Well, I haven't gotten anywhere in playing in the WSOP but some items seem inescapable to the eye. First, the structures are better than one's first impression. What that means, specifically, is that they [the blinds] start out rather high and players are eliminated rather quickly, but once you arrive at Day Two you get blinds that make sense as you approach the money.
Second, the temperature, sound, food, and restrooms are much easier to deal with this year than previously — which makes it possible for some of us picky players to play in more events.
Third, the stars and sponsored players can play in as many events as they wish, but those that use their own winnings or resources are a lot more selective about what they choose to play.
Fourth, some players are entirely too lost in their own world and think that it is their mission to get it all straightened out! Let me give you two examples of that, although I have only had good interactions with both players away from these incidents.
David Williams arrived about five or more minutes late to the stud tournament and was loudly complaining that he had some antes missing. The rules have to be applied to everyone and those standing in lines to register for events before this were told they were losing blinds without exception. So why would one be made here? Frankly I didn't even understand the hullaballoo but what was more striking was that the play at the table was suspended for ten minutes while David rejected the rulings of lesser floorpeople. At this point play recommenced with another 100 or so in antes being taken off David's stack while he sought out an explanation. Alternatively, he demanded his buy-in back. At last he played — and lost.
Thomas Wahlroos was at my table in the pot-limit stud tournament and was often visiting Juha Helppi, with whom he had a large last-longer bet; one time he returned to the table as the cards were being delivered and from a location between players six and seven put his hand on his cards which were being delivered to his spot—seat number nine! The dealer told him that the hand was dead and he reluctantly released it, going to his own chair and swearing at the dealer. The dealer now called a floorperson over and said the gentleman in seat nine has an issue with me. Without something more specific to go on the floorperson then had to listen to how Thomas was not being treated the same way, with the same perceived exceptions, as the American stars were. He was firmly told that if there had been exceptions made previously they were in error. He was about to walk away when Michael Binger, in the eight chair, asked him if it was okay to swear at the dealer. He said no, and went on to his next problem.
The next time he was in an early position, with the same dealer, he raised to about three times the big blind and a European player that he knew re-raised him; now he thought briefly and moved the maximum re-reraise into the pot. The other player thought long and hard, finally putting his considerable stack in with , Thomas turned up and seemed to have a big edge, that is until the flop brought and no help on the next two streets – and . From the nubbin he had left, though, Thomas rebuilt his stack, although he never tired of telling everyone what happened. Soon after winning his last-longer bet, which was likely much bigger than the $2,000 buy-in, he went broke.
Andy Bloch was on my left and we agreed that this hand could not happen to us. Can everyone see why?
Both David and Thomas seem to be happy-go-lucky guys so perhaps this is just an expression of the stress of situation? I have heard too many similar stories to record them here, and they would be secondhand anyways.
I lost several hands to Thomas Wahlroos, who was on my right, and to Michael Binger who was on his right. Thomas did threaten to take all my chips and the soft hair that does not easily get shaven off, on my neckline. After Thomas had doubled up twice there came a hand in which he raised the maximum on the button with and I reraised from the little blind with , he called and the flop came , followed by and which gave him a stack of over 7,000 and put me below 4,000 again. There was little comfort to be found in outlasting him, as he was an entertaining chip elevator while present.
Binger came to the table more than an hour late and the first hand he played was from the big blind, where I raised from my stack of 7,000 to 450 (three times the big blind) with and he smooth-called with . The flop came and he checked to me; I bet 900 and he check-raised to a total of 3,200. I can make excuses about having a big stack, or there being two clubs on the board, but I either shouldn't bet, or shouldn't call a raise, or maybe even shouldn't have played the hand at all! In any case after one minute of thinking I made the mistake of calling and it came and he was off and running. I see that he ended the day as the chip leader, whereas I am in front of this computer!
Until next time… play good and get lucky!