Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Vegas Trip Report, Day 3

Hello dear readers. Thanks for popping in to see what's new.

When last we left, I was doing very well in Vegas. I was up in cash games and doing decently in the SnGs for tourney chips at the WSOP. My goal was to play in the WSOP Event #43, $1500 PLO8 buy in event. Thus far I had $1k in tourney chips and more than enough to cover the rest from cash game winnings. I kept expecting variance to hit, and today was the day.

After Virge dropped me off on Sunday night (Day 2) he headed over to watch Bleu playing some 30/60 O8 at the Bellagio. When I woke up on Monday (finally after 9am. Must have been the good food) I sent Bleu a text to see if he was up. Much to my surprise, he was still up and at the Bellagio playing. The 30/60 game. All night. We were planning to get to Virge's around 7pm but he wanted to try to do a lunch instead. Seeing as the boys in Henderson are night owls, I was sure we wouldn't know anything until closer to noon, and then only if we could wake someone up.

In the meantime, I headed over to Bellagio to rail Bleu. He was doing well and had a winning session versus Paul Darden over the wee hours of the morning. When I got there it was a bunch of older gentlemen filling the game with Bleu, so I watched. Meanwhile, I got on the 2/5 list. I haven't ever had good luck at the Bellagio, but I was hoping to change that. Bleu was doing well, holding even while I watched. We tried calling and texting Virge and Lusky, but no such luck. Meanwhile, they called me for the 2/5 game and off I went.

I sat with a full $500 buy in and watched the action for a few orbits. The two players to my right were being frisky with each other and pushing more that I would expect. I was waiting for the right hand to limp/call and then come over the top and isolate versus one or the other. Meanwhile Blue came over and said he just raked 4-5 pots in a row, all kills. Noyce. I waited and waited, finally got up and went over to chat with Bleu about the action and how I was card dead. Still no response from the Henderson crowd. I told Bleu that I was going to stack one of the young agros, I was just waiting for my spot.

I found myself on the button with KK. UTG+1 player, a blonde that was trying hard to fall out of her top and distract others (which was working on the guy to her left) opened for $20. The googly-eyed guy to her left called. Fold fold. One aggro called. The next aggro called. I decide that they might all be playing A-x and have each others outs so I raise to $100. Folded back to blondie who thinks for a bit, then pushes. I was trying hard to get a read on her, but she was just being her bubbly self. Everyone folded back to me which made me think for a few minutes. She could have AA. She could have KK-TT (she had pushed earlier with TT PF in EP). She could have AK, AQ, or AJ and think that I was trying a position steal. With the callers behind her, I thought for sure I was good against her range and I called. She of course tables AA and my first $500 is gone. Whoops.

I rebuy for $200 and build a bit, getting up to $325. I get involved with aggro #1 with AT suited in position and we build a $100ish pot PF. Flop is all low cards, no spades. He bets out $40 and I think for a bit and finally call. Turn is another blank and he again bets out a little less than half the pot. I have to put him on a pair and muck. Down to under $200 now so I pull out $300 to fill up. Nothing, card dead. Nothing, card dead. Sigh. I decide that I'm going to pick up on my next Big Blind. I find AsKs UTG +1 and raise to $20. 3 callers. Flop is K 4 T, rainbow. Aggro-boy #1 is in the SB and bets out $40 again. I think I might finally have a shot at his stack, so I smooth-call. 1 caller behind. Turn is a beautiful K. SB bets $100. I min-raise $100 more. Folded to aggro. He thinks for about a minute and then pushes. In hindsight, I should know that he's got to have TT or 44, but I'm blinded by my top set. I don't even hesitate and beat him into the pot. Sure enough, he's got 44 and I can't hit a T or K. Down $1k, I decide that the Bellagio is cursed for me and get up. Such is life. Looking back now, I realize that I could have mucked the AK after the over-the-top raise, but I really didn't think he'd be playing bottom set that way. He had been playing a lot of hands (2 pairs, str8 draws) the same way, so I did fall into his nicely laid trap. Sometimes you just have to admit you were outplayed. His maniac image did well for him and I fell right in.

Went back to check on Bleu and he was well up. I called Ralph and he was over at Bally's playing a low-limit game again. Finally convinced Bleu that we needed to head out to Henderson before he falls asleep and he tried calling Lusky. Finally got someone out of bed around noonish. Ralph walked over to Bellagio and off we went.

