Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vegas Day 7

"Vegas Day 7"

An even worse day than yesterday... I was down -$247.25 for the day.

I started out my day at Excalibur.

Session 1: Excalibur 50c/$1 NL Hold ‘Em
I’d been playing mostly $1/$2, and the one time I played 50c/$1 recently, I played like a maniac. It’s like if I was playing 5c/10c back home. I was playing a crazy number of hands and being super aggressive. I sat down this time and almost everyone was under $100. I max buy for $100 and proceed to do the same thing that I did last time that lost me money.

I’m a horrible maniac player. Every time I raise with bullshit, someone has a super strong hand. Every time I catch with my bullshit, nobody seems to have anything to pay me off. I played for about an hour before the cash tables started to disintegrate due to the crappy $30 tournament that was about to start. I convinced Sean to signup for the stupid tournament, and faced with a dying table, I joined him.

Session 2: Excalibur $30 Tourney NL Hold ‘Em
I think I talked Sean into playing the tournament by telling him how well my strategy of all in or fold worked that last time I played. I explained that it worked well enough that I thought you could actually win the tournament with it. Basically, when it gets to about the 5th round, the blinds get so high that it becomes incorrect to simply call or raise a small amount. So, you wait for a sorta decent Ace or any pair and push all in. Most of the time, people are too scared to get knocked out and fold. So you steal and steal until someone finally stands up to you. By the time this happens, you probably stole enough blinds to be able to afford a loss. And sometimes you even knock them out. The strategy isn’t perfect of course, but poker is a game about imperfect information.

I usually try to steal some pots early with decent starting hands to build up a small cushion. I did the same here, and it was working mostly fine. Then I took a small hit on some high cards that didn’t pan out and was just below the chip average when I got a hold of AA. I was in mid position. The blinds were $100/$200. I raised to $500 with about $1200 behind that. This is why you have to go all in or fold. I was committing almost 1/3 of my stack with a small raise. I hadn’t started my all in or fold strategy yet so I wanted to sucker one or two players in. The plan was to push all in on the flop no matter what. I did end up getting two callers: Some dude in little blind and Sean who was in the Big Blind. The flop comes whatever. Both check to me and I push all in. They fold. OK, so far so good.

So now I’m at $2700 with blinds at $100/$200. I look down and I see TT. Now on my path to all in or fold, I push. The lady to my left agonizes and calls. She’s actually a big stack. Great. Everyone else folds. She flips over KK. Bah. I miss and get knocked out. So my strategy ended up sucking, right? Wrong. Sean employed the exact same strategy and ended up chopping it 3-way. It was just a matter of good/bad timing. Oh, well. At least Sean got some money out of it.

Session 3: Excalibur 50c/$1 NL Hold ‘Em
I went back to the 50c/$1 table, and I went back to the loose-aggressive style. Again, not good! I couldn’t help myself. They were so meek! I kept topping off to $100, and before I knew it, I was in for $264. I won small hands and lost big ones, over and over. I didn’t adjust and subsequently ended up completely busting. I believe that this was just the 2nd time that I had completely busted since I’d gotten here.

I got up and made a bee line out of the casino. I had to get out of that poker room. I ended up at the Monte Carlo. In all my times in Vegas, I’d never been inside there. I wasn’t even sure if they had a poker room. They did.

Session 4: Monte Carlo $1/$2 NL Hold ‘Em
The poker room is OK. It’s a little tight and certainly not fancy, but it was OK. I really liked that they brought my cranberry juices in a huge glass. But it’s a rather bland poker room all around.

I sat down to a super old man. He must have been 90. He had that involuntary head shaking and bony hand thing going. Super nice guy though. I heard he was a regular of the room and a millionaire to boot. He was only one of two players with over $200. Everyone else was $150 or less. I like that in a table. I bought in for the max $200 and started analyzing the players.

They were a pretty meek bunch. I got a few decent hands early and took down a couple of pots with some continuation bets. Then about 30 minutes into the session, I got dealt AA in the small blind. There were five limpers, and I popped it to $12 hoping one of them would get brave. I got two callers, and the flop comes AKK! There’s no bad beat jackpot in this room, so I’m really not hoping someone was limping in with KK. But I know that in all likelihood, I probably have an unbeatable hand. I check. Someone checks behind me. The button gets brave and bets out $20. I call. I’m hoping I play it right and not call too quickly or too meekly. The other dude folds. The turn brings a harmless 7. The guy on the button checks before I get to act. Oops! He realizes he went out of turn, and he also realizes that I saw him try to check. I immediately bet out $20 in hopes he thinks I sensed weakness in his check, and that he thinks I’m full of shit on a steal attempt. It works I guess because he calls. River comes an 9. I bet out $60. I’m again hoping he’s sensing a steal. He folds. Boo. The rest of the table starts making comments and is convinced I stole it though. :-) Shortly after this hand, the table starts to dwindle. There is another $1/$2 game running, and we combine.

On this new table, there is a pretty aggressive guy on the far end of the table in seat 3. About 10 minutes after combining I pick up AQo in late position. I bet out $12 and Mr. Aggressive calls from the big blind. The flop comes Q84 rainbow. He checks. I bet $20. He calls. The turn comes a J. He checks. I bet out $20. He check-raises to $40. I stop to think for a moment, and call. I’m really not sure what he has... two pair? QJ? A min raise bluff? The river comes a 5. He leads out for $45. I call. He flips over J4o. Wonderful. He calls $12 pre-flop out of position with J4o and then calls $20 on the flop with bottom pair. What can I do about that? Pfft. Anyway, now I’m down to about $150.

The next 3 hours are the most grueling I can recall in a long time. A loooong string of *really* horrible hands. I honestly don’t know how I kept my sanity. Finally I pick up some big hands that connect. I get back up to a little over $200 and decide I’m going to quit the session now that I’m about even. Right before I decide to leave I pick up 89s (spades). I flop an open ender and turn the nut straight. Someone bets way too little on the flop and way too much on the turn once I’ve gotten there. I double his bet on turn from $20 to $40. He calls. On the river he checks, and I bet out $50. He makes a crying call. I flip over the nuts. He flips over two pair. Yay me! I get the fuck out of Dodge with $115 of profits.

Just in time too. Claire was just about to arrive! After Claire's arrival, I ended out the day with two short, uneventful 50c/$1 sessions at Excal.

Session 5: Excalibur 50c/$1 NL Hold ‘Em
Don’t recall much here. It was a pretty short session. I was up $31.50

Session 6: Excalibur 50c/$1 NL Hold ‘Em
Again, pretty uneventful. I played for 15 minutes and won $19.50.

So I started out shitty, but made up for some of it in the end. Still, this was the worst day by far.

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