Vegas -- Learning to Bow
But it's the wrong amount of money -- I've stepped down from $15/30 and the next lowest limit they spread is $8/16.
"Calling the following players for a new $15/30 game..." the brush says, echoing through the crowded poker room.
Eight-sixteen is like torture. I've never done well in it. There are only a handful of times I've played it in the past two years -- mainly while I waited for a NL $2/5 game to open up -- and I swear I've never won money in it.
"It's Saturday night and there's no list," this older guy in the Sham seat says.
Well no lie. I finally figured out the secret -- it's such a terrible game.
At the Bellagio, $4/8 and $15/30 are full of action. This game is just full of people who are tight and passive.
It was my mistake to come here and play. I thought maybe limit wouldn't be so bad. But I'll never play this game again. As a cruel reminder of how fickle fortune can be, the guy next to me shows quad aces on the river. I used to know a hand like that, just two weeks ago.
Bored out of my mind, I look around. In the corner, just to the left of Bobby's Room, the high limit area named after World Champion and casino executive Bobby Baldwin, are pictures of the Doyle Brunson Championship. There's Carlos Mortensen, the winner, posing with Doyle.
Doyle is standing up and smiling. He was still smiling when I saw him the day before yesterday, but on a motorized scooter just outside the poker room, btw.
Inside Bobby's Room are pictures of the Bellagio's stars, hanging up from the ceiling like jerseys hanging from banners. There's Chip Reese, Chau Giang, Jennifer Harman and of course, Doyle Brunson.
I miss the old interior of the poker room, which featured murals that included these 19th-century-looking women in dresses playing cards. On one mural two of them are sitting on the edge of a bed, cards all over the place. I liked it especially because a black cat (hint, hint!) was at the bottom of the picture, his paw on the ace of spades.
This rockish lady starts to complain when this nice Vietnamese girl next to me sucks out and counterfeits her two pair on the river.
What was weird was she played 95o in late position -- the rockish lady.
"Is that your favorite hand?" I ask her, trying to figure out why anyone in this game would play a terrible hand like that.
"No -- my favorite hands are those that are winning hands," she says triumphantly.
"Usually that's not nine-five offsuit," I say.
The cloud begins to clear on this table. Some of these players are terrible and maybe lucky. She plays A5o on the button. The guy next to her, a schoolteacher sort, plays A6o, which gets beaten by A2s on the river.
The Vietnamese girl suddenly starts exchanging rapid fire comments in Vietnamese with her sister, who is standing above her. There's no need to understand what she's saying.
It's pretty clear: What the fuck is going on here?
A few hands later, she raises with AA and he cracks them with T8s. Now there are two other people standing behind her, she just points to the schoolteacher and laughs.
Granted, most of these people are just here to play for fun. They've never heard of PokerTracker and don't keep records.
It's completely like the insurgency. These fish have no idea how close to the dam turbines they are.
I try, and I tried very hard, to stay for a full two hour session. But it's impossible.
At 1:43, I get up.
"This is a terrible game," I say, exasperated with my near $200 loss and yet thankful for the money I've saved.
It's bittersweet, leaving the House that Doyle built, on such a note. My limit game has completely tanked while I've been here and my NL game has been consistently okay.
I'll be back in nearly 10 days. I'll have to decide whether I play limit -- I probably will, but will search out much looser games.
I know there will be plenty of days like these, where the balls have been knocked out of the park nearly before it even begins, and days in which I'll be the home run hero.