WSOPC Rincon $5k Main Event
April 4, 2022
The ride down to San Diego on Saturday was awesome.  It felt really good for a first ride of the year.  My San Diego buddies are just two now since Billy moved to Chicago, and they moved into a classy tower downtown on Union.  I'd never spent any time in downtown San Diego before, and I was super impressed.  We walked over to Little Italy for dinner, and that place was awesome.  Go sometime.  Then we headed over to gaslamp for a little bar hippity-hop.  We ended up on the roof of some place like a block away from Petco Park.  The town was buzzing and it was a nightlife vibe like I haven't experienced since Vancouver.  We had a great time, I lost taxicab roulette on the way back, and then we all decided that it was a good idea to play poker online.  Usually it isn't at 2am on a Sunday morning.  This time it was.  

Sunday was online day.  I sucked at pretty much everything, but managed to nurse a below average stack all the way to the final 4 of a WSOP main event sat on Ultimate Bet.  Ship the $12k package.  Afterwards we went to the Princess Pub in Little Italy, threw some darts til they kicked us out at midnight, came home, chilled out playing a little Settlers of Catan, and then went to sleep.  

Monday I woke up at 10am, packed my things, and hopped on the bike heading for Harrah's Rincon, which they advertise as being in San Diego.  Their marketing department must be run by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since an hour later I finally pulled up in front of the hotel.  I knew that it was in the boonies and have no problem with it.  It's closer to Vegas and the ride in and out is a lot of fun from Escondido.  My reservation wasn't in the computer so I checked my bags, headed over to the tournament room and bought in.  I then found Nolan Dalla who found Alexia the poker room manager who found my reservation about half an hour into play.

The field was much smaller than expected.  When the cards got in the air we were playing 3 handed with 4 dead stacks.  That was fun.  Then they broke my table, and I ended up at one 5 handed with 2 or 3 dead stacks and I knew all the players.  I decided this was dumb and went to check into my room.  Twenty minutes later life was much better, I was in sandals.  We broke that table shortly after the first break, 70 total players registered including one Gavin Smith who wasn't present yet.  

Scott Clements and I gambled on women's college bowling, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Delaware State.  By the time we looked up they were on another game and we couldn't figure out who won or the score even utilizing google.  Then we decided to gamble on women's college basketball and I lost both.  I somehow had Stanford -17 v Xavier, and with it all tied up and eight seconds left Xavier missed a wide open lay-up standing under the bucket.  First, how the hell do you get wide open under the net with less than ten seconds left in a tie game in the elite eight?  They played basketball like five year olds playing soccer.  Second, how do you then miss the wide open lay-up?  

Meanwhile, at my new table I doubled up my 19k stack with AA>QQ all-in pre at 75-150, and less than an orbit later doubled up Howard "Tahoe" Andrew with KK.  I opened to 450, he made it 3k in the big blind with 11 behind.  Howard is a legend.  He's been playing the WSOP probably longer than anybody.  I hated my spot.  Whatever, I'm not folding kings here, I'm all-in, oh you have aces?  Nice hand Tahoe.  The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  

After that it was pot after pot for several hours.  One hand at 150-300/25 a tight middle aged white guy limps UTG which kinda concerns me, the crazy guy limps, a young Asian girl that I've seen hanging with Steve Yea limps, and I make it 2k on the button with 99.  Both blinds fold, the tight white guy calls, nutbar calls, and the chick looks like she might punt.  She shoves for like 14k total.  I know I have her hand crushed.  I'm pretty sure the tight white guy has me crushed.  I'm all-in.  TWG tanks for a good two minutes and finally folds, crazy folds, and my 99 holds over her 66.  TWG says that he had queens.  Sweet.  Another hand I open AK on the button to 1025 at 200-400/50.  BB calls, he's about my age but not a professional.  Flop AK6hhd, he check calls 1325.  Turn the queen of hearts.  He checks, i bet 2750, he makes it 6600 or so with like 15k behind.  Kinda crappy spot, but I think he's putting more money in with 66 on the flop and perhaps more with JTdd on the flop, but I don't really see anything else he's beating me with.  I shove, he snaps with JThh, and I bink an ace on the river. 

