Sunday, July 10, 2011

50k Player's Championship Final Table

Sorry about not blogging for a few days, I was catching up on some much needed rest and time with the family.

The final table was just a surreal experience.  I arrived at Rio about a quarter to 3 with the final table scheduled to start at 3.  As soon as I walk in the door there's a camera guy following me and filming me walk from the entrance to the Amazon Room.  It was a really awkward experience for me, I didn't really know whether I was supposed to just act normal or do something silly.  I'm not really one to ham it up for the camera, in fact I'd be much happier if the cameras weren't there at all.

So then I get near the Amazon Room and they whisk me off to do some photoshoots and some promo stuff for the ESPN broadcast that will air in a couple months.  So I'm doing that stuff for like 15 minutes and then someone comes in and says the final table is about to start and that we need to get in there asap, and I get there and they're already almost done with the player introductions.  I'm glad though because by this point I'm just ready to play.

The official final table is an 8 handed table, but we still had 9 people left since we had played until 5:30am the night before without being able to eliminate the last player.  So while we're 9 handed we're still playing the mix games, and I run pretty good and chip up to nearly 3 million chips before someone was eliminated.  Then as soon as we get down to 8 handed we take a half hour or so break and now we are playing no limit holdem for the rest of the final table.  I would have preferred to play the mix games because I definitely felt like I had a bigger edge over the remaining field in some of the other non-nlhe games, but it is what it is and I still liked my spot playing nlhe.

Unfortunately pretty much nothing went right for me once we started playing exclusively nlhe.  I don't think I ever won a pot that had more than a few chips in it.  Every time I raised it seemed like someone picked up a big hand and 3-bet me, and I don't really feel like I was getting picked on or anything because quite a few of the hands ended up being shown and were all strong hands.

So by the time we get down to 6 handed I'm last in chips with like 2 million, and then I pretty much blinded down to about 1.2 million when I finally pick up a big hand with AKo.  Matt Glantz opens utg for 150k at 30k/60k and I'm in the cutoff and obviously I shove, and it folds back to Matt and he tanks for like 3 minutes.  Obviously I would have liked him to call here as I'm pretty sure I had him dominated but he eventually folds.

So maybe like 5-10 hands later I get QTdd utg and raise to 125k having started the hand with about 1.4 million.  Minh Ly calls on the button and everyone else folds.  Flop comes AsQs6h and I check to Minh because I'm pretty sure he'll bet pretty much always here and I feel like I can get the most value from my hand by letting him take control of the pot.  I have no plans of folding at any point in this hand because I know I'm crushing his range here and he likes to keep firing when he senses weakness.  So anyway I check and he fires 150k and I think for a bit and call.  Turn comes ten of spades putting 3 spades out there and making me 2 pair.  I check again and he fires 380k, and I still feel like he can have tons of weak hands in his range where he's trying to push me off a marginal hand, and also some hands with decent equity where he hopes he can get me to fold, like something like KsTx, so anyway I shove at this point for like 1.1 million total because I'm more than happy to just take this pot at this point with the way the board looks.  I considered just calling and checking any river to him again but I'm happy with how I played it.  Unfortunately for me he instantly called and obviously I knew I was in terrible shape and he turned over 87ss for the flush.  River came the 3c and I was eliminated in 6th place for 300k.  Considering where I was on day 4, down to 17k chips at 40k/80k limit with like 13 people left, I definitely can't complain at all about finishing 6th, but obviously going into the final table I did have much higher hopes.

Then as soon as I bust all I want to do is find my wife and get paid out and leave.  But then they ask me to do an interview.  I said no at first but they kind of pressured me into it so I did it.  I think it was a little awkward because they asked me about my bustout hand and I'm really bad at explaining my thought process in an interview situation, my mind just wanders all over the place and I end up not making much sense.  So that lasts for a couple minutes and now I think I can just go get paid and leave, but then another girl grabs me and says they need to do more promo/interview stuff with me.  At this point I'm just getting annoyed but I don't want to come off like a complete jerk so I just say to make it quick.  Unfortunately we have different definitions of 'quick' and all this stuff ends up taking like a half hour.  I actually didn't mind doing this stuff as much as the previous stuff though.  This was stuff like saying "5 DAYS"  "8 GAMES" "THIS IS THE POKER PLAYER'S CHAMPIONSHIP" and was actually kind of fun to do.  Then they took me into another room where I was asked to do some strategy interview for a new segment they're going to do on ESPN.  Basically stuff like asking me what advantage do live pros have over online pros and vice versa, and what I thought of my fellow final tablers.  This part was a little annoying for me because they wanted me to incorporate the question into my answer and I kept forgetting to do it and had to repeat my answers, but I think I came up with some good answers.

So finally I get to payouts and that part goes quickly at least and then I have a nice dinner with my wife, which was the first time we've had a nice dinner alone the whole series.  I was just glad we were able to find a babysitter to take care of the baby and she was able to come out to my final table, since we weren't able to for my o8 final table.

Been an interesting series so far, I feel like I've been both really lucky and yet somewhat unlucky at the same time.  Lucky in that both of my cashes are really nice cashes and in both of them I was the short stack with around 15 people left and ended up finishing 2nd and 6th, so I definitely got my share of rungood in those crucial spots.  Without that I'd just have 2 mincashes.  On the other hand I've had nice stacks in a few other tourneys this year and definitely could have cashed in about 5 other tourneys if not for unfortunate events close to the bubble.  But obviously overall I could never complain about having nearly $600k in cashes in a series, considering my best series previously was probably around $60k in cashes.

I play the main event tomorrow.  I'm definitely glad I chose to play day 1d because I needed a few days off after playing every day for 5 weeks straight.  I feel really refreshed right now and am ready to do some good things in the main event.  Obviously I need tons of rungood for the main but anything can happen.


  1. Well done Jorj. One big win left in the ME..!!

  2. Definitely liked following you this year, seeing you able to progress much farther than last year. The semi-live streaming (seemed delayed a couple of minutes based on your tweets) was awesome.

    Good luck in the main event!

  3. Hey Jorj, why didn't you just say no to the interviews?

  4. Good job baller! ur baby has a bright future! enjoy :)

  5. Hi Jor!

    Been following your blog now for nearley two years. But, this is my first comment! And im gonna comment on it with love since i really enjoy reading and u seem to be such a nice guy!!!

    My wish, and of course you not gonna do it but still i hope u willis that u take some of your winnings, lets say 10k and buy yourself some real gold. Why, you ask? Its the best investment u can do! And i wish the best for you and your family! I know this is à weird coment but i hope it makes u smile and maybe u go and buy some gold. That would make my day!

    Sry, for the bad spelling.

    Kind regards

    Anders W

  6. Jorj. So happy for you. Be patient and get your run good on tomorrow. Can't wait to see the posts. Play a 34 of diamonds for me if you get the chance. SNP.

  7. Where's the main event and complete WSOP reflection post?!

  8. Moving to Canada . . .time to start the blog again Jorg!

  9. good to see u back on ps


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