On the way I asked where we were going to stop. I had mentioned that for a few hours to pick over these boy's brains I'd be willing to spring for some nice steaks and grill out. Bleu said he knew there was a Whole Foods near their place in Henderson, so off we went. I would have prefered someplace less "organic" (read PRICEY), but Bleu was the driver. I think I got rolled :)

We get out to Whole Foods and it's exactly what I thought. $0.69 per ear of sweet corn? Dear Lord, did the Pope bless the field? I'm more of a 10 for $2 guy! Their meats all did look good and weren't too far off what I'd expect to pay in the desert. Bleu wanted hot dogs for some reason so we picked up a pack (for $5) and buns (for $4). Sheesh. Walking back to the Bakery for some dessert and we have our first out-of-the-casino Pro sighting. There's Phil Gordon, strolling through the Bakery. He's a lot taller and thinner than I expected, and his eyes are totally bloodshot. I give him "the nod" and he stares at me like I just check-raised his grandmother. No nod back. No acknowledgment at all. What the hell Phil? You've stacked me twice with suckouts in Bad Beat on Cancer events and I can't even get a nod? Granted, he was pry tired as hell from playing cash games all night, but give a guy a break!

We finish off the shopping trip with a strawberry shortcake and 4 huge cookies and head over to Virge and Lusky's place. Good thing we woke Lusky up, as Bleu hadn't been out there before and didn't know the address. We get there right about 1pm and fire up the grill.

Bleu pulls down SS2 to read what Matusow says about O8 tourneys as he plans to play the PLO8 event tomorrow as well. We decide on a $100 last longer while he's curled up on the couch, looking like he's read to fall asleep any minute. He's been up for 26 hours, so who can blame the guy? We get the corn and potatoes going (little nuke help on the potatoes) and Lusky shows me a few things he tracks while playing online. We have steaks for me, Ralph, Bleu, Virge, Compton, Lusky and Lusky's GF. The GF never makes it out of bed as she's not feeling well, but Lusky did take her up a plate. Maybe he just ate it himself, we will never know. Compton finally gets his lazy ass out of bed and claims that he "doesn't really like steak" and "especially not for breakfast". Damn Canadians. Eat some red meat you Frenchy! :-D

Bleu asks if anyone is going to eat Compton's steak. After eating his and 2 hot dogs. We all hum and haw while he goes out and grabs it off the table in the back. By the time I finish my first steak he's packed away the second. That boy can EAT. They were all 16oz+ so he was slowly falling into a food coma. Virge ran up to vacuum his bedroom and make it presentable and I got online for the first time in a few days and made some posts on the forum and 2+2 about my week so far. Virge calls us up to see his setup and we talk poker for a bit. Bleu starts to think that their couch looks like a nice place to crash, and Ralph is itching for some action. I would have liked to stay around to pick some brains for a while longer, but I have their AIM info as well as cell phones and I decide to head back to the strip with Ralph. Bleu will drop us off before heading home to crash and sleep through to the PLO8 tourney. I debated asking him to drop Ralph and staying in Henderson for a while, but finally decided that would be asking a bit much from Bleu, and headed back. We dropped Ralph at Mandalay Bay and I went back up to nap prior to the evening festivities. Was a good time in Henderson and I definitely need to spend some more time there and learn from the pros. Thanks again, guys!

I wake from my food coma around 6pm and check in with Ralph. He's not happy down at the Luxor and we decide that I'll scope out the Venetian to see what is going on there. We have heard that they have a nice O8 game that goes every night. When I get there the O8 list is 10 deep so I get on 2/5. I tell Ralph that it's a go and he arrives a bit later and gets on the O8 list. Meanwhile, they start a new 2/5 NLHE game and I'm itching to make some back after the morning losses. I get one whole orbit in again and get called for O8. I sense a pattern. I get up and move into a very tight and mopey 4/8 LO8 game and decide to gambool a bit and see if I can wake these people up.

Boy did that ever work. I straddle the second time I am able and get a few looks. The guy across the table from me just got back from a tour in Iraq and has been hitting everything. He gives me the look and I say "I straddle to change my luck. Let's see if it works!" He laughs and calls. The game starts to change complexion and loosen up a bit. I manage to win a few and get up when pandemonium breaks loose. There's a few folks in the game from PokerNews that are in town covering the WSOP. One is starting to tilt a bit with the new action and is down to his last $30. I'm UTG and straddle again. The guy to my left blind raises and it continues until we cap at $24 PF. The tilting buddy is next and cold-calls the $24 before the cards are even out of the shuffling machine. We have a $200ish pot PF. Who's not gonna see this one to the end? People are starting to laugh and yell. The poker room thinks we are nuts. The list for the game starts to fill up. The dealers are telling us they have never seen this much action in an Omaha game. We start having a good time for the next 2 hours or so. Then, another PokerNews writer sits 2 to my left and becomes a wet blanket. People are starting to realize that they are losing and start to clam up. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. I was up and down quite a bit and moved seats after the Iraq vet left to see if he had a lucky seat. No such luck, I finally call it quits 5.5 hours in and realize I lost about $240 in a 4/8 game. But I wanted to gambool it up and get out some pre-WSOP jitters. I think it was well worth it as I had fun and got to meet some neat people. I also think I got all the gambool out of my system so I could tighten up and play solid for Day 4.

Next up - Day 4. The WSOP. And my encounter with the DevilFish. Look for it in a few days.

Meanwhile, I'll cya at the tables.


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