Friday, September 19, 2008

Vegas Trip report

Started with a bang, but busted out at the final table of the $540 Venetian tournament. 49 people entered and they gave you 10,000 chips with 25-50 starting blinds and 40 minute levels. Wow, awesome value.

I knew this would play more like a cash game in the beginning stages, so that was my strategy. I never was all-in for my tournament life. Slowly built my stack and then got lucky to knock out the other chip leader at my table about half way through the tournament. He flopped top-pair top-kicker, and I had flopped open-ended straight flush draw with a chance for royal redraw. It got all in on the flop and I hit my flush card on the turn.

From there is was just a cruise to the final table. Don't know why I got off my game, but I made my first mistake two minutes into the final table. I raised from UTG (3x) and the chip leader (I was 2nd at that point) re-raised to 3x my bet. I should have dumped my KQ suited, but wanted a chance to hit and make it really deep. The flop was open ended str8 for me and I led out 2/3 size of pot hoping to take it down. He called. Instead of betting out again on the turn, I checked and he check behind. I didn't get there on the river and checked again, he checked behind and won with AQ, for A high.

BoneHead !! ... Should have led out again on the turn, or at least bet on the river. That cost me half my stack. Had played perfectly up to that point. That only brought me down to avg stack, so I stopped beating myself up and got my head back into the game.

about 15 minutes later I got involved with the same guy again. I limped from UTG with AJ and he raised to 3X. I prob should have dumped my hand, but called him. Flop was top pair top kicker for me and I led out. He re-raised all in, and I had to think for about 3-4 minutes. I hate calling off my stack. I even said that outloud and finally called. He said good call, and I knew it was underpair ... he showed 8's with no redraw posibillities .... of course the 8 fell on the river and I lost. I hadn't felt a punch in the gut like that in a loooong time. I would have been chip leader again and cruising to the final 3. But just like that I was out.

That was the only tournament I played. Would most def' play that one again. Very good value.

Also, Ray Romano was playing that tournament. Didn't get a chance to play with him, he got knocked out, but I was able to take this photo :

Rest of the trip was mainly $2/5 NL at the Venetian with some $1/2 NL mixed in when those games looked better. The $2/5 was tough at times from lack of bad players. The $1/2 was GREAT from people calling off all their stack with top-pair top-kicker and just generally playing bad and out of position. Doubled and tripled my stack several times at those games within hours.

$2/5 at the Wynn I was able to get lucky within the first couple hours. I was playing very tight with $1000. A guy in mid-pos raised to 4X, one caller after him, I'm on the button with 99 and call, SB (looks like Vegas regular) calls, and we take the flop 4 handed. Flop comes QQ9 - BINGO. SB checks, original raiser bets out about 1/2 pot, other player folds, I raise to 1.5 his bet, SB re-raises me to double my bet, original raiser folds. How to get the money in ? ... he's got to have AQ ... I double his raise (it was roughly $200 to me and I made it $400). He then insta-shoves for the rest of his stack (about $500 more), and I insta-call. After my insta-call, he's saying, "You have Q9 ?" ... nope, I show him my 99, and the turn and river are blanks. Whew ! .... pot was roughly $1900.

He was quite upset. Took all the money out of his pocket and put it on the table, about $4K. I was very polite the entire time, tried to sell him some chips back, but he said "no, I don't want your chips !" He eventually calmed down and I pushed him $800 in chips for the bills.

What did he think I had ? Or does a semi-apparent Vegas pro not think on those levels. He had seen me play tight for couple hours. Obviously I had something. Or did he think I was internet kiddie that plays overpair way too aggressively ? At any point, that solidified my image and I started entering way more pots, until finally I got called down on the river when I bluffed into a highly coordinated board with 2-4 suited. Then I changed gears again, but got paid off again because they tought I was still playing the junk :-)

I love poker.

Came to Vegas with $3200, left with $4300 ... even after using it for shows, dinner, tourney buyin, and losing $600 on craps, and $100 on blackjack .... only played those because friends were with me and had to hang, didn't want to be a complete poker-loner.


Andrew @ Dell said...

What about VM World. They took a pretty good hit on Wall Street during the meeting - anything to report outside of what most the major websites said?

Is the product headed in the right direction?

k3597 said...

I was in Vegas at the same time. I wish I would have known you were there, the mrs was camped at the card tables all weekend and I was dying to find a tournament...

PrettyPokerBoy said...

@k3597 - Rob ! Damn I shoulda known to have called you. Seems like you are in Vegas every weekend ! - Going back down Dec 4th. Let's hook up then if you are there.

@Andrew - Tone of VMworld was good. I think they are headed in the right direction as a company (I still own many shares of their stock) - but I think it might take awhile to build the products based on the vCloud vision. I posted some of those thoughts on my blog -