Mark S. Rasmussen
Aug 08

Today was the second last $1500 NLHE event of this years WSOP. I went to bed at 8 PM the night before and slept all the way until 9 AM so I couldn’t blame my performance on lack of sleep today - unfortunately.

I had Bill Chen (2-time WSOP bracelet winner in the 2006 series!) and Max Pescatori (1-time WSOP bracelet winner in the 2006 series) to my left, there were definitely a couple of other pros at the table, but those were the only two I really recognized. Also Joe Hachem was sitting at the table right next to mine.

The funny thing about these $1500 events is that they’re actually a lot tougher than the main event! The pro/amateur ratio on the tables are a lot less than in the main event. Also due to the small stack structure you really can’t afford to make any mistakes. Max played a very crazy game, making some insane preflop pushes, trying to push people off hands. He’d been caught with J7o, 22, 99 and various other weird hands, and amazingly he’d won even though he went in as an underdog every time. Bill played rather ABC, but I noticed he’d made a lot of squeeze plays. In general it seemed like he had great perception of the table situation and he was able to take down a lot of pots without going to showdown.

I started out absolutely great! Though I do not remember all the hands any more, I managed to build my chipstack up to chipleader status within the first couple of hours, having nearly 18k when the average was around 3k. Unfortunately my luck ended suddenly. It started out in a pot where I had TT on the button. Blinds are 100/200. LP pushes all in for about 1500. I look down on my tens, I just smooth call, I don’t want to risk all of my stack by isolating since Max was sitting on a stack of around 10-12k himself. After my call, Bill pushes his stack in, and Max folds. I count up Bills chips, around 4000… Hmm, I’d seen him do this before and I was pretty convinced that he was trying to squueze me out with a mediocre hand since LP could’ve had any two more or less, so I called. Bill showed QQ, yuck, LP showed 97s, more or less as expected. The flop didn’t help me, and to make things worse, I’d overseen a couple of pinks in Bills stack, so he didn’t have around 4k, he had 6k, ouch.

I made a couple of great calls on the flop later on with marginal hands, nothing held up unfortunately. In a series of about four or five showdowns that I didn’t win, my stack simply dwindled away. When our table broke up I had about 3k left with blinds of 150/300 + 25 ante. I was moved to table 1 and by chance Bill sat to my direct left again. Second hand at the table it gets folded around to me, I’ve got black jacks, I push. BB thinks for a while and then calls with AT. Flop comes: AT8, Turn: T, River: no jack. I’m out. Bill gives me his hand and congratulates me on my play and gives me consolation for busting out in this way. At this time there were around 80 left in the tournamnet (420 to start), payout to top 45. Dammit.

Tomorrow is the very last WSOP event of this years world series. It’s also a $1500 NLHE event. It’s going to be tough getting up since it starts at 10 AM, but I’m destined to give this my very best try… This is my last chance at getting a bracelet and thereby setting the record for youngest bracelet winner ever.

Mark S. Rasmussen
I'm the CTO at iPaper where I cuddle with databases, mold code and maintain the overall technical & team responsibility. I'm an avid speaker at user groups & conferences. I love life, motorcycles, photography and all things technical. Say hi on Twitter, write me an email or look me up on LinkedIn.