Monday, July 19, 2010

Vegas Review

When you bust the Main Event - it's get out of town time. It's an odd dynamic really. One minute you're plugged into the biggest of them all, then one hand and ten minutes later you're looking for the fastest way out of the place.

Vegas in June/July is a magical place for any poker player and every time I go I feel lucky to be there. I may not have done much on the felt this year but I still had a great trip.

I didn't play as much as I thought I was going to, but when I played I thought I brought my best game to the tables. I played five bracelet events and saw off 75% of the field in all of them without cashing.

I remember back in 2008 after getting knocked out of a string of high level tournaments in the first level, being asked by Connie O'Sullivan what I was doing wrong and whether I was worried. My answer was, "Nothing, as I thought if I play long enough, I will see every sequence of finishing position."

Stevie Devlin asked me a similar question in Vegas this year and got the same answer. I don't think I've ever bubbled a big event and generally when I see off 75% of a field I'd convert to cash most of the time. So, to hit a run like that at the WSOP is pretty unlucky I think.

Once you've seen off that amount of the field, you're generally emotionally into the tournaments. To have a run like that also hurts that bit more each time you exit. Having said that, all you can really hope for at any given tournament is to play well and I feel I played to the best of my ability for the trip.

My exit hand in the Main was very standard. I was way ahead of the guys pushing range and maybe slightly unlucky not to be dominating. I think I would have kicked onto the money at least had I won that race, but thems the breaks. It was only the second time that I was all-in during the event and the first time I was a huge fav.

Over the two and a half days I played, I hit some lovely hands and felt I was running well in general. Funnily enough I had no cards the previous year but never at any stage this year had I more chips then last. It's not easy to cash in the main and it just brought home to me how well I must have played last year.

Apart from the bracelet events I only played poker three other occasions. A $500 STT that I chopped with Derek Murray for $2350 profit. I also pulled $6,700 profit out of a satellite; had a saviour with two of the lads and slight deal done at the end. These covered a lot of my expenses for the trip and are where a lot of value can still be found. I really should of ground a bit more of these types of games readily available in the Rio.

The other game I played was late one night in the Rio, when I was hanging around waiting for Tommy Finneran. I somehow let Dara, Rob and Cat talk me into playing the €100 nightly tournament at midnight - a truly surreal experience.

I really enjoyed my time in Vegas this year. I spent a lot of time with very good friends and not enough time with other good friends. I enjoyed my poker, the few nights out and the golf, so a big thanks to everyone who shared the trip with me. Also big thanks to Boylepoker for the support, disappointing I couldn't convert for those who won percentages in the WSOPieces promotion.