Saturday, January 26, 2008

The rest of vegas

I realize some reading my blog don't want to read/don't understand the poker jargon...plenty of this will be non poker related, so just skip over the stuff you don't want to siphon through.

We woke up the next day and there really was nothing noteworthy going on during the day. I was pretty tired and having some general stomach issues, and while Steve played for a while, I just decided to hang out with Owen for a while and relax. We decided that Tuesday was a good day to take Vegas up on one of their illustrious shows, and after hearing all of the hype about the Blue Man Group, we booked two tickets for the 8pm showing at the Venetian.

We got to the Venetian around 6 with nothing much else to do, and decided to play some poker to pass the time. Steve sat some limit Omaha 8 or better and, still being tired and somewhat out of it, I didn't want to sit 2/5 or 5/10, so I sat some 1/2 300 max and figured I'd splash around some. I didn't do much splashing around, though I did run my stack up +300 then down to even. At least the table was fun. A drunk middle aged guy who was very enjoyable, a hick kid who we made fun of (including the dealer) because we felt like it, and a bunch of random kids who moved around from unlucky seats and got pissed when I turned them for stacks. It was a limped pot, I had about 300 and limped behind a bunch of limpers with A3o. The flop came 963 and I the small blind, a foreign kid with sunglasses and a gangsta flyayayayyyyyy jacket on led for like 7 bucks into a 13 dollar pot. It folded to me, and realizing I had only bottom pair, called the bet. I also realized that this kid was only leading strongly the way he did with a likely 2 pair, and a less likely set (this type of kid check/raises or traps with hands that big), so, reasoning that if I out turned him I would stack him, I called. The turn was the georgeous ace filling my top and bottom pair, and the small blind led, I raised and he 3 bet all in, and I snap called against his 2 pair and he mucked the river bitching about how he floped 2 pair (he showed 96o). I know I'm not supposed to tap on the aquarium, but he switched tables soon after so we all had a good laugh at him, myself and all the rest of the fish at the table. It was fun, except when I flopped top top (top pair top kicker) on a king high flop, got turned by the nut flush draw and the drunk guy by the king of spades (giving me top trips) and getting minraised...I had to call the minraise reasoning that this drunk idiot was playing stupidly in many other spots heads up against me and he could have a worse king a lot, and I was also never calling any reasonable river bet from this type of live donk...As usual, I have a knack for getting bad players to check back flushes to me on the river, and I was no good against the A4 of spades. standard.

I ended up even on this short cash session, and me and steve headed to the blue man group showing. To say the very very lease, THIS SHOW WAS FANTASTIC! Honestly, best live performance I've ever seen or heard about. Unreal what these guys can do with the audience and with their own talent. Every minute was entertaining, I was honestly just smiling and laughing the entire time. Really, a great, innovative, contemporary and interesting showing. I highly recommend it for anyone that can take loud volume and a fun, unique night for all ages and audiences.

The next day, Steve met with a student of his for a live coaching session and I went to my Aunt's house that lives in the Vegas suburbs. I want to take a second to tell you about my Great Aunt Elaine. She is the single most amazing family member still alive in my family. I don't know her all that well, as I've only recently been able to frequent Las Vegas, but she is quite an interesting woman. Shes in her 80's and well past legally blind. She lives alone (with her daughter frequenting) with her 8 cats, and is a funny, interesting and talkative woman but one that never loses your interest in the subject. From death to politics to gambling to girls to school to life to animals to our family, nothing bored me while we were engaged in conversation. It was a very nice two hour visit, and I then headed back to Monte Carlo to eat at the awesome buffet in the Monte Carlo.

I highly recommend this buffet, with a mix of really 5 or 6 different ethnic categories, all very good (French, Mexican, American, Italian are the ones I remember, I think some chinese food and european dishes as well) and SOOOO much to choose from. Even if you're never staying or gambling in the Monte Carlo, if you're looking for a reasonably priced, all you can eat buffet on the strip conveniently located, the Monte Carlo buffet is a pretty good choice.

