Got back a few days ago from a three-night trip. Left St. Louis at 6:00am and got to Vegas at 7:15am—I like getting there early on my first day so I can make a full day of it. I have always been able to check in early, but this time, Harrahs was pretty strict and wouldn’t let me check in before noon. I stored my bags and headed over to the Mirage. Played some $1/2 until the 11am tournament, and left the table down a little bit—can’t remember any hands.
The tourney was well-run as usual. I stayed at about average for a while, but then started getting short (about 4k relative to starting 6k) after not catching any hands or flops. Then the following hand happens: I was in the small blind (blinds 100/200), and the action limps around to the button who limps. I look down at AQ suited, and decide to just limp in as well, hoping to disguise my hand and take down a big one, rather than raise and take down a little one (or be ready to get out cheap if I don’t hit the flop). To my surprise, the BB raises to 1k. He’s been pretty tight, so I’m pretty sure he has at least a decent hand, but the size of the raise makes me a little suspicious. I just call. The flop comes down AKx rainbow. I check, planning a check raise, but the button shoves. This surprises me, and makes me worry he has AK. However, I decide that he’d try to bleed me slower if he had AK, so I call. I’m psyched to see AJ, until the board runs out Q 10 to give him the straight. This puts me down to about 800 in chips because I had him covered. However, I triple up, the double up twice, and I’m back in very good shape. I have to abandon a pot with JJ when I raise and get called in two places, and the flop comes down A Q x, and my continuation bet fails to make either opponent flop, and the K on a turn receives a bet and a raise from my opponents. I get down to a fold or shove level of chips (blinds 400/800 and I have 6k), and decide to shove from the button about an orbit later with AQ with only one limper and the blinds. Limper calls my 6k with 89off (wtf?), and catches his 9 on the flop.
I head back to Harrahs, check in, and decide to take a little nap. Then I head over to the Tropicana to get my ticket to the Brad Garrett comedy club. I’m a big fan of comedy, and I like to break up my poker play with a show at some point during my trip. With a few hours before the trip, I stop by the Trop poker room and take a look in, but there is only one short-handed game going, so I decide to go over to the MGM. I play for about 2 hours, and leave up about $100, but I don’t remember any hands. The comedy show was very good—both the MC and the first comic were good, and the last comic was excellent, though I can’t remember his name (if you want to look it up, he was the second guy on the schedule on Friday 9/9). He tells the following joke: “So, a guy and his wife get into bed, and the guy says ‘hey honey, you want to make love’ and she says ‘not tonight, I’m going to the gynecologist tomorrow, and I don’t like to be, you know, unclean.’ The guy says “oh, o.k” and thinks about it for a minute. Then he says “you’re not going to the dentist, too, are you?”
I stop by the Planet Hollywood poker room on my way back to Harrahs. There’s an obnoxious guy sitting directly on my left, who just talks really loud and is basically a douche nozzle. He loses a big hand and leaves, but comes back like 5 minutes later, buys in for 200, and says “I’m going to double up then leave.” He plays a couple hands without getting too aggressive, but on the next hand, he says something like “I just want to warn everybody that I’m going to go all in during this hand,” and I basically believe him. From UTG, I raise with AK to $15, and he just calls—we’re heads up. Flop come K42 rainbow. I make it $20, and he instantly raises to $40. I say “raise” and he instantly says “all-in” before I can even start cutting chips out. The dealer makes him wait, and I raise to $80, then he shoves and I instacall. I flip over my cards and he says “I’m good now, I’ve got 2 pair” but he doesn’t show and I don’t believe him because he had lied about hands earlier. The board runs out 5 3, and he says “oh…. I win” and flips over f*ing K6 off. Ugh. I re-buy, but the DN leaves. I stay a little while and make about $40 back, but leave down $160. Head to bed.
Saturday I work in my room a little, then head to Mirage to play a little more $1/2. I play at a table with a couple of nice German guys and a drunk guy who claims he speaks 7-9 languages, but really appears to only know a few words in each of those languages. Kind of funny. He leaves and this cute young woman with huge boobs sits down. The 8 other guys and I are looking at her and someone says “welcome!” She flashes a smile, and as a group, we all lean about 3 inches away from her….. she’s got more metal in her mouth than Jaws from Moonraker. She seems to not know what she’s doing, but eventually I think it’s an act because she makes a couple of nice plays that give her away. I’m able to avoid a felting when my K-high (second nut) flush hits on the river, but a really tight player bets out immediately to my right. This guy has been so tight, and had been playing the hand as if HE had a flush draw too, that I’m very concerned he has the A-high flush. So I just call his $20 bet instead of raising, and in fact, he had the A-high flush. I’m pretty happy with myself.
