Not every story ends with a happy ending, and neither did this one. For those of you who followed my journey, you all know I was excited to play the Main Event at the WSOP 2021. Sadly, not everything went as planned. I’d like to start by thanking everyone for their support. Firstly, my wife, who was by my side making sure I was ready to play. Secondly, my sponsor AwardPool for putting me in the event. And last but not least, my friends, family, and social media friends, that cheered me on the rails.
Here’s a little recap of the 2 days I played the main.
The main event is a big event, over 6000 players paid $10,000 to take their shot at the millions that are waiting for the winner. Because the event is so large, there were 6 starting days to choose from.
I ended up playing day 1D. Strategically it was the best day to start. A weekend day (Sunday) has the most recreational players. On top of that, day 1D is pooled with day 1A and day 1B for day 2. As the USA opened borders for Europe on November 8th, there were rumors that day 1E and 1F would be flooded with European pros that fly in for the main. So best to avoid those on day 2 as well.
My table on day 1D was full of old recreational players. At the age of 35, I was the second-youngest player at the table. Perfect table draw to get started.
During the 11 hours of day 1, I picked up a few good hands. Only to hero fold them when I faced too much action. In general, older players don’t like to put their tournament life on the line with a weak hand. So whenever I faced too much action, I had to find a reason to fold.
It’s funny how this tournament plays way differently than any online tournament. Online, I would never try to find a hero fold, if you got it you got it. And if I lose my chips, it’s easy to click the next tournament and try again. But here, the field is so soft, sometimes it’s better to just hero fold and make sure you live to fight another day. And of course, I didn’t want to disappoint my sponsor AwardPool by calling off my stack light and bust on the first day.
The thing that worked best for me on day 1, was 3-betting and c-betting to pick up small pots. Or playing late position vs blinds, and bluffing in small pots on 1 or 2 streets to pick it up.
Ended the day with losing most big pots (with premium hands) and winning a ton of small pots to keep my stack alive. 53k of chips at the end of day 1D, even though we started with 60k.
The second day my table draw was a bit worse. The first guy that sat down, recognized my Lazy Lion hoodie and AwardPool sponsor. Easy to conclude, he was into NFTs. Funny enough, when people are into crypto or NFTs very often they are pro poker players. When I asked his name, I found out he was the runner-up of the main event back in 2012, taking down $5 Million.
Within the first 30 minutes, the players around me were all talking about mixed game poker, and poker lingo. Great, a table full of pros.
I picked up a few premium hands and won a small all-in with QQ vs JJ. However, shortly after someone made a straight vs my 2 pair, which cost me 40-45% of my stack.
The day continued like that, where I went up and down between 120k and 40k. With blind levels of 2 hours and very small increments, this isn’t a big deal. Even if I drop down to 10BB, I still have a stack that I can play with. I never got that low, at my lowest I was around 35bb, so I was in full grind mode. Trying to steal the blinds when I could, or squeeze out opponents to take down pots pre-flop.
Every once in a while I would get a premium hand, and either win or lose a medium pot.
Right before the last blind level of the day, I’m sitting with about 45BB’s. One more level till we break day 2 and I get to battle again on day 3. That’s when I pick up QQ on the HJ. Everyone folds to me, and I raise it up to 2.2 BB. The BTN 3-bets me to 7BB, a new player who sat down a few hands before with a huge stack. The big blind looks at his cards and 4-bets to 18BB. I double-check my hand, to make sure I really have Queens, I do, so here we go. All-in. It was the first time in the tournament I put my life at stake. The first time I was all-in for all my chips.
The BTN quickly folds his hand. The big blind rolls his eyes and sighs. He seems unhappy. Great! At this point, I’m hoping he either folds, so I pick up 25BB without having to run a board. Or if he does make the call he’s likely to have JJ or TT, which I’m 80% favorite against. After about a minute, he unhappily throws in more chips in the pot, which means he calls. I show my Queens, and he turns over AKo. It’s a flip! Board runs K J 9 7 A.
That was it for me. The first time my life was on the line, first flip in 2 days and 20 hours of poker, just to lose it and go home. But that’s poker. You need to play well, focus on making good decisions. But the cards have to favor you sometimes. I was lucky on day 1 with my table drawing, but unlucky on day 2.
If I did win the flip, I would have about 100BB going into day 3. Which is a very good spot to make it into day 4 (which is where the money starts). Still, this what-if game doesn’t matter. As in poker, anything can happen.
It was a great experience to play and I’ll be back next year to try again. Met a bunch of my friends who traveled to Vegas to play the main as well. Some that I lived with in the past in countries like New Zealand or Colombia, others that I know from The Netherlands or Mexico. These events draw in players from all over the world. Even though we’re all far from home, it still feels like home for all of us. We play in an environment we’re used to and run into familiar faces every day.
Also had a chance to meet up with some business partners and ran into some crypto celebs like BitBoy Crypto. So all in all, it was a great trip.
Last Chance For Free NFT with AwardPool
As you might have noticed. I ran a few giveaways during my event. I gave away some percentages of my event. Although I ended up winning $0, the people who won those giveaways were happily surprised and supportive.
On top of that, I’m also giving away free poker NFTs together with AwardPool.
If you collect 500 points you can claim your Free NFT in the store. If you don’t manage to get to 500 points with my campaign, just head to the other campaigns AwardPool has active to complete some tasks to get to 500. It takes about 1 minute of your time, and you get to claim a cool NFT for free.
Not bad right?
Just follow this link and you’ll figure it out.
Thanks again for all the support and I’ll be back soon with more NFT and crypto content! The last stretches of the bull market are here. So it’s time to capitalize and take profits. Are you ready for that?