Friday, June 17, 2005

Day 2 - Part 2

Still on Friday....

The G-Robs and the Bloods grabbed a cab over to the Rio. We were later than most of the railbirds due to the Plaza tournament, but hopefully not too late to see our comrades in action. The walk to the improptu poker room was as long as advertised. I took the opportunity to snap a few pix of the WSOP banner for posterity. Always nice to prove you were there.

On my last trip to Vegas, I got to gawk and stare at the many pros playing at the Bellagio. I anticipated more of the same here at the Rio. As I got closer to the poker room, the buzz grew louder. I saw Mel Judah being interviewed on camera outside the main hall. When I finally peeked my way inside, I was a bit awestruck at the sea of humanity and the sounds of the clacking chips. I couldn't believe that there was a WSOP tournament going on amidst the chaos. But there was. We met up with the blogger contingent and by this time only two of our kind were left: Otis and Bob. (Are those your names or is that just what you do? Wait. That's Neil and Bob. Nevermind.)

Luckily for the crew, they were seated close together and we could sweat them together as a group. One of the few things I noticed about this WSOP tournament was that people were very, very quiet at the table. It was eerie almost. No friendly chatter, no joking around, all business. I'm not sure I could stay that quiet for that long.

I snapped a few photos of Otis and was able to catch him nearly doubling up and busting an opponent when his KK dominated the sad sack's QQ. Not soon after, we heard Bracelet Boy bubbled out when his pocket 8's lost a race with AK. Otis fought the good fight, eventually sucumbing to the increasing blinds and losing a race with AK against TT. Gotta win those races in these mega-tournies, and the fates weren't kind to the bloggers this go around.

At some point during the event, Mrs_Blood made off with my camera and told me to wait for her until she got back. When she finally did get back, she had several kick-ass pictures to show me. She had some shots of some pros sitting at the table, but posed for some really nice pictures with Clonie Gowen, TJ Cloutier, and the duo of David Williams and Evelyn Ng. I figure my wife had a much higher probability of not annoying the poker pros than I did, so I was probably better off waiting in the wings for her to get back. I'd have said something stupid, probably about blogging and me being BadBlood. I would have been met with confused looks and requests for security to escort me out.

After a $20 buffet where I downed 6 beef patties of various flavors, Heather graciouslly offered to drive Mrs_Blood and Mrs. G-Rob back to the strip allowing G-Rob and I time to play in some of the side games at the Rio. We put our names on the $1/$2 list and sweated Greenwood Phil while we waited. And waited. And waited.

We had been 5th and 6th on the waiting list forever, so finally I took a look at the signup screen to see which tables we'd be playing at. I strolled on over and saw several empty seats. I asked the dealer if I had to wait for my name to be called and the entire table pleaded with me to simply sit down. They'd obviously been waiting for quite a while and the floor staff just couldn't keep up with keeping the side games filled. Understandable, but annoying nonetheless since G-Rob and I could have been seated at least an hour sooner.

I sat down, not knowing what to expect. I was at a side game at the WSOP, but at pretty tame limits for anyone who'd be willing to put up $1500 or more for a single tourney. I didn't take things lightly, but hoped that I was at a table of wannabe's rather than busted sharks. I figured the sharks would at least be playing the 2/5 or 5/10 NL ring games instead. I think I was right.

I doubled my buy-in relatively quickly and sported the 2nd biggest stack at the table with some no frills play and some timely steals based on my precision reads of the surrounding players. That was sarcasm. This was the first NL poker I'd played and I was loving every minute. Until the inevitable came.

I'm dealt pocket 9's and raise pre-flop to $7 and am called by two limpers. The flop is 246 rainbow and I bet out $20. LP limper calls and a Td comes on the turn putting two diamonds on the board. I check, pretty certain that the T wasn't any help to the other guy. He still bets out $40. I assess the action up to that point and feel confident that I'm good. I come over the top and put him all in. He calls with his 67 of diamonds. The J of diamonds falls and the $230 pot rolls in the other direction. I'm still up $6 and lament my bad beat to G-Rob who nods in silent sympathy, but deep down doesn't really give a shit. Just another bad beat Blood, get the hell over it. It's then that the phone rings signalling the end of our session. The wives have extinguished their time walking the strip and are requesting our presence. We agree to meet back over at the Excalibur for the scheduled storming.

No comments: