After four day 1's, two day 2's we are finally condensed to one day 3 of the 2009 WSOP Main event. Cant believe the WSOP started over a month and a half ago and we are already to the grand finale event 57.
I participated in Full Tilt Poker's Fantasy Poker Challenge. I'm currently sitting in the top 200 overall. I earned two full tilt hats for two top fifty finishes in individual events, entry into a bunch of free rolls for top 2000 finishes in a bunch of events and by virtue of a 4th place finish over 1000+ in the RAZZ Tourney the other night, I now play for a 2010 WSOP Main Event seat. The top 100 overall finishers plus the top ten in every free roll earn spots in this finale free roll. I was in the top 100 overall for most of the later half of the challenge but fell out when i had zero money finishers in the last donkaments. It also didn't help that in event 56 my picks didn't take and carried over from the prior event. Had they taken I should have been back in the top 100 overall as a lot of my horses cashed including eventual bracelet winner Matt Hawrilenko. I now don't really care about a top 100 finish since i have my spot in that grand finale freeroll already.
So, who did I take as my final horses in the Main Event? I went with players who had solid live poker tourney success in deep fields. In other words, warriors those who know how to survive a grueling multi-day event when its not won on the first second or even third or fourth days:
My line-up of 15:
Vitaly Lunkin on to day three with T135900
Phil Hellmuth on to day three with T142900
Daniel Negreanu - Busto day 1C. Daniel tweeted that he was sick sick sick. I only wanted to pick Negreanu or Ivey wrong horse picked as Ivey is still alive and doing very well. But does Ivey really care about the ME or would he really rather be over in Bobby's Room playing cash and winning outrageous prop bets?
Gus Hanson - Busto Day 2A. Not alot was reported about Gus on his day 1, largely as he was at the feature table and ESPN has the monopoly on reporting over there. Pokernews updates were few and far between.
Huck Seed - Busto 1D not alot said about Huck but I think he was in the area of the feature or secondary feature table hence the lack of updates. Some folks thought he was a shut-out but his bust-out was reported
Justin Bonomo on to day three T22330 - Solid player both online and live. He was my young gun horse. Chosen over the likes of Jimmy Fricke (who is still alive going into day 3) and Shaun Deeb (busto) and Isaac Baron. I've met Jimmy a couple of times at Turning Stone and like him a lot as a player and he's a nice young man. But Jimmy hasn't been running hot like Justin coming into the series, and in the early WSOP events. Shaun was actually an easy bench for the ME. He ran up a huge stack early and then busted on his day 2 when he 5-bet a9os into pocket AA or KK. In a prior post I mentioned the importance in the ability to change gears. Even Joe Hachem on the pokerstars blog mentioned this important ability in a large field live multi day MTT. I'm picking on Shaun here, but over and over again throughout the course of the early events many of the top online players succumbed to their Achilles heel: the inability to back off the aggression factor when they were not getting the best of it and coinflipping with hands they wouldn't fold after being played back at.
Mike Matusow - Busto day 2A. per his tweets he was card dead. I was rooting for you Mikey.
Lee Watkinson - on to day three with T62300. I'm not sure why I picked him, other than a few deep runs over the last couple Main Events. Lee was up over 100k in chips but lost two big hands on day 2B
David Benefield - busto day 1D. He cashed last year had some deep runs in other events. Fellow blogger and friend, LJ works for CardRunners and he looked to be the best of the CardRunners bunch as far as MTT ability and I wanted another young gun. (Sorry LJ you are not an option in Full Tilt's Fantasy Challenge, so I couldn't pick you!!).
Ylon Schwartz Busto day 2B. The one November Niner who had the best 2009 WSOP in the preliminary events. Sadly he is busto. Eastgate, Phillips, Suharto and Kim are still alive from last years original Novemeber 9.
Ivan Demidov - Busto day 1D (see above). He joins Ylon on the rail along with Scott Montgomery and Chino Rheem. I'm not sure if Craig Marquis even played this year
John Turner - Busto day 2A - I picked pearljammer much for the same reason I picked Justin Bonomo. Can play both online and live with success.
Greg Raymer - on to day three with T95900. A great finish in the 40k, plus hes proven his ability to go deep in Main Events more then once!
Eugene Katchalov on to day three with T183800 - He's a Russian, who lives in the US. if you notice a pattern of my picks, I picked Russians, young dudes who can play online and live, and a few former ME champs who have gone deep in other big championship tourneys.
Matt Hawrilenko on to day three with T65700 - Fresh off a bracelet and like Justin was running well coming into the main event. Plus his name sounds Eastern Bloc-ish, Russian.
So 7 of my 15 are alive heading into the meat of the Main Event. 6494 players began with 30k stacks. Total chips in play T194,820,000. total players remaining heading into Day 3 2044. Average stack size t93484. As you can see only two of my players are below average stack. Raymer is average stacked and the others are well above average.
I'm kind of sad we are getting to the end of this years series but at least I will have the TV coverage to look forward to.