Thursday, June 02, 2005

Vegas Memorial Weekend Trip Report

So you read it in all the poker books, playing poker for a living ain't easy. I've got to say, all the hours that Jeff and I put into poker were real work.

It's good to be able to play at a table for 8-10 hours. It really gives you an advantage to work through some of the highs and lows, but it also turns into a real grind.

The numbers I am about to show are sometimes painful. Probably more painful for me than you, but I decided to keep good records from now on so I will know my progress and where I need to work on my game. Most poker players think they are good or even great. But you never really know until you keep track.

Bill Fillmaff keeps good records, he's got over $6 Million in his virtual account ! .... maybe he can spend it on his "virtual" girlfriend and buy her some "virtual" boobies !

I'm keeping everything in the poker analyst. Great tool and easy to use.

Here's the total for the weekend
Total Games played = 10
Total $ Amount = -$1,194.00
Total Hours = 32h30m
Average per Hour = -$36.74
Wins = 5
Losses = 5

Yes, that's a big ass NEGATIVE sign in front of my winnings. We played at the Alladin, Wynn, Bellagio, Harrah's, MGM Grand, and Mirage. I played about half of the time in 2-5 NL games and the other half in 1/2 NL.

I liked the Wynn the best. On the next trip I'm staying there and playing exclusively at Steve's hotel. Hey Steve !, can I get a $2 Million contract like Daniel ?

On Sunday I decided to try my hand at a tournament. Jeff and I got up early to head to the Palms. They were having two tournaments a day over the weekend with a $200 buyin and a single rebuy. As Jeff and I were surveying the cardroom, one of the employees walked up and said, "We are doing a satellite for this afternoon's tourney, do you want in ?". Jeff and I discussed it and we agreed to enter. The employee told us we had to go get a Palm Player's Card, whatever the hell that is. He told us it would take two seconds and then to come back. We stood in the line and it took much longer than the advertised two seconds. We walked back into the room and the game was underway. I asked where our seats were and he said, "too late, there will be another one starting soon. Next time post your money." WTF, he didn't TELL us to post our money... rat bastard.

So that experience really turned me off to the Palms card room. The regular poker area really sucked anyways. Two rooms, very small, and they allow smoking. They can keep it. I signed up with their players club under somebody else's name anyway, so I hope you enjoy your junkmail.

We decided to walk down to the Orlean's. A local in the lobby told us it was about a 15 minute walk. And this time of day it wouldn't be too bad. He said if it was an hour later we would be "Screaming to Jesus!" The only games they had at the Orlean's were limit games, only two tables going. It looks like a nice cardroom, but I didn't want to play any limit poker.

We hit a cab and headed to the Bellagio. Wow, I hadn't see it since they did there expansion. Very nice. They were having a satellite for the $540 tourney and I entered it. Jeff took off to Harrahs. I won the single table satellite and an entry into the 2pm tourney. Played great poker and was very excited. Saw Doyle Brunson, he came in around 1pm and was playing in the special room they have for the pros. It's all walled in with glass doors. His back was too me as I was playing the tournament. There was about 10 feet between me and him with the big glass doors between us. They kind of looked like fish in an aquarium. I thought about tapping on the glass and saying "Hey fish !! ... whasssssuppppp !" I ended up busting out very early in the tournament. How early ? .... 10 minutes into it. Got involved in three hands way too early. I was very upset with myself. I played patient in the satellite where the blinds were escalating quick, and then I tried to be uber-agressive in the main event. Bad Poker player .... bad ! bad ! bad ! poker player.
I met up with Jeff at Harrah's shortly thereafter and proceeded to crush the $1-2 game they have there. They only let you buy in for $120, so I played like a maniac with the first $120 to blow off a little steam. Then on my second $120, I still talked like a maniac, but only played good cards and good posistion. Very fun, cashed out over $200 on that table.

