Vegas -- Salvaging the day
They are going to have all their chips in the middle with nothing and I'm going to have the stone cold nuts. It's going to be funny.
I may have had a few too mnay drinks, though.
--Seat 9 at a NL table at the Excalibur
LAS VEGAS -- So once again I'm high above the city in Binion's Steakhouse.
This time my folks are with me and so is my grandmother and my aunt. My grandmother points out the red-and-blue lights outside the Rio. I tell her about the Wynn, the place where Daniel Negreanu works, one of the newest and nicest casinos in the city.
"I'll have to see it on my next trip. But I may not come back," she says.
It's the end of an era of sorts. My grandmother's back hurts too much to travel well. I can't imagine not being able to meet her here again. The mini family reunions long have been a big part of my history with this city.
I loved being back at the Steakhouse for the second time, again being way up for the trip. Earlier in the day, however, I donked about $100 at the Excalibur and Bally's no-limit tables. The losses mainly surrounded getting raised on a good hand pre-flop and having to call because my hand was caught in the cookie jar. At Bally's, I called a guy's all-in for $25 with AQ and lost to a flopped card.
After dinner, I found myself back at the Excalibur, where I proceeded to lose a whole buy-in to a donk. I bet $15 under the gun with TT; this guy goes all in for $75. This donk smooth calls him; I think about reraising all in but then think well, this hand has been so good to me in the past, let's see a flop.
Flop is 9QJ. The donk, in the small blind, bets $100. That's pretty much my stack. I go all in for $7 more.
He catches a second J on the turn for his boat. I make my straight on the river with an 8.
Oh, well. I play two hours there but really can't make any money back. I drive to Bally's and walk over to Paris -- both poker rooms' no-limit tables are full. I walk over to the Aladdin and that's full, too.
At this point I've realized what a bad day my Spam shirt is having. It's like a 15-game winner getting shelled all day. I remember my Tunica experiences, though, and think that the Spam shirt is more of a limit hold-em shirt.
So I walk over to the Bellagio and sign up for a new $15/30 game.
Mind you, I've never played $15/30 before live and my bankroll is not quite there yet.
But limit has been the relief pitcher that has gotten me out of jams in the past.
I ask the supervisor what the standard buy-in is. It's $500, he says.
Crazy talk. People don't buy in for $900 (30 bb) I ask.
"You can buy in for a $1,000 if you want, but 99.9 percent of the time, this ($500) is the standard buy-in.
So I get my rack of red chips and go sit down.
Almost immediately I'm down about $100 as I end up calling into a huge pot.
But later I get T7s in the cutoff position. I limp in. Flop gives me a 7 and one heart. Flop is 873.
This guy with a ritzy red shirt bets and I raise him. He three-bets. I call.
Turn is a 6 of hearts. Gives me two hearts and a gutshot draw.
He bets it out. I immediately raise him. He calls.
River is the 9 of hearts. He checks to me, I bet, he calls and voila! my first live $15/30 winning hand.
"I have a flush and the straight," I say proudly as I scoop up a bunch of chips. I give a red chip to the dealer for my first win.
Ritzy shirt continues to get a black eye from me and two Yale kids at the other end of the table. It's like being a MLB pitcher. Sometimes I would check-raise. Sometimes I would bet it out.
At the end of two hours, I was up $255. I had been up as much as $400 at one point but donked off some chips. I need to be a little better in getting away from bad hands, although I had at least one good laydown.
So I'm still up $740 for the trip now. It was a nice feeling to play in the most beautiful poker room in the world, advancing up in limits.
It was nice thinking that there really wasn't any tricky play at this table. Most of the people were tight-weak. There was this loose-weak guy who won some pots at first but we kept giving him black eyes. I'm pretty sure my AF tonight ranged between two and six.
I love being up in the city that I love. I love that Spam shirt was able to salvage the day. I love that in this city, women think that nothing=Halloween costume and being able to chronicle that for Victor. More later!