Sunday, December 19, 2004

The Vegas Blues

I really need a Vegas trip that is profitable some day. They are so few and far between. Here's the damage.

Poker Tournaments: -200
Blackjack: -100
No Limit Poker: -185
4-8 ring games: approx even

Let's recap my tournament action:

My first tournament was the $60 buy in at the Flamingo at 10:00 AM. You start with 1000 in tournament chips but the blinds start at 25-50 and double every 15 minutes.

I am obviously at a table with at least 1/2 beginners. This is obvious after the first 3 hands. My fourth hand I am under the gun. I am dealt 99. I raise 200 pretty much hoping to win the blinds. It's folded around to the small blind who calls. The flop has a King, and two undercards with 2 clubs. My opponent checks and I bet another 200. He calls. The turn is an Ace and I don't want to spend any more money on this pot. He checks and I check. The river is a blank and we check it through. He turns over A-3 of clubs. So he called on the flush draw. I don't know why he called the preflop raise though.

My very next hand on the big blind I am dealt AJ offsuit. I now have 550 left after my blind and the blinds will be 50-100 in around 5 minutes. There are 3 limpers before it gets to me. I decide to go all in. I'm happy if I win the blinds but I have a good chance to double up if someone calls me. A black guy on the end of the table starts stacking his chips. I have already seen this guy make 2 bad plays in 5 hands so I decide I am happy if he calls. Amazingly he calls with King 5 offsuit. What the fuck?! So flop comes with a King and a Jack, so I am screwed but I still have a chance. The turn is another King and now it's over. My first tournament lasted 10 minutes.

I decide I have now have time to go over to the Golden Nugget and play in their 11:00 AM tournament. I catch a cab and I sign up for $60. This one we at least start with 1500 in chips and there are $40 rebuys for the first hour and a $40 add on. My cards are still cold so I am declining in the blinds. I rebuy with about 5 minutes left before the break and then I take the add on. If I remember that leaves me with about 10 times the blinds after the break. Now I start playing the small stack well and mostly winning the blinds when I move in.

Eventually I make it to the final two tables out of 57 players. The chip leader at our table is calling off his chips left and right and there are a couple of other short stacks at my table so everyone is in that weird place where they want to play tight to make it into the money but the blinds are so high, they have to push their small edges. I basically dont make any mistakes but get blinded down to where I end up all in along with the former chip leader. We both are eliminated at the same time in 13th place.

So even though I feel I have played perfect poker, I am down $200 in tournament entries. Since I haven't been impressed by the quality of poker in the tournament, I decide this would be a good place to play in the $1-$2 No Limit game. I finally get set in the game and it is soft. There were a couple of guys that liked to bluff and also liked to call down with the second best hand. I get a couple of good hands and I am up almost $200 early.

One good hand was when I was on the big blind. There are a couple of limpers and the small blind completes. I decide to raise it to $10. Two of the limpers fold, but the old man on my right calls the bet. He is one of the guys who has called down a couple of bad hands and I have yet to see any aggression from him.

The flop comes King-9-4. He checks and I decide to bet $20. He thinks about it for a little while and calls. Normally I would be done with this hand. With the old man calling me down, I am thinking he's got a King. The next card comes out and it's low again. The old man checks again and I really sense that he's weak. This time I bet $40 and he calls again. The river is another low card. He checks and I check it through. He turns over 5's. What the hell was he thinking? That's a sign about how bad the table was.

The problem was then the cards went cold. I was patient for at least an hour. I made some good laydowns and was still playing tight, by the book poker, like I thought I should against these bad calling station players.

Finally I have Jack 7 in the small blind. The guy on my left is the big blind, he is a lousy player and the button (the old guy on my right is in the hand) also limps in. I figure it's worth a dollar to play a pot against these two. The flop is Queen-10-6. I check, and the others check. The turn is the 9. This gives me a double belly buster straight draw. All I need is a King or an 8. I decide to bet $10. The player on my left folds and the button calls. The eight comes on the river. I bet $20. The button raises me to $60. I reraise all in to about $150 so it's 90 more to call. He calls. I say there is only one hand that can beat me and sure enough, he has it in King Jack. Let's discuss.

First of all, he should have raised before the flop when it was folded to him on the button, but like I said he was not very aggressive. Second I lost my patience and forgot about my read on this guy. When he raised me on the end that should have set off alarms that he might have me beat. I never even thought about it. I was so in love with my hand and thought of making a big score that I missed all the very evident signs.

I did have the good sense to quit and go back to my room at Caesers. Michele tried to cheer me up but I was a little bummed out. We had dinner and went to Zumanity at New York, New York. Zumanity was an excellent show with lots of ooh and aah moments of acrobatics and freaky flexibility.

The next day I went to Bellagio and played in the 4 - 8 game. My cards were still cold. I played for an hour before I won a hand and that was a chopped pot. The good news was that my starting cards were so bad, I was not even tempted to play them. Michele watched me for the last hour. I finally started to bluff a couple of times just so the players at the table wouldn't think I was a total tight ass. It won me a couple of small pots. I finally got up to go to lunch down another $45.

So I left Vegas without a single winning session. Once again I am feeling very far away from being on the World Poker Tour.

That's why it felt so good to come home and play Party Poker on Sunday. I won a 20+2 sit n go and I won $75 in the 2-4 ring game.

5 comments:

Dr. Pauly said...

Nice report. Try the 3/6 at the Mirage next time! An teh Aladdin NL tourneys are fishy.

Felicia :) said...

Sounds like you had fun anyway.

Don't sweat the losses too much. Sometimes I run to Vegas and rub two pennies together just to find out I'm down a grand or so!

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