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WSOP Trip Report part 13, Never Say Never Again, Bellagio 5k and Event 35

It’s Wednesday or Thursday and I’m heading out to the Bellagio for the 2pm 5k event. I say ‘Wednesday or Thursday’ because in Vegas knowing the day is pretty much useless and irrelevant. On this particular day, whichever it is, I’ll be trying my luck at the Bellagio for the second time. If the Bellagio’s series of tournaments for the summer can be faulted for one thing, it’s that their probably running too many 5k events, which people probably don’t have the money to pony up for THAT consistently, so we’re getting some very short fields.

Today’s field would only get around ~50 players, which I would say breaks down as follows:
~20 good
~10 average (read: bad)
~20 fish
My table gets a roughly average distribution of those players, including a hung over Kush in seat 1. Too much beer and video poker Kush, but at least you flop straight flushes (in video poker naturally.)

For the first few levels I try to see cheap flops or raise pre with good hands but I can’t get anything going. The only semi interesting hand of the entire 2 hours goes as follows:

The player on my left had min reraised somebody once pre flop and had AhKh, which hit an A on the turn after C-betting the flop and stacked the awful villain. He seemed pretty tight, so I’m pretty sure he’s min reraise range pre is very tight and he probably over values AK and doesn’t understand how to play it.
His stack: ~15k
My stack: ~7k, I hold JJ UTG+1, blinds 50/100.

Preflop: UTG calls 100, I raise to 400, UTG+2 reraises to 800, folds back to me, I call.

Flop: 8 3 3 two diamonds (I have none)
I check, he bets 1000, I call intending to fold if he continues with confidence.
Turn: 4
I check, he bets 2500, I fold.

After that things continued to go wrong when the blinds went up to 100/200 and every attempt I made at getting involved went straight to hell. Seated on my immediate right is well known internet MTT player kwob20, who’s a very nice guy and managed to get Rolande De Wolfe quite annoyed with him when the following hand developed:

Wolfe: 5.5k
Kwob: 6k
Blinds 100/200

Preflop: Folds to Wolfe on the button, Wolfe makes it 600, Kwob calls, BB folds.
Flop: Qh Th 4c
Kwob checks, Wolfe bets 1000, Kwob shoves, Wolfe calls. Kwob shows Kh 9h and Wolfe Ks Js.
Turn: 4h

Wolfe angrily gets up to the table and makes some remark about Kwob’s pre flop call, then storms out to the porch.

A few rounds after Kwob picks up some chips, I find a way to get them back from him. I peer down at 9d 2d in the SB at 100/200.
Hero: 4.8k
Kwob: 12k
HJ: 9k

Preflop: Folds to HJ, HJ calls, folds to Kwob on Button, Kwob calls, I complete, BB checks.
Flop: 7d 5h 3d
I check, BB checks, HJ checks, kwob bets 575. I decided that vs a standard live player I would be shoving here, but since kwob knows I’m online the way to look strong to him (and hopefully get him to fold a middle pair or something) is to CR half my stack instead. I make it 2000, BB folds, HJ folds, and Kwob moves in. I call and he shows 33, [censored].
Turn: Qc
River: 8d

Whoa, a draw actually got there. I double back to almost 10k. Unfortunately for me, things would never go above that. I mostly fold for about 2 or 3 rounds and the blinds go up to 100/200 25 ante. A few on my right is a very aggressive middle aged player, I think John Gale. He’s aggressive to the point of sloppiness though overall plays fairly well. He’s been opening a lot of pots when I see an opportunity to make a move 9 handed, after having played very tight for a while.
Gale (MP1): 15k
MP2: 13.5k
Hero: ~9k
Hero holds 4d 3d on the HJ.

Preflop: Folds to MP1, MP1 raises to 600, MP2 calls, hero raises to 2300, folds back to MP1, MP1 considers his options and calls, MP2 deliberates forever and also calls.
Flop: Ks Qs Ts
MP1 leads out 4k, MP2 shoves, I fold, MP1 calls. MP1 shows Ah Ad, MP2 Kc Qc.

The KQ held and my squeeze completely failed. I continue to fold for a while until the next interesting hand comes up:

MP1 is a young solid player who seems to know what he’s doing. Button is a middle aged player who is obviously recreational (read: awful, loose, spewy, bad) and remarked to the table “I’m just killing time here while my wife shops, she’ll do way more damage than this tournament.”
Hero holds Jc 9c in the BB at 100/200 with 25 ante.
Hero: 6.6k
MP1: 14k
Button: 10k
SB: ~12k

Preflop: Folds to MP1, MP1 makes it 625, folds to button, button calls, SB calls, hero calls.
Flop: 6c 7d 9s
SB checks. Hmm, I am almost positive if MP1 bets he has an over pair, he’s not leading AK into 3 players on this board. If he checks and the button bets, he’s bad enough that I have to shove on him, assuming SB doesn’t raise. I also check, MP1 checks, button bets 1500, SB folds, I shove, MP1 folds. Button sighs and states, in a 100% serious tone “Well, I guess I have to call” then flips up 77.
Turn: 8
River: 4

That’s it for me today, at least I’ll be available to pick up A_Junglen at the airport. After Wardekar and I pick him up we head out to Nath’s place where a group of 10 of us hangs out playing beer pong and enjoying the hilarious dancing antics of Randalflow. God knows how anyone could ever shoot straight in beer pong watching that kid in a groove. After the get together four of us head to the Korean BBQ for a late night food run and we end up getting back fairly late. I won’t be getting nearly as much sleep as I’d prefer, and tomorrows event is $1500 NL, which promises to be an absolute horror house.

