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Vegas Day One: A Full Moon?

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  • Vegas Day One: A Full Moon?

    I leave another rainy day in Austin for sunny Las Vegas. The humidity on the way to the airport has me looking like a brunette Marge Simpson, but that's why they invented hats. The Southwest flight to Vegas is always fun. My side of the plane won the toilet paper race, extending a roll of TP the full length of the plane without tearing it. I was so proud.

    My brother and his buddy Al are waiting for me at the Mandalay Bay. They are urgently in need of pool time and alcohol. They are a little cranky because the Bay didn't let them check in because the reservations for both rooms were in my name, even though they had the confirmation numbers. I whisk them away to sunshine and moonshine – which seems to do the trick. On the way back from the pool, we can't resist checking out the poker room. The room itself is very nice. It has ten tables and offers 4/8 HE with a half kill, 6/12 HE with a half kill and 1/5 stud. They also offer the occasional 10/20 HE, but only on weekends. They have a high hand jackpot for quads or better and charge a 10%, $3 max, rake. It is a smoking room, but the high ceilings and openness of the room mitigate this to a large extent. The players, however, look like a scene from "The Grumpiest Old Men Play Poker," – definitely a local rock garden. We hope that changes after dinner.

    After dinner, the boys are fried and aren't ready to commit to poker. But I booked my room at the poker room rate, so I want to log in some hours. To get the poker room rate you must average 5 hours of play a day, for what works out to be about $100 a night off the regular room rate.

    I sign-up for the 4/8 half kill with mini blinds – a structure that seems to represent advanced calculus to many players. There are five players ahead of me, but they are about to start another table. It is then that Norm a.k.a. Vegas Chip (VC) pops out of his seat to introduce himself – and my first PSO (PokerSchoolOnline) contact of the trip is made.

    VC, a native Las Vegan, is at a table of local rocks. He swears the last seven hands have been folded to the BB pre-flop. When they start my table, however, it is pretty obvious I caught the tourist/trade show crowd. And to prove it, the first hand I decide to play is pocket rockets, capped pre-flop in three-way action. We all go aggressively to the river. One player also has the rockets. The lucky winner takes it with T4o, rivering his second pair. VC immediately puts in for a table change.

    VC arrives at out table and the real fun begins. VC is a master of making a table feel at ease, and soon the table is engaged in friendly banter. Like a Wal-Mart greeter, VC welcomes all new arrivals. He deftly gets players to admit things like, "I’ve never really played this game, but I’ve seen it on TV – twice!" Wounded heavily by my pocket aces debacle, I start to regain a little ground.

    At about 1:30am, a very drunk, large, Middle Eastern man joins the table. He immediately starts barking like a seal during his first hand – which he raises sight unseen. He bets all the way to the river without checking his hand. His pocket 6's are only a slight dog to the A8s that caught an 8 on the turn. The next hand he does the same thing – raising, barking, and betting to the river without looking at his cards. Although this time he also clucks like a chicken when people fold. He is very pleased to find his pocket 2's beat the only caller who was stuck with and unpaired big slick. And so it goes. VC eventually catches the animal impersonator when his pp K's find company on the turn, and his set takes a nice pot. I'm dying to catch the blind raiser myself. At this point, however, he announces that he will occasionally peak at his cards on the turn. I try to catch him with pocket 8's and call his flop bet with a J63 board. On the turn he peaks and announces he has two pair and bets. I don't know what to believe at this point, so I call. He bets on the river. But before I call he asks me if I want to see his cards. I'm slow, but I’m not stupid. When I say "yes" he shows me J6o and I fold. VC eventually calls it a night (although it's well into morning) and he is up well over a rack. I'm totally wasted by this point and I'm disappointed I don't have the stamina to reap the obvious benefit of staying. A friend of the Middle Eastern man sits down at the table. A few minutes later they are trying to work out a three-way with the young guy sitting next to me, much to the young kid's horror. I figure this only can end badly – as all three-ways do. I am stuck about $70, but have to live with it. I cash out and wander aimlessly around the casino and I think it's about 4:00am by the time I close my eyes.


  • #2
    Well, I liked day one of your report anyway!

    I had a great time at that table with you that night...I look forward to getting together next time you are in town!

    And yes, there seems to be a full moon quite often in this town

    Take care and see you around campus...

    Norm (VC)



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