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Saturday Bloody Saturday (Vegas Trip Report Pt 4)

I have no idea what time it was when I woke up on Saturday. All I knew was that I needed to take it easy in anticipation of the blogger tournament scheduled for 3pm at the Venetian. I futzed around the IP, killing time. This is probably the first time in this trip report where a block of time just seemingly disappeared.

Dave Ruff and Timmy Bones, two of my buddies from my high school days, were in Vegas on their own vacation. Over the last couple of nights, we had kept in touch via text messages, but with so much blogger mayhem going down, I hadn't seen them yet. I was playing 1/2 NL at the IP when they called. We arranged to meet outside the IP (they were going to call me when they were there), and then head over to the Venetian for the touranment. I was still sitting in my seat when I saw Ruff enter the IP poker room. I checked my cell and saw I missed their call. That's the way with poker. I tend to miss a lot unless it will help me win some money.

The three of us walked over to the nearby Venetian, catching up along the way. At the Venetian, we entered the Grand Lux Cafe, where we had breakfast/lunch. I went with a patty-melt type concoction, which consisted of a oblong burger patty on a long parmesan-crusted roll, with copious amounts of grilled onions and cheddar cheese. The food was amazing, and I barely finished half of the burger/sandwich before my stomach gave up on me.

While we sat, we went over the sheets from the Venetian sports book. Ruff and Bones know more about sports than I do, but I still gave my two cents. I had originally planned to bet on Ricky Hatton getting 3 to 1 odds (i.e., a $100 bet nets $300), but the mass of Brits had ruined the odds by placing a lot of action on Hatton. Since they messed with the odds, I liked Mayweather a lot better, but not enough to bet to him, since the payout would be miniscule compared to the amount wagered. I decided, instead, to bet that the fight wouldn't go 12 rounds (aka, a No Go bet) for $50 ($90 profit if I win), and $10 each on Mayweather to win in the 9th or 10th rounds ($220 and $160 profit, respectively, on those small $10 bets). My logic was as follows: Hatton was expeceted to come out swinging, and Mayweather was expected to start cautious. This would tire Hatton out, setting him up for a late round knockout. I don't like betting for 11th or 12th round knockouts, because often both fighters are too tired at that point to deliver a final blow. So, 9th and 10th seemed good to me. I was hoping it wouldn't go the distance, mostly because if it did, I was confident that Mayweather would win, thanks to the crooked decision process and the need for a new big name in boxing. The only marquee name right now is Oscar de la Hoya, and he is over the hill. Boxing needs a new name and Mayweather was familiar enough. All he needed was a big televised win. Still, the odds were good on the knockout bet, and I would be just as happy if Hatton knocked out Mayweather.

After eating, we placed our bets. On a hunch, I also picked a 2-game parlay, once again betting that the Knicks were going to lose. I also bet on the Celtics to win. It was another whim-based bet, so I didn't think much of it. After all it was just $20 to win $52 profit...and I was riding high from the profit on the 3-game NBA parlay from the night before.

We headed to the poker room, where I introduced Ruff and Bones to a few bloggers. We found our seats, and I could see both of my pals from my vantage point. My table was good, with Fuel55, Special K, KuroKitty, and Kyle from Aside from Fuel, I didn't know the other guys really, but we became friendly at the table. In fact, I just realized that KuroKitty was KuroKitty. He merely mentioned his blog name, Poker Cats, and at the time, I knew the name of the blog, but I didn't connect it with Kuro. Kuro, on the other hand, I know a lot better from blogger tournaments. Dawn from IHO was also sitting at the table, and we had a good time betting and calling each other just as if we were at the Crackhouse.

In the first 10 hands, I was dealt TT twice, AK twice, and 77 twice. In each instance, I raised preflop, immediately building my LAG image. Fuel made a comment in the third or fourth hand, "You can't play every hand Jordan." I raised and said, "Really, because so far I have."

In that hand, I held TT and raised preflop from the 25/50 blinds to 150 or 200 in MP. I was called by The Mark, one of the G-Vegas crew, after he said aloud, "You've played every hand so far, so I've got to call." The flop came down Q8X, with the X as a rag. The Mark checked. I bet out pot. He raised 2k on top. I looked at his stack and he only had another 2k or so behind. If I was to call, I'd have to push him all-in. I'd still have over 2500 left, which was more than enough with the low blinds. Still, I didn't want to shoot myself in the foot. I thought for a while, and watched The Mark. He was eating Chinese food and kept turning away from the table to grab his drink or another bite. He seemed like he was distracted.