When I jerk awake to my standard morning wake up call I’m really not feeling quite up to everything. However, I’ve promised I’d meet Mlagoo to get money I can give to Stevepa. I half awake stumble down to the poker room, where neither Mlagoo or Stevepa are anywhere in sight so after waiting around for 10 minutes I decide to just go back to the room and back to sleep. While walking out I run into Stevepa/Pacman/Sirwatts who are waiting in line and talk me into playing, including Pacman loaning me $1500 since I’ve forgotten mine in the room. Fine, whatever, [censored] it, I’ll play this stupid 60 BB start stack event.

My first table is out in the tent, which will rotate throughout the day from being way to hot to momentarily temperate then way to cold. Glad I brought a jacket (obv.)

By the first break I was up 5k after making a flush and getting paid off. In the second two hours I went very hot by picking up AK about 5 times and either winning a flip or hitting it, as well as flopping a set of jacks and stacking someone. Unfortunately, I don’t really have anything CLOSE to an interesting hand that involves a thought process or a real decision to make. Things were just very standard and by the 2nd break I am up ~14k. By the time we go to dinner I am up to around 19k, and the only semi interesting hand was a pre flop decision with AQ which I’ll be posting in HSMTT.

I go to dinner with A_junglen and Iweargoggles who was at various periods of the day, on and off my table. We never end up in a pot however. After the break we begin approaching the bubble and things become painstakingly slow. When we’re about 5 players out hand for hand begins, and I now have a short stack of 15k. After the dinner break I’ve gone COMPLETELY card dead and basically fold for hours. As we approach the bubble I realize in a field this soft I can play aggressive and nobody is going to fight back. For example: The CO raises to 3.5k, I jam 15k with J5o, blinds fold and he insta folds AT. 2 from the money I raise 9To and get jammed on by a middle aged guy who begs me to fold and flips up AA.

On the hand before the actually bubble (270 cash, 271 left) a guy who has announced to the table he will only be raising KK and AA, and already raised once saying “you know what I have! I’ll show!” then flipped up KK to prove his honesty raises it up with about 20k. It folds to me in the BB with 83o and I count up my stack.
”You already know what I have, I’ll show, I promise!” I look over at his stack. I’ve got 18k, him about 20k, so I guess I can’t put him to a decision for his entire stack. I decide to fold 83o face up and he shows me his KK. He then informs me “If you’d pushed, and actually covered me, I definitely fold. I didn’t come all the way from Alaska just to finish 271st.”

When we finally enter the money the room goes completely nuts with people shouting and applauding. I lean back in my chair to look over at Goggles who’s also leaning back. We look at each other and break into laughter, knowingly rolling our eyes.

By the end of the night I still fail to get into any interesting hands as most people are so short from stalling on the bubble everything is push/fold. At one point with 20k in the SB it folds to me at 8/1600 and I look down at AQ and shove into the BB who has about 11k. He tanks then announces “okay, I’ll gamble with ya!” and after playing tight for hours I expect him to perhaps show me a mid pair. Nope, the man flips up K2o and after flopping my A I have 30k.

Unfortunately, after this hand I wouldn’t win another pot for the rest of the short evening and finish the day with 22,200. Day 2 doesn’t begin until 2pm so I’ll finally be able to get some sleep. By the end of the night I am so exhausted I can barely see straight.

Coming back the next day was an equally pointless and boring story. I fold for 10 minutes, with 18 and 1k/2k 300 ante blinds jam J4o on the button and with a stack full of black 100’s that looks much bigger than it is announce jokingly to the BB who starts thinking over his decision “You dare to consider calling a stack of this magnitude!?” He looks longingly at his cards and folds.

A few hands later with about 22k I look down at 33 in MP1 at a 9 or 8 handed table and jam when folded to. It folds to the button who calls this time and the blinds call. The button flips up AQ and flops a Q to end my day. Okay, fair enough, all feels pretty standard and boring to me. At least I never have to say I’ve never cashed a WSOP pre lim event (which, going into this event, was in ~25 attempts.) I’m not even sure how much money I get, I didn’t bother to collect it, but it’s roughly 4k.

That’s the problem with the $1500 events. They’re as close to a simplistic and pointless grind as a MTT player is likely to encounter. They’re also enormous fields of awful players who would be very fun to play against if we were deep enough to really be able to manipulate them. Tomorrow is another $1500 event which I walk down at 1:30am to register for tonight. I run into Badgerpro on my way and tell him to come hang in line for a moment while I wait to register.
“No way man, I just waited through a 50 minute line that’s stretching out the door and there’s only 3 tellers, your on your own, sorry. Tell me what your table number is tonight though, and GL.”

I walk down the hall and see Badger is in fact correct, the line is well out the door and perhaps got even worse. I smirk to myself about what a fish Badger is to have waited through all that.

5 minutes later I am walking back to my room fully registered without the slightest delay. Hey Badger, next time you run into me, come along for the ride and I’ll show you how it’s done. For now its time I get some sleep, see EVERYONE tomorrow.

WSOP Trip Report part 12, Die Another 12 outer, Bellagio $2500

Today at the WSOP is the $5000 heads up tournament which I have really have no interest in playing, so I decided to go over to the Bellagio and play their $2500 event. Every time I walk around the Bellagio I am amazed, the building is more city than casino, but a city draped in the finest of aesthetics in every aspect. The scope of the building and the land it sits on alone is absolutely enormous and awe inspiring, and the inside is about as gorgeous and well adorned as any building your likely to set foot in this life time.

