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02-17-2002 09:05 PM

Long Vegas Trip Report

So I'm at work on Wednesday, and Michelle calls. She's this awesome girl I'm going out with on Valentine's Day. Or not. She cancels. Bummer. I call Todd. He lives in Vegas. I make immediate plans to head out to vegas for the weekend (the weekend starts on wednesday, right?). I take thursday off of work, and I get every other Friday off, so I hit the road. I pull in late wednesday, and start playing some cards.

I don't remember any hands from this particular session, but I was playing 15-30 at the bellagio, and finished up 300 when the game broke. I quickly lost that 300 at a blackjack table (yes, I do gamble, and no, I shouldn't). I head back to the poker room to see if another seat has opened (I was at the top of the list), which one hasn't, so I play 8-16 and get murdered.

I should have knowned it was going to be like this. First hand, I post with KQo in the cutoff. One limper to me, I raise to get the button, but alas, the button call. BB 3 bets, I call, now button 4-bets, and BB caps. Bummer. I muck, feeling that I'm probably drawing dead (or nearly). Who knows what the cutoff had...he bet the whole way, and then when the showdown came said "good call, I have nothing", and the BB with QQ wins. I need a seat change.

Now, after two limpers, I limp with A7s on the button. if there was a 1% chance of the blinds folding, I would have raised. They wouldn't though. In fact the BB now raises. He is the same guy as above who bet with nothing, and he's been raising every hand. All call, 5 see the flop.

Flop A Q 4, one spade. BB bets, two call, and I raise. I raised because the BB could have ANYTHING, and I know the two callers don't have an ace, or they'd have raised. BB 3-bets, and only I call. Turn, 7. Bet, raise, reraise (crap!!) Crying call. River, blank. Bet, call.

He has AQ. One of those days. I lose 500 in this game, and go to bed down 800 after a mishap at the craps table. I head to bed at 5:30, and get up at 8:00, ready to attack the world again.

By 9:00, I'm at the bellagio poker room with Todd. Some of you may know Todd, he recently moved to vegas and plays regularly at the bellagio. He's tall, about 30, goatee, and engaged to his fiancee (who else?) who frequenly sweats him. In fact, some/many of you may have seen me there. I'm tall (6'7" or so), was always playing with "Todd", played 15-30 all weekend (umm, by weekend, I mean Wed, Thurs, and Fri), whilst wearing a black leather jacket.

So, we're there, playing 15-30, and I can't drag a pot. Again, no specific hand recollections here. But I made a very important discovery regarding how 'beatable' a game is.

Down here in L.A., I used to always view a game as 'beatable', based solely on pot size, how many players saw each flop (i.e. if I'm not playing KTo and KJo UTG, and they are, I have an edge). In Vegas, the games were often tighter, and nowhere near as wild, which I knew was the case from previous experience. Then, how was the game beatable, I asked myself. Well, the answer was readability. The players were a little more predictable than the typical LA player, and I felt that that was where my edge was. For instance, this hand came up.

I raise one limper with KQo on the button. Heads up. The limper is 'typical', though maybe a tiny bit loose by vegas standards (i.e. tight by LA standards). Flop comes QT9, he bets, I raise. I say he has either KQ or QJ. Period. probably a 50-50 chance of either. Turn, blank. Check, bet call. River A. In L.A., there is no way I could make a bet here on the river. No way whatsoever against many opponents. But here, I did, and he called. He had QJ. Woo Hoo.

Now, I start getting AQ every other hand, and go on a bit of a rush. I show down nothing but winners, and use that image to help myself to a couple of pots. I finish up about 800, eat at the buffet, then head to the mirage for the tourny.

