Annual 2015 WSOP Tunica Trip Recap

For the fourth year in-a-row, a contingent of players from our local “home game” group made the annual trek to Tunica, MS to play in one (or more) WSOP Circuit events.

I struggled with the title for this blog, finally settling on the generic “Annual 2015 WSOP Tunica Trip Recap” instead of some of these alternatives: “How to play like a Donk”, “The Most Bizarre Tournament (because of my play) I’ve ever played in”, and “How to almost get banned from WSOP tournaments for Life” – more on this later.

Anyway, for various reasons, we had a much smaller group than normal make the trip this year. Our “core group” only consisted of six players: Choo, the twins – Derrick & Erick, Brad, Paul, and myself. We did run across quite a few other players that we know, including: Maurice, Eddie, Chase & Mike and their group from Clarksville, Scott and his son Levi, and several other players from our local area.  In the past couple of years, we’ve had 15-20 people make the trip.

Our crew headed to Tunica about midday on Thursday so we could play in the Horseshoe’s Thursday night $70 Bounty tournament, which is always a nice way to warm-up for the WSOP tourneys.  But, to our dismay, when we arrived at the ‘Shoe, we found out they had suspended their regular tournaments while the WSOP Circuit was in town.  So, a few of us played in the WSOP $65 Satellites and $135 Tournaments.

In a Thursday night $135 tournament, Derrick and Erick began play at the same table; however, they didn’t play together very long, as Derrick knocked Erick out the fourth hand when he had T-T and Erick had 4-4. They “got it all-in” on the flop of A-T-4, and Derrick’s set-over-set sent Erick looking for another game.  Derrick eventually finished in fourth place out of 148 players, for a $1,320 payout.

Choo and I opted to play 4/8 Omaha Hi/Lo in The Horseshoe poker room instead of WSOP tourneys. My second hand I turned the nut flush for the high hand and had A-2 for nut low hand to scoop about a $130 pot. As other players busted out of the WSOP games, the cash games in the poker room became much busier.  At one point I think there were about 38-40 cash game tables going, with about a two hour waiting list.

On Friday, our group-of-six played in the noon $365 WSOP Tournament. we each put in $20 for a Last-Man-Standing side pot. Five of us began the tournament out 12:00 noon, but Erick decided to spend the first couple of rounds in his room barfing (it remains to be seen if he was still recovering from being knocked-out by his brother the night before, or if it was something he ate).  Choo was the first one out, about an hour-and-a-half into the tourney. Erick should have probably stayed in his room (or should I say bathroom), as he was out about 45 minutes later. Derrick was next out around 4:15, and then Paul shortly followed by Brad, busted; with both lasting almost until the 6:45 dinner break.

So, at the dinner break, I was the last-man-standing in our group, and was $120 richer (hopefully – if these deadbeats will pay off ;) ). By-the-way, for players in the WSOP tournaments, they offer discounted buffet tickets and front-of-the line privileges.  I know you’re not supposed to eat a heavy meal while playing, but it was Seafood Buffet night!

Just after dinner break, the blinds were 800/1600 with 200 antes. My stack was exactly 26,100. There were 90 players left, and 45 places would be paid. I had been “card dead” for awhile, but had been patient. About an hour later, and still having been card dead, I finally picked up 8-8, and shoved. With no callers, I got the blinds and antes. The very next hand, I was dealt Q-Q, and shoved again; and again didn’t have any callers. Then, in three-out-of-four of the next hands I had: 8-8, 7-7, and A-A. I didn’t shove with these hands, but folded the Seven’s after the flop, and doubled-up with the Aces when I raised and a player with 9-9 went all in and I called.  He spiked a 9 on the River, but it gave me a straight.

Author’s Update on 2/2: I had an “eagle eye” reader point out [correctly] that a 9 on the River would not have given me a straight. I apparently got the hand slightly mixed up. I do recall that he hit a 9 giving him a set, so I thought I had lost the hand. But, the dealer and a couple of players pointed-out at the end of the hand that I had a straight. Maybe the 9 was actually on the Turn and a 10 was on the River.

So, now for an explanation of my alternative titles for this blog: After reading my explanations, you’ll probably be trying to determine how to get me to play in your home game, since fish are almost always welcome. But, I promise I’m not as much of an idiot/donk as it sounds (close, but still not as bad) – at least, that’s what I tell myself.

Here goes:

1) After a few rounds, I was in a hand with A-4, in the Big Blind, I think. After some betting preflop and on the flop, with one other player and myself in the hand, it was checked down. The board was A-K-5-5-x. He showed A-Q and I mucked, thinking I lost. An instant after my cards hit the muck, I realized it was a chop – but, too late. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want the other players to realize how bad I was