The first hand of the 1500 PLO 6 max I held 77xx in the big blind. An old dude limped first in three handed, the button folded, small blind wasn’t there yet, I checked my option, and flopped middle set on a lovely board. I check raised the guy, blasted the turn, boated up on the river and collected another big bet. Hey, I might have a shot here. PLO is my worst game, and I was actively trying to recall the advice my friend Billy has shared. I spewed everything I earned in that first hand back trying to do so, and finally when I realized two pair in PLO is like one pair in NLHE I started figuring things out. I had heaps throughout the day, we hit the money to end the night, and with 36 left I was seventh in chips.
I had 20k more than my entire table combined for day two. I felt like I played well but I couldn’t get much going, eventually dwindling to one of the short stacks with two tables remaining. I held on til the pay jump from 9th to 8th but then I flopped top two when he flopped the straight and that was all she wrote.
It’s been a while since I’ve been that close to a bracelet, and it thoroughly salivated me. The first time didn’t really matter since it was the employees event, the second time I got hosed and that sucked but I thought this world series final table thing was an annual event. I’ve learned through the maturation of my career that it’s really fucking difficult to book a top ten finish in the WSOP, and I’m quite disappointed with my 8th place finish this time around. I didn’t think a bracelet would ever matter to me as much as I feel like it does now, but it feels like a quest at this point and I cannot wait until next summer so I can get back on it.
On to the European Main Event, I really wanted to make a run in this thing too. I had a tough starting table and was pleased to chip up to 75k through day 1. My day 2 table wasn’t so good but was scheduled to break soon. It did shortly into the first level, and then I was moved to a table where I knew everybody. If Jen Harmon is the worst player at your table then you’re in the wrong game. There wasn’t anything I could do about it though, and toward the end of the first level they informed us that we would be moving to the live streaming table. Can’t say I blame them really. They then filled the the empty seat to my left, and none other than Ben Lamb takes it. We made jokes about tv tables being rigged and such, I managed to continue chipping up, and then busted Bruno Benvunesti winning a flip.
That marked the end of things going well though. It took squeezing maximum value out of two fours on AK8, 3, 3 and making an ace high calldown to maintain my stack the following level. All the good players busted to bad ones, the only people left from the 9 sickos assembled in level two was myself, Matt Waxman, and Brian Roberts. They were bored with us, we were moved back to the regular room during dinner, and afterwards my stack continued to decline. Finally our table broke and my new table was amazing. First hand I saw a flop five ways with 78dd, flopped the straight draw in position, was checked to, bet, and got called in two spots. I bricked and didn’t bluff at it again, I may have won the pot if I tried. Second hand I opened AJo, got re-raised by the button, stacks were perfect to 4b shove so I did, he called with AK, and I was out. I felt disgusted in myself for punting 35bbs at the best table in the room, but all I could do was go drinking at the local pub.
After moving across the harbor we’ve moved pubs too, to the sister bar of Morrison’s called Le Quay’s. The bartender from the previous night was having a pint, figured out I was a poker player based on the bracelets I was wearing last night, and we had a good chat. Speaking of those bracelets, they’re the dumbest thing ever. To enter the hotel or casino you must be wearing one. They verify that your ID has been checked and you’re actually over 18. Then to enter the tournament area you must be wearing the specific bracelet for that tournament. It’s never been necessary in any other tournament I’ve played. And they’re annoying to wear. And waiting in line to get them is lame. And if bartenders are figuring out that green bracelet = poker player, so can thieves, and as it turns out poker players often carry sizable sums of cash on them, especially when at tournaments.
So we had a good night drinking. Hit the sack. I spent the whole next day drafting magic online and chilling out while Cory adventured to Nice. She came back for dinner, I wanted to play the 330 PLO tournament at 10pm, got there in time, and was informed that it started at 8pm. Whooops. We went drinking again, first at Le Quay’s, then to Morrison’s to catch open mic night, and found many of my favorite peole there. Mike Watson won the 5k turbo, bringing his week’s profit to over 200k euro (atta boy!), and we were celebrating. One of the bartenders from Le Quay’s was there, he met some chick, she’s going to USC and couldn’t believe that I had gone there, they made out, and then she freaked. Have you been safe? Should I be worried? Do you have mono? Turns out she’s 18 and not very experienced at things. Good luck in LA girl.
The next day was the 880 deepstack event. I showed up an hour late cause I didn’t want to play 25-50 with 20k stacks. The structure was excellent containing every level at 40 minutes each. I ended the day 2nd in chips with 29 left, crushed people heading into the final table bringing 600k of the 2.4 million in play with me 10 handed, got it in pretty happily four times, was behind every time, lost them all, and busted 8th. Ugh. I collected 3k euro for my efforts making the trip basically breakeven.
After busto we went walking seeking food and then drinks. We headed up the hill toward Le Castre, an old fort turned museum. Wandering up ancient cobblestone streets I was concerned that we wouldn’t find food, but Cory had a place in mind and was convinced that it would be open. It was, we found Scott Seiver and his grandparents inside, and were immediately blasted with a helluva dining experience. We were never handed menus, but instead had our champagne glasses filled, salad, pate, miniature pickles, bread, and salami placed in front of us. Our waiter then explained that we will have a 2nd course of rattatouie and a main course that we need to choose. We must also select a bottle of wine. I went with the quail and she chose the lamb, he recommended a bottle of red that was fantastic, and all the food kicked ass. Somewhere in the course of dinner the staff broke into music, two guitars, a harp, bongos, shakers, and they all sang. It was Spanish, I knew what they were singing about, and it was fantastic. We then had dessert, and when we finally received the bill it was 37 euros each. We robbed them! The place was called Les Independents or something like that and is a must do in Cannes. Gaston Gastounette was the best meal we had but over two hundred euro more expensive too.
We then walked to the final table, got there just after Brian Roberts busted, and then walked back to Le Quai. I was gifted two decks of cards and a staff shirt. Jason the bartender made sure to indicate it was authentic, I’m pretty sure he indicated that he didn’t wash it, and I felt like I should have peeled off my final table shirt like we were exchanging football (aka soccer) jerseys. One deck is high quality plastic Jameson cards, the other is French and the neatest deck I’ve ever seen. Aces are “1″, kings are “R”, queens “D”, and jacks are some other letter I can’t remember right now.
We had a rough morning obviously, hired a car to take us to Sanremo, and I wrote most of this blog on the ride over. We’re back at the airport in Nice now where I finished it, have internet around my laptop for the first time since Cannes, and will write about Sanremo on the flight home.
Peace and good luck,