Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vegas Trip Report, Day 4+ THE WSOP!!!

Welcome back for the final edition of the trip report. I will try to fit the end of the trip in this space. Let's see how I do!

Day 4 was WSOP day, the reason that I was in Vegas. The $1500 PLO8, Event #43. The plan was to get to Rio @11ish, register, grab some lunch and a quick chair massage to get rid of the Day 1 jitters. Everything went well and I cabbed it over to th Rio, having missed the 11am shuttle. Called Predator from the cab to review the game plan and get a pep talk. Tight, aggressive. Don't be a wuss. Don't go passive and spew chips. Got it. Got registered and ended up at Amazon Blue, Table 27, Seat 2. I had been getting a lot of Seat 2 assignments so maybe that was a good omen.

Ran to the Poker Kitchen for Brunch. I'd finally managed to sleep in a bit in anticipation of the long day. Brunch was a Burger, fries, Diet Mt Dew, and a banana. Several people recommended the burgers, and they were right. Not a bad deal. Then I headed in and got a 5 minute "warm up" neck and shoulder massage. I was pretty tense as this was my first WSOP event. The rub down definitely helped get me to calm down and focus.

Got to my table with 10 mins to spare and did some rubbernecking. I saw John from PokerNews but he looked busy and I didn't bother him. Their media table was a row behind me. I watched people mill around and start sitting. No pros at my table when the cards went in the air, but there were a ton in spitting distance. Scott Clements, Gobboboy, Eric Sidel, Marco Traneillo were all at the adjacent tables, but no one at ours that I noticed. The guy in seat 3 started chatting me up and seemed nervous. He admitted it was his first event and had a few backers. I'd be nervous too. I had one person that asked to own 10% of my total trip, but I didn't have any specific backers for the tourney.

Then, the cards were in the air! I was officially in a WSOP event!

Got a bunch of nothing for the first 20 mins. I had one hand where the new guy to my left min-raised PF and I found AALL in the BB. I smooth called. Flop was 9 4 4. I bet out 250, he called. Turn was a J. I smelled a rat on the flop smooth call and check-folded the turn. He said "how did you know?" and showed me 99. The spidey sense definitely picked up on something and I'm glad I trusted the read.

The deck slaps Seat 3 square in the face for a bit. He's up from the initial 3k to about 7500. He's busted one guy in Seat 5. Then, the late arrivals start to show up.

There was one issue at our table. Seat 7 and 8 were empty but had chips to start. Blinds were being taken away for a bit, then they came in and picked up Seat 8. Finally, they picked up Seat 7 into the dealer's tray and loaded it up for a new buy-in. That's when we got our table Pro. DevilFish came and sat down in Seat 8 about 45 minutes into the tourney. Damn. Nothing like an Omaha expert. Bah!

A few minutes later Seat 7 shows up and he's got no chips. He bought in the day before and should have been blinding down. Now he gets a full stack back. Small thing, but still annoying. It is his BB when the floor goes off to "investigate" why he has no chips. The ruling in these events is that you can't post or play until your BB so he wants chips. DevilFish asks Seat 3 to loan him 1k so he can play until his chips arrive. The dealer tells us that will get him into trouble. He calls the floor. The floor says he has to wait for the chip issue to clear up and to skip him. Seat 7 gets pissed and gets up. By the time he's the button, his chips show up. He doesn't come back. Well, he didn't come back as long as I was there, which we shall see isn't much longer.

The hand that did me in came 30 minutes before the first break at the 1.5 hour mark. I find myself on the Button with AJ34, with suited hearts. This is a nice hand in position and I decide to limp with 4 in front, hoping for a big flop. I get what I need with a flop of J 7 2 with the 7 and 2 hearts. Checked to DevilFish who fires out 500. I smooth call and the others muck. This was mistake #1. I should have raised him out, but I want to scoop a big pot, not win a smaller pot. Turn is Qc. DevilFish bets out 1k. I count down and this leaves me with 875. I'm not going to be a wuss, right? Wrong! Maybe I was start struck versus DevilFish. I didn't think long enough about it or I would have come over the top here. Strike 2. River is Qd. Crap. My monster draw went down the toilet. DevilFish pushes all in and I stop and try to reconstruct the hand. What could he have that I could beat? I make error #3 in the hand and finally fold after thinking for a good 2 minutes. DevilFish shows a J and mucks. I say "Yeah, right. You had a Q to go with that". He claims KKJx. I start to think about it and realize that I just lost a pot that should have been mine. There's no way that he had AA or KK on that flop (I had the Ah). He's not going to bet out. My best guess is that he had a low draw, most likely he flopped 2 pair with a hand like A2Jx, or 23Jx. I had at least a chop and possibly a scoop. If I would have thought for 60 more seconds or asked him what he had to try to get some information, I think I would have called. Instead, I was weak and mucked.