I have discovered a "new" tell; its new to me, but obviously a very common one. When a player is uncomfortable, generally, he/she will do something to indicate their discomfort. For some, its adjusting in their seat. For others, its playing with their chip stack. But across the board, I have noticed that players who bet and then take a drink are drinking to give them something to do when internally, they are panicking. Its like a baby to its bottle. There is something soothing about taking a sip.

What The Mark was doing was an exaggerated version of the sip tell, so I eventually pushed all-in. He called immediately and I thought I was screwed, until he showed 87o, for middle pair, shitty kicker. My TT held up and The Mark won a copy of the movie Gigli, for being the first person busted from the tournament.

From there, I went card dead, but I had chips to wait it out. When the blinds got high two or more hours into the game, I started stealing. About four hours in, the blinds were very high, and I found myself in constant cointoss situations. When you have a loose image, this is the biggest problem. Late stage tournaments require the ability to steal and the ability to AVOID cointosses. But my image encouraged calls, and so the cointosses were unavoidable.

Eventually, I made a play, reraising a shorty with TT, only to be called by Change100's KK on the button or in the blinds (the important part was, she acted after me). I lost most of my chips and had less than 10x the BB. I got back some chips by stealing, but eventually went HU in a cointoss and was brought down to a pitifully short stack, around 5x the BB. I pushed on the next hand with AQ, and KuroKitty, on my immediate left, called with AK. No Queen and I busted in 25th out of 110 players.

After the tournament, I checked the scores on my 2-game NBA parlay and discovered I was now 5 for 5 in NBA picks. I went to the sportsbook and collected my money. It was already fairly late, and a bunch of people were hanging around contemplating dinner. I ended up joining Katitude and Honey Bunny, Mr. and Mrs. GCox, Tripjax sans WifeJax, PokerPeaker and WeakPlayer for the buffet at Harrah's. The highlight of the meal came when the drunken Tripjax asked me to get him some duck. I got a drumstick for him and when I returned to the table, I asked him to hold out his hand. He did so and I placed the drumstick meat first into his palm. To his credit, he laughed it off and chowed down.

On a personal level, duck is some of the most delicious meat around. I'm shocked that it is not more common in the US. It's essentially just fatty chicken, and if there is something Americans like, fat and chicken are high on the list.

After dinner we returned to the IP. My headache had returned (too much gambling), so Weak was kind enough to lend me some headache medicine. Thank god for the generosity of poker bloggers.

On the way to the IP, I received a text message from Dave Ruff: "Mayweather won in the 10th. Did you have it?" I did! In total, I won $250 profit on that fight, $90 for picking the No Go, and $160 for picking Mayweather to win in the 10th. Easy money! I was also running perfect on my sports bets.

At this point, I was solo, and decided to collect on my sports bets. My goal was to hit Caesars to cash in the 3-game NBA parlay and then Venetian for my boxing bets. When I got to Caesars the guy at the window looked at me suspiciously. "This is for the Venetian." Sure enough, he was right. Amazingly, I never stopped at the Caesars book. I guess I just got things mixed up in my head. I walkde to the Venetian and cashed in my slips. On the way out, I bumped into Katitude, who was returning to the IP. Apparently it was a ghost town there.

Kat was right. It was quiet at the IP so I sat down at a 1/2 NL table in the back of the IP room. It was a perfect table for me. I like shortstacks and this table had plenty. There were also two tilting Brits, still miffed at Hatton's loss. They played a very loose style of poker and explained that bluffing was a lot more common in the UK. That amazed me, but it was a pleasure to see. There was also a pudgy Asian guy, probably Phillipino, who was a big chatter. He kept calling people "bad ass", and while it was annoying at first, I embraced his chattiness and was friendly with him, especially after I took his miniscule $80 stack by flopping a K with AK against his KJ. He rebought for $40...I shit you not. To my right was another Asian guy, this time playing the role of older, giggling Asian. He loved the looseness of the table and was giddy with excitement. On the far end of the table was a Caucasian guy who was luckboxing, but generally sucked. There were a few other marks at the table, including two girls. One sat to my immediate right and we made a friendship.

