Sunday, April 25, 2004

Thursday in Vegas

Binion's is a madhouse. We arrived on Thursday, April 22, 2004 at about 5pm. It seemed like everyone in the world was there. I groaned when I saw that most of the WCP were already en masse at the Horseshoe from Bellagio. I was hoping that they would stick around for the juicy Bellagio side games and/or watch the wrap-up of the WPT. That was not to be, as they all decided to go play satellites for the series. What a blunder I made, assuming they wouldn't care about some rinky-dink $1500 Stud event.

I immediately hopped into a satellite to try to win a few more lammers. To my surprise, when I tried to pay, they said they weren't accepting lammers for payment anymore!!! So, um, they pay OUT in lammers, but they won't take them back??? They said it was too much hassle for the satellites. I opted out, since I didn't want more lammers, I was trying to get rid of them! I wanted CASH!

Glenn was feening the NLHE cash games. I told him the field has drastically gotten tougher since we were there last weekend. There were several WCP in the NLHE games. More than I could count. He didn't want to take my advice, and jumped right into a game. He is so tight that he actually held his own. I'm sure he got outplayed, but he didn't get hurt badly, since it is so tough to trap someone who only plays top hands.

I told him that the Nugget had reopened their poker room, and that one of our croanies from Laughlin was in management there. We decided to check it out.

It was very nice; spacious, clean, warm. Odd for a room. I found Frank and talked to him a bit. Glenn jumped in an O8 game right away. The high limit section was taking an interest list for a $1/2 blind NLHE game. I put my name on that, and before long, we got a game going. It was extremely slow to start, as no one seemed to know what they were doing. Some of the crew wanted to make it 2/5 blinds. Some wanted to make it a min/max buy-in. Every floorperson who came over had a different idea of how OUR game was going to be structured. Ugh. Finally it was decided that we would play the 1/2 blind NLHE, posting was a must and it was a min/max $100 buy-in with reloads when one was under $50. I wasn't crazy about this game, but I was bored with nothing else going on.

Luckily, there were several soft spots in our game. Three guys said right off the bat that they had never played live poker, or something. They were scared out of their minds.

One young WPT kid was in the three seat. He insisted on the $100 min/max, which told me quite a bit right there. I was in the nine, Howard Burroughs was in the ten.

I raised about $10 on the second hand with AJo. I got way too many callers and no help. Everyone kept checking to me, no one would bet. The WPT kid had pocket tens and never bet! He just check-called me, then checked the turn and river.

Later, in LP, I limped in with K9s. I flopped a king and bet the pot when it was checked to me. The WPT kid in the SB called. He likewise called on the turn, then check-raised me on the river when he hit his kicker, a trey, lol.

A new tournament director approached our table to take an interest list for a one table "satellite" to the 2k NLHE event the next day at Binion's. I asked her how they were going to pay. She said they would pay cash, winner-take-all for $2150. We each would buy in for $225, start with 1500 in chips, and play until one was left. Immediately about seven people at my table raised their hands for the sat. They were the worst players at our table, so naturally I raised my hand, too. The WPT kid was in, as well as all of the players who had said they'd never played poker before.

I was in the eight seat. A German guy was in the nine. He was constantly speaking German to himself and seemed very angry. He didn't seem to like women playing poker, and kept cutting down my play and the play of the woman in the ten seat. He wasn't talking "to" us, but "about" us, right at the table! I said it was bad form to sit and talk about a player, and their play, at the table, during hands! It didn't stop him in the slightest. He kept saying how stupid I was for going all-in early in a satellite. I tried, in vain, to find the TD, but she was nowhere to be seen.

Glenn came over, seeing I was distressed and said, "Just do what you normally do and knock him out!"

Sure enough, he was out in no time, although I wasn't given the honor of kicking him to the curb.

The young WPT kid was the first to be knocked out. He played the sat just as badly as he'd played in the cash game.

When we got down to five, the best player at the table, the cardroom manager of the Grand in Tunica, raised my BB on the button as a steal attempt. I saw AJ and moved in. He was the chip lead, so he didn't have to think too hard about calling me with AT. He got his ten, and I was through. He told me the next day that he won it, which is exactly what I expected.

We went back over to Binion's and I played in a couple of these little $50 satellites. The competition was absolutely atrocious, most of them had never played poker before. I went out fourth when my AQ met 44 and he flopped a set.

We were able to get in last minute at the cheapo Golden Gate. The rooms are very clean, but small, European style hotel rooms. They were sold out for Friday night, but we put ourselves on the holdover list and just crossed our fingers. Almost everywhere is sold out in Vegas due to the series.

Next to come...Friday at Binion's!