Yesterday I played in my first ever World Series of Poker event. It was a $1500 buy-in, No-Limit Texas Hold 'em event. In this same event last year, there were 830 players. This year, there were roughly 2375 players. It started with 2200 players and a list of alternates. I played for about 4 hours. Crazy part is, I lasted past nearly half the players. They had gone through all the alternates within the first hour. Then, it was like a race to the door.
My day went like this… 15 minutes in to round 1, I'm in the BB with 9/10 off. somebody raised to 75 and there were 3 callers, I call. Flop, 9,9,7 (two hearts). I bet out 225, everybody folds to the button. He raises to 575. I move all-in, he calls. He's got A/7 hearts. No hearts on the turn or river, I double up. Then began the slow slide. 200 here, 400 there. etc. etc.
I had Jeff Shulman (He's the CEO of CardPlayer magazine) to my immediate right. He was trying to meet his quota of raising every 3rd pot. He was doing pretty well, too. I pick up my least favorite hand, pocket Jacks, and he raises. I re-raise all-in. He calls. Q/10 off for him, JJ for me. 4 blanks and a Q on the river to seal my fate.
It was cool getting to see all the top pros. I don't even know if I could come up with the full list of “big name” I saw. I didn't get any autographs or photos, but, I plan on playing in one more event this year so I'll be sure to take my camera next time.
When I left the building around 7PM, Mike Matusow looked to be 1 of, if not THE chip leader. He had mountains of chips. Daniel was long since out, Kathy Leibert lasted about 40 minutes in the tourney, Amir Vahid filled in at Kathy's table (directly behind me) and was out within 15 minutes. Scott Fischman was at the table right next to them and seemed to be doing OK early, but lost a bit before I left. Evelyn Ng was at the table next to me and seemed to have a decent sized stack. I stood and watched Phil Hellmuth play for about 10 minutes. There wasn't a 30 second period of time where he wasn't talking. I wasn't able to hear what he was saying, but it looked like he was holding court pretty well. All the people at the table were chuckling… (with him or at him, I can not say)
If you'd like to see how the tournament finished up, here is the recount.
It was an absolute blast. I can't wait to play again.