Tuesday, August 29, 2006

G-Vegas Erosion

G-Vegas certainly has its personalities.  Many of us do various things to get under the other’s skin, all in the spirit of making it harder for them to play optimum poker.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  There are two players I have in mind right now that probably go at it more frequently than anybody else.

“Clock!” player A will say, while player B is deep in his custom-made think tank.  It happens at least twice a session and is high comedy for an outside observer like me.  In fact, player A is a master of manipulation, able to get his opponents off their game like no other.

“One player to a hand,” player B will say to player A as player A correctly tells everyone at the table what hands particular people are holding.  He’s often right, but not always and player B reprimands that breach of etiquette every time.

“You were called, you have to show.”  Player A likes to make moves at times with any two cards.  Sometimes those moves are glorious failures and he likes to muck his cards even when called down.  Player B likes to see what garbage player A is playing so he likes to enforce the “you were called, you have to show” rule.  Player A doesn’t like to show.


As entertaining as G-Vegas poker is, I have fears that the game is dying.  There were times when we would get together on a near weekly basis for a $50NL ring game.  When we moved the stakes to $100NL the attendance thinned, but was sustainable.  Or so I thought.  I don’t think I’ve hosted a game for a couple of months now.

Even the Monday night “Big Game” seems to be losing its legs.  Interestingly, calling it the “Big Game” is probably a misnomer.  It certainly used to be, but now the $200NL game is the only game in town.  The game used to be dealer’s choice NL games, but was restructured to be only Hold ‘em to reduce the swings.  But unfortunately, even that move seems to have failed, as fewer players seem to be showing up each week.

Our recourse has been to play in the underground games.  Otis once wrote about G-Rob crushing the local poker economy out of existence.  Frankly, I don’t think he’s far off.  In the last month or so, I’ve managed to do well at those games too.  The frequency with which G-Rob and I take over $1k off the table in profits at a $1/$2NL game is increasing.  And it seems the player base may be decreasing as a result.


I’m sure there are even bigger games out there, but for me, I don’t foresee me trying to break into them.  The local $200NL games are populated with some unusual folks, but basically each of them seems harmless.  They are restaurant owners, private businessmen, teachers, engineers and television anchormen.

Although I have no personal evidence of this, my hunch is that the bigger local games are populated with undesirables.  Moving up in stakes in Las Vegas or other legal card rooms is one thing.  Moving up in stakes at underground games in South Carolina is another.  I’m guessing there’s big time drug money getting thrown around and once you get into larger stakes, you begin to take larger risks.  I wouldn’t be surprised if people pack heat in some of the larger games.  I could be wrong, but I’m in no hurry to find out.


Maybe things slowed because of summer.  Maybe some of the players have found other interests.  Maybe the stakes grew too high for their comfort level.  Maybe it’s all three.  I’m certainly interested to hear why if those folks wish to say.

Hopefully the people that can make it to the house on Saturday and Sunday will have fun and re-catch the bug that bit them last year.  Hopefully the G-Vegas game doesn’t go the way of Murderer’s Row and be just a fond memory of days gone by.

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