Road To Vegas 2019: My Trip Report
Grosvenor Poker qualifier, Ed Slack talks through his experience as part of #TeamGrosvenor in Las Vegas.
It was back in June 2018 when I first noticed Grosvenor Poker were running qualifiers for £3,500 Vegas packages. I entered a £30 satellite feeder to the £225 final stage satellite running every Sunday night. After being fortunate enough to win both, I had booked my spot in Vegas! The week was epic, with so much fun meeting fellow qualifiers and the Grosvenor Sponsored Pros.
Sadly, the WSOP Millionaire Maker did not go to plan, after being eliminated in the final level before the cash. However, the experience was so great, I then had one thing on my mind for the next year – qualify for Vegas 2019 with Grosvenor.
In March 2019 online qualification for a £3,000 package commenced. I played around a dozen £10 satellites and with these won a few £100 tickets to the weekly Sunday satellite with 3 packages guaranteed. After four attempts at the weekly Sunday satellite I won my package to Vegas!!
On the 31st May I arrived in Vegas and headed to the Linq hotel where Grosvenor were accommodating us for the week. This hotel is perfectly located on the strip for easy access to cardrooms/shows and all other activities. I then headed to the customary Grosvenor Poker welcome party and it was great to catch up with some friends from the last years trip, and also to meet this year’s qualifiers. We were given our spending money, our Grosvenor Poker Hoodies, Grosvenor Poker patches and were now ready to represent #TeamGrosvenor.
After a few complementary drinks at the main bar at our hotel we set off on the Grosvenor party bus to the Rio to register for the event we were all playing – the Big 50 with a $500 buy in. When we arrived at the Rio we knew the event was going to be special due to the huge number of entrants waiting to register. After registering, Grosvenor took us to a VIP area in the Voodoo lounge with easily the best view of Vegas you can imagine. After a night of partying I returned home looking forward to starting the Big 50, but also glad there was one day off to recover from the night before and enjoy this incredible place.
On the second day I registered for a short deck $200 in Planet Hollywood. The start time was delayed so I played a cash game for a short spell and booked a small profit. I busted the short deck tournament relatively early, so got some food and then played a $250 Mixed game tournament in Golden Nugget. I also busted this early on so decided to finish off the day with a $80 daily tournament in the Flamingo cardroom. I finished in 3rd place winning $480 for my first cash of the week. I then had a relatively early night to feel good for the WSOP Big 50…
On Day 3 of the trip, Team Grosvenor headed to the Rio to start our WSOP campaign and after the tournament director welcomed us to the event, it was time to begin. 50k starting stack and 50-minute levels made the event very playable. My first table was super friendly and had some great banter, but it wasn’t the easiest table draw. Comically our initial dealers’ names were April, Summer, Mei and June!
I grinded my stack up to 90k before being moved to another table. This new table had no banter but was a super weak, passive table. After less than an hour I had slowly chipped up to 130k. Sadly the table was broken, and we got moved to the main Amazon Room. I picked my seat card and was put on one of the feature tables. Playing the WSOP under these bright lights and cameras with loads of spectators was a dream come true! My chip count remained relatively static until the final level of the day when I looked down at AhKc and called a 4 bet all in for around 70k. My opponent had KK but three hearts on the flop gave me hope, and then an ace fell on the river, which resulted in me bagging up 226k chips for Day 2.
Day 2 of the tournament I was completely card dead. My stack dwindled to 120k until I heard the famous words ‘Congratulations players, you have all cashed in the largest WSOP field in history’! This was my 4th ever WSOP and first cash in a NLH event (other cashes have all been in PLO). $750 was now locked up, but with a first prize of over $1.1million I was hoping for a deep run. Soon I found 1010 on the button and called the all in from the lowjack who had a very similar to me. I had the great news he had 109 suited and my hand held, so was up to 240k and bagged up 246k at the end of the day.
Day 3 the blinds went up to 12.5k/25k so only started with around 10bb. In the second orbit I shoved A5 in the cutoff and the button snap called. I presumed I was in huge trouble, but no, he called with 56o and my hand held up. After nearly 20 hours of total play I finally found AA and nearly trebled up after getting my stack in on Q96 all club board (had Ace of club aswell) vs JcJh (and another guy open folded AA on the flop despite incredible odds on a call!) In the next 3 hours my stack rocketed further… I doubled up with AsJs after flopping the nut flush and the other guy bluffing off to oblivion with his AJ. Then AK vs AJ AIPF for another 2 million profit, AK vs K9 all in on King high flop, and 99 flopping top set for another big pot. All of my bluffs were also getting through and even got a guy to open folded 1010 on a 9 high board with just one half-pot c-bet in a 3-bet pot preflop! My stack went up to 12 million and I now had difficulty reaching my cards due to the mountain of chips in front of me! At the next break my stack drew the attention of PokerNews reporters which was pretty cool.
On return from the break the final 4 levels of the day resulted in my stack going the wrong direction. At 100k/200k level the bb shoved his 2 million stack and I called with KQ. His A3 held. I then lost another 5 million with AK, 3-betting pre and betting two streets before having to fold on the river. I then lost some blinds and small pots to end the day on 4.1 million.
Grosvenor hosted a party at Fremont street this night which sounded and looked like great fun from the WhatsApp group, but I went to bed at a decent time excited to be playing the next day!
Day 4 started with 127 players and now I was guaranteed $7,169. I started in the bb with blinds 200k/400k. I had to fold my blinds, but then found J10 and shoved with no callers so was back again to 4.1 million. I then found AA and went all-in following an UTG open. Amazingly, 2 people called, and the original raiser folded. Up against AJ and KK (KK only had around 2 million in chips) my hand held, and I was back up to 12 million.
My final hand was at 300k/600k level, I had 9 million and shoved AQ from the button, following an UTG+1 raise. Sadly, the SB cold called with QQ. The flop was fairly favourable (910J) but the final run out was not to be. I finished in 87th out of 28371 players for $10,223. Incredibly, fellow Grosvenor qualifier Stewart Kirby also made day 4 but sadly did not get the opportunity of seeing him run deep as he busted not long after myself whilst I was in the cash out queue.
The week was far from being over as Grosvenor organised a superb party overlooking the Bellagio with surprise guest David Haye. We were supplied with food and unlimited drinks and it was great chatting with my friends and fellow qualifiers. We were then taken to O’Sheas to play beer pong where my team consisting of Stewart Kirby, Paula McGhie, Dave Stones won every match and we were each even given a nice little prize for beating the other undefeated team consisting of the Grosvenor pros.
On the final day of the trip we all got together for one final breakfast, then packed my bags and decided to play a $200 NLH tournament in Planet Hollywood. After a few hours I had busted but there was still 9 hours before my flight, so I headed over to Caesar’s Palace to play a $150 tournament. A few hours later, I’d won the tournament for another $1,575 to add to my bankroll and still with a few hours to kill I managed to jump into a PLO cash game at the Wynn… After a quick $300 double up, my Vegas trip came to a very successful end.
Grosvenor certainly know how to host the perfect Vegas trip. It was such a pleasure meeting old and new friends, and the hospitality by Grosvenor is unbeatable. I have so many memories from this incredible week, and to run deep in the largest entry WSOP event was a real bonus. I will be looking forward to 2020 to try and qualify again for #TeamGrosvenor2020!
To find out how you can qualify for the #TeamGrosvenor Vegas trip 2020 visit: https://www.grosvenorcasinos.com/road-to-vegas