WSOP 2016 Jamie and Henry Trip Report

The following is the daily diary or “Trip Report” kept by Bear Hug principals, Jamie Burland and Henry Jacobson that describes the highlights of their play at primarily the 2016 WSOP.

Event 014 – $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER

Entries: 7,190; Places Paid: 1079; Buyin: $1,500 Prize Pool: $9,706,500


10,150 from 7,500 starting stack at first break. Shame it’s not a bounty tournament because I took out two short stacks in one hand with aces…

10,450 at second break. Went down to 3.5k after opening AThh UTG and bet bet betting 9xxQx where I turned a flush draw, missed river, tried to get a 9 to fold and the guy check-raised all in. At that exact moment Russia equalised against England too, so it was a painful 30 seconds. Grinded back up to 5.6k then got 99 in pre against QQ and found the 9 river. Going back to 150/300/50a…

Got moved to a tougher table and have had to tread water a little bit. Bet / folded a couple of flops and ended up taking 8,600 to the dinner break. Returning to 250/500/75a…

Moved a few chips in this session. Got AQs in against AK and rivered the Q, then got AQo in against 99 and turned the ace. 30,500 going into 400/800/100a…

Yep, solid last session of the day, bagging and tagging 48,900 coming back tomorrow at 11am for Day 2 @ 600/1200/200a
Soundtrack of the session:



Arrived in town in the wee hours of Saturday morning following a brutal 11 hour Friday “commute”’ from San Francisco. I was 2 hours behind schedule and feeling the pinch of

the 10:00 a.m starting time later that morning. Rather than jump in the game after 3 hours sleep or arrive late and miss the deeper game stages that I particularly favor, I opted to un-register the game and rest up so that I could bring my “A” game tomorrow. Under the circumstances, this felt like a decisively +EV decision and is certainly what I would have counseled any of the Bear Hug players I work with to do under similar circumstances.

Day 2 Event 014 – $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER

Entries: 7190;  Remaining Players: 1172 (EOD Day 1);  Places Paid: 1079 Buyin: $1,500 Prize Pool: $9,706,500

Had a good seat but chipped down a little during the bubble. Got into the money with around 30bb. Crippled in a spot where Dom Nitsche jams 10bb, I rejam AKs off 30bb and the big blind wakes up with aces off 20bb. The case ace flopped but Dom still managed to win the hand with Q7hh! I busted the next orbit jamming A8o into AQo, 8 on the flop, Q on the turn. 815 place, Cashed for $2,531 and jumping straight into the $1,000


Event 017 – $1,000 No Limit Holdem

Entries: 2,242 Places Paid:  337 Prize Pool: $2,017,800

Jamie: Greg Raymer on my starting table.


Taking 3,900 chips into level 5. Toughish table, although Greg Raymer has busted (I didn’t win the fossil), Roberto Romanello is very active and has chips (he won the fossil). 150/300/50a…

Really moved some chips in the session before dinner. Got up to 26k before losing a 20k flip against Roberto Romanello AQo<66. Went into the dinner break with 18,900. Had a really refreshing sushi dinner with Henry and Feargal Nealon in Chinatown and feel ready to attack the next session which is 250/500/75a…

Chipped up to 30k, but then lost a few pots and then had to fold for an hour. Taking 18,200 into last session of the day. Bubble will burst on Day 1. 400/800/100a…

Great finish to the day. Had so much fun on a table full of really nice people all very happy to be there. The most fun was when I limp/jammed 25bb from UTG1 with QQ on the direct bubble. My opponent covered me and made the call with Kings, but we won the hand making quads.

Continued the run good and taking 62k into Day 2.



I started well and had chipped up to 13k (65bb) from a 5k starting stack by the end of Level 4. By the 2nd to the last hand of a very dry Level 5 (150/300/50) I was sitting 24bb deep and played this hand:

I had just moved to a new table and open limped (300) utg w/88 off a 24bb stack (only limp of the day). This is not a holding I would usually play this way off this stack, but we’ve been studying it lately as an exploitive approach to current game strategy. That I was new at the table also entered into my decision to make this play as my opponents were thus far readless. My plan was to back-jam any single-raised pot unless I picked-up a read that would convince me to proceed otherwise. There was a pro (one of the two capable pros at the table I knew) who was 20bb deep and 3 spots to my left. The action folded to this player and he raised to 900. I read him as quite strong based on physical information. The raise got called in two spots before the action got back to me. I flatted instead of jamming based on what I felt was a very strong read on the open-raiser for strength. As the action had unfolded, flatting here is not a mistake because of the pricing that had developed to set mine. That said, absent my read on the open-raiser, I’m always back-jamming because I can generate a ton of fold equity and pick-up 3k uncontested much of the time.

