I walk into the Bellagio. That's right, the Bellagio. It's my second time, I'm not scared. I talk to the lady at the desk and ask for a seat in a $4/$8 Limit Hold'em game. She is friendly. She says these games usually don't start until later in the afternoon. It's still 11:00 a.m. How about a No Limit $1/$3? Yes, there is one seat available. I look around the room. It barely resembles the fuss of the afternoon hours, when the distressed desk people yell at the microphones calling players' names and telling there is a seat available for them.

The lady asks for my ID. A guy comments I probably have a fake one, 'cause I look so young. Are you really 24? Since I was born. She puts my ID into some electronic device "so that my boss will be happy with me for using it." The machine misreads my ID. It says I'm 14. It would be really scary to see a 14-year old with that much facial hair, the lady says. After the minor problem, she gives my ID back. 

"Hey, you're Cancer," one of the chip runners says. "You missed the best sign for one day." He is a nice Gemini chap.

"I'm Cancer too," another guy says. "But the bad one, the moody and cranky type."

I sit at the table and recognize one face. The guy played with me the day before. I greet him. I put the cash at the table and ask for chips. The Gemini guy gets it for me, $300 in red $5 chips. I give him a bill. Thanks man. No problem.

I try to get a feel for the table. There are some older gentleman, some middle-aged guys, and other foreigners as well. A German and an Australian are on my left.

"Have you played any WSOP events?" the German guy asks.

"Yeah, I played the millionaire maker. Got eliminated around 5 p.m."

Freddy Deeb walks in the room. He is talking at the phone, wearing shorts and flip flops. Maybe he'll go swimming later. Good thing he doesn't play $1/$3 NL.

Anyway, I'm playing some hands. A maniac, you know. Loose action, that's the name of the game. And what a pleasure when everyone folds to me on the button and I look down at 52 suited. Surely a raise, position is power. Make it 10 bucks. The Australian guy calls in the big blind. The dealer deals the flop. It is just like my dream. Couldn't ask for anything more. 

Bellagio Hand #2: Hold'em No Limit ($1/$3) - 2014/06/09 11:12:53 ET 
Table ‘Bellagio’ 9-max Seat #1 is the button 
Seat 1: Me ($300 in chips)  
Seat 2: German ($243 in chips)  
Seat 3: Australian ($230 in chips)  
Seat 4: Random1 ($321 in chips)  
Seat 5: Random2 ($286 in chips)  
Seat 6: Random3 ($140 in chips)  
Seat 7: Random4 ($487 in chips)  
Seat 8: Random5 ($279 in chips)  
Seat 9: Random6 ($216 in chips)  
German: posts small blind $1 
Australian: posts big blind $3 
*** HOLE CARDS *** 
Dealt to Me [2s 5s] 
Random1: folds  
Random2: folds  
Random3: folds  
Random4: folds  
Random5: folds  
Random6: folds  
Me: raises $7 to $10 
German: folds  
Australian: calls $10 
*** FLOP *** [2d Ah 2c] 


Ah, yes. I hope he has an ace. A small bet will do.

Australian: checks 
Me: bets $12
Australian: calls $12
*** TURN *** [2d Ah 2c] [6s] 
Australian: checks  
Me: bets $25 
Australian: calls $25 


He better have an ace now. Should value bet him nicely.

*** RIVER *** [2d Ah 2c 6s] [7s] 

I pick up a stack of red chips and count 12 of them.

Australian: checks  
Me: bets $60 
Australian: calls $60 
*** SHOW DOWN *** 
Me: shows [2s 5s] (three of a kind, Deuces) 
Australian: shows [Ad 9h] (two pair, Aces and Deuces) 
Me collected $210 from pot 
*** SUMMARY *** 
Total pot $215 | Rake $5  
Board [2d Ah 2c 6s 7s] 
Seat 1: Me (button) showed [2s 5s] and won ($210) with three of a kind, Deuces 
Seat 2: German (small blind) folded before Flop 
Seat 3: Australian (big blind) showed [Ad 9h] and lost with two pair, Aces and Deuces 
Seat 4: Random1 folded before Flop (didn't bet) 
Seat 5: Random2 folded before Flop (didn't bet) 
Seat 6: Random3 folded before Flop (didn't bet) 
Seat 7: Random4 folded before Flop (didn't bet) 
Seat 8: Random5 folded before Flop (didn't bet) 
Seat 9: Random6 folded before Flop (didn't bet) 


He curses under his breath and I laugh. What else can I do?

"Show me AK, AQ, I would be happy to lose the pot. But 52?"

Yeah, yeah, I know. But a man's distress is another man's fortune. Now I can get the ticket to watch Guns n' Roses next week.