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September 2018 Las Vegas trip

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  • September 2018 Las Vegas trip

    I started my Vegas trip by playing a daily tournament at Wynn, a daily I hadn’t played before. When all’s said and done, there are 45 players that enter. I start off at a table that I find out from the first orbit should be to my liking. Lots and lots of limpers that I should be able to take advantage of and I start off by seeing 5 limps and when I look down at KJ on the button, I’m not following their lead, and make a standard raise. I get four callers and see a flop of K85 rainbow. It checks to me and I fire out a value bet of just under half pot and to my surprise, only see one caller. The turn is the 2d for a full rainbow board and when it checks to me, I fire out a 40% pot bet and take down the first pot.

    The rest of the first two levels, I see a number of flops, can’t hit a thing, but I’m stealing enough to keep my stack steady. The third level, I hit another one, as I get in behind everyone with 99 out of the SB and see a flop of A95 with two spades. Well, this should have hit someone and as sticky as most of the table is, I should be in for winning a big pot. I lead out and get two callers (figure one has an ace and the other has spades). The turn is the Kd and I fire again and both come along. The river is gin for me, as it’s the 5 of spades. I fire again and after the first player calls, the other raises. Needless to say, I’m NOT calling and since any raise is over half the opp’s stacks, I’M ALL IN! The first opp mucks and later says he had an ace (totally believable and I think he hit 2 pair on me) but the opp with 78s, that rivers a flush and thinks he has me suckered… IS the sucker, and pays me off. I hit the first break 50% above the average stack and in great shape for a deep run.

    When we get back from break, we see that 5 are getting paid with 2167 on top. After the first hand, a table breaks and I see that the big stack from it (that I soon see is a very aggressive Asian kid) ends up at my table, so I’m not going to be able to steal anywhere near as much, as he’s in just about every pot, running great and not folding much at all. I do steal 3 pots when he folds, but not much otherwise, as I’m not getting anything for cards and the shorter stacks are now in shove mode.

    As we get down to 24 left, my stack has dropped to an about average one, but I find a great spot here, as there’s an open from the aggro kid and I look down at AK on the button with 21bb, that is soon to be less, as the blinds are going up the next hand. I’M ALL IN! I get snap called by AJ and get a full double, so I’m back to the second largest stack at the table. The next level, I get into a hand with the player on my right. I open AQs from UTG and he shoves his 8bb on me with A7o. Needless to say, I snap and double him when he flops a 7, turns a 7 and rivers an A.

    As the blinds are going up quick now, I’m down to one of the shorter stacks when I give a complimentary double to the player 2 to my right, when they shove 3bb into my blind… which I’m calling before I even look at my cards and end up with the nut low.

    As we get down to 12 left, I’m in short stack ninja mode and am finding some spots to steal some blinds. We get to 10 left quickly, then 9, which gets me a final table, then to 8… but with 8 left, the entire game dynamic changes. We just can’t get rid of anyone. I’m sitting 4th in chips, but after all the shorties double multiple times, I’m down to a resteal stack of 15bb again and now I’m the one that needs a double.

    I get a spot where it folds to me in the CO and I look down at 33 and needless to say, I’M ALL IN! The blind goes into the tank for about 3 min and finally decides to call my 12bb shove with AQo. Not sure what the guy was thinking about, because I’m snap calling with AQ there. 40 minutes later, we finally lose someone. With 7 left, I steal another one and get another one, but we're now on the bubble with 6 left.

    Still with 6 left, I make 2 plays, one from the button and one from the SB to steal a couple sets of blinds and then I look down at ATs. Well, if it had folded to me, I’m shoving in a heartbeat, but UTG rips and UTG+1 reshoves, so especially with both covering me, my cards go into the muck and when AK out flops KK (go figure someone shoves KK and there’s an A on the flop LOL), the bubble finally bursts.

    Well, my shove range is opening up due to the bubble bursting and the first hand after break, I look down at a spade coocoo and get called by the lag kid that turns over KQ, well, no help for my T9, so I’m out in 5th for $459. It’s not too often that you get a min cash for over 3x your buy-in. Most are only about a 30-50% ROI, not over 200%.

    The next evening, I head over to the Orleans to play their $15k GTD Friday evening tournament. When I get there, I see that about half the casino has no power and the part that does, has no AC (not good when it’s 105 degrees outside). It’s so bad that the pit bosses, instead of wearing suits, are in t-shirts and shorts and are still just streaming sweat. Not much from this tourney, as I find AA twice (still not sure how I didn’t bust the first time I found them), but went out about 40 places from cashing. We’ll see if they fix things by the time I go to Vegas next year or it’ll be a long while before I go back there to play… what a dump!

