Having just won 3 bills in the Crazy Pineapple tournament, I looked to unwind a bit by passing some time at a Pai Gow table while my friend played his 2/4 game. I didn't quite have the success playing Pai Gow as I did Crazy Pineapple. Broke even but got a couple of beers.
From there we headed over to check out the new "poker room" at Paris. I put it in quotes as it isn't a room. It is a roped off section by Gustav's bar. I believe 8 tables, of which only 1 was going. Another 2/4 game. We figured we were better off going back down to the Excalibur than checking anything in mid Strip.
After going up to the room to wash up a bit, I went down to the tables hoping for a chance to spin the wheel. I was placed up front of a table right by the rail. The table looked like a mattress has been stuffed under the felt. It raised up at least 3 inches from the rail. I felt I could sleep on it if necessary. It also felt like a TV table. The rail would get packed with people just watching. They would catch the action, put at players and inform someone of just what happened. Weird stuff.
The table itself sucked at first. It was all locals except for me and 2 others. Each dealer knew these old rocks that were sitting there. It didn't take much to figure some of them out either. The two old ladies played tighter than tight, never raising and chasing with their aces and suited cards. Two of the men played just the best hands and raised only after they had a made hand. Two others were really loose and calling 2 or 3 bets just to fold on the flop or turn. The tourist just plain stunk. I don't know if he ever played before but he burned a rack and left.
Things didn't start well for me. I had K K cracked by a guy who sucked out an A on the river. My set of 9s saw a runner runner for a flush. I was quickly down half a rack before I chipped up a bit.
I missed an early opportunity to spin the wheel when I would have had quad 5s. But I folded my Q 5 suited in EP. But I got my chance later on. With K 2 in the BB, I got to see a free flop with one of the old ladies and 3 other limpers. Flop came 6 2 2. Knowing that these people wouldn't fold with over cards, I bet out 4. Sure enough 2 callers. On the turn, the case 2 hit. I made another small bet of just 4. The old lady called. I then bet 6 on the river. She sat there thinking. I even told her I had the 2. She called anyway. From there I got the huge sum of $20 which was doubled up to $40. Not bad. I'll take it. It basically got me back to even.
But it also seemed to be the impetus for me to knock the table around. I went on a nice roll from there. My good hands filled out nicely and I my K K and Q Q weren't cracked. I took down a nice pot when the Hiltons held up against 2 other players with ace rag. I didn't like the K on the turn but kept firing away with them calling with nothing.
I also got quite a bit of table respect from it. There was one curmudgeon at the end who didn't like my raising. He would reluctantly call me down with any pair. What he didn't realize was how I could read his hand with the way he raised pre-flop. He would bet 6 with A A or K K. He would bet 4 with J J or 10 10. He just called with A K. I noticed that right away and folded some hands that I was tempted to call down with pass the turn, but got out when a J or 10 hit and he was betting again. If he didn't hit the flop, he became very passive.
Thankfully some of the rocks dumped their chips and left. Some younger more aggressive blood hit the table and then it got fun. I was talking with a guy who just moved from Seattle and was involved with video production. No, nothing good, just commercials. I slow played A A vs him hoping to get them cracked but they held up. I never did get the rockets wrecked during this trip. But I didn't mind that. It might be +EV with the wheel spin but it has to be bad mojo. Another guy who used to deal at the Excalibur took a seat. He compared notes with each of the dealers. As it turned out, there was another dealer from the Stratosphere playing in the 3 seat.
I played to until just pass midnight and took off when the table got short. I had been drinking bourbon all night just so I could get to sleep. My friend was snoring pretty bad and waking me up. I figured I could get drunk and to sleep before he showed back up.
But before I did, I played one last hand. I tried to drop the hammer on the rock that was still there. He called me all the way down and showed K high to win. Old fart! I still walked away with 3 racks though. It was a nice night.