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.

Massey #8 - The Road to Perdition or Paradise?

Aaron MasseyThis will be my last blog before my last blog. This one is going to be like the forgotten and overlooked middle child. An uneventful story that is sandwiched in between my last tale, where I final tabled the WSOP 1K, and my next tale where I final table the WSOP Main Event (I Hope..) I have played a few tourneys since my 8th place finish last week. 4 tourneys to be exact, and I haven’t gotten much going in any of them:

Venetian 560

I skipped the Venetian 1600 the day before because I needed a day off after my deep run, so I ended up playing this instead. And guess what guys??? I got Kings cracked of course. I had successfully made two squeeze plays within the first 2 levels. I did it a third time and one of my opponents was fed up. He went all in, but I finally had a hand, the KK! I had it setup perfectly. I call and he flips over AQ. He flops an Ace and eliminates your boy from the tourney. Meh.


I come in trying to defend my final table finish in the previous 1K event. I play terrible and semi-bluff my entire stack off in 2 hands. This tournament was simply a waste of $1000 in my opinion.

WSOP Week 4 - The Dog Days are Over

Chicago Poker Club readers, here's Aaron @nevermissmassey Massey's 7th installment in his summer WSOP series.  Read to the end to learn how Massey perseverance pays off in a big way.  Originally, this post was to be called Dethroning the Kings, but alas, it has a mostly happy ending...

Aaron MasseyHey Everyone,

A lot has happened in the last week since coming back to Vegas, after going home for my “Chicago Vacation”.  After getting a little taste of success in the Venetian before going back home, I was eager to get back to work and try to make it happen.  I arrived in Vegas at 4am last Tuesday after catching the last flight out of Chicago the night before.  I was scheduled to play the WSOP $2500 that day at noon and was sooooo happy that I had made it in time.  I played that day and every day since in an effort to make that money… Here’s a recap…

WSOP $2500 -  This tournament was juicy, first place was over 750k and I came out swinging.  I started off with a tough table that included my mentor, Kevin Saul.  I started getting my hands on some chips, then, I bluffed 75% of them off to some crazy German idiot who wagged his finger at me after my failed attempt.  Then I ran my stack to above average just in time to have pocket Kings cracked (re-occurring theme) by 45… That was that.

WSOP $1500 -  I was a top 10 stack in the room on dinner break, I was playing and running well and had a feeling that I was going to go deep.  I come back from dinner break and proceed to run AK into AA, AK into KK, QQ into AA, and to add insult to injury, I get my last 9 big blinds in with A10 against AJ.  I lost every hand.

Venetian $1100 -  I Bluffed off half my stack then got pocket Kings cracked (re-occurring theme) by KQ suited.

Spoiler Alert

Venetian $1600 -  I Get down to 28 players and the money bubble.  27 players get paid and we are only 1 person away from cashing.  I make an open raise with A5 from the cutoff, the kid on my left who is an aggressive psychopath re-raises me like he has been doing to everyone all day.

I don’t know what I was thinking (probably something like “I’m Aaron Massey, and you are some wiener that I used to pick on in high school. How dare you raise me”), but I decide to come over the top for my whole stack.  He snap calls with AK and eliminates me in 28th place.  As I walk away disgusted at what I had just done to myself, I hear the announcement of everyone making the money and everyone clapping and cheering.  It was a miserable feeling but I deserved it.  I let my ego get in the way of me making the correct decision, my number one weakness as a player.   I was beyond upset with myself, but knew I needed to respond like a champion… There was another tournament the next day… The WSOP $1000…

A Chicago Vacation: Bars Clubs and a Wedding

Aaron MasseyI had to leave the World Series and come home for a few days.  I made a commitment to my friend Gina that I would, under no circumstances, miss her wedding, even if it meant having to take a flight on my birthday.  It was actually pretty cool though, the clock struck midnight while I was in the sky but I was not sure which time zone I was in.  Well, I guess that isn’t that cool at all… you really realize it after you write it down.  Now I’m rambling.  Back to the facts;
Thursday night I had a little get together at a bar in my neighborhood.  A bunch of my friends and a few of my cousins came through and bought me a bunch of beers and shots.  There is so much value in going out for your birthday.  You are guaranteed to eat and drink whatever you want with no chance of having to spend any money.  It’s a pure weekend freeroll and I understand this, as I am a man of value (not values… lord knows I have no values).  Unfortunately, most of the people who attended my little party had to leave at some point of the night.  Why would they leave you ask? The reason they had to leave is because they are real human beings with real jobs and it was Thursday.  Lame.  After the bar a smaller group of us went out to a late night club/bar.  It’s not a club, but it’s not a bar either.  I don’t what you call it.  I guess you just call it “Evil Olive”.  We go there and as usual it’s a freak show.  A compilation of Wicker Park’s finest.  There is an overall skater boy motif going on; tattoos, black rimmed glasses, sneakers, skin tight jeans, backpacks, etc.  And as usual it’s a bunch of dudes… a standard experience of nightlife in Chicago.  Even though I’m being negative I really did have a great time and didn’t end up getting home till like 4.
Friday there was a family party at my Mom’s house.  It was a joint party for my birthday and my sister’s 8th grade graduation.  It was fun and as usual, my uncle Tony came by and told a bunch of hilarious inappropriate jokes.  Oh wait… this is funny too.  We are sitting in my backyard at the table eating.  Some older lady comes over.  Supposedly she is my mom’s friends but Ralph and I have never seen her before.  My stepfather tells us that he doesn’t really like her.  We’re all eating and out of nowhere, at the exact same time, Ralph and I look at each other with the same idea… Before Ralph could say anything I loudly blurt out the “F” word.  Moments later Ralph loudly asks me a few questions regarding my genitalia (I am being politically correct here).  This goes on for a bit.  We are trying to embarrass my mom in front of this old lady just like we used to when we were kids.  We’re grown men and Ralph is like 41 years old.  We were the worst kids, I mean, the absolute worst.  After the party we went out and joined some friends for a “joint” birthday party.  We had a table and good company but it was kind of annoying because the place was slammed and there was a group of these suburban girls dancing next to the table bumping into our space therefore making it uncomfortable (you can tell they are from the suburbs by the dresses they wear and their all important choice of shoe).  My friend Matt, who is huge by the way, starts bumping into them with some aggressive dance moves, and knocks them around until they get the point and fly away lock a flock of seagulls.  We hit the after club for a split second and go home.