    My last tournament was on Monday at Bellagio (another tourney I’d never played before). I’m hoping that it will have 30-50 players in it, but find that we’re going to be shorter than that, even though there are more cash games running today than there was the day before. We start out with 10 of us and I quickly notice who the most likely, best opp is at the table. Four opps are drinking beers, 2 have mixed drinks and two are drinking shots (one makers mark and one fireball), and one opp is only drinking Fiji water (so there are 2 of us with it) … well, my eyes are on the guy drinking the water. The first two hands are exactly what I’d expect from a $130 buy-in, limp, limp, limp, rinse, repeat. Well, the third hand, I look down at KQs and after 3 limps, I’m not going to be a limpalotamus and make a standard raise and take it down (after getting a glare from the old guy, Mr. Fireball, lots more on him to come).

    At the end of the first orbit, more enter, so we split into two tables and when we draw to see who moves, the water guy is going to the other table, so I’m now sitting with a HUGE skill edge at the players left at my table. Well, 6-handed, deepstacked poker, I’ve never run into that playing 6-max sng’s or mtt’s, so IMO, my skill edge just went up even more. The rest of the table is still trying to limp and see flops every hand and I’m raising most of the hands I’m in (but I did call behind with some hands that can flop monsters (67s, 54s). Every time I raise, I take it from a 6-way pot to a HU pot or a preflop win and Mr. Fireball is getting hotter and hotter every single time I raise, and I’m raising over 8 in every 10 hands I’m playing.

    When we come back from break, the early football game is starting and Fireball doesn’t want to watch football, but the Atlanta Braves baseball game, so he asks the floor to put it on one of the tv’s… which he’d do in a second, but the game doesn’t start for another 3 hours. Well, Fireball starts asking the floor every 15 min to turn the game on, well, needless to say, the floor’s continued answer is… I’ll turn it on when it starts, but it won’t be for a couple hours. The more he drinks, the worse he’s getting, as he’s asking every 10 minutes, then every 5 min. After a few times, the floor’s obviously getting annoyed with him.

    As we get to 8 players left, from 14 entries, we combine back to 1 table, as there’s a double KO at the other table. As the others move to my table, I see that the Fiji water guy was one of the victims and that there are 2 big stacks and a micro stack. The player sitting 2 to my left is the new tourney chip leader and I soon find out that he’s from Germany. The other big stack ends up across the table from me and is on Fireball’s right. A couple hands later, Fireball starts mumbling about doing a chop and nobody is even replying to him.

    The micro stack decides to shove on my BB, so, when it folds around to me and it’s less than 2bb for me to call, I need to borrow some wet bar napkins, and call blind. The opp turns over J8s and I flip over QTo. I flop both and dodge the 9’s, so we’re down to 7 and I’ve got the chip lead back.

    Mr. Germany takes out a middle stack, so we’re down to 6 left and he regains the chip lead from me, as I run into a cooler for half my stack against him. I open preflop BvB and flop top/bottom pair…. Unfortunately, he flops top 2 pair. Looking back on this, I’m amazed I’m not in worse shape than I could be, as he never raises. If he raised the river, I’d be in DEEP trouble.

    The other big stack that moved from the other table and Fireball now get into a big one and Fireball doubles when his KQ sucks out on the other player’s AK, so they’re both middle stacks now. We finally lose another, when the German guy takes out another shorty, so we have 5 left, but in the meantime, I’ve stolen four pots to get the chip lead back (not by much, but I do have the chip lead).

    Fireball now loses two hands, to make him the only micro stack at the table and out of the blue, he now all of a sudden tells the dealer to stop, and says “We are going to do an even chop”. Well, I know I’m not doing a 5-way even chop when I have the chip lead, but Mr. Germany beats me to the punch “I’m playing to win. No even chop.” I then reply that I’m not doing a 5-way chop, period. Well, this sends Fireball over the edge and he’s not steaming anymore, he’s in full-blown eruption mode.

    The very next hand, I see how Fireball’s gonna be too. He’s gone from eruption mode, to total shove monkey mode. He’s shoving every single hand he wants to play and doesn’t care about his stack size. The guy from Germany doubles him, then the player on his right doubles him again, but that’s not stopping him from shoving every single hand. Every button open or if it folds to him on the button or SB, he’s ripping any two cards, well… I’ve seen a LOT of that type of player in my online tournaments, so I know exactly how to deal with him. I’m just going to sit back, relax, and as soon as I get a hand that is ahead of his range, I’m throwing the shove monkey a banana and gonna take his chips.

    The player to Fireball’s right shoves into him and gets snapped by AK, so we’re now down to 4 and unfortunately, I haven’t been able to pick up a hand to call Fireball’s shoves yet and have to fold 5 times in a row to him. We get another player knocked out, when the German takes out the player on my left, so we’re down to 3 left. Player on my left with a big chip lead, Fireball with about 50% more chips than me and I’m the shortest, but still have a playable stack, especially with Fireball still shoving every single hand he plays.

