My trip to Vegas had only one interesting event. When laying over in Denver, the gate agents (a.k.a., carryon Nazis), decided they would prowl the waiting area to identify bags they thought were too big for the overhead bins. They wanted people to check their bags through, so the airline would have a chance to lose or destroy them. Well, one guy claimed his bag would fit, and the gate agent said he had to put it in the sizer to demonstrate that it would. When he tried, it was clearly a little too big. He proceeded to try all sorts of things to get it to fit, starting with taking some small items out of the side pockets, then escalating to pushing on it, kicking it, and finally, actually climbing on it and trying to push it down with his rather significant weight. Still didn’t fit. Poor guy, he’s probably still waiting for it at the carousel.
Had an uneventful cab ride to the Wynn—never stayed there before and got a really good rate (less than Harrahs, actually). The place really is quite nice, with lots of good bars and restaurants. I headed over to the Mirage to play for a little while before the Daniel Tosh (comedian—does Tosh.O on Comedy Central) show that evening. Got on a 1/2 table and had a 4 hour or so session. One hand of interest. I have KK in the small blind. Action folds around to the button, who bumps it to $12. This player has been pretty tight, so I’m sure he has something. I make it $35 to go. Button just smooth calls. Flop comes AQJ all clubs (I don’t have a club). This flop could not be worse for me given that I’ve put my opponent on a strong hand. I check, he checks behind. Turn is irrelevant. I check again, he bets like $40. I think for just a few seconds, then say “I can’t think of what you could have called me with that would not be ahead here” and I fold face-up. Button shows me the pocket aces, and I think ‘that’s probably the cheapest I’ve ever gotten away from KK to my opponent’s AA!’. Ended up down for the session about $100.
The Tosh show was decent, not great. He was clearly “trying out” some material on a live audience, and some wasn’t great. I think I played for a couple hours after the show, but if I did, it was completely forgetable.
The next morning I was up early due to the time change (I’m from Missouri), so I went to Caesar’s for the 9am tourney. Never really got much going, and busted out mid-field. Headed over to Planet Hollywood for some 1/2 . Got on a new game pretty quickly. The first few hours were not so good. Didn’t get involved in many big pots, but slowly lost little chunks ‘til I was stuck about $250. Then a couple of bad players sat down. I think these guys were brothers but they might have just been friends. It became apparent pretty quickly that these guys liked action, and would also bet with almost anything if they were in position. They were not newbies, but just excessively aggressive. Me and another guy kept getting in pots with them, and they’d predictably throw a big bet in when checked-to on the river, and we kept busting them. The best part was, they’d go away for like 5 minutes and then come back and re-buy—often for weird amounts (e.g., $90 in 10 dollar bills, $155, etc.). It was like they were finding friends in the casino and asking to borrow money. The two of them were stuck about $1k when the following hand happened—I had AJ diamonds in the small blind. Naked aggression guy #1 makes it $15 to go (which he did about 30% of the time), and it comes around to me. I call (heads up). Flop comes with 2 diamonds. I check, NA#1 makes it like $20. I just call. Turn is a J, which gives me TPTK and nut flush draw—now, I could have put in a big bet here, but my feeling was, why bother if he’s sure to bet for me? Sure enough, he bets something like $30, and I just call. River is another diamond giving me the nut flush, but it paired the board. I’m 95% sure I’m good here, but I figure NA#1 would be again, so I check. Unfortunately he checks behind—I should have made him show, but I didn’t. He and his buddy think its pretty funny that I didn’t bet my nut flush and they have some fun making fun of my game. I don’t say anything, hoping they’ll stick around, but I’m thinking (“o.k., keep laughing DBs…. I’m stacking your chips and up a couple hundred, while you’re stuck at least a grand”). They finally leave after NA#1 stacks off to a guy who raised with QQ, bet out on a board of Axx, and again on the turn. We all thought for sure he’d have at least A-rag, but he didn’t, and was gone.
The other funny hand in that session was against a guy who looked amazingly like Hagrid from the Harry Potter movies… just a little smaller and with glasses. This guy played way too many hands, and wasn’t very aggressive when he had something good. I was under the gun, and called $2 with 3 4 spades. There were about 4 more callers, and Hagrid, on the button, makes it 10 to go. I make the call figuring that there’d be a lot of callers. Flop comes out 5-2-x rainbow, giving me an open-ender. It checks to Hagrid, who bets something like $15. One player before me calls, and I call, and it folds around. Turn is the beautiful 6, and there were two hearts on the board. First player checks, and I check thinking that Hagrid would bet for sure. He does-- $20, and the player before me calls. I’ve got the nuts here, and there’s a pretty decent pot, so I make it $200 to go. Hagrid goes into the tank, and finally calls (he had slightly less than the $200)—the other player tanks and finally folds. River completes the flush, and I think I’m sunk for sure—but Hagrid turns over AA—he called drawing completely dead. Lucky for me, the guy who tanked and folded did in fact have the flush draw (or so he said, I believe him). I cash out up about $300 for the session, which I’m pretty happy about given that I was stuck about $250 part way through the session. Had a nice dinner at PF Changs, sitting at the bar upstairs. The bartender there, Mike, was one of the fastest bartenders I’ve ever seen, yet he was still really friendly and helpful, and I made a point to mention to that to the manager on the way out.