The flop came Q98r and I was first to act. Based on the strength of my read on the open-raiser 3 spots to my left, I open jammed my last 6k because I thought Villain had the hand strength to call off with a lot of his range, particularly on this flop texture. I also think my over-jam had the potential to look like a fishy stop-and-go which could lead to some lighter than usual calls. He thought about it for awhile and actually looked pained. Finally he put in his 4.7k. Of course, I was happy to see him tank before calling. The two players behind folded and I tabled my set after which he turned over QQ for set-over-set. Sigh…his tank had obviously been about generating more action behind him.

The game ticked over into Level 6 (200/400/50) on the next hand and I was the first player hit by the 400bb.  I got my last 575 in over a co open raise w/A3o and lost. I was pleased with my play today throughout. Cheers

Day 2 Event 017 – $1,000 No Limit Holdem

Entries: 2242 Remaining Players (at EOD): 239 Buyin: $1,000 Prize Pool: $2,017,800


Apologise for the brief update but have to zone in. Heat has continued into day two, 135k @ 1/2k. 146 left…

Lost some then won some back. 101,500 going into 1.5k/3k. Less than 100 left in this comp…

181k at din dins, enjoying this run so much. Roughly 18/62. Let’s go and win it!…

145k going into 4/8k 43 left…

Ah well, came 33rd. Kings into aces then KJ into AK. Cashed for $8,312.


Day 1B Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza – $600 No Limit Holdem

Day 1B Entries: 570

Chipped up to 27k by level 5 off my 15k starting stack and lost half my 80bb stack when a fishy opponent was rewarded for absolutely atrocious play. I won’t go into the details because it’s just silly. Treaded water until Level 8 when I was looking for a spot to resteal with my 17bb stack at 400/800/100 before the blinds ticked over with early hands of Level 9 at 500/1000/100. I was aware that once the increased blinds hit me (which they would that orbit), my resteal stack would be reduced to a push/fold stack. I was pleased to pick-up 88 4-off the button and get it in over the open-raise of the 6-off the button player. It folded back to the original raiser and he called with KK. I had him on a range of ATs AJ+ 77 99+ so with 3900 to play for, restealing was fine here though the result disappointing.

Spend the rest of the evening railing Jamie’s lovely run in Event 17 $1,000 NLH in which it took running KK from the sb into the button raiser’s AA to slow his progress to the final table.

Day off tomorrow and back at it with Event 23 $2,000 NLH on Wednesday. Cheers

Day 1 Event 23 $2,000 No Limit Holdem

Entries: 1,419 Places Paid: 213 Total Prize Pool: 2,554,200


Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday – it was one of those days where I ran into someone I knew on every break and didn’t have time to post here. I’m in the draw for day 2 which feels great. I would love it if I could cash 3 WSOP games in a row.

I had a good start yesterday taking 25k from a 10k starting stack to dinner, then got moved to a tougher table. Grinded for hours then got 17bb in with kings against aces. I keep getting coolered on this trip and getting there, such good timing for the run good. Back today at noon, something like 290 left, 213 paid and I have 41,700 @ 1200bb


Ran into a tricky spot early and took a hit to my 10k starting stack. The 5-off the button player limped to 100 and 4-off player raised to 500. The 4-off player was active and had done this the previous 2 hands in a row. I was in the cut-off and flatted with KhJh and we saw the flop heads-up. I put Villain on a range of 88+ A8s+ K9s+ QTs+ JTs+ ATo+ KJo+ QJo+. The flop came 8h6h4d. Villain bet 700 and I called. The turn came Td. Villain bet 1,150. I called. I needed 32% equity vs Villains range to call and was getting closer to 38%, so while the turn is close, I’m always calling this spot vs this range when 90bb deep. The river came the Kc and Villain bet 2,500. This is a call. Villain showed AA (no heart).

I doubled up during Level 3 and was sitting 37bb deep. About half-way through Level 4 (100/200/25) I jammed 21bb from the button over the Hi-jacks 550 open and busted when 55<AKo.

Sigh…felt great today and was happy with my play throughout.

