I decided to play in one of the threeday long, $1,500 buy-in, no-limit hold'em events at the 2007 World Series of Poker. The fields are massive and range anywhere from 2,400 to 3,000 players.
I survived the first day of play in that event, and also cashed, finishing 119 out of 2,778 players. 7-2 offsuit: I bluffed at a pot with 7-2 offsuit, a hand also known as the Hammer. "Raise," I said and tossed in 700 from the button. The big blind defended. The flop was Kh-Qc-3s. He checked and I bet 1,500. He called. The turn was the 6c. He checked. I bet 2,000. He folded and I showed 7s-2h. That hand put me past the 10,000 mark.
7c-7h: I doubled up against C.K. Hua with 7c-7h. I raised 2,100 from the cutoff. C.K. Hua jammed for 7,100. Everyone else folded. I tried to put him on a range of hands. C.K. Hua could have had any two cards. If he had big cards, I was risking my tournament life on a coin flip. If he had a small pair, I was way ahead. If C.K. Hua woke up to a monster I was screwed.
Big time pro versus me. Time to make a stand. That's why people play in these events, right? The chance to take down a professional. That's when I noticed a swarm of media surrounding the table. If I busted, the world would know about in within ninety seconds. No fear. Sometimes you have to be willing to lose everything to get ahead in life.
I moved all in and C.K. Hua quickly called. I showed him my Sevens. He showed Ad-Jc. We both stood up as the dealer put out the flop. I was still in the lead. On the turn C.K. Hua picked up a gutshot. The river was a blank and I doubled up. I was stunned. I couldn't move. It took me twice as long to stack my chips because my hands were shaking. I was above average up to 23K. Ah-As: I made Day Two and made the money. Just before Day One ended, I was moved to a table with Erica Schoenberg, Men the Master, Action Bob Hwang, and Robert Chueng-the eventual bracelet winner of this tournament. I found pocket aces under the gun. I bet 5,500 with the blinds at 1,000-2,000 and 300 antes. If I shoved, I'd get no action. However, with Chueng and Men the Master in the blinds, I figured they would call that bet no matter what they held, unless they sniffed me out for aces.
Everyone folded to Men in the small blind. He called, as did Cheung in the big blind. The flop was Ad-9h-4d. Men checked and Chueng fired out 12,000. I peeked at my cards to make sure that I flopped a set. I moved all in for about 25,000. Men stared at the flop before he tossed his cards into the muck. Cheung looked down at his cards, played with his chips for about ten seconds, then folded. I was up to 46,000.
Ad-9d: With 30,000 left, I found Ad-9d at the cutoff. Erica Schoenberg raised 9,000. I figured that I might be able to push her off that hand if I moved all in. Erica is a solid player and doesn't mess around playing a lot of garbage hands, but I hoped that her tight image might allow me to persuade her to fold after I shoved all in. No such luck. She called as she tabled 9c-9s. The flop was Qd-5c-4d. I picked up a flush draw. The turn was the 3c and I picked more outs with a gutshot straight draw. The river was the 8c. I missed all of my draws and my run at the WSOP. I finished in 119 place and took home $4,740 for my first serious cash in a major tournament.
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