Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Persistance Pays :D ($680)

Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! It's been ages since I've had a first place in an MTT. I wasn't feeling well either while I was playing. That didn't stop me bullying the final table bubble though, which gave me a 2:1 advantage over the second biggest stack coming on to the final table :) From there it was more bullying and a lot of luck that put me in an even chip situation with the ft's worst player heads up :) I didn't manage to screw this one up! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

13th out of 666 in the $6k GTD

Another deep run :) So close yet so far, a familiar story in tournaments... My best move of the game was this:

I raised to 4xBB UTG with TT and got 1 caller... Flop J34 rainbow. I continuation bet and the other big stack who called me pre-flop shoves 33k into a 15k pot... I call and he shows Aqo. I felt he had air cause of the overbet and the lack of draws on the board. He wouldn't play a set this way imo or AJ for that matter... This put me first in chips :D

Unfortuneately though the bingo stage of the tourney came around and it wasn't my day, oh well next time :)

Friday, 18 September 2009

All night cash games :s

First the good news I hit my 3rd ever Roayal Flush today (see above)... It only netted me about $9 though.

I played cash at the Grovesner from 11pm til 7am the other night and worked my 30 pound buy-in up to 230 :D Thoroughly enjoyed it especially how fishy my table was.

However it appears I have not learned my lesson of not playing live poker when tired!!! At 7am we were kicked out and we all decided to head for Aspers... BIG MISTAKE! Suddenly the blinds were 1/2 instead of .25/.50 and my 200 quid profit didn't look too healthy. Add to this my jet lag from America and the hour of day I knew in the back of my mind it was time to quit, but didn't.

400 pounds later (down 200 for the night) I called it quits feeling thoroughly annoyed with myself for playing when that tired AGAIN! Hopefully now I've learned my lesson, some people can do this but I can not.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Day 7 - One more

My bus was at an inconvienient time so I decided to stay one more day. After checking out at 11am I headed for the strip with a couple of other english travellers. After basking in the oppulance of Ceaser's palace shopping mall for awhile and generally wondering around I decidded to give the Bellagio 1/2 game one more shot. I sat down with $100 at 5pm and played til 11pm using my usual TAG style. This payed off nicelly as I finished $260 in profit for the night. This would've been more if I didn't have to lay down 2 pair to a straight with 789 on the board. He showed me JT and I was happy to only lose $100 in the hand :)

I'm back at the hostel now waiting for my 6am bus to the Grand Canyon. Gary the chef has just told me his dad gave Jimmi Hendrix his first gig!!! He showed me his dad's book too with the front cover showing the pair together, amazing! My battery is running out now so I have to go... Mite not blog for awhile because my charger adaptor is boken. See you all soon!

Day 6 - Lazy Day

Woke up at 5pm after some much needed sleep and hung around the hostel til about 11pm drinkin beer and vodka by the pool. The prize for most interesting person I've spoken to in Vegas goes to Gary the chef at the hostel. He's in his 50's or 60's I think and has a really interesting history including his claim to fame that he knew Ken Kesey (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest writer) who was a good friend of Jack Kerouac.

At midnight we (a group from hostel) went to see the 'Fremont Street Experience' a huge overhead light show in the old 'Downtown' district of Las Vegas. |It was impressive in it's own right but didn't quite measure up to what the strip has to offer. After that we went to some of the old Downtown casinos and gambled cheaply, I lost $10 on roulette for the experience. I went to bed early though (2am) as I had to check out at 11am.

So what are my overall impressions of 'Sin City':

  • The strip is like nothing else in the world, especially at night. So much money has been spent on making this place play to all the senses which is epitomised by the fountains at the Bellagio.
  • When you venture off the strip you find that this city is also home to extreme poverty and all that goes with it including drug and alcohol abuse as well as prostitution. There's definately another side to this place that most people never see.
  • Once you get past the flashy exterior of the strip the insides of the casinos are much of a muchness imo - rows and rows of slot machines among other games. It may sound strange but this almost put me off playing poker!
  • If you know where to go Las Vegaas can be cheap but if you don't you better have some cash behind you!
  • The poker here is an education worth paying for. The players are both interesting and on average a lot better than back home. This makes the games less profitable but much more mentally stimulating and satisfying :)
  • Overall I'd recommend it to anyone who can afford this trip but don't build it up too much, Las Vegas is an eye opener, at times a jaw dropper and a city of contradictions - it is not Paradise.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Day 5 - Tired

The day started lazily lying round the pool and contemplating buying tickets for a show, but after awhile we decided it was too hot to go into town for them. In the evening we headed for the strip to see some sites (me and 3 others from the hostel). We managed to cover a lot of ground over the course of the night seeing many of the hotels from Planet Hollywood to MGM, The Bellagio (including the fountains which were beautiful) and Luxor.

Six hours later tired and with sore feet I sat down at the Ceaser's 1/3 cash game with $100. As it was labour day wknd (bank holiday) the tables were teaming with fishy players. So I decided to buyin for 300 after awhile only for the fish to disapear as over agressive sharks swam in. This should've been my que to leave but as ever I stubbornly remained seated. After 6 hours of play I waas down $200 which wasn't too bad considering I lost most of it to the fish with legitamate hands. Exhausted (5am by now) I stood up and left greatful for the experience of the hours that I played with the good players.

As it was still dark I decided to hang around and play one more game at the Flamingo (much softer) where I bought in for $100. I ended up playing QQ badly as I was goaded into an all-in move by a v.poor player who I had beat... except the classic error in this situation - there was another player to my left (with 2 pair) woops! Oh well still $1k up for the trip and a little wiser (I hope).