    Now, the talk of a chop comes up again. Mr. Germany says, “Let’s do a chop, I get $600 and both of you get $400”. In my shoes, shortest stack and the tourney only paying two, while I know I’ve got a skill edge, I’m up against a chip leader that is luckboxing everything and Fireball’s ATC shoves, if I can basically lock up just under second place money, I’m ok with that, so I agree to it. Fireball’s reply “You wouldn’t do an even chop with 5 left, so I’m going to win it. Let’s play!” I’m fine with that too, as I know Fireball’s on double digit shots now and I can outplay him blindfolded. I’m more worried about having the chip leader suck out on me again, than anything, as I've been in four hands with him so far, been ahead in all 4 (one was freerolling him) and haven't won a hand yet.

    Fireball shoves the next 3 hands (minus the walk he gets in his bb), but then he makes his first mistake from my BB. He shoves for the 8th time in a row, but this time, all I need to see is my first card and I snap him. Ax is miles ahead of his ATC, so my chips are going in on the bubble against him. He turns over K4o and gives me a full double when I flop an A and he gets even hotter when he sees a complimentary 4 on the river. He’s totally beat red and is still asking the floor for the baseball game, which now is down to starting in about an hour, so he’s not getting that either, LOL!

    The very next hand, I’m just hoping I pick up a real hand, because I’m 100% sure Fireball is shoving again and he rips from the button. I’m looking at both cards this time and see a king and an ace, JACKPOT! I reshove to try and iso Fireball, which happens when the BB instantly mucks. Fireball says “I got you this time! And turns over A7o.” My reply, “I don’t think so! And turn over my AK”. Fireball gets a big grin on his face when he sees a 7 in the window, but he’s erupting again, when the following card is a king. He’s dead in the water on the turn, when I hit another king, so Fireball passed on the $400 chop and ends up with absolutely nothing. One of his friends walks over (the other shot guy from my first table) and says, what happened… “I lost it all on two hands.” I’m sitting there saying to myself, well, you want to play like a shove monkey, that’s what you’re gonna get when you run into anyone with a clue. I’m just glad that it was me that he punted to, instead of the other guy, and because of how high the blinds and big blind ante are, I’ve got he chip lead back again, I’m ITM and we’re HU.

    The opp says to me, “As high as the blinds now are, lets do a chop.” Since he was more than fair with what he proposed 3-ways with me, offering me $400 when I only had about $250 in chip equity, I’m more than happy to listen to him. He was reasonable with me, I’m going to do the same back to him. I look at our stacks and see that I’m about 40k chips ahead of him (which seems like a lot, but at 5k/10k/10k, it’s not). He says to me, “You’ve got more chips, how about you take $750 and I get $650.” I run the numbers on my phone for a chip chop and say to him, “Well, you were reasonable with me earlier, so I’m going to do the same back to you. Let’s just do it by a chip chop, which when the floor runs the numbers, he confirms what I got when running them, so I’ll get $732 out of it.” We agree on the chip chop, so I’m walking away with $732 and a win!

    I see that HendonMob only tracks the Wynn tourney and not Bellagio, so my $457 for fifth shows and my win for $732 at Bellagio doesn’t, but I’ll take a week of tourneys with basically $400 in and $1200 out. I guess I still need to get a win on my HendonMob page, as all of my Vegas and non-Vegas wins don’t show on there. Although, that’s a good thing in a way, because it makes me look more like a fish.

    I’m not sure what live tourneys will be next for me, as the WSOP Circuit upped the rake again (they were $330's, then $365's and now $400's), so I may not play one of those next month (if I do, it’ll be the Monster Stack only), so I’ll have to see what the HPT schedule looks like in Nov and hopefully can get into one or two of those. If not, I’ll just stay at home and grind back what I lost in the variance run online over the last 6 weeks and keep building my bankroll thru the double or nothings. Too bad that PS left the majority of the US out for being able to play in the Moneymaker Tour because I was hoping to travel and play in at least one of those, but anyone that lives west of Washington, DC or east of Phoenix has exactly none of the tourneys in their areas or even within a reasonable driving distance (leaving 3 of the 5 largest poker areas and most of the country out of the tour, IMO, is a huge marketing mistake, with nothing in Vegas, nothing in the Midwest and nothing in the Southeast (Florida)… but it is what it is).

    6 Time Bracelet Winner

    Online Poker League
    Can you win the leaderboard?

  • #2
    Another nice readable story, thanks


    • #3
      Enjoyed your tale, John, especially the Fireball Flameout. Congrats on your successful Vegas week.
      3 Time Bracelet Winner



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