Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Vegas...Day 2, A Mirage in the desert

A good part of Day 2 was spent playing poker. Pai Gow poker. I spent 6 hours at TI filling my stomach with Makers Mark and ginger ale. Try it. Smooth. I highly recommend it.

It wasn't until 7pm that I made my way over to the Mirage. I had played some in the past here and I had forgotten how much I like the poker room. The level of play is better here than some other places. There are the usual clowns playing the 3/6 game, but the 6/12 game is much better. That is what I opted for on Wednesday night.

There was about a 15 minutes wait before I took the 4 seat at table 12. On my right was the bank. I bought in for $300 and had taken only red chips ($5). When I sat down, the bank on my right offered to exchange some for blue ($1). I tossed him 4 red and he gave me a stack of blue. There was a local on my left who wasn't bad but talked too long about having to piss all night if he drank any more water. A guy with a bad perm was down the way. A quite guy wearing sunglasses was playing rather tight. There was the aggressive grandpa wearing a sweater. He was noticeable as his wife was playing at a table right behind him. I couldn't help but wonder how much the boob job had cost him. There was no way those were real. And then there was the grumpy guy. This old coot that the regulars knew and didn't like. He was like clockwork. Played really tight and always complaining.

In fact the whole table played rather tight. I stepped into the big blind and played right away. On the second hand, I had 9 9 in the small blind and raised it up. Pisser in the big blind called as did one other. Flop came K J 6. I bet out to show strength and see where I stood. They all called. Hmm. A 9 came on the turn. I bet out again and only the pisser called. River was a rag. I bet again and this time he raised. I just called and he showed the Q 10 for the straight. Ugh!

Next hand, I limp in with K 10. I hit top pair when a K hits the flop. I bet out and the piss guy calls again. I bet again on the turn and river. He calls each time showing K Q. Down over a hundred in just 15 minutes. Not a good start. I would fold a lot of hands for a while.

But I fought my way back. I caught a pair of cowboys and got paid off by two people that missed their straights. Next hand I catch A Q and raise it up. I keep firing away to take down an OK pot on the turn when the last one folded.

Unfortunately, some of the locals were beginning to leave. These were the guys who were playing too loose or tight and were predictable. I was able to get a good portion of my chips back because of the way they played. So now we had some new guys coming in. One young guy took the pissers spot. I then broke poker etiquette on him. I limped from late position with A 9 suited and hit my set on the river. Flop came K 9 4 two of my suit. He bet out and I called. Turn was meaningless. He bet and I called again. I hit the last 9 on the river. He bet and I raised. He called and asked me to show the 9. I showed the A. He didn't like that and mentioned how I shouldn't slow roll him. He was right. It wasn't a crap move on my part. I even apologized as it was uncalled for. You should never slow roll someone. They soon broke out table up as others left and we were down to 5. That sucked as some younger guys were now playing and there was some action at the table. While I waited to get moved, I talked to the guy that I had slow rolled. He was from New York and was telling me about some of the underground card rooms they have there. I asked if they were legal or not and he explained that they pretty much were. Don't know for sure but I had no reason to doubt him.

After a couple of minutes they moved me to a new table. I sat down in the 4 seat there as well. Table was flowing pretty good. When I sat down, the guy on my right looked familiar. I was trying to place where I had seen him before. I started talking with the Canadian two spots to my right when the guy in the middle joined in. He mentioned he was from Utah. That is when it hit me. I had played at the Mirage with this guy just over a year ago. I remember some guy from Utah kicking my ass on every hand I played against him. No matter what I had, he always had something just better. He was my arch enemy that night. I am certain this was the same guy. He was pretty toasted. I should know because I was a couple sheets to the wind myself. The table was also on the tight side. Hardly anyone raising and a lot of folding before the flop. I didn't play many hands here. I took down some small pots with bets on the flop. I do recall one interesting hand. I had something like 6 4 in the small blind. 5 players saw a flop that came down with rags. It checked around. Turn was a 4. It checked around again. River was a 9. Once again, it check around to Utah. He was going to buy the pot from the button. I started talking to him, saying he didn't want to ruin the fun. Why bet now? He decided to check and showed A high. My pair of 4s took down the pot. I was laughing as I scooped about 25 bucks. If he had bet, I would have folded. Not much happened from here. I left around 1 in the morning after I had a couple more beers. I was happy to cash out with a modest $40 profit. Not bad after a brutal start.

Stay tuned for Day 3 and how I titled early in a tournament but then hit it nicely at the Bellagio.

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