I got to the Bellagio at about 12:45 for what I thought was a 1pm event, but it turns out they have changed the start times to 2pm from now, I believe to encourage players who bust from the WSOP event that day to come over and try again. When the event finally gets underway we are seated in the Fontana room which is at about 1/3 capacity. All in total the event would get about 105 entrants, with first paying a bit over $100,000. We start with a $5000 bank and 25/50 blinds, with 1 hour levels.

My original table seems to be pretty soft outside a few solid spots, such as online pro rcrane sitting on my immediately right. I have a older gentleman named George Mamarcas on my immediate left who final tabled the main event at the Ozzie Millions in 2005, and the [censored] NEVER SHUTS THE [censored] UP. For the first hour most of the pots I play are small or incredibly obvious so very little of interest happens. I try to see flops cheaply when I can and don’t get much in the way of starting hands, but thanks to hitting a set and stacking a guy with TPTK at the break I am at about 7400. At the first break I stand outside taking in the view and sun on the porch of the Fontana lounge and young player approaches me who says he’s seen me around the Rio and thinks my suits are a cool look. He obviously has excellent taste, so I chat to him for a moment before we realize we already know each other. He is 2p2’er Mastr and we hit it off discussing the hilariousness that is Chad Brown attempting to fight Aaron Been because his girlfriend has no idea how to behave at a poker table. According to his story, Chad Brown followed them to the Bellagio looking to confront Aaron after the confrontation at the Rio, but was unsuccessful in his attempt to kick some internet kid punk ass when he wasn’t able to find Aaron.

After the first break we are playing 100/200 with no ante. I try to equate most of the live tournaments I play structures to something I am used to online, and this one plays similar to a stars 109 freeze out. I try to adjust my strategy to something similar as I would play in that online forum, accept more aggressive pre and post with c bets since people fold to much. The first even semi worth mentioning hand went as follows:

With blinds/antes at 100/200 with 25 ante a fairly average player limped in UTG with about 6k. I look down at TT with 7k in MP and when folded to make it 850. It folds to the BB who is a very VERY weak guy of about 50 years old who with a 4k stack elects to reraise to 2k total. UTG folds and its back to me, and I fold without much thought.

A round or two later MP2, a fairly bad middle aged player who’s opening standards I’m not terribly sure of opens to 600. The bad/weak player on his left calls. It folds to me in the BB with AQo and I look over at the OR who has only about 2k. I decide to move all in and the OR calls, with the limper folding. The OR shows A5cc and my hand holds up, putting me around 8k.

A couple rounds after that I have been playing tight but picked up some small pots and am up to around 9 or 10k. It folds to me on the CO, and the player on the button is somewhat new to the table who has only seen me play one hand, AQ. I raise 94cc to 650 on a pure steal and the button, with about 10k, flat calls me. The blinds fold.
Flop: Qd 6d Qc
I’m pretty sure if I c bet here will basically never be given any credit. I decide to do a little FPS here and OOP float him and donk the turn, since I think a live player might give me credit for a Q playing that way. I check, he bets 800, and I call.
Turn: 6c
I quickly bet 1300 and the button mumbles something about “nice hand Mr. Q” and releases without thinking very much. I’m not really sure if I like how I played this hand, and its something I would basically never do online, but live I think he might be apt to give me more credit. IDK, I think I may post that one.

The very next hand I pick up JJ and when its folded to me make it 650 on the HJ. The CO folds and the button flat calls, as does the SB. The BB, who was the fairly weakfish player from the TT hand, now moves all in for ~4k. Even though he’s weak there’s absolutely no way I’m folding here so I move all in as well. The two cold callers fold and the BB flips up 77. My JJ holds up and I’m now at roughly ~15k. A few hands later we go on break where I again take in the excellent view from the Fontana lounge porch.

Coming back from the break I lose about 3k playing some small pots where very little interesting happened. About half an hour into the 200/400 with 25 ante level the following hand comes up:

We are 8 handed and the player in MP2 who is very bad/loose but has almost 40k from being a station and bluffing at somehow, all the right times, limps in for 400. It folds to me on the CO with a 12k stack with Ad Qd and I make it 1600. The button/blinds fold and the bad player calls.

Flop: 4d 6d 7h
MP2 leads out 1600 and I briefly think things over before moving all in. I’ve got a pretty tight image at this point, especially when it comes to committing all my chips, so I’m expecting a lot of folds. Also, I’ve seen him donk out on a lot of players and fold to their raises. Instead of what I was expecting, he takes only about 3 seconds before calling and flips up Ah 7c. Awesome, he is obviously destroying my range there.
Turn: Js
River: 3c

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK, one time dude, OOOOOOOOOOOOOONE time! I politely wish the remaining players good luck and wander over to Mastr’s table to tell him what happened. It is apparently a little known secret at the Bellagio that if you ask the floor men nicely while in the tournament they will give you a $15 voucher for the buffet, and from what the dealer told me, sometimes 2 if you say you have a friend with you. I imagine tipping the floor man you ask would be of good help in this instance.

I wander over to the Bellagio buffet (which is absolutely delicious btw, and I normally don’t care for buffet’s) and as I’m about to be seated Mastr shouts out “Bond!” behind me and quips “Dude! I am busto!” Oh well, while 2p2 may have blanked the Bellagio tournament, we certainly dominated that buffet.

