year for a $1,500 tournament you get 4,500 chips, they've kept the levels the same length and they've even added a few new levels which should stretch things even more.

I'm going to be in Vegas for close to two weeks the first time around. I know Matt is going to be there some of the time and my wife and son will me making at least a short visit. But I'm sure I'm going to be there by myself some of the time. Even though I'll be focused on playing, Vegas can be a lonely place if you're there by yourself. I'd encourage anyone I know to make the trip out to see me anytime that I'm there.

I'm getting fired up just thinking about it!

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