Saturday, April 16, 2005


Champion Of The World

$3-6 Limit Hold-Em, Aladdin, 0.75 hours, -$14. Probably dropped a couple of big bets that I shouldn’t have. Which kills you if you’re playing limit on a regular basis, but doesn’t make much odds on holiday.

$110 NLHE, Aladdin. 2.5 hours, -$110. 14th/65. This must be my very least favourite way to go out of a tournament (not that any are good). I have 5600 chips at the start of the 500-1000 level, with the next level being 1000-2000. I have to MOVE. But I can’t. Every time either someone’s in before me or I have some woeful 73 hand or both. After taking one pair of blinds I feel obliged to move in blind (although having a look just for show of course) next time there’s no action in front of me. So I do, with 92, and a guy who could play the tournament every day for a year and not win finds JJ. Marvellous. The reason I particularly dislike this kind of exit is that I look like a total fish and the other guy looks like the player. I should be glad of the misinformation value really :-)

For some reason there were a disproportionate number of Europeans in here, Germans, Scandinavians, even that rarest of birds, an Englishman I don’t know who played very well. I’m not sure why but the bad English players make me cringe, especially the jovial ones who put up a running commentary on their “play” all the time.

$60 Single Table, Aladdin. 0.5 hours, +$470. 1st/10. I must have found my level - 300 chips to start and 25-50 blinds straight off ! On the fast side :-). Of course against good players this would be a waste of time, however I could say that about any poker game. The fact remains that someone’s going to win, and the player who doesn’t make horrible mistakes has a better chance. Even if my EV in this is only $20 (which sounds about right), that’s pretty good for 20 minutes work (on average). It only took 35 minutes to play the whole thing. The last hand was funny, I find AA and check in the BB, flop comes A22, check check, he moves in on the turn I call (duh) he has K2. He didn’t realise I had won until the dealer pushed the chips to me. So I’m in the $500 at the Aladdin tomorrow. Which at least saves me from being sad and playing online, as I was going to. And puts me $11 up on the trip. Hooray !

$125 NL (1 Rebuy), Binions. 3 hours, -$200. 14/40. The trouble with playing too many MTTs is you can end up like this. Stuck in one, not really getting anywhere, and half wishing you were in bed. I should probably stick to one a day. Anyway I doubled up with QQ against AJ, lost 2K tangling with the chip leader, flopped 2 pair against a straight flush draw and ended up splitting the pot, stole from the SB ran into an Ace, lost, stole from the button ran into an Ace, lost. I was playing ok but the other players were driving me mad. I had two people on my left and one on my right holding continuous conversations with each other (through me). Everyone wanted to run the tournament (make the side pots, move players etc.). They didn’t mean any harm mostly. Had it been a cash game I would have been long gone - but that’s tournaments for you.

$500 NL, Aladdin. 2 hours, -$540. 35 odd/70. This was a nice tournament, 40 minute levels, antes kicking in on level 4 and a relatively soft field for a $500 in Vegas. Half an hour in I'm involved in a hand with 2002 World Champion Robert Varkonyi, who was evidently in town for the PPT. 25-50 blinds, I make it 150 to go in middle position. Varkonyi calls from the big blind. We look at each other, he checks without looking at the flop. Flop is Txx no suits, I bet 200. He makes it 400. I go all in, about 1000 more. OK, so what do you think I have ? Even if you didn't know me. Do you think your (Varkonyi's) AT is good ? Evidently he did because he called it very quickly. His face dropped when I showed AA. I can't for the life of me work out what he was expecting to see. KT ? AK ? 99 ? Who knows. Make your own judgement. They say anyone can win. Frankly I was glad to see the back of him because he wouldn't shut up. The impression he gave on TV of being a geek who couldn't stop talking due to nervousness was spot on, for once.

Unfortunately knocking out a champion doesn't pay any bills. I raise with QJs, run into AA (can't pass as he is too short-stacked). I raise with KJs, run into JJ, and that's that. It's a shame I didn't make the ante level (by about 5 minutes) but if you just sit there and wait for it you'll pay 900, 1200 in blinds which is too much. No qualms about my play. Onwards and upwards. I'm now about $700 down. Thinking about a satellite for the satellite for the WPT but as this is a 1000-1 parlay to ever see any money back it's not all that tempting. I am going to check out the MGM card room tonight to see if these legendary drunken NL cash games actually exist. But first I'm going to the Gamblers Bookstore to see what's on offer. The dude who usually follows these events with his bookstall isn't here, presumably not allowed inside the Bellagio because he's not selling $500 bottles of perfume, ok I'll stop :-)

18/4/05 A quick postscript to the Varkonyi hand, I was talking to a pro about this and he said it was probably just that Varkonyi isn't that bothered about a $500 tournament given how much he has made. Perhaps, but the real point of the story is that by his reaction when the hands were shown, I'm sure he really thought he was in front. Personally I'd rather not play at all than play half-heartedly, which is why I'm easing off a bit over these last few days, as I have had about my fill of poker for now. I think 10 days is about optimal for a Vegas visit. Any more than that and you should probably take at least every fifth day off from poker entirely.

Form Pete B

Head down and grit your teeth Andy. Blog very good. Will try one of my own when next over there. Trouble is, not much exciting happens in limit :-)

If you are in Aladdin between 1pm and 9pm one of the dealers will be Manchester Mikey (actually, he's American -- no idea where the nickname came from). Young chap, dark hair, thin as a rake (thinner than you, god) and quite a good player. He's happy to chat on a "private" basis about the game. He knows me.

More later. Money to spunk away on Ultimate working off the bonus dollars.

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