With the WSOP in Vegas fast approaching, it's time to reflect on Paul Farmer's amazing efforts at last year's WSOP and what it takes to compete with the big boys...
As many of you have probably seen, I made it back from Las Vegas, unfortunately without any big prize money. I did experience lots of big tournament play, played against some world-class professionals and had an amazing time.
My trip started with a day of wandering around in jet-lagged awe, lights, sounds, smells, cheers and jeers. Someone is always winning big. The first week was spent playing practice tournaments and this was invaluable experience for the Main event.
I am seated at a table that has 2009 WSOP $1500 bracelet holder & 2009 Card player of the year, Eric Baldwin, amongst a mix of other professionals and enthusiasts. We start with 30,000 in chips, and I was still trying to believe I was playing in the main event. Initial discussion with fellow players outs the pros and the amateurs, I was very cautious and watching to see how the others were playing and the pace is extremely slow. First few bets and the pros take turns re-raising me to see what my game is like. Win some and fold a few. Within a few hours they are telling me Iím playing ok. I cannot stress how slow the pace of the game is, constant concentration is required and is very exhausting . 2 hour long blind levels when I am used to 10-15 minutes. I make it through Day 1 with 39000. Not bad but not good. The website lists me as being from Sydney Austria. Americans are very nice but geography is not their strong point.
This time I start the day with 2 WSOP bracelet holders at the table. Both of them from this year. $1500 event; Athanasios Polychronopoulos (Try saying that three times fast with a mouthful of chips) & Tyler Bonkowski ($3000 limit Hold íem). At first the two shrug off suggestions they are who the table suspects. An iPhone confirms it to which Tyler quickly replies, ďHis event was harder than mine!Ē
A very tough day, no good cards and less luck. I was losing every pot I played. By the dinner break I am down to 15,000, and expect I will be at the bar drowning my sorrows before the next break. One of the tables also had be sitting near Steve Brecher.
Two double up thanks to pocket Kings (thatís getting dealt a pair of kings) and few stolen pots when I was moved to new tables has me right back up to 129,000 and little overexcited. I finish the day with 79,000. Very relieved and newly excited again.
I find myself one table away from starting on the TV feature table, and two tables away from Brad Garrett (The brother from everyone loves Raymond) who is wise cracking and attracting attention of the TV cameras.
Iím also short-stacked at my table which is a distinct disadvantage. Barely a few laps of the table have completed in Iím under the gun and with QQ. My raise is called, the flop is all low and after my bet is raised I figure now is the time to make an all-in move. Snap called by AA, neither of us hits and my tournament is over. Talk about mixed emotions. From a field of approx 6800, I came around 1860th(. 1864 players started day 3 and I was close to that.
All I can say is Vegas is amazing, and I hope to make it back there many times. Sponsors welcome.