Monday, June 26, 2006

Day 2: Bad Beats at the Bellagio

Sunday, June 18

I wake up at 11:30AM and I am all alone. Alex slept all of two hours before heading off to the morning tournament at the Excalibur, and Scott didn't go to bed at all. He was watching soccer and playing 2-4 at the Luxor. He also placed 4th in a sit n' go and didn't win anything.

Alex ended up taking 2nd in the Excalibur tournament and won about $150. When it was four handed he had a decent chip lead and got everybody all in preflop. He had KK and flopped top set. Unfortunately the board ended up being a 9-K straight, and the guy in 2nd chip position had the lucky A. Alex was short-stacked going into heads-up play and he finished 2nd.

Cilarus had set up shop in the grand Tropicana poker room. Once again, I don't know what the hell Slim did.

I headed over to the MGM. Over the bridge, down the stairs, and I'm right there. I signed up for 3-6 and 4-8. After about 5 seconds of waiting I'm ready to die of boredom so I sit in an empty seat at a 1-2 no-limit table. Did I mention I hate no-limit? I hate all those stupid decisions you have to make. I am hoping a 3-6 or 4-8 seat will open up soon. Little did I know, the lady took me off the list when I sat at 1-2. I played for an hour, basically just check/call/folding off chips. I am able to recognize that I am at an awesome table that I could probably run over if I knew what I was doing. Alas, I didn't know what I was doing and after about an hour I was down to $53 of my original $100. Then the following hand came up:

I limped with with QJo (see, I told you I sucked) from middle position. The guy to my left limped, one more guy limped, the small blind limped and the big blind checked. The flop came J-high, all spades. I had the queen of spades. I bet $10, and the guy to my left pops it to $30. It folded around to me and I called, hoping for a spade. The turn blanked off, I checked, and the other guy put me all in for my last $23. My thoughts were:

"This guy has clearly flopped a flush. If I'm not already drawing dead I only have seven outs. I clearly have to call. I'm awesome."

I called and the guy rolled over the 9-6 of spades (see, I told you it was an awesome game).

The river gave me the beautiful 7 of spades and I took the $109 pot. I got the hell out of there with my $9 profit.

I headed north on the strip and was immediately assaulted by porn slappers. wouldn't be Vegas without the porn slappers. Sweet! I can get Candi and Jessica both for $89. Tempting, but I have a 4-8 seat with my name on it at the Bellagio. Actually, I don't. I'm just hoping there is an open seat at a 4-8 game at the Bellagio.

The Bellagio is pretty cool. I like how they crammed thirty tables into a space for fifteen. I also like how they cram ten people at nine-seat tables.

I arrive just as they are opening a new 4-8 game at table 9 in the nook in the back left corner. I get the 8-seat, one seat to the right of a redneckish Canadian chick, and three seats to the left of an eighty-year-old nit. Seats 3 and 4 are occupied by two retarded Asian girls. I'm starting to think that all Asians are retarded. Keith Van Horn's twin brother is sitting in seat 6. Okay, let's review the characters:

Seat 1: random guy #1 (RG1)
Seat 2: random guy #2 (RG2)
Seat 3: Asian retard #1 (AR1)
Seat 4: Asian retard #2 (AR2)
Seat 5: 80-year-old nit (80YON)
Seat 6: Steve Van Horn (SVH)
Seat 7: random guy #3 (RG3)
Seat 8: me (totally awesome guy)
Seat 9: redneckish Canadian chick (RCC)
Seat 10: random guy #4 (RG4)

The game is pretty good but I don't pick up any hands and basically hover between +$20 and -$20 for a couple of hours.

I watch RCC pick up AA and it actually holds up. I get AA in the very next hand and get heads up with 80YON. The flop came K-high. I bet, he raised, I 3-bet, and he called. The turn was nothing. I bet, he called. The river was a Q, which I didn't like so I checked. He checked and turned over K-10. I win. I also suck for being a giant pussy and losing $8 on the river by not betting. This would be a recurring theme. I estimate I lost $100+ on missed value bets throughout the trip.

A short while later I witnessed the sickest beat I've ever seen in a live game. RG1 limped from early position holding KQo. Both Asian retards called. Steve Van Horn raised with KK. All three limpers called and they went to the flop four-handed. Flop comes KQx with the K of diamonds. RG1 bets his two pair, while both Asians call and SVH raises. RG1, AR1 and AR2 all call.

The turn is the Q of diamonds. The board now reads: KQQx with the KQ of diamonds.

Somehow, with one person holding KKKQQ and another holding QQQKK it is not capped on the turn.

