Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Vegas Recap III

Click here for part 1 and part 2. I'm combining the rest of the trip into one entry, otherwise I won't finish it until September.

I woke up at the gawdawful Vegas time of 9 AM. I didn't want to oversleep, so I actually set an alarm clock and woke up to it on the first try. As my family can tell you, that never happens.

I strolled over to the Venetian, and registered for the $550 Deep-Stack Extravaganza event around 10:30. Having some time to kill, I grabbed some brunch before the tournament started as I watched the registration line queue further...and further...and further, until it was out into the 100-degree heat.

Turns out the Rio stuck to its guns, and did not re-open registration Saturday morning, so anyone who had been looking to play in the WSOP was left out in the cold. A couple hundred of them came over to the Venetian to register, so instead of an expected field of 550-600, there were 780 people in the field.

I got my card and went to Table 89, Seat 9. My table was about as far off to the edge as possible, so it was a bit more on the quiet side. The others who were playing (a friend from local games here in Atlanta, Hoy, and Chad) were much closer to the middle of the floor, and I'm sure had a much better view of things from their tables.

The first level went very well, as I turned a flush on one hand and rivered a boat on another to quickly jump over 23,000 in chips from the starting stack of 15,000. However, it's generally not a good sign when the good hands hit in Level 1 - because the good hands don't show up in later levels when on display early.

That's exactly what happened here. By the first break at the end of Level 3, I'd slipped back to an average stack, as my table was playing very loose - almost no hands were won pre-flop.

I found out at the break from CK that Chad busted in the first couple of levels, and I found out my friend from here also busted.

I continued to not get many cards in levels 4-6, and even when I tried to steal blinds and antes had no luck pushing anyone off a hand. My stack continued decreasing in relation to the blinds, until just before the second break. With blinds at 300/600 and a 50 ante, I had a stack of about 11000 - a decent enough stack to come back with, still, but less than half of the average. The pushmonkey on my right, in middle position, raises to 2100. I re-pop it to 4500, and the rest of the table folds back aroiund to the push-monkey, who thinks for a few seconds and then decided to move all-in, having me covered.

I call instantly, knowing I am probably way ahead as he likes to play any ace.

I flip up my two black queens to his king-jack offsuit. Yes, JacKing Off, not even a raggy ace. I am way ahead.

The dealer must have played the Mookie previously, because the three-outer hits with a King on the flop.

I manage not to punch the dealer in the face as I gether my things to leave.

I went to cool down at Tao with a nice bowl of noodles. I met up with Matt and another of his friends who was also playing (and had busted).

While we were talking, I saw one of the craziest things I've ever seen in a poker room. One of the chip leaders is involved in a very loud dispute with another player and the dealer, and the floor has come over to investigate the situation. Apparently, another player had mucked his cards, but on top of the chip leader's hand (which was probably pocket aces). After about fifteen minutes of deliberation and review (including consulting the tape for a decision), the floor decided that he had not protected his cards - at which point, he pushed his chips all over the table, onto the floor, and into all the other stacks in one fell swoop before storming off.


The dinner break began immediately, as the staff went to the tape again to try to reconstruct the other player's chip stacks and remove the one stack from play - since the dumbass-in-questions was ejected from the tournament.

I managed to shoot the shit outside with Hoy for a little while on the break, before play resumed again. He went on the chop for second-place money, which is far better than what any of us were able to do.

I spent the rest of the night at the cash tables at the Venetian and the Bellagio. I played the mixed game again for a little while, then moved to the Bellagio. Despite going to Vegas numerous times, I had yet to play in the Bellagio's poker room.

I only cashed out up about $10, but I did end up getting to see a whole bunch of players who had already left the Rio. Chau Giang, Barry Greenstein, and Erick Lindgren were playing Chinese Poker in Bobby's Room while Phil Ivey was playing against a couple folks I didn't recognize at the $4,000/$8,000 level. Marcel Luske was in the main poker area at the $30/$60 PLO table.

There may have been other notables there, but none were notable enough for me to recognize.

On Sunday, I got a message from Tuscaloosa Johnny that he and a couple others (including 1QueensUp1) were going to play at Binions in a $150 NLHE event which was starting at 2 PM. I decided that, instead of spending a bunch more on another cab ride (which i was sick of by this point) that I would take the monorail to Sahara and then cab it from there - since I probably wouldn't have another chance to catch the monorail and I'd never done it.

I ended up sharing a cab to Binions with a couple of already-drunk coeds (yes, on Sunday, at 2 PM, but it's Vegas) and making it to Binions just before the end of the first level. This game, unlike the Strip games, was full of mostly locals and regulars.

Nothing much to report from this tournament, as I went out early thanks to being crippled by aces being cracked AGAIN (#5) by A-10 offsuit with a runner-runner straight, and being out shortly thereafter. Meh.

I headed back downtown, got my camera, and walked around to snap a lot of pictures of the touristy stuff and record what shows I could - the kids really liked being able to see the Bellagio fountain show as well as the Mirage volcano show and a few of the couple hundred other pictures I managed to snap (yes, they were all suitable for younger eyes.)

I headed back to the Rio for one last session, which ended pretty quietly for a small loss of about $20. I decided to head back to the IP, pack up, and get ready for my early morning flight cross-country.

Unlike the trip out, we left on time and I made it home around 4 PM - just in time to turn around and be back at work sixteen hours later, after putting in about thirty hours at the poker tables over this trip.

It was time to go back to the grind...for a grand total of three days, before we packed up again and headed north. Since I've finally got pictures off my camera, that'll probably go up over the weekend, along with a photo and video dump from this trip.

So when is the next one?

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