Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Monday, July 12, 2004

We drove up to Vegas in the morning. I wasn't sure when registration would start for the Orleans Stud tourney, but I figured if I was early, I wouldn't have to wait in line.

True enough, I didn't have a wait. I would never have played this event if we didn't have to go to Vegas for our dog, Dax, to be seen by a soft tissue specialist. Once I found out that the juice was 25%, I would have boycotted.

To add insult to injury, the Orleans decided that the small player's buffet wasn't free anymore, and everyone would have to pay for a tiny little dried out pastry or sandwich. Shame on you, Orleans, you have been stealing from players for years, and now you are stealing even more to take advantage of the poker boom.

300 people played in the Stud tourney. I was seated at a table with Chris Gregorian, who had just won the O8 tourney the day before, and is an excellent Stud player. The guy in the one seat kept looking at me as I settled down in the two seat. Finally he asked me if I was "Felicia Lee." No one calls me "Lee" except people who have read my journal, so I knew in advance that is where he knew me. He is the guy from Poker Chronicles. He had never played a Stud tourney, but did fine. I like a play he made against Gregorian. Chris was truly stumped. Unfortunately, it was during the early levels, and there was no way Chris was going to lay his hand down, if for no other reason than curiosity. I believe the play would have worked in later levels.

Glenn came over to our table and announced astonishingly that the Orleans was spreading a live Razz game. After everyone fell on the floor in shock, I got up and asked Glenn to give me a roll for the game so that I could play if I busted out.

That didn't take too long. I was dealt aces twice in three hands and lost with them both times. After that, I got nothing for a while and then finally pushed A3/Q, two spades, until I was all-in on fourth. I didn't even have a big bet left, and I wasn't going to get anted down like a chump, so I pushed it, since I was live. I never even caught a pair, and my competitor had unimproved jacks. Bah!

I hightailed it over to the Razz game. I was fourth on the list. They were also spreading Stud 8, so I signed up for that one, but we couldn't get a game going, although they called every name at least three times.

I have no idea why, but I got into the Razz game pretty fast (I say this because after I got in, no one budged. People literally sat and waited for hours, no one left. Someone even played over an eating player for an hour or more).

Lucky-ducky me, I got seat two again (like you didn't already know I like end seats and usually never get them, lol).

Seat one was a woman who immediately started asking me questions about Razz. I was shocked that someone would sit down and play it for the first time at the 15/30 level.

I recognized a couple of players. One was Oklahoma Johnny Hale. Another was a guy from the WSOP Razz sat.

Hale played pretty well. He was the only truly sneaky, unorthodox player at our table. I found out quickly that I didn't have to make any sneaky moves to get action. I have always gotten way more action than I needed or desired. Go figure. People just love to call me. I'm not complaining.

I did my usual "travel light" move of only buying in for one stack of reds, while tucking the other $500 into the rail. For once, that seemed the norm. Hardly anyone had any real chips, most were playing with hundreds. When someone needed chips, another player would sell him or her a stack. Weird that I finally sat down at a table where everyone was thinking in Felicia-terms.

I double paired or bricked up after starting with a couple of premium hands and pushing them early. I went through two stacks of red. Then I started hitting well, and made a couple of good hands. Once the table saw that I knew what I was doing, they stopped trying so hard to outdraw me, lol. Now I was just getting a lone caller or two on third, and maybe just one to the river, if he didn't brick up.

I played almost robotically-Sklansky in this game, because I could, and because it worked. There was one fish feeding the entire table. Calling with a ten or higher doorcard if he could get in for the $5 bring-in. Calling all the way to fifth through seventh even if he bricked over and over. He later said he'd gone through a whole rack of red and more, and I believe it.

A couple of other players were playing sub-optimally, also, but nothing like that guy. They got out of line a bit, just enough to play me off.

Soon I had recovered that $200, and was up.

Dave busted out of the tourney, and I wanted him to play, because the game was so good playing tight-rock-Sklansky style, but he didn't have the roll with him, and had never played Razz live. Well, jeez, neither had I, but no one needed to know that, and I can adapt to just about any Stud game successfully. I don't blame Dave though, he is playing for a living, I am playing for fun.

Most of the players behaved like the typical, ill-reputed Razz players. I refused to let them glower, however, and constantly pepped up the table by acting the cheerleader roll. That is not my personality, but I am an actor, and can play any part at the table.

For what it's worth, this was a very live Razz game. I wish I could find these games everywhere, everyday. I think Razz is my calling, lol. Oh, poor me, why do I love these dying games?

I caught very well for the entire session and ended up taking about $500 from the table. I rarely had to show down a hand towards the end, no one wanted to tangle with me, after realizing I only played premium hands, and bet the same way whether I paired up (unseen), or not.

I lost a big hand towards the end of my session which would have put me about $700 up, but he and I were very close in rank, and I had to call down that hand, not knowing who would win. In the end, he made a seven low, I made an eight. I knew it was close, but I was in a position where I couldn't fold, not knowing until I saw his hole cards who was leading. That happens sometimes in Razz, and it is a tough spot to be in. I'm not complaining, as I ran so well during the entire session that I rarely found myself in a race situation.

I had a great time, I only wish that more poker games were healthy and alive, instead of just Hold'em. If I were a board game freak, and suddenly Monopoly was the only board game in existence anymore, it would get old, fast. That is what HE is to me. OLD...FAST.

Felicia :)