Later that night I would call up Stevepa again and ask him how he was doing in preparation for more money begging. I believe at this point I am the only member of team Stevix that is without cash in Vegas this summer so despite Steve’s/Timex’s relaxed attitude with me, I at the least, perceive the pressure to be on. Tomorrow is a 5k event at the Bellagio which I will again be playing and at worst resulting in a trip to the Bellagio buffet. Also, I have convinced (read: nagged) A_Junglen into coming out to visit which I am quite excited for as I intend to mooch the knowledge sitting in his brain to attempt to get me out of this rut. Perhaps a visit from coach Asian sensation can get my head in the right place and variance on my side.

Here's hoping, Bond18.

WSOP Trip Report part 11, Planes Trains and 3 outers, Event 30

On Friday afternoon I left for the Vegas airport for my 6:30pm flight that would touch down in Milwaukee a little before midnight. When I got to the airport I was informed the flight was delayed 3 hours due to technical problems. Perfect, three hours, just enough time that going back to the hotel would be pointless, especially considering taxi costs, and enough time that sitting for an airport in that period is worse than a Chinese water torture. In consolation, Midwest gave me a $75 voucher for my next flight. The value of 3 hours of my time> $75. I went upstairs and to my elation found a Barnes & Noble in the airport and bought a couple books that managed to make 3 hours, plus the flight itself, slip by almost unnoticed. When I finally got to Milwaukee at around 3:15am I show up to the apartment to find my roommate has disconnected the phone, internet, and just about everything else, seeing as he is in Vegas for the whole 6 weeks. There’s also no food in the fridge and the apartment feels like a sauna. I had to be up by noon and with the two hour jet lag plus hunger I wasn’t able to actually fall asleep till about 6am.

That Saturday I had the chance to see friends and family for the first time in over half a year. Talking to old college friends is always a little awkward as the conversation will inevitably go something like:
Bond: “Hey (old friend), how’s it going?”
Friend: “Great man, I haven’t seen you in forever.”
Bond: “Yea well, ya know. So what are you up to these days? School?”
Friend: “Right, yep, classes, school, almost done. How about you?”
Bond: “Um, traveling the world playing poker I guess?”

How the [censored] am I supposed to say something like that without sounding incredibly arrogant? Once naturally conversation has become highly difficult as I attempt to avoid inadvertently trivializing how they’ve spent their time. I’m sure a lot of you guys can probably relate on some level.

My parents were nice enough to drive me back from Madison to Milwaukee on Sunday instead of my taking the bus as planned. Unfortunately, well checking for my ticket my mom realized that I had accidentally booked for a return flight of July 17 instead of June 17. I immediately called the people I booked with, Travelocity, to see what they could do about this. Their answer was that since they sent me a paper ticket (which was my only option at that point in time) that there was zero they could do and I’d have to talk to the airlines at the airport. Fine, [censored] it, whatever, let’s go to the airport and see what they can do.

I get to the airport, and wait through a 15 minute line to the desk of the airline I was with, Frontier, to ask them about my options. They tell me that their Vegas flight tonight is fully booked, over booked in fact, and that there’s nothing they can do for me. I ask them if they mind checking who else as flights to Vegas that night, and they inform me Midwest has a 9:30pm direct flight that might be open. Okay, fine, I go to find out what Midwest can do for me. I wait in line with Midwest for 15 minutes, and they inform me they do in fact have a flight tonight with two seats left, and that a ticket will be $575. That’s [censored] absurd for a one way flight to Vegas, I tell them I’m going to go ask Frontier if they have anything for the next day since I have a ticket with them anyways that will hopefully make it a lot cheaper. I go back to the frontier line, wait another 10 minutes, and ask them about what my options are for tomorrow. They inform me that they in fact have a 6am flight with seats open. Hmm, If I went back to the apartment and slept for a while now (and I was in fact exhausted, having not gotten a decent nights rest in about 3 days) I could wake up in time, come to the airport, sleep some more on the plane and be in Vegas well ahead of time for the $2500 6 max event, which I wanted to play so very bad. I ask frontier what the extra on top will be if I take this option, which includes deducting the value of the ticket I already have and a fee on top for changing flights. Total: $458. Get the [censored] out of here, that’ll save me about $40 over the United option and I have to totally [censored] my sleep up plus its not even a direct flight. I go back to the United desk, and thank god there’s no line. I tell the lady at the counter I guess I’ll take the 9:30 flight tonight and check in as well. While attempting to book this flight the computer somehow ‘breaks.’ She absolutely could not figure out what was wrong, apparently it just wasn’t letting her make the booking. Were I a suspicious man I’d take the hint by now that I shouldn’t be going to Vegas. [censored] you superstition, I am playing that $2500 6 max if it kills me. The desk lady messes with the computer for 15 minutes, then calls her co worker over. Upon messing with the computer for 5 minutes the co worker mutters “Giiiiiiiirl, what the hell you do to this thing?” She can’t figure it out either. Finally they call the supervisor over, who recognizes the problem after another 5 minutes. The first desk woman looks up at my apologetically “I’m sorry, it’s my first week here.”

I finally get back to the Rio hotel around 11pm Vegas time. I walk down to the cage and register for tomorrows $2500 6 max. I call down to the front desk and order a wake up call as usual, and then quickly fall asleep.
At some point in the morning the alarm clock goes off and begins playing rap music. I roll over in bed and stare at the clock, it says 12:00. FUUUUCK!! Did I oversleep? No wait, I ordered a wake up call, I don’t remember anything about an alarm. I smash the top of the alarm and decide I better turn my computer on to double check. Nope, computer says 10:10, I still have time to sleep, God knows what the alarm was all about. I fall back asleep and have the same nightmare I always have, that I’m back in school. Since leaving school I can honestly say I don’t remember having a nightmare that wasn’t school related. Suddenly I’m woken up again, I think by the noise coming from the room next to me. I walk over to the computer and flick the mouse so the screen comes up and I can check the time; 12:20. FUUUUUUUUUUCK!!! I really did oversleep! I start sprinting for the dresser and trying to throw pants on when it hits me, the computer is on Central time, it’s actually 10:20. My morning disorientation robbed my brain of this realization until I had a leg in my jeans. I collapse back into bed refusing to wake up for anything but a call from my favorite automated lady.

