Trip/Tournament Report: WSOP Circuit Event
Trip/Tournament Report: WSOP Circuit Event -- Horseshoe Hammond
This from one of our long time and well respected forum Vets - lightning36.
Waaaay back when, I used to delight in going to Opening Day when the baseball season began. Growing up outside Chicago, this usually meant sitting in 40 degree weather watching the Cubs or White Sox lose. So, when I saw that the 2009-2010 WSOP Circuit was going to start at the Horseshoe Hammond, it seemed like a natural for me to go to the opening event -- a $345 NL tournament on October 16.
Harrah's allowed a three-hour preregistration the night before. I heard that 500-600 people chose that option. I got to the casino about two hours before the opening hand. I was surprised to see that there were 200-300 people in line ahead of me. It took 75 minutes for me to get to the front of the line. After I registered, I saw at least another 200-300 still waiting in line. Last year's opening tournament attracted over 1,100 entrants. It would be interesting to see how Harrah's would handle this large crowd.
The tournament began on time at noon. Most of the tables were set up in The Venue -- the small second floor concert hall in the complex. My table was in the regular poker room on the main floor. Starting chip stack: 10,000. Levels: 45 minutes! This was one heck of a structure for an inexpensive tournament. No matter what, I expected to get in a lot of poker for my money.
The worst part of the tournament was that Harrah's allowed alternates to come in for several hours. I believe that over 300 alternates came in, bringing the total up to 1,412. First place paid almost $80,000 -- not bad for a $345 buy in!
My table had solid players. Too solid, in fact. We kept passing about 40,000 chips back and forth for several hours. I got some big hands the first hour or so (A-A, K-K), but couldn't drum up much action. However, I limped in with 2-2 and hit my set on the flop. The guy to my left didn't believe my check raise, so he reraised me. Two hearts on the flop kept me from flat calling, so I reraised his reraise. He reluctantly folded. Too bad he only had top pair, top kicker, or I might have busted him.
I took a big hit when I flopped top two in an almost family pot. There was a realistic straight possibility on the board, so I didn't want to push as hard as I would have liked. I got rid of everyone but one seemingly tight player who apparently chased a flush to the river -- and hit it.
We kept seeing the average stack size going up as players were felted, but we just kept passing the chips back and forth. After 6+ hours we had only lost two players. Soon we were moved upstairs.
The last two hours I played were very frustrating. Sensing the need to make a move since my M kept dipping lower, I kept seeing rag-rag, paint-rag, and rag-rag. Our table was finally broken and I was moved to a new table where half the people had decent stacks. A guy to my left was calling almost all the all-ins, so I knew I couldn't bluff. I was hoping to go all in before the dinner break and either double up or go home, but the cards did not come. And I wasn't even hungry.
Right after the break, I had A-9sooted and pushed. One guy thought long and hard, but folded. I stayed alive. Another orbit or two later I was praying for a good hand. I was dealt A-Jos. A raise came from under the gun, and I pushed all in. Everyone else folded. The original raiser called -- putting almost half his stack at risk -- with Q-10hearts! Of course, you know how the story ends. The flop brought a Queen and two hearts. He faded the few outs on the flop and river. It was over. Just before 9:00 pm.
They announced that a new Harrah's Circuit record had been set with the 1412 players. They also gave players interesting news -- that they should be prepared to play until 3 or 4 am to complete the day. Looks like letting all those alternates in so late screwed up the expected timetable.
Although I ended the tournament sooner than I would have liked, working with 10,000 chips and 45-minute blinds was great. The banter at the table picked up after a few hours and was pleasant. I had a good time and can't wait for my next chance to get in a quality tournament.