Tuesday, April 12, 2005

 

Kicking It Live

Won $100 playing blackjack. Does that count ? Right, in that case I'm up again.

$230 Single Table, Bellagio. 1 hour, -$230. 5th/10. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky with the draw but this was even less value than the previous one. Nonetheless I did pull off a big play. Pay attention now, this is a juicy bone I’m throwing you here. 200-400 blinds, 6-handed, I’m in the big blind. Passed round to the SB who makes it 800 more. Now this guy seems a reasonable player (they all do, damn them), he knows I’m quite short and he might well be at it. I have A6 and I decide that this is enough to take him on with. I have 1900 after posting the blind. So I raise all in, right ? Wrong. What’s the point of doing that ? He’s going to call and the cards will decide. Let’s flat call and see what transpires. Flop comes KT8. He checks. I bet. He passes and shows me 55.

I have just put a huge play on this guy here. He’s passed as at least a 70% favourite, getting 3-1 from the pot. He has given me 2000 chips with this pass, or if you like he has put his hand in his pocket and given me $200. It doesn’t get much better than that in a single table. 9 times out of 10 when you make this play it all goes in on the flop anyway. Let me assure you that I wasn’t passing any flop or any action. In that case nothing is lost. But he might pass the flop, and every now and then he might get it wrong - like here. It’s a free roll. All these people who whinge “it’s just all in all the time” - well do you ever think about calling ? Or are you just as conditioned as everyone else to move all in ? Everyone except me. You fish.

$40 Rebuy, Harrah’s. 4 hours, +$700. 3rd/60. Can’t win in the Bellagio, can’t miss anywhere else. Sadly I do pick up AA and KK in the rebuy period (this would all be much more impressive if I continued my big-hand-less streak). I’m paid off with both of these. The antes kick in and I start to get busy. I’m very lucky with K5 in an unraised pot where I decide I’m good on a flop of J53 and another 3 on the turn, only to find the pre-flop limper has JT. 5 on the river ai ai ! Teach him not to limp. Then I win a huge pot with AK and we’re all about even as we make the last 3. We cut a deal, there’s no reason to antagonise anyone here for the sake of $50 in EV. I turn a straight, go all in, flush draw calls me and he makes it. Good deal :-). $700 more for me dingningningningning. Alright I’m not going to finish 2/3/3 in successive tournaments very often but I do think I can finish top 3 about 3 or 4 times as often as average in these. That’s how much value they are and how much confidence I have in the system I play here. Now I kind of wish I was in Reno or at the 4 Queens again, with two $200-$300 tournaments every day. Still it’s not too bad here. Roll out of Harrah’s $700 to the good, sit in the shade watching a very good live band and even partaking of a Corona or 3. Hey, I’m on holiday !

Comments:
Andy

You might like to try the Sahara. I was there in Oct last year and they ran a $40 NLHE tournament every day at 7pm-ish with a $20 (I think) rebuy/add-on. I know this is a bit lower than you've been playing but always seemed pretty busy to me (50-60 players every time).

snafu
 
From Peter B

Ahh, the live band by the side of Harrah's. Know it well. Also home to some very attractive US versions of chavettes at the weekend. However, if you want to go downmarket from even here, try the "duelling pianos" karaoke bar -- also in Harrah's. I believe that this is termed "mid-market". I suppose that, compared to El Cortez, it is, but it's more reminiscent of Newcastle City Centre on a Saturday night than anywhere else.

The short Flamingo tournies ($50+$5 freeze-out) have a structural flaw that the knowledgeable can exploit. The blinds act reasonably for an hour and then jump straight from 200-400 to 500-1000. You can often cut a split when it's three-handed, making the tourney no more than 2 hours in length (including 5-minute break) for a split of $1500 if you make the top three (out of 30). For a player using your system it's an almost guaranteed moneymaker over, say, 10 tournies (10am, by the way).

The multi-tablers outside Bellagio are clearly the better value at the moment, since there are players in them who appear to not know the rules, let alone good strategy in tournies. I managed to force several laydowns from better hands than I had raised all-in pre-flop with.

The "call and bet any flop" tactic is a standard response these days in limit hold 'em. Player tries steal either on button or one-off button. If SB folds, you call with anything. If the flop then comes a couple of paint cards, you bet out. representing that you have defended with a calling hand and have just hit your pair. Works a treat.

However, if flop comes xxx, or Axx, it's best to check. Stealer has Ace-rag a lot of the time, while the flop of three csmall cards will get him calling with two overcards.

Pete
 
The Sahara now run the $40 tournament 3 times a day at 11am, 7pm & 11pm if you get bored.
 
The sahara tournament now runs 3 times a day at 11am, 7pm & 11pm if you get bored.
 
What time did you play the satellites at the Bellagio? I played the morning of the events and it was a veritable aquarium of fish.

And the Bellagio sats have always been direct entries to the next day's tournament... that's not to say Harrahs won't fuck up their satellites as they seem intent on fucking up the rest of the WSOP.
 
Thanks to everyone for the various tips, I will check out as many as I can.

Pete, the real value in the tournaments is when there are antes in play. Weak-tight players are dead meat in these. Never mind a system, anyone playing with common sense and moving their chips in first has a great edge.

Keith, I played 2 in the morning and 1 in the evening without a sniff of value. Maybe I was just unlucky - one guy in the last one said "man, I picked a bad satellite here". If this is a standard Bellagio thing with the satellites, that is more encouraging for the WSOP.

Andy.
 
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