Fat Gringo Poker - Part II


The day started with me walking across the street to the Gold Coast for breakfast at their buffet. It was a much better deal than the buffet at the Rio. Food was decent although there was a more limited selection. Also the fruit at the Gold Coast was mostly canned stuff while Rio’s buffet had a better selection of fresh fruit. On the other hand Gold Coast is less than half the cost. Enough said.
I then went over to the Rio poker room. There was a waiting list and the floor explained to me that with the cash drawings going it was very unlikely he would have a seat for me for over an hour. I appreciated the candor. I went upstairs to my room and got caughgt up on my email. Then I went out. I figured I would need some exercise so I walked from Rio to Excalibur, then took the Tram to Luxor.
I sat at a shorthanded table and it slowly filled up over the next few minutes. I knew I was in for a short session since I had some places to go so I tried to play conservative. No joy. First hand I have 99, hit a set and get run down by a baby flush. I get a lot of drawing hands, go up and down but mostly down. I just couldn’t get any traction and cashed out down most of my 1st buyin. One thing is they aren’t tied into the MGM MLife system so play there earns you no system comps. They do have have promotions and they’ll handwrite you a comp, but there are a lot better places to play than here.
Then I took a tour of Bodies and Titanic at Luxor for a travel review I was doing. Then I walked down strip and had a late lunch at Panda Express before doing CSI: The Experience at MGM. With my business for the day done I hit up the MGM poker room. I wanted to have a more extended session here.
It got off to a horrible start as I quickly ran my boat into Quad deuces. Uggh! I went from counting chips in my mind to being felted in a nano-second. After the bad result at Luxor I briefly thought of giving the day up as bad karma but I decided to screw it down and put my extended session in. Lord knows there were reasons to stay. First of all it was a lot of fun. There were two female, Asian off-duty dealers there who kept buying in short and flirting outrageously with an older man at the table. Plus we had a steady stream of spewing tourists wander in. The first one sat down right after my felting – a skinny black guy who was borderline maniac. After detecting a betting pattern I called one of his raises from position with Ax9d. He kept betting and I kept calling right up to the river where I had made a 9-high, four-on-the-board flush. From his betting I was positive he had a weak hand like a pair. Sure enough he went Ai on the river, I called my weak flush and sent him mumbling on his way. He left so fast he didn’t see he still had one chip left. Oh well.
Then one of the Asian dealers was talking about her favorite hand – “K-4” just when I looked at my hand to see – you got it – K4off. I was in the 9 seat and I heard the dealer chuckle, he’d seen the hand and recognized the irony. Just for fun I bet and ended up bullying another player off the hand on a scary board and I proudly showed the “K-4” The dealer scolded me! She said it had been T4 – not K4! Well I won and the K4 became my hand of thunder. Twice more I played it. Once I hit 2pr and caught a great pot, the second time I again muscled another player off the hand. Each time I showed the hand to the amusement of the table.
This set up a key hand – the big stack open raised to $12 UTG and I smooth called with 44. FLOP 943, check check and I bet, mentioning how much I loved K4. Turn K and I again bet the checkers. Big stack moved AI – surprising me but after a moment I decided he most likely playing something aggressively like AK and I thought I was still good. I called, river blanks, I show my set and Big stack mucks, stunned and now my stack is getting good. I continually build my stack using selective aggression. About 7p I get hungry and decide to cash out when I give some chips back, so I cash in for a +$600 profit.
After that I got out for more walking. I settled on Bally’s because I wanted to give the night time crowd a try. I stopped and had some excellent Pad Thai at Sea – the excellent Thai restaurant at Bally’s – with a mango smoothy, yum!
Then I hit up Bally’s poker room. This was wild, ram-em jam-em poker. One long-haired guy in particular was doing all sorts of wild bets. It was great to make money but frankly I was not sharp, tired and had too much poker already in the day. Long hair liked to straddle the button then make a big raise, even going all in when several called him. I’d basically surmised that If he really had a good hand he would simply make a stiff bet, but if he didn’t he would go AI.
Sure enough it happens a fourth time. He straddles and several limpers to me to see 77. I call and there are five limpers to long hair who goes AI. Fold-fold-fold-fold and I call. I am in the lead to his offsuit JT but of course a T hits and my stack gets flayed. Shortly after I decide I was better off done so I head back to the Rio.
Over all good work, good action, but I need to be better prepared mentally before I play that game.
Luxor -$174
MGM +$642
Bally’s -$206

