So I got on this next season of HSP thanks to a friend of mine putting in a good word for me.
I was 2nd alternate on day 2 and starting on day 3.
Day 2 was a 100k min buyin and day 3 was 500k min. I brought 720k with me, planning on playing with 220k max on day two if I got a seat (which the producer made to sound unlikely) and saving the last 500k for the next day, or whatever I had leftover from day 2.
I showed up for day 2 around 2pm, just after taping started. Mori, the producer, was extremely nice. He let all of my friends come on set (there were not many people on set). He made me feel very comfortable there, as did all of the other producers and everyone working on the show.
It was cool on set. Free food. Random pros walking around. I did some on camera hand analysis for a GSN.com feature, which I wasn't prepared for, but I think I did okay. I was watching the game for hours. Extremely loose action. People were calling down when someones entire range is ahead of their hand. I almost had a boner about it.
I got into the game with 2 hours left of taping on day two. I donít know if I can say exactly who was playing, but Iíll say that the table was very loose and aggressive (in a good way for me) and very talkative. It was the best game Iíd played in all year. I was glad I got in, but bummed that I only had two hours. Not to mention that it was live and on a TV set, so I was probably dealt 40 hands the whole time. The players were very friendly for the most part. Jamie Gold was actually a really nice guy (I say actually because I didnít expect him to be) and improved a lot since last season. Negreanu also played much much better than he had in previous years, and is a great guy from what I can tell. Iím gonna stop listing off players in case Iím not supposed to.
I had 100k on the table and 100k in my pocket and was saving the rest for day 3. 90% of hands were straddled and a few were double straddled. That left me with ~40-80bbs effective. With that, and no one folding preflop, the game got really boring for me. I basically had to play 10% of my hands if I wanted to max my EV. Phil Hellmuth called me a nit, which is probably the most embarrassing thing that I can remember happening to me in my lifetime.
I was really proud of my ability to hand read live. I was worried that I wouldn't to be able to pick up on things, but I was catching tons of timing tells and was able to put people on hands pretty well, which was what I did to keep busy while folding. There was one hand where I bet and got two really weak seeming calls on a very drawy board. I was really mad because I had the nuts (like 4th nuts, but clearly the best hand) but I couldn't check turn and let draws hit even though I was sure they were folding their midpairs with a gutter or oesd. I guess I don't know if my reads were right, but I feel good about them.
There was another hand that I wasn't a part of where one player shoved the river for about 2/5 pot after check-raising the turn. The other player tanks, saying his hand is as good as ace high. People started to chatter about what he could possibly have, which made me feel awesome since I was 90% sure he had 88-JJ with one club and was calling the turn in hopes for a club to hit or a free showdown and was folding to a river bet. After he folded, Negreanu said that he knew the one player would never bluff there, and I thought to myself how I'd always bluffshove that river. Iím looking forward to seeing that hand to check my read.
Overall though, it was a boring day for me. Lots of anticipation and only got the chance to play for 2 hours with a small roll since I was saving 500k for the big day.
Just before going to bed that night, I was informed that 3 of the TV Pros from day 2 decided last minute that they wanted to play on day 3, and that I wasnít good TV because I was so tight and didnít talk enough to the players who donít know me. So, I lost my spot on the table. To say the least, I was very mad. Had I not been saving $500k for day 3, I wouldíve been able to play a much more open game. I guess nobody there had any idea of my reputation and playing style, because I have never been accused of being a nit before that day. Usually I get Ďstationí Ďmonkeyí or ĎFPS-machineí. I also had less than 50 hands to show what I had. Hellmuth spent over 15 minutes negotiating and discussing insurance deals when he was all-in.
Not to mention the fact that I had to fly halfway across the country and move $720k twice (not easy for me, and probably will get me audited) to play for 2 hours and get bumped from my guaranteed spot by people who have been on the show many times, live in Vegas, and arenít affected at all by being on the show one more day.
Another frustrating aspect of it is that I didnít get a chance to prove myself. America still thinks that my whole Day 2 table (besides me) is full of the best poker players in the world, when I wouldíve salivated over playing any of them HU. (Maybe wouldnít have salivated over one or two but would surely be a favorite) I know that I need to get over this part. It shouldnít bother me what the public thinks, and Iím working on not caring as much.
After getting angry for a while, I looked for somewhere/someone to place my anger. Thatís when I realized that there was really no one to be angry at. I was lied to, in a sense, which is my number one pet peave by far. But the players we almost all extremely friendly, and Iím positive the ones who wanted to play the next day didnít consider the effects on me. Mori gave me a shot at being on one of the most watched poker shows on TV. He was nothing but nice and accommodating. While Iím sure he had a lot of say as to whether I got to keep my day 3 spot, I donít blame him much for his decision. He doesnít want to upset some of his biggest name players, and I didnít show him anything on day 2 that he could show to execs to defend his decision to keep me on the show. As far as he knows, I am a complete nit and maybe not even good at poker.
I think itís really unfortunate that America would rather watch bad, loud poker than extremely high level thinking from the true best players in the world, but I guess they donít know any better.
I would love if someone would do a show where Me, durrr, Aba, and two more (Not saying Iím necessarily one of the best 5 online players and donít wanna make a top 5 list) each play HU v Ivey, Doyle, Negreanu, etc. Like, we each pair up with a pro and play best of 3 HU 200bb freezouts. Each team puts up $2mm or whatever and whichever team wins most out of 5 splits the prize amongst themselves. Online pros v Live pros. Then maybe America would realize how it really is. Anyways, Iím ranting now.
I didnít have a good experience at HSP, but it was really nobodyís fault. Mori told me he owed me and would make it up to me. My friends didnít believe him, but I do. He seems very genuine. Hopefully Iíll get my chance sometime soon.
Quote: Phil Hellmuth called me a nit, which is probably the most embarrassing thing that I can remember happening to me in my lifetime.
Quote: I was informed that 3 of the TV Pros from day 2 decided last minute that they wanted to play on day 3, and that I wasnít good TV because I was so tight and didnít talk enough to the players who donít know me. So, I lost my spot on the table.
Quote: itís really unfortunate that America would rather watch bad, loud poker than extremely high level thinking from the true best players in the world, but I guess they donít know any better.
just saying you shoudlnt care what the "public" thinks of you. The public thinks Chris Moneymaker is the best poker player ever. The poker community knows you are great and respects you and if I were you I would be satisfied by that.