20/40 Stud at Bellagio
Friday, August 27, 2004
Glenn and I decided to head to Bellagio on Friday. I got a hair up my butt about wanting to play in the Bellagio Friday at Five tourney. I guess I thought that getting in via satellite would be easier for a player like me (tight, cautious), because the top two spots get a seat. I had heard it is reasonably easy for a decent player to finish in the top two, given the structure and competition.
At any rate, we didn't make it in time for the last sat, so I was out of luck.
I spied out a 20/40 Stud game. Wow, it looked pretty good. Well, it looked pretty good for Bellagio's typical 20/40 Stud, anyway. I put my name on the list and got called rather fast. I also put my name down on the interest list for 15/30 and 30/60 Razz. Believe it or not, there were three other names on the Razz list (no name players that I am aware of), but it never got going. I guess TV is having an impact on "dead" games. Yippee!
I was lucky to be seated in the six spot. Usually it's kind of an end seat, but the guy who was in the seven was 6'5", so it was more to the side than I would have liked. I didn't mind too much though, it was a good game.
I was up early. I could see the sharks smacking their lips, thinking I was a rich tourist. Somehow, they assume that if you buy in for the minimum, you must "not know any better." They don't seem to take the hundreds into consideration.
Although I was the youngest player, by far, this wasn't the geriatric table, like so many other Stud games have become in Vegas. The tall guy in the seven was probably only 50-55. There was a guy about my age (35) in the three seat, and he was helping feed the table. A similar calling station was in the one seat, but he was a tad more aggressive and tricky than the three seat.
The Vegas players thought I was cute and hilarious by always saying "complete" instead of "raise." Some of them knew that it was correct to say "complete," but they still said it sounded funny to hear it in Vegas.
I was up very early, but then took a series of hits. You know the ones that you dream about, the gutshot on the river when two of their cards are dead and they don't even know they're drawing to two outs? You've been there, right? LOL :)
I bought in for another two hundred and was in for $400 altogether when I had a tiny stack of reds left ($45) besides the hundreds. Naturally, that is when my hands started holding up a little bit more often, and I went on a tear from that $45 up to $715. I had to cash out at 7:30 due to the Binion's tourney at 8pm.
I wish we'd never left Bellagio, because the Binion's tourney was such a wash. Barely any tourists, and no super soft spots. Most players knew what they were doing.
I was stunned to see Joyce at the table. Yeah, Joyce with the drug problem, the gangrene and missing a finger, that Joyce. Okay, good news, Joyce cleaned up her life and moved to Vegas to get serious about poker. Her hair was washed, she didn't smell (not even of the rotted flesh, much less B.O.), she had on clean clothes and she had TEETH again! Good for Joyce! Her poker was also a billion times better, although she was never a slouch.
Early in the tourney I made a 4x BB raise with AJo. Joyce was the only caller in the BB. The flop came KJx, all clubs. I had the ace of clubs. Joyce bet, but not enough to get me out of the hand. I figured she has me out flopped already, knowing her style of play, but she could also have a jack with a worse kicker, or a flush draw like me. The turn brought the ten and Joyce went all-in. Now I had the four flush and a gutshot. I couldn't release the hand. Naturally nothing got there, and Joyce had KJ, no clubs. I rebought and played on.
I got moved to a different table praying there would be tourists and/or bad players. No such luck, I only ran into more locals. For a long time, I got nothing. I got blinded down and never had a chance to make any moves. Then I got JJ and moved in from EP. I was only called in one place, a loose player with QJs. Yes, naturally the flop came QQx and IGHN.
Glenn and I called Bellagio to find out if the Stud games were still going. They said the 15/30 had broken up (Puggy Pearson was playing, so that doesn't surprise me), but that the 20/40 was still going strong and had a list. So we hightailed it back to Bellagio.
It took me a while to get back into the game, but I finally made it, and the game was still soft. Only two of the players who had been at the table previously were left. Unfortunately, they were two of the tighter players.
I was doing well, about $300 up when I overplayed a hand. Just a few hands earlier, I'd defended my bring-in with an ace in the hole which was completely live, and an over card to any possible pair. In fact, all three of my cards were live. The stealer was a younger guy (for this table) in the seven seat, who seemed to be perpetually on tilt.
I paired nines first and stuck with him. On fifth it was still three-handed, and my board was looking better and better, whereas his was looking worse. He continued to bet and I let him lead. On sixth I paired the aces and was high. I checked, let him bet, then check-raised him. He turned every shade of red and purple, but called anyway. On seventh I bet right out, and he did his little Hollywood act, then finally folded. He was so steamed he took a walk after that hand.
So next is where I messed up. I had split kings and completed. He limp re-raised me with a nine doorcard. Caution lights went up, but I kept thinking about how steamed he was, how mad he was at me check-raising him, how little he thought of female players. I couldn't get that out of my mind, and stopped paying attention to all warning signs.
I ended up playing my king's up all the way to the river, knowing that he had to have me beat with the raggediest looking board, no pair showing. Sure enough, he had nine's full. I wouldn't think logically and look at his calm, assured demeanor. Instead, I let him play me like a fiddle, which is exactly what he did.
So I made a little profit at Stud, but it should have been more, could have been more, had I paid more attention to what I "knew," instead of what I wanted to believe. That's poker, that is why we are forever students of the game.