Shirley Rosario
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2009 World Series of Poker

Tournament Reports from the WSOP 2009

by Shirley Rosario

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World Series of Poker 2009July 7
$10,000 No Limit Texas Hold'em Main Event

Once again, the main event was a total drag. I don't know what it is about this damn tournament, but I can't manage to make it through to day 2. I started out great. On the first hand of the tournament, I was dealt pocket nines and called a raise in position. The flop was nine high and my opponent called. The turn was a blank and he check called again. The river, he did the same. I showed my set of nines and he folded aces face up. On the third hand, I was dealt pocket kings and won a small uncontested pot. On the fifth hand, I was dealt nines again and won and on the ninth hand, I flopped a straight while holding 98 of clubs. It looked like things were going my way for once and I used those chips to build my stack to 65k by the end of the second level (average was about 32k at the time).

While on break, I talked to Steve and told him that I was sitting at a great table and I had most of the players outchipped. I mentioned that the only player I was familiar with was Chad Brown and I wasn't getting in his way. He asked how many chips Chad had and I told him 70k and he agreed that I needed to stay out of his way.

Fifteen minutes into the third level, I was dealt 55 and called a small raise from Chad and two others called as well. The flop was KQ5 and I was happy about flopping a set, but wasn't thrilled about the coordinated board. When Chad bet $1100 into the pot, I made it 3k to make it more difficult for the players to call with draws. They folded and Chad called. The turn was a seven and Chad checked and I bet 5k. He raised me to 15k and I thought about the possibility of him having a bigger set than me, but thought it wasn't a sure thing. I wasn't going to lose all my chips by playing a huge pot and raising, but I wasn't going to fold like a sissy either. I called his raise and I called a river bet of 15k as well. He showed QQ for a bigger set and I was crushed. I spent all that time building up a nice stack and I was back to average in a flash.

I was eliminated after dinner break when I called a raise with 77 and flopped a set on a board of 987. My opponent ended up having TJ and I never improved my hand and his straight ended up eliminating me. I was devastated that I was out. Steve didn't help me at all by yelling at me about the set of fives. He brought up some really valid points like following through on my plan to not get involved with Chad Brown. He said I should have just folded the hand preflop. He also said the bet on the turn was horrible because I was risking so many chips and was not likely to get any chips from him with any sort of hand besides KQ. To make matters worse, he told me I shouldn't play No Limit because I suck so bad at it. Damn. That is some harsh reality. It might be true, but I just got knocked out of the tournament and I didn't need to be beat down into the ground. I ended up going out with a few friends and we saw a movie and went bowling. They made me feel better especially since all of them are strictly No Limit players and they said they thought I played the hands fine.

The next morning, I called Mark and he said I did nothing wrong on either of those hands. He said Steve came down on my too hard, but he knows that Steve always has my best interest at heart. I ended up driving home that afternoon because I just couldn't bring myself to spending another day in Las Vegas. I called Steve on my drive and told him Mark, Halli, and Mike thought Steve was too hard on me and he said, "I am not here to make you feel better. I am here to make you better at poker." How can I argue with that? He is such a pain in my ass, but I am a better player and definitely a better person because of him. So what's his advice for next year? The time is now! I have to strive to be better and work harder and who knows, maybe next year will be my time.

July 1
$1500 Stud High Low

My last event at the World Series of Poker was more of the same. I made it to day two with average chips, but was eliminated short of the money. The tournament was Stud 8 or Better and at one point, it was my worst game. I have worked on it a lot this year and I believe that in tournament poker, I can definitely hold my own.

On the first day of the tournament, I struggled to scoop pots and the $7500 in starting chips fell to 3100 with only an hour left in the day. I then made two wheels (one, I had to chop but was a decent pot regardless) and finished the day with $16k in chips which was average.

The following morning, I looked up my seating assignment and saw that my new table had the two most obnoxious guys in poker (aside from Hellmuth), Matusow and Sam Grizzle. I briefly talked with Steve about my strategy for the day and he basically said, "Don't let them get under your skin. Keep your headphones on." I assured him that Sam Grizzle wouldn't be like that with me because he likes me and has known me for years. I was wrong. I beat him in a hand where I was stealing in position and he called me. We both bricked on fourth and he check-raised me and I called him all the way down thinking my hand was good. I was right and scooped the pot and he wouldn't shut up about it. He called me a donkey a couple times and gave me a whole bunch of dirty looks and I just smiled and said "I thought my Ace king high was good and I was right. When I made a pair of kings, I thought they were good and I was right."

