Friday, July 04, 2008

Vegas Trip Report, Day 2

Welcome back dear readers. Let's move the story along, shall we?

When last we left, I had a fairly good Day 1 in Vegas, with $1000 of the $1500 in tourney chips I wanted to use to buy into Event #43 (which would occur on Day 4, for those wondering when we will get there).

Day 2 again started early. Even with getting to bed later, I couldn't sleep. I was up by 8am, showered, and off to McDs for a quick breakfast. Then over to Caesar's to check out the action. I arrived at 9:10 and realized that I missed the $70 9am tourney so I asked where there were open seats. One open in the 2/5NLHE game so in I go. A few hands in they announce that there's still seats available in the 9am. I didn't think to ask. Damn internet poker, I forgot that you can usually buy in live for the first 2 levels. I had played one hand and was down $15, but cashed out and got into the tourney.

I was lucky in that the stack I sat at had only seen one Big Blind prior to my arrival. I guess there were a few slow players there, but so much the better. I built up a little bit, but never got anything big going. Just prior to the first break at 10am I badly misplayed KQ from out of position and ended up all in versus AQ. I went with my gut that said he had a medium pair instead of my head that said "Whoa! Slow down! He might have AQ here!". I bet into him on every street on the Q-6-6 flop and then pushed on the river thinking he would lay down anything other than a full house. I was wrong, and I was out. There I go, trying to play level 2 or 3 poker in a small buy in game. Sigh.

By that time Ralph was up and he wanted to head to the south end of the strip and play some poker at Luxor or Mandalay Bay. We were planning to hit Binion's by 4pm for the PLO8 $160 buy in, so I was okay with a few hours and then a nap. We got to Luxor and there wasn't much action at 10:30, so we walked over to the Bay. They had a 2/4 NLHE game going as well as a few limit games. Ralph hit limit, and I sat at the CRAZIEST NL game I've been in for the last few years. It played like a dime/quarter home game. The 4th hand I was there UTG straddled for 8. I was in MP and decided to fold my J6 as there was a new player to my right that cold called. Three other callers back around to Mr. Straddle. He pops it to $100. Guy to my right calls. Guy 2 to my left folds. Then things get interesting. CO counts down and pushes for $68 more. Button counts down and pushes for $230 on top of that. Back to SB who now folds (huh?). BB Pushes for his full $400, Mr. Straddle Calls. Guy to my right calls. The pot is around $1500 and we haven't seen a flop. I suddenly want my cards back. Talk about Pot Odds!. Being a cash game, no one opts to show until the river. Mr. Straddle shows AK and scoops all the pots. on a board of K J 8 6 T. Damn. My J-6 would have scooped! Other hands shown were AJ, 76 offsuit, 95 suited, and 7-4 offsuit. I think I like this game!

Soon to find out the Mr. Straddle likes the straddle/big bet option when there are limpers. I use this to my advantage when I find QQ. I limp, 2 others limp. He pops to $100 and I shove. 2 folds to him and he gives me a dirty look and mucks. A few others at the table shoot me a significant glance and I know I'm not the only one who noticed the trend.

QQ shows up a few more times and I do well. One hand I'm in EP and raise to $15, new woman at the table who is talking about how she just cashed in a WSOP $1500 NLHE event calls, and 2 others. Flop is a beauty with K Q 3 rainbow. I check, she bets out $25 into the $60ish pot. Two mucks and I decide to smooth-call, hoping she puts me on AQ or AK. Turn is a 7. I decide to get crafty and bet $100, hoping that she might have something good. I get very lucky when she goes over the top of me. I call and show the QQ. She tables 77 and says "crap, I out you on AK or AQ and thought I had you there". I'm up to about $850 now from my original $400. A few hands later I get it all in with QQ again vs A-3 suited and they hold. I strike up a conversation with the new player to my right as he asks about my Full Tilt hat. Turns out he's in the online poker biz and we chat for a few rounds.

One of my last hands I finally find myself with position on Mr. Straddle. He's been showing junk and is a complete maniac. I have Q9 clubs (PANGER!) and the button. I call the raise and so do 3 others. He definitely has a target on him and we are just competing to see who can get his stack. Flop is Tc 9s 8h. EP new guy bets. Next mucks. Mr. Straddle calls. I am obliged to call with my gutshot/flush/middle pair. Turn is a 4c. EP bets again, but now about 1/2 the pot. Straddle calls. I figure I have to go with it here and call since the flush might make it. River is Jc. EP bets like $20 and you can tell he's not happy. Straddle happily calls and I go all in. I have everyone covered. EP mucks, and Mr Straddle calls. I show the flush and he shows a 9h and mucks the other card. I'm now up to about $1500. I like this game! The new player to my right says "Damn it, I could never get a hand or hit a flop vs him. You're a lucky SOB!" Yes sir, I am :)

I get up when the BB gets to me to keep my profits and go nap prior to the tourney. Since I have been hearing horror stories about how late the Binion's tourneys are going I head back. Ralph is doing okay in his limit game and decides to stay. He will meet me at Binion's later. I get lunch and take a quick 45 min power nap, then head downtown, splitting a cab with someone that was coming out as I told the doorman I was headed to Binion's. He's going to the PLO8 tourney as well.

