The Rio Hotel is swarming with people of all descriptions, ages, origins, ethnicities and languages. Russian, Spanish, German and other lingos waft through every room and hallway. Thanks to my NLOP buy in I make my way to my assigned seat at the very last corner table. I like it as it’s far away from the hoopla of the ESPN feature table where a rowdy group of Italian fans are shouting soccer chants in support of whomever. So we’re in a quiet corner and I am pleased to see that the players seem like regular guys. The dealer was graciously welcoming and I settled in. Daniel Negreanu spoke and shouted out “Shuffle up and deal!” Wham we’re playing. I had resolved to play tight, no Ace rag, no suited connectors, no KJ. Only premium hands that I can call a re-raise with, pre-flop. I noticed after about 30 minutes (2 hour levels are nice!), that no one is really aggressive so it’s a comfortable game. One player plays every hand and fortunately called my turn and river bets with his pocket 3’s into my set of aces, he even called my preflop 4x raise. He was out by 2pm!
At first it was nerve wracking but as time went on things got more comfortable. My pocket Jacks became a set and busted Aces, that was sweet! He called check raise on flop and the turn and made a crying call on the river! 20,000 chip pot in the first hour!
I gradually seesawed my way up to about 99,000 chips and finished the day at 92,100. About 1400 of 1900 players are moving on to day two. Blinds are going up and stealing them once a round will become critical so that any hands won can improve the chip stack. I didn’t ever get the nuts, so I am looking for that to happen today so I can make it up to the average or better as the day progresses.
It’s an amazing experience to actually be able to be here after it’s been on my list for almost 20 years!
Hans J Werner