RG1, AR1 and AR2 all check. SVH bets (he now has KKKQQ) and RG1 raises (QQQKK). AR1 folds while AR2 cold-calls two bets. SVH calls (??) and we go to the river. At this point I put Steve Van Horn on AA and RG1 on AQ or KQ. I don't know what the hell Asian #2 is doing. She probably has pocket deuces or something.

The river is the 9 of diamonds.

RG1 and AR2 go nuts raising at each other while SVH calls the whole way. I scream in my head for him to throw away his AA but he doesn't listen.

The betting is capped and the hands are revealed. Asian retard #2 rolls over the J-10 of diamonds for the runner runner straight flush and Steve Van Horn proceeds to kill himself.

I am shocked to see SVH turn over KK for top full house. I can't believe he had such a monster and didn't get a single raise in on the turn or river.

The table gave the standard "oohs" and "aahs" and three seconds later we all stopped caring and were just happy we weren't involved. Meanwhile Steve Van Horn won't shut the hell up. "I hate Vegas!" "How could you play a draw like that?" "You should give me my money back."

Seriously. He said that. We laughed.

In retrospect I guess it wasn't that bad of a beat, considering she had 8 outs on the flop and wasn't going anywhere. The turn reduced her to two outs, and a two-outer happens all the time. I guess it was the way it happened and the fact that a runner-runner straight flush beat two full houses that made it seem so bad. Oh well, gotta move on...

While Steve Van Horn sat there bitching and moaning with his face in his hands, the rest of us continued to play.

I was up a little when the following hand came up:

Both Asians and 80YON limped. I find QQ in the small blind and raise. The BB calls, as do the Asians and 80YON. Flop:

Q99. Sweet.

I bet my full-house, knowing full well that no one was folding. Much to my chagrin, the BB folded. The Asians both called and 80YON raised. My thoughts: "Sweet. 80YON has a 9, and both Asians are chasing dead-in-the-water draws. I will check-raise the turn. At least one of the Asians will cold-call. Hopefully it will get capped and one of the Asians will make a straight or flush."

Turn: Q. Fuck. The board now reads: QQ99.

I've never been so disappointed to get quads in my life. Now the double-paired board will chase away any flush or straight draws, and my action from 80YON is killed because he knows I have a Q.

I have to bet out because I know it will get checked around on the scary board. One of the Asians drops and one calls (yay!). 80YON laments his bad luck and calls. The river is nothing. I bet, the remaining Asians folds and 80YON calls. I turn over my hand and say:

"I think I had you on the flop."

The pot was still decent sized and put me up a decent amount on the session. I rack up when the button gets to me and I finish the 3-hour session +$120. Hourly rate for the trip so far $13.32. Things are shaping up.

I head back down to the Trop to meet the others. We decide the time is right for an In-n-Out run. We hop in the Malibu Maxx:

We head west on Tropicana Ave. to In-n-Out Burger. It's 4:30PM on a Sunday so I don't think it will be busy. I'm wrong. The place is fucking packed. Luckily the line is moving fast. After we order we are able to find a table. I decided to go with a 3X3, animal style, no mustard. Alex and Slim both got double-doubles and Scott got two 1X2's. Interesting choice, Scott. Two single burgers with a double cheeser. Cilarus was absent. He couldn't pull himself away from the Tropicana poker room. In fact, I don't think he played anywhere else. But I digress.

The hamburgers were good. We finished up and headed back to the strip.

Scott went to sleep and Slim had to head back home to Phx. Cilarus, Alex, and I decided to go down to Mandalay Bay. We took the convenient, free tram from Excalibur.

We got there and they had one 4-8 game going and no one is going to leave any time soon. Cilarus and Alex are immediately seated in 1-2 NL. Did I mention I hate no-limit?

I sat and waited. Alex came up and handed me his license. "Hey, ask the guy to get me a card." So I got out my license, too, and went and asked "the guy" to get us both cards.

Me: "Hi, can my friend and I get player's cards?"
The guy: "I don't do that. You'll have to talk to the guy in the tie."

He motioned towards a guy in a tie. So I walked over to the guy in the tie:

Me: "Hi, can my friend and I get player's cards?"
Guy in tie: "What? We don't do anything like that here. Get the fuck out of my face."

Okay, so he didn't say that, but that's what it sounded like. That's fine if you don't have player's cards, but you don't have to an asshole about it. I don't know who told Alex they had player's cards.

I completely turned off by the Mandalay Bay experience at this point and then I see this sign:

"$5 max rake."

That's $5 plus a $1 jackpot drop plus $1 to the dealer.


Also, Mandalay Bay wins the award for "Ugliest, Most Disturbing Cocktail Waitress Uniforms."

I got the hell out of there and went to MGM. I made $30 in three hours. Hourly rate so far: $12.61

My 3 hours of play are good enough for a bag of chips and a Coke from the deli.

