Shirley Rosario
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$10,000 No Limit Holdem

World Series of Poker Championship 2005

by Shirley Rosario

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World Series of Poker Main EventI planned on taking my sixth trip to the World Series of Poker just to play in the main event, but since I haven't placed in any events and have been playing well, I decided to add one more event (the $1,000 with rebuys). I left for Vegas on Sunday because the $1000 with rebuys No Limit Holdem event was scheduled for Monday.

I am fortunate that my host at Luxor takes care of everything for me. I get free rooms, shows, food, and anything else I might need. This luxury has saved me a bundle during my trips to the World Series. When I arrived in Vegas, I decided to head straight to the Rio to play a few satellites. I could always check in late to my hotel. I played two satellites and chopped one of them. It would have been nice to win both of them because it would have covered my entry fee and rebuys for the next day's event, but every bit helps.

I had a great table for the event except that John Phan was sitting to my immediate left. He had been drinking the night before and said he stayed up until 4:00am, so he probably wasn't playing his best game. He distributed his chips from his six rebuys evenly to the other players at the table. He ended up being the first one out. I had a lot of chips and I felt like I had control of my first table. Unfortunately, we were moved and I was forced to sit at the table from hell. Some of the players at my new table were Gavin Smith, Jennifer Harman, Noah (Exclusive), and Chris Bjorn. About fifteen minutes later, Layne Flack sat down to my immediate left. I knew that I had to change my strategy. I like playing post flop with most players, but certainly not these five. I decided to sit and wait for strong hands and hopefully I could get one of them to put all of their chips in preflop with me. I waited and waited for a strong hand, but the hand didn't come. I did make one move against one of them after sitting there forever and picked up my first pot at my new table.

Layne is amazing. I have always said that he is one of the best No Limit players in the world when he is on top of his game. While sitting at our table, he seemed to be in the zone and I was even more impressed than I have ever been. On one hand, he raised from the cutoff and was called by Chris Bjorn in the blind. The flop was T53. Chris checked, Layne bet, Chris moved all-in, and after about 30 seconds Layne pushed all of his chips into the pot. Chris turned over 64 for an open end straight and Layne showed pocket sevens. After the hand, I asked Layne, "How do you do it?" And he replied, "How do I get someone to give me all of their chips with 6 high?" I said, "How do you get all of your chips in there like that knowing that your sevens are good. You are either a genius or a total moron." He laughed and told me to ask Jennifer what she thought. Her reply was, "I think they call them idiot savants."

Layne told me he was going to eliminate 20 people and Chris was the first victim since he made the claim. I happened to be the second. I sat there so long without playing a hand that my chips dwindled to about 8 times the big blind. I was in the cutoff and everybody folded to me, so I moved in with A3. Layne called from the button with pocket nines and I didn't improve my hand.

I had two days to kill before the main event started. I was scheduled to play on day 1 which meant I was able to go to a few parties, but had to make sure I didn't overdo it. I didn't want to jumble up my trip reports with the parties, so I wrote a separate Parties article about those.

I arrived late for the start of the main event. It was a hectic morning and to top things off, I lost my valet ticket. The woman at the ticket counter knows who I am (I have been living at the Luxor for about a month now), but despite her telling the driver that she knows that I was the owner of the car, he insisted on calling security. I told the security guard that I was late for the World Series of Poker and he got me on my way in a flash.

There were approximately 1800 players on day and the room was packed. Every table was occupied with players and the aisles were overcrowded with spectators. My table was in the far corner and I had to fight the crowds for five minutes to get to there. I looked around my table and saw there were four internet qualifiers and mostly average joes. Jennifer Harman's husband, Marco was seated across from me, but he was the only player I immediately recognized. A little while later, I realized Rob Boyd was also at my table. I started the tournament out picking up a couple blinds. I recovered from the two rounds of blinds I forfeited for being late, but that didn't last too long.

I lost my first huge pot with pocket jacks. One player limped for $100, I raised to $500, and a player behind me made it $1500. All of the players folded to me and I called. The flop was ten high and I bet $2000 into the pot to see where I was. My opponent moved in and I thought for awhile. I had just pushed him around on the previous hand and I thought that he might be trying to make a stand with me. I thought he might have a flush draw and I also considered him having an overpair on me. I was very unhappy with the way I played last year in the main event and I vowed that I was going to play my normal game even if that meant I was going to get knocked out in the first hand of the tournament. I asked myself, "What would I do if I were playing online?" and the answer was, "I would call." So, that is what I did and to my disappointment, my opponent had pocket kings and I was left with only $2000. At break, I had a whopping $1800, but I was still confident that I could make a comeback. A few of my friends told me that I was going to be okay, that I could play from a short stack better than most people, and that I wouldn't be me if I didn't come from behind. Those words of encouragement helped boost my confidence even more. I went back to the tournament and built my tiny stack back up to $9,000.

The first hand that helped was when I moved in from the button with A9 and was called by the small blind with AQ. I told him that I could catch a nine, but a nine didn't come. Instead, four diamonds showed up giving me the nut flush with my ace of diamonds. On the next hand, I was dealt pocket nines. One player raised and I reraised and was called by him. I flopped a set and moved all of my chips into the pot after he checked. It was only a pot sized bet and I thought I might look desperate by shoving them all in there. I think most of the players on the table would have called me, but this player did not. On another hand, I took some chips from Marco when I held pocket Aces in the small blind. He raised, I reraised, and he called. The flop was 933 and I checkraised him and he folded. I was so proud of myself at break time; I had to let Pauly know about my comeback.

After the break, I ran into the same exact situation as I did earlier in the tournament. I raised with pocket jacks and was reraised by the player to my immediate left. The flop was six high and I bet $2000 into the pot. He moved in and I was stuck with making a huge decision again. I looked across the table and Rob said, "Donít look at me" and I told him, "I am not looking at you for answers." The ESPN cameras happened to be filming this particular hand and I said, "I am not going to do this again" and I folded my jacks face up. My opponent showed us his pocket kings. Maybe that hand will make it to television. The players at my table told me that I made a great laydown and one player mentioned that it would have been tough to lose another huge pot the same way. Normally, in tournaments I don't get many great starting hands. This time, I got a few and one of my opponents had a better hand. It was just one of those days.

I couldn't win a hand after that and was eliminated from the tournament when I flopped two pair (I was the blind) in an unraised pot. Marco was the player who eliminated me with a set of nines. I left this tournament feeling much better about the way I played than I did the year before. I believe I played well during the whole series and am looking forward to doing it all again next year.

2005 WSOP reports: $10,000 No Limit Championship
$1000 Ladies World Championship and $2500 No Limit Holdem
$5000 Omaha High Low, $2500 Omaha High Low, $1500 Omaha HiLo Split
$5000 No Limit Hold'em and $1500 No Limit Shootout, WSOP 2005 Parties