Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The tide turns

It wasn't a pretty day for me on the PLO8 tables yesterday. The river was my enemy. Though I got my money in good, the river would toss up that gutshot straight or pair up the board to counterfeit me. The only time it helped me was when I got overly aggressive against a Russian. But that wasn't good enough to get my two buy-ins back.

The Russian was ticking me off. I understood his style of play and wanted to take advantage of it. I knew he wanted to bet people out of pots. I knew he would overplay AA especially when he had no chance at a low. I wanted to get him to commit to a pot and see those virtual chips slide in front of me.

It would only happen once but that was after he took my first buy in. I had two pair with a low draw and knew I was ahead. He just had A A with two face. Just before the river hit I thought it was mine and that he had two outs. I forgot about the other two cards on the board and those being outs. Sure enough a deuce hit to counterfeit me. I yelled a number of expletives in the air and threw a pillow across the room. Just bad luck.

The Russian kept playing the same way. So did I. Looking to trap him. I may have played some hands out of the blinds that I shouldn't have but I really wanted my money back. I would get a piece of it back but give it off to another player that would hit runner runner to fill flush when they were chasing a gutshot straight.

At least I made half of it back in a Sit n Go. That seemed to go on forever but it was fun. Maybe I can sit out the first 30 minutes of those and then come in for the win.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting better

This week looks to hold a good amount of poker for me. I have vacation this week. Or holiday for anyone reading from over the pond. Holiday sounds better. More special.

Anyways, my intent is to play a good amount of PLO8 this week. I have a Full Tilt bonus that I would like to clear. I don't intend to fall into bonus whoring mode to clear it. Maybe play a couple of hours as long as I am having fun.

I noticed some aspects of my game this week. My wins are usually minimal. I tend to play .25/.50. Booking a $10 win seems to be about the norm if I don't drop the entire buy in. I won't lie and say it doesn't happen. There are times I go on tilt and chase just to donk it off. But for the most part it is a collection of small wins with an occasional double.

Over the past weekend I feel my PLO8 has gotten better. There are a number of marginal hands that I used to get involved with that I have no problem folding. I also don't mind folding a hand where I don't have any chance to get half. Getting quartered is guaranteed to put my on tilt. This weekend saw me on the good side of the quartering. It was a nice streak that ended today.

This afternoon I played two really aggro tables. Bunch of Scandis at the table that seem to believe that betting pot was the only way to go. It made it easy to trap them and steal big pots from them. I was amazed at how many times they paid me off when I had a wheel or a full house. I think it was because I wasn't potting every street.

Their aggressiveness also made me play smarter. It reminded me of a virtual Table 16. Chips flying and a lot of re-raises. It made me play smarter and more selective in my hands. It stopped me from chasing. I ended up with a double there. I can't wait until tomorrow to take another swing.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


If only the WPBT was a couple days later, I could have had a live Twisted Christmas. This will have to do.

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and get the pots shipped your way.

As for my Jewish friends, you can still be merry even though you are Hebrew..

Monday, December 21, 2009

Table 16: A view from the 9 seat Part II

The action at Table 16 was getting to be beyond silly. Watching the chips get tossed around like they were pennies was mind boggling at times. I had to keep telling myself to not do anything stupid. I knew I was in over my head but I calmly sat by and waited for my spots. I would ask GRob about everyone and I heeded his advice. Be ready to put it all in and take your shot. I took my first shot against the Mark. He was basically running the table. Calling bluffs and sucking out. It was like there was a hydraulic lift on our end of the table raising up to slide all the chips down to him. Like everyone else, I wanted those chips. So when he raised in EP and I looked down to see pocket 10s, I figured it was time to go for it. I slid my stack in the middle. The Mark went into the tank. I don't know if someone called the clock on him at this point. It is hard to remember because it seemed like the clock was called on the Mark every time he played a hand. He would fold and I would get a modest pot.

Rebuys were not only common but expected. "There is no shame in rebuying" became a mantra. At one point they figured there was over $5000 on the table. Over 5k on a 1/2 table. The MGM must have thought we were stupid. The dealers were happy because they were making money. Sure people were in for some serious coin but they were still having fun. Tip, the dealer's name, sits down and Otis would shout "Hey, let's tip Tip!" Then a bunch of blue chips would be flung into the middle of the table for the dealer to collect. New dealer, new cry to tip them.

