WSOP 2021: Choose Your Own H.O.R.S.E. Adventure

This isn’t (hopefully) going to be a long post; it’s a little before 8:30am as I’m typing this, hoping I’ll get sleepy by staring at the screen, but I’ve been up for over an hour and I didn’t get to sleep until 4.

Yesterday started off with me popping over to Denny’s catty-corner from the Rio. It seems like, despite the wide-open rep of Las Vegas—many of the restaurants in the casino complex are shuttered—at least during the weekdays—which has led to scenes like this.

Denny’s, on the other hand, was busy and considerably less expensive than anything I’d seen on the menus at the Rio. All you have to do is take your life into your hands by walking across both Flamingo and Valley View each direction during morning rush hour to get there.

First order of the day was to get registered for Event #196 $180 NLHE Turbo Mega Satellite. I had my three $500 lammers from the evening before, but I was hoping to pick up another $1500 in lammers from this satellite. I’m starting to think my decision to grind satellites in the COVID era was -EV. By the end of registration, only 18 players had joined in, which meat just one full payout and one of two lamps and $200 cash. I had one AxQx hand get all in against AxJx and lose, which mostly wiped me out an I ended up fifth. The other players were discussing how to potentially chop it up as I picked up my bag, while the TD pretended something on the far wall of the Pavilion room was interesting.

That took a couple hours. It was time to make a decision about the path of my next three days in Vegas. I was (discounting expenses and treating my lammers as actual dollars) slightly ahead on the trip after the first day. Do I a) buy into the HORSE tournament? or b) use the lammers for the bulk of three more $580 mega satellites? With the number of players the mega were getting, I wasn’t sure how many of those were going to be profitable for me—I really prefer the larger satellite fields—and they could mean forgoing the two other bracelet events I was interested in.

As it happened, my passions took the lead and I dropped my lammers at the cage to register for HORSE.

My first table in the HORSE tournament couldn’t have had a better location. Though it also had Ian Johns in the seat next to me. It seemed like several other players there were from Washington state, as well. The next table wasn’t so good, in the ass-end of the Tan section of Amazon with bad lighting that made it difficult for the older players—not me, of course—to see the stud variant up cards at the other end of the table. Ran into some serious hardships and was down to 7k from 25k at one point before a phenomenal O8 segment took me up over starting stack and nearly 40k.

Got moved after a couple hours to a table with better lighting but also Alan Kessler. I lost the first hand I played there (to him) and then a (for me) massive hand where I had seven hearts in stud and I had to call off on the river when he raised me with his rivered boat. That stung. I did manage to pull off a flush that held up against Anthony Zinno to recover a bit.

Got moved to a table with Barry Greenstein and was dealt 234 in Razz, which got me excited. Then I got 2 black kings, which took some of the edge off. At this point, we were nearing the final three levels of play, which is still two hours before bagging, but I’d made it past the ed of registration, and if I could hang on with my <10 big bet stack, I might be able to make Day 2.

Attendance was down a bit for this event. There were 751 entries in 2019 and just 594 yesterday, which is a full 20% drop. I’m guessing that’s probably worse for someone like myself, because most of the people who aren’t showing up are the more casual HORSE players (like me).

Ran into Joe Brandenberg in the halls, and Jeff Mitseff at the next table at the end of the night. We got the “five hands” notice from the floor just as we headed into the Razz round. I think I managed to stay out of most of those hands.

Anyway, my table draw is interesting. Felipe Ramos is #3 in live tournament earnings in Brazil. Ron Ware runs the Mixed Game Poker in Las Vegas group on Facebook.

After we bagged up, I needed to find some food. If there was anything open at the Rio during the day, it wasn’t open at 2:15am. I headed across to Ping Pang Pong (crossing Valley View in the dark, yeek!) and managed to wolf down my first food since breakfast. This hibernation fat is good for something!

Going to try to make the day last as long as I can! Usually I change out the card cover each time I cash, I’ve got to decide whether making Day 2 of my first WSOP bracelet event is significant enough to swap out.

1 thought on “WSOP 2021: Choose Your Own H.O.R.S.E. Adventure

  1. Pingback: WSOP 2021: My Time Is Coming | Mutant Poker

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