When the automated lady finally does beckon me to consciousness I could already feel the excitement for the event. Live 6 max is really just about as sweet as it gets, as very few players adjust properly. We start the event with a $5000 bank and 25/50 blinds.

My first table looks pretty soft. Only one other guy who is young and he seems pretty tight and straight forward. There was one point in one of the first rounds where I played 10 or 11 straight hands as I kept getting hands of medium quality but were certainly raiseable; KJ, QJ, 77, 87ss, AThh, A9hh, etc etc. After this stretch of cards the table thinks I’m basically a total lag and I’ve lost 75 chips. The table is pretty social and gregarious and we’re having a fun time when a 30ish English guy sits down on my immediate left after the previous player there busted. The English guy definitely seems like a recreational player, but not full on retard or anything. He tells me about how at his previous table, he raised AK, got reraised small and called. The flop came A67 and he lead into the guy who shoved on him and he folded. Okay then, I know he can make nit folds. He has no idea about my image, and the time he was there I was actually quite tight as I was being dealt very obvious folding type hands. At one point during 50/100 the BB has stepped up to take a phone call or something, and the SB is very weak tight. It folds to me on the CO with about a 5k stack; the Englishman has a comparable one. I look down at 4d 5h and decide with a missing blind and a SB who won’t get stubborn, I have only the Redcoat to worry about, and raise to 250. Redcoat decides to flat call on the button and the SB folds.
Flop: Jh 7h 3h
I bet 350, the Englishman thinks only briefly, and calls.
Turn: 8d
I was going to check-fold a lot of turns, but this card seems pretty good in terms of giving me extra outs. I also think if he has a medium quality flush draw he’ll likely give up to a decent bet at this point. I don’t know why he wouldn’t raise the flop with a J unless he has like JcKh but otherwise I think I get quite a few folds here. I decide to bet 700, and he thinks it over a bit before calling.
River: Kc
Hmm, that’s an okay bluff card. If he puts me on like AK trying to push him out he might make another nit fold, and if he had a flush draw he’ll give up now. Obviously I can never win by checking. I bet 1500. The Redcoat now tanks longer than anyone has tanked on me in the entire series. Minutes go by as I casually sit in my chair flipping my chips about, as he counts and recounts his stack, stares at me, and rubs his hands all over his head. Eventually, seat 1 calls the clock on him and the floor is brought over to time him. Half way into his minute and ten second count down he pushes his hand into the muck and mumbles about very possibly laying down the best hand. I’m now up to around 7000.

Soon afterwards our table breaks and I find myself seated across from Colson10. A few rounds into my stay at the table a hand comes up where UTG+1 (weak/station) open limps for 100, and on the CO Colson shoves for 2050. Button folds and I’m sitting in the SB with about 7200. I tank for a while on my decision, and deciding that I just can’t see him doing this with JJ I make the call. The limper folds and Colson flips up AhJh. A J on the turn keeps Colson in the game and another good player at the table. A couple rounds after that another hand which is posted in HSMTT comes up that goes down as follows. I am holding Ad 4d UTG+1 with about 5k in my stack, Colson has about 4200 in the SB. Button and BB are both weak/stations with about 8 or 9k.
Preflop: UTG folds, I raise to 300, CO folds, button calls, Colson calls, BB calls.
Flop: Qh 6h 4c
Checks around.
Turn: Ac
Colson checks, BB checks, I bet 750 (should be a little more), button calls, Colson shoves for 3100 more, BB folds. I now tank for the longest I have in any hand of the WSOP and try to put the pieces together. I eventually decide that I just don’t think with both of us that Colson expects to get a fold, and I’m not sure he thinks I can lay down AK here, and give up my hand. Button also folds. I talk to Colson about the hand later and he tells me he had AQ and I don’t have any reason to think he’s misleading me. Both of those hands are up for discussion in HSMTT.

Soon after I get moved tables again where I find myself seated next to a European player I had played a bit before in a much earlier event. We go on break and when we come back I lose 1200 chips raising KJ pre flop and C betting an Axx flop vs a older English guy who immediately check shoves and shows AQss when I fold. I am down to about 4400 when the following hand comes:
100/200 blinds, I hold AQo in the BB. SB is the Euro guy who has about 6k.

Preflop: Folds to SB, SB completes. Hero raises to 600, SB looks over at my stack, grabs a bunch of his big chips and throws them out. I decide there’s no [censored] way he completed AK here vs a player he knows to be aggressive and jam, and he has a very clear pot odds call. SB rolls over A9o.
Flop: 3 3 3
Turn: J
I tell the dealer to “keep it low please.”
River: 9
NOT THAT [censored] LOW ONE! I politely shake hands with the Euro player and wish him good luck, then spend the rest of my day likely annoying people with my complaining. After getting some lunch with Dawgz/War Dekar I get back to my room and find myself so exhausted I collapse into the bed and instantly pass out into a coma. I guess my bodies exhaustion from the travel/lack of sleep/losing finally caught up with me and decided to just flick the off switch.