I kept to myself as the action would rise and calm back down. I think I won a couple small pots but nothing too memorable. That is until I looked down to see pocket deuces. I called a preflop raise hoping to get lucky. I did. A nice 2 hits the board. The Mark comes out firing. I just called. The turn is the beautiful case 2. My heart jumps a bit. The Mark grabs some chips and make his bet. $2 he announces. I laugh a bit and try to give a look back. I am trying to act annoyed that he would bet like that. I am hoping to toss the bait in and get him to bite. I make a comment about it being an insulting bet and announce I am all in. The goes back into the tank. Someone calls the clock. I lift my cards and give Iggy a peak. The Mark says he calls. Seconds later Iggy is whispering to me "Slow roll him". Normally I wouldn't do that. I hate to be slow rolled and think it is bad etiquette. But then again, this is not a normal game. It is playing like a home game so I think it may be pretty funny. The dealer plants the meaningless river card down. I don't know what the Mark had. I turned over one deuce asking if that was good. I then comment that the second 2 should be. At this point Otis and BadBlood erupt at seeing quads. The table blows up with others peering in. I was shocked and happy that I got paid on my quads. Now I have a bit of breathing room and can play a bit more aggressively.

Things calmed down for me from there. I continued to play somewhat conservatively. The table didn't change. The action kept going and the fun kept flowing. At one lull in the action, it seemed a new rodeo event was beginning on TV. They were playing the National Anthem. Not sure whose idea it was but before you knew it 10 men were on their feet at Table 16, hand over heart, showing respect for their country. Other tables looked on wondering what the hell those goofballs were up to. I kept trying to get people to remove their hat during the anthem but did not succeed.

The shenanigans at Table 16 kept going and it seemed like the staff didn't care. That is until they had their shift change and a new manager came in. I don't know if Marjo
rie always has a bug up her ass or if she was having a bad day. The first thing she does is demand to know who is sitting in the 3 seat and orders us to tell him to stack his chips. The Mark comes back and is updated on the request. I think he scoffed until Marjorie came to him and told him he would have to stack his chips. He tried to use his charm on her but it wasn't working. So he complied. He proceeded to make stacks of 3. He had stacks of 3 chips surrounding the space in front of him. Just as he was about finished Marjorie came back and told him that wasn't good enough and started stacking his chips for him. She was trying to be a buzzkill but we wouldn't have it.

Action would continue. Big pots forming and more calls for the clock. I stayed away from the action and worked hard not to spew my chips back. Tried is the key because I came very close to doing just that. In one hand I called a raise with A 9 suited. I was in the small blind and checked the flop of A 5 x. Iggy checked as well allowing BadBlood to bet. I looked at Blood and sense weakness. I was feeling he didn't have an ace. Problem was I wasn't thinking too much about Iggy. I decided to raise and take the pot down right there. Had I realized Iggy was still in, I might have just called. Iggy mucked his cards leaving it to Blood. He looked at me and stated that he was making a very loose call. He said that he didn't want my money and would push if he got lucky. The turn was a 3 of spades. That gave me a flush draw along with top pair. I looked at Blood and checked. He immediately went all in.

My first reaction was "Aww fuck! I should have pushed". I kept looking at the board and at Blood. I have top pair with a flush draw. I can't fold this can I? There are all small cards on the board. He has an ace with a better kicker? Very possible. Blood could have a variety of hands. This blows. Can I fold this? I had amassed a sizable stack. If I call I am right back to where I started. Is it worth it on a marginal hand? I didn't think so.

I then began to figure out if I was ahead or not. My gut told me I wasn't. I realized I was behind but could hit the flush and it wouldn't matter if he had hit a small set. I kept going back and forth in my head, contemplating the call. I settled on the fact that I was behind. I tossed my cards into the muck, unhappy with my decision check raise.

BadBlood proceeds to turn over 2 4. He hit the wheel on the turn. Wow! I had no idea I was that far behind. I thank Blood for not trying to goad me into the pot. I really dodged a bullet on that hand.

Right about this time the table begins to get quite thirsty. We realized we hadn't seen a waitress in some time. We began to wonder if we had been cut off. It was until we saw Marjorie speaking with our waitress. She was pointing in our table direction and made a slash across the throat gesture. I wasn't the only one to see that. Did she really cut off Table 16 from cocktail service? I was both shocked and mortified. We waited patiently for our waitress to get back within earshot and got her attention. Turns out only the Mark was cut off, not the table. That was a huge relief and she was welcomed with a round of orders.

As with all good things, time was not on the side of Table 16. There was a Steel Panther show to attend and it was time to wind it down. Someone decided to make the last hand interesting. Whoever wanted to play could put $100 in and they would deal the hand out. No betting, just best hand wins it all. I declined as I was happy with booking a nice win but 6 others jumped at the opportunity.

