WSOP Matt tells all
Matt McGonegal is a proud provincial champion from Canmore, Alberta. His win in October of 2011, won him a sponsored seat at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this year. Below is his account of the event.
WSOP - PLAYNATION PLAYOFF CHAMPION MATT MCGONEGAL
Landing in the Nevada desert at night, thoughts are racing through my mind. “whats vegas going to be like?”,.. “can I achieve the only goal I have for this trip? Can I walk away with a bracelet?”.
Waking up and walking in the mildly warm 40 degree weather towards the RIO hotel, I am literally one step closer to the WSOP with several hours to kill, it doesn’t matter, the day is about me being comfortable and focused for the biggest poker game of my life!, Meeting with Allan, Tammy and the other Playnation poker winners for breakfast was a great way to side step my mind for an hour and try to choose a breakfast that is both light, filling and energizing was the focus. After several laughs, introductions, red carpet photos and some light planning it was time to step up, sit down and take on 3,000+ professional and amateur poker players.
Sitting at my table as far as I can see in all directions are poker tables quickly filling up with poker players, “ok matt, simple, you fold everything but pocket aces unless you have a pocket pair in position and think u can take down the pot with a raise and steal some blinds to get a little further”, “you have hour blind levels, lots of time to pick your moments”,….clock starts “ok you don’t have a table of 10, its omly a table of 6, there are no renowned pros at your table, this could be good”,….
First hand “oh wow pocket 5s on my first hand and im in the big blind, I have position lets see how this plays out, remember
matt, tight aggressive , TIGHT AGGRESSIVE,…UTG, fold, UTG+1 Fold, UTG+2 limps in, as does the rest of the players,…” “ I need to raise, and isolate to a heads up or 3 way battle, my hand is mediocre at best but likely the best pre flop hand”, I raise 3.5x the big blind and all players call “s@*&” this cant be good,.. flop comes A4Q, raise, than a re-raise,.. I have to fold.
I sit through several hands that lose in the same manner, pocket 8s, pocket 10s, & AJ suited,… this cant be true I think,.. ive lost most of my chips playing hands the right way,… im failing. I manage to pick up one little tiny pot with a pre flop raise with pocket 4s. I now get dealt AQ suited on the button, there
are only the blinds in + 1 limper, so I choose to raise, the blinds fold and the limper flat calls, the flop comes A103 rainbow, “awesome!, ive been waiting so long”,. I raise 1/3 of the pot and he flat calls, turn comes 5, im feeling good unless he has 24 or pocket 3s or pocket 10s, im not sure what to do, the table
has only been playing pocket pairs and this guy just sat down and its his first hand,… I choose to raise, he immediately re-raises me all in,… I have a decision to make,… if I call and he has trips im dead, and if I fold im only left with 800,…. Im thinking for what seems like an eternity,… I say “u hit trips eh?” and muck my hand face up,… he is kind enough to nod in approval and show hits trip 3s,…”good fold matt”
but now u have to go all in with any valuable hand and hope it holds,..
2 hands later I look down at pocket 7s,… there is one raiser ahead of me and I cant just call,… I have to go all in or fold,.. I choose to go all in and he holds AA,…”that was a dumb idea matt”,… its all over,
3.5 hours into event #33 and your dream is crushed,.. back to the drawing board!,..”next year, youll do better, next year”
After accepting reality I take several moments to reflect and appreciate the fact I am still in vegas and i have lots of opportunities to play more poker! Thanks to PlayNation Poker for this wonderful opportunity and experience!, I had an amazing time and I think my game have changed for the better just having sat at the table I was at!!
I am looking forward to winnings provincials again this year so watch out!