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Thursday, May 26, 2005 

Getting there is half the battle...

It's official. I have won my entry into the 2005 World Series of Poker main event. Thank you PokerStars!

Happened Sunday night in the wee hours of the morning. Earlier that day I entered a satellite tournament on PokerStars. Paid $5.00 entry fee to participate in a tournament which if won, gains one entry into a $160 double shootout for the world series of poker main event entry. This satellite consists of a last man standing format in that as individuals loose all of their chips on a table, they are eliminated from the tournament. This particular tournament allowed for unlimited rebuys in the first hour and one add on at the first break. Rebuy meaning purchasing additional chips for $5.00 when you run out for the first hour, and an addon meaning you can add on additional chips one last time at that first break. I added on just the one time and played a fairly solid tournament. Ended up with a respectable chip count and continued to maintain. Top 80 or so people gained entry into the next tournament. Ended up gaining that entry with a little room to spare.

Later that evening, I prepare for the next tournament. Being a more expensive tournament, I'm expecting a better caliber of player, however, I never assume I'll be playing better players overall. This tournament however is formatted differently. A double shootout consists of playing one table until you are the last man standing on that one table as opposed to a multi table format. If you win that table, you advance to the next and final table. Last person on that table wins the trip and entry to the World Series of Poker.

While this format will prove a challenge, I stay focused and play my game waiting for quality cards. Takes a different approach in this type of format, I modify accordingly. I end up playing extremely well on the fist table and continue to build my chip stack. As time continues, the playing field decreases. To the point where I find myself heads up. Few hands go by, I end up with 7 2 in the big blind. Small blind limps in. Flop comes 7 2 k. He comes out betting moderately. I return with a moderate raise, he goes hog wild and pushes all in. I call. He has K off giving him top pair to my two pair. Blank blank. I win the first table.

As I move on to the next table, I make mention to my wife that "hey, one more table and i'm going to the series". She chuckles and gives me that knowing nod i'm sure many of you online poker players have received from your significant other. 10 minutes later and she's in bed. Takes some time for the next table to get underway. I keep myself entertained playing small limit holdem. Table finally starts up. I immediately take a hit and find myself small stacked. I find myself behind for a good while. Tell myself to be patient and endure. Made a mental decision to just practice a little more pathnames and await my move and attempt to double up. The cards finally come with a good run of pocket pairs. I push all in on a few and win the race and find myself now very far ahead of the table. In so doing, several opponents are eliminated. I take the responsibility and begin to be somewhat of a bully with my large stack. Works out to my advantage and continue to pull chips and now find myself heads up. I'm in shock that i'm this close to the actual World Series of Poker. At this point, even though i'm 300% further in the lead of my opponent, choking is running rampant in my head. How many different ways can I screw this up. Instead of getting lost in such thinking, I had to clear my mind and finish this on my terms. I continue playing aggressively. Ended up loosing two key hands I was leading until the turn and river. He get's close to even yet I'm still slightly ahead. There soon after I take 2 key hands and now find myself 10k to his 1.5k. Time to close the deal. I pull a Kx and force him all in. He takes the bait and loosed to me pulling a King on the river. He would have had it with his Ace high had I not hit.

Breath

The unobtainable dream is now reality. The one thing I wanted to do more in life than anything else has now become the real deal. I proceed to burst into the bedroom and wake my wife with literal hoots of joy. I was floored and simply in shock.

Breath

So here it is...a few days later, and only now am I able to write about it. I'm flying high. Nervous but confident. Creating this blog will now allow me to express the roller coaster ride i'm about to embark upon. Should be one helluva trip. The first place price I walked away with consists of the 10K entry fee to the main event at the World Series of Poker. Additional 1k for travel. And 9 days hotel in Vegas. Plus plenty of goodies provided by PokerStars. Having one this seat through PokerStars, I'm asked to wear the PokerStars brand for the lodging in return. My reaction? Hell yes I'll wear your logo. All of you nay sayers still think online poker is rigged? I got news for ya!

-JvilleWhip

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