It seemed fitting that Table 16 would end this way. It was the perfect storm of people playing a card game, having some fun with their friends. It was one helluva experience. To me, it was the best part of the trip. Thanks guys for giving me a taste of the G-Vegas games. I loved every second of it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Table 16: A view from the 9 seat Part I

There are times in life when forces collide in just the right pattern that triggers an event you just didn't expect. When these natural phenomena occur, you can only bathe in the experience and enjoy the moment. Something special happened in the MGM poker room on Friday, December 11 which shall be told in tales for years to come. Like Woodstock, many will claimed to have played the game, but only a handful took a seat. This is my story about table 16.

I was sitting at a blackjack table in the Party Pit at the Excalibur. I was down $100 but was a bit perplexed by what was going on in front of me. Apparently the Excal thought that having girls dance as people gambled was a good idea. Me? I felt dirty. It was like playing 21 in a strip club except I was seeing any ta-tas.

Having gotten enough covered T&A, I got up and made the trek over the MGM poker room. Once there I signed up for a 1/2 table. I was about 4th on a list so I just hung out in front of the room checking my iPhone. About 5 minutes later I was called and told to report to table 16 where a new game was being opened. I stopped along the way to speak to Chilly where I was told I would be playing with Otis and GRob. Huh? I was confused as they play 2/5.

As I approached the table they were there. Otis has sat down in the 5 seat with GRob in the 8 seat. I could take the 6 or 9. I quickly recalled reading many a story about the G-Vegas games and immediately took the 9 seat. If I had learned anything about those games it was that I wanted to have position on GRob. As I sat down I asked Otis what he was doing slumming on the 1/2 table. He said the 2/5 either wasn't running yet or there was a list. GRob then asks if I knew him. I responded yes, I had met him before. I had also met GRob but he may not have remembered.

The game started innocently enough. If I recall correctly, seat 1 was a black man who liked to shove his chips around. Seat 2 was a young buck with a blue plaid hat. He was pretty aggressive, but not that good. Seat 3 was an attractive buxom blonde who was with blud plaid hat. She rarely played any cards but when she leaned back it put a smile on my face. Seat 4 I will call Brass Testicles as he opened and closed the game. It took some brass balls to play with this group. Seat 5 was Otis. Seat 6 was... hmm... who was in seat 6? I don't think anyone started in 6. Seat 7 eludes me as well. Seat 8 was GRob and I was there in 9. Seat 10 was a young LA douchebag type. He was cool but had too much stuff on his hands and wrists.

Game started ok. Nothing for cards was acceptable. I wanted to play "my game". Picked some spots to make a move until I could chip up and then kick in some aggression. I didn't play many pots to start. I did hit a flush when I called Brass Testicles' raise with 10 8 hearts. I called his flop bet just to hit my flush on the turn. We both checked. I then bet the river when he quickly checked. I was confident my 10 high flush was good and just grabbed some chips to put out there. I wanted to do it in a manner that made it look like I was betting just to take it down right there. He thought for a bit before calling my $30 and the pot was shipped my way.

This table played along just fine for a while. Unfortunately Otis took some lumps. He got sucked out on by LA Douch who went runner runner for a straight. He tangled with blue plaid hat a couple times giving and taking. Somehow Brass Testicles survived though he stopped playing many hands.

Things would liven up when GRob ran his hand into pocket aces. He then made the comment that he always finds the aces. He called himself Ace Finder and began to talk about how he would soon have his own TV show on the Encore channel. This prompted Otis to belt out in a nice falsetto "Ace Finder". It was like tipping a teetor totter to one side. The balance was off and we were slowly slipping into silliness. The Ace Finder talk kept it lively.

Soon blue plaid hat would take the hot buxom blonde away. I would sigh in sadness. The Penner brother would take over seats 1 & 2. The black guy hit trips and soon got out with his double. The Penners would stay a while. But it wasn't until the BadBlood and TheMark hit the room that things would devolve even further. They walked in and saw the 5 of us and two open seats. I think Blood drooled a bit before paying off the floor man $20 for seat 6.

With Blood in Seat 6 and TheMark taking Seat 3 it got all kinds of crazy. GRob made the comment to me that things were really about to change. That the time to play tight was nigh and be ready for wild action. That may have been the biggest understatement of the year. Maybe the decade.

TheMark got it going by doubling through Otis. Somehow he kept getting more chips. He literally had a mound of chips in front of him. His betting would consist of just grabbing a handful and dropping them on the table. Sometimes he would use the bulldozer techniqueand push part of the mass in front of him over the line. Any which way he did it, the bets were big and out of control.