Unfortunately, he still had chips and he outlasted me because I lost two big pots against Andy Bloch when I made a pair and a low against his better low, pair of aces. On the next hand, I started with rolled up nines against his low cards and he ended up making a frickin full house. I only had one small bet left after those two hands and was out in a flash. When I walked out of the tournament room, I called Steve to let him know I was out and told him about my day. He said that I prepare for tournaments in all sorts of ways, but I never prepare for the obnoxious idiots at the table. He suggested that I come up with some one-liners to put the guys in their places like, "I knew you had nothing, everybody at the table knew you had nothing. Even the players on the other table knew you had nothing" or "only suckers play those non-connecting suited cards in Stud 08." I thought that was a good idea and agreed that I would come up with some standard comebacks for those types of fools.

The following day, I registered for the main event and am playing on day 1D. I wanted to spend a couple days at home before playing the big one. I want to make sure I am good and rested!

June 24
$2500 Omaha High Low

2009 WSOP at Rio CasinoI made another trip to Vegas to play another couple events. I started out with the Razz event and managed to make it to day 2, but busted out about two hours into the day without making the money. I was able to buy into the Omaha Hi/Low event that was about to start.

The Omaha tourney was eventful. I started out a table that was pretty stacked. Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, and Thang Luu were at the table as well as some other solid players. Lu has won two Omaha bracelets and I naturally assumed he was a very talented Omaha player. On one hand, I had to really rethink things and actually wondered if he was a little insane. I was in the big blind with 2457 double suited and Thang raised from early position and both the small blind and big blind (me) called. The flop was A38 with two hearts. I loved my hand. I had the lock low, the wrap straight draw and the five high flush draw. The small blind led, I raised, Thang called, the SB raised, I reraised and Thang made it five bets. The turn was an offsuit queen. The small blind led out again, I called thinking that I might be getting quartered with my low and I was hoping to hit some sort of high hand on the river. Thang also called. The river was a king and the SB bet and we both called. The SB turned over A488 and said "I have high" thinking his set of eights was good. I said, I have low and showed the nut low and Thang turned his hand over and showed KK35 with no hearts. He made it five bets on the flop with no low draw, no flush draw, a pair of kings (with an ace on board) and ended up winning half the pot with his set of kings. What the hell?

Our table ended up breaking but half of my chips were gone. I loved my new table and I was able to work up my stack to 10k before the end of day 1. I was short stacked, but I still had a great shot at doing something because I had a great table draw and I was playing my best game. Right out of the gate, I put a hurting on Dutch Boyd (he was eliminated about two hands later) and I built up a nice stack and then lost half of it before dinner. I struggled along and was eliminated about 20 out of the money. The players at my table were very nice and said I played well and was a pleasure to play with, but I was still so sad. I truly thought this was my event to win.

I am not too sure what I am going to play next, but I know I will be playing the Stud 08 tourney on Sunday.

June 12
$2500 Half Omaha HiLo/Half Stud HiLo

I played in the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 8-or-better event on Thursday and had a great starting table. On the first hand of the day (Stud Hi/Lo), there was a guy who was betting what appeared to be a pair of tens into a player who had five low cards and was obvious to have the redraw. He bet on fifth street and got raised, he bet again on sixth street and got raised and I was thinking, "What the hell is this guy doing?" The player who had the low, ended up showing a seven high straight and a low and the goofball ended up mucking his hand, so I didn't get to see his hand, but he obviously could only have three of a kind or worse, so he lost a lot more chips then he should have.

His play helped give me some momentum when I held A5 of clubs on a 264J3 board with three clubs. On the river, I led out and Avner (the fool to my left) raised, the goofball called, I three bet, Avner four bet, and the goofball capped it at five bets. They both turned over similar hands A5QJ and A59Q. A5 on that board isn't a huge hand in itself. There was clubs on the board which meant it was extremely likely that somebody had a flush and the way the action went down it was very probable that at least one other person had the A5 which meant that a lone A5 was getting quartered, but what makes it worse is that neither player had another low card to go with their hand which meant that they didn't even have a six high straight! I got half the pot for my high and 1/3 of the low side and it was a nice big pot. The day continued like that and I ended the day with 36k in chips and average was only around 14k.

Day 2 started out slow and I really patient. Two hours of play and I had only built my stack up to 40k. To make matters worse, my table broke and I got moved to a horrible table that included Phil Ivey. Playing poker with Ivey isn't a bad thing especially if there are weak spots at the table, but there weren't any so I was having a hard time building up any sort of chips. I was down to about 25k before I got saved. One table was short two players so they had to take the player who was in the big blind and move it to the short table. Lucky for me, I was the big blind.

At the new table, I was able to build up some chips and then I won a huge four way pot. I was dealt A26J in the small blind and it was raised when the action got back to me and I called. The flop was J27 and I led out into the raiser who happened to be the short stack. I hoped he would raise forcing the other two players to fold. He raised, but both players called. I thought, "Give me a jack" and the dealer turned the jack. I bet and got called by two players. The river was the seven of hearts putting a flush out there. I bet and got called by one player and I scooped a 45k pot. By the next break, I had 102k.