Blinds hit me now and I get nothing playable. Check/fold in the BB. Call/fold in the SB. I get Ak23 double suited in the cutoff and call. Instead of pushing. Again. I don't think I have fold equity. Flop misses and I'm down to 225 at the break.

I leave and go kick myself for playing like a passive donk. I was fairly card dead except these two hands. I give myself a pep talk during the break and watch the 2-7 triple draw final table. 15 minutes later I'm back with a new attitude.

UTG I find A 3 5 J with the ace suited and push. 3 callers. Flop is Ks Js 8s. My ace is a spade. Finally! Now I'm up to 675. I can come back. The next hand I am in the BB. Seat 3 raises and DevilFish calls. Everyone mucks to me and I find AdKdAs7d. I push. Both call. Flop is Td 3d 5c. Seat 3 checks to DevilFish who pots. He folds. DevilFish turns over Ah 2c 7c Qs. He's got the nut low and backdoor flush draws. I'm in good shape to get up to over 1k. Until the turn brings a club. And the river. DevilFish scoops me and I'm out.

I don't want to dwell too much on the past, I have learned my lesson. I didn't have my head on right or I would have made the call earlier and not ended up so short stacked. But that's why we play, to learn and grow. Hopefully this is a growing experience and I plan to return next year. I might play in the LO8 vs the PLO8 as the structure was a little fast. If you didn't move much by the first break you were in trouble as you came back to 150/300 blinds. With a 3000 starting stack, you need to move early or you will be in trouble.

I learn that there have been 100ish players busting every hour from the original 720 that started. So looks like I probably made the top 450-500. At least I wasn't out in the first 10 minutes.

So I'm out and owe Bleu a C-note. Bastid. Prior to the break I did go look him up and he had a nasty seat. He was in Seat 9. Seat 1 was Joe Hachem. Seat 2 was Gavin Smith. Yikes. Good luck raising your button or CO there. Gavin was playing his normal run-over-the-table game and had a nice stack. Bleu was sitting on 5kish. I told him I was in big trouble and he smiled.

I go over and check out the side game action. There's an interest list for 10/20 O8 so I get on it, hoping it will fill with players that are busting out. Meanwhile, there is a seat open in 5/10 LHE so I take it. I mix up my play between TAG and LAG and it pays off when I get A3 suited in the BB. Player 2 to my left raises and 2 call to me. I call. Flop is 3 3 7. I check my set and the raiser bets again. One caller to me and I call, hoping to get maximum value. Turn is the case 3 and I check. Raiser bets again, folds to me. I call. River is a J. I check again hoping that he puts me on a middle pair. He bets and I'm able to check raise and get that last bet. It was dicey checking to hope to get that final bet, and some would say to bet out on the end. By checking I was able to get $10 more out of him. I show the trey and he mucks. He claims a middle pair. Hope it wasn't 7s or else I got lucky :)

A few orbits later they start the O8 game. They were only waiting on a dealer. I go and mark a seat but come back until the table fills. I only get 3 more hands in and the O8 game is ready to go. I pick up and move, up a little.

The game is typical for a tourney bust-out game. People are cautious, trying to not make the mistakes that they did in the tourney. Being Limit vs Pot-Limit, there are a few more loose players. I'm holding my own when 2 guys get up for dinner. Bleu comes over and announces that he just busted as well. Same type of hand that I had vs DevilFish, but he came over the top on the flop and missed. Sucks to be him but I give him his $100 last longer. He's on the LO8 list but they can't seem to fill seats in our game. We are the game that the floor has forgotten. They change decks and the cards are warped, badly. We ask for a setup change. No luck. Dealer #2 comes in and immediately flips one of my hole cards. I ask for a setup change again. Nothing. 3 hands later she flips ANOTHER one of my cards and I ask her to call the floor over. We finally get a new setup after the guy to my right threatens to start tearing up cards.

There's 3 ahead of Bleu but they still aren't calling off the list. The dealer finally tells him to just go get chips as we have been 6-handed for about 30 minutes, since Seat 1 took a dinner break. The seat to my left is open and I debate taking it so that Bleu can't have position on me. I decide not to be an ass and it comes back to bite me. Bleu gets in the game and the deck doesn't just slap him, it pounds him. There's a 73 year old Navy man in Seat 2 that looks like Popeye. He's a riot, telling stories and mixing it up with Bleu and myself. I decide to turn up the gambool and straddle. Bleu blind raises. People give us the "hey, this isn't 3/6, what the hell you two doing?" speech. The next dealer is one from the Venetian on Day 3 and looks at me and says "Uh oh, you're starting again?". We of course Straddle/Blind Raise again right away and he laughs. Too bad the money flows to Bleu for the next 2 hours. He starts selling chips from his pyramid to other new players as they sit as we can't get a chip runner (remember, we are the table that the floor has forgotten). He's up about $1200 in 2 hours. I'm kicking myself for not taking that seat.