Wednesday – DAY FIVE
I had appointments all day but I finally broke away and headed to the Imperial Palace. I arrived well before the mixed game so I signed up for the 1-2NL interest board. It got going after about 20 minutes. I really like the new location for the room – near the entrance and everything is newly felted and comfortable. Nothing really to comment on the play, just typical 1-2NL on the strip. I slowly built up my stack playing ABC and position and I cashed out to the good.
At 7pm I looked to see how the mixed game was going but saw only three names on the list. I decided to give it a few more minutes but several showed up – Scooter7 and several others – so sorry because I am horrible with names and I didn’t jot them down so for everybody who came.
The mixed game was loads of fun – just a lot of guys playing unfamiliar games – 4-5 calling on anything and just showing down, half the time playing horrible cards. I got confused and proudly showed a 5-4-3-2-A in 2-7 Triple draw and was embarrassed to realize the A didn’t play – ugghh! Any way with 3-4 calling all the way to the end you had to make a hand and I never did. A lot of fun but it erased my earlier NL winnings of the day and more. Fortunately another appointment was nigh and I had to leave – or else I might have had to mortgage my children if I’d stayed in the game too long.
About 11pm I hit the Mirage for some late night play. There was one tourist playing who obviously knew what he was doing, playing tricky and aggressive and I quickly decided to stay out of his way unless I had something to fight with. The rest of the table was loose weak with a fair share of alcohol lubricating the works. Nothing major to write about but two hours later I left up, so despite my wretched benevolence at the mixed game I ended the day to the good.

NL +$125
Mixed Game -$198
Total IP -$73
Mirage +$113
Total DAY - +$40

Wow – what a ride this day was.
It started well had breakfast in my room then went about to do a couple of appointments and some sightseeing. I stopped at Margaritaville to use a Groupon coupon – fish tacos and margaritas – so good. Then it was off to Harrah’s.
I have a love/hate relationship with hurrahs – I either do wonderfully or a lose horribly. When I arrive early afternoon there are three tables going – four players at a final table for a tourney, one fixed limit and one full NL. AAfter 20 minutes I am about to head off to greener pastures when I am finally seated at the 1-2NL game and I buy-in for my typical max - $300 here. Second hand I am in the hijack with two limpers, I see AdTd and raise to $11. Three callers to the flop:
A MP player bets and I consider just calling, but I sense I could get some action here and with the nuts against several players I decide to play faster here. I raise to $40. The cutoff raises to $140! It insta-folds around for me. I expect Cutoff has a set so not much to do except push AI and I’m insta-called.
My heart leaps to see that I not only dodge the board pairing but I now have a straight flush!
I turn my cards over and say “I have a straight flush.”
Cutoff says “So do I, mine’s bigger.” And I see his 9d6d had just snapped off my nuts with his one-outer. He more than covers me so the $600+ pot is shipped his way. No BBJ, of course.
I sit for a minute, contemplating the cosmos where in a single week I can win with quads, lose against quads and lose my straight flush vs a bigger straight flush. I sit and meditate on the world where A guy calls a raise with 9d6d and gets paid off when his one-outer hits.
I leave and meander along the strip, not really seeing anything but just burning off my frustration. An hour later, cold and my knees starting to feel the concrete beneath my feet I start debating whether to go back to my room or find something to do. I decide I don’t want to go back to the room so start mentally fighting over where to play. I finally decide to tyr the Bellaggio and away I go.
I haven’t played in the Bellagio for three years after a series of poor experiences with the room and management. I’m pleased to see they have finally gone electronic, the management is actually cheerful and helpful and the tables and chairs look to be in good shape – looking better all the time! I am seated within 15 minutes. Quickly I see this is better than your normal Las Vegas 1-2 NL Tables. Several people are chatting and it is clear they are regulars at Foxwoods. No one is really out of line, or drunk, or spewing. That’s not to say they are great players. I quickly detect several who have leaks I am hoping to take advantage of, but I’ll need cards to do it.
But while I am considering this I hear a familiar, rumbling voice behind me and I’m delighted to see Brad Garret sitting directly behind me at the next table. Obviously he is in relaxation mode, while a series of people are coming up to chat with him. I decide to let the guy play in peace. From what I could see he was doing well – ending with a stack north of $900 on a $1-2NL game.
As for me it is just straight poker. I only get one hand of note when I call out of the SB with 22 and make my set. A young lady from the Foxwoods regular crowd made a crying call on the river after making her little speech about how she knew it was a bad call but had to do it any way.
It was a small win, but after the debacle at Harrah’s it felt great.
Harrah’s -$300
Bellagio +$48

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  1. "Cutoff says “So do I, mine’s bigger.” And I see his 9d6d had just snapped off my nuts with his one-outer. He more than covers me so the $600+ pot is shipped his way. No BBJ, of course."

    You know I'm going to have nightmares about this for the next two weeks...

    As always, great report.

  2. I enjoyed meeting and playing with you and Seymour at the IP mixed game. I was one of those guys playing unfamiliar games and playing horrible cards, but it was fun. I was the self-proclaimed Badugi champion, after getting dealt 5 pat Badugi hands in a row. My loss for the night was a respectable -$75.00

  3. @rlloydevans
    This is my nightmare. I know if this ever happens to me I'll be playing where there is no BBJ.


  4. I claimed myself badugi champion too. I had the expos hat on sitting in seat 2. Glad I got to play in that mixed game. Haven't stopped playing those games since.