Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Welcome To Okie Vegas

Okay, so I am not at Okie Vegas. Scheduling is tough. We almost made it. We did make it to a Okie Vegas pre-party. The video features me filming, Weak Baby with GCox's M-I-L, Surflexus, and Gary. We were there a few days ago. We were in OKC to visit my sister. It was impossible to schedule the same trip a week later. Next year. Until then, a shout out to everyone that is actually at Okie Vegas.

I will return to blogging my most recent Vegas experience tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Playing at the Bellagio

A few days before I left Las Vegas most recently, I played at the Bellagio. The Mookies were staying there. The idea was that Don and I were going to meet Mookie there and play some 2/5NL. Don ended up not making it out to play. I got there around 11:45 am, 15 minutes before the appointed time. I put my name on the list and waited.

Because of the time of day, I only had about a fifteen minute wait. Mookie showed up a little after noon and put his name on the list. The list was quite long at that point. Based on the lack of tables, the fullness of the room, the fact that the list was not moving, and that he only had a few hours left, Mookie ended up giving up. It turns out that it was an excellent decision; hours after I sat, I heard them call him. In fact, they call the list at a rate of one name every five seconds. If you are not standing right there when they call your name, you are SOL. This is just one of the many ways that the Bellagio poker room sucks. I can name so many other ways that it sucks, that I am saving it for a future post. For now, let's just say that I ended up playing alone.

The thing that struck me most about the Bellagio poker room on this session was the extreme douchebaggery of the other players. Douche bag (DB) #1 was on my immediate right. Please notice that I did not say "sitting." Yes, he was standing and playing. He was also talking to his friends that were also standing. They were next to and around my seat. They were talking loudly. It became clear that they were all leaving soon, so I decided to just grin and bear it. DB #1 declares that he is going to play to his button and quit.

After he plays his big blind, DB#1 takes his bills and stuffs them in his pocket. "Sir, are you planning to play your button?" I ask. "Yes, why?" Because that is the rule and I want a shot at them, I think. "Because you are going to have to put your bills back on the table", I say. "Sorry, I didn't realize the poker police was here." He seems to think that is a minor infraction. Most everyone that plays any amount of 2/5nl or higher knows that the bills must stay on the table. It is perfectly fine to take them off the table when you get up to leave. It is perfectly fine to take them off the table when you get up to take a break. In that case, you return the same number of bills to the table before you are dealt in. That is not only the rule, but it is basic etiquette. He continues whining about the bills, even after the dealer confirms that I am correct and the next hand is dealt.

The next hand is my big blind, my first hand. Everyone folds to the button who limps. DB #1 completes his small blind. I look down and see KK. I raise to $35. The button calls. "Because it is you, I am going to call" says DB #1 as he is putting in his delicious $30. The flop is unconnected, off-suit, low cards. I bet $75, the button calls and DB #1 folds. He takes some sort of parting shot and then picks up. Yes, he paid his blinds and then forgot to take his button hand. The turn is a blank and I bet $100. The button calls. The river is a blank and I bet $200. The button folds and the pot is pushed to me.

After I finish stacking my chips, I stand up to put on my sweatshirt. As my hands are in mid-air, with my head not yet out of the neck of the sweatshirt, I get shoved. I poke my head through the top of the sweatshirt to see DB#2. He is a crotchety old fucker and he is trying to push past me to get into the recently vacated seat. "One moment, sir, and I will be out of your way." "Okay." He keeps pushing and is in his seat before I finish putting on my sweatshirt. I sit back down.

The button is now in DB#2's seat and he has to wait a hand before he can enter the game. During that one hand, one of the other players pauses to think about calling a $150 bet. After about thirty seconds, DB#2 calls for the clock. Not only is he not in the hand, he is not even in the game. What is next? Railbirds calling for the clock? Perhaps the janitor wants to clean trash from underneath the seat of the player whose action it is. Certainly he should have the right to call for the clock. DB#2 only plays aces, kings, and ace-king. I don't hear from him for the rest of the session.

However, DB#3, my left hand opponent, starts chatting with me. He seems like a perfectly nice person. He tells me an endless stream of jokes. There are many Jew jokes and n-word jokes in the joke parade. Sir, I would be allowed to laugh at the Jew jokes if they were funny, but the n-word jokes make me feel very uncomfortable.

DB#4 enters the scene when I get to the flop HU with him. I flop a flush and shove all-in to his raise. He goes into the tank and eventually calls. The turn and the river are dealt and then he sits there, waiting for me to show my hand. I am waiting for him to show his hand as he is immediately to the left of the button and there was no action in the last round. This is the rule, generally. At the Venetian, the last aggressor shows first. This is a deviation from Robert's rules, but I am fine either way. In this case, I wanted to know why he was in the tank so long. "You are first to show, sir." The dealer confirms this. DB#4 whines and gnashes his teeth. I relent and show my flush. DB#4 mucks and the pot is pushed to me.

A short while later, DB#2 gets up and DB#4 takes his seat. He lectures me for five minutes on the meta-game value of not pissing off your opponents. "I am sorry." He goes on. "What can I do to make it right?" I ask. He goes on. He finally gets up to play 30/60 O/8. "Good game, sir." You whiny pussy, get over it.

The rest of the session is good poker-wise, but no more rampant douchebaggery. My cards go cold, so I cash out for a $550 win. There are definitely a lot of douche bags playing poker. More than the natural distribution. But, from my limited observations here, it seems that Bellagio has more than its share of douchebaggery.

Aside from player antics, I will be comparing the Venetian poker room to the Bellagio poker room in an upcoming post. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Traveling Man

Well, it is time for me to leave Las Vegas. I am writing this post from my boarding gate at McCarran. Free wifi rules! I owe several posts, either promised, or based on ideas that I have that I have not had time to turn into actual writing. In the next week or so look for posts on my Bellagio experience, my final doings at the Rio, the one Deep Stack Extravaganza event I played, a summary of my results, my take on pit gambling, a skewering of the Golden Nugget, and more. There is just so much to write about and so little time. That is especially true when you are spending the bulk of your final days in Vegas playing poker instead of blogging.

Until next time, I give you my badly mangled song lyrics:

Donkeys have come, donkeys have gone,
Everyone trying to stack me.
Flops were so sweet, I barely got free,
Others, they only cracked me.
Sometimes at night, I see their faces,
I feel the traces they left on my roll.
Those are the memories that made me a wealthy soul.