Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vegas, Day 3 and 4

Hello all, and welcome back. First, a clarification. Jody: Mike and I shower separately during all parts of this trip. I know this is a disappointment due to your jealousy/man crush on either myself or Mike. (probably both, cause who doesn't?)

Moving on.

Day 3 (wow...this is longer that I expected. We did a lot on Tuesday!)
When last we left, I had finally turned around the trip with a cash in Binion's PLO8 Poker Classic Event. Mike had crashed early on Monday, so he was up and ready to go early Tuesday. We get up and hike down to MGM as Mike likes the room and I want another shot at winning at the room, and I want to play the 11am $65 buyin. I sign up when registration opens at 9:30, and we are sitting in the 1/2 NLHE again for a bit. I get a bit worried when someone asks "Who's playing in today's turbo?" Uh oh. I didn't check out the structure before signing up. I look, and it is a fast tourney, so I know I'm going to have to keep chipping up. I have another down session in NLHE and decide that I just have bad luck in the room (I had AA cracked this time vs 77 and JJ. Of course, the 77 hit his set)

We get started with 70 runners. They allow "re-entry" as an alternate for the first hour, so we end up with 82. First place is $1600ish. Not bad for a $65 buyin. I start slow and bleed chips for the first few levels, just watching people play. I work on my reads, and take my time with decisions. This really is the key for me in this tourney. I don't rush and react. I stop, I think about the action, I put people on ranges, and then I make my decisions. After level 3 I start to step up my game and double up with JJ versus A8. No A and I'm doing well. We have a few players busting, and we are the last table to break prior to the FT, so I will have some time and be able to build an image at the table. I check on Mike, who is at the first table to break. He doubled early and is in good shape as well.

I get decent cards and am able to apply pressure well. I have one bad fold where I have 99 in the small blind. The button, who has been playing solid, raises with 200/400 blinds to 1000. I have about 8.5k and reraise to 2500. She insta-shoves. I think for a few, and finally fold, not wanting to race at that point. She lets out a breath and flashes me 77. I think I acted too quickly and didn't think through what she was doing. She was solid, and wouldn't have been shoving with AK or AQ, she had to have a pair. And the way she played it should have screamed middle pair, which I had domintated. But for me it wasn't a big mistake, we had basically the same chip count and she could have easily had TT, JJ or QQ. Might have been a slight mistep, but I manage to start chipping up again. I win a few very nice hands and I'm up to 1st or 2nd in chips. We get down to the final 2 tables and Mike is still in as well. Possible double final table? They will pay the top 8, so just making the FT won't be enough.

Mike finally busts on the FT bubble. He shoves with JT on the button and one of the blinds wakes up with KK (I think, correct me if I'm wrong). I still have a big stack, with around 35k. We get re-seated at the table, and the other big stack is to my immediate right. We are pretty close, I think he has about 1k more than me. The floor says we can chop now for $480 each. I say "sure" and the other big stack says "I'm not ready to discuss a deal, yet". There are quite a few short stacks (>3k) at the table and the blinds are up to 300/600. We play 2 hands and I ask the other big stack if he would be willing to take $130 out of first so we can loosen up the play a bit and pay out the whole FT, with 9 and 10 getting their buyin back. He agrees, we call the floor, proposed the deal, and everyone agrees. This sigificantly loosens up the table and people start shipping with a bigger range.

I take out the 9th place guy when he shoves from MP. It folds to me and I look down at 77 on the button. I start to study the MP shover and he isn't looking happy. I give him a long look, and he notices and looks away. He is trying not to make eye contact, and he looks nervous. I finally put him on a medium Ace or small pair and I reraise to get the blinds out. He tables A9. 9 on the flop, and he's happy. 7 on the turn reduces him to a 2-outer, which he misses on the river. I am happy with the outcome, but more happy with my read. I'm on, finally.

We get to 6 and the floor says we will now each get $700ish. Again, I think it sounds good but the other big stack says "I'm not ready to discuss a deal, yet". Sigh. I have a good sized ($40k) stack, but that could change quickly as the blinds are up to 800/1600. We get down to 4, and the floor again states that we will chop now and get $860 each. Again, big stack says "I'm not ready to discuss a deal, yet". Yikes! 4th will pay $450, so we have the potential to lose 400 if we are the next player out. I've started to lose some chips and I'm down to $25k. 4th is close with $23k, second has about $35k. He's got like $70k, so I can see his point. We play a few rounds and I turn and ask him what he would need for a deal. He asks what 1st pays. I tell him that it is about $1500. He says "I'll take $1000". I call the floor, we all talk. Big stack gets just over $1k, the rest of us get $790.

Now it gets crazy. There's a Finnish player who doesn't speak English well, and his wife is helping to translate. He is adamant that he wants the "Tournament Champion" card cover that first place gets. I'm wondering if he understands that he's potentially paying $300 to NOT get the cover. I'm not happy that I could get out at any time. I finally ask if they would be willing to give out 2 covers, the floor says "sure" and we have a deal. Whew. So I cash for $790. Maybe MGM isn't as bad as I thought!

We walk over to Excalibur to see the electronic tables and see if there is a PLO or PLO8 game going. Nope. Nothing good. We call Bleu and ask if he wants to try the tourney at Hard Rock that night, and he's in the Limit O8 at WSOP that day. So we head back to the hotel for a quick nap prior to the Hard Rock tourney, planning to go rail Bleu after. Nap, wake up and cab it to HR.

