Today marked a milestone for me in my ever continuing quest to become a better poker player. Why? Because today - Friday, June 20th - I won my first ever "anything" at the WSOP. It was only a single table sit and go for a $175 buy-in, but considering my showing last year this was great! In the end I chopped the prize with another player, but I had commitments to meet and was very confident I could have taken him down as I had already eaten into his chip stack several times and he only got even by taking out the 3rd place finisher garnering close to 3000 chips to make him just barely the chip leader.
I must admit I was a bit nervous out of the gate, but settled in after I entered my first pot eventually folding my pocket sixes to an unfavorable board of over cards and a sizeable bet from another player. I believe that my table image was that of a weaker player as I folded more than once from the blinds and finally annouced my presence during my second hand when I was dealt A-K in the 25-50 blinds under the gun and raised to 350 leaving me 400. I had one call from an aggressive player and the flop came A-Q-5. I pushed all in for the rest of my chips and the other player tried to get me to talk to him about my cards. I eventually told him, "you don't have the nuts to call me" and after another couple comments from him I told him "to stop putting on a show and fold", which he did. This put me back in the game and from there I took down some sizeable pots avoiding trouble I typically find myself in by limiting my starting hand range based on position and making several moves once I had established my image as a solid player that didn't play junk.
I proved to myself today that I can play with just about anyone and more importantly know what I am doing. It is funny because just prior to entering the tournament today I was questioning my abilities and this went a long way towards building up my self confidence.
If you are coming to the WSOP this year with Team API, or on your own and have never been here before take the time to chat with those of us that have so you don't feel overwhelmed when you first enter a tournament. We all want to win and I know the skill of many of the players in API is good.
Here is to more winning stories for us at the 39th WSOP.