We were in the money by this point and we were losing players and moving around and I couldn't get anything going. I saw a few weak spots, but couldn't get the best of these players (including a hand where my AAxx couldn't beat my opponent's KKxx) and my stack was slowly dwindling. In Stud 08, I found myself bricking on fourth street often and in Omaha, I would completely miss the flop. An example of this was when I held A248 on a KQT flop with two clubs (I had none). On all the hands, I wouldn't get extremely committed, but I was slowly losing my stack. I finally took a stand in Stud 08 and made a pair of kings with an eight low and Carlos Mortensen made a pair of aces and a seven low.

Forty places were paid, and I finished in 20th which was good enough to cash, but not good enough for me. Going to give it another shot on Sunday when I play the $1500 HORSE event. As my friend Halli would say, "I'm going for glory!"

June 10
$3000 HORSE

2009 World Series of Poker HORSEI thought this trip was going to be a good one. I was feeling great about playing and was also going into the mixed games with confidence from winning the HORSE event at Commerce. Driving over here made me feel even better. I narrowly escaped two speeding tickets and a tire blowout and I thought luck was certainly on my side.

The story is actually amusing. I was driving in the fast lane and I approached a car who was going too slow. It makes me crazy when the cars don't pull over to the right (the left lane is for passing - DUH). So anyway, I was riding the guys ass waiting for him to move over and then finally I said "Are you fricking kidding me?" and started to pass him at 90 mph on the right. As soon as I got over, I saw a car just kicking back on the onramp and I hit my brakes knowing it was a police officer. I moved over to the right another lane and maintained my speed at 70 making sure I didn't hit my brake lights because he would recognize my car. He pulled up on my left and cruised next to me for awhile and I kept looking at my dashboard making sure I didn't go over 70 miles per hour. While looking at the dash, I saw an exclamation mark which meant that my tire pressure was low. I checked the status of the pressure (gotta love technology) and found out that my left rear tire was at a 27 while all the other tires were at 34. I was 25 miles from Barstow and hoped that my tire would hold up. Meanwhile, the police officer proceeded to pull over the clown that wouldn't get out of the fast lane. If the guy had been driving properly, I would have got the ticket and not him. Let that be a lesson learned I thought.

I managed to make it to Barstow and pulled into a gas station that had 24 hour tire service. I was on a roll. It took the guy about 15 minutes total (he had to make a special trip because it was after hours) and I was back on the road. The rest of the trip was smooth sailing and I managed to spot another cop before he caught me. Yippee.

So after all that the HORSE tourney didn't go exactly like I hoped. I made it through day 1 with almost double the average stack. I happened to be at a great table and there were a lot of people making mistakes. On day 2, things changed. I was at a table with Toto Leonidas, Daniel Negreanu, and Asher Derei. All of them are excellent players and the other players weren't making huge mistakes either. I started dwindling down and then I lost a huge key pot in Stud 08 where I had the bring in with 234 and hit a 5 on fourth street. I bricked and hit a king on fifth and a jack on sixth and prayed that I would catch the 6 or Ace to scoop. At least I hoped to catch some sort of low. I hit a king and Asher bet into me again. I already knew he had a low, but his board didn't look too coordinated. His three hole cards fit perfectly into his up cards and he said "I have a 76 low and a 9 high straight." That royally sucked and I was really short after that hand. I managed to win a hand in the blind in Holdem, but I still had no chips and then lost them all two hands later when I took pocket jacks against Asher's pocket Aces. He held over me all day and it sucked.

Hopefully things will be better in the next tourney I play. I sure hope I didn't use up all my suckouts on the car ride to Vegas.

June 1
$1500 Omaha Hi-Low

I played in my first event of the 2009 World Series of Poker on Friday and made it to the last level of Day 1. Of course it was very frustrating to be eliminated ten minutes before bagging my chips for the night, but I played well and that is all I can do.

There wasn’t anything to report about the day’s events. I was at a table where the players weren’t getting too out of line. They were a nice group of people (including Roy Winston and Tom Schneider’s wife) and I enjoyed sitting there, but they weren’t splashing chips and I would have liked it more if some donkey had thrown me some chips. After four hours of play, I had exactly $4500 in chips and that is what we started with. Talk about a “break even player.”

The only other thing I wanted to mention about the tournament was that several hours into the event, the floorman brought a short stack of chips to the table and told us that Mike Matusow was still playing in the 40k NL event and those were his chips. If he continued to do well, we wouldn’t have to listen to him. If he busted, we were going to get an earful (even more than usual). He did not disappoint and when he was eliminated from the other tournament, he told us how horrible the whole situation was. Fortunately, I had my headphones which meant that I didn’t have to listen to very much of his rant. The other players weren’t as lucky and one player even offered to buy my headphones from me. He kept on talking for about two rounds (which seemed like forever) until he was eliminated from our table as well.

World Series of Poker 2008, WSOP 2010, 2011 WSOP Events report.