The buyin is $70, so we are hoping that there are a few folks there. Unfortunately, we start with 11. Ick. Top 3 pay. The highlight of the night is when we get to the final table, and start talking with Dawn. She was playing at Binion's on Monday night with Mike after busting out of their PLO8, and she starts hitting on him pretty hard. I find it hilarious. I egg her on a bit. She's not a good player, and is planning to play in the WSOP $1500 PLO8. She says she tried to play the cash game at the Rio (she was playing cash at Binion's with Mike) and didn't do very well. She says she wants to hang out with us, even if she busts and asks what we are doing next. I imagine that she's looking to get Mike to invite her back to his room and steal his wallet to help finance her tourney. I finally bust her in 7th and she says "I'm going to go change into my evening wear. Don't leave without me!"

No deals for final 4, the cash isn't very big to begin with. Mike finally busts as the bubble boy again, but at least I busted him and kept the chips in the family. I'm 2nd in chips. In the BB I pick up Kh9h. Button is short and calls, SB checks. Flop is 3 hearts. Gin! SB checks and I decide to bet out, hoping they don't think I'm wiley enough to bet out with the flush. I'm right as the button shoves, and the SB calls. I re-ship and he calls. Button has AJ with the Jh. SB has a pair with a Q kicker. SHIP IT!

So I get to HU with a 2-1 chip lead. Don't offer a deal (bad idea, I know). I get him all in with A9 vs KQ and he flops a Q. Gah. Now even in chips. We play a few more and he's very passive. I steal for a bit and get back up to 2-1. Then, I flop top 2 pair with KT on a K T 4 board with 2 hearts. I bet, he calls. Turn is 6h. I bet and he ships. I react, and don't think (see a pattern here?) and call. He shows 9h7h. No K or T on the river and I'm now short. Too late to deal. I finally bust with A4 vs T6 all in PF. He rivered a 6. Sigh. But I collect $130 for the trouble, and I'm happy with my day.

Dawn did return, in a gold sequinned dress when we were down to 4 players. Very sparkly. She looked a bit like a hooker, which got me thinking that maybe she was and she was trying to get Mike to give her some business. She asked what our plans were and we said we were going to Rio to rail our friend and play some cash. She was upset as she was afraid of the Rio cash games and wanted us to go somewhere else with her. She got pouty, and I was trying very hard not to laugh. She said she would be playing cash in the room and not to leave without her. After the tourney was over, we did a quick walk through, and she was gone. Must have found another John for the evening :-D We had seen her 2 days in a row and expected to run into her again as you end up seeing the same people at different places in Vegas, as the poker community isn't very big. Too bad we didn't see her the rest of the week.

We head to Rio and chat with Bleu. He's doing well and so we head over to check out the cash game action. Then call Virge and Lusky to see what they are doing. It's about 11, so they are getting ready for dinner. Lusky agrees to pick us up and we head out to a place called PTs in Henderson. Have some dinner and then head to the casino/resort "M" that is really far off the strip. It's about 1:30am. There are NO poker games running. In fact, I only see a few people in the central bar. Not good for a Vegas casino to be that empty. Granted, it isn't on the strip, but it's a nice resort and I would expect there to be a few people. We don't even see anyone playing slots. We head out to the deck off one of the bars and chat for a while overlooking the pool and decide to call it a night. Lusky gives us a lift back to IP. Mike decides to play cash at IP, but I'm beat so I hit the sack.

Day 4
Mike gets back to the room at around 5am. I sleep until 9ish and finally give up and get up and shower, and head over to Treasure Island for their Bounty tourney ($125 buyin, $50 to the prize pool and $50 to bounties). I collect 2 bounties and am basically on a freeroll. They have 40 runners, so it's a nice tourney.

Mike finally drags his butt out of bed just after 11am, and calls to see what I'm doing. I tell him and he heads over. He's hungry and I could use some lunch as well, so I make him my "food bitch" (his term) and send him off to Wendy's to bring back food. He heads back and I chow, and he takes off for MGM as the cash game at TI leaves much to be desired.

I FT again, and lose 88 versus A4. I was short, so it wasn't a bad call at all, especially with the bounty factor. I was a bit upset at the time, but then after thinking about it I realized that it was right for him to gamble, as he was 3rd in chips and even doubling me wouldn't have hurt him too bad. I finish in 8th.

I call Mike and he's still at MGM. I decide to head over to Rio for cash and to check on Bleu. I get over there and find out that Bleu didn't make it to Day 2, so I get on the list for the 5/5 PLO8 game. Sit after a while and there's a few PLO8 regulars there. MegaDisgruntled, Cincy's Finest, Poker Dave. I play for a bit and then Dave starts punishing my limps, being directly to my left. He wants to play for stacks when I'm trying the tight/passive preflop thing. I finally give up after a few hours, down about $150. I call Mike and he's still at MGM so I head back to IP after a burger at the Sports Deli (best burgers in Vegas!). I debate heading over to the Sahara for the 12:30 am bounty, but finally just go to sleep a early. Definitely not as packed of a day as Day 3, and not as profitable. Such is life.

That's it for today. I'll post the final report (Days 5 and 6, if you aren't paying attention). Meanwhile, I'll cya at the tables.


At 3:55 PM, Blogger Amber said...

Great detail! Thanks for the story and info - felt like I was there. Sigh. One thing though...the BEST burger in Vegas is IN-N-OUT hands down, no doubt! Stuck in MN for another month, then its back to Vegas for trip number 6,532! First stop, IN-N-OUT....


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