Tomorrow is the $5000 heads up tournament at the WSOP which I have less than zero interest in playing. Bellagio is running a $2500 tournament at 1pm, which is great because I can both sleep late and walk around the Bellagio in my suit pretending to be a smarmy Oceans 11esque prick. See you guys at the Bellagio tomorrow I guess.

WSOP Trip Report Part 10, Screw you guys, I'm going home, No events

Because I’ve got a flight today at 6:30pm I didn’t play any events yesterday or today. The next event I’ll be playing is the $2500 on the 18th. The last time I was home, or even East of Vegas, was late December in 2006. Perhaps a few days off will be good for me and allow me to cool off for a bit, however, I also hate to break up my groove, and as anyone reading these TR’s can tell I have QUITE the groove going right now.

I will definitely be glad to get out of Vegas for a few days though. Some call Vegas the city of dreams, an illusion of decadence and grandeur in an otherwise barren and desolate wasteland where anything can happen. I think of Vegas as the city of [censored]. Why? Vegas is that magical place where adults go when they need a break from the hum drum of daily life and want to act like a total [censored] idiot for a weekend, week, or however long. The people who show up here decide ahead of time that they’ll “go crazy!!! YEEEEEA!!!” and make good on that declaration, shouting included. Even with the locals it feels like they’re constantly on the hustle or angle shooting and why shouldn’t they be? Rumors fly around of valets and restaurant host’s making 6 figures a year off tip money, so if buttering you up anyway they know how is the best way to get you to fork it over then so be it. The moment anyone in Vegas you don’t know or haven’t been introduced to through a friend begins speaking to you, you should immediately ask yourself “What are they trying to get out of me? What’s their angle?” Here’s some City of [censored] %’s you can use for wagers with your friends:

1. % of time you will be walking through casino and some jackass will scream “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEEA!!!” for absolutely no reason, 80%

2. % of time any woman in Vegas who doesn’t have a casinos or restaurants uniform on begins talking to you is a prostitute, 95%

3. % of time you will pay for something common with cash without thinking about it, then a few moments later realize “WTF? I just paid that for THIS!?”, 75%

4. % of time somebody you get friendly or chatty with in the poker room will ask you for loan/stake/help with money, 10%. That reminds me I need to call Steve….

5. % of time women who appear to be in their young 30’s with sunglasses on immediately becoming obviously 45+ without, 40%

6. % of time a pit boss will appear to be hating his job/life through his demeanor, 100%

7. % of time you can find a good meal at 5am, 100%

8. % of time house keeping will wake you up in the morning despite your making it clear to them and the front desk that you sleep in late and the best time to come is the late afternoon, 35%

9. % of time somebody will do something so mind boggling stupid at the live poker table you worry you’ll have an aneurism just watching it, 15%

10. % of time you will find yourself being a total hypocrite about insulting Vegas [censored] when yelling “GREAT SUCCESS!!” like a drunken wanker when you roll a point, 99%

Screw you guys, I’m going home. Back on the 17th for more trip reports with poker included.

WSOP Trip Report Part 9, The German Connection, Event 22

Some nights you get just the perfect amount of sleep, enough to feel fully rested, but not so much that you’re a little drowsy. This morning I wake up 5 minutes before the wake up call, which I guess means my body is getting conditioned to the WSOP schedule. The wake up call is now an automated message, which appears to be standard at most hotels. I’d have to think this would become standard fast as actually making wake up calls as a person could get ugly very fast. Wake the wrong hung over drunk, especially in Vegas, and your seconds away from an 11am death threat. Actually, has there ever even been an 11am death threat?
Today is the $5000 no limit event, one that’s sure to draw a mixed field of the top professionals and enough clueless donks to go around. When I arrive at my table I find an old friend from Australia, Ewan, waiting for me. Along his side of the table are 5 or 6 young, internetish (I word I’ve now added to MSwords vocabulary) looking players, which is not a great sign. I used to play Ewan mostly in limit, but he’s aggressive and knows what he’s doing, and knows I’m the same as well.
The first interesting hand of the day (I flopped a set before but didn’t really get much in the way of action) comes vs Ewan. At 50/100 blinds he open limps in MP1 and it folds to me in the SB. I look down at QhQs and raise to 400, BB folds, Ewan calls.

Flop: Kh 8h Kc
I lead 600, he raises to 2000, I call.
Turn: Jd
I check, he checks
River: 5c
I check, he checks back and my QQ is good. I think this hand might be worth posting for discussion on the river and what our plan is.

At the first break I’m up to 13k and the young players I thought might be good all appear to have pretty bad leaks, including one who stacked off in a really obvious spot that was played just terribly by him. The friendly and talkative middle aged guy on my left now has about 30k after stacking the younger player plus winning some other good sized spots, and we joke back and forth about tangling in a huge hand.

After the break we come back to 100/200 with no ante. A very bad player in MP2 raises to 600 with 11k behind and I call him on the HJ with 8cTc. The button, a middle aged guy who plays straight forward, also calls, the SB folds, and Ewan hesitates but talks himself into a call in the BB.

Flop: Jd 5c 5h
It checks around, both Ewan and the button seem totally not interested.
Turn: 4c
Ewan checks, OR bets 700. Hmm, 700 into like 2500, that’s not suspicious. He’s either completely FOS hoping AK/AQ takes the pot, or he’s got a slow played big pair. I decide he’d bet the flop with big pairs often enough into 3 players that he’s likely AK/AQ and I raise him up to 2000. He’s not the type of player to make a hero call with either of those hands here. Button folds, BB folds, unfortunately the OR calls without a lot of hesistation.
River: 2c
OR checks, and I fire 3300. He begins mumbling about how I’ve played this so much like a huge hand. Finally he talks himself into a call. “I got a flush, your gonna hate me man.” I flip up my 8Tcc and he angrily mucks his cards “Yea, yea I do hate ya.” Perhaps I can still make it in time for a 3pm death threat.