I am enjoying my rations and I get a call from Scotty Win:

Me: "Hey."
Him: "Hey."
Me: "I just got done at MGM."
Him: "Where do you want to go?"
Me: "Don't care."
Him: "How 'bout Venetian?"
Me: "Okay."

We will continue later in the week with:

Day 2.5: Venetian Vanilla Skies

Friday, June 23, 2006

No-limit orgy of destruction: Day 1

There were no orgies. There was no destruction. Also, I played limit. Other than that it was pretty much a no-limit orgy of destruction.

Saturday, June 17

I wake up and log on to Hollywood Poker to bang on the current bonus I am working on to help pay for a small party we are having in September (total earned so far: $3,024). Hit a royal flush (flop tptk with nut flush draw, turn the royal) and quad aces (limped with them preflop for some unknown reason, flopped quads). Got called down both times. Hopefully this is foreshadowing of things to come.

At 11AM the Ms. and I head over to After Hours Tuxedos so I can try on outfits for our party in September. We decided on a black three-button suit, which is basically just a tux without the stripe down the side of the pants or the shiny lapels. We tried it with several different vest/tie combos and tentatively decided on silver/silver for the vest/tie.

I paid the $20 deposit (or did I?) and we headed home.

I finished packing my Pokerstars duffel bag. I kissed Ms. Brick goodbye and hopped in the '95 Taurus:

I picked up Alex and our older gay companion Cilarus and drove to the Scott's. We checked out their new apartment and loaded our shit into Scott's gay Accent:

Ms. Scott drove us to Midtown Airport and we piled into Southwestern Airlines flight AAKKK.

Destination: Vegas.

Piling is how you get into Southwestern flights. Luckily Scott and I checked in early and got group "A". Cilarus and Alex weren't so lucky. They were in group "B".

Scott grabbed a window seat and I took the one right behind him. Cilarus and Alex were able to obtain the corresponding aisle seats. Fortunately, the corresponding center seats went unoccupied. The flight was uneventful until the beverages were distributed and all hell broke loose.

Scott and Alex were in the row ahead of me, which was the last row in the gay redheaded stewardess's section, and our (Cilarus and I) row was the first row of the chubby nice lady's section. Our stewardess was happily distributing full cans of pop. The greatest feeling in the world is when you are sitting on a plane and they hand you a whole can of Coke. That has to be the highlight of any vacation. Also, since Cilarus and I were in the first row of her section, we got served first.

Scott and Alex were in the last row of the gay redhead's section, so they got served last. They didn't even get whole cans. I guess the gay redhead wanted to piss off Scott and Alex after I told Scott earlier: "Sweet! Whole cans!" and got his hopes up. So Scott ended up with the 4 oz. clear plastic cup of pop. No one said life was fair.

I felt bad. When the chubby nice lady came by and asked Cilarus and me: "Can I get you anything else?" I whispered: "Can you get my friend a whole can of Coke?" and she goes: "What will you do for me?" So I took her in the bathroom and gave her a blowjob. She then gave Scott a can of Coke and everyone was happy. Scott toked me a bag of peanuts. Thanks, Scott. It's not like the stewardess didn't just give us a big handful of bags of peanuts. Oh wait, she did. Nevermind.

As we coverged on Vegas, Cilarus struck up a conversation with the gay redheaded stewardess. Butt sex did not ensue.

We arrived at approximately 9PM and were met by Scott's brother, Slim, who had just driven up from Phx,AZ in the Malibu Maxx:

We drove over to our place of temporary residence, the Tropicana, which I hear is quite comfortable. We dumped our bags and drove to the Wynn.

It sure was nice of Steve Wynn to put the parking garage right next to the poker room. Scott and I are immediately seated at their finest 4-8 table, table 22. Cilarus and Alex signed up for 1-3 NL. I don't know what the hell Slim did, but he eventually ended up at our table.

Scott was in the 2 seat and I was in the 5 seat. Right after we sat down I was immediately bashed over the head by sucking at poker. I got J2 in the big blind, flop comes JJx. The guy in the 1 seat hits his flush on the turn. The river doesn't fill me up and I pay him off. Scott starts out nicely and is quickly up $200. I start out down almost $200 and have to put another C-note under my dwindling stack of chips. How the hell did this happen? I guess paying off another $24 after my AA has clearly been beat didn't help. I'm also failing to make any draws but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Did I mention I'm seated next to the biggest whiner I've ever encountered in a live game? He was about 80 years and all of the words coming out of his mouth amounted to:

"God dammit. I had the worst hand the whole way and I lost. This is bullshit."