Things fell apart after the first break after dinner.  I went from the chip-lead with 105k to 40k in 3 levels, losing two flips, making one mistake, and losing every pot that I saw a flop in until ten minutes before break when I was able to chip back up to like 55k.  After that things returned to normal, I ran the stack up to over 100k without playing a big pot, abusing a lot of people with 2-3 tables left.  We got ten handed with like 20 mins left in the night, I found aces, opened, got shoved on by a 40k stack with KQ and held.  

By the time I got back to my room it was 2:30am and we had to resume at noon.  This thing was scheduled for 3 days but they sure wanted us out the door quick.  We came back the next day and things started quick for me.  I opened AQo early, got a caller in position, and flopped trips on AAT.  I bet less than half the pot, he called.  Turn a Q.  Ding, please have AT or TT.  I bet bigger, he calls.  River a brick, I make a pretty healthy value bet figuring he has something like AJ and isn't folding, he snaps and says, "Only thing I can't beat is a boat."  He rolls over KJ.  You know you're running good when they're drawing dead and get there.  

Nothing really exciting happened for me for most of the rest of the final table.  I busted Mike McClain for like 40k with A8>A7, and then people punted quick.  We went from 5 to heads up in like 20 minutes.  Dan Schreiber had me 3-1 when we got heads up and happened to win the $5k heads up at the WSOP in 2007.  He's also a heads-up cash game specialist.  I like my chances.  Not.  He kicks my nuts in for the first ten hands, then finally folds when I open the button.  I lose more pots, get down to 113k, then open the button with K5hh.  Flop 552r.  He check shoves on me with J2.  Several hands later we get it in when I open/4-bet shove AJo, he snaps with 66, I say I'm 0-2 in flips this tourney so I'm either due or I suck at them, flop an ace and river two pair.  Sweet.  I make a few adjustments, and we battle for about 45 minutes both of us staying between 4 and 600k, with him usually having the edge.  I offered him a save he said no.  Jay and Dave showed up finally, thank God I didn't bust before they got there that woulda sucked.  Then I ran top pair into aces but only lost two streets of value, made top two a couple hands later and got two streets of value.  Then he opened to 14k at 3-6/1k, and I called with A3hh.  Flop Q42r no heart, I check call 18k.  I don't love it because the c-bet was a bit bigger than his standard, but I still felt like my ace high was good often enough and he wasn't double/triple barreling very much.  Turn a five, two spades.  Well this hand got easier.  I check because if he wants to double barrel I want him to, and if he wants to take a freebie to a hand that's drawing dead I want him to do that too, and if he has something I can check-raise and play for stacks.  He bets 45k.  I raise to 140k, like 460 effective.  He thinks for about a minute then jams, I obv snap, and I have him drawing dead with KQ.  It feels a lot better to be the guy getting them to put it in dead heads up.  He had 80k left after that hand, I gave him a walk on the first one folding 67o, and then on the 2nd he jammed 75o and I called with A9o, flopping a pair of aces over his fives that held up.

Man it feels damn good to finally win one of these major events.  2 wsop and 1 wpt final tables, 3 2nd places.  A 2nd place earlier this month.  And now a win, finally some wsop gold.  

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We do all the post-game stuff.  I say to Jay, good thing you didn't play this thing, otherwise I would have had like 38% of your $5k.  He was going to but got lazy last minute and didn't.  He says I agree because I won $50k playing Nanoko last night.  Hell yeah!  We partied proper last night, an excellent celebration, and I came back to Vegas the next day.  Froze my balls off on the motorcycle, and am looking forward to the next several months :).

Peace and good luck,

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