When I’m utg later that round, now with near 20k, I open limp 22 for 200. It folds to a young player in seat 4, who only raises to 600 with 11k behind. Looks like a big pair raise to me, come on dealer one time. It folds back to me and I call.

Flop: Qd 3c 2d
Often I like to lead my sets, but I feel that after having shown a raise on a flush draw, and given stacks, it might be really hard to get it in here with my set by leading. I think with a flop check raise he might put me on a Q or a flush draw and make a big enough reraise, or flat in position intending to raise me on the turn, that he’s basically commited. I check, he fires 750 and I make it 2400. He grabs a big chunk of his yellows, about half his stack, and quickly jams them into the pot. I deliberate fairly briefly, but nothing close to a Hollywood, and then move all in. I’m almost certain with so much of his stack in, he can’t fold a big pair here. Unfortunately, he doesn’t give me the insta call I was hoping for. He goes deep into the tank and starts staring me down. I barely move. He thinks, pulls up his cards, and mucks. [censored], he was supposed to stack off with KK there.

At this point my stack is around 25 or 26k. Things seem to really be going my way today, and very quickly on top of that.

A couple rounds later the guy I beat with a set open limps, MP2 open limps, and the guy who I beat with a flush limps the CO. The button folds and I peer down at AKo and make it 1200. It folds back to the CO who jams for 5.5k and I insta call. He flips up 55 and manages to hold up, knocking me back to around 20ish. Fair enough, I’m still in awesome shape here.

A few rounds later we’re up to 100/200 with a 25 ante. UTG+1 I look down at AsKs and raise it to 600. It folds around to Ewan in MP who shoves for roughly 6k total. It now folds back to me and I call. He flips up AA. I don’t manage a miracle suck out and am now knocked back to 15k.

The next hand I’m UTG and find nickname them whatever the [censored] you want it’s the best hand in poker AA. Wow, perfect timing to, having dropped 10k in 20 min and 6k just last hand people have GOT to think I’m a little steaming. I raise to 600. The young player who I beat with the set flats in MP and it folds back to BB who folds.

Flop: 9 4 2 rainbow
I lead out 1000, he calls.
Turn: 4
I bet 2200, he moves in for like 10k and I call. Boo yah, I got your ass now. He flips up his hand…………AA. Jesus Christ, live is so rigged. We chop the pot and gain just about nothing.

For the rest of 100/200 with 25 ante I see some cheap flops and raise pre with a c bet and things don’t slide my way. I get moved tables and find myself across from Matt24, have Nordberg on my left, Daneil Aliai on my immediate right, and a few other decent players round out the table. Sweet, very awesome table draw. I play tight for a round or two there, then a couple hands before the break I try to resteal Aliai’s cut off raise to 600 by making it 2000 with A4 on the button and after the blinds fold he insta min reraises me. Alright sir, nice hand.

Coming back from the break I now have like 8500 at 200/400 with 50 ante. At some random point I raise something, c bet, then shut down and lose some chips, I really can’t remember exactly what. After that I just go completely card dead for about 50 minutes. I find myself with 4700 near the end of the level, and on the CO am dealt 22 with a very tight image. It folds around to me and I jam, and the German gentleman on my left with a big stack decides to call. SB and BB folds and Colonel Klink flips up AJ. We are off to the races, and seeing as I haven’t won one in an event yet, I’m feeling pretty due.
Flop: T 5 4
Turn: 7
River: 9
BOO YAH! I am incredibly excited for having won such a small and standard pot. Matt24 looks at me oddly for being so elated having won in such a basic spot. He’s been running pretty awful as well, so I think he probably understands.

The blinds move up to 300/600 with a 75 ante, and at the start of the round I play what will be my last hand for a while. With a roughly 9 or 10k stack I make it 1800 UTG with AdQd and a fairly sloppy player in MP1 with about 30k flat calls me. Said floppy player got 2nd in the 2k event a few days ago, life is so fair.

Flop: 7h 6d 6c
I C bet 2400 and he calls.
Turn: Th
I check and he checks back.
River: 7d
I check and he puts out this little [censored] value bet of like 1500 or 2000. I’ve been watching him enough to know what it means. I fold and he gleefully flips up 8h6h. Nice cold call of the super tight UTG raiser with about zero implied. These are the people who FT WSOP events.

For the rest of 300/600 I desperately try to keep my head above water. When we reach 400/800 I have around 11k in chips. Lyle Bermans son, whose name I have no idea about, is two on my right, and has been short all day push boting quite a bit. When I played with him before he seemed pretty tight, but at one point today he OPEN SHOVED 35 BB’s in MP. WTF is with these people? Either way he’s been short for 2 hours and push boting in LP a steady amount.