Finally, the guy to Bleu's left gets up and I change seats, hoping to change my luck. I'm stuck about $550. Finally, the luck swings. I find A3JK in the BB right after I scoop a kill pot UTG with a good hand (but don't remember the specific hand). Popeye is in as well as 4 others back to me. I say "what the hell!" and raise. It scares out no one, Bleu included. Flop is 3 3 7. Again. I can't believe it. Maybe I can hit my quads again! Bleu checks out of the SB and I fire out $15 (it was a 1/2 kill game, not a full kill). Popeye Raises! He's my hero! 2 others call and Bleu mucks. I call and hold up my hand so Bleu can see and say "I don't know what I want on the turn" and BOOOM...there's the 3. I'm happy that Bleu kept his poker face instead of laughing his ass off. I bet it again. Popeye RAISES AGAIN! I love this man! One caller back to me and I decide to see how far this will go and raise. Popeye and the other just call. River is a 9. Now is the time to give you Popeye's tell. It was balls-on accurate. He would always announce his hand by saying what he was putting YOU on. When the 9 came he said "I bet that 9 hit you and filled you up, but I'm going to raise you anyway when you bet." He'd done this at least 3 times previously and shown the hand that he said that "he bet you had". I know he's got 99xx. So I bet. Sure enough here he comes with his raise. Other caller finally bows out, I'm guessing he was on the nut low draw with no backup. I raise. Popeye calls and I show him my 3. He shows 99A2 for a busted low draw. I love the low-draw only raisers and scoop a HUGE pot.

Next kill I win again, but it is only $120ish. I post a 3rd kill in a row and count up what I have. I've just had a swing of almost $1k in 3 hands and now I'm up 350ish. Ask Bleu if he wants to take a dinner break and tell him I'm not going to push my luck and I'm picking up on my BB. He says he's done too and we pick up on his BB. Popeye was a great guy and came over to shake our hands and wish us luck. He made the table a fun experience.

I get a $10 comp from the floor and we head to Bleu's favorite place at the Rio, the Sports Deli. He claims they have great burgers. I waffle as I had one for lunch but finally cave. It's much better than the poker kitchen's. It's huge. I can't finish mine. Bleu's GF calls and asks if he's coming home anytime soon. He says he still wants to play poker. She must ask if he's retarded since I hear him say "no honey, I'm not retarded!". I realize what she's asking for and give Bleu a hard time on the way to the car. On the way back to the strip he realizes that he's not retarded and drops me at the Mirage, one of the few rooms I have yet to play. He's off for a booty call and I head in.

There's not much action, even though it is pretty early (it was just after midnight when I arrived). I see that there are 2 different 5/10 O8 tables going and one has open seats. I ask if it is a must-move and the floor says yes. I decide to sit anyway. There are 2 other open seats. This game was really rocky for about an hour while players moved to the main game. Finally we get down to 4-handed. One is an old guy that sits out saying "only the house wins in a short-handed game!" We ask for a rake reduction and the floor grants a maximum $1 rake from each pot. Not too shabby so we continue 3-handed. I'm next on the list to move to the main game and the 3 of us are all under 40 and start talking. Turns out the other 2 are 2+2ers that post a bit on the O8 forum. One, who will forever be known as "final table Ted" or FTT is sheepish when his buddy tells me that he made the FT of the Binion's PLO8 on Day 2. He acts embarrassed about it and doesn't want his buddy telling people "Because it was only Binion's!". I'm at a loss. A FT is a FT. I'd be damn happy. Oh well, they are drinking. We decide to get a bit loosey-goosey and I end up down just $26 when they call me for the main game. I decide that it is time to go instead and give up my seat to the other two. I head back to crash prior to Day 5. I have a red-eye flight so I plan to play a bit before heading back to the grind of real life.

Wake up on Day 5 at 10:30ish and Ralph is ready to try out the Treasure Island room. He's heard good things about it from one of the forums he reads so we head over. The poker room was nice, but TI was a bit of a disappointment for several reasons. #1, it was not quite 11am. The poker tourney started at 11am and happened to be a bounty. $125 buy in with $50 bounties on every player. Not a bad deal. We hadn't had breakfast, so we headed to the deli near the Sportsbook. It is closed. It has breakfast items on the menu. Strange. We ask at the cage near there if there is anything open with breakfast food. They point us to the buffet or donuts in the coffee shop. The buffet is too long, we just need a quick bite as we have 15 mins prior to the tourney start. neither one of us want donuts. She points out that it is a 5 min walk to the food court at the Fashion Mall across the street so off we go. I get a KFC chicken biscuit, Ralph opts for an eggs and hash browns from the cheesesteak place. We wolf it down and head back 15 minutes late for the tourney.

