Monday, June 24, 2013

June 2013 Las Vegas Trip Report - Part III

Okay -- so if you are really bored and need to catch up with the first two parts of my June 2013 Las Vegas trip report, you can do so by clicking here and here.

It was Thursday -- the final full day of my summer Las Vegas vacation. I logged in a few hours of sleep after using my Buffet of Buffet pass for the final time for breakfast. Shortly after waking up I got a text from TBC. A few days before, he had texted me, asking me when he would see me next. My reply: 2014? He didn't understand that my trip was quickly coming to an end and that I currently had no solid plans to return to Las Vegas in 2013, although I make generally 1-2 trips during the months of September and December. He also did not seem to be aware that I was leaving the next day.

Looking to get in a final poker session with Tony, I once again headed to Jean. The trip is really not that bad to make, but it was certainly an inconvenience. Finding a game Tony can play is somewhat challenging also since poker room choices are limited due to his low bankroll and the many rooms he needs to avoid. We decided on Sam's Town. On the way, I read him the text message I received from him, which included an interesting voice-to-text message from him: "Finally replied back to Jennifer Gay and also mentioned to everybody that you and I would be playing on my hot Sam." I told him I had no intention of playing on his hot Sam. I do believe that I saw Tony laugh for the first time!

We got to Sam's Town and soon were both seated at an Omaha 8 spread game. Now, I felt like I wanted to have a really good run so I could give Mr. Bigcharles crap about what he posted in his blog the last time we played Omaha 8 at Suncoast: "Even lightning won in that game as bad as all the players were." Of course, Princess Josie picked up on that and needled me. Heh.

I got a good run of cards and played some solid Omaha. I had the kill button maybe five times in the short session. Several of the players were in on a big hand but I whiffed on the river. Had my card hit, I would have owned almost all the chips on the table. So close.

Tony was mostly treading water but then had a good run at the end to show a nice profit. I did inform the table about the "compliment" he gave me the last time. Revenge is sweet! We both cashed out with a triple figure profit -- not bad for a small spread game. The players at Sam's Town seem to be pretty good guys. Right before we left I thought I left my sunglasses in the poker room. I went back to look for them and one guy told me I had them on my head. Now, I have been known to do this before, so I checked my hat and head ... only to hear the laughs from the table as the guy was putting me on. Pretty funny, actually. I smacked him with a newspaper and he had a big grin on his face!

We hauled out of there and I dropped Tony off in Jean, then headed to Paris for dinner with Rob, Lucki Duck and Mrs. Duck. Memphis MOJO was supposed to join us, but the donkey got into a deep stack tourney at Caesars, and as usual, had a big chip stack and was hoping to make the final table.

The dinner at Le Burger Brasserie has already been chronicled here and here, probably much better than I could ever write it up. It was a fun time, with Rob drooling over every comely waitress who walked past the table, and Lucki and I trading barbs back and forth -- Chicago sports teams vs. Texas teams. Throw in a story or two by Mrs. Duck (maybe she should be Mrs. Duct Tape now -- check out the last link!) and we had a great time.

I was planning to meet poker blogger and Bally's dealer Ron (balt999) at Luxor to play a little $1-2 NL, and I invited Rob and Lucki to come along, which they did. Ron was already at a table and soon Rob, Lucki and I were seated at a new table that was being started. Ron soon joined us. Four bloggers at one table? Giddyup!

Once again, I am the last to write about an event. The last two links lead to Rob's and Lucki's dinner tales and also exploits at the Luxor poker table, and Ron wrote about it also here.

Some hands from the session:

1) I won a nice pot from a player who misplayed his hand. I had 7-6 sooted (hearts) -- one of my favorite hands. I was able to get into the hand because either several players limped or called a modest raise, giving me great pot odds to call. Sorry, the details are fuzzy now that a few weeks have passed. The flop brought two hearts, and a player leading the betting made a small raise. With a sneaky flush draw, of course I would call. Brick. Another small raise and I came along. The river: a heart! Unfortunately for the villain, he slow played pocket Aces and didn't protect his hand and let me catch up. Ding!

