View Full Version : Las Vegas Trip Report 4/20 4/23

04-25-2002, 02:28 PM
I arrived at Binion's on Saturday night and checked in. My hotel room was on the east side of the building. You could hear all the noise from outside, so I knew it was going to be difficult to sleep. After unpacking I had dinner at Binion's coffee shop. Actually, I had dinner and breakfast. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and the Binion's big breakfast. Now, I was stuffed and ready to hit the tables.

First I played a $225 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em satellite. I thought that I was going to write down the details, but here's the story to the best of my recollection. I didn't get any hands worth playing until the second level, and believe the blinds were $25 and $50. I had $650 left. Two middle position players limped in and I called in late middle position with AcJc. Four of us took the flop of Kc-Qd-4c giving me the nut flush and a gutshot straight draw. I figured I had at least 12 good outs to win the hand, and even an ace might win it for me since the pot was not raised preflop. The blind checks, middle position player bets $100, next player raises to $300, and I re-raise all-in to $600. The player that made it $300 hesitates and calls. I get no help and my opponent wins with K-3 offsuit.

I guess lady luck was not with me on that one, so I went downstairs and signed up for a $10 - $20 limit hold'em game. Within a few minutes I was seated. The game was pretty good. Getting good action, great cards, and winning some pots. Then a couple of the more lively players left and the game screwed down tight. Lots of blind chopping, so I decided to take my profit of $334 from the locals /images/wink.gif and cash out. I went back upstairs and registered for the $1500 Omaha Hi-Lo Split tournament.

After registering, I introduced myself to Andy Glazer who recently started posting on the 2 + 2 forum, and we talked for a few minutes. Then I ran into Mark Napolitano who I had met at the Orleans a few years ago and have seen him at every major tournament. I told Mark I thought his site was great, because his tournaments gave me a chance to practice for free and experiment with strategies without it costing me any cash.

Due to all the noise outside of my hotel room I had a difficult time falling asleep, but eventually my brain blocked it out. Next time I stay downtown, I will get a room at the Nugget instead. I woke up at 10:00 a.m., took a shower, and went to Starbucks at the Golden Nugget for coffee, juice, and bagels.

Now, it's tournament time. I took my seat at table 52, seat 4. My table looked pretty scary. In seat 8 was the "Devilfish", and seat 6 was a guy with a gold bracelet. Well, who the hell did I expect to play against for 1500 bucks? The "Devilfish" went broke at the second level. His last hand was an ace-deuce with a couple of rags. After that level was over I had $1750 in chips and it was break time for lunch.

I knew that the third level would be crucial to my survival in this tournament and I was going to have to win some hands, especially with the blinds at $50 and $100. I didn't win any hands I was involved with and now the blinds are at $75 and $150. I've got only $200 and need some help from the poker goddess. Since, I had just finished reading David Sklansky's new book, Tournament Poker For Advanced Players, I decided that I was going to do what he recommends. Well, I didn't get any above average hands to play before the big blind, so I decided I was really going to play it blind. I posted my blind and five other players limped in, when the action got to me I made a partial raise with my last $50 which put me all-in, and everyone called. After the river card was turned up and the betting stopped. I flipped over my hand and found that I had made an ace high straight with Kd-Tc-7h-4s and scooped the pot. What an awful looking hand, but the poker goddess was on my side this time. Now, I was back in action with $1375. After a few more hands our table was broken up.

At my new table I played a few pots and eventually my stack was knocked down to $600. Then, I couldn't believe who I saw! It was none other than the poker master himself. David Sklansky was now sitting four seats to my right. He only had $300 left. Vince Lepore introduced me to David two years ago at the Orleans, but I don't think he remembered me. Since, David was low on chips, and probably would take off as soon as he lost, I got out of my seat, approached David, and re-introduced myself to him. I said," Vince had introduced me to you two years ago. I'm Mark Heide." David, said "Oh, you're one of the forum posters." I told David that I had just finished reading his book and thought it is very good! David played his final hand just like his book recommends. He was first in with a raise, both blinds called, and he looked at his hand like he could not believe he didn't win, and placed it in the muck. I'm sure it was an above average hand like his book recommends, but the poker goddess was not there to assist.

After David was eliminated, I managed to pick up another pot with AsKs4c2s. No low came and I scooped the pot with a pair of kings. My table was broken up and I was moved. I was assigned seat 10 at my new table, and found myself at the same table with WSOP Champion Scotty Nguyen in seat 3.

The blinds were now $150 and $300 and I managed to bring my stack up to $3600. I ended up losing one hand and blinded off some chips and am now down to $700 with the blinds soon approaching. It was the end of the 6th level and time for the dinner break. Once the break is over the blinds will be $200 and $400, and I would get to see three hands before the big blind. I decided that I would play the remainder of the tournament using the all-in strategies that David suggests in his book. If I didn't get an above average hand before the blind, I decided that I would play the blind no matter what cards I received.

