It has been widely reported that the first person eliminated from the WPT Celebrity Invitational was Antonio Esfandiari. This however is simply false. I know this because I had been standing in the hall outside having a conversation for two minutes before they made that announcement. Now you're probably all wondering how that nit Watts managed to bust twice (I of course took my $200 to charity rebuy) in half an hour before a single one of numerous celebs who don't really have much of an idea how to play. Fortunately you've come to the right place because I'm going to tell you the story.
Gobbo and I got there around 6pm for the cocktail party to mingle and so I could have some free cocktails. We bumped into some friends and checked out whatever celebs we could find. Other than usuals such as Jennifer Tilly, Don Cheadle, Mekkhi Phifer I also saw William Hung, Tony Aleida and Agent Pearce from "24", and probably some others I'm forgetting. What can I say I've never been a huge fan of celebrities but it was still pretty cool. After some quick speeches Bruce Buffer gave us his special rendition of "shuffle up and deal" which was freaking awesome and it was time to gamble. First of all, I am playing 2 out of every 3 pots at least, often without looking at my cards. I am "straddling" every UTG and have got others doing the same. If I catch any piece of the flop I do not fold. If they check to me I will almost always bet.
So I've lost some chips doing stuff like limp/calling the Q3o when I finally pick up a real hand and make my standard raise to 200 at 50/100 with the 45o. 4 players call and the flop comes Q64 with two clubs. I make a strong continuation bet of 200 and the guy on my left calls, then Mimi across the table from me makes it 700. I obviously call as does my friend on my left. The turn is an offsuit 5. DING DING DING DING DING!!!! Two checks and Mimi bets 1100. I quickly make it 4 dimes and my friend cold calls the whole thing with what is almost certainly a flush draw. Mimi calls as well. The river is the 2c which means I lose. But I bet the 3 or 4K I have left anyways for some reason and then rebuy.
I quickly begin rebuilding my stack though. For whatever reason I have 93o and flop a 3 so I call a bet. I turn a 3 and bet out but somehow everyone folds. Go figure. Then I call Chau Giang's raise with KThh and flop ATx. I call his 500 bet and when a T turns I bet 1k which he calls and then 3k on the river which he somehow folds to again!! Gah! So despite being 3 for 3 on 5-outers I am still down like 7K chips.
Then there are two sweet hands in a row where a young asian guy whose name I should know but I don't opens to 250 in EP and I reraise to 500 in MP with the 5h and the 2h. He calls and snap folds to my 500 bet on A44. I just know I woulda hit the living hell out of my gutshot too why couldn't he have an ace. Then the next hand he limps correctly fearing another reraise so I know hes weak and quickly raise to 200 with 23o to try to isolate. Unfortunately I get reraised to 700 and decide to fold my hand face up.
Now on my BB at 75/150 the same young asian guy makes it 500 in the CO and I call with AQo. The flop comes QT7 with 2 spades and I bomb out for 1k, and he raises to 3k or 4k or something like that. I quickly jam all 12K or so of my chips into the pot while fistpumping and doing double backflips of pure joy in my head but he calls with Q7 and I lose all my gold. SIIIIIIIGH.
After that I hung out for a bit with Kristen and Gavin (busto not too much later) and Jennifer and Heather (and a hilarious visit from Noah Schwartz) but when gobbo busted we decided to just head back to the hotel. Now at this point you may be thinking "Watts, what the hell is wrong with you? First place in that tournament was $100K", and that is a reasonable thing to ask. But as usual I am thinking about 5.3 steps ahead of you. Don't feel bad it's just one of the skills I've developed from poker. So we get back to the room and there are a few pretty ok looking 500/1000 HA tables going on Full Tilt. I sit and start winning lots of pots. PLO is just such a ridiculous game. Last week I felt like I could not win money at the game to save my life. This week I feel like I just can not lose a hand. By the time the games break a couple hours later I'm up $120K. As you may recall first in the freeroll was $100K. I believe the moral of the story is that the gambling gods love you when you just degen it up for them from time to time.
Alright that's about as much as I can possibly write in this tone. I'm back to Toronto late Monday night. Looking forward to seeing everyone I've missed while I've been off hiding from winter, but especially the kitties! Take it easy,