I busted last night from the WSOP main event. This is usually the worst time of the year for a professional poker player. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief. It's a combination of busting out and the hand that crippled me. I started the day as a short stack w/ about 500 away from the money. I'm happy w/ the way I played to get as far as I did and ended up cashing for $24k. The only problem is that I'm still 2nd guessing myself on the final hand (well it was 2nd to final hand). It's what most would consider crazy on my part although I don't feel that bad about how I played it. I'll explain...
We are almost done for the night w/ the tournament director saying we are playing 3 more hands. I have 235k, avg. is slightly under 400k, blinds 3k-6k. I opr w/ A9s to 14k ep, co calls quickly, dealer informs him the guy in front of him hasn't acted, so he takes his call back, now the guy in front calls, the co calls quickly again so I'm assuming the co has a medium strength hand consisting of 22-TT and 98s to KQs typish hands. Flop comes 3h5c6h and normally I c/f here vs 2 but I cbet 24k because I felt like I could take it down a lot in this spot for a couple of reasons. 1st my hand looks very strong to cbet into 2 on this wet flop and 2nd we are just about done for the night and I think both guys wanted to make it to day 5 so there is more fold equity than usual.
Anyway the 1st caller folds, the co who started w/ 1k less than me raises to 60k and again I can fold here but I went into the tank and thought of his range and I deduced that he almost always has 22-TT here and was raising to protect esp. since we were almost done for the day. I also thought if I jammed over his raise for another 160k he would fold all pps except for 33, 55, 66. He was pretty nitty when it came to his tournament life because he had folded QQ preflop earlier after 4betting and facing a shove for his life. That also led me to believe that he raise folded good hands from time to time which is not a good way to play nl poker so he was capable of raise/folding pps on this flop. Anyway I 3bet jammed, he called w/ 55 and it was gg for me.
Again I'm nearly certain that he folds all pps except the sets here and there are few combination of sets (9 total) vs other combination of pps (over 20 combos) in his range. Also I had a ton of fold equity as I barely had him covered for another 160k which is somewhat of a playable stack at 3k-6k. Anyway we counted down our stacks and I had 1k left which was an ante. That was agonizing in itself to have to toss in the ante and be all in. Anyway I busted next hand and felt like crap because I was questioning myself if my 3bet shove was good.
I didn't state the obvious that my line looks like an overpair or possibly some big combo draw and again I thought he would fold all pps except sets to my shove. I just went w/ my read and it turned out wrong and it happens to all poker players. It sucks to have it happen in the biggest stage of all and when I had played for 4 days. Sure I could've just c/f'ed the flop or just folded to his flop raise. Sure my play could be perceived as spewy and I could've waited for a better spot.
If he didn't have a set, I win the pot and get up over 300k which puts me in good shape going into day 5. Anyway I told the hand to a few guys that play well and most seemed to think it was ok as long as I went w/ my read although most said they would not make that play. They're the more conservative type of players though. I know that there are some very successful mtt players that make plays that look very spewy but have a reason for doing so (I recall Faraz Jaka 5bet jamming w/ 93o preflop vs a tight player's utg raises very deep in the $25k WPT event and winning vs aces..also I heard Jason Mercier made a few "spewy" plays in the WSOP main event and those 2 have been crushing the live tournament scene the last 2 years). Now I'm not saying I'm as good as them, maybe I am, maybe I'm not in live tournaments but in order to be successful you can't be afraid to go broke, even on the biggest stage, esp. in a 7500 entrants live tournament.
So now I'm sad because I busted and one side of me says I should've just folded and lived on while another side says don't 2nd guess it I went w/ my read and had good logical reasons to make the play and it just didn't work. I will try to figure out whether it's more ev for me to just play a little more straightforward, or to add these big bluffs from time to time in tournaments. I don't have my live tournament game down pat since I'm not strictly a tournament player. I do feel like I'm very good at them but again, it's always good to keep working on your game and I will continue to do so on my tournament game.
Anyway the WSOP is over for me this year and I'll just sum it up as mediocre. I played 17 events and cashed in 5, inc. the main event. I showed a profit of a few thousand dollars which is actually pretty good considering almost everyone loses money at the WSOP. If you don't have a big score or a whole bunch of cashes, you are probably gonna lose money. There are a ton of big names that are down at this year's WSOP, esp. when you see all the new faces that got deep or won a bracelet. The buyins add up. Some of the well known players are stuck over $150k from the buyins alone (if you wanna find out who won/lost what, check sharkscope..they list every player at the WSOP this year and how much they are up/down).
I'll just add a couple of comments about my experiences at the WSOP this year. Harrah's did a good job of spacing the tournaments and running them. The amenities were plenty and well placed. I hope they don't relocate the WSOP as rumored. Placing it on the strip would suck because traffic is terrible there and everything is more congested. There were a whole lot of unknown guys getting deep and winning bracelets. This was definitely not the year of the well known pros. It doesn't surprise me because as a whole the game is getting tougher and more and more people are learning to play well so there will be new faces winning. Obviously Phil Ivey is the best because he just seems to win a bracelet every year no matter what, with this year no exception (he won a HORSE event).
There were a lot more attractive women than usual it seemed. My friend speculated it was so because of all the European guys bringing their gf's or wives. There were a lot of Euros this year...seemed like 2+ at every table I played on.
Seems like anyone that played in multiple events did not have all of themselves (except for the rich and famous guys like Ivey, Negreanu, etc.). Everyone seemed to have pieces of others in every event. I'm no exception as I only had 50% of myself. There are a few reasons for this. 1st having less of yourself and swapping %s and buying %s of others reduces the variance, and we know tournaments have a ton of variance in them because it could take just 1 hand to end all your good play in one. 2nd good players can sell at a markup or premium meaning you charge extra on top of the buyin because you rate to be +ev and you're spending your valuable time theoretically making money for your investors. I saw markups ranging from 1.0 (no markup) to 1.5 meaning if you charged 1.2, you sold 10% of a $1k event at $120. A lot of guys wanted to take less % of themselves so they can sell at a markup and collect the markup fees. There are actually marketplaces in online poker forums where you buy and sell %s for tournaments. 3rd some poker players just don't have the money but rate to be +ev, or so they convince their backers/investors so they only have a certain % of themselves.
Now this was the 1st time I ever sold any of my action. In previous years I just bought in on my own and maybe swapped out 10% or so w/ buddies. This was also the most events I've played (17). I think I played 13 events 2 years ago and only 4 last year. I sold 50% of my action at 1.2 which I did so w/o doing my homework. If I had done my homework, I should've and could've sold at 1.35. This is mainly based on my results and experiences in the past. So next year if I do sell some of my action again I'll be selling at 1.35+. I won't list the reasons why (next year I'll do so if I sell) but I'll just say I've won money at the WSOP 4 out of the last 6 years and have profited over $100k even though my biggest score was $70k (I do feel I'll win big one year and also win a bracelet along the way). I also have cashed in the 2 biggest WSOP main events, having cashed for $65k back in '06 when there were over 8k entrants and this year for $24k when there were over 7500 entrants.
Anyway I'm gonna try to get over my bust out hangover then resume my quest for, as Dr. Evil would say, "$1 million dollars...boo hahahaha".
*Edit* After talking w/ friends, I feel that just folding A9 was best because my assumptions may not be true all the time (guy wanting to make day 5, etc.) and it's in the best interest to use my knowledge and skills later on in more favorable spots...oh well, I'll admit when I screwed up, sucks it happened at the main event, but I'll learn and try to get better...Fml (for today, but gonna look forward to rest of the year)