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A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That (Vegas Trip Report Pt 3)

Ah, back to the IP, where the donks flow like the nectar of the gods at Mount Olympus. I had returned to my hotel with Poker Peaker after losing a $150 tournament at the Venetian and placing a three-game parlay bet. If you are going to go back and read my last post, whenever I said, "and someone else I can't remember" I meant to say, "and Mary." No offense to Mary intended (and I'm sure none taken). These things are naturally tricky, and each time I wrote that generic statement about someone I couldn't remember, I was thinking of Mary. Unfortunately, I attirbuted that to one solid memory of joining Mary for a cab ride, followed by my unnatural affection for her. Some might even call it creepy. I'm looking at you, parole officer.

So, back to the IP, where I was sure that I could win back my $150. After all, I was up $599 at poker cash games, so what's the worst that could happen. Right. I sat down to the right of Instant Tragedy at a newly opening table. IT is a great guy. He's super friendly and doesn't have a mean bone in his body, from what I've seen. I was glad to have the time to sit and play with him, as we both tried to destroy the ridiculous cast of characters at our table. Most notably, there were two young kids on my right and IT's left who were scared as kittens. One of them would eventually take a nice pot off of IT when the kid made a crying call. Sadly, IT had the lesser hand (I appreciated his aggression) and lost the pot. I mostly was card dead and resigned myself to fold.

All the while there was one player that really bothered me. I was in the 7s, and all the way in the 3s, a skinny Caucasian guy in his mid 20s with a full dark beard and ball cap sat down between a German chick and her man. The Germans weren't too bad. In fact, they were pretty weak, but the Bearded Douche, as we'll call him, was really getting under my skin. It was probably my frustration at the lack of cards, but I couldn't help but overhear the Bearded Douche chatting up the Germans. Worse, he was kissing their asses to a point of pure absurdity. Worst of all, he was insulting America the entire time.

He insulted everything from US Currency to foreign policy to gambling to vacation days and workplace attitudes. It was clear that the Bearded Douche just wanted to desperately be liked. He was the kind of guy who strikes up a conversation only to say to you whatever he thinks you want to hear, and in this case, it was all anti-American. I kept mumbling to IT, "Just leave the country then, you fucker." To make matters worse, he made a couple of large raises in the few pots I entered for a raise, and each time I had to fold.

I rebought for another $100, and thus was in the game for $300 when this hand happened. I had KK and raised preflop to $15 after a bunch of limpers. I got one of the Scared Kittens to call and the Bearded Douche. The flop was Q9X. I bet out $35 when it was checked to me. The Kitted called, which concerned me. The Douche thought for a moment and made the call. The turn was a Ten. It checked to me and this time, with only $150 left behind (I was down to a little over $200 before the hand started), I pushed all-in. With the Ten, I did not like all of the straight draws. Still, I was confident that no one hit the straight, since it did not make sense to be playing for that inside straight draw, solely. After all, to have the straight a donk would have to hold KJ or J8, and neither made sense for a $35 call on the flop for an inside straight draw. Yeah, right. Douche called my push and tabled KJ. He played his inside straight draw and hit. I couldn't place him on that hand because it didn't make any sense to me. The preflop raise and post-flop call made KJ an impossibility in my head. But ultimately I was wrong.

At least I was a man about it. I said good game and nice hand and got up to walk. I was steaming pretty bad, having lost $400 of my $599 cash game profits, now even less if you add the $150 tournament loss. I bumped into Karol from IHO, and she lent me some headache medication to help me relax from my loss. It was much needed as the loss caused me to have a pretty strong headache.

I joined Peaker for a quick burger in the Burger Palace and afterward joined Peaker, Mary and StB in caught a cab to the MGM for the Blogger Mixed Games. StB had been drinking, and the headache meds had made me loopy. Our driver was a maniac. He started off well enough until StB started to mess with the radio. When the driver settled on a hip hop station, he began to drive like he had something to prove. He was uber-aggressive, and in my loopy state, I just sat back and laughed at the absurdity of it all. After all, if we were going to crash, I couldn't do anything about it.

The MGM is a great place. The poker room is fairly open to the rest of the casino, but also far enough away from the slots and table games to be reasonably secluded. It is also right around the corner from the sports book. Before leaving the IP, I was watching the Knicks-Pistons game from a dealerless blackjack table where a bunch of bloggers were hanging out. I knew BG had more sports betting knowledge than I did, so I asked him if my over bet looked good. I told him my over bet, and he checked the score and the clock. "It doesn't look good." I gulped hard, but accepted that I knew nothing of basketball. I resigned myself to a loss.

At the MGM, I checked the score of the now completed game. I had covered by a few points, AND the Knicks lost by enough to allow me to win 2 out of my 3 bets in the parlay. My last bet, the Spurs to beat the Jazz (Pick game, i.e., no spread) was still up in the air. I began watching in earnest from my seat at the Mixed Game about halfway through the game. Spurs were down by 5 or so, but I felt good about my chances. All I knew was that the Spurs were on a win streak at home thank to ESPN.

The mixed game was great. The table was a fun assortment of players including Yestbay, who I last saw at Okie Vega, Peaker, who was learning the games as they came, the Rooster, playign as sharp as ever, and host Falstaff. The games included Crazy Pineapple Hi, Crazy Pineapple Hi/Lo, Omaha Hi, Omaha 8, Stud hi, Razz, and Stud 8. We were the first table to get started, and I was having a great time making looser bets and calls at the 3/6 game. In fact, it was common to cap the betting preflop, at least in the early goings. Eventually two more blogger mixed game tables started. I stayed put, but it was nice to see the breadth of poker bloggers willing to spend some time donking around in a rare mixed casino game.