About half way through the level a key hand comes up. I’m sitting with 10,500 in the SB and it folds around to Berman’s son on the CO. He open shoves for 9700 and the button folds. I peek down at Ac9c and tank. I haven’t had a chance to see what his shoving range is like so I start adding up what I do know. First, he’s been open shoving in LP when folded to a lot, and he did have that one massive over bet stupid ass shove. Also, the player between us is quite weak tight so I don’t think he’s worried about him. The BB is the somewhat donkish Colonel Klink who has 30-35k. Berman has a bit over 12 BB’s, which isn’t a small shove, but with these antes his range SHOULD be pretty big if he has a clue right? I sit there and mutter to myself for a while, trying to figure out what I’m going to do. Live donks don’t push anywhere near as wide as most online players. Finally I decide he’s shoved enough that I’m ahead of his range and rejam. Now Colonel Klink goes into the tank, oh [censored], there’s no way I’m ahead, or even flipping, a hand that would call two shoves in a live donkament. Klink thinks, deliberates, looks back at his cards, counts his chips, stares at me, then finally……………………folds. Pheeeeeeeew. Berman asks if I have a pair and I answer no and quickly flip up the Ac9c. Berman shows Jc5c. Klink slaps the table and says he folded AT.

Flop: Tc 4c 3d
Turn: 8s
River: Kh
Holy [censored] [censored], my hand held. Live poker feels slightly less rigged. My stack goes up to around 21 or 22k and I’m feeling pretty good.

A few hands later I try to capitalize on my super tight image by raising Qh9h in MP3 to 2200. Nordberg ruins my fun and flat calls on the CO with a whole bunch of chips behind him. BTW, Nordberg absolutely owned everyone on the table post flop while playing quite aggressive pre, I was really impressed with his play. The blinds fold and we’re HU.

Flop: Kh Jd 6c
I lead out 3200 and he calls.
Turn: 5s
I check, Nord bets and I have to drop it. I’m going to post this hand and see what people think about check shoving a heart turn, but given my image it might be a bad idea since I can’t see him flat calling me to loose pre. Then again, given my image, he might make some big lay downs if I move in on the turn….

So that hand puts me down around 15 or 16k. A round later I’m in the BB and peer down at KK. It folds to MP2 who raises to 2100, he’s somewhat aggro and has a big stack. He’s also been with me since the first table (we were moved at same time) and has seen how insanely tight I’ve been playing all day (was stuck at 14-20 BB’s for a lot of the day desperately trying to find a spot to resteal and got zero legit chances.) The player behind him also with a decent sized stack calls. It folds to button who jams for about 10kish. SB folds and I obviously rejam. The original raiser looks longingly at his cards and folds, as does the flat caller. The SB flips up QQ and I show my KK. The OR informs SB he had the other QQ and thought it was a super easy fold considering how tight I’d been and the fact that I didn’t really think about putting my chips in. [censored], guess I should have Hollywooded a little and put some thought into it, I guess I just don’t care for cheap tricks but if it might get me called lighter with a big hand, then I’m willing to play dirty.

The board blanks out for Mr. QQ and I am now up to 30 or 31k and we go on break. When we come back blinds are 600/1200 with a 100 ante. For some reason, after the break my body’s exhaustion really caught up to me. We’d been playing for 11 hours besides breaks and I was really starting to feel it. As the cocktail waitress walked by I called out to her and asked for a Redbull. Colonel Klink on my left also asked for and as he reached for his wallet I told him I got this one. “I know you how your feeling man, its exhausting, besides, good karma.” Good karma indeed.

As the waitress walks off to get another Redbull for him (she only had one on her tray, so she gave me the first) a fold a few hands then while 9 handed on the HJ with a 28 or 29k stack I peer down at AsKs. It folds to me and I raise to 3200. Klink quickly reraises to like 11 or 12k. The blinds fold out and its back on me, and I very obviously move all in for about 16k more. Now Klink tanks. Lol, zerounderstandingofpotoddsaments. He counts down his chips, stares at me, counts some more, stacks his chips, stares some more and finally moves his stack into the middle. “You probably have me he blurts.” Please god let it be AQ.

I flip up my AsKs and he sadly nods and shows his AdQd. Sweet, the average is like 35k and there’s 60ish in the pot.
Flop: Ts 8s 5c
Hahaha! I am [censored] invincible on that flop! Nothing could possibly go wrong at this point.
Turn: Qc
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!! Alright, it’s cool it’s cool, I still have 16 outs. Good karma right?
River: 3d
#$YOSIRY#DFHDFHDHFDHG$# !!!!!!! [censored] YOU KARMA!!! Live poker has been restored to its full blown riggedness again. I say or do nothing when the hand is over, just politely shake Klink’s hand, wish him luck, then go and do the same for Matt24. I feel exhausted, and as I walk away throw my half drunken Redbull in the trash. Good karma indeed.

Hilarious hand of the day moment: This is a new feature I’d like to add to the end of all trip reports to end things on a lighter note. Please imagine reading these with the voice of the guy who does those NFL historic moment commercial things with the rustic yet intense voice. To illustrate how god [censored] awful everyone is at live I’ll be including the most hilarious hand I see of the day, whenever possible including a player with a reputation as a pro or being good. Today’s hand comes from the 100/200 level with 25 ante featuring well known donkament pro David Chui. Chui had been moved to the table a few rounds ago and through sloppy aggressive play had managed to spew about 60% of his stack off, leaving himself with 2600 before posting the BB of 200. The SB in question was a spaz/donk with about 15k.

Preflop: Folds to SB, SB looks at cards, leans over to look at David’s stack, then grabs a bunch of yellows and throws them in the pot. David now tanks forever. He stares at the SB, counts his chips (he’s got 6 chips to count), stares at the donk some more. He puts his hands on his head, plays with his cards a little and sighs. This goes on for a good 90 seconds. Finally, David reluctantly calls.
SB shows: K4o
David shows: AQo
HAHAHAHAHAHA what in the living [censored] are you thinking about dude?! The board comes A high and David lives to nit it up for another day.
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