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Bubble-Boy in Training

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  • Bubble-Boy in Training

    I ventured to Vegas to try my luck for the first time on a social trip. (Having been there for a work a few times.)

    LUXOR - $25 FreezeOut.
    I wanted to play in a freeze-out format, as I did not want to be tempted to rebuy and still be short-stacked and throw good money after bad play.

    Survive to NL level, Final Table, $$$

    $250 in chips + $50 in chips for $3 to dealers. So I started with $300 in chips, which everyone did.

    They limit it to 84 people, about 7 tables of 11 each (little elbow room) and 7 alternates.

    15 Minute Rounds
    Limit for first hour, then No Limit
    10-15 betting 15/30
    15-25 betting 25/50
    25-50 betting 50/100
    50-100 betting 100-200
    100-200 NL
    then blinds double every 15 minutes

    So I started under the gun and promptly folded. Safe Start, eh? Well 7 people saw the flop and I am sure at least 4 would have gone All-IN if they were allowed. So this brick and mortar thing isn’t so much different than on-line play!

    Issue – Players and Dealer were not fast. I paid blind at level 1 and it was at level 3 before one circuit of the table was completed. I didn’t play a hand so I was down $200 w/o seeing a flop. Note to Al Spath: I even folded QJ.

    First Hand – JJ with the button, so I raised to 100, a couple of callers, but no reraise. Flop shows A, Q, rag….DAMN! I bet it, just hoping that people would have played suited connectors and if raised I would fold. I was. I did.

    Great. Down to 50 in chips and haven’t seen a TURN yet.

    Ok, waiting on something. I got AQ under the gun, decided it was now or never and bet. Got a few more callers and maybe a raise in there. Didn’t matter. Flop comes QQX. WHEW. My first winning hand. Back to about $250. Blinds at 50-100. AQ again as BB, checked around to me. I bet. 2 callers. Flop AQX. Living well now. Bet my last $50 and watch the suits. It holds up and I am near $1k at the end of session 4. I think I knocked out someone, but alas no bounty, panties, or boxers as a reward. Over the next 40 minutes, I take out two more people, and get chips to about 2800. Got to watch a “Phil Hellmuth III in training” get up, whine, stomp, do a pirouette etc. when his Q pairs and he gets called by a short stack going All-In. AQsX on the flop two more matching suits so 4 to a flush on the board and he stomps and says, “Don’t tell me you have an Ace.” Well, she did and had a 9 or 10, so she won with a flush. Entertaining, if not great poker. People bust left and right and I am soon at the final table of 11.

    Final Table:
    Blinds at 800/1600. I have an average stack with maybe 4 below me and 6 above me. Many clustered about 2500.
    First hand sees someone bust out from the blind and nothing good on the board.

    I am now one off the button. BB can’t cover, so he is All-In. MP with about 500 less than me calls. I raise All-In, figuring that I would not see a better hand before the blinds took me out. The bet got the Button and SB to fold. MP calls and is All-In, but I have him covered.

    Right play??? I can’t see doing it differently, but am open to ideas on whether I should have waited for a spot to go heads-up instead.

    BB has AQ, MP turns over TT. He had not hesitated to call and I assume only called hoping to get more into the pot. I had mixed emotions seeing the AQ as that took one card away. Board was complete rags. So thus ended my foray into tournament poker at 9th with 7 positions paying. As I was getting up the button told me I took his play away, as he had AK and was going to go All-In for about $4k until I did. Thus, I was down to one A and 2Ks in the deck so with AK, I had 3 outs to beat the TT. Next Stop Bellagio for the $15k buy-in on Tuesday. I think not!

    The guy who folded his AK won($650). The one who took my chips put his hands in his pocket and did not play another hand. He just let himself get blinded off for a 4th or 5th place finish (about $150). Was mildly depressed that he didn’t do anything with my chips.

    I tried again on Wed AM. Speed of play was a little better, but still fast. I had a couple of playable hands AJ, KQ but got nothing to pair and was again short stacked with blinds at 50/100. Nothing else (No A, no KXs, no two face cards…) until the BB which put me all-in. I think I had JTs or T9s. For 2 of my hearts on the flop, but never paired or got the last one. Decided that the blinds moved a bit too fast for me. Didn’t make the NL level 

    I had played some $2/4 at Luxor between the sign-up (930) and start of play (noon) and cashed out up about $20, almost covering the days entry.

    A Note – the Luxor NL game has a fixed buyin at $50, with tables starting as people bust from the tournament. Had we not been going to a show that afternoon, I might have tried that since risk was minimized and everyone would be equal stacked.


