Nate’s Vegas Diary – Man, What An Awesome, Wild Ride
I can’t believe it’s been a over a week since I got to Vegas. Time flew while out there, but at the same time, I feel like I aged 30 years. We got to Vegas on Friday, worked all day Saturday and Sunday, and then played the Main Event on Monday. And what happened while out there for the week or so blew my mind, exceeded all my expectations, and still has me wondering how it all happened.
I cannot express enough how grateful I am for all the support I got from everyone besides Dave Portnoy who tried to make it all about himself because he hates seeing other people shine. The stoolies, the poker community, and the poker media were all so incredible- it was mind blowing. Myself and Smitty were granted access to the world’s best poker players- Mariah Ho, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, and even Kid Poker himself, Daniel Negreanu. Shit, Daniel let us into his RV to do a Periscope like 15 minutes before the start of Day 2. Hellmuth went drinking with us at the bar just to shoot the shit. Esfandiari…well, that one could have gone better, but still he was gracious with his time so we thank him for that. The folks over at PokerGo/Poker Central were amazing, shout out to BHanks and Remko for helping a couple bloggers interview the guys we’ve been watching play poker on TV since we were teenagers.
Along those lines, it was crazy watching the poker media rally around us and the poker players take notice. At every table I sat down at, and during every 20 minute break, people were curious just what the fuck Barstool was. With PokerNews and WSOP’s Twitters covering me nonstop, you better believe the poker players were curious just who in the world these “Smitty” and “Nate” people were. Typical questions were: Why is Phil Hellmuth RT’ing you? Do you sell barstools? What is the one stop shop for all things daily fantasy sports? I know we live in a Barstool Bubble where sometimes it’s hard to gauge just how big the reach is, but I have never gotten more texts/tweets/etc about anything ever. It seems like we really had an impact while out there, and that is amazing. Making people care about poker and making people want to learn and play again is incredible.
And then I made a run in the Main. That was insane. You can read about my Day 1 here. Then on day 2 I had my chip stack up to 355,000. To put it in perspective the best I can, all I can say is that SO MANY CHIPS. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but I had so fucking many chips. Then I got moved to a new table, and that’s when things went to shit. I didn’t play great. I was playing cocky. I played 2 hands that I wish I could have back. Just got a bit out of line when I didn’t need to. But I still bagged 255,000 day 2, which again, was a ton of chips.
And then Day 3 came along. I was walking on sunshine. And boy oh boy- Day 3 sucked. I won a few hands early to get up to around 280, and that was it. After that, it was all downhill. And not because I played bad. It was brutal. It was torture. All I could do was fold. There were no cards, no spots to steal pots, nothing. I was putting on a folding CLINIC. Best folder you’ll ever see. The few hands I did pick up- KQ suited once, a couple pocket pairs here and there- I either whiffed the flop completely, got tortured when I C-bet, or I went to showdown with the 2nd best hand, shit like that. It felt like that episode of Black Mirror where the guy is stuck listening to that Christmas song every day for a thousand years, I couldn’t do anything.
Eventually, with about 1300 players left, I found a spot to get some chips. An aggressive Euro raised from middle position (Euros are notorious for being aggressive, which means their opening hands have a wider range), and the small blind to my right, a bad player, called. I was in the big blind with 24 big blinds and looked down at KQ, so I moved all in. Pretty standard stuff. Assuming both players folded, I stood to increase my stack by about 20% just from taking down the blinds, antes, and the raise+call. And the Euro had aces. And let me tell you- it’s hard to beat aces. Very hard! So that was it. My main event run was over just like that.
I would say Day 3 couldn’t have gone worse, but I did everything I could. I played my best. I can admit there were hands on Day 2 I didn’t play my best, but not on Day 3. I did all I could to get chips, including an awesome bluff that led professional poker player and 3x bracelet winner Ian Johns to tweet this, which felt good
Ian was probably the best player I played with all tournament (shout out to Loni Harwood too, she was a beast) and eventually finished 73rd. Great run by Ian, was a blast to root for him after I was knocked out.
Playing the Main Event was a dream come true. I didn’t make the money, but besides that, I could not have planned it to go better. The run, the support, the coverage, it was all magical. We made so many new friends and connections and I plan to continue the poker coverage the best I can and hopefully do more cool shit, even though WSOP is nearly over.
Again, thanks to everyone who sent their support and who tweeted at either me or Smitty saying our coverage reinvigorated their interest in poker. It’s an awesome game and I still can’t believe how last week went down.
Shout out Bales, shout out Joey and his son Jonah, Smitty, Jake, Remko, Brent, Justin, Ian, PokerNews, Lizzy, and everyone who tweeted. Hopefully we get to do it again next year, 50/50 of course.
Til next time,
PS: Now rooting for Stoolie Scott Blumstein who has a ton of chips heading into day 7. GL Scott.