So how did I loose all the money ? I was up and down for most of the trip. It was the last day's session at the Wynn that was going to make me or break me.
Jeff and I started our last day at the Wynn at 8:10am in the morning. I bought into the only 2-5 game in the room with $600 and 7 players in the game. They had been playing all night. I have to say that everytime we played early in the morning, these were our best sessions. We were fresh and everybody else was haggard. I had played 3 hands when 3 people at the table got into a huge pot. You could tell that this was the moment they had all been waiting for. Everybody limped in. The guy first to act raises to $100, then a fold, then 3 person raises to all in for about $400. Get's around to the guy on the button and he is jumping out of his seat. Starts screaming about having a great hand, and if he lays it down he is going to regret it. "Why do I play this damn game", he is screaming. After about 5 minutes he finally pushes all his chips in. The guy that first raised immediately calls. There is about $2400 in the pot. First guy turns up nut straight, 2nd guys turns up bottom straight, and screamer turns over AJ for nut flush draw. He gets his card on the turn and he's jumping up and down and screaming. Security comes over and has to calm him down. His buddy says, "Cash out !", and just like that the table is broken up. I gather my chips and head to the nearest 1-2 game. I hear the guy say as he's walking out, "Craps table, here I come !" ... ahhhhh, another poker player is born !

One reason I like the Wynn is that they have no maximum buy in. I can sit down at the $1-2 table with $10,000 and proceed to mow it down if I like. I sat down and the table and choose to stick and jab. I didn't want to get involved in any big hands unless I had the nuts. I had about 8 hours before I had to leave to the airport. I sat at that table for 7 hours and played one of the best sessions of my life. I think at one point I folded for an hour and a half. A guy layed down A10 to me on a board of A-8-3 when I bet the size of the pot, I had the same A-10 as he did. I built those chips up from $605 to about $1150. All the time there was a maniac at the table. He was drinking coffee with shots of whiskey. I must have seen him down at least 10 of them in the last 6 hours. He was an older gentleman. Constantly talking trash, trying to get the other players to play his style of poker. It was working on some of the players. They were live straddling, betting in the dark, lowering their starting requirements. I was still waiting for the hand when we could get heads up and I could bust him. He had to buy back in a few times. He was mostly up and down, then up to a little under what I had. We were the two big stacks at the table.

Everybody limped in, I limped with Q10. Flop was a beautiful open ended straight for me J-9-7, rainbow. I'm in early position and bet out to win it or get that free card. Folds around to the maniac who bumps it up $100. Great, now it's me and him heads up. Is now the time for my stand ? I decide that it is and make the call for $100 with the implied odds that if I get my card I may be able to get the rest of his chips. I'm feeling like he has a big hand too. The turn is a beautiful 8. I've got the nut hand right now. I'm first to act. What to do ? ... what to do ? ... I decide to push all in, he's seen me slow play several times, and he might put me on a bluff. He immediately calls. Awesome, I've got the best hand right now. He flips over his set of Jacks. Damnit !!, he's got outs ! Of course the board pairs on the end and he wins all but $62 of my chips with a full house. I just lay my head down at the table and think about how I could have played it differently. I reach into my pocket and pull out a $1000 dollars. I've only got an hour before the flight, maybe I can get it back. The very next hand the same maniac sucks out on me again for $60. I take my $1000 off the table and say goodbye to everyone. I know when to walk away.

I wanted that win bad. It would have been about a $2100 pot and put me back in the black for the trip. Yes I know I could have walked away with my $1200 from the table and only been a little down for the entire trip. But if you can't get all your chips in the middle when you have the nuts on the turn, you are just going to play scared your whole life. On the turn I was a 77% favorite to win the hand. I would most likely play the hand the same way. And believe me, I've dreamt about it several times.

So it was a great learning experience. I now believe what they say about "poker is the hardest way to make an easy living". On the plus side, I did see the ferrari's at Wynn and Ozzy Osbourne and his whole entourage walked by the poker room while we were playing.


Pletch said...

Great report. Brutal beat at the end. Just doesn't seem right, sometimes. Nice blog.