Within 20 minutes I have 2 bounties. The deck is finally cooperating with me and I have built up to about 5.5k from the original 2k starting chips. I would have had more, but both bounties were shorties when I got to them. I take out a 3rd and now I'm sitting on $25 profit. Things are going well. Ralph busts after he is crippled in a 3-way pot with a nut flush draw that misses. He heads to the Sports Book to watch the Germany Soccer game that he put a bet on. I get up to about 14k by the first break.

Coming back from the first break we find reason #2 that the TI sucks. Apparently, they have decided to drill for oil or something in the hallway right outside the poker room. I ask the dealer (who is only 2 seats away) what they are doing on 3 separate occasions and can't hear his answer. All I hear him say is "they say they are using the muffled jackhammers!" and the rest is lost in the noise. I'm getting a headache quickly and don't have my mp3 player to at least try to cut out some of the noise.

Back from the break and I take a hit with TT vs AK all in. Would have been bounty #4 and put me over 20k. He flops his A and I can't improve on my 2-outer. I battle back to 12k when they break down to just 2 tables. The guy who busted Ralph comes into the 4 seat and I'm in 9 (we are 10-handed). He is UTG and min-raises to 1600 with 400/800 blinds and a 100 ante. Ralph tells me he's been playing junky hands and getting lucky. 2 callers to me and I look to find AA. I think for a bit and push. He whines about "what? this is my first hand!!" finally he calls. Folded to me and I say "you're in bad shape" and show my AA. He has AQ offsuit. I'm very happy with the flop of K T T. The 9 on the turn is a bit troublesome. And the J on the river just plain sucks donkey balls. He counts down and I find myself with 1800 instead of 25k+. Crap. That's what I get for telling him he's in bad shape. DAMN YOU POKER GODS!!!

Next hand I have QsTs in the CO and push to win the pot, knowing that I have no fold equity, as there were 2 limpers in front adn the bounty is $50. Button calls as does AQ boy. Flop is A 9 4. AQ checks, others check to the button. He pushes all in to isolate (thanks for the protection now, you tool). AQ whines and folds. Others fold and I say "I'm in bad shape" until I see his 9 6 off. Wow. I have 6 live outs. Too bad none make it, and I'm out. I cash in my $150.

Ralph is playing a 1/2 limit game. I tell him I can't stay with the jackhammer going off 10 feet away and he agrees. He picks up and we over to the Sushi place in TI (which I have heard great things about) only to find it closed. Strike 3 for TI. At 1:30. I guess they don't serve lunch. We decide to hit the food court again for lunch and decide what to do. I finally decide that the AA cracked is an omen and I'm going to nap, then get up and hit some small NLHE games at the IP or nearby. Ralph heads back to Mandalay Bay and I get some shuteye. I get up an hour later and wander the IP for a bit. I get on the 1/2 NLHE list but the games aren't giving up many players. An hour later I go wandering. I finally give up and head up to the room to pack. I grab a cab at 9pm for my 11:30 flight and head home to civilization.

I count down my BR after the cab ride and dinner at the airport and realize that after expenses and without the WSOP buy in, I would have left Vegas +300. Instead, I'm -1.2k. But the WSOP was my reason for going, so I'm not upset. I was able to play (mostly) great poker, with just a few mistakes that I've learned from. I got some great experience that I can build on next year.

That's right, I'll be back for at least one WSOP event in 2009. Beware, Vegas. Meanwhile, I'll be online or at the Argosy near Cincinnati, OH. I'll cya at the tables.

5 Comments:

At 10:06 PM, Blogger Ignatious said...

enjoyed the hell out of the trip reports. we should compare notes, damnit. email me.

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger Custom36 said...

That was a good read. I stumbled upon your blog today (you can thank Google for it). Looks like an interesting blog. I'll definately be stopping by again. Good luck at the tables.

 
At 12:30 AM, Blogger sydneydoll said...

my sister is obsessed with poker.
she bought a set and everything
we each have like 5 packs of cards.lol.

 
At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Ralph said...

Hey Bill,

nice report! We had a blast in Vegas! You should have given me a bit more credit for my NLHE cash games though. First time I played NLHE cash games and I stood my ground - as opposed to limit where I simply got killed this time. That should tell me something, shouldn't it?!

Anyway, we'll repeat next year and chop 1st and 2nd at the damn main event!

 
At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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