Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wherein I Go To Vegas

This Vegas trip would be my sixth overall and quite frankly was the most impromptu of the bunch. Looking back, I would surmise that my lack of excitement in going could be attributed to the fact that I can play live poker here literally any day of the week I choose. However, as the departure day got closer, my enthusiasm for making the trip grew and grew.

I arrived solo, definitely missing my G-Vegas, Vegas and Tunica wingman G-Rob. As such, rather than take a cab, I bought a shuttle ticket from the airport to the Rio and got lucky with a drop off on its first stop. I met Otis, ditched my bags and saddled up at the Tilted Kilt for some drinks. Not soon after, Change100 and Pauly showed up and we shared some good conversation and decent food. With all three of my companions working for the evening, I decided to go ahead and play some single table satellites in the Amazon ball room to pass the time on my first evening in Vegas.

Before I did however, I managed to spot FlipChip roaming the hallways. It's always great to get the perspective of a Vegas and World Series veteran. As we were speaking, Minh Ly came by to tell FlipChip about his recent exit from a Series event. What a nice guy Minh was. He introduced himself to me so as not to exclude me from the conversation. I don't think many other pro's would have done that, at least not in the friendly manner Minh did.

You may have heard some horror stories about the lines for the satellites, but by the time I arrived, things settled down and the wait times dropped. I probably waited only 15 minutes to get registered for my first $175 satellite. The juice on these things wasn't half bad; it worked out to be a $162+13. For those thinking about entering one, one small piece of advice - get your Harrah's player's card prior to getting in line. You'll need it to register.

How was the play? In all honesty, the structure is not all that good, T1000 to start and 25/25 blinds with 15 minute levels. However, from my estimation, seven to eight of the players at the table have literally no shot at winning. Unless of course they get hit in the face with the deck. And even then, there's no guarantee.

At my first table, I had the unfortunate situation of sitting with someone who felt that they should really be at dinner instead of this satellite. This player went all-in blind every hand. At first he stole the blinds. Then people caught on to his stupidity and played accordingly. One player finally limped as did the button. All-in-boy pushed blind from the big blind and both limpers called. Limper 1 had pocket Kings. Limper 2 had ATs. All-in-boy woke up with Aces. Just fucking great. He eliminated two people and had a T3000 stack at the 25/25 level.

And after all that, he continued his idiocy of going all-in blind and busted in 7th out of 10. Moran.

I, however, managed to finish 6th, losing a race with 88 vs. AK. Ace on the river of course, knocking me out of my 1st WSOP satellite. I was a little put off by the all-in blind guy, but decided I'd register for one more try.

The second tourney went much slower as the players were far more tight. In fact, by the time the 100/200 level hit, we had only lost one player. I was above average with about T1500, but still my M was 5. I'm pretty sure the M concept was lost on the entirety of the remaining players. I open pushed from the button with K9c and then again on my small blind with 76o. Each time I won uncontested pots.

When I eventually pushed with a decent hand, AQo, it was funny to watch the look on the face of one player who thought he trapped me with ATo. I actually won that hand and soon took the chip lead.

Eventually we got to 3-handed play with roughly even stacks for everyone. I offered a 3-way chop as the blinds were 200/400. The elderly gentleman to my left immediately agreed. However, the younger internet whiz kid said, "Let me think about it."

I didn't mind his reluctance. If I thought I had an edge on the remaining players, I'd play it out too. So we moved on. The very next hand whiz-kid min-raised from the button to T800 and I looked down at pocket 5's in the small blind. I pushed as a re-steal, figuring that while he had me covered, he didn't want to go out just yet. And hell, I could still be ahead here. He folded and now I was chip leader.

I eventually busted the elderly guy when my AK beat his AJ. Now I had a 7300/2700 lead. While certainly not purely equitable, I offered the kid one $500 lammer for a chop with me taking the rest. He agreed and I took down $1120 for my efforts. StB and Otis had been sweating the final few hands and I was glad not to let them down. I actually felt really good about my play there and started the trip off with a decent score.

...more to follow.

(Note to readers: While the content of my blog posts will forever be mine and unaltered, I have opened up the possibility of small "Post sponsored by" links at the end. Here is one of those instances.)

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