I play tight early on, just not wanting to let somebody put a badbeat on me (no limit, one rebuy). After the break, I am slightly short stacked, and get AA in the cutoff. All fold to me. Bummer. I make it 200 to go (25-50 blinds), and only the chipleader in the BB calls. I have about 800 after my raise. Flop 2 5 6, all spades (I have As). BB goes all in, I call immediately. He turns over 23d. Turn, 2c. This is not good. This is bad. River, Ad. This is good. This is awesome. I just doubled up through the chip leader. I start playing very aggressive, and become the 2nd chip leader. I come over the top a couple times, and dont show any hands down. Then I get QQ in the small blind, after 4 limpers. Blinds 100-200, and I have about 3000. I make it 1400 to go (I think that was the amount). only the chip leader UTG calls. Flop comes 2 4 5, rainbow. I push all in. He calls, shows me A3o, and I walk away, back to the bellagio.

I'm playing 15-30 again. Funny thing is, I only remember one hand from this session. I put a bad beat on somebody. I hate doing that. Two limpers, I raise on the button with KJc. Both blinds call, 5 see flop of A 9 3, one club. Checked to me, I check. Turn, T. SB bets out, all fold to me. I honestly thought that there was about a 40% chance that he was trying to steal it. I felt that a K or a J would be good, so I called. River, Q. Yee Haw. He bets, I raised, and when he called, I knew that he was NOT trying to steal on the turn. I got a break.

Don't remember many other hands, but I remember that for the day, I finished up 800, thus recouping my loss from the previous day. But, alas, they have these blackjack tables sprinkled around, so I decided to lose some money there (500). Head to bed at 5:00, and get up at 8:30, ready to play some cards.

I get to the Bellagio at 9:15 with Todd, and start playing again. Start out playing 8-16 waiting for a seat to open in the 15 game. I win about 50, and head to 15. First round, I pick up AA in the SB. One limper, I raise, BB calls. Flop comes AQx, I bet the whole way, get called by both on the flop and turn, both fold the river.

****Important note. I included the above hand because it was the first time in many many many hours of play that I had AA or flopped a set. it was good.

I move to the other game, and thus am playing with Todd...

I pick up KK (red) in the blind. One player open-raises (he raises with A LOT of hands), one cold caller. I just call.

Flop Q J 8, two hearts. I check, raiser checks, caller bets, I checkraise, raiser calls two cold, caller calls. Hmm...what's he calling two cold with? QQ, JJ, ATh? KT? AJ? AK? Who knows.

Turn, 8. Q J 8 8. Check, Check, Bet, I raise, both call two bets. hmmm. River 4h. I check, the preflop raiser bets, representing a flush. Other guy mucks, and I decided to call. In retrospect, this was a bad call, wasn't it? Sure the pot became roughly huge, but what could he have that I beat? I guess I decided that there was an x% chance that he was bluffing with a missed straight draw. He had 97h. Bummer.

I worked my way up to a decent size win (somethink like 1000), but lost a chunk of it back. We head to the Orleans for the tourny there (no limit). I play tight, hoping some of the weaker players get eliminated before I get tangled in anything too seriously. I don't play a hand for the first three rounds (15 minute rounds). I get AKo, second to act. UTG limps (20-40 blinds), I make it 150 to go. This was the first time I voluntarily put chips in the pot. All including UTG fold. I say "gosh, I should play more hands, I may win more that way". next hand, K8c. I raise UTG to 150, only the BB calls. Flop comes 6 3 3, two clubs. He checks, I move all in, he mucks. I fold for a while, until I have the button. two before button makes it 80 to go, I make it 225 to go with T6d. Unfortunately, he calls. Flop comes 8 7 4, all black, twotone, so I have a double gutter. He checks, I move all in. He mucks. I still haven't shown down a hand, and I just became the chipleader at the break (well, after I rebought, which everybody else had done, I became the chipleader). After the break, I don't play a hand the first round. Next round, blinds were 50-100, I make it 500 to go UTG with TT. One loose player calls. She has many many chips. I have about 2000 before the raise. Flop comes T 9 7, rainbow. I bet 500, she calls. Turn, 8. Check, Check. River 6. I check, she puts me all in. I go into the tank. I'm playing the board, and I call, eventually deciding that she wouldn't be capable of either holding a J after my flop and preflop bet, and couldn't check the turn with a jack. Well, I was wrong. She had AJo. Dems' the breaks. Fortunately, Todd busted out 5 minutes earlier, and we had a $100 last longer bet going, so I freerolled.

