Monday, August 20, 2012

Vegas baby!

Nothing like an impromptu trip to Vegas to get the poker juices humming.

And hum they did.  I need to come here more often!

If that isn't a portent of my good fortune, I don't know what is, but I digress.  So, Erin and I were about to visit the LaBrea tarpits when we started talking about Steve, who decided to have a birthday party in Vegas - it was unbearably hot out, and we figured getting so close to bubbling tar was not a good way to spend the day, so, we decided to just jump in the car and go.  Considering I wanted to be somewhere I could just pop downstairs and play, we bid on a room at MGM and off we went.

We get settled in and as I went to the poker room, I discovered it was not there!  The area is under construction, so the usual juicy post-nightclub location was gone, and now was temporarily located in a rather drab enclave a few hundred feet away. Hmph.  Well,I havent been to Vegas since the Aria opened, so I went over there to check it out.

Beautiful room.  And they are running 1/3, which I always enjoy.  I bought in for $300 and down I sat. No sooner did I sit down when I get A10 and flop two pair.  An older gentlemen looked me up all the way to the turn and went away when I re-raised him when no flush draw made it to the river.

Erin was cool enough to join me at the table to watch, which is an interesting dynamic.  When I see that happening, I always assume the guy to be a little splashy, trying to impress the girl he is with.  I decided I would use that to my advantage and get really talkative, order a Jameson's, and act like I'm not really caring about what happens at this table.  I open raise everything for a bit, and fold when I whiff the flop.  Meanwhile, I'm canvassing the table.  I can identify one good player, wearing a Cincinnati Bearcats t-shirt.  Everybody else is, well - not very good.  They are also literally DISCUSSING how they play a given hand.  I would normally not listen to such drivel and assume it to be deception but that was not the case here.  So, I settled in and was convinced tonight would be profitable.

I flat call a gentleman's raise to 7 with 5d7h.  OK, ok, but it was 7 bucks!  A VERY splashy fellow opposite me calls.  The flop?  5-5-3 rainbow.  He makes it 30?  Since he isn't Grump, I did not put him on 2-4, although 33 could be a possibility - but why try to take it down there?  I'm a bit confused, but I decide to stick with my image despite my fear of being outkicked, so I 3bet to 100.  He looked at my one stack of reds and said, 'How much?  Never mind, OK, let's go, and he shoves all-in?? Outkicked, I think, but....I call for a few bucks more.

He tables A10??  I'm shocked. nothing shows for him - and I'm up to $500.

Then a classic hand ensued of AA vs. JJ against a nice enough fellow who - ironically, had a girl sitting with him too, and he refused to let those Jacks go.   I'm up to $700.

I figure that's a good profit for one night, but right as I am racking up, I get QQ. I raise to 11 with two callers.  Flop comes QA3 ranbow and I make it 25. JJ guy shoves all in, I call, he tables AJ and I take his last $50 with trip Queens.  Bingo!

The next day I decide to give the MGM room a whirl.  I sat down at a 1-2 table with a blonde girl to my left who was on vacation, and was already not knowing when her turn was...cue happy dance for me! I swear I am not there two minutes when I flop trip 7's.  A guy's AA gets cracked and I double up to $400.  I immediately assume table captain status, and considering the tightness I was witnessing, no one wanted to mess with me.  Any raise I put in over $25, people were folding.  I was in heaven.  I don't really recall the hand I won next but it knocked me up to $575 and I stayed there for a while and got up after about two hours.

I realize heading home - I've never left Vegas down.  The tourist population is so, well, horrible at poker that I find that I only really suffer when the board betrays me.  Granted, I always seem to hit the deck hard when I visit, but I'm leaving out a lot of solid profitable play where I used those moments to my advantage in later hands.  Vegas poker is a different animal in that ir is a destination for so many other things - your player pool is going to be more seasoned in LA because their casinos are not destinations.

This basically means I'm coming to Vegas a bit more often.