Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wonderful View from Our Room at Wynn

You might have been wondering what happened on my recent trip to Las Vegas. Well ... the view from our room at Wynn was probably one of the highlights of the trip, unfortunately.
We did have an excellent room at Wynn. All the employees were extremely helpful and polite. It was even a treat to have the room attendants speak English and greet you in the hallway.

While not as nice as Wynn, the room at Paris was okay. More than anything, I enjoyed the excellent location, which was right next to my favorite poker room (Ballys) and not too far from my other favorites (MGM, Venetian, and Planet Hollywood).

Since the trip is almost two weeks old now, details are running together in my mind, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I played $1/3 NL at Wynn my first night, and was doing okay despite a table of people who chased anything to the river. I ended up down a little bit (the story of almost every session this trip), and made a major strategic blunder in playing too late into the night, for my plan was to play in one of the Venetian Deep Stack sattelites the next morning at 8:00am.

Venetian Satellite and Deep Stack Tournaments

I got a few hours sleep and was ready for a sattelite at 8:00am. Unfortunately, there were not enough people to start until 8:45am. It was an $80 buy-in, with the top two of ten winning buy-in for the tournament that started at noon -- $340.

Just before we began, someone suggested that we each throw in $20 on a last longer bet. I was still tired and crabby (I am not a morning person), so I initially declined. Pretty soon everyone but me was in, so I went in also. Someone at the table remarked "Ha - I'll bet he ends up winning it now." Well ...

My cards were smoking and I played a tight-aggressive game. I knocked out the majority of the people at the table. When we got to the final three, I played smart and hoped that my final hand -- K-7 -- would hold up -- which it did. So, not bad: I was one of two winners, and we split the last longer money, meaning that I was in the deep stack at no cost at all!

It was 10:30am, and we had to check out of Wynn, so I went back to Wynn with my brother, checked out, caught a taxi to Paris, checked in, then hoofed it back to the Venetian so I could grab some food on the way since I had not eaten in 20 hours. I made it back to the Venetian right as the deep stack tournament was about to begin.

Aside from getting Q-Q in the first orbit, I saw no exceptional hands. One woman at my table was such a lucksack -- calling a raise from someone with pocket rockets (she had A-J), and catching a flop of K-Q-10! The poor guy with rockets was out of the tournament within ten minutes. Later, this same woman had pocket 3's and stayed until the river. She spiked a 3 on the river (the board was already paired) at the same time a guy hit the nut flush. Yep - she took all his chips, too.

I was moved to another table and had a below-average stack right before the first break. I was dealt pocket 4's in early position, so I called. The guy to my left (big stack) raised, and one other guy called. I called, and hit my set on the flop. Unfortunately, the flop was all spades. I checked, and the guy to my left went all in. I put him on a big pocket pair and figured that he was jamming and hoping no one hit the flush. The other guy (shorter stack, like me) went all in.

What to do? The smart thing, I guess, was to lay it down and wait for another chance. However, since I didn't put either guy on the flush, I knew I was ahead and had to decide whether or not to call. I decided to call since: 1) I saw a chance to triple up. I didn't want to be one of those guys playing for several hours, only to not cash; 2) I was freerolling, so I guess I wasn't going to feel the same pain as if I'd shelled out $340 for the entry; 3) I was tired from the change in times and lack of sleep; 4) I thought "wtf - I feel lucky and I'm gambling."

I did have the situation fleshed out pretty well. The guy who intially raised and went all in had A-A. The other guy had the Ace of spades and a rag. So ... all I had to do was not see the case Ace or a spade on the turn or river and I triple up. As you might guess, the poker gods were not with me. The turn was a spade and the river was a spade. The guy with the Ace of spades tripled up, and I had only a few chips left, which were gone the second hand after the break.

So ... a totally reckless play, right? Would anyone else have done it, or was I donkey for risking it all to get a superior position somewhat early in the tournament? My guess is that I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't so tired.

I played a few hands at a ring table to settle down, then went back to Paris and went to sleep.

Other Poker Action

I played several sessions at Ballys and a couple at MGM. Surprisingly, the quality of play was best at MGM. Ballys was loaded with guys raising with all kinds of crap hands, and I just couldn't seem to catch enough cards to sustain a winning streak.

It is all kind of a blur right now, which is probably best, since I seemed to lose at least a little most sessions. It was just one of those trips when the stars were just not aligned right. Such is the state of my poker game lately.


Blogger ChuckTs said...

Sounds like you played that hand fine, lightning. To give a more detailed look we'd have to know the blinds and your stack sizes, but it's rarely a good idea to fold a set in a tournament.

Looks like you just got unlucky to me.

11:53 PM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

I too would've performed the check/jam with bottom set on an all-suit board in the circumstance you explained. Don't go kicking yourself! I think this would be the consensus play of most decent players in that spot, and in hindsight it was the right move! Like you said, all you had to do was dodge your opponent's outs. Better luck next time!

I'm thrilled to hear your favorite Vegas poker room is Bally's, as I'm stayin' there for a few nights in a few weeks myself, and was really pessimistic about it. (I preferred other casinos to that place in my previous visits, but they were offering the best deal when I picked up the travel package months back.)

4:44 PM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

Ya, I think you played it fine, and freerolling has nothing to do with it. But it does confirm the unlucky hypothesis...

10:35 AM  

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