Friday, June 20, 2008

Incoming Huge Posts

Ok so heres the official Vegas Trip Report.

I'll try to do this without crying.

The first day was promising. Within an hour of getting to Vegas we were at the Rio sitting at a 2/5 game. The Rio is where all the WSOP events are being held this year and the place is absolutely packed. There are probably something like 250 tables - all full - with most of them being used for donkaments.

The first few hours I basically dwindle away my stack with a few lost coinflips and some 2 pair vs set hands. Not too much damage though since most of my opponents were short stacked. There was one hand where I had AK and a 70 year old grandma who hadn't made a bet in 3 hours actually reraised me preflop all in. She only had about $100 but I couldn't imagine her doing that with anything AK beat. I obviously call since AK is the nuts online, but she teaches me a thing about live poker - AK is not the nuts. She flips over aces obv and I lose.

I pulled off one sick bluff against a tight nitty older asian woman. She knew what she was doing but she was very straightforward. I raised in early position with 65 of hearts. She calls from the big blind and the flop comes KQ2 rainbow. Great flop for my range and bad for hers. I c-bet the flop, which she quickly calls. Obviously she isn't winning this hand I say to myself. The turn brings a T and a flush draw. She check calls my double barrel rather quickly again. Heres a spot where I double barrel the the sole intention of pushing the river since I know a ton of her range is a shitty pair + a gutshot or flush draw. Without double barreling your river bet will get no credit since you haven't repped strong enough. River brings a meaningless 6 and she checks. Now at this point you are thinking, wow you three barreled a nit - congratulations. But heres the kicker - I only had about a 1/2 pot bet left, usually not enough to get anyone off any pair. But I knew she was decent enough to realize that I'm repping a monster hand here and that its unlikely I would bluff with just a 1/2 pot bet, so I did it and she thought for a bit and folded. Obviously I have to turn my hand over and show the bluff. The table oo's and aah's and from then in I started making money. I later busted her by flopping trips and having her overplay her Queens.

So I made some money there, and winning pots here, and eventually got my stack up to about $1500. Then something really gay happens.

I had pulled a "bluff" on this older russian dude earlier where I 3 barreled him with 77 on a KQ7xx board. After he called the flop and turn I pushed the river and he took hours to finally fold. I showed 1 seven and he got upset. A few hands later he raises and I pick up QQ. I look over at his stack and see like $100 in front of him. I do a mini raise to $45 assuming he will just go all in preflop. He just calls. The flop is 89T and he checks. I bet what I figure to be his remaining chips - $60 and he calls. Then the turn brings an ace and he immediately goes all in. It is then I see that he was playing with 4 - $100 chips under his stack of $5 chips. Very gay. My obvious first instinct is to fold since he just overbet the fuck out of the pot, but for shits and giggles I decide to play with him a bit. Because he was all in I turn over my hand to get his reaction. I'm not even sure if he realized what I was doing. He says "oooh nice". At this point his buddy who had been sort of watching and sitting beside him says to him "oh you still have outs though". Then the guy I was playing with tells his buddy to shut up because the hand is still live. I - being the genius that I am - determine that this leak of information was an actual mistake and figure I have the best hand. I call the stupid overbet and he snaps over AJ for a pair of aces. I lose the pot and am pissed.

To be honest I really don't know what the fuck happened. Was the friend angle shooting me? They were pretty old and seemed clueless so I doubt it. Maybe he was talking to me? Or maybe he was just a retard and his retard talk got me. After that I played a bit more but then left the table when he did.

I moved to another table where I chipped up but didn't do much. I eventually got my stack up to around $2000 which put me back up to about +$1000 for the day. I was fairly happy with that. The new table happened to be beside another table in which Shannon Elizabeth was playing at. That was neat.

There was one other neat hand which was purely a live benefit. I raised a limper in position with QQ. This young kid with an extremely angry persona calls my raise and check calls the flop of J82 with 2 clubs. The turn brings another J and at this point I didn't have much read on him so I just checked behind. The river brings a sick Qc giving me top boat and also completing the flush and he leads huge into me, like $300. I obviously go all in for like $400 more and he eventually folds. I imagine he didn't have much but I did my cool live trick of showing 1 card to him - a queen indicating that I pushed with just 1 pair. He called me a donkey for a while and wouldn't ever fold to me again so I definitely recommend that trick if you are playing live.

The next day I decided to fuck 2/5 since it was boring as fuck and play some 5/10. I had never been to the Wynn so we decided to play there. The Wynn is basically the Bellagio on the inside since it was designed by the same guy - Steve Wynn. The poker room is quite nice, about 30 tables and serviced by the absolute hottest waitresses in Vegas.

So I sit down at one of the two 5/10 games going on. My table seems pretty loose, with some decent younger guys who know whats up but nothing too intimidating. I immediately go on an early rush doubling up without ever even showing down a hand. I had a few bluffs and a few solid hands but I know everyone is definitely suspicious of me. Eventually after winning a pretty nice pot off the biggest fish at the table, its folded to me on the button and I raise to $30 with 64s. The biggest fish at the table is in the big blind and he immediately raises me to $110.

1. I know he is a fish and a pretty aggressive one at that. He constantly turns his hands into bluffs and never really bets what I would consider to be the correct amounts. He also is like Jaime Gold in that he can bluff but can't value bet his semi-strong hands when he actually makes a hand.
2. I just won a $3-400 pot off him.
3. I have position.

So I call.

The flop is 743. I has a pair and a gutshot. He snap fires out $200. I take my time and call. Turn is an 8. Nothing has changed in my mind. He again snap fires out $400. I take more time and call - basically slow playing since I know he has jack shit. Turn pairs the 8 so its 74388. I has the nuts. He snap pushes all in without a thought and I snap call. He mucked his hand - I win. He was super pissed after this.