I head over to Caesars at 4pm to play the “deep stack turbo” in their fall tournament series. The tourney seems well-run, and the competition seems mostly pretty solid (a few weak players). The blinds go up pretty quickly (15 min) until closer to the end (20 min), but the stacks are pretty deep, so it allows for a lot more play than most tourneys in Vegas in the $60-$120 range. I was card deader-than-a-doornail for the first two hours and was slowly bleeding my 25k down to about 12k when I woke up with AK on the button. A guy who had recently come to our table with a big stack had made a 3x or so raise from middle position (maybe blinds 400-800), so I shoved. He calls with KQ and I fade the Q for a double-up. I double up through the same guy a few minutes later with top two-pair, but am card dead into the final table. There were about 100 runners, paid top 9, and I was a teeny-tiny stack at the final 10. One of the other players suggests we all contribute $15 for the bubble boy, and everybody agrees. I hope beyond hope that someone will make a misstep or have a KK go against AA, as I’m hanging at between 1-3 BBs for about an hour. However, the players at this table are mostly pretty savvy, and know that the difference between the bubble boy payout ($135) and 9th place is about $200, so they put me on the death watch. I get lucky a couple of times (KQ against 88, and river a wheel for a chop with my J4 against KK), but I finally bust out. The players were very nice, and actually gave me an ovation for hanging on as long as I did. I leave, up $5!
I posted this elsewhere, but I overheard the following conversation during this tournament:
Tennessee: Yeah, well you wouldn't even BE here if it wasn't for Tennessee!
Texas: How's that?
Tennessee: Well, Texas asked for 2,000 volunteers to help save their ass at the Alamo, and we sent like 20,000 and saved your ass! Texas wouldn't even be a STATE today if we hadn't of won the Alamo for you!
Texas: Yeah, well, that's true. I appreciate it.
(Me, not saying anything, praying they would go on.....)
My last significant play was on Sunday at Harrahs. I heard on AVP that they were doing a splash pot, so I thought I’d hunker down there for the day (10am-6pm). A few interesting things. First, there was a guys sitting directly on my left who was the biggest luck-box (o.k., statistical variance box) I’ve ever seen at a 1-2nl table. He’d call peoples’ pre-flop all-ins with 33 and hit a set, or with JJ against an opponents KK and hit a set. In fact, I remember at least 5 sets that he hit in all-in situations. He also would be betting with gutterball straight draws which he’d hit on the river, make a huge suspicious-looking bet, and get called. He originally bought in for $200, the re-bought early for another $100, but worked his stack up to $2500 in about 5 hours. He was NOT a good player, and it was clear that he was going to give some back.
Early on our table got chosen for most of the splashpots ($50 for field goal, $100 for TD, and $200 for 2 point conversion or safety). After a couple of splashpots where people limped all the way around, I limped into a $100 splashpot with K7 off from UTG, and surprisingly, it limped all the way around. Flop was K 7 4 offsuit, and the SB bet $45 and the BB called. I shove for about $300 and take it down. I didn’t get involved in many hands for quite a while after that, and bled some of my chips back until I got these two hands. Hand one, I’m UTG and get KK. I make it $15 to go, and the luckbox on my right is clearly contemplating a raise, but decides just to call, and we’re heads up. Flop come J-high (say J 8 3), and I bet something like $30. Luckbox makes it $100 and I call. Turn looks like a blank (maybe a 5), I check and luckbox (like I predicted) bets $100, I call. I only have about $100 left. The river is another blanky looking card (maybe a 2) and I check again, luckbox bets my last 100, I call, and take down the pot with my KK to his QQ.
Perhaps the very next hand I have 23clubs in the BB. An aggressive player in middle position makes it $12 to go, and gets 4 callers before me. I usually get away from hands like this, but I was feeling flush (no pun intended) and thought this was a hand I could get away from on the flop, or could potentially take down a monster. Flop comes out J 8 7 all clubs. I check, and the original raiser makes it like $45 to go. It folds to me and I smooth call, thinking that it would look l am calling with a big club. Turn is a non-club blank, I check, and the opponent makes it about $70. I smooth-call again after thinking a few moments. River is a non club blank again. I consider betting out here, but this guy is pretty aggressive, and I’m pretty sure he thinks I missed my draw, and I think perhaps he missed his, so I check assuming that he’ll bet in either case. Sure enough, he bets about $200 and I snap call—he shows like a two-pair or something and I take down another monster.
I left Harrahs up about $600, and went to the Venetian for some tacos and a margarita at Cannonita (sp?), before heading to the V’s poker room to play a little 4/8 limit O/8 with ½ kill. I get down 100 pretty quickly by whiffing a few flops early on, but later catch a str flush on the river, then catch AA double-suited, and actually flop a set and turn a boat and take down a nice pot. I leave down $15.
Overall a very nice trip, with a small profit due to the one good session at Harrahs. Hopefully be back in November.