Tale of 2 decks, a hot one and a cold one. I got the cold one and MB, the hot one. Total loss for me over about 24 hours of live play in the 4 day trip was about $800, MB was definitely up.
Depends of course where you go and what kind of table you are at but in general I would characterize the play as very good during the day, particularly at the MGM where we played most. Lots of LAG players, a few TAG players, and during the day at most 1 donk per table. At night, this could change to 2 to 3 donks per table, but still beating the 10 percent standard rake and tipping the dealers made the tables unbeatable, in my opinion, during the day at $l/$2 NL Hold’m.
Some of the play at MGM was exceptional. Tag player bets out on top pair (a 10) top kicker, LAG player calls. Next card is a King. Check Check. Next card completes the spade draw for the flush and TAG player is visibly pissed and checks. LAG player moves in for about $120 into a $60 dollar pot. TAG player thinks for quite a while and makes the hero call. LAG player announces one pair, TAG player says which one. TAG player shows his hand and LAG player mucks.
Here are the hand highlights for myself and MB as well as a few other cool hands I saw.
First couple hours of play at the MGM and I pick up KK in late position. Raise to $12 and get a call from the button and small blind. Small blind is a very aggressive young Asian dude who I consider to be a reasonably good player. Flop is 10,J, Q with 2 clubs. I bet out $25, button calls and small blind check raises to about $80. I have about $120 left in my stack and move in, button calls, and small blind hems and haws and calls as well. Next 2 cards blank, and I rake the pot as Asian dude has KJ, and button has A,9 of clubs for the straight draw and nut flush draw. I then begin the next 15 hours of a slow and painful cold deck. During this period, I show down trip Jacks when my pocket Jacks trip up on the turn, losing to a queen high straight, a couple of 2 pairs, all losers, and the most painful, a monster losing to a bigger monster. I actually play 15 hours without ever getting a straight or a flush in NL Hold’m cash games, or ever being able to show down 2 pair or better to rake a pot.
Flops never seemed to cooperate. I pick up 99 on the button and decide to min raise the early position raiser from $10 to $18, trying to represent a higher pair. Everyone folds and flop is JJ,7. He bets out $20 and I raise to $50. He says something like what do you have Queens and then moves in for $22 more. I make the crying call and see that his pocket 10’s crush my pocket 99s. The very next hand a different early position raiser raises to $10 and I make it $30 to go with JJ. The blinds hem and haw and decide to fold what they later said were big Aces. The flop is Ace high, he checks and I move in for my last $60 dollars or so. He hems and haws and decides to fold face up his pocket 10’s. The blind, dying to know what I have throws me a buck to expose my hand and I show my JJ.
Day 2, decline continues and I continue to play on hoping for 1 positive thing to happen. Fortunately Martin gives me a great piece of advice, “end your session with 1 good decision since the cards are out of your control.” My new goal, one good decision. I pick up AJos in early position and make it $7 to go. About 5 callers. Flop is Ace, 3, x rainbow and I bet out $25. Next to act min raises to $50, the other 3 callers fold and I decide to fold as well with about $100 in my stack. Min raiser exposes A3 and I leave having made at least one good decision.
I make one final table in a 40 person tourney and bust out when I go all in as the micro stack with 99 and the big blind is forced to call me as I only have 1.25X the blind. He has Q,10 and catches. I finish as bubble boy.
Day 3 Marsh, myself, MB and Rosa go downtown, have a great dinner, watch the light show, and Marsh and I sit down to play at Binions. Marsh busts out and I am ready to go about 1 hour later. MB, Marsh and Rosa are all waiting for me and I decide to play one last hand and only if it is a premium hand. UTG, who just bought in for at least $300 (they have unlimited buyin at Binions), limps and I see KK again. I raise to $12, one other caller and UTG calls as well. Flop is King of spades, 6 of diamonds and 7 of diamonds. UTG bets into me for $20, I raise to $50, other caller folds and UTG says all in. I instacall with about $160 behind me, and show my cards for the cameras. He shows 66 for bottom set. Turn is a 6, river blanks and my Kings full lose to quads and I am felted for the first time during the trip in a cash game.
Dav 4 I try the Orleans for $4/8 Omaha 8. The crowd is myself and 8 locals all over the age of 60 who seem to play every day. About once an hour a new tourist comes through and busts out within an hour or 2. I play for 5 and a half hours, never bust out and lose about $80, probably close to the amount I gave to the rake, tipping the dealers and waitress drinks. I was the only tourist to survive this long with this group and was generally happy with this accomplishment.
Rest on day 4 at the MGM and head out to the Venetian for late night poker. I get seated at a passive multi donk table, my first one. Two great examples of donk behavior are new player comes in short stacked for $42 and goes all in. Blinds both call and the flop is Ace high, no betting, next 2 cards blank and dealer says show me a winner. Small blind shows Q,10 for queen high, big blind shows K,9 for King high and original all in bettor mucks. A few hands later, older guy who will later get the megadonk award says all in on a board of 6,7,9,10. Bigger donk calls and shows 10,3 os, the young hand for top pair 3 kicker. He saw the guys stack of about $60 and said why not but neