LAS VEGAS TRIP REPORT - Part 1
Online Poker Tour (OPT) players shaggytrav, lightning36, and Zypher22 get ready to rule the Las Vegas poker world
Ah ... there is nothing quite like going to Las Vegas to play a little live poker. I got back from a four night stay in Sin City. Spent quite a bit of time playing poker with OPT buddy shaggytrav and got to meet another OPT player, Zypher22, which made for a great trip.
Some good stuff: I kicked butt on the $1/2 NL tables at Bally's and Luxor. Won good money every session I played at these places. It was so easy to pick out the fish and the sharks and play accordingly. I saw one guy buy in for $200, hit two pair in his first or second hand, then go all in with it with a straight possibility on the board. You guessed it - someone had the straight and took the two bills before the guy could even sit down. Welcome to Las Vegas poker!
It was fun meeting and playing with some of my fellow OPT buds. I saw shaggytrav carve two guys like a Thanksgiving turkey. We made quite a pair: me - Joe Nice Guy who lulled the unknowing into a sense of false security, and shaggytrav - the guy who looked like a poker punk, wearing sunglasses and needling players when he saw fit.
Some disappointing stuff: Just didn't get the job done in tournaments.
Sahara: Got caught trying to steal blinds and a bet with A-Q suited. Ran into pocket rockets. 'nuff said.
Harrah's: Got wounded and put out by donks. One guy reraises my pocket Kings with A-5 (but they were soooted) and hits an Ace on the turn. Another guy who is clueless gets lucky and hits a set on the flop, crushing my pocket Kings again.
Caesars Palace: I get down to 20th or 21st place even though I get no cards whatsoever. As I have read in so many places, this is an excellent tournament. If I got the cards that I got at Harrah's, there is no doubt that I would have been in the money at the final table.
Stardust: I make the final table but am short stacked. The chip leader is to my right and in the small blind and forces me to go all in or fold. With few chips and an A-3 suited, I call. He turns over pocket 10's. I catch a 3 on the flop, but no Aces or another 3. I go out in 9th place. Tourney paid four places.
Stuff I couldn't believe: Saw a woman call two all ins for $280 with Q-10 unsuited. She hit a one-outer on the river. Saw this same woman catch another Queen on the river in another hand to beat a full house with a higher full house.
Saw one woman hits quads twice when all in within two hours, yet was down in chips.
Saw shaggytrav go all in at a Caesars tournament and have 19 outs after the flop. Couldn't catch one and lost to pocket threes.
What I learned: I get better as I invest more time in poker. If I play the kind of game that I am comfortable with, I am a solid player. I made very few mistakes over many, many hours of poker. I had fun trying to read the other players and had fun playing with their minds every so often.
Fun stuff: At Bally's: I had pocket 7's and two other players both reraised. I fold my hand and tell the guy across from me that I folded a pair. He said, "Why? There are cards in the deck." When I was heads up with this guy several hands later, I remembered his philosophy and went all in with a good hand. Yep - he called, and chased after those cards. Doubled up.
At Bally's: I had a chance to sneak in a last hour of play on my final day. We're geting a new table of $1/2 NL together, and this one guy says, "It's my last day here. I want to see chips flying." I wait. I get A-K suited and smooth call. The flop gives me flush, straight, and straight flush possibilities. I quicky compute at least 17 outs, and call the raise on the flop. Turn doesn't help. He raises, and I call. Final card makes my flush. I check, and he bets. Now -- how much to bet to take the maximum from him? I triple his bet. He knows he is beat, but I bet just the right amount to keep him in. Yes - his chips were flying - straight to me.
At Caesars: Went to play in a tournament with shaggytrav. A television tournament was being hosted at Caesars, and a big money game was going on. We see Sean Sheikhan at the table and immediately hear g** d*** and f***. Yep - Mr. Personality. Saw Mike Matusow, Eskimo Clark, and other pros.