2) I raised in position with A-K. One player called. The flop was J-K-5 rainbow. I thought I was in good shape. I raised and was called. The turn: a Jack. I raised and the villain went all in. Previously I assumed that he had a King and I had him out kicked. His raise made me think he had a Jack, maybe King-Jack. We had not been playing long enough for me to get a good read on him. I tanked for a bit, figured he had a Jack, and folded. He turned over J-5os -- called a raise with it, hit two pair on the flop and then improved to a boat on the turn. Now I had a better understanding of the kind of player he was.

Now, before I continue on to the next three hands, I must tell you that in my opinion, it is extremely poor form to be invited to play poker by a friend, get position on him at the able, then flop a monster hand against said friend when he has a hand. It is worse when three friends are the offenders!

3) Lucki Duck and I were involved in a hand. I has K-Qsooted (crubs nonetheless) and saw a flop that had two clubs. Of course, I was going nowhere with the second nut flush draw. The turn paired the board, and Mr. Duck put down a nice bet. Knowing that he is a solid player, with the board paired and with nothing but the flush draw, I folded. It turns out that Lucki had pocket 9's, hit a set on the flop and boated on the turn. Yuck!

4) I had A-J in late position with some limpers already in the pot. I decided to mix things up and just limped. Rob then fired out a bet and I called. The flop was A-K-8. The player on my right checked, I decided to play along, and then Rob made a big raise. He got two callers. The turn was a six, the player on my right and I both checked. Rob made another big raise, and I put Mr. Tighty on A-K. The other player called and I folded, pretty sure that I was behind. Well ... it seems that Mr. "Dreaded Pocket Kings" himself had flopped a set of Kings and boated on the river. Another dent in my stack.

5) One of the big hands. I called a raise, once again with A-J. The flop came A-A-10 with two spades. I checked my monster, another player raised, and Ron re-raised, which had me wondering. I called. The original raised went all in for about $20 more, and Ron and I both called. Which one had the case Ace? What did the other have?

The turn was a 3 of spades. I checked and Ron immediately went all in. He remembers that he had about $140 behind. The pot was already about $180. I knew Ron is a solid player and I discounted the other player, who I was not worried about. I was concerned that Ron had me out kicked, but could I fold trip Aces with a Jack kicker? Looking back, I should have taken more time to think everything through. What I thought was, "I am way ahead on the trip, I may be beat, but screw it -- it is my last night in Las Vegas and the pot is too tempting with my hand." I called. The river was a 9. Ron announced that he had a boat and showed his pocket 10's. He flopped it and was ahead the entire time as I was drawing to three outs (assuming the other player really had the case Ace).

Ouch. That was by far the biggest pot I had lost the entire trip. And I could have gotten away from it. So now Lucki and Rob had taken chips from me, and Ron grabbed a huge handful. Nice hand, sir! I got out my wallet and reloaded. I needed to to be ready for the next big hand.

6) I was dealt pocket Aces. I raised and was called by the guy who called my raise before with J-5os. This time I would be ready. The flop was King high rainbow. I made a 2/3 pot size bet and the villain immediately said "all in." Did he flop a set of Kings? Two pair? Was he just trying to run me off my hand? I called and he turned over K-J. He got a sick look on his face when I flipped over my pocket Aces. I hoped that he didn't get lucky and suck out. He didn't, and I nearly felted him, leaving him a few scant redbirds. I once again had a big stack and was in the black despite losing to Lucki, Rob, and the big pot to Ron.

I guess President Obama would have been proud of my socialist poker play -- taking from the lame players and redistributing it to my friends!

Lucki, Rob and Ron all left, but I stayed to play longer. I cashed out with a triple digit win despite building the bankroll of my friends. What a guy!

I left Luxor and went to Bally's to play a late-night session. The was an older, well dressed gentleman at my table who was virtually giving money away with poor play, then rebuying. I couldn't get much of his money, but was able to grab my share from the other players. Again this proved to be a profitable session for me, and my poker extravaganza ended with a a good string of winning sessions after my poor start.

