After coming back from Vegas I had to work 12 out of the last 13 days of June to earn the points I needed to keep my Supernova Elite status on pokerstars. I won 10 of those 12 days (and won big) so it wasn't too tough to wake up and play everyday.
These first few days of July feel like a period of limbo for me. My latest crusade for points is over, the first leg of the WSOP is a few weeks behind me and the main event is just ahead. I'm leaving for Vegas on Saturday the 4th with the plan of playing my Day 1 of the main event on the 5th.
For those of you who don't know how it works the first day of the WSOP main event actually takes place over four days (Day 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D - Day 1A is tomorrow, July 3rd). They do this because they don't have the space or the staff to handle the 7,000+ players they expect all at one time. In fact there is a hard cap at 3,000 players for each day 1, although it's very unlikely that they'll hit that on any given day.
The players who make it through days 1A and 1B will come back for day 2A which will be on July 7th. Likewise the players who make it through days 1C and 1D will come back for day 2B on July 8th. July 9th is an off day for everyone and when we (hopefully!) come back for "Day 3" (a week after the tournament actually started) on July 10th everyone who is left will be playing at the same time. The players who make it to the end of day 3 should be in the money. Days 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 then take place on consecutive days.
By the end of day 8 there will be 9 players left. These players will all win at least $1,000,000 and won't resume play until November 7th. This is the second year that they've done this major break and they do it so ESPN can show however many weeks of tournament coverage without everyone knowing who the winner is. The final table will play out and then ESPN will air a special program the next day.
You might think since this is a $10,000 event that it would be a very tough field. WRONG! Sure all of the best players in the world will be there, but so will thousands of amateurs. The good players will be totally diluted by the weak ones. Just about every casino in the country and online that offers poker runs at least a few satellite tournaments to the main event. All of these qualifiers will come to Vegas with champagne wishes and caviar dreams and most of them will leave with nothing but a story. I suspect with the possible exceptions of the $1,500 7-card stud event (which was just ridiculous) and the 2006 main event, the 2009 main event will be the softest field I've ever faced at the WSOP.
Since all of my usual hotels are booked solid, I'll be staying at the Flamingo which I found a little depressing the last time I stayed there (I'm spoiled after all my time at Bellagio). But it was free so it's hard to complain too much. I'm booked through the 7th so if I make it past day 1 I'll have to make more hotel plans on the fly. Also there is a $1,500 tournament at Bellagio on the 6th which I might play. If I make it through day 1 I'll have two days to kill before play resumes for me and hopefully the town will be buzzing with soft poker players looking to hit it big.
In other news I saw that the FTOPS XIII schedule came out recently. Fulltiltpoker.com will once again be offering a slate of 25 online tournaments with buy ins ranging from $130 to $1,060 plus one $2,500 event. Action gets underway in the first week of August and with a few minor changes the list of events looks just like that of past FTOPS. I suspect I'll be doing my standard $10,000 bankroll looking to make at least one final table. More on that later.
I might put up one more post before I leave for Vegas, but if not wish me luck!