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Mon 27 Jun - Team WSOP doing us proud in Vegas!

Doesn’t it always seem that those things you are looking forward to take so long to arrive but are over in an instant?  Luckily for Team WSOP Australia, which consisted of 60 APL and 888PL players, they will have the memories, photos and friendships that will last an eternity.  Just under 100 people, 60 players, family and friends made the trip to Millionaire Maker WSOP Event in Las Vegas with dreams of cash, glory and a hell of a good time!  Four of the players made the cash in the Millionaire Maker but for everyone else they had the trip of their life. Now everyone has the goal of making the ultimate poker journey again next year, or in the not too distant future!

For those travelling with the team we met at Sydney Airport to get the exclusive travel bags, hoodie, polo shirts and more!  We then made the long 20 hour trip to Las Vegas, the spiritual home of poker and the largest tournament series known to man!  For a few players a delayed flight turned to a cancelled flight, we would not have these 20 players and friends stuck outside of Vegas so after a few calls we had our players on a bus taking the relatively short trip between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  These players missed the fantastic feast of the largest buffet dinner the rest of us would have ever season, with more food and drink than you can poke a stick at!  Don’t worry about those who didn’t make it; they got the pleasure of this feast the following night!

You could see the hesitance in those who had to take the bus to Vegas when the minibus’ pulled up the next morning but to their relief we were only heading 5 minutes away to the ‘Locals’ Casino, The Orleans.  With the largest permanent poker room and some great customer service, albeit with some sledging against Aussies, we sat down for an exclusive Poker Tournament for 888PL and APL Team WSOP members - a $5,000 USD Freeroll.  The drinks were free, we were in Vegas, but most didn’t have one in front of them as this was the warmup for the Million Dollar Event to come in the following days

For full details check out www.facebook.com/LiveReporting but the lucky players to get some free cash were;

1st Annabelle Rowe from Outer West NSW - $1,187.50 USD

2nd Brad Martin from Harvey Bay QLD - $1,187.50 USD

3rd Clint Innis from Harvey Bay QLD - $550 USD

4th Sam Duckford from Adelaide SA - $425 USD

5th Chris Rowe from Outer West NSW - $350 USD – Chris was taken out by his wife, Annabelle, the eventual winner

6th Trevor Allan from Dubbo NSW - $325 USD – Trevor has been the most consistent winner in Team WSOP history with over 7 packages won.

7th Aaron Allan from Dubbo NSW - $300 USD – Aaron has been picking up some skills from Trevor, his father!

8th Tony Trisley from Sydney South NSW - $250 USD

9th Neil Alweyn from Perth WA - $225 USD

10th Rachel Fluhler from Perth WA - $200 USD!

The Millionaire Maker WSOP Bracelet event started on Friday Morning for flight 1a. About 30 APL+888PL players took their seats with 7,500 in chips and 1 hour blind levels.  Friday morning saw 3,088 players take their seats at the hope of the WSOP Bracelet and of course the $1,000,000+ first prize! The aggressive play and a shorter start stack definitely took its toll on those who were not used to this style of play, some players got lucky, some unlucky as variance took its toll.  After 6 hours of play, we had 4 remaining players on day 1a, Detlef, Ronel, Dennis and Jess.  Over the next 4 hours we watched these players make their moves, build a stack in some cases and then lose it again to only start building it again.  The play was tough and these four were playing their A game.  As it got closer and closer to the 10th and final level of the day all four players were still in and looking good to make day 2, which they did.  The top 15% of players in this tournament were to be paid and at the end of day 1a 16.35% (505) of players remained.  Check out www.facebook.com/LiveReporting to view a quick interview of these four players after their Day 1 success

The Millionaire Maker event had two day 1’s, and if you were eliminated from day 1a, the players had the option to buy in again on day 1b.  A few of our players chose to do this and we started again on day 1b with about 30 APL + 888PL and 4102 total players looking for WSOP Glory. 

Although I have said that everyone was after the money, the bracelet and the glory, this isn’t exactly true; a lot of APL + 888PL players were just so excited to play in the WSOP in Las Vegas as it has been a dream for almost every poker player out there!  Although this is not the Main Event, there is nothing like seeing 3,000-4,100 Players over 2-3 massive rooms all playing against each other one table at a time and the experience alone is worth it, without making the cash, although not one person wanted to go out before the cash some knew that this was a small chance of happening. 

Day 1b of the event was just as aggressive and even more lethal for the 888PL + APL Players who were all eliminated by the 9th hour of play, some extremely bad beats and of course some players who made a mistake and at this level of play, sadly sometimes one little semi bluff, misread tell or just a silly move can send you to the rail.

667 from the 4,102 made it through from day 1b making it 1,172 players seated for day 2 from the total 7,190 combined from the day 1’s.  1079 players were going to be paid!  The first hour of the day 2 had some of the tightest play you will ever see, but once the money bubble popped the next 100-200 players were eliminated in what seemed to be an instant, a 45 minute instant.

Of the four APL and 888PL Players that started day 2, all four cashed;

494th – Ronel Morton – NSW - $3,551 USD

718th  – Detlef Bruhns – SA - $2,719 USD

751st – Jessica Liang – NSW - $2,719 USD

1035th – Dennis Michelmore – NSW - $2,250 USD

These four deserve massive praise for going as well as they did, we congratulate them fully on making the cash, let alone day 2.

Now that the stress of playing in one of the world’s largest poker events was over everyone had the chance to relax and enjoy all that Las Vegas had to offer!  With two free days before everyone headed out to the Grand Canyon there were spectacular shows, cheap shopping and of course a little gambling that kept everyone entertained!  A few celebrities were spotted and photos were taken, a lot of players played the ‘side’ events of the WSOP, for aprox $200USD there were first prizes in ‘small’ poker tournaments of over $38,000 first prize!

The Grand Canyon was the second last activity with the group and we could barely comprehend the size and beauty of this natural wonder.  After a day of heat and beauty what better way to cool off than some great cocktails overlooking the strip and a volcano show. 

With a lot of the group extending their trip to catch more sights of Las Vegas and the US the rest of us had to return to realty from what was a simply amazing week!  With less players going across to Las Vegas in 2017 these are going to be prized tickets!  If you want an amazing tournament experience stay tuned for more details about the upcoming $1,000,000 Minimum Prize Pool event to be held at the Star Casino 2017.

I would like to thank, of course the players and everyone involved in this trip but also the guys that came over as well to help with the live reporting and of course there to make sure everyone had a fantastic time!  To Allan McLauchlan and Kim Griggs, two licensees who run fantastic regions in North Queensland and Perth South East respectively, thank you for the hard work with the live reporting, but also your attention to detail and the way you would do as much as possible to make sure everyone had the best trip possible.  Ryan Skeggs who put in hard and long work making sure the players were up to date and no one was left out, without Ryan this trip would not have been what it was!  Garth Lamberton who was a late addition, but certainly a welcome one!  I am not going to claim that this was a chore to go to Las Vegas with this group of players, it was an absolute pleasure and I would just like to once again thank everyone who went on the trip and I cannot wait to catch up with you at the Million Dollar Event, if not sooner.


Michael Ratnik

General Manager, Poker

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