Somewhere in the first couple of hours, Falstaff introduced a then-stranger to the table. "Everyone, this guy has the best online poker name: Dr. Felter." Someone at the table asked if he was a blogger. "No, he's a reader. He heard we were out here and wanted to stop by."

The reader, a tall-ish guy with dark hair and glasses, perked up at this and asked Falstaff, "Is Tripjax here? How about HighOnPoker?" I stood up, "Yeah, I'm Jordan from High on Poker." He came over and shook my hand.

It's great to meet readers who aren't also bloggers. In the past, this has only happened to me online, and not more than twice. Generally, a player at the table will ask in the chat box if I have a blog and when I admit it, the conversation starts from there. But to meet someone in person is a different thing altogether. I have no illusions with what I do here at HoP. I simply write what I am thinking or feeling at the exact moment I am typing, and then hit the publish button with nary a thought to editing, either typographically or content-wise. I hope that people like what I put out there, but there are many days that I don't even like what I put out there. I've said it before, but blogging is very much literary masturbation. Its value seems to be mostly for the writer, or at least that's how it feels during stretches where comments are quiet or content feels thin. But when someone has a kind word about content and understands what I am doing, it is not only a pleasure, but a real honor.

As I said though, I have no illusions about what I do here at HoP, so when Dr. Felter wanted to take a picture with me, I was immediately flattered. Since the trip, he has sent me a trip report that I may post here. It's actually really thorough and well-written, akin to my style of trip reports, so I would not be surprised to see Dr. Felter join our poker blogging ranks in the weeks to come.

As all this mixed game poker was going on, I kept an eye on the TV. It was a 1-point game with a few minutes left, and I walked from my seat to get a better view of the game. When it was all said and done, San Antonio came from behind to win by 5, and I was suddenly $120 (profit) richer, thanks to a sports bet requiring no actual knowledge other than the little I could cull from watching ESPN for 20 minutes.

The game started winding down late into the evening. Soon, the other two tables broke and our table was the last one standing. As we played, people were walking by all night, eying the action. I'm not sure if they were confused about what was happening (we were throwing chips around and having a good time) or if they were interested in something other than hold'em, but a few brave souls tried to join us. Mostly, there were no seats, so we sent them packing, but by late night, the table opened up, and non-bloggers began to fill the ranks. Overall, they were not up to our caliber of play, so when I found myself alone at the table with Mr. Subliminal and a slew of non-bloggers, down $120+ from the blogger rounds, I saw opportunity knocking. I just couldn't leave the table.

My favorite player at that point had to be the Brit. While the table was full of bloggers, a broad, dark-haired British guy looked over my shoulder at the odd game of Pineapple we were playing. He began to ask questions, and I obliged his requests by teaching him how the game was played. It was about an hour later when he stumbled back, clearly a tad inebriated, with a rack of chips. He had wanted to try out our crazy games, but he had no prior knowledge of the different formats. Along the way, I taught him how to play. So, how could I not stay, considering that my opponents had learned the game about 5 minutes before playing and...I was their teacher!

The money was relatively easy at this point (never easy, though, due to the limit nature and the temptation for opponents to play lots of hands loosely in these games), and after an hour or so, I left the table down only $31. I had been playing mixed games for over 6 hours, and was the first to arrive and the last to leave. Jordan's priorities are pretty clear.

When I did walk, it was largely due to Blinders who was about to head back to the IP in his car. I had already resigned myself to cabbing it back alone, but a free ride and an opportunity to hang out with some of the guys I had wanted to meet was too good of an offer to refuse. Blinders was surprisingly not what I expected. It wasn't so much that I expected anything in particular, but his free-wheeling attitude was a stark contrast to his folding patience on the virtual felt. Schaubs was in the car too, and over the last year or so, Schaubs and I have grown a friendship over the net. RecessRampage was also riding along, and he's another on the guys that I knew I would immediately like in person.

Back at the IP parking lot, Blinders was kind enough to offer me some headache medicine. Poker is bad for my brain. We headed inside, and I made my way to the PaiGow tables, where a slew of bloggers were playing, including the very happy and very drunk Garthmeister and a just as drunk Iggy, who once again amazingly climbed all the way up to the high stool. I swear that midget must've had a booster seat hidden somewhere.

After a while, BG and F-Train joined the fray. With that group, it was no surprise that PaiGow was merely a pretext to having a shitload of loud drunken fun. A Korean dealer named Joo sat down, and F-Train noted the irony, since he dates a Korean Jew. Much like his Korean Jew, this Korean Joo gave him a spanking and took a good amount of his money. She took some of mine too. Still, we were having fun making Jooish jokes. Every once in a while, someone would suggest or seem concerned that I was offended, but I am more offensive than most.

After some Pai Gow, I decided to turn in for the night. It was 5:30am, and I was up for 21 hours, hardly a record, but that was the second 20+ hour day in a row. I retired upstairs, where Peaker was just getting into bed. We said our goodnights and I drifted off to sleep with my headphones playing a Trance podcast.

The next day was going to be an interesting one with the blogger poker championship and the Floyd Mayweather, Jr.-Ricky Hatton fight. But that's for another time.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 5:18 PM,


At 11:35 AM, Blogger jamyhawk said...

Great writing! I actually feel like I was there with you, since you put in so much detail.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger StB said...

I saw the bearded douchebag myself. I referred to him as The Terrorist. Didn't get to play with him and I now regret it. I would have laid into him.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Ignatious said...

i remember Joo challenging me to count to five, but that's about it. good god.

great times and can't wait to have more blitzed fun next time.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger Schaubs said...

Friends indeed. Great post.

Now on to the next one! (I'm a bit behind).


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