Go play blackjack, win 200. Big news there. I won while gambling. Big news. Really big news.

It's now midnight, so we go back and sleep. I don't sleep. I sleep until 2 a.m., and then toss and turn until nearly 5. I almost went down to my car and drove to the bellagio, thinking about how good the game probably was. But, eventually, after 5, I get back to sleep, and get up at 8:30, when Todd calls my cellphone from the next room and says "you know what cheers me up when I'm feeling down...rolled up aces over kings". I say "F*ck it, let's go". We laugh. We're at the bellagio by 9:30, and there is no 4-8 going, no 8-16 going, so we both sit 1-5 stud waiting for a 15-30 or 30-60 seat. Boy, that was exciting. Or maybe not.

I get called for the 15, don't take the 30, Todd does. I win about 200 in the 15, then move to a new 30-60 game. It was shorthanded, and I simply refused to play very well (i.e. calling a turn raise with QQ on a K high board against a player who hadn't shown a bluff, and i had no reason to think I had him beat). I get moved to the main game, and am playing with Todd, when brutality strikes. We are either 4 or 5 handed, and Todd raises one off the button (may have been UTG if 4 handed). I hav A4s on the button, and decide to 3-bet. Heads up, flop comes Ah Qh 4d. Check Bet, raise, reraise, and todd 4-bet it. Okay, so he's got AQ. I decide I'll pay off. Turn, Jh. Bet, call. River, 8s. Bet call. He has the Ace with Ace kicker. sonofabitch. Later, he told me that he raised after only looking at one card.

I'm down 1000 at that point, but hang in there. I don't remember many hands I won. But eventually, I get AA on the button. This is the second time this trip that I have AA in a ring game. All muck to me on the button, and I say "I'm supposed to raise, right?". The two blinds look disappointed that they can't chop, and the SB calls. Flop comes J 5 2, all diamonds. Check, then I say "I'm going to bet, THEN look to see if I have a diamond". Bet, call. Turn, Kc. Check, bet, call. River, 9d. Bummer, check, I turn up my hand, he has Ad4h, for the nuts. He said he was sure I had the Kd. He was wrong. I lost AA to A4 for the second time (yeah, sure, once I had the A4). This is bad. I work my way back, flop a set of kings (second set of the trip, second KK of the trip), and flop a set of queens. This was the 5th time of the day I had queens, and the only time I won with them (well, once I had them in the SB, but we chopped...I also chopped AK and AJ in the SB). I leave after winning 1000, and head back to L.A. For the trip, I won 1300 (I did much better than that at poker...probably about 2500, but lost at stupid blackjack).

My overall thoughts were:

1.) With a few exceptions, I played some good poker.

2.) I'm never playing blackjack again.

3.) I'm never playing craps again.

4.) I like the Vegas games more than the L.A. games.

5.) I may have seen some of you, but wouldn't know it. Did any of you see me?

6.) This is now long enough. So, I'm gonna go. I need a good nights sleep in the WORST of ways.


02-17-2002 10:48 PM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

" I like the Vegas games more than the L.A. games."

i missed this part. could you tell me why?

i cant imagine anything greater than LA, a place where even *I* can make some money at hold em. (this has been a very good week; made $3000 playing 4+ hours of 3-5 handed 20-40).. anyways tell me what's so great about vegas gummy. ill be there for the mason/david pep talk at the end of april.

oh, as for blackjack, take a couple hours and learn that simple hi-lo count, it will make your 21 playing much more enjoyable.

02-17-2002 11:17 PM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

Not a second thought to that "awesome girl, Michelle".

I read that whole damn post expecting to read that she flew out there and you two ended up tying the knot on the spur.

sheesh...foolish me..expecting romance from a poker player... [img]/images/smile.gif[/img]

02-18-2002 01:03 AM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

You'va got it, Desire!

