Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The One from my Hotel Room

I have 48 minutes to shower and get to the noon tournament at the Venetian, so this has to be short. So far:

Arrive Monday night at 7pm, cab to Harrah's, check in, and go right over to the Venetian for their 9pm tourney. Only it is a 7pm tourney. I sit down at their $1/$2 NL Hold'em cash game, knowing that the cash game is not my strong suit. I just want to bide my time until the 11pm tourney at Caesar's (um, it was at 12am), but for the first time ever in a Vegas cash game, I win ($200). Between the rake, dealer tips, and drink tips, I am pretty proud to clear this much in ninety minutes.

10:50pm, arrive at Caesar's and discover I need to wait a while. I buy in to the 1/3 NL game and win another $186 before the tourney starts. The midnight tourney (cost is $70) there is small and only worthwhile because it's one of the few options at that time. I am playing extremely well, doubling my chips while risking very few. Then someone I identify as a poor player goes all in pre-flop against my KK. She has A8s and well, we all know that means aces will flop, and they do here, too. I lose my edge, and I'm soon going all in with 77 as overcards to a flop, only to lose to QQ. Sorry, I can't recall the betting (I'm taking a notepad to the Venetian this Wed noon). I place 20 of 32. I walk back to the cash game and win $170. It's late, and I go to bed, up $486.

Noon, Tuesday, and I enter the Venetian tournament ($150) as one of 139 participants. I am mostly short-stacked, because I learn the hard way that the play in Vegas is different than the play in Minnesota. I basically lose my chips to two limpers, one limping with KK (I had QQ), and one limping with JJ (I had 99). These two losses make me play short stack poker, and I lose all in A10s to the chip leader's AQ. Place 50 out of 139.

Tuesday 4:30, I head to the Bellagio to see baseball people. I don't have a clue who's who, and only recognize that people are wearing media passes. I look for Aaron Gleeman and don't see him, so I go play poker. I buy in for $200 for a cash game when I learn that there is a Sit and Go for $130. Top 2 of 10 get into the $540 Bellagio 7:15pm tourney (and $30 in cash). I get third, of course. On the way out, I pass a blackjack table and decide to put my remaining $70 down for one bet. I get 73 and the dealer has an 8 showing. Of course, with your one and only bet or your last bet, you always get a double down situation! I have four twenties and get $80, $70 of which I use to double. I get a 2, dealer turns over a King, and there goes $140. I bet the extra 10, get QQ, and the dealer gets three cards to 21. Yuck.

Tuesday 7:35pm, I arrive late to the Venetian and pay $120 for the evening tourney. I play the short stack the whole night, surviving by risking the stack and having the table fold. I finally have AJs and get two players to call me. Flop is AK6, turn is 6, river is 2. I think I've won, but the chip leader and hottest player happens to have a 6. Place 18 of 85. Go to bed. Down $550 for the day, $64 for the trip.

Noon Wednesday, Venetian. I'll keep better notes so that I can give some analysis of the interesting hands. I'll try to update before bedtime.

Update: I had zero hands, once going 18 hands with no card higher than a 10. I played one of these tens and made top pair on the flop, only to be bet of the hand by a player who flopped a set. I got blinded down, and my limps all got raised, so I was short stacked immediately, finally went all in with A9 and got caught by AQ. I lasted ninety minutes and decided basically I didn't want to play short stacked all day again. Down $150 on the day, $216 for the trip.

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