    This is a new poker room right in the center of the casino. They cleared out most of the slot machines from the High Slots area. So it is a little Oasis, walled off from most of the casino. They have the noise on the slots turned down or off. No one played them, so they were quiet.

    The tables were larger than at Luxor and chairs more comfortable (yeah). The floor had told me that they had opened the room in OCT and that all the dealers were new to poker at that time. They do not have the automatic shufflers, but the dealers were all friendly and kept things moving. I liked the room here, as you did not have the thoroughfare traffic that there was at Luxor. When a band was playing they could be heard. Else you could hear the casino music (classic rock type) at a low level. I do not think there were any speakers in the room, so it was a very low level and did not interfere with concentration or conversation. There were generally 6-7 tables going: 2/4 limit. 2/5 NL, and 1/2NL. The buy-in for the ½ NL game was $40-100. The 4/8 games start/break-up. I think people buy in at 100 and a couple of regulars take it to them and people leave.

    I looked at the NL stacks on a few occasions over a couple days and they seemed to tilt the table. I later learned that there are a few regulars, even during the day.

    I played 2/4 on three occasions. I ended up at about $3BB/hr to the positive after tips for dealers and waitresses. (Note that the Bloody Marys were not out of a can and were decently spiced.)

    The Alladin runs a 10AM NL shootout for $25. $1500 in chips. Blinds start at 25/50 and double every 15 minutes. I played this on Thursday AM (12/16). The only two hands I remember are when about an hour into it I was in MP with AA. One caller to me. Blinds at 100/200, so $500 in the pot. Play had been tight. So I bet $500 making it $700 to go. Player to my left calls. (He was a solid player, wider hand selection than I had been using. He was playing any two face cards, AXs, KXs and suited connectors. He played about ½ the pots, but would fold quickly after the flop. If he bet, he won it at showdown.

    Flop comes JJx. CRAP! I have about 1200 in chips. I knew if I checked he would bet it regradless of his hand. Yet I did not like those two Js. I bet $500 figuring he would laydown if beat and raise if he had me. He had me out chipped, but I had pushed would nhave been crippled. He raised. ‘Said’ he had a J. after the hand. I suspect he did, but who knows with those poker players. I hadn’t said what I had.

    WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND? Should I have pushed before the flop?
    I am not sure if he would have called or not. He may have.

    I continued to survive for 2 hours and make the final table with $500. I only had a one chip. There was some controversy. Someone had left to visit the restroom and the tournament director looked and saw ten heads. So he created the final table.

    We drew for seats. Then cards for the button. CRAP – Under the Gun. Two hands for a miracle. Then small-bladder returns and the director seats him in the middle of the table, right across from the dealer. Trouble is I was seat 9, button seat 6. He was short stacked, well not as bad as me and got a seat right behind the button. Those of us in the blinds and early said redraw for the button as he got a free pass to see some cards. S0 ½ table wants a redraw and the other ½ is happy with the way it was. Big surprise there. The director did not want to make a decision, so he flipped a coin and we ended up redrawing for the button. I gained a hand or two. Small-bladder got the SB. He ended up going out. Ten left. Someone went out next hand, Nine left. I got AK as BB, tossed my $500 chip into the pot, I wanted all 7 people to call, but alas it was a heads-up between the blinds. He had an A too, but the K saved me. So I doubled up, but the dealer pulled the two 500s and gave me an 1k chip…nothing to play with . I saw nothing interesting and ended up with a mid connector to make a stand. Nada. 9th again. 6 paying positions.

    Suspect I need to vary/loosen playing hands mid-tournament so that I have some more chips at the final table. This has held true in a few PSO tournaments…not too bad a surviving, but not enough ammo to cause damage later. This gave me 2.5 hours of entertainment. Which is a lot more than you can get for $25 anywhere else in town.

    Since it was my last chance, I did the 1pm tournament for $35+5. This one has a rebuy for $20 within the first hour. Since I had just ended at 1230, I took an hour and ate lunch and wandered the shops…So, I sat down late, but more alert? Blinds were slower, 20minute rounds and not doubling. All different players, Maybe 2 or 3 from the AM tournament. I had a few hands were playable and either the board did not pair for me or I got it too easily and made no chips. Never got above 2800 and eventually got knocked out about 25th of 60.

    If you are not too bored, The Ring games introduced me to "Blind Straddles" ? 8O (Will post in ADV Discussion form).


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