The last few days have been interesting, to say the least. Wednesday I played a three hour 2/5NL session at the Venetian. The net result was +$1,000. It was a bunch of small pots, a few large pots, some bluffs and a lot of folding. But, strangely, there were no really memorable hands. My table dried up, so I picked up and went to play another $130SNG.
I did not cash in this SNG. It was the third level, I had just raised to T300 with AQs, and I got re-raised to T700. I had T900 remaining and it was a narrow split between push and fold against this opponent. I elected to push. He called and showed AKo. The board came all blanks and I was done. I was fine with that. However, my opponent opined, “I thought you were better than that.” and several other apparent experts nodded in approval at his scholarly knowledge of the game. I just smiled and got up. Whatever.
I then played some 1/2NL with Don and Mookie
. It was a somewhat entertaining game but I only got involved in a few pots, all of which involved me missing with a big ace. We decided to get something to eat. While eating, I mentioned that I still have to use up my $100 food comp at the Rio. The plan was to take Mookie and Mrs. Mookie out for a nice dinner. It is something that I really wanted to do to thank them for their hospitality last year. It was supposed to be the Mookies, Me, Don, and CK
When I called the next day for reservations, the Harrah’s reservationist got me hooked up with the required reservation quickly. As I was about to conclude this quick, efficient discussion, she asked me for my credit card and informed me that there would be a $25/person charge for cancelling the reservation less than five hours before the meal. I said, “I am sorry, but that is too inflexible, never mind” and hung up. My thoughts were to just do the same thing on the spur of the moment.
I then headed back to the Venetian and played a miserable seven hour session. In addition to being really card dead, I lost two huge hands. I will describe them here, not because I am interested in discussing strategy, and not because I want sympathy. And they are not bad beat stories (I was behind both times.) I simply want to illustrate that some days really suck, like at any other job.
The first hand started with a young punk, new to the table, raising $20 UTG. Several people called behind him. I called with ATs in LP. I was looking for a flush or Broadway or two pair. Not an ace or a ten. The flop came 844, with two of my suit. He bet $35 and all folded to me. I called for the flush draw. The turn came 8. He hesitated and then checked. I checked behind him. The river came A and he checked again. At this point, I put him on a big pair, KK, QQ, or JJ, or possibly a big ace. I felt that he either would fold to my bet or that he would pay me more often than I would pay him, so I bet $200, about the pot. He came back over the top of me for $170 more (he started the hand with a little more than $400.) I was then feeling like I was most likely beat, but there was almost $800 in the pot with $170 more to call. I found it really tough to fold, so I called. Yes, I was beat. I would have been happy to lose if he had showed me AK or AQ. I would have been slightly annoyed about losing if he had showed me AJ. I would have been a little surprised if he had showed me AA, 44, 88, A4 or A8. But he didn’t show me any of these hands. He showed me J8o. I was totally irate. Seriously, WTF, dude? I got over being irate in time for the next hand.
A little later in the session, I was on the B with AsKh. All folded to me, I raised to $30, and the BB called me. Heads-up to the flop, I saw Ad5s4s. He checked to me, I bet $45, and he raised to $200. I didn’t think he was a great player, but I also didn’t think he was terrible player. I considered a pair and a draw, 44, 55, A4s, A5s, Kqs, AK, and AQ. I also considered stone cold bluff, but not very seriously. He only has $300 more to bet and I couldn’t fold after calling a bet, so it was push or fold time again. Again, I elected to push. He went into the tank. Eventually he called and showed me 55. Dude, why did you think for so long? Have you ever folded a set on the flop in your life? I know some people have, but not you. Later, I ran this one through PokerStove and it is 60/40 for him, assuming the range I gave you, minus worse hands, and assuming he is incapable of folding any part of that range. So, on the whole, it was a marginal decision on my part, not terrible, not great. Later in the session, the same player got all-in against another player on a paired board. He proudly turned over a suited ace for the nut flush and announced “Nuts! “ The other player turned over his boat and dragged the pot. Shit! He was a donkey after all.
But, at the time, I was feeling that I really hate my job. And I hadn’t really wanted to go to work that day anyhow. This is really what I was thinking. And, like any other job, it has its good days and its bad days. And, like any other job, it is often not fun, but you get paid for doing it. I had strongly mixed emotions. I was elated that I had accomplished what I had set out to accomplish. I was depressed that I had found myself in another job that is less than perfect. But it was a really perverse pleasure that I was in this place and I mostly liked that part of it.
I got startled back to reality very quickly. My phone rang. The person on the other end gave me some really disturbing news: They had reason to believe that some of my personal information could now be easily compromised and there was not a fuck of a lot that I could do about it while I was sitting in the Venetian Poker room. I don’t want to get into the specifics of what was compromised or how, but I was then ripe to be the possible victim of identity theft
I decided to go back to Don’s to mull over my options as far as how to best protect myself from this unexpected threat. It was the right play as I could no longer focus on my game and I was no longer hungry. Also CK had bailed on dinner to play a WSOP event. Good thing I didn’t give those Harrah’s fucks my credit card.
I considered calling each of the credit bureaus to request a fraud alert from each of them. I also considered signing up for Lifelock or a similar service. Such services do the fraud alerts for you. They charge a hefty fee for doing so, but they also make things right if the fraud alert alone does not prevent identity theft. A simple actuarial analysis shows that Lifelock is -EV. However, in the case of a low probability, high cost event, fear is the key factor, not the EV. My life insurance policy is definitely -EV, for example. I check BBB Online. BBB tells me that they are not terrible. This article
I found breaks it down nicely. I decided to sign-up for a year of service, with a pro-rated refund promised at any time I cancel. I made a few other required phone calls. I finally could relax a little. I was supposed to meet Don and Mookie at the Bellagio for some 2/5NL donkery the next morning, so I called it a night.
Okay, that was only two strange days, but I am totally out of time. Tune in next time for a blow-by-blow description of the donkery I experienced at the Bellagio today. Thanks for reading and good morning.