"If I had observed all the rules...
May 31, 2022

...I would never have gotten anywhere."

I've been swimming all my life. As a kid growing up in Longworth, Texas, me and my two best friends ran to a dirt tank about seven miles from where we lived. We would run there and back and over to our small ranch to ride calves and horses. No wonder I turned out to be the State champion in the mile run. When I went off to college, I was a lifeguard in the summer so it is great to now have a heated pool in my back yard and I try to swim every day. It seems as though I do my best thinking when I am in the pool. So, here are some of my thoughts from my morning swim.

I started reflecting on how much effort I am going to put into the WSOP this year. I played in the first event yesterday, the $10,000 buy in Pot Limit Hold'em. I played really good until the hand I was eliminated on which I'll discuss later. If you try to play in every tournament that is available it is really physically tiring. I am blessed to still have pretty good endurance left, but lets face it...I'll turn 75 this summer so I have to face the fact that I am not a kid and I need to start pacing myself. As much as I would love to win my eleventh bracelet this year, I've got a lot going on so I don't want to wear myself out playing too many tournaments so I am going to be selective about which ones I play. I feel good, so I might knock off a bracelet anyway.

I don't like to put too much about poker hands and strategy in my Blog, but I wonder sometimes if my tournament strategy is correct. I read and hear these professional tournament players talk about playing 'small ball' pots. That just isn't and never has been my style. I like to gamble and play big pots. I feel it gives the best player a better chance to win as opposed to just trying to chip away in small pots.

The blinds were 250-500 and I was first to act. I picked up A Clubs, K Clubs and raised to $1800. I got three callers because everybody always wants to beat me, which can be a two-edged sword. Lyle Berman, who I've played countless hours with in cash games called and raised $7800 more. I had $48,000 which was more than average chips. I have a mini-tell on Lyle and I was almost sure he had a pair smaller than aces or kings. I tried to play conservatively and only called. If I had raised I probably would have won there, but Lyle likes to gamble and may have called if he had a pair bigger than 10s. The flop came Jd, 7c, 2c and Lyle bet $17,000. Now I have to move all my chips in, and Lyle turned over three jacks. No clubs came and I was out. When I asked Eric Seidel what he would have done he said he probably would have thrown his hand away when Lyle raised. Another top pro said he would have re-raised before the flop. Take me back to the cash games and I can feel what is the right thing to do!

I'll bet I didn't know more than 20% of the players in the tournament. There are more and more youngsters coming in to the WSOP. I'm used to being the oldest player at the table but I felt absolutely ancient when I saw my opponents. Lyle was the only player I really knew even if some of the faces looked familiar. Listening to the table talk I correctly assumed these kids were on the tournament circuit when they talked about going to foreign countries to enter tournaments.

Sure enough, they all played very well and it's going to be tough to win a bracelet but all you can do is try. I've got today off and I'll try to decide what's next. Please bring back the cash games.

Team Brunson didn't fare too well. Shannon Elizabeth got Aces beat back to back and was the first player out. Todd, Hoyt, Dewey, Mike Wattel, and I were all eliminated on the first day.

My nephew, Ken, has a cap on it that says Chicken Ranch. As I recall, that's a house of ill repute somewhere around Pahrump. I told him it wasn't a good idea to wear something like that and he told me I should see the T-shirt he bought his nephew. It says, "Freshly Laid At The Chicken Ranch". I'd like to be a fly on the wall when his mother sees that! :) - DB

@EricOosterbeek No, it's just good natured ribbing. He is a cool guy.

19 hours ago
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