I won $185 before seeing Karol from IHO. My headache was still aching pretty badly, so I bummed some more meds off of her. I also hung out with Iggy and Mary at the time. It was a pleasure talking with Iggy. He had apologized earlier in the day for his offensive comments at the Pai Gow table the day before, but I told him sincerely that I am usually the one being offensive. He would get no shit from me. We also talked about how amazing the blogger group is. In general, there are a lot of losers in poker, both financially and personally. But this group was something different. The vast majority of the group were good people, and that's all that matters to me. I told Iggy my general policy: "If you are nice to me, I'm nice to you." I live by that code. And for the whole trip, everyone was nice to me.

I returned downstairs, but the combination of booze and the headache meds (I was drinking fairly heavily at the donktastic poker table) messed with my head too much. I walked around the casino floor for a bit, trying to cool off before returning to my table. When I got there, the table complexion had changed significantly. The Brits and Phillipino were gone. I racked up and left.

I returned to my room to chill for a bit and eventually came back down. Tripjax was playing 1/2 NL with Peaker (who had just left). It was a thing to behold. Trip was drunk, but he was like a buzzsaw through the table. Everyone was tilted, including a tough looking black dude who could've doubled as Mayweather's bodyguard, and a drunk shlub who was absolutely loony due to Trip's apparent luckbox ways. I sat down to join in the fun. After a while the table thinned and Fuel55 and Schaubs joined in on the fun. Fuel was on my immediate left and I was card dead, so I literally got nothing going. Trip eventually left and I decided to finish my orbit. I was down about $20-30. Dr. Pauly sat down along with the winner of the WPBT tournament, the Rooster. Pauly seemed to be playing loose. I think he reached showdown once and showed weaker cards than I had expected, given the action. My last hand was against Pauly. I had 99 and raised preflop. He called or maybe re-raised me. The flop was 8-high. I checked and he pushed. It seemed like BS so I called. The turn and river didn't help either of us, but as it turned out, I was the one needing the help. He had KK and I shipped him a stack of chips. I left shortly after, slightly dejected that I lost my winnings from the donktastic table earlier in the night. In the end, I accepted my play; after all, my reasoning was sound. Pauly just happened to have a hand. I should have been looking for more tells, but I wasn't playing my best.

I retired to my room where I hit the sack.

The next morning, I woke up around 8am. I grabbed some quick breakfast solo at the Burger Palace and placed a $20 parlay on three NFL games. I hit 2 out of 3, but the Steelers didn't cover. I then headed to the airport solo, where I had a decent flight home.

I'd like to thank everyone I met. I should also mention Trauma, who I played with during the mixed games. I mention him here because when I think back on the weekend, he was one of the guys who I really enjoyed bullshitting with, yet I neglected to mention him earlier. Good times, Trauma.

I have to add one quick addendum. I mentioned the older guy with the Ponytail in my earlier post and alluded to the fact that we would see him again later. It was less than 24 hours ago that I had busted Ponytail when I was introduced to Johnny Hughes, poker author and frequent poster at Iggy's site. As it turned out, Mr. Hughes was Ponytail. I found this particularly humorous, since his play post-learning who he is, seemed a lot different than my pre-discovery view. He was also a gracious and friendly guy. It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Hughes.

And that concludes our WPBT Winter Gathering Odyssey. Thanks for reading.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:22 PM,


At 4:41 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Good times J. I was real happy when you sat down at the table. I wish I had stayed longer, but I had been playing quite a while and ChickJax and The Rooster pulling me away was the right move.

At the time, I don't recall remembering you were leaving early the next day, so I didn't realize that would be the last chance to catch up with you for a while.

We must figure out an AC trip in 2008...just one of those 1 or 2 night gigs...we'll talk...

At 4:44 PM, Blogger kurokitty said...

It was nice meeting you in the tourney!

At 6:29 PM, Blogger BWoP said...

Nicely done Jordan. See you soon at IHO or WSP!

At 6:18 AM, Blogger KenP said...

I had fun using your blog on Linda. You might want to join the roast.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger post said...

i want to invite you to my blogger tourney tonight ( sunday night ) at 10pm EST ,( starts 30 min after miami don big game ) on full tilt
its a bounty knockout tourney ,
buy in - $20+2
password - thepokergrind , im hoping you can make it


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