Now online I do this 3 times an hour, but live its a lot different. If I was wrong I would have looked retarded. Its definitely the best live calldown I've ever made. And definitely helped with my confidence as well as my image.

So at this point I was up $2500 and feeling good. Then I just ended up pissing away my stack with random ill timed bluffs and some bad setups. One hand I lost $1200 on with a set of Queens on a AQ5 all spades flop. He flopped the frush and I couldn't get away. I also tried pulling a 4 bet preflop bluff against a fellow tag. I raised early and for some reason he raises to $200 preflop from the blinds with no one else in the pot. I smell bullshit and repop to $600. We are both still deep so I know hes not going to fuck around with air here. He thinks for a bit then pushes (wtf) for $2000 more. I have 67s and I fold agonizingly. He definitely had AK and I hate him for pushing. Honestly in the 2 days (20 hours of table play) I was there I didn't see anyone 4 bet preflop. I guess he just beat me to the punch. So I end up dwindling back down to the starting spot of $1500 and leave the table.

Later that night we goto Ceasers. Their room is decent but has the worlds ugliest waitresses. I play for about 5 hours and win probably 2 pots. Annoyance starts to set in, especially while playing at the fishiest 5/10 game that would rival a 0.10/0.25 game online. While I was there one horrible southern "good ole boy" dropped at least 8k. I know because when I got there he had at least $8k in bills stacked in front of him and he left with nothing. Obviously I can't get a fucking hand (since he doesn't fold) and the table nits devour him. It is at this point I'm starting to swear off live poker.

I wonder if anyone is still reading this.

The next day I decide to enter the $2k no limit holdem donkament going on at the rio. I figure, why not take a shot? I'm only here once and I hear the fields are super soft.

So the tournament starts at noon. I get there at 11:55 and I'm the first one at the table. You start with 4k in tournament chips and the blinds are 25/50 with 1 hour blind levels. Clearly this tournament structure sucks balls and its going to degenerate into a pushbot fest within 2 hours, but what did I expect. My table starts to fill up and what do you know but 2 of TV's best are sitting at my table. In the 10 seat - former WSOP champ Scotty Nguyen and in the 3 seat, his Vietnamese partner in crime - Men "The Master" Nguyen.

Now I've lost about every ounce of respect for any named TV pro since I started playing cash games and learned the real game, but sitting at their table was still a little intimidating. I'm not even experienced in MTT's, let alone live MTT's and here are 2 guys that play more events than 99% of the field. But I know they are donkament pros, so they can't be that good. It was also wierd since our table was right along the rail and was a main attraction in the room for the railbirds. Tons of media were roaming around taking pictures and video of our table. Was a little unnerving. However I still held my own.

I raised in EP with KQo and "The Master" calls in the big blind.
Flop is JTx with 2 hearts and he check calls my cbet.
Turn brings a low heart that brings the flush.
Check Check.
River brings another heart and he bets out.
I check my hole cards, yep my Q is a heart - I cawl.

"Good call" he sighs. Turning up AQo for nothing.

Yep donkament pro. As much as I thought playing with "pros" wouldn't effect me, calling one of the "worlds best" bluffs did feel pretty good.

I do nothing for the next hour or two because I miss a bunch of flops and am pretty card dead. And since the blinds are moving up my stack goes from 80bb to 40bb, to 20bb pretty fuckin quick. I get moved from table to table as others bust out, biding my time waiting for a hand to play. Even though I'm down to 20bb, I still plan on playing post flop since a lot of other people are in the same spot. I plan on raising to 2.5bb and cbetting, hoping to take down some pots. It works ok, didn't get to do it much though.

I get moved to another table where I meet up with my nemesis from an earlier cash game I played at the Rio (young angry dude). Hes probably the worst player I've ever seen in real life - paying any price to see the flop and calling any bet with any piece of it. I saw him call (just call) off more than half his stack with a gutshot, and obviously hitting on the turn . I mean just bad. I fold and fold for more hours, stealing a few pots here and there but nothing significant. Eventually I'm down to about 15bb and my nemesis once again limps UTG. About 5 more people limp and I'm in the BB. I immediately want to push, and luckily I look down to AK. I push and nemesis snap calls me. He has JQ. Nice call sir. The flop has a Q on it and I want to shit my pants for wasting my time with a fucking skilless donkament. But the river K saves me and I'm back up to 35bb.

Time goes by, I hover around average chips for a few hours (they have tournament info screens all over letting you know blind levels, how many people left and average chip stack). After one break I get back and pick up AKs in early position. I raise, someone calls and then one of the tightest nits reraises me. Now in a cash game I essentially don't fold AKs for even 150bbs so why I considered folding for 25 was a bit puzzling but I did. I thought and thought and then said fuck it, I has AKs with 25bbs. He calls and has TT. Off to the races lol1!


I slam my fist in triumph. Back up to 50bbs baby!



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What a shitty tease. I ended up in 500th place out of 1400 entrants. 6-7 hours of wasted life and -$2k down the drain. Ah well at least I gave it a shot. I'll live and the final table was minimum $75k or something so it could have been sweet. There just isn't that much skill to be had in these. Learn your hand equities, learn push/fold poker and learn how to run good. The separation between average joe online poker and the "tv pros" is probably zero.

So I go back to my hotel room and cry. Then I watch the Celtics pull off a hilarious comeback in game 4 which I had them on the Moneyline at +280 which cheered me up.

Now this post has become officially too long and there is one more event I have to talk about - the best part of my Vegas trip - so I'll start a new post tomorrow. Hopefully you enjoyed those brave souls who read the entire thing.


Blogger Fuel55 said...

greeat post

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah man nice one! Playin with some pro's.....LOL DOnkaments!

4:21 AM  

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