Dan and I arrived at the Rio early enough to get breakfast, and we were both very pumped up about the event we were playing. I had never started a World Series event with as many chips as I was going to be starting with today. The way the events are set up you get 3x your buy-in in chips, so for our event each player would receive 4500 chips. Blind levels last an hour each, and our event started with the blinds at 25/50. In 2006, the year that Dan and I both managed to cash, we actually started our $1500 event with 1500 chips. In 2007 they changed it so that you received double your buy-in in chips, and starting last year they changed it again to triple the buy-in as it is now (last year Dan and I got in a $1000 event).
I found myself seated at Table 132, seat 9 for the start of the tournament. There were no recognizable pros at my table, and things started slowly for me. We did have two empty seats at the start of the tournament, with one of them being not sold yet, and another seat just being a player who was late. It was when this late player arrived that I got in to some trouble. Early in a tournament I'm usually going to try and only play premium hands for raises and play smaller hands for limps and hope to make monsters. Well, I was dealt pocket 8s on the hand when the player in seat 2 arrived and I called a raise of 150 from a player in the 6 seat. The player in seat 2 raised it to 425, which wasn't even 3x the first raise, but seat 6 folded. Since this was the guy's first hand I didn't want to just let him run over the table, and I just didn't believe he had sat down in to a big hand. Not that it can't happen, but it's unlikely, so I called. The flop was: K-9-7 of three different suits. He had to act first and he led out for 625. I thought about it for about 30-45 seconds, but I decided I thought he didn't have anything and raised to 1825. I left myself with about 1850 chips. He thought about it for about 2 minutes. I was just getting ready to call a clock on him when he moved all in. You can call a clock on your opponent at which point he has 60 seconds to make a decision. If no decision is made the player's hand is then folded. Well, he was now putting me to a decision for all my chips, and I didn't want to go broke with a pair of 8s while looking at that board so I folded. I then watched him raise and/or reraise the next 7 hands he played. I know that he couldn't have gotten good hands on all of them, so I really don't know if I made a good fold or not, but I figured I'd have opportunities later on to double up and get right back in it.
Over the next hour plus I ended up being all in four times. I only got called once, and it was when I had Ace-King. The player calling was the same player from the hand described above and he had Ace-Queen. My hand held up, and now I was back up to 3750 in chips. It was about one orbit after this when I was two seats to the right of the button and was dealt the 5h 4h. Because the aggressive player (seat 2) was in the big blind I decided to limp and then reevaluate if he decided to raise. Well, the small blind in seat 1 limped and seat 2 decided to check and see the flop. The flop was: Ac 2h 3c. Combined with my hand this was a straight. It was also the best possible flop I could have seen. Both of the blinds checked to me, and I bet 400 chips into the 450 chip pot. If you're wondering why I bet here it's because I often find that it's very difficult to improve a straight, and often times when you hit a straight your opponents may have hit the board since none of those cards will be in your hand when you flop the straight. Also, in this case, I knew that seat 2's aggressiveness might pay off for me if he decided to try and take it away from me by raising. Well, seat 2 never got that chance as seat 1 moved all in. Seat 2 folded, and I snap called the all in. Seat 1 was holding As 2c for two pair. With the board as it was I was a 77% favorite to win. The Ah on the turn changed all that, giving my opponent a full house. I wasn't drawing completely dead though as I could still catch the 3h to make a straight flush. Alas, my card didn't get there. I had my opponent covered, and it left me with 525 chips while the blinds were at 75/150. I then went out very shortly after that as the blinds hit me, with me being unable to improve the QT that I was dealt in the big blind against my opponents Jacks. I found this to be very reminiscent of my 2008 WSOP, when I took a beat that was pretty bad very early in the event. After discussing it with Dan, we did determine that this beat was slightly worse, although I certainly couldn't fault the other player for thinking that his two pair was good in that situation. So another World Series was done, but once the World Series is done it's now time to focus on the cash games, of which I did plenty.