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WSOP Diaries: A Warm Welcome To The World Series

The WSOP Housewarming

A long time coming, James and I made our way to Paris/Bally’s last week to finally play in our first ever World Series of Poker event. Taking in the droves of people hectically maneuvering the hallways outside the Paris ballroom, we could tell we weren’t the only ones here making their WSOP debut.

The WSOP Housewarming offered four flights and attracted a field of over twenty thousand poker players. The fourth biggest tournament in WSOP history, eventual winner Henry Acain outlasted the gigantic field to take home $701,215 and his first career bracelet. While I unfortunately was eliminated late day one, James was successful in cashing his first ever WSOP tournament ($876).

A New Definition Of Coloring Up Poker Chips

With a field so large and a large percentage of WSOP dealers being new to the felt, hijinks and hiccups were bound to occur during the WSOP Housewarming. An error that will likely remain in WSOP lore, during a color-up break a dealer who was also making their debut at the WSOP gathered all the chips at the table, combined them, then sorted them by color.

Obviously, this was a critical error with an immediate impact. Upon discovering what had occurred, tournament coordinators had to delay the entire tournament 1.5 hours as they reviewed camera footage to reorganize the affected stacks. Certainly a huge lapse of judgement on behalf of the dealer, those sympathizing with the individual will find solace in the fact they were not fired, but instead transferred to the cage.

First Tournament Cash Of The Summer

Maintaining the fundamentals and remembering the lessons learned from PokerCoaching.com, I successfully bagged my first ever multi-day poker tournament at the Golden Nugget. Although I only threw seven big blinds into the bag before hailing my Uber, it felt like a write of passage marking down PAUL BEITELSPACHER, SPOKANE, WA.

Arriving back at the Golden Nugget Ballroom for day two of the event, a failure to spin up my stack resulted in taking my min-cash and hopping into the 1 PM tourney with Kieran. Continuing to check off our list of firsts, after hours of play Kieran and I successfully bubbled for the first time this summer.

Continuing The Las Vegas Food Tour

These past two weeks have produced many firsts for our ragtag team of poker misfits. Continuing the introduction of American cuisine to our European roomies, we stopped by the closest Chick-Fil-A which conveniently was located inside the Golden Nugget. Slightly disappointed that they were only offering their breakfast menu, the glass was truly half full when we realized it just gave us an excuse to come back.

While it is still early in our tour of American fine dining, Kieran has provided the following rankings for the meals so far. Despite there technically being a “number one”, Kieran has been adamant that all the candidates “have tasted like crap”.

Kieran’s American Food Rankings Thus Far:
1. IHOP
2. Popeyes
3. Chick-Fil-A (Breakfast)
4. Panda Express

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Meadows Makes Another Final Table

Continuing to dominate the fields at The Orleans Summer Open, James made it to another final table chopping seven ways for $2,925 in a $150 buy-in tournament. Still early in the trip, a bink is likely in Meadow’s near future as he continues to build upon each cash he has.

Reflecting on his favorite moment from his most recent run, James recalled bouncing the final bubble player who got it in good kings versus jacks. After James called the player’s preflop shove and hit a third jack on the flop, post-elimination the unlucky player asked James “what do you think I’m pushing fives there?!”

The Totals So Far

James: +$4,828
Kieran: -$1,050
Paul: -$1,210

Another “Fun” Poker Tournament

A few days ago, I made my way to the Strip to connect with some professionals in the poker industry as well as say hi to some old coworkers from my WSOP internship days. While I hadn’t planned on playing poker, the 6 PM daily at Caesar’s was calling my name and I had $100 dollars burning a hole in my pocket (plus another $50 for the add-on). Sitting down sipping on a rum and lemonade, I looked forward to potential profit mixed with the leisure of a soft, low stakes daily. While my positive attitude was a blessing in the moment, I am quickly learning such things don’t last long in poker.

When going to play the WSOP for the first time, it is important to realize that it just like any other tournament, except perhaps with slower structures and many more players. All you can do is show up prepared to play and then play your absolute best.

Jonathan Little

The Baddest Bad Beat Thus Far

Before I recount the carnage, I feel obligated to share that the very first hand I tripled up aces full of jacks (A-J offsuit) against an ambitious player holding pocket nines and an unlucky player holding a weaker boat with pocket jacks. Yes the poker gods blessed me with a beauty, but things would turn ugly when some dude in a Dodgers cap late regged to eventually give me the business.

Sitting on my right, this man was raising everything in early position and took advantage of the extremely tight table. When he attracted callers or happened to be three-bet, this man would fearlessly shove pre or postflop to scare opponents off of the fat pots he helped build. Players would fold, and this man would then flip over 7-5 suited, queen-jack offsuit, and a plethora of weak hands I was itching to dominate. My strategy was simple, wait for premium and take advantage of this guy when he decides to get cute with me.

UTG+1 and with 44 big blinds remaining, I looked down at A-Q suited after Mr. I Shove With S*** raised 3x UTG. Now was the time to take advantage and execute my exploitative strategy. I three-bet 3x his initial bet, it folds around and as I anticipated, Loosey Goosey pushed all of his chips into the middle.

I know what some of you, justifiably, may be thinking. UTG raise and shove following an immediate three-bet screams aces and kings, but understand this guy was making the same maneuvers with 7-5 suited! Sticking to my plan, I call the guy, and he flips over K-Q offsuit. Your favorite blogger was ahead, and my master plan had finally come to fruition. My thoughts of $3,000 up top and a celebratory steak at Ellis Island filled my mind, until a king came on the flop sending me home packing.

Guy Who Busted Me, if you happen to be reading this, I didn’t mean it when I said “nice hand”.

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