I got ready, put on my best shirt, and headed to the Bellagio. I put myself on the 5/10nl list and racked in for the 1k table max. I had decent control of this table, but there were many characters and interesting hands and situations coming up. There won't be much coherency to this next portion of the report, so it'll just be a string of random hands and stupid crap but a potentially fun read, so take that as you will:

Starts off ok, I'm getting some respect even though the average open raise is to 50 or 60 with a 1k cap buy in so it played a bit big. Feature hands: I limp UTG with A4ss and a bit over 1500 in the effective stack sizes. a few limpers behind and huge donkey makes it 40 to go out of the sb. I call and they call behind me. Flop comes AT4 with two hearts and the preflop raiser checks, I lead for 110 and get check/raised to a bit over 300. I jam for about 1300 and the donk goes into the tank. He took long enough that it was very obvious he had AK/AQ, and I was rooting for a call. He did end up calling, and it was all bad news after I tabled my hand and said "don't bad beat me sir. No queen and no king!!" Well, as you can tell, the turn was a queen and the river a king, so the 3,000 dollar ish pot was not mine. Sad, I said a quick curse at the table, which I immediately apologized for (I never curse or drink at the table, it interferes with my seriousness and love for the game, so I get very upset when I slip up in a big pot, but sadly I'm only human). I immediately regretted my reaction because I later spewed off a stack to a nit idiot who has apparently won a million dollars playing tournaments, but plays cash games horribly awfully. He thinks he's gods gift to poker, which is why in his drunken and tilty state I made a big (and spewy) call against him, but I gave him too much credit and donked off a stack before having to work for it back later in the night.

This same kid was yelling drunkenly and talking smack to everyone, his favorite phrases being "LICKY LICKY!" and "STOP IT!" in his incredibly gay imitation voice (name that movie?), and trying to pick fights with me for taking too long to act. I guess my <5 seconds was too long, because we really got into it later. For the time being, though, I just took advantage of how bad he was, and watched him fold JJ to my single 3 bet preflop out of the bb with TT. We were over 150bb deep and he said "the flop is gonna come ten high and im not gonna know what to do". That would've been nice, but I just accepted his constant small mistakes until his 400bb stack was gone. Sadly for him, even if I showed KK he probably should've called my 3 bet in position with JJ. lol donkaments. I ended up playing a solid small ball lag style 5 handed with this kid, his friend, some random australian (?) guy and another dude. I was the only one to 3 bet pf in 5 hours 4/5 handed, and no one played back at me, but there were two sick angleshooting hands both involving the douchebag nitfest kid who thought he was god's gift to poker for lucksacking one live tournament back in 2005.

Before the shorthanded festivities, he limped preflop and they took a multi way flop that quickly became heads up post flop that I was not involved in. A middle aged asian regular bet and got called by the kid on a King high monotone spade board. The turn was a blank and the guy bet and got raised, and called the raise. On the river, the kid overbet jam the pot after the asian guy checked on a paired king 5th street, and the asian guy asks the kid for a chip count. The dealer says "he's got your covered, sir", and the asian guy quickly says "no, I have bills". Under a huge napkin and coffee mug, he pulls out like 1300 in benjamins and the entire table is just like lol is this a joke? And the dealer calls the floor. The dealer explains the situation, with the nit kid complaining along with us, and the floor manager makes her first awful ruling of the night, stating that the bills are obviously in play because they were on the table. The asian then goes into the tank and then calls and mucks a king to the kids flopped flush for a very sizey 250-300ishbb pot. very sick re-angle, and even though I had no respect for this kids cash game, nice hand sir, nice hand.

His second angle wasn't so nice. He was talking shit to me later in the night because I was playing very aggressively short handed, the only one reraising preflop and not shutting down incredibly often. He raised the CO and his friend on the button called, and I was ready to raise 40 to 160 with whatever garbage I had (actually it was AK lol). I reached for a benjamin and took my left hand back to get 60 in chips. I was in the process of sliding my bill across the line and the chips were coming in my other hand (note: my hand never came off the bill), and the kid immediately yells "STRING BET!" and his friend almost in unision despite not paying attention, yells "STRING BET!" and the unobservant dealer has no idea whats going on. The nit drunk idiot kid gets to explain to the same awful Bellagio floor person what the situation was, claimed I took my hand off the bill, and she instantly believed him and said I had to make it 100 to go. Great ruling ma'am. Do us all a favor and stop being a splinter in the poker community's ass. I asked the kid straight up out loud then and there, "Do you really have to take cheap shots at me to try and see flops cause you're that scared?". He didn't like that and I c-bet and they both instantly folded. looool live players are my favorite. I still ended up losing about two stacks in the game with the 3k+ pot loss with the A4 and the spewed stack, but I played well minus 2, possibly 3 spots and felt very good about my game at the end of a 13 hour session.

We slept all day the next day Until I woke up at around 8pm and was sitting online before IMing with Casey (Bones) about meeting up for food, and possible poker and a visit to the famous spearmint Rhino. We met up at the Bellagio cafe and had dinner, then headed to the poker room. Bones got on the 2/5 list and I sat my final session of 5/10, while Steve played 4/8 and then 8/16 shorthanded limit hold em with a short stacking Sam Grizzle (lol!) I was stuck a bit over a stack on the week going into this last session, but the last session proved to be no less interesting than the first two.

