Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Losing Trip To Vegas

I was in Las Vegas last weekend for a Deltasig conference. I was hoping this would be the big trip where I finally win some decent cash at the poker table.

The first night started out pretty well. After a good dinner at the Luxe in the Venetian, I went down to the poker room. I gotta say, I think the Venetian has the best room in Vegas. Plenty of game selection, satellites to their tournaments running all the time, and nice tables too. Plus there is plenty of room to walk around between the tables.

I was happy to find a 1-2 No Limit game and sat down right away. I played ABC poker and finished up at 2:00 AM with $117 profit. There really was not anything too memorable about the entire night.

After the opening session of the conference I decided to venture back to the Venetian from the Palace Station, where we were staying. I jumped into a very interesting game. There was an oriental man with mutton chop side burns who was really gambooling it up. On his left was another oriental player but he was more clean cut and very friendly. The rest of the players seemed weak and loose.

I played break even poker for about 2 hours. I even decided to add more money to my stack, in case I needed it against the crazy oriental. It was here that I made my one huge mistake of the day. I called a small raise in a multiway pot on the button with T9 off. The flop is J-8-4 rainbow. The crazy oriental bets about 3/4 of the pot and everyone folds to me. I have about $200 left in my stack and the pot is about $50 after his bet. For some stupid reason, I decide to raise all in thinking I have a good chance to get him to fold.

For future reference, when a player is wild and loose, don't ever think he will fold. You are supposed to trap him with a made hand. So naturally he insta-calls with Jack-7. Now most by the book players would probably fold that hand, but not this guy. If I hit my straight I probably could have value bet it for all of my chips. Now I am stuck all in with only a 33% chance of winning. I was not lucky enough to hit and I was felted. I stuck around for a while longer but eventually I had to leave to get back to the conference.

Later that evening before the banquet, I sat down in the Palace Station card room. I took a seat in the 1-2-4 hold'em game while I waited for a 2-4-8 seat to open up. I promptly lose about $40 in quick fashion before I move to the 4-8 game. My first hand in the 4-8 game and I am dealt pocket 7's. I quad up on the turn and manage to get a caller for every street, so I am quickly back to even. A few hands later I pair my King, with AK and bust a college student who is also there for the conference. This is the last piece of good luck I have.

I proceed to lose over $100 with pocket aces in two different hands. I keep waiting for the big pot to make it back but it never comes and I go to the dinner in a drunken state of frustration.

Dinner was good, but I was itching to get back to the Venetian. About 10 minutes after dessert and before the DJ started, I was out the door and in a cab. I found another good seat in a 1-2 No Limit table and prepared to win it all back.

There was a young player on my right who seemed pretty friendly. He had just busted out of their 10,000 chip tournament that had started at noon. He was pretty pissed because after 10 hours of good poker and outlasting over 250 players, he still lost his $540 buy in. We really only played one pot together. He took about $20 off of me with a nice bluff. He had raised first in preflop and I had smooth called on the button. He checked the flop, so I fired a half pot sized bet with my pair of jacks with a ten kicker. The turn paired the 3's on board. He checked and I made another 1/2 pot bet. He raised. I didn't think he had a 3, because the only hand I could see him raising with preflop would be A-3. It looked more like a slow played set or an over pair so I folded. He then showed me A-Q.

There was an older gentleman two seats to my left who was a pretty good player. He played position well and seemed to read others well. I didn't see anyone else at the table that played worth a damn. The problem was that I could not get any traction. My stack hovered around $250-$300 the entire night.

I reached a dangerous point in my patience about 1:00 AM. I was in serious double up or go home broke mode. Luckily my cards were so bad, that I didn't get myself in any trouble.

About 2:00 AM I began to get bored and I backed in to a brief period of zen where I truly played the players and not my cards. There was a tight, passive woman in the one seat and I was in the 7 seat. About three hands over an hour, I saw her limp in and then I raised to isolate. Everyone folds to her and she calls. The flop would come and she would check. I bet 3/4 of the pot and she folds. Once I even floated her lead out on the flop, let her check the turn, and took it away from her there. I also realized that the two players on my left were pretty tight preflop, so a couple of times, I open raised blind and took the pot on the flop. This would have been perfect if I had picked up an occasional hand to get paid off, but it never happened. I don't think I showed down a hand for the last 2 hours.

Eventually I left at 3:00 AM down $50. If it wasn't for the great conversations I had at the table, I might have gone broke from the frustration of waiting for a decent hand. I just feel I am so over due for a mad rush of cards in a No Limit Game in Vegas.

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