Sunday, May 4, 2008

Las Vegas - Day 2.0

I think we are finally getting our clocks back on track. Its midnight here in LV and I'm actually tired and ready for bed, but I did want to tell the story about what I posted about earlier. The tournament at the Stratosphere.

I threw caution to the wind and OhCountess and I had headed down to Stratosphere on the advice of a friend of ours grown son.

Anyone that has met me usually figures out that I'm not really big on gambling for the sake of gambling. I like having an edge. I like knowing that I can beat a game. I've never played here in LV and had no idea what to expect. I hear stories about people getting ground up and spit out here. I was confident I knew how to play tournament hold'em, but these skills have only been tested in very limited ways.

I got there early since we had almost no information about this thing. The Poker Room didn't open until Noon. We had gotten there about 10:30am. Up to the top of the tower we go! I took the phone number with me in hopes of getting on the list right away. And hey, it was another photo op.

At noon, I found out this particular tournament was within my bankroll standards. It was a $55 + $5 MTT. We added my name to the list.

After seeing all of southern Nevada from atop the tower, we headed down to the Poker Room in time to pull my seat. Table 1 Seat 7. I love seat 7, I can see everyone clearly at the table. I gave OhCountess a kiss and she headed into the casino. She was on a quest to clear her bonus.

While waiting around, I got my first guy to "go on tilt." Some cocky punks were sitting down at table one. With my seating card in hand, I sat down in seat 7. The leader of this group of punks tells me I'm an idiot and sitting in the wrong spot. You see, seat 1 is the seat on the left of the dealer and you count the spots counter clockwise.

Huh? Are you new here?

I asked him why he thought that. He points to a plaque next to the dealer and says "Look moron, the seat to the left of the dealer says P-1. Ahh, I get it. I politely told him that while it might appear that way, that actually means Poker Table 1 and asked him to look at the other tables. Not liking my brazer abuse of his intellect, he leans into his buddy and says, "Wow, that guy's already putting me on tilt." I began to wonder just how much poker he watched on television.

I started asking questions of the dealers as they set things up. It seems that while this isn't a rebuy tournament, the allow waiting list people to buy in for up to one hour after it starts. So if you bust out, you can buy back in a gain. Hmm.

As is customary, I folded almost everything I saw for the first hour. I hate risking chips until I have a good idea what people are like. My hot headed friends was here and an Asian guy that sounded Italian was asking a lot of really beginner questions. I was really wondering if these where acting or they were really just new.

It didn't take more that about 10 minutes to realize I was at the beginners table. These guys were terrible. We were about 15 minutes into the tournament when 2 guys were all-in after the flop. What did they turn over? Unimproved ATo. Yep, we are off to the races with ace high.

We were given 4000 chips to start things off. A nice start when the blinds are 25/50. Since this table was like playing a slot machine, I really chose specific spots to move my chips around. Which in reality was almost never. The Asian guy I mentioned earlier turned out to be one of the worst players I'd ever seen. I used him as a personal cash machine for 3 of the 4 hands I played in the first 2 hours. He loved his draws and typically chose them poorly. I fired 3 pot size bets at him once, he called all but the last one. I had JTo for top pair and when he folded, he showed 23o. He announced how it sucked chasing a straight and a flush. He only had 3 cards to the flush and called all the bets hoping that a 4 would come to give him the straight.

The blinds started pretty slow but the action was heating up. 4x BB raises were nothing for an opener followed by one or two min raises. If you limped, you called. 4 people in the pot was common. In a lot of ways, this played like the Friday night donkament. Any ace or suited cards were good.

After the first hour, they posted the vitals of this shinding. 39 people had ponied up the money to play, some of those people were actually rebuys. We had started with 3 tables and I was originally told by the dealer that 28 were starting. Yeah, 11 rebuys. The payouts went as follows, 4th $120, 3rd $257, 2nd $446 and $892 for first. Those numbers seemed odd. It adds up to $44 dollars person. It seems the + $5 is actually an add on that you just buy and the house's cut is 17% off the top for the house and 3% for the dealers. Is this normal?

I stayed tight up to the final table. I played enough to keep me at an M of 20 but frankly I was watching a lot of people moving a lot of chips around with crap. Thankfully, I was dealt nothing but crap.

This is dragging on, much like the tournament. Lets just examine the details. I played 4 hands before the final table. The best hand I saw the entire tournament was TT. My biggest aces was AJo. I got lucky with the TT and almost quadroupled up. I flopped a set and the slow playing QQ and AK were a bit upset. Only 2 of us at the final table seemed to have any experience there. We were stealing the blinds and antes, but no one else seemed to ever try. At 5 handed, I set a nice trap and got enough chips to stay out of the way. The bubble burst and the experienced guy and I turned up the aggression. I raised from 60% of my stack with KTc. The experience guy was on my right in the BB. He goes all in. He'd done this before with almost any ace or small pp. I called, I needed the chips. He tables AQo. The hand of the devil failed for him, as it should. We each took out one of the other guys and were heads up.

Heads up started with him having a big lead. I double up on the first hand. I mentioned a chop, kind half hearted, but the blinds were. The blinds were 4000/8000 with 1000 ante. At this point I had about 60000 chips and he had the rest. We both realized that it was now just a series of coin flips. He looked at his cards on the next hand and asked if I really wanted to chop. Absolutely. We split the first and second cash for my biggest ever payout! $669.

Not bad for a free trip to Vegas.

We strolled our way back stopping at the Fashion Mall and Treasure Island to see the show. So, for this vacation - I made $37.50 playing the free play at the Hard Rock. I made $40 playing black jack at the Bellagio. $35 with the free play at the Bellagio. Add in the tournament, subtract the freeness of the trip...

I love this town!

Tomorrow - I'm thinking about hitting the card room here in Harras'. They have an 11am tournament. Could be fun???


Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Awesome. Nice show, man!

OhCaptain said...

Thanks Shamus! I'm still burning off the afterglow. I think the Mrs. is beginning to grow tired of the perma-grin.

BWoP said...


Instant Tragedy said...



Way to go.

This makes me laugh!
11 rebuys? Wow. Laugh all the way to the bank my friend!


Lucypher said...

Nice win, Captain. You gotta play some 1-2 NLHE cash tables before you leave LV. You'll love it.

Drizztdj said...

Definitely hit up the MGM for those 1-2 tables. Congrats!!

jamyhawk said...

Congrats on the nice cash. I'm so jealous, I haven't been to Vegas in 12 months and am dying to get back there.

My final out said...

Nice work Captain. I just stumbled across your blog for the first time. I just started my own blog, and I live in St. Michael MN. Glad to hear you had a good run in Vegas.


Riggstad said...

Well Done Bro!

OhCaptain said...

Thanks guys! Win or umm...chopping for that much cheese was really a highlight of the weekend! Not to give it all back in the blogaments...can't wait!