BadBlood seemed to revel in this insanity. Years of death metal may have prepared him for this dance with the devil. His stack was like a yo yo going up and down. He had rebought a couple of times. And he was using his stack aggressively as well. These boys kept me in check with the action. I was ok for the most part, trying to be patient and find a place to strike. I kept chatting up GRob for tips on how to play these guys. I had a little table experience with Blood but nothing with TheMark.

Soon The Luckbox CJ would take the 7 seat join as did TheMark's friend Mutray taking the 1 seat after The Penners would leave. Joe Speaker would take the 2 seat. Chips would be flying all over the place. Comments being tossed to and fro. Good friends taunting each other and seeing who had the balls to bluff someone out of a pot. Big stacks being tossed. New episode of Ace Finder being discussed ("Daddy, I seemed to have lost my aces. What do I do? This is a job for Ace Finder!!") Hilarity ensued.

How the hell did I get in the middle of the G-Vegas home game?

Now we have a table of people that know each other. Except for Brass Testicles in seat 2 and the ever changing seat 10. One guy showed up and was given a warning by Otis about the Tom Foolery going on. He said he could handle it. But he couldn't. He watched one hand and picked up his chips and walked. Another guy would soon sit down, get the same warning, and be felted in a couple orbits. It wasn't until Iggy sat in 10 that this Motley Crew would be finalized.

Coming up in Part II...
5k on the table
Tip Tip!
All stand for the playing of our national anthem
Dodging a bullet
They cut off the table???
One last bang.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Damn that was fun

It was 11:45 on Sunday night. I was tired, kinda drunk, and had a belly full of a stuffed cheeseburger. At that moment I realized I had reached my saturation point. I had had enough of Las Vegas. It was time to say the goodbyes and make the sad walk out of the casino leaving behind friends but feeling rich with more memories. Another year and another great time. I can't begin to say how lucky I am to have so many great friends. Friends who like to bust loose, have fun, and tell the world to bugger off for a weekend.

Where to begin with all of them? I guess the beginning make sense. Once I had checked in I was trying to get in touch with Special K to let him know he wouldn't have to wait in line when he got into town. Problem was I didn't have his phone number. But I did have Falstaff's so I sent him a text. I received a response asking who I was. I thought John should have my number but maybe he didn't so I identified myself. In return I was given this:
I don't care who you are cause I am notifying the police cause I have your # don't have to know your name don't text this # anymore.
Interesting. I guess he changed numbers. I was hoping he was playing a prank cuz that would have been funny. Whoever has that number didn't have to be such a bitch about it.

Other things that happened:
  • got a bit blitzed the first night. Was comfortably number by 2:30
  • Table 16. This is a who story in its own right. Those G-Vegas boys know how to make a poker game a blast. It was like playing in their home game.
  • The Mark. Thanks for paying off my quad deuces.
  • Slow rolling the Mark on those deuces. It was Iggy's idea and it was worth it just to hear the table erupt. Sorry man. No hard feelings?
  • Steel Panther. Great time as always. The playlist in Pauly style: Dr Feelgood> Youth Gone Wild> I Wanna Rock >Asian Hooker >Cherry Pie >Home Sweet Home> Satchel Solo >Every Rose Has it's Thorn >Lick it Up >Sweet Child o' Mine >Turn Out the Lights >Don't Stop Believing
  • Donk poker at GVR after the show. Watching Dr. Chako and Drizz battle it out for who had the most chips on the table. Bought in that is. Impressive Wall of Death by Chako.
  • Nice job by AlCantHang in the tournament. I think he is still on tilt because he didn't win it.
  • Watching Iggy eat food court calamari.
  • Watching the UFC fights with Iggy, Cali Jen, and Caity. Can't believe I was stupid enough to make bets on the Sanchez/Penn and Guida/Florian fights. Damn dogs could do nothing but get bloodied up.
  • If I don't go back to Palace Station again I will be happy.
  • Lagasse Stadium at the Palazzo was awesome. Nice job Venetian! I hope he did run the waitress ragged. She did one helluva job!
  • Hijinks at the Geisha bar, of course.
  • FeltingDoubling through CK (thanks for the correction) in a hit and run at the IP poker table. I did announce I was going to make one big move. Go long or go home. AJ dominates her A 4! Then others showed up and looked too serious. It was an easy decision to hit and run.
I was profitable until the final day once again. I should learn to never gamble on the day I am leaving. I never win. Never. So what had been up a couple hundred became down about a hundred. If I had all the money I spent on booze, food, and cabs I would have more than I left with. But the money spent on the booze was worth it. Can't say the same for the food as I ate a lot of crap. Did not have a good meal all weekend. Good company but not a great meal.