Get to Binion's and the line is LONG with about 20 mins left to cards in the air. I hear people grumbling and finally they bring over 2 more to help with registrations, speeding things up quite a bit. I get paid and into my seat with 3 mins to spare. I hook up my mp3 and decide to sit in for the long haul. I usually don't use music or anything else, I like to hear what's going on. I decided to block things out for the first 20 mins or so and give myself some time to change gears. There's quite a bit of chatter at the table about online players, so I eventually turn it off to listen in. I know a few of the online names that people are discussing, and tell them they wouldn't know me as I'm a small-stakes guy. This table is pretty uneventful, and I just can't hit any flops. I have a donkey moment when I have 9c8c8h7h in the BB. The flop comes out Tc7c4s. I SB and I check and someone takes a stab for the minimum (I think we were at $50/100 blinds). Button calls, SB calls, I call. Turn is Js and SB checks. My brain takes a vacation and I find myself betting the Pot. This scares off no one as there are two good flushes and a low draw still out there and all I have is a straight. I should have check/called. I have no idea what I was thinking. River is, of course, the 5s. BB now pushes all in. I fold and curse myself for my stupidity. He gets 3 callers and shows the As2s for the backdoor spade nut, and the nut low. One other shows the Ksxs and the last shows A2o. Ship 3/4 to the SB. I feel like a moron. After that, I got no respect for a raise (and I don't blame them). I was out by the first break.

The good news is that there was a list for a 1/3PLO8 game so I got on it. Meanwhile I sat in a rocky 3/6O8 game and lost $22 while waiting for that game to start. Ralph had arrived just before I registered and had made it into a nice 4/8 HORSE game. One thing I forgot to mention that was funny about Day 1 6/12 HORSE is that Binion's had no way of tracking what game we were on and ended up with a stack of Post-its with the game name. By Sunday they had upgraded to 3x5 index cards. Classy! Ralph says the 4/8 game is good but there's 3 in front of me on the list. I still sign up and hope I can get into it. No pros that I knew this time, so I was hoping I could do well.

Meanwhile, the 1/3 PLO8 game starts. I look around and 7 of the 9 players claim to have busted in the first hour of the tourney. This is usually a good thing, because they are either going to be steaming and crazy, or rocky as hell and easy to bully. A few orbits in I know who is who and manage to hit 3 of my draws, one to scoop and I'm up $300ish. Two orbits later I stand with $250 in profits when I get called for HORSE. Looking back, I should have stayed as there was one ATM that was steaming and short buying, pushing with every hand (he played T 7 4 5 single suited from UTG, calling a raise from LP and then staying in when a T hit the board. Yeah, that type. AND I LEFT! Sigh)

The HORSE game is good and the guy to my right and I start talking a bit. He's a dealer in from Montana to play some WSOP events. Nice guy to chat with, but that was the only nice thing about the table. By the time I get there, Ralph is down and says that the table makeup has changed quite a bit. He decides to go and nap, and I stay on for a few hours, finally leaving down 160ish.

As I head back on the Deuce towards the strip, I get a call from Virge, who just woke up. He's hungry, as am I. We've never met in person, but he suggests that he picks me up in Caesar's circle drive and he'll take me to "The best food off the strip" after we find out that his first choice, the Sushi House at TI closes at 11pm on Sunday. We meet and get caught up in some nasty traffic as there's a fire in the rear lot at Caesar's. We ask Bleu if he wants to join in but he's in a nice 30/60 O8 game at the Bellagio and doesn't want to leave. He would end up playing all night, with 4ish hours HU vs Paul Darden. But that's a Day 3 story..more to come later.

Virge and I finally get out to his favorite place, which is Shucks Tavern & Oyster Bar out in Henderson. He's right, the food is fantastic. We chat poker while I enjoy some seafood bisque and then some of the best blackened scallops I've had in a long time. Virge admits that he hates to play with me online, because I'm too crazy. His advice is to quit trying to play so fancy. As I usually play with him in private events, I can see his point. I usually try to mix up my play and play level 2 or 3 versus people. I have some things to noodle, wondering if this bleeds over into my "normal" game. Food for thought and good food. We call it quits just after midnight and he drops me back at the IP, where I'm staying. He then goes off to rail Bleu at Bellagio. We all plan to meet up for Day 3 and grill out and talk poker at Virge and Lusky's place in Henderson around 7ish. Little did I know that would change.

Coming up - Day 3. Including an outside of casino encounter with a well-known poker pro.

Meanwhile, I'll cya at the tables.


At 3:25 AM, Blogger mona said...

This is a great article on vegas trip, which is a wonderful place.I too crazy about poker game, which is an interesting and amazing game.

Poker Player Profile-Chris Ferguson. Nickname: Jesus


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