After dinner, I was lucky, for the first hand dealt I received Ad2c7s8h and raised all-in for $700. The blinds called and I won the pot with aces full of deuces. After the blinds passed I managed to win another pot to bring my stack up to $3200 with a donation from Scotty who was soon eliminated on the next hand he played. I blinded off some chips and found myself with only $1400 with the blinds now at $300 and $600. There were 6 tables left with 9 players at each table. The tournament was paying 27 places, so I need to win a hand to survive into the money, and maybe I might even get lucky and make the final table.

The next hand I played in early position, and raised with AsKsQc4s. The player on my left re-raised, the big blind called, and I called with my remaining $200. The dealer turned the cards which were Js-2d-8c. On the turn came a Qh giving me a pair with my low draw which was still good. But, on the river came a 9d. The player on my left showed two jacks for a set and I was eliminated. /images/frown.gif

It was very exciting to play this tournament. This was the first time that I had played a WSOP event besides satellites. Who would have thought that I would be face-to-face with the "Devilfish", David Sklansky, or Scotty Nguyen?

After the tournament, I went to the Bellagio to play poker. When I first arrived I looked around the room to see if Mason Malmuth or any 2+2 poster was playing. I signed up for the $8-$16 limit hold'em game, and was seated in a good game. Not much raising and lots of calling. Quite a few pots were five to seven handed and plenty of live tourists. Within a few hours I booked a win of $226. /images/wink.gif I would have stayed longer because the game was good, but I was totally exhausted from playing the tournament. The best part about playing at the Bellagio was the comfortable seats. I decided to call it a day and turned in for the night.

On Monday afternoon I went up to the tournament room to check out the action and see who made the final table for the Omaha Hi-Lo Split event. To my surprise, Perry Friedman who I had met last year playing super-satellites had made it to the final table. I saw Perry and he said that he didn't think he was going to win. I told him that he had a better than average chance to win due to the amount of chips he had and wished him good luck. It was good to see that Perry made it. Last year we had lunch together with a few other players and talked about bad beats and strategy.

After talking with Perry, I took a taxi to Treasure Island. Stopped at Starbucks for coffee and took the tram to the Mirage. I checked out the poker room, but no familiar faces. The Mirage had a $60 limit hold'em tournament with unlimited rebuys for $40 scheduled for 7:00 p.m. So, I decided that I would go to the Bellagio for a few hours and play poker until it was time to register for the tournament.

I signed up for the $8 - $16 limit hold'em game and looked around the poker room to see if there were any 2+2 posters. None, were to be found. I didn't see Mason, Vince, or even the PokerBabe(aka). /images/frown.gif I played for a few hours, played very few hands, blinded away some chips, but managed to win one pot with a set of fours. This was my first ring game session loss of $94 since I came to Vegas. /images/frown.gif I left the Bellagio and went back to the Mirage to sign up for the tournament and have dinner at the buffet.

The tournament was filled with quite a few WSOP tournament players, so I was going to be difficult to win. During the first level I played a hand that managed to get me a lot of action on many of the hands I played later on. The blinds were $15 and $30 and I have a pair of five's in late middle position. Two players limp in and I raise it to $60, the blinds call, and five of us see the flop. Of course, I flop a set. It's checked to me and I bet. Everyone folds except for the big blind who calls me down to the river. I managed to have the deck hit me pretty well until the end of the rebuy period, so I just do an add-on for $40. After the rebuy period, I end up losing half of my chips with a pair of tens, and eventually get knocked out before the break at 10:00 p.m. After the tournament, I went back to Treasure Island for some Starbucks coffee and try my luck at the Megabucks slot machine. After dropping $40, I took a taxi back to Binion's and turned in for the night.

After breakfast Tuesday morning, I went up to the tournament room and found out that Perry had won the Omaha Hi-Lo Event. I saw Perry as I was leaving Binion's and congratulated him on his win.

During my trip I took several picture of the Binion's and Treasure Island marquees. Furthermore, I took a great picture of the mermaid at Caesars. Overall the trip was a lot of fun. /images/smile.gif If any of you regular posters would like a JPEG for a screen background of the mermaid, or Binion's and Treasure Island marquees. Send me your e-mail address stating which one you want to maheide@yahoo.com.

Good Luck


04-25-2002, 05:41 PM
Mark- That was an excellent report of your trip. Thanks for sharing it. So sorry we did not get to meet - next time you are here, we will have to have you to one of our "weekly poker group meetings" . I have been hanging around with Tommy Angelo the past few days, and I'm sure he would have liked to meet you as well. Just yesterday we were with Vince, Jim Brier and a few other posters. The good news is: we are here to stay so come back and visit again, soon. Best - Babe.

04-26-2002, 03:48 PM

Thanks for taking the time to read my report. Hopefully, I'll see you and the rest of the 2+2 gang on my next trip. It would be fun to see you, Vince, Tommy, Jim, or even Mason.

I only met Vince once two years ago, but I don't think I would recognize him. There's just two many bald headed guys playing poker in Vegas. I just remember him with sunglasses.

The next time I come to Vegas I will post when I am leaving, so make sure to tell me where this weekly poker meeting is being held.

Good Luck