Yeah, man, it totally sucks that your A-10 was pretty much dead on that 9-9-3 flop and you turned a 10 and rivered an A. I don't get how you could be so unlucky. Also, never quit playing poker, please.

The complaint of the night had be when the flop came K-10-4 and he had mucked A-4. Into my right ear he barks: "Christ, I fold A-4 and the flop comes with a four. Christ." Yeah, man, I totally empathize. I hate it when I throw my hand away when I would have flopped the bottom pair, top kicker powerhouse.

I start to mount a comeback when Ted Forrest's twin brother sits down, let's call him "Jim Forrest", in the 8 seat and buys in for $400. "Whoa-hoa, look at this guy!" was the sarcastic feeling around the table. He made it a point to tell us all he was 50, retired, and usually played 30-60 at the Bellagio. Good for him. His first hand he is utg and he straddles. This should be fun. It wasn't. He actually played pretty well, much to my chagrin. In one hand I had K-10 on a K-10-10 flop. Jim Forrest had the other 10, but immediately slowed down when I showed strength. He only called me down on the turn and river instead of jacking it up. I guess he was able to deduce that I am a total pussy and only pound on a hand if I have a monster.

The 6 and 7 seats opened up and Scott asked if he could have the 6 seat, right to my left. As soon as he claimed the 6 seat, I took the 7 seat. So now Scotty Win was on my right, and Jim Forrest was on my left. Also, I finally got away from Mr. Complainy Pants, who failed to shut the hell up for the rest of the evening. He also failed to quit buying in after busting.


Cilarus and Alex got seated at the same table and bought in for the standard. Alex won a little while Cilarus lost a little. A short while later, a dapper black gentlemen (cuff links, shiny white shoes, top coat, fancy hat), who had not played a single hand, let's call him Daddy Bling Bling, shoved $31,000 at Alex. DBB had Alex covered by about $30,900. Alex contemplates a call with QJ suited, but decides to muck. DBB claimed the blinds and now had $31,004.

Now for the rest of his life Alex can tell people: "Yeah, I was in a poker game at the Wynn and some guy shoved a new Honda Accord at me."

A little while later someone asked Alex where he was staying. "The Tropicana," he replied. Based on the person's reaction you would think the conversation went like this:

Other guy: "What did you have for dinner?"
Alex: "Maggot-filled pie. It's like regular pie only with maggots."


Slim showed up and took the 5 seat to Scott's right. I continue my comeback and pick up a few nice pots. Eventually I'm ahead $100 on the night and Scotty is back to even. I lose some back and at 3AM we decided to pack it in. I finish ahead $8, for an hourly rate of $2. I would have been ahead $11 if I didn't tip the waitress $3 for that strawberry daquiri. Scott was plus $17 and Alex won about $140. I can't speak for Cilarus or Slim.

We hopped in the Malibu Maxx:

and headed back to the Trop. I don't know what people's problem with the Trop is. The room was like a standard, clean, Motel 6. It's in a good location with super easy access to the MGM and Excalibur poker rooms. Completely awesome for $50 a night.

We parked the car and decided to storm the castle. Except for Cilarus. He went to bed.

It was about 4AM when we got there. The room has changed. They moved it and reduced the number of tables.

We all wanted to play the 2-6 spread game but there was only one table going and it was full. There were two others on the list and they agreed to open up a 6-handed table. They gave us this dealer who looked all of 12 years old. "Christ, we're starting a table at 4AM? It's 4AM and we're starting a table? Christ," he said, repeatedly.

The table consisted of me, Alex, Scotty, Slim, a retarded Asian, and an incredibly black obese man. Let's call him IBOM. It seemed every pot came down to IBOM and the Asian calling each other down. Eventually IBOM decided to quit looking at his cards and called everything. Alex took down a pot when IBOM rolled over a 6-high at showdown. Sweet. I decided to take off just before 7AM ahead $9.50. I would have been ahead about $50 more if the retarded Asian guy didn't crack my AQ with QJ on a A-Q-10 flop. Oh well, that's the way it goes at the Excal.

Everyone else stayed. I went upstairs to the food court to grab an Egg McMuffin, unaware that I could have gotten a $4 off coupon which would have been good for a free Egg McMuffin meal. You live, you learn.

Slim, Scott, and Alex met me upstairs a little while later, $4 coupons in hand. "Fuck you guys," I said. Alex and I headed to bed while Scott and Slim chose to use their $4 off coupons at the Round Table Buffet. They inform us later that this was not the smartest of choices.

I give Ms. Brick a wake up call and it's sleepy time. My hourly rate so far for 7 hours of poker play: $2.50.

Now, I know what you young kids reading this are thinking: "God, I can't wait 'til I turn 21."

Coming Monday:

Day 2: Bad Beats at the Bellagio.