Before turning in, I played a little 4-8 limit at Wynn. Players were not very good, and I left up about $30.
The next day I had a leisurely breakfast, and then strolled down the strip. I stopped in at the IP, but they only had 2-4 limit games—stopped in at Bally’s who only had one game going and a list of about 4. I guess it was kind of early (930ish) and a Monday. I popped into the Flamingo, where I’d never been, and got to the podium as they were getting ready to start a tourney. I bought in—about 25 runners for $60 or so. Terrible structure-- way too fast and way too few chips (I think 1500 chips and 15 min levels—yikes). I bust out early and join a 1/2 NL game. The young guy immediately to my left lets me know right away that the game is playing more like “Bingo” than poker, and pretty soon I realize why. Young doofus at the end of the table is raising everything pre-flop $15-$25—but he keeps hitting, too. He leaves pretty soon, though, and the game calms down.
One funny hand. I’m on the button, and look down at QQ. Someone in early position makes it $12 or so to go, and there are 5-6 callers to me. I decide to just call rather than raise. Flop looks pretty good for me—can’t remember exactly, but say 9-7-2 with two diamonds. It checks around to me, and I make it like $40 to go. I THINK it folds around to me, and for fun and to get a little “street cred” I flip over my QQ. A number of people go “whoa, whoa, whoa” and I realize that the guy to my immediate right had not played (I didn’t think he had cards)—I make mistakes like this VERY seldom. He was a nice guy from Canada, and he says “well, you wouldn’t believe this—do you want to check it down?” I figure he has the flush draw and I say “sure”—I feel like he has a real hand and my gut tells me he’s doing me a favor. Turns out, HE has QQ too. He had every right to push me all in, knowing he could do no worse than chop, but he chose to be a nice guy. I think I would have done the same if the tables would have been turned with this guy, since we’d been having a friendly chat, but if it was a player I didn’t like, I might have exploited it. Thanks Canadian guy! Later in that game, I had QQ again, and flopped a set on a KQx board, with two clubs. I bet and get one caller. Turn is an ace, and puts a third club on the board. My opponent checks, and I check behind. River brings the 4th Q. My opponent bets $20, I make it $60, and he calls with the straight (J 10). I collect a nice pot, and a $50 bonus for the quads. I sat in that game for another couple of hours, and sat next to AVP member “thebullUK” who was in Vegas with his two sons for his 50thbirthday—we had a good time yucking it up—his son was also at the table (both very good players). If you’re reading this, guys, it was nice meeting you, and I hope the rest of your trip went well. Left Flamingo up $200 from cash, down $60 from tourney. Nice friendly room, I thought.
I went over to the Venetian and got in a 2/5 NL game. Got up a couple hundred, then was down a couple hundred when I flopped a set of jacks and doubled up to pocket KKs. Funny hand there—There was a guy in seat #1 who had built up a pretty good stack through being a total luckbox and betting and calling A LOT, but had started to decline, and there was a guy next to me who was aggressive, but had a pretty solid game. Luckbox raises pre-flop to $15 or so, and aggro-guy makes it like $60—luckbox calls (they’re head’s up). Before the flop even comes out, aggro-guy says “here’s my next bet” and puts out a stack of $100. Flop comes AAK. Luckbox folds, and aggro-guy, feeling a little stupid, shows his pocket AA for flopped quads….. whoops. Might have left a little value on the table there! Left that game down about $100.
Played my last session at Wynn—1/2 NL. The only thing of interest that happened was that a guy showed up, and played over the chips of the guy next to me who’d gone to the bathroom. He said he was going to play $100 blind for two hands then leave. One of the other players at the table said “Hey, you’re crazy Mike, right?” The guy neither confirmed nor denied, and I’d never heard of “Crazy Mike.” He did exactly what he said he’d do, and lost both hands and left. I’ve looked up crazy Mike on-line and found a thread on 2 + 2—based on what people said there, I’d guess it’s the same guy. He was playing some other guy heads-up in a mixed game, 200-400, and they were taking a break, and he said he was down 40K. Based on my 10 min exposure to him, I’m pretty sure he’s got some kind of personality disorder, maybe bipolar. But not totally unlikable. What’s not to like about a guy pumping money into your game blind?
Anyway, had a very good trip—probably up a few hundred in poker, but not enough to cover expenses. Oh, and I saw Le Reve at the Wynn. If you were ever wondering what happened to gymnasts, divers, and synchronized swimmers AFTER the Olympics—this is where they are. Pretty good show…. Awesome theatre and special effects…. But be warned-- Don’t take acid before seeing this show.