WSOP 2011 - The End of The Beginning

Aaron Massey

Publisher's Note:What a treat to have Massey sharing his WSOP experience with us here at the Chicago Poker Club.  Aaron is back to the grind in Chicago, and getting ready to hit the poker circuit around the country.  We expect to hear from him as he hits the road, with new posts, and most definitely featured tweets on our home page.  Aaron had a successful summer as a professional, but his talent, perseverance, and focus continue to hint at big things to come in his future.  That is why this post, his last of WSOP 2011 is merely the End of the Beginning... [Jason]

So I didn’t get it done in the Main Event… and I am beyond disappointed in myself.  It’s funny, if I had busted out on day 1 I wouldn’t have felt this way.  

I began the Main Event on day 1b and did not get off to that fast of a start.  Halfway thru I began to gain traction and got my chipstack moving in the right direction.  By the end of day 1 I had amassed 50k in chips from a 30k start.  I was feeling great and was very confident and pleased with my play.  

My day 2 was a complete grind.  I never got much momentum and was completely card dead the whole day.  Only once in the entire day did I have a stack over the 50k I began the day with.  I was playing extremely well but that’s the way it goes sometimes.  I did make 1 incorrect decision on this day, calling a player’s 24k all in with 99.  In this hand I had opened for a standard raise under the gun, only to have it fold all the way to the big blind.  He didn’t waste much time before moving all in, and after 2 minutes of deliberation I made the call.  He had JJ and held up.  I was down but not out.  I played great no showdown poker and got my stack back up to around 50k just in time for the last hand of the night.  In this hand, I opened from the cutoff w 88, only to have John Racener (Runner Up in last Year’s Main Event) re-raise me from the small blind.   I thought about it and made an over bet of 40k, which was 80% of my stack, effectively moving me all in.  He jammed and I called.   I thought I was in huge trouble but he flipped over the 55.  I was surprised that such a good player would make such a bad play but I wasn’t complaining.  I held up and ended the day with 105k.  

On day 3 I got off to a fast start.  I had gotten up to 147k only having to showdown 1 hand.  I was extremely aggressive and feeling great… then the wheels came off.  With the blinds at 8-1600 the player under the gun limped in as did a player in middle position.  I had 45 of hearts on the button, and after some consideration of putting in a raise I decided to call.  The big blind checked and we had 4 players off to the flop of Q98 which was checked around.  Another 9 came on the turn and it checked around to me.  I bet 5k into roughly a 9k pot which was snap called by the player who limped under the gun.  The river was a J making the board Q899J.  My opponent very quickly bet out 17.5K into a 19k pot.  I interpreted this as a value bet and knew he was strong, however, I knew he didn’t have a full house.  I had put him on a hand like QJ that he is trying to get value out of.  So what do I do?  I raise it to 50k with 5 hi, representing a full house and trying to push him off what I know is a very strong hand.  He thinks for awhile and correctly makes the call with pocket 10s for a rivered straight.  I was down to around 80k but I was still in good shape.  Unfortunately I decided to go off again 10 minutes later.  I made a standard raise w A4 from the cutoff.  The button then raised me to 11.5k with roughly 55k behind.  I jam all in and he calls with AK.  He has me crushed and he holds up like he is supposed to, leaving me 9 big blinds.  I jam my last 7 bbs in w A9 only to be called by the AJ.  Just like that it was over. I made 2 mistakes and it cost be big time.  I was right where I wanted to be, in the room with the lights and cameras, with a good chip stack, 1 day away from the money and a few days away from an amount of money that would dramatically change my quality of living.  That is why it was such a disappointment.  If it was day 1 it wouldn’t have been a big deal because the tourney began with nearly 7000 people.  Oh well, it’s over and I can’t cry over spilled milk anymore.  I will use this as a learning experience and keep moving forward.  

I spent my last few days in Vegas supporting Kevin, who was doing great.  I was also going out and getting loose.  “Cabanas every day, Tables every night.”  Going out with a bang is an understatement of the debauchery that took place those last few days.  I was treated to a great time by some friends.  Over 3 days they had spent nearly $20,000 on bottle service that I was able to help enjoy.  We “turned it up”, ending the trip by getting the royal treatment at Marquee, Vegas’ premier nightclub for a Kaskade show.  It was sick… we had 20 people all doing the same dance, the reverse backhand fist pump which is also known as the “McCauley”.  Oh how I will miss the Las Vegas Nightlife.  I planned on staying in Vegas as long as Kevin was still in the tournament.  His luck ran out on day 5 after taking a terrible beat w his AK losing to A10.  So that was that, it was time to come home.

Now that I’m home I am going back on the grind.  I will be spending the next 2 months playing cash games and enjoying the summer in Chicago.  My lease is up in 2 weeks at my current apartment.  I am moving out and moving into Ralph’s place.  I am basically just throwing a bed into an oversized closet.  It’s all I am going to need considering I will continue to live in hotels for the majority of the year.  It is also going to save me mad loot.  I am almost done putting together my tournament schedule for the next 12 months.  I am extremely excited; I am going to be traveling A LOT and will be visiting some great places that I have never been to, as well as some great cities that I have been to over the last year.  I plan on crushing the Circuit this year and am more than confident that this will happen.  

This summer was great.  I had a winning trip and I achieved one of my goals of making a WSOP final table, an accomplishment that over 99% of poker players will never achieve.  I gained an incredible amount of experience and got a decent amount of exposure.  I also formed some incredible relationships with people.  I didn’t get it done it the Main Event but some things just aren’t meant to be.  I am still hungry and I am still motivated.  I still have dreams that need to come true, lucky for me I’m only 27 years old so I have time.  It was a pleasure being able to share my experience with all of you.  I will occasionally blog from time to time when I play a tournament series but I will not as active with the blogging as I was while at the WSOP.  I hope you all enjoyed having a look into my life.  I appreciate all the support I have received, and it is that support that motivates me to win.  I look forward to sharing my successes with all of you in the future.  In the mean time, pray for me and I will pray for you.  Thank you all so much for sharing this experience with me.


Sincerely, your boy…..
PADILLA{jcomments on}

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