Day 2 Event 23 $2,000 No Limit Holdem


Drew a good table with a couple of familiar faces. Marc MacDonnell is a great young Irish player who I have a bunch of history with online, and Steve Watts who is a very experienced live MTT grinder. The bubble burst within the first session and I had grinded up a little to around 50k. I managed to bust two shorties directly after the bubble burst which took my stack to around 80k @ 1.2k/2.4k blinds. I was feeling pretty good about things but then disaster struck. I opened JJ under the gun and was 3bet by UTG2. This player had 3bet me once before and had also won a pot against me defending from the big blind. My read was that he was a solid recreational player though, not a great talent and probably fairly ABC. I opened to 5.5k and he 3bet to 14k. I considered jamming my 33 big blinds and think this move would have been fine but in the end elected to flat with the intention of check raising all in on most non Ace-King flops. The flop came 543 and he cbet 15k and I went all in. He thought for 5 minutes during which time I started to feel it was looking more like he had a hand like 99-TT, he obviously didn’t have an overpair to my jacks so I was feeling pretty good. Eventually he sigh-called with AK and rivered the deuce. GG for $3,345 and 135th place.

Friday, June 17

Day 1 Event 27 $1,000 No Limit Holdem Seniors

Entries: 4,499;  Remaining Players (EOD): 675;  Places Paid: 675; Prize Pool: $4,049,100


Grinded hard for 6 levels without much to work with. Only managed to improve my starting stack from 5k to 8k by the dinner break. Had a light dinner with Jamie and started picking-up some playable hands in Levels 7 and 8 which allowed me to increase my 3-betting frequency considerably. This strategy works particularly well in this game due to the generally nittier style of play. I was able to chip up as high as 44k during Level 8 (300/600/100) which was my high water mark for Day 1.

Eventually some of the players at my table caught on and began to flat and play back at my 3-bets. I lost some ground in one spot where the cut-off opened for 2,600 (huge open raises were standard at my table) and I 3-bet from the button to 7k with JJ (a real hand!). Villain flatted and then open-jammed the AQ8r flop for the stack. I dumped. Lol.

Levels 9 and 10 were fairly uneventful and I gave as well as I took although I had to dial back the aggression somewhat. It was a longish 13.5 hour day from start to finish and Day 1 ended when the field reached the money with 675 players remaining. I ended up with roughly 28k and the blinds will be 600/1200 when play resumes in the morning. A resteal stack will surely come in handy, so I’m fine with my stack which was only a few thousand below average at the end of Day 1 play.

Looking forward to the 11:00 am restart in 10.5 hours from now. Wish me luck!


Day 1 $500k gtd at the Wynn; Buy-In: $1,100


This was by far the easiest table I have played on this trip and guess what? I busted before dinner! There was only one other half-decent player and we largely stood out of each other’s way. Everyone else was limp calling off their lives, value betting (or not) terribly, and just playing hands from all positions that would be car crash poker in the long term. Unfortunately you have to make a few hands against these guys, and I just failed to connect. I should have busted running AK into Kings but my opponent chose to slow play pre-flop, and fast play post flop – got away cheap! The spot that did it for me was when there was 3 limpers and I have AQo on the button. I make it 5 times the bb and the big blind goes all in for 23 big blinds. It folds round to me and although I don’t love it, there’s too much money in there too fold. I called and lost to 99, which left me with 2bb and I busted soon afterwards.

I have decided to skip today’s $1.5k WSOP event. It’s been an intense grind this week and I have to be honest with myself that I feel a little burnt out to start another MTT today. It’s over to the rail for me to support Henry bash them up in the Seniors.

Saturday, June 18

Day 2 Event 27 $1,000 No Limit Holdem Seniors

Entries: 4,499 Finishing Position: 151 Cash: $3,517


Felt great as I sat down for Level 11 with my 22bb stack and the 674 other players who had survived Day 1. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any playable hands, even by creative standards, for the first hour and by Level 12 had blinded down to 14bb when I got it in vs a 7bb stack and AJs<T8s for half my stack. I managed to double up shortly thereafter when 98s>A6s and went on to play 6 more hours of the grindiest poker imaginable where my stack was never outside of a 7bb-20bb band. With Jamie on the rail, I kept finding ways to nurse my little stack along as the field dwindled. By dinner break following Level 16, I was sitting 50k deep as the blinds were moving to 2500/5000/500 with 180 players left. This in itself was not remarkable as I had been playing this stack all day. More remarkable was that I had not yet found a way to bust. This trend continued until late in level 17 when I managed to get my last 35k into an 80k pot heads-up against a player who called off my jam with 54s. Well, J9o<54s when the 5 hit the river and I was busto. Sigh…

I can’t be unhappy with the result based on the way I got there.

It’s been a great 9 days here at the WSOP. I’m just sorry it’s coming to a close. Thanks for all your support.



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