So the World Series of Poker is going on in Las Vegas right now, and I feel a bit like I'm grounded while my friends are all playing out in the street in front of my house.
Since I don't get to play with them, I've been reading my friend Otis at the Official PokerStars blog, my friend Pauly at Tao of Poker, and getting final table play-by-play from PokerNews. It reminds me a lot of how much fun we had last year, while simultaneously making me grateful that I'm at home with my family this time around. In fact, while Otis and Pauly were staying up all night to cover final tables and working themselves into the ground over the weekend, I was painting my family room.
Hrm. Maybe being stuck at home isn't as great as I thought . . .
Anyway, last night, I kind of wanted to play cards before bed, so I hopped onto PokerStars (which runs perfectly in Crossover on my MacBook Pro) to see if I could play a quick sit-n-go before bed. I saw that there was a 3.30 MTT starting, with first place paying out almost $600.
Sure, why not? I thought.
960 players showed up, and three hours later, I was in the final four tables.
I busted in 38th when my QQ got all the money in against AJo, and the other guy made a bigger four flush than me with running cards.
I'd played very, very well up to that point, though I did get lucky before that and suckout with QQ to bust aces when the flop came Q-T-T, and I will admit that, though I was able to say "Well, that's poker," I still felt a little gutted when I saw that final spade hit the board. If I'd won that hand, I would have been among the chipleaders and certainly in position to make a final table run.
So while my friends were playing in the WSOP, or writing about my fellow (for another 4 days) Team PokerStars Members playing in the WSOP, I was sitting on my couch, listening to Tool (and then Radio Paradise) and having a blast.
I know it's just another one of those tiny buy-in things, so I figure you have to reduce the number of serious players in the field by at least half, but I don't recall any really stupid plays where I pushed with AK and got called by KJ or something stupid like that which rarely happens in "real" tournaments. Anne keeps telling me to play higher buy-ins, and I have enough money in my account and enough focus and patience to go ahead and move up to something closer to "real money." Uh, like $25 or something.
It's a little sad to me that I'm off the team right around the time I start playing really well in large field tournaments (hey, I final tabled my final WWdN tourney last week, and went home 8th when I got it all in with 55 against TT) and I feel more confident and secure than I ever have, but maybe the reason I'm playing better is because the pressure of representing Team PokerStars is off my shoulders now.
If you're still interested in playing the WWdN tourneys on Tuesday nights, some of the guys who were regulars in the Wheetie have taken over, and started up a replacement game. I'll update this post when I get the tourney name and the website address from them.
The game: No Limit Hold 'em. The time and place will be the same: Every Tuesday, 8:30 PM, at PokerStars. The tourney will be under the Tourney -> Private tab off of the main lobby, and will, for the time being, be titled MonkeyTourney". Also, we'll be using the same price: $10 + $1.
I am also planning on tracking the results and having them kept on this site. If anyone knows of a handy MySQL / PHP database type thing with which I can do this, let me know. Otherwise, Jimmy and I will be trying to make our own.
Cool! Stats! Like a leaderboard and everything, maybe.
Also, my old boss at PokerStars, Dan Goldman, left an incredibly kind comment in my "so long and thanks for all the chips" post, which I wanted to share with everyone who played in the Wheeties with me, and who played in our Katrina Relief charity tourneys. It's an answer to the oft-asked, "Why are you on the Team, anyway?"
"Team PokerStars wasn’t supposed to represent the top players in poker. It was supposed to represent a cross-section of the poker world. We had young, old, male, female, poker pros, talented amateurs, authors, lawyers, gamers and even a TV producer (OK, he also won a few poker tournaments). What I hoped when we invited Wil to join the team was that he would widen our audience a bit and speak to our players with a different voice . . . There is no question that Wil loves the game. And there is also no question that he plays well, perhaps considerably better than he believes. But most importantly: he made us – not just PokerStars, but all of us – proud to have him as part of the team, and proud to know him."
So . . . yeah. It feels weird to paste that here, but people ask all the time, and for the next four days, I can say ,"Hey, it's in my blog."