alrighty, decided this one was good enough for a thread of its own. let us gogogo.
the day before the event, a friend of mine flew in from vegas to cheer me on. unfortunately, huskiez, a 2p2er who got me started in the first place was held up because of damn medical school rotations, and so he could not make the final table.
i first went to the bellagio for a haircut, it was the most expensive haircut i had at like 70 bucks, i personally didn't think it was a good job, but what else was i going to do at that point, i was going to be on tv, and i needed to look decent, i suppose.
we went to the interview for espn, where they took like 80 bajillion shots of me at a table with chips, and then i had an interview with lon. the interview i guess wasn't too spectacular, cause i guess i just told them a very straightforward explanation of what i thought about the game, instead of like OMG I'M THE BEST, OBV.
afterwards, i didn't do anything too crazy, i went back and had some dinner, checking online what the betting lines were. apparently, i was 9-1 to win it all, not bad considering i had around 6.7m chips, which was less than the total chips in play. my apparent EV was around 3.6m, but the numbers, i couldn't even fathom at this time. right now, i had only one goal, to win.
i met my parents and my sister later that day, as they had just flew in from ny into las vegas. being a christian, my mother was not too pleased about my outing in las vegas, as she firmly believed gambling was a sin. she didn't want me playing any more poker, regardless of what happened. i'm still sort of split on the issue, i guess i felt it was more about the fun and the thrill of the game rather than getting caught up in the money involved. they stayed in a palms room i reserved for them, and i hung out with them briefly before going back to my own room.
thinking on the final table accomplishment, i won't lie, i got caught up in the moment of glory. i had my fair share of insecurity problems growing up, so this was a moment where i could step back and be like, "yeah, i made it" to all the haters that f-ed me over throughout the years. lame, i know, but that's how i honestly felt for a bit.
a tangible example of this was when i had interviewed for a big consulting firm earlier (not the one i'm currently at), and had put poker in my resume that i got rejected from. i think they scoffed at that, because i heard one of my friends at that company write an email to his coworkers saying, "hey remember that guy who said he played poker in his resume? well yeah, he's now at the final table in the WSOP main event."
the day of the final table started later than other days, at 2pm instead of noon. we all were there, and before we got to sitting down, we went to the palazzo suites in the rio hotel. they gave us all the diamond encrusted corum watches to look at, as well as samsung ESPN aces as a free cell phone with a year of free service. not a bad deal to make the final table. they also told us that whoever won would get to spend a week or something in the suites, which were pretty much amazing, with its own conference room, dining room, two master bedrooms, a huge bathroom, very pimp.
we then proceeded to walk back to the final table, unbagging our chips and restacking them for the last time. there were introductions a plenty, and it was kind of weird, cause i knew all my friends and whatever were watching now, live, due to the ppv telecast.
after the dust finally settled, after hachem gave his speech, we started to play.
seat 1: richard lee
seat 2: erik friberg
seat 3: paul wasicka
seat 4: dan nassif
seat 5: allen cunningham
seat 6: michael binger
seat 7: me
seat 8: jamie gold
seat 9: rhett butler
blinds 80/160 ante 20
first hand, i pick up AJo in the HJ, so i bump it up to 480. jamie pops it back on the button, and it folds to me. i fold, not too happy about losing the first hand that quickly.
next hand, i pick up 77 in the LP, and again i open to 480. rhett butler calls, and richard lee pops it back to 2 million. wtf...i folded again and rhett folded again. two hands, down 1 million, and haven't even seen a flop...
i decide to lay low after that, and wait for a bone crusher to destroy someone with. after a few hands, jamie limps early position, and nassif bumps it to 700k. jamie calls, obv. jamie checks dark.
flop 235, and nassif moves in and gold calls with a set, obv.
a couple hands later, i limp behind a couple limpers and gold limps
flop J25, i lead out around 400k, gold calls.
turn comes offsuit 7. i check, gold bets 700k, i call, planning to snap off most rivers.
river comes Q. i think for like 5 seconds, and move in for a little less than pot. gold looks at his cards, and says, you're good, and mucks. ugh.
a few hands later, i open again with KQ on the button. rhett butler repops to 1.2m. i'm thinking wtf, do ppl ALWAYS have a hand against me? i make a bad call and it goes to the flop.
flop A93 rainbow. butler moved in, and i fold, sigh.
however, after this hand, i go on a small rush, barring the big hands that i stayed out of (allen vs. gold with trips, friberg vs. gold with straight) i take down a number of small pots, and build my stack back up. it all comes down again however, as i constantly get outflopped.
then came my greatest moment in the tournament.
blinds 100/200 ante 30
allen pops it to 600k, and i call with KQo, jamie calls behind.
flop 335 rainbow
allen bets 1m. i think to myself, i'm just going to outplay this guy, this time, this hand, and i float. jamie tanks for a bit, but folds. turn is an offsuit 7, and allen now checks. i go ahead and fire 1.5m with 3m behind. allen folds, and i'm like omg, i just attained poker immortality since this hand will definitely be on tv. (it wasn't) and i'm up to 7.8m, very niiiiiiice.
a few hands later, friberg gets it all in against gold with JJ vs. QQ. w00t another 400k in the bank. soon after, binger gets it all in vs. cunningham on QJ8 flop AT vs AQ. i'm thinking PLZ ONE TIME HOLD UP DADDY NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES, but looking calm. (although i said i wasn't playing to move up in pay spots, but for first, if the chance that someone was going to get knocked out arose, it wasn't like i wasn't going to root for that to happen) unforch, a king pops on the turn, and binger stays alive. wah, no auto 6th. at this point the chip counts were as follows:
Jamie Gold $37,000,000
Richard Lee $20,000,000
Allen Cunningham $11,200,000
Doug Kim $7,300,000
Paul Wasicka $6,600,000
Rhett Butler $4,200,000
Michael Binger $3,200,000
at this point, wasicka starts to go on a heater. an orbit or so after doubling through binger, he raises UTG to 700k. i decide to repop to 2.1m with J8o. he moves in for 4.2m more. barf. i posture to save some face, and then fold.
about an orbit later wasicka makes it 700k to go UTG again. this time, i decide to just call with 99. he had been getting in so many pots and staying aggressive, i decided to snap him off with a good flop.
wasicka bets 1m, i think, then i shove for around 2.7m more. he insta calls and i get a sick feeling in my stomach. he turns over...queens.
at this point i try to look for anything to save me. the turn came a Js putting three spades on the board, do i have a spade? no...red nines, great. two outs in the deck, was the magical tour over? i looked in agony as the 7s hit the felt. it was done. it was over. and just like that, my quest of bringing down jamie gold and bringing ultimate glory to 2p2 and MSNL ended.