Saturday morning I come downstairs at Bally’s and see a 5-handed 3-6 game going, so why not. I put my chips down, then go grab something to eat, and when I come back, it’s 4-handed including me for 5 minutes, then one guy leaves, and it’s me against two Asians. I ask about a rake reduction, and the dealer says if we have one, then we’re not eligible for the jackpots. I say that’s ok with me, but my table-mates will have none of it. So we play 3-handed for an hour. I get OK cards and play fine, but when I stand up, I’m down $8. That’s why you don’t play raked 3-handed. Oh well. At least I’m warmed up for what’s next: private tournament at TI for our whole group.
Before the trip, I had arranged this thing with Chris Coffin, the TI room manager. He’s on allvegaspoker and was hella cool in setting it up. Buy-in for $50+10 for T1500, another T1000 for a $5 add-on, and optional $25 re-buy if below T1500. First three places cash. We start at 10am, and there’s a 3-6 mixed game going on in the corner from the night before that’s calling my name.
Everyone’s pretty tight at first, and I jump out to a lead with some aggression early, like real early, meaning it doesn’t mean much. As evidenced by the friend descriptions in my first post, there is a wide variety of poker experience levels here. If you had asked me before who I thought would win, I’d say Matt with his laggro style, or Alex, who cashes in home game tourneys routinely. I’ve cashed in about half the sngs I play on stars, but have never done anything in a real-life tourney. Here’s a look at Jon, Matt, and Steve, and Alex’s knee. Like Steve’s shirt? He’s ironic like that.
My aggro pays off until Ubaldo won’t fold when I’m betting big at him with middle pair, and he has the same pair, better kicker. Jon & Alex re-buy early but still drop. Dave gets down to like 250, with blinds at 50-100, but builds it back and has the lead for a while without ever rebuying. I get too tight after my early aggroness, and donk off raised blinds until I go all-in pre-flop with my last 700 (BB 400 now) w. JQo, and Ubaldo calls with AQs. Needless to say, nothing hits and I’m out in 7th, no use for a re-buy. I look over to the mixed game and it’s breaking, but I want to stay and watch our game anyway.
Sam gets knocked out in 6th after a valiant post re-buy comeback. Now it’s down to Matt, Steve, Nate, Dave, & Ubaldo, and Ubaldo’s got a big lead and can’t stop grinning and telling everyone “I just want to get third! This money’s for the baby! Let me get third!” Nate (whom we taught to play poker in the airport, remember) hits three 2-pairs in a row and overtakes Ubaldo, earning himself the creative nickname “Two Pair”. I to Nate: “See, what did I tell you? It’s easy.” Nate: “I’m still waiting for the dice to come out”.
(Steve, correct me if I’m wrong with all this. I know you will). Ubaldo knocks out Dave, and we’re down to four, with Steve in 4th w. only 200, and the BB is at least 400. Steve’s in BB and triples his 200. Next hand, he’s all in at SB and triples again. A hand or two later, he’s all in again and robusto at 5400. Now Nate’s down to 700. He’s BB, pushes, and triples to 2100, triples again, then doubles it to 12600. Ubaldo’s been enabling all this tripling by calling while he’s chip-leader, and he’s not the leader any more. Matt was an enabler too, but without a lot of chips, and now he’s down to 1k or so. Steve goes all-in vs. Nate, Matt calls Steve’s all in, who has him covered. Nate’s pocket 8s hold up, knocking out Matt & Steve, and Steve gets 3rd ($110).
Now it’s Nate vs. Ubaldo, of course the two with the least poker experience. Nate has about 7/8 of all the chips. They take turns folding blinds, then Ubaldo goes all-in with 9T, and Nate calls with Q4. The flop has a Q, and here's video of
what happened next.
Nate “Two Pair” K. takes down Ubaldo “I’m just trying to finish 3rd” M. in the TI Scotty-Win invitational with two-pair on the the turn and a full house river to rub it in. Nate cashes $260; Ubaldo’s around $200; we tip our dealers & Chris and it’s lunchtime.
Back at Bally’s for the Big Kitchen buffet, and it’s budget-balla time again. Sticker price is $20. Between two buy-1-get-1s and six $5-off coups, it’s $13 each. We hadn’t heard anything noteworthy about this buffet, but it was hella good. Prime rib, shrimp, smoked salmon, an omelette, and bbq pork found their way onto my plate. Our waitress is on it like vomit with the re-fills, and wants Sam to marry her daughter. 9/10 food/service at this place.
Saturday afternoon we split up. Steve, Alex, and Ubaldo go to the Mac King comedy show at Harrah’s (coups), and David, Nate, Jon, Sam, & I head for the frisbee golf course at Sunset Park on the other side of McCarran. Sam, David, and I play a good amount and have our own discs, but we don’t play enough to be the type to call it “disc golf”. It’s frolf. We only play 10 holes because Sam & Nate are going to Spamalot that night and need to get back in time. David & I play heads-up for $20, and I jump to a 4-throw lead with pars on the first four holes. Then I start donking my putts, and he comes back to tie with me, both at +6, after ten holes; meanwhile, Sam schools us both, finishing +3. Playoff hole between me and David. Both our drives are way off. I get a good approach, landing about 20 feet away. Dave’s is about 30 away. He putts and misses, going about 10 feet past. I just have to hit this 20-footer to win, but I donk it off the top of the basket. Now he’s got the easy 10-footer to clinch a tie, but he hits one chain and it doesn’t stay in. My shot’s a gimme and I cash +$20. David’s pissed.
Nate & Sam head for the Wynn for their show. I try to nap a little back at the room before the next part of the trip, the Dave Matthews Band + The Fray show at MGM.
--end of part 3—-
Summary: Bally’s 3-handed 3-6 + full rake = -$8. Rookie Nate wins our private tourney at TI (-$65 for me). Bally’s buffet is tasty. I suck out on the river against Dave while frolfing. Try to nap before DMB show.
Note: I have to (actually) work the rest of the afternoon, then go to Steve’s birthday party tonight, so I don’t know if I’ll get another part up today. Hopefully Steve will provide his version of the trip at some point.