Monday, July 13, 2009

2009 WSOP, Day 47: Deep Thoughts

Deep ThoughtsI was off yesterday -- my last day off this summer -- and so spent the day resting and following the coverage of Day 5 of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event over on PokerNews.

Actually went and ran a couple of miles on the treadmill yesterday, too, despite being tired from having gone Saturday for a late night poker session with a friend in town, likely my last such of the summer. Didn’t go so well for yr humble gumshoe, so I end on a sour note as far as live play goes. But then on Sunday I actually played online for a decent stretch, and killed. (Maybe I’m transitioning back to being an online-only player again?)

Was fairly compelling following the PN blog and seeing who was building the big stacks, who was hanging in there, and who was dropping out as they whittled the field down to 185 yesterday. I realized at one point that there was almost 195 million chips in play, meaning that now that if yr sitting there with a million chips yr below average.

You thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’? These stacks are friggin’ deep.

In addition to PokerNews’ coverage, I was following the PokerRoad Nation tweets, too. Early in the day, Joe Sebok -- who survived to return for tomorrow’s Day 6 -- tossed out what I thought was an interesting observation via his very popular Twitter feed @joesebok:
Joe Sebok“No hands. 230k. 265 players. People are dropping like flies...they're focused on the average and not their stack in relation to the blinds.”

If you followed the coverage on PokerNews you saw reports of several hands which exemplified what Sebok is talking about -- hands with crazily big pots in which players were inexplicably racing for their tournament life at the price of over 100 big blinds (or more).

Just to give one example, Donnie reported a hand between Tom Lutz and Warren Zackey from the latter part of the day and titled the post “Flipping for Four Million.” In that one, Lutz and Zackey bet, raised, and reraised each other on a 9c6c3d flop to the point where Lutz was all in for 1.85 million, and Zackey had only 300,000 behind. Lutz had AcQc for a flush draw, and Zackey had TdTc. The tens held up, and Lutz was eliminated in 214th place.

As Donnie pointed out in his post, each player had more that 150 big blinds in his stack at the time! (Blinds were 6,000/12,000.)

I remember witnessing a lot of this last year with 100-200 left -- that is, players merrily getting it all in with over 100 big blinds preflop in what were obviously race situations at best -- and wondering why this sort of thing tended to happen. And of course this year, since players started with “triple stacks” of 30,000, the stacks are even deeper, making it seem even less necessary to be gambling so recklessly.

Easy for me to say, I know, standing on the sidelines like I am. There’s definitely a kind of nervous energy that pushes some players towards the Degree All in Moment a little more quickly than might be recommended. Maybe it’s the cameras, or the money, or just the fact that it is the biggest poker tournament on the planet.

Whatever the cause, it sure makes this stretch of the tournament that much more exciting to watch.

Joe Sebok's Chip StackWhen play resumes today, it will be Level 21, with blinds 8,000/16,000 and 2,000 antes. The average stack is a little over 1.05 million. But Sebok’s point still holds -- the average stack will be 65 big blinds. He returns today with a slightly below average stack just shy of a million. That picture to the left there is of Sebok’s chip stack from late in the day yesterday. He snapped that and sent out the pic via Twitter.

How does his stack look? Indeed, it’s all a matter of perspective.

I believe the idea today will be to play down to 100 (or thereabouts), then down to 27 on Tuesday, then down to nine on Wednesday. Hard to tell just how quickly it will go, although we might be looking at a short day today, a standard length (i.e., five level) day tomorrow, and a long one on Wednesday.

I say Wednesday might be long because when they get down to 10 players left, the average stack will be close to 20 million. Let's say we're at Level 31 when that happens, where the blinds are 80,000/160,000 and the antes 20,000. (We may be further along than that -- it’s hard to predict.) That would make the average chip stack 125 big blinds deep. Which I would think would mean deep into the night we will go.

There’s gotta be some point between now and early Thursday morning where the rate of bustouts is going to slow down considerably. Not sure where that’s going to happen, but you’d think it’s going to be inevitable.

Unless, of course, everybody keeps flipping for four million. Then eight million. Then twenty million. Which could happen, too, I guess.

Come see how it all plays out over at PokerNews’ live reporting page.

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Blogger JMF said...

Have enjoyed your posts. Is there any further info on Jimmy Fricke's 400K pot a few days ago that crippled him? He said that it was the most amazing live hand he had ever played and that the floor made him turn over his hand after he called a river bet.

7/13/2009 1:30 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thanks Tampa Bay Fail.

Listen to the 7/11/09 episode of Poker Road Radio -- Fricke tells the whole story about that hand. Was unfortunate for him, but a very entertaining story the way he tells it.

7/13/2009 2:35 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

yea thanks for the posts

7/14/2009 5:45 AM  

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