My Last Few Days in Vegas
The following day, I had a really good session at the Bellagio. I finally was rewarded for my patience. I pick up JJ in the CO. There were several limpers ahead of me. I have started playing situations like this a little differently, at least occasionally. I limp in expecting to fold if I miss the flop. Some tables will not fold to a raise and I want to take down a big pot, not a small one.
I get the flop of my dreams: QJ4, two spades. The table checks around to LP who bets $40. This is a player that is going to pay me, I know it. I pot it and he calls; everyone else folds. This is fantastic. The turn is a blank, and LP checks to me. I have $414 remaining behind. My only problem is how to get it all-in. I am guessing he will call at least $200 here. He does not want to be pushed around. I bet $225 and he calls. The river is another blank. I push for my last $189. He calls, I show my set, he mucks, and I take down a $1045 pot. Wheeeeeeeeee!!
It is still relatively early in the evening, but I want to book this win. I cash out and head over to the MGM. I decided I want to mix up my game a little. I play much looser and more aggressively than I normally do. I think it is something I need to incorporate into my game plan, and I am willing to make the investment. Most players are not going to see it coming if they are expecting my usually TAG game. It doesn’t work out for me that evening, and I call it quits, down a bit at the MGM, but nicely up from earlier at the Bellagio.
I, again, feel completely burnt out so I take the next day off. The day after that, I head back to the Bellagio. This turns out to be a fairly bad session. I just couldn’t hit any hands. Finally, I flop the nut flush and get all-in. The dude that I get all-in against is resigned to lose his money. “I have to go soon. I am probably behind and have to go see my wife…” When he starts saying these things, I immediately know two things. One: He will call me. Two: He will suck out on me. It never fails. He shows two pair and then he spikes his boat on the turn. That fucking figures.
Later in the session, I make a mistake that makes the session much worse. I get involved in a pot with AQ in EP. Four people see the flop. The flop comes ace high and I go to the mat with my AQ against a player in LP with AK. I just could not figure out why he wouldn’t raise at any point. If he had re-raised before the flop, I was gone. In a four-way pot, I would think that he would be concerned he may not be good even if he hits the flop. I have since learned that many people will play AK that way. I won’t, but I can no longer exclude AK from a player in LP’s potential holdings just because he didn’t raise. Live and learn. I book a sizable loss and head out.
The final session of my trip, I finally get a chance to catch up with Linda. She even dealt my table while I was there. She is now dealing more regularly. I had only started playing the Bellagio towards the end of my trip, so I didn’t know that until just then. When she got a break, we talked for a bit. Insane gambler-bookie dude is playing 10/20nl, and I ask her to watch his play while she is dealing that table. She reports back that he is less than completely solid based on her observations. I am not surprised. I am looking forward to playing him in some home games; he hails from somewhere in the Southeast part of the country.
There is a donkey on my right that keeps accumulating chips. I can’t seem to get involved in a pot with him. He started with $200, and works his way up to $2,500. He dishes out bad beat after bad beat. I still can’t get any of his money. At least he doesn’t have the chance to dish a bad beat out on me.
A solid player that I had played with in several earlier sessions is on my left. He and I talk for some time. A punk-assed kid sits down. He is white, but is sporting lots of gold chains, a basketball jersey, and a baseball cap worn sideways. He talks about how good he is and what a pro he is. When the punk gets up for a break, the solid player posts a line of 2 hours for the under/over on when the punk is going to bust out. I take the under for a dollar. The punk returns. He notices us discussing the over/under and we point to the basketball game that is on the opposite screen. The punk gets into an argument with a player from Detroit about the straddle rules at Greektown. The player from Detroit is just trying to tell a story about some idiot that blind straddled his whole stack and lost. We don’t care about the punk’s notions of the rules at Greektown, though he insists that he is a legend there.
About an hour into the over/under period, the punk gets all in with a straight draw and loses to a boat. He leaves, I collect my dollar. Sweet!! That was the best part of the session. The worst part was me running my boat into quads. I still eked out a win, but a much smaller win then I expected.
On the plane home, I do my bookkeeping and discover that I am roughly even (in poker) for the trip. I played 105 hours. I likely paid about $1,000 in rake. I took $2,700 in bad beats. To my knowledge, I didn’t dish any out. I made a few expensive mistakes, but I feel that I achieved many of my goals for the trip. I played 5/10nl twice and won each time. I played with more discipline than in the past. I did a better job of not playing when I was not feeling it. There a number of areas where I still have room for improvement, but that is the subject of a future post.
But the question still remains, why was I there? I will tell you next time, I promise. I admit that I was putting that off initially to promote interest in my trip reports. But, I was also lost in the moment of playing and staying focused. And I was torn between writing about my poker sessions and writing about my motivations. In the end, poker won out against meta-poker. But now that I am back, that is coming up next.