It was nice seeing everyone again as well as meeting some people for the first time. I am not going to name names because I don't want to leave anyone out. But you know who you are.

Is it wrong to watch this lady at the airport trying to buy something on eBay? You can't wait until you get home to buy that knick-knack?

I can't wait to read Derek's recap. It is among the best. Thanks again everyone at the Venetian, at PokerStars, and the staff at the Geisha bar. Hope to see you all again sooner rather than later.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Table 16

I survived Table 16

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Uh...what happened to the snow?

The forecast started at 8 to 14 inches. It then became 6 to 9. Last night it was heavy snow after 7 with at least 5 inches by the lake. And this morning…..nothing. My cat woke me up at 4:25 so I figured I’d take a look outside to see the damage. All I saw was wetness. No snow just wet pavement. I live 3 blocks from Lake Michigan and apparently the lake kept the area warm enough which caused it to rain and not snow. Sounds good to me and my back.

But I am not out of the woods yet. It is wet out and the temperatures are expected to plummet. As into single digits. The precipitation is not over and I will end up with some snow. I will need to clean up later today. That is after a potentially treacherous ride home. There is a lot of snow where I work and it is still coming down along with branches from the trees. I am hoping the freeway and city streets are not one big ice rink by the time I leave work.

I have seen a number of itineraries floating around. Here’s mine:

Thursday- Say a prayer that Milwaukee’s airport runways are not ice rinks and that my plane leaves on time. Arrive in Vegas around 11. Hope the reservations at New York New York have been updated and Special K was able to get my name in their books. If not, curse, plead, and attempt to bribe the hotel staff. If I can check in, dump bags, get a beer, and walk across to the MGM and see who may be around. Think about grabbing something to eat. End up at Geisha some time that night. Find method of transportation back to hotel that does not include a wheelchair.

Friday- Wake up. Figure out where I am. Go do something. Later go to Green Valley Ranch for Steel Panther. How is that for planning?

Saturday- Grab Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, or some other morning alcoholic beverage to wake myself up for poker tournament. Find Caesars. Play poker. Find bar that has the UFC Pay Per View on. As Iggy says, I gots to see Penn vs. Sanchez.

Sunday- Time for some football. This Lagasse Stadium thing sounds pretty cool. Drink beer, make bets, eat wings, drink beer, watch Cowboys win, drink beer, maybe get the ribs, drink beer. Maybe take a trip to the Gold Coast for some Pai Gow. The icey pit boss who doesn’t smile sounds interesting. Drizz is confident he can make her grin without taking his pants off.

Monday- Feel melancholy as the weekend is over. Catch plane back home to the cold.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The snow better not stop me

The weather report calls for maybe 3 inches of snow today. My house by the lake may get spared the brunt of it. I am expecting just a dusting. But tomorrow night is a different story. The early call is 8 to 14 inches of snow, with high winds. The good news is that is Tuesday night and not Wednesday. Things should be cleaned up so I can escape on Thursday morning. Looks like I will be watching the weather quite closely for the next couple of days.

I continued to go through my warm up rounds. Been mixing in some NL Hold Em with the PLO8. I am beginning to feel comfortable again though I am not cleaning up. Yesterday was the typical result for me. Grind my way up by hitting some cards and making some good reads. Then make the right move and get K K vs A J just to see the A hit the flop. Drop half of what I was up and then move downward from there as nothing seems to connect. I end up winning a little bit but not close to what I was up. If I wasn't on a nice little run in PLO8 I would be getting frustrated.

I played in the Justin Shronk Memorial last night. Went out when I had K Q up against A K. All the chips went in on the flop that was Q high. The A promptly hit on the turn. Seen quite a bit of that lately in the tournament I have played. Good news is I am making the right move. Bad news is that luck ain't on my side. I have a couple of days for that to change.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I think Tarheels should be buying me a beer next weekend

The rocket-like roar rose up from the floor of the Kohl Center on Wednesday night, drifted out over the streets of Madison, across the Big Ten Conference and perhaps to every corner of the nation.

Duke's unblemished record is history, this season and in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
JSOnline, 12/3/09

The Wisconsin Badgers beat the Duke Blue Devils last night. I figure that made many a fan in North Carolina- if not around the country- pretty damn happy. Me? Meh. I am not into basketball but I am into celebrating Badger victories.

Thus I think anyone who hates and despises the Duke basketball team should buy me a beer in Vegas next weekend. I know the Duke loss makes you happy. Share the happiness with a home grown Badger fan and laugh at the Dukies.

Beside, you may gain an advantage in the tourney on Saturday. Team Wheelchair likes its drink.

Go Team Wheelchair!!!!