A few days ago, I got tired of blogging each day's worth of memories. After a while in Vegas, it's really kind of the same after all. All the poker rooms have the same characters and there are poker hands and wins and beats. Nothing too new we haven't read a thousand times before. But there are still good stories to tell. So here are some good vignettes from the last few days.
1. Best line I've heard at the table: "Zooming's for the kitchen table, son". After a drunk, possibly high, kid in mirrored sunglasses had finally been called down on his 3rd consecutive $50 turn bet, showing a complete bluff, a large Texan in a cowboy hat delivered this classic line. The drunk kid rebought 3 times and lost his stack 3 times, all on called bluffs. The last one, the guy called with bottom pair on the river because the kid's bluffs were so predictable.
2. Best celebrity story I've heard at the table: Bill Gates was at the Bellagio, playing the 4-8 limit Hold'Em game (Two separate people have already confirmed to me that this is what he plays when he's at the Bellagio). Mr. Gates spots Doyle Brunson in Bobby's Room, playing in the "Big Game". He procures a copy of Super System and sends it to Doyle with a note asking Doyle to autograph it for him. Doyle refuses and sends back a note to Bill saying he'll only sign it if he comes and plays higher limits with him in the room. Bill sends another note back that says, "Ok. How's 1 million-2 million sound?". Doyle autographed the book.
3. Worst beat I took at the table - I have AA UTG+1 at Circus Circus. I've been fast playing my big hands so I decide to limp this time. UTG, the big big stack at the table, takes away my limping option by popping it to 20 PF. I make a move to my chips to see how he'll react and he says, "Go ahead, bang it.". So I do, by re-raising to 60. I figure this will isolate him but a guy two to my left cold calls. Sweet. I only have 57 behind and when it folds to big stack, he calls. Flop is 864 rainbow. Big stack checks to me and says, "Go ahead, put the rest in." I oblige. The fish two to my left calls and big stack calls. Big stack get up from the table and says, "I need some help". "You have overs?," I ask. "No, just a 4," he says and we both laugh. We've been mixing it up together so he was friendly to me. I know he's an aggro player and telling the truth. Still don't know what fish to my left has. Turn is a J, putting two diamonds on board. It goes check check (I'm already all in). River is a 7, no diamond. Board is now 864J7. I turn over my Aces, figuring one of them has a set. Aggro guy checks his cards and folds with a laugh. Fish checks his cards one more time, hesitates, and turns over 4d5d! He cold called two raises with 4d5d!!! Are you kidding me?!?! That moron had bought in for 5 buyins and finally broke even with a luck lucky hit and then left a few hands later. I managed to get all my money back plus profit though, with a good run of cards. The best was when I had 22 and was able to limp in and see a flop with A25. I called a 10 dollar bet and the turn came with a rag. My opponent checked and I bet out 25. He called. The turn was a beautiful Ace. I knew my opponent had an Ace, I just didn't know if he boated up. When he checked, I put out another 25. He called and showed Ace 6. Sweet!
4. Best move I made at the table - Back at Circus Circus with the aggro Asian guy. If flopped a flush draw with a single over card. There was a few mobneys in the pot and I really wanted to see a free card. When it checked to aggro Asian guy, just before he made a bluff bet, I made a move to my chips like I was going to bet if he checked. I knew he was smart enough to pick up on it, especially after we'd already had a conversation about observations at the table. So when he saw my "unconscious" move, he checked to me and said, "Ok, you bet it". When I checked to get a free card, we all had a good laugh. I didn't make the flush, but I got a good free look with a nice table trick.
5. Best move I saw made at the table - Same aggro Asian at Circus Circus (who shows up a lot in this list because he was lots of fun to play with). He has a small flush on the turn and a short stack goes all in when the club hits. Asian guy shows me 5c7c. He knows it's no good but he looks around the table and spots a fish with a larger stack who calls the all in. Instead of folding what he knows is a hand that won't win the main pot, he calls the short stack's all in, in order to win side pot money! It was brilliant. The other guy ended up making a straight and pushed all in for 200, which aggro Asian called. He ended up losing the main pot to a King flush and about 100 dollars but won the side pot for 200 for a 100 dollar profit!
6. Best feeling I had at the table - After going 0 for 2 in Stratosphere tourneys (placing 6th in each one, just out of the money), I finally took one down. Just like in the previous two tourneys, I tripled up early on. I was determined this time to keep on accumulating, even if it meant taking risks. I overplayed pocket Tens to get crushed when a woman slowplayed AK on me and called me quick when she checked an Ace flop and I moved all in. But then I got it back when I tried to steal the blinds with A5, got called from the small blind and the flop came 853 with two spades. I went all in and he called with AsTs. But my pair held up and I was back in. By the time the final table was set, I was middle stack but that would quickly change. I got AhQh in the small blind and it folded to the button who bet out 3X the BB. It looked like a steal and I had a premium hand, so I shoved for 8500 more (blinds were 500-1000). He quick called with AK. Flop came with 3 undercards and a single heart. I called out for a heart or a Queen and got another heart. I kept calling and was rewarded with another heart! The big stack at the table was decimated and I was now king stack. I took out a Sandra Oh lookalike when it folded to me in the SB and I called with Tc6c. BB Sandra Oh checked and the flop came with Ten high. I bet out a few thousand and she called. The turn was a 6, giving me top two pair. I bet out 5000. She must have thought I was bullying her, because she pushed all in with As9s. I quick called and she saw the bad news. Finally, I took out my table nemesis who kept calling my raises and then betting big out of position. I had Q6 on the button and I tried to steal the blinds with the big stack when it folded to me. I raised 3.5X the BB and my nemesis called. The flop had a 6 in it so when he checked, I made another bet. He called. Turn was an Ace. He checked to me, I checked back. River was a Queen. Sweet! He pushed all in and I called. He showed AK (Slow play, no play buddy!) and I felted him on the bubble. Awesome. At this point, I had 2/3 of the chips in play with 4 players total. It was cartoonish how big my stack was. So I put out a deal: "Give me first place and you guys can chop the rest amongst yourselves". They took it. So there it is. The best feeling I had was taking first place in a tourney, without chopping the money and without having to play for it! HAHAHA!
The funny thing about that tourney is that I almost missed it. I had been feeling a bit worn down after all of my running around (34 poker rooms so far!!!) so I got to sleep late and slept in. I woke up at 10AM but fell back asleep and had a pleasant and prophetic dream. I was playing in an O/8 cash game. For some reason, CK was there and so was Erick Lindgren (It's a dream, don't look for answers), along with some other unknown participants. To make a long story short, I had nuts/nuts and it was capped on every street with every player in and I scooped the whole thing. This was in my head when I woke up at 11:53a, 7 minutes to go to the noon tourney. I immediately put on clothes, brushed my hair into a semblance of normality and ran downstairs. There were two seats left when I got there and two people ahead of me in line, but luck was on my side when the guy in front of me decided last minute he didn't want the seat. W00t!
Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and I plan on being on Fremont Street for it. It should be lots of fun. I haven't taken a single picture since I've been here, but I'm going to tomorrow, for sure. Other than that, the only other thing to report is that 11 nights is a LONG time to be in Vegas, especially alone. I don't think I can do it again, though to be fair, I've been spending an awful lot of time in crappy little local rooms just to book the visits. The next time, I won't have to. :-)