Event 3 recap

Event #3 was a complete and total madhouse.  Everybody knows that you need to pre-register for that one because so many people show up at the last minute to get in.  So, like a good citizen, I sent them the cash in advance.  When I arrived at the Rio the night before the event, I was shocked to learn that the people who pre-registered had to wait in the exact same line as the people who were buying in.  This is not the way it worked last year and makes no sense because the pre-registered folks should just be able to show ID and grab the seat card.  It should take 30 seconds per person.  Of course, they aren’t doing it like that now.  You have to fill out some stupid form and they have to wander off and search for something (God knows what) and then return and generate your seat card.  That last bit is the kicker.  Because they generate the seat card when you claim your seat, you get assigned a seat at that minute, which means that if you waited too long, you didn’t get assigned a real seat.  That means you are an “alternate”, which means you might not get to sit down for hours.  At that point, you will have a short stack and be forced to play push or fold right away.  The truth is that with the 3,000 chip stacks, you don’t get a ton of play anyhow, but what play you do get is in those first couple of hours.  Once I realized I didn’t have an actual seat assigned, I was annoyed.  I cornered a supervisor and asked what the deal was.  I pointed out that I had sent my cash more than a month ago — there is no fricken way I should be an alternate.  He sympathized and said they were trying to do “something.”  I asked him for an assurance that I would be able to get my money back if I was an alternate.  I told him that if I got to the front of the line and they told me I was an alternate, I would have found better things to do with my time.  He hemmed and hawed and eventually called the Tournament Director, who assured me that I would absolutely have a seat.

The way they gave us seats was to add a chair to every table and put us in the last seat at each table.  It was complete bedlam as several hundred people got in something that was more or less a line and received new seat assignments.  They had a list of people who had pre-registered, so it seems like they could have the new seat assignments made before we even showed up — but they didn’t, of course.  They also were back to the same idiotic cards they used yesterday.  The “corner peek” feature is actually pretty cool and I had no problems reading the cards I was dealt.  The problem was the cards on the board.  The 6 and 9 are quite difficult to distinguish and the pips are very small, so telling spades from clubs was not easy.  Luckily, I had the 10 seat, which is next to the dealer and easy to read the board from.  If I was at the end of the table, I’d have to ask the dealer to call out every flop.  I misread the river card once, thinking I had rivered two pair with K9, when I really just had two Kings.  It caused me to make a value bet on the river, but it all turned out good when I didn’t need two pair to win.  I made a very big mistake in this event, which crippled me.  I was limped QJ of clubs, when it got raised behind me.  I called with the BB and saw a flop of JT8 with two diamond and a club.  We checked to the raiser who made a standard continuation bet which folded the BB.  I flat called, figuring my Jack might be good, I had a gutshot and a backdoor flush draw.  The turn was the three of clubs, giving me the flush draw to go with all my other outs.  He fired another 800 after I checked.  At this point, I’m now pretty sure he has an overpair, and I’m afraid a semi-bluff would get called, so I just call again.  This makes the fact that I’m on a draw pretty obvious.  The river is the third diamond, which would have given me the flush if I was chasing the diamonds instead of the clubs.  I decide that I’ve very obviously been chasing the draw, so I bet 1,000 which is almost all of his remaining chips.  I figure the smaller bet looks more strong and he has to really hate the flush draw coming in.  I think there has to be at least a 50% chance he folds an overpair there.  To my dismay, he didn’t even think 20 seconds before calling with QQ.  This knocked me down to a very small stack and left me with no room to maneuver.  A short while later I flopped trip Aces with AQ from the big blind on an AA6 board.  I was sure I had the best hand and we checked around on the flop.  On the turn of King, we got it all-in and the other guy filled up with A9 when the river brought the ugly 9.  Nothing to be done about that.

I had fun, although it was depressingly short.  I really thought that the bluff had a great chance to work, but I was wrong.  I think in these events with so few chips, no one can fold top pair or overpairs, no matter how scary the board is.  In hindsight, it was a poor decision and effectively knocked me out.

My buddy from London, Paul, busted out soon thereafter and we spent the remainder of the day going from casino to casino reveling in the insane Disneyland that is Las Vegas.  Paul and I tried to outdrink each other with bourbon and Scotch and I think we tied in the end.  We had an amazing time, he is a fascinating guy to talk to.  If I recall correctly, we solved the problems of race relations in both South Africa and the USA, reached agreement on what the French do really well, confirmed that we are both the coolest people in the world, mastered the Vegas party game of “Spot the Hooker” and Pauli has proven to my satisfaction that there is an indisputable evolutionary basis for the commonly-observed fact that women understand men far better than men understand women.  I think it still makes perfect sense to me sober.  The only real bad thing I can say about Paul is that he has a curious affection for disco music.  I can only assume that you can only have that sort of feeling if you were too young to have actually experienced it.  Paul’s theory is that it is “happy music” and that allows him to forgive its other myriad faults.  Perhaps the entire experience is ruined for me by my awkward attempts to master disco dancing as a gawky junior high student who desperately wanted to seem cooler to the girls than he did.  We had a great steak dinner at Mon Ami Gabi, one of my favorites in Vegas and apparently the place I take ITHers.  To my shame, I allowed Paul to convince me that I have had some positive influence on his life through my poker tutelage, for which he insisted I allow him to buy me a dinner.  I believed every word of our mutual drunken lovefest last night and I still believe most of it today.  Paul will probably renounce every word, but he’s still stuck with bill now!  He talked about how he has grown and improved as a person as a result of his experiences in poker and I have to admit that I was really touched by his assessment of my small role in that progress of his.  I feel all teary eyed thinking of it now.  It was a really great night and can add Paul to my list of ITHers that have turned out to be every bit as awesome as I expected them to be.  The very worst thing about our conventions is that there are so many people and you don’t get to spend as much time with everyone as you would like.  I’m gutted to this day that I didn’t make more time to chat with Cybrarian at the last one, who I sometimes feel is my other brother.

I’ve yet to play a single cash game, which is something I have to fix since I’m now $3,000 in the hole.  Technically, I’m actually only $2,700 in the hole because of a silly thing I did last night.  Walking past a roulette table, I spontaneously bet $100 on red for no apparent reason.  I never play roulette, but I wanted an excuse to get change to tip the valet.  I doubled my $100 and got change for my other $100.  I took too long to collect my change and wound up letting the $200 ride on red, which won again.  I scooped up the $400 for a quick $300 profit!

Score at the end of two days of poker:

Tourney results:  -$3,000
Cashgame results:  $0
degenerate gambling:  +$300

Net results:  -$2,700

By Nsidestrate

I'm a hard-core limit ring game poker player who is becoming a degenerate sports bettor. I'm sure it will all make more sense if you read on.