I sat at my first must move table two to the left of who turned out to be another 2+2er (TurnstoneMBD of the brick and mortar forum if I recall his name correctly) but didn't play there for long. I went to the main game and immediately was engaged in the mainly asian, but interestingly crazy table. Most noteworthy hand: Aggro asian raises in MP to 40 with 700 in his stack, guy calls in the hijack with the same stack, small blind who has my 1400ish stack covered (and who had check/raised the last flop and took it down uncontested) calls and I call in the big blind with AJ of clubs. Flop is T6c5c and both the blinds check, the asian preflop raiser bets 120, gets called by the hijack and the small blind check raises again to 380ish, maybe 400 actually. After reasoning through my reaads and the spot, I decided I had to stick it all in, and that's what I did. The asian, to my surprise, called all in, as did the hijack! THE SMALL BLIND WENT INTO THE TANK! What have I done!?!? All 3 of us got up and started pacing, and the small blind ended up folding what he claimed to be an overpair (wow he's terrible for flatting an overpair preflop in that spot? lol liveaments?) The turn brought an offsuit 7 and the river paired the ten with the ten of clubs. I asked who had the boat and announced my nut flush, and the asian mucked, and the hijack tables the 74 of clubs for the flopped open ended straight flush draw. Whyyy. Well, I luckboxed that one, but everyone was seriously at the top of their ranges (the asian flopping bottom 2 pair) and I couldn't narrow anything down enough for me to see playing it another way. It was a nice spot, much in contrast to the gross spot I got into soon after when I raised 60 to 300 after several callers and another asian opened in MP. I had QQ and the asian tanked and called, and it was heads up to the flop of KT9 with 2 clubs, both of us being well over 200bb deep. Ew. ew ew ew. I ended up check/folding to a 700 dollar pot size bet and he later claimed to have flopped a set which I am inclined to believe but am still not 100% sure about it. I also didn't see another way to play this, but perhaps leading and praying could work against some idiots. It felt gross but I was proud for the seemingly standard, but gross line I had to take in that spot.

I ended up a couple stacks in the end and made money on the week, albeit short a few thousand that I should've definitely made, and still felt good about the week and the experience.

5am rolled around and Steve, Bones, Jshuttlseworth, and MikeCH were all rooting for the spearmint rhino visit long awaited by all, and that's what we did. That place is a fun time, and the theory that playing hard to get with strippers creates better lap dances is confirmed because, that was a great time. Bones runs both very good and very bad with stripperaments (he can elaborate if he wishes), but the short of it is he was able to set himself up taking a stripper home with him who wanted to role play. SHIPIT. Though I never had the luxury of that story to tell, we all had quite the time between a fun bellagio session, and a trip to the rhino, followed by an authentic northern chinese breakfast. This breakfast featured lots of rice products and some great beef sandwiches and dumplings. Overall, not a breakfast I can see myself getting used to, but one that was very enjoyable and glad I tried it. I ended up driving a drunk Jshuttlesworth's car back to the monte carlo while he was going to play drunken 1/2nl at 10am while me and steve packed to check out a couple of hours later, in prep for our trek home after a long, but interesting and very enjoyable week in vegas. We packed our stuff up and decided to watch tv and relax before having to check out, in our very tired and dozey state.

Not long after, we got a bang on our door and we heard lots of yelling in the hall. We opened the door and a bunch of people were running to the stairwell. A couple turned back to us and yelled: "THERE'S A FIRE UPSTAIRS! ITS SPREADING! WE'RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE THE STAIRS, GET OUT!". now, the last time I ran near a fire was with an oxygen mask on and a hose line in hand with some older, experienced firefighters around. This was a few years later and a bit different of a time. We ran 27 flights down the stairs with all of our luggage, and got outside to the site of floors 28 and above being up in flames. It was a sad sight, and I immediately thought of what would happen if we weren't leaving that day (Friday). We would not have had our stuff packed and we would not have been awake, or easily woken for that matter. Yikes.

We watched the crazy scene for a while before deciding to get to the airport early and just hang out before the flight. After delays and the craze of a big Las Vegas casino fire, I had had all the excitement I could take for the week, and we got home at about 2am last night. Quite a week I should say, and I'm glad we did it. The semester starts on Monday, which I am dreading, but, such is life and I'll try and make the best of something that I loathe in school. Wish me luck this semester I guess, it may or may not be a bumpy ride. Hope that was a coherent report, sorry I did a bunch of jumping around. Thanks for reading.


p.s- a couple of pics from the fire above our hotel room:


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