Binion's looks nice since they reopened the place. I got there early at noon to play in the daily satellites. I came in 4th out of 10 in a single table tournament. $125 was the buy-in. The winner got $1000 in Tournament chips... good towards the next round of the shootout or to use in any 2004 WSoP event. My table was a mixture of a few tourists and Binion's locals, otherwise known as sharks.
The Players:The young kid wore sunglasses and a grey hooded sweatshirt just like the Unabomber. My first reactions to that guy... "what a tool". Every one started out with $1000 in chips.
Seat 1: Old Japanese Guy
Seat 2: Rich Local = Mr. Big Shot
Seat 3: Crazy British Guy
Seat 4: Young Dorky Kid a.k.a. Unabomber Wannabe
Seat 5: Elderly Black Guy
Seat 6: Old White Guy
Seat 7: Midwestern Tourist
Seat 8: NJ Tourist
Seat 9: Pauly
Seat 10: Local Pro
Level 1... With AK in late position, bring in $200 raise and win the pot uncontested. Two guys are knocked out quickly, including Mr. Big Shot, who had a stack of $100 bulging out of all of his pockets. AK was ko'd by AQ. K-10 out drew QQ. The underdogs were winning heads up at my table and I am 6 out of 8th.
Level 2... I'm the little blind with A7 and it's folded to me. The BB (local pro) is short stacked so I raise to put him all-in. He has 4-4 and I lost the race. He tells me right afterwards that he has one WSoP bracelet for a Stud event in 1998.
Level 3... I'm shortstacked with T300 and go all-in UTG with J7s against the Unabomber wannabe. I flopped a flush and triple up with T900. He said, "I knew it. I never should have called. You're getting all the cards. You're Mr. Lucky today. You should go to the track."
Level 4... I call a shortstacked crazy British guy all-in with A8s. He went all-in preflop, and I knew he was a loose player. Even if he had a small pair, I knew I had two overcards. I flopped an ace to beat his 8-8. I'm the chip leader out of 5 left. The other locals said I was lucky he didn't try to hit me or flip over the table. Two things he had done to tourists in the previous six months.
Level 5... The NJ tourist to my right has been loose. He's the button and raised. I put him all in because I have KQs. Of course I misread his play... a button raise... because he had AA! I was fucked. The flop: K-10-Q! What a miracle flop! Holy Jesus! Everyone watching on the rail was shaking their heads. I heard, "That kid's getting every flop! He's hitting everything today!" Yeah, I had been catching cards like that all day. Alas, they spoke too soon. I got proper fucked on the river when a 10 hit... NJ guy had a higher two pair A & 10s and I had just K & Qs. I was fifth out of 5.... and not happy about my misplay, the second mistake of the tourney for me.
Level 6... The blinds are 300/600 and I found A7s on the button, with just four players left: me, NJ guy, Unabomber wannabe and the old black guy. The black guy is the BB and took several minutes to call me with J-10o. He told me afterwards that he never would have made that move but since the level was over after the hand (the timer went off as the dealer was dealing the hand), he decided to take a gamble. He won the pot with a river straight.... and I got busted in 4th place. I blew my shot... especially because I was catching cards and flops and reading everyone perfectly (aside from the misplay against pocket Aces). Sure, I wasn't the best player at the table. I would have put me at 5 or 6th in skill level... so I guess I should be content with the 4th place bust out, espeically since I had been getting my ass kicked all week.
My brother was playing one at a different table and he came in 3rd! I expect he'll submit a writeup soon. I was super impressed with his run. He also ran into pocket Aces on a button raise and fell for it... he lost to a monster flop: A-Q-Q.
Overall, I'm a better player than last year at the same time. But in 2003, I came in 2nd place... in the same satellite and I had no clue what I was doing then! Oh well... if I hadn't taken such a hit on my bankroll at the time and didn't have to meet NYC Poker Babe at the Bellagio, I would have played in another one. But one was enough.
In the next week or so, I'll play ina few WSoP qualifiers on Party Poker.