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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

The Round Table – Michael Binger’s WSOP Updates – Part 1

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He has won over $4.7 million dollars at the World Series in the past few years. He had eight cashes at the World Series last year. Michael Binger sits down to talk about the pressure of a good follow up year and how things have been going for him in the first week.


It’s funny for months I would tell anyone who would listen how stoked I was for the World Series to be coming up. I said I would be playing my A game and just charging in and in reality the first event on Friday, the $10,000 pot limit hold ‘em, I showed up 40 minutes late, I was in a bad state of mind, I didn’t play well. I played for 20 minutes, made a couple bad mistakes and busted myself out and was walking around shaking my head for awhile. It was kind of a depressing start for the World Series, but obviously there are many events so there are many chances of redeeming yourself.

Saturday I pretty much took the day off, there was day 1a of the $1500 event, but I went for a hike in Red Rock to kind of clear my mind, which worked and I was feeling much better. I went and played the 5:00 H.O.R.S.E. mega satellite, it was a $2,250 buy in with the idea of giving away at least 1 seat. However, they didn’t get enough entries, they got 12 entries so $25,000 went to first place and nothing second. I ended up finishing 4th. I was happy with the way I played for the most part. I hadn’t played much H.O.R.S.E. and I am probably going to play the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. this year. I feel I know what I am doing for the most part in most games so it was good to get some practice in.

Sunday was the $1,500, day 1b, big field event which I played. I was really happy, I came in focused, played well all day, and slowly chipped up, never lost a big pot. End of the day I had a big stack, 38,000 chips when average was like 26,000. We were almost in the money and came into day 2 feeling really good. I swam a mile in the morning and my mind was clear, I was feeling really good. I saw my table draw, it looked full of amateurs and I just thought, ‘Wow this is great, I am going to tear it up today.’

Everything just went wrong. It’s sick, it’s not like if I just took a bad beat, that’s fine. I didn’t take any bad beats, I didn’t get any coolers. I might have misplayed a couple of spots, I didn’t have to make some of the moves I made, just sort of bad situations where everything went wrong that could possibly go wrong, and I busted out on the stone cold bubble. I finished 380 and 378 were paid. I was more upset busting out of that than I have been busting out of any tournament in a very long time. It took me an hour of walking around berating myself to get over it. After talking over the hands I played with a couple of people I see I didn’t make any huge mistakes, I didn’t have to make some here or there.

The hand I busted myself was one hand I have thought about. There was a very aggressive kid at the table who had a pretty decent stack and he had raised every hand on the bubble, like 8-10 hands in a row. I am pretty sure he is raising any two cards. It’s my big blind and he raised. I had 18,000 in chips, blinds are 500-1000.

He’s raising to 2700, so I already told myself I was going to move all in on him if he raises and it’s folded to my big blind. He raises and there is one caller that I am pretty sure isn’t strong enough to call me and so I thought I would go with my plan and I shipped it.

He fairly quickly called with A-10, which is a good call, he knows I am making a move, but I keep going back and forth. If my original read is correct, that he is raising with any two cards, given he has raised 8-10 hands in a row, we are on the bubble and he is a pretty big stack, I think it's correct and it’s just bad luck that he happened to have the A-10 there and 90% of the time he doesn’t have a hand he can call with.

Then I am thinking to myself I can just fold there, have 18,000 and continue playing and easily make the money, just play solid and tight. I am a very good short stack player, I don’t have to guess there and hope he doesn’t wake with a hand. I could have just squeezed along. Psychologically it’s nice to get the first cash in so bubbling there was kind of depressing.

I got over that after an hour or two of wandering around. I played the 5pm mixed limit, no limit event and started off really strong. I doubled up my stack to over 20,000 early on and was one of the chip leaders at one point. Then I kind of slowly lost it back and made a couple mediocre plays and I have to recognize when I get hungry. I hadn’t eaten anything all day and I was getting famished and couldn’t focus and wasn’t playing sharp. I got myself very short stacked and was lucky to suck out and double up once and survive.

I ate something and was feeling better, finished the day on an upswing. I had been down to like 3,000, but I finished the day with about 20,000 or so. Hopefully I can make a big move; I am just giving myself as many chances as I can to go deep by playing as many events as I can.

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