My previous recent of trips to Las Vegas featured some huge suckouts against me and some horrible beats. The poker gods were nice to me this trip and almost all my good hands held up.

Playing poker in Las Vegas with friends and having some great meals together -- how can it get much better? I left for home with a big smile on my face, thankful -- very thankful -- for all that I have been given.


Blogger The Poker Meister said...

I want to write about 5) really quickly. This is a perfect example of a fold situation for you. You're beat on the flop - and it's fairly obvious if you give it a second's worth of thought.

You don't say how much Ron re-raised for, but you're facing 2 players, one of whom is all-in on the flop. I'm assuming Ron raised to around $40-50, leaving around $180 in the pot going into the turn. There's only 2 Aces in the deck since 2 are on the board. While it's very possible that one player is on the spade / gutshot draw, is the action really going to go down like it did on a paired board where the gutter/flush draw is raising / re-raising / getting it in? Generally, in these situations, one player has hit the set / boat on the flop, and another player has the case Ace (since you have the remaining Ace). If there is a flush drawer (extremely unlikely because of the following), he better hope he has QJss because he's likely drawing to the Ks as his one live out.

If you're heads up, it's a whole different story because the ranges are much different, but a similar logic can be followed. In other words, a paired Ace flop can see both players with Aces in their hands thinking they're good. 3 way though, tells me someone has the boat vs. 2 with the Aces.

Also, and I'm sure it was an oversight, you had more than 3 outs to the Jack. You were looking for a double paired board to the 3 on the turn as well.

7:38 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@The Poker Meister - Excellent catch on the outs, sir.

In my mind it almost was like we were heads up. I gave the other player little credibility since the players beside my friends seemed weak. I should have folded to Ron but didn't. As you saw in my reasoning, my decision was not well thought out and was not based solely on the situation in that particular hand, as it should have been.

Fortunately, most of my decisions during the trip were pretty good and overall I played solid poker. Thanks for your comment, which, as always, is very insightful.

8:17 AM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

I think that through your years of play, you've developed a good poker instinct. What I want to note for you and your readers is this: When you're in a 3-way pot on a paired board - particularly with AA as the pair - there's a good chance you're behind if you see a TON of action. More to the point - if the board is not drawy - and you see a ton of action, get out! I've seen this happen time & time again where 2 players have trips vs. the one player with a boat. Just think about the action and how it's going down next time. There's generally a pattern that can be followed similar to that of sniffing out a PF player holding AA (tough laydown when you have KK or QQ, but there's a certain sense / pattern / action when your villain holds AA). These spots are not common, but standard.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Lucki Duck said...

As always, both Ms. Duck (Duct Tape) and I enjoyed visiting with you and Rob...especially after you paid for the meal :)

Good times.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

thankful -- very thankful -- for all that I have been given

So we can take from this that when you win it is always a gift?

Looks like a fun time was had by all.

P.S. I think you need to get those gold chains that librarian put on their glasses to avoid further/worse embarrassments.

9:21 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@ KenP -- You are the King of Snark and that is the best you can come up with? Watch out or I just may be forced to reveal to the world that you are a nice guy!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Great write up, Lightning, but you were too modest in not copping to treating us to those bra burgers. And "Mrs. Duct Tape"--great line, how did I not think of that?

But really, you should have known not to play poker with such quality opponents who clearly have you out matched. I mean Lucki had just cashed in a WSOP bracelet event. Ron is a professional poker dealer and practically a pro player himself.

And me....well, really, I guess you have no excuse for losing to me. It's well documented that I only play poker to hear girls talk about their boobies.

11:03 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@Rob -- I thought the sheer length of my post would look familiar to you ...

11:11 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

As always, both Ms. Duck (Duct Tape) and I enjoyed visiting with you and Rob...especially after you paid for the meal

You paid for the meal? This must be a typo.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Poker & Gambling 24/7 said...

I hate playing against friends

7:35 PM  
Blogger cokeboy99 said...

So um....did you find your sunglasses eventually??

6:06 PM  

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