A Shot at WSOP Glory (Part VII)

(This week I’m still reminiscing back to 2006, where I played my solitary WSOP main event)

Like I said on Friday, when I started drinking before the last session of play it was not with the intention of getting drunk. They’d announced we would be playing down to 800 so I believed that we would be playing down to 800 and then stopping.

This was a perfectly rational belief. They clearly said “We will play down to 800” so what was I supposed to think?  What they actually meant was “if we over run this next 2 hour level we will just stop once we hit 800 players”. But the two full hour level was definitely getting played. It was obvious if you’d been been watching the field shrink so rapidly that we were going to hit 800 well before two hours was up and probably before 1 hour was up. Oh well, lesson learned I suppose – just don’t drink at all while playing a big tournament, especially when you’re dog tired and had a massive sesh the night before.

So the first thing I did after sitting down was to order two more beers. I’d had two and I’d got the taste now. I necked those in about 15 minutes and noticed a couple of people commenting that this was a bad idea (as if I couldn’t hear what they were saying because I must be out of my mind after two beers – ever notice that – like they think you are deaf because you’ve had a drink?). So I ordered two more to show them I couldn’t give a rat’s arse what they thought (you gotta love the free cocktail service in Vegas)

By now I’d discovered that we weren’t stopping at 800 after all. So now I knew but this didn’t bother me at the time of course – I just got more beers in. I ended up drinking 8 bottles of 5% lager in that session and it showed. I would have done better to have just gone to bed and missed the last two hours and been blinded away.

It is possible to play poker drunk – I’ve had big cash wins absolutely hammered before – but a ten seated tournament  is pretty much the worst place to try it. With ten players someone always has a big hand. If you’re playing short handed cash and regularly seeing cheap flops that’s OK but a tournament really isn’t the place to see “cheap” flops.

So I’d get into pots I shouldn’t have and then back down to real strength after blowing  load of chips. Stupid really because it was still a good structure. Every time I folded I’d hear Walhroos’s mocking voice telling me I was a donkey but he did me a favour really – were it not for him I reckon I would have definitely busted out.But there was no way I was letting him watch me bust out if I could help it. I stayed alive out of sheer stubbornness.

I have a vague memory of a hand where I had 109s and the board was something like A1063A and I bet 2000 on the river because I got it into my head my opponent definitely didn’t have an ace. But after tanking for about a minute this young Chinese guy raised me to 7000. Urgh! I threw my cards in in sheer disgust (cue more mocking from the git to my right). I don’t think I won a pot in that session and it was horrible.

At about 3.30 am we were told enough was enough and I bagged up my paltry 4450 chips. The blinds were 250-500 with a 100 ante I think, so I pretty much needed to double up not once but twice to get anywhere back to an average stack.

It had all been so rosy a couple of hours ago but now I had the right raving hump. But I was still alive I suppose. At least I’d lasted through Day 1.

There was a happy postcript to the Thomas Walhroos story though. Two years later I was walking through the Pavillion Room at the Rio on the opening day of the 2008 WSOP. I wasn’t playing – just having a nose around (this is actually quite a depressing thing to do if you have ever played the event I must say – I won’t do it again. But something was about to make me very cheerful indeed).

I was just pottering around and I was curious to see who had the biggest stack on display – and I soon found him. This hairy bloke had an enormous, ridiculous, quite monstrous stack. It was huge – about 3 times bigger than any other stack I could see in the room. But
guess what? To his immediate left there was Walhroos – with about six chips left and looking thoroughly miserable. He was for want of a better expression – completely and utterly screwed.

He must have just been recently decimated – probably by the hairy geezer. Hairy bloke could just steal his blind by putting him all in every hand. He could do that, lose, and do it
again. And again and again. The biggest stack in the room against the smallest. Hilarious! Walhroos needed to double up about 6 times to have anything like an average stack and he’d still be in a horrible position. So I wandered over to the rail, parked myself (he hadn’t seen me) and after about 10 seconds bellowed


When he looked round a bit startled to see his old buddy from 2006 (me) I yelled:

“HEY NICE STACK MATE. GOOD LUCK!!!!!” so everyone in a 10 metre radius could hear.

Needless to say he was not amused. He had a total sense of humour failure in fact, as only people who take themselves too seriously can. He tried to just turn his back and ignore
me, but there’s no way he could have failed to hear me cackling away to myself like a maniac. I’m not usually a vengeful person but an opportunity had presented itself and it was too good to resist.

Remember me? Unlucky son!

(to be continued)

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