02-18-2002 01:43 AM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

I put a bad beat on somebody. I hate doing that.

What kind of poker player are you!?! I LOVE doing that.


02-18-2002 03:24 AM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

Mike -

A couple of points. First, as to why I like LV games more than LA. Realize that many of the Vegas players are in LA now, so the games weren't too tough, it was a holiday weekend (valentines, pres. day). But as I said, the games are beatable based on your reading skills, not just hand-selection-and-hold-on games, like L.A. I've always liked tamer games. This is why, back when Todd lived in LA, we would often play in the same game. We both respect each other's game, so its not like we enjoyed butting heads, but we wanted a little stabilization in the games. Shorthanded is different.

And a question...where were you playing shorthanded 20-40...was it at commerce? I'd love to jump into that!!

As for blackjack...I have been taught a counting system, though I don't know the name of it...and I'm not good at it... But it wouldn't help when I sit down at the games with the continuous shuffler (damn cute dealers always draw me in!!)


02-18-2002 03:27 AM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

Hmmm, now I'm confused. You say something like:

Not a second thought to that "awesome girl, Michelle".

and you sound like a 60 year old permanent bachelor.

Then, you say:

sheesh...foolish me..expecting romance from a poker player...

and you sound like a 30 year old lady. I'm adequately baffled.

And, nope, there was no knot tying. She's too old for me, but an awesome girl and a good friend (she's 30....I'm not [img]/images/smile.gif[/img])

Josh (23)

02-18-2002 03:32 AM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

yeah i hear you about the tamer games. i like a little passive with my loose as well. not always an easy find in LA..

i was playing 20 short at hustler from like 4am to 9am this saturday morning. it was great, i was hitting a lot of pairs, but also it was cake running these guys off hands. very profitable. the more i play, the more im convinced that hustler and hollywood park especially simply have better 15 and 20 games than commerce.

just cut it out with that 21 stuff man! those continuous shufflers are evil, you really are better off just playing craps than playing against those. im not kidding.

02-18-2002 03:47 AM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

Yeah, I of 'luck' really aren't....they are games that will take your money for trying to beat them. I was the orleans, I was playing with a 6 deck shoe, and they cut off more than 2 1/2 decks!!! They use about 50% of the shoe before they reshuffle.

I may have to re-check out hustler and H.P.C. I haven't played at HPC in a year (I just plain don't like the neighborhood), and I've only played 9-18 and omaha at Hustler... Do they always have yellow chip games going?



02-18-2002 10:05 AM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report




She's too OLD for you?? at 30???

Ya think maybe she picked up on your feeling of "she's too old for me"? You obviously have not had the experience with women that will make you see the light. We'll have a conversation when you hit 30 so that you can recount to me the error of your ways, darlin'.

Have a profitable trip...I've got a feeling romance is not "in the cards" for you for awhile.


02-18-2002 11:33 AM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report


You really should find your way out of your Ivy League games and join the rest of us at HPC. It's not that bad. Also, I don't think I know this Michelle girl... Does she happen to have a brother who you're good friends with?

02-18-2002 05:11 PM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

I'm 23. That's like 30% different.

Seriously, though, I was kidding about her being too old for me. In fact, I would date 10 thirty year olds before I'd even cast a glance in the direction of a 20 year old again. We just have this running joke between the two of us (see, I just sorta broke up with this 26 year old because I was too young, and she recently broke up with a 25 year old, cuz he thought she was too old...)


02-18-2002 06:52 PM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

oh're making me dizzy [img]/images/wink.gif[/img]

02-18-2002 09:31 PM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

I'm almost sure we played at the same table during one of my rare trips to the Commerce. Do you listen to KPFA?

02-19-2002 06:17 AM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

KPFA? No idea what that is, so I doubt I listen to it. What limits would we have played together at?


02-19-2002 12:22 PM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

OK, then I got the wrong guy. no idea who you are.

02-19-2002 02:58 PM

Re: Long Vegas Trip Report

never cast a glance in the direction of a 20 year old.


I wish i could show you that post 10 years from now.

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