Flashback to the summer of 2016, reminiscing my infamous run in the WSOP Main Event. With temperatures soaring to 44.C outside and feeling like 4.C inside with the air con on full blast, Vegas was not for the faint-hearted. As I sat down to play Day 1 of the Main Event, the atmosphere was electric. Thousands of hopefuls on hundreds of tables, riffling their chips with the hope of making Day 2 and beyond.
I had already been in Vegas for a week which was long enough to catch the Vegas bug that was going around. I was sitting at my table drinking Lemsip trying to recover which wasn’t the ideal start to the biggest tournament in the world. Nevertheless, I soldiered on and despite having a couple of bad beats I managed to survive the day and make it to Day 2.
The following two days were a struggle on tough tables with only a few big hands to play and still feeling ill. As the money bubble approached on Day 3, I started to get short on chips. I picked up AKcc and got involved in a 4-bet pot aip against QQ. It was a classic race which I won and never looked back. That gave me the confidence to open up my game and chip up which I did after the bubble burst.
Will builds a big stack with a smile on his face
Day 4 I was feeling much better, both mentally and physically. Now it was time to really go for it and build up a stack. I played a lot of pots in position and targeted the weaker players at the table even though there weren’t many. I won a big pot against a LAG Frenchman next to me whom I speeched into calling off his whole stack on the turn with second pair and a flush draw when I had top pair and the nut flush draw. Merci Monsieur. Au revoir!
Day 5 was a day to remember. I managed to win one of the biggest pots of the tournament thus far with 9 high on the river against QQ when I got my opponent to lay down the overpair to the rainbow board of 2358T. A new catchphrase was born, “9 high like a boss” which would subsequently go global! I crushed my table and was chipleader in the whole tournament followed closely by Dan Colman in 2nd place. Needless to say, I was buzzing at this point.
Day 6 was not so easy. I was on a tough table with hardly any spots and only a few hands to get involved in. I had to steal pots in position and grind my way to get through the day. I was determined to make it to Day 7 and with only 27 players left in the field, I had managed to bag up chips for the 6th time in the tournament.
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— William Kassouf (@WilliamKassouf) 18 February 2018
Day 7 was the final push towards the final table. I started the day 22nd in chips and had a lot of work to do. I managed to pick my spots wisely, taking advantage of the two-hour clock and chipped up without even putting my stack at risk. I soon had the whole table on tilt as they didn’t want to give me more chips, yet they didn’t want to be bluffed off hands either so they called me off light and I was soon one of the big stacks.
We were down to 18 players at dinner break and there was a re-draw for seats. Seated at the feature table I picked up AA in the BB. Action folded to the SB who limped. I 3x raised and he called. The flop was Ace-high, all diamonds. I had top set but didn’t want to slow play it so I bet and he called. Unfortunately for me, my opponent made a Jack high flush with AJo and I lost a chunk of my stack. A few hands later I picked up KK and got involved in a big pot against AA, and the rest is history! Two massive coolers back to back and the dream was over.
Obviously, I was gutted to be out having got so close to the final table but I was proud to have been the last Brit standing, and finishing 17th out of nearly 7,000 players for over $338,000 was a great achievement in itself. To this day I think to myself what could have been but I relish the opportunity to do it all again and hope to make the final table this year! If I do, you’ll certainly hear about it!
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