Friday, 4 September 2009

Day 4 - No Poker

I decided to take a break from poker on day 4 as I havn't been seeing enough of the sites and the hostel I'm staying at was planning a big clubbing night out. So instead I went to the Stratosphere tower which has a 360 degree view of the whole of Vegas, amazing!!!

Then I paid a visit to 'The Gamblers General Store' which has every concievable thing to do with gambling from old casino slot machines to poker tables, books, chips and real casino decks of cards - souvenir heaven :) Then came back and had a kip before the night out.

20 people from the hostel managed to cram in a great big limo thing and we headed to the Wynn night clubs after seeing a great band in a local pub. Then came the shock of my life, $22 for a double whiskey and coke, madness! Good job I had plenty to drink before the nightclub :) Which was pretty average tbh.
Despite being told we'd have the best night of our lives it was a bit of a let down really but I still enjoyed it and met plenty of new people, danced loads and got home at 4am. Overall another great day in Sin City!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Day 3 - Another Final Table

The run continues. As my budget has now significantly increased I decided to play the Venetian $120 tournament (80 runners) that's mentioned a lot on the net. I wasn't as impressed with the structure as I'd hoped and the competition was quite good. Despite this I managed to final table again. I reached the final table of 10 ppl with a short stack and only 9 spots paying so things were looking ominous... until I picked up AA UTG and shoved. I got 2 unlucky callers 99 and QQ and my Aces held as I hit an Ace high flush weeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Unfortuneately the payout was very top heavy and my stack dwindled as the blinds rose so with 6 players left I was forced to shove from the button with A2o only to be called by TT in the SB. No improvememnt and out I went for $473 (profit of $353). 1st place would've been $2.5k! But I can't sniff at a 3rd day in profit :D

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Day 2 - Even Better :-)))

I had a restful day on day 2 with a plan to hit the tables in the evening instead today in the hope of finding some looser players. After this initial good poker decision I followed it up with a less sound one (in profit terms) and chose to play at the Bellagio. For the first few hours this looked to be a bad decision, but one I was willing to pay for. The players were although not brilliant (obviously it was 1/2) much better than what I'm used to and as a result I was nervous.

After a couple of hours and a good fold later (top pair to a concealed straight) I was down to $25 and low and behold my patients with a short stack paid off as I flopped the nut flush whilst unsuspectingly sitting in the BB :D My comeback began! As the hours passed the table changed from the players mentioned above to a much softer mix by which time I had worked my way up to $400 by calling a LAG's all-in on the river with my top pair, there were straight and flush draws out but he mucked, he was so LAGGY he coulda had anything.

Three other hands I can remember were getting it all-in pre-flop with KK against AQ and hitting quads :D Then losing another $300 pre-flop all-in to the same player with AKo against his AA (big mistake by me and very wishful thinking). Basically I played the hand horribly. I raised from UTG and he min-raised me - ALARM BELLS - I'm the tightest player on the table and he does that?!?!?!? So I decide to 3-bet :S Thinkin he'll put me on AA or KK... could be worse but there's more. He does a hollywood sigh, rubs face etc. and then 'thinks' b4 shoving! the pot is now $160ish + $180 more so I'm getting 2:1. Hmmmm, my reads all say fold but somehow I talk myself into calling thinking/hoping he has QQ or even JJ. Nope it was Aces. Epic blow up!

Oh well, I blame ego for that one and put it down to experience, luckily though along comes the next hand: 99 in the BB. Two or 3 limpers as usual so I raise it big to $17. One caller and the flop comes 3 hearts with a 9 :D I'm saved I was thinking - any bet I make here looks tilty and also my last hand shows I can be aggressive. But I feel he will bet if I check so I do, he obliges and I raise looking super tilty now! He shoves and I call... No hearts on turn or river and he mucks, overpair or flush draw I suppose? Anyways that's me back up to $700 and I finish the night on $750 ($650 profit) after 8 hrs of play. Nobody shows to play in Bobby's room unfortuneately but it's time 4 bed. $1k profit in 2 days, GET IN!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Day 1 - Off to a flyer!

On my first day in Vegas I woke after only 3 hours sleep but being as excited as I was I got ready and headed for the strip. Managed to get on the wrong bus, even after asking the driver who was typically bad mannered and offended I didn't lilke her bus, so I complied and got on. An hour and a half walk later I reached the Wynn casino, the newest and one of the classiest on the strip, so I went in to check it out...

Wow! Some ppl obviously have $$$, this was a different world! The shops that lined the way to the casino were not exactly like those on Wallsend High Street, put it that way! After a little bit of searching I found the poker room (it was now 9am) but the 2 games that were going on looked pretty serious so I decided to move on and check out some other venues.

Several casinos later, hot and tired from walking I reached Ceaser's Palace. Despite hearing the games here were tough I decided to stay and wait for the noon $85 tourney which has an excellent structure for the price. Whilst waiting for it to start I sat down with $100 in a $1/2 game and manged to finish with $200 after an hour :) Great start!

The tournament kicked off at noon with 40 runners. I immeadiately decided to play a similar strategy to what I play in 20 and 30 man SNG's which is tight at the start and loose at end - simple but v.effective. Luck was on my side as I hit some big hands from overpairs to sets and got paid off most of the time. A few hours later I found myself on my first Vegas final table. With 5 spots paying I played patiently, stealing blinds now and then. Finally it got down to 3 handed and I pushed all-in from the SB with 96o my loosest move of the game, obviously. I was insta-called by KJo and the flop showed a Jack signifying the end of my tournament and a $333 payout. I'm about to use SNG wiz to analyze this push as I'm not sure about it even tho I was pretty short. Either way $350 profit for day one is a great start for me :D

UPDATE: SNG Wiz said a push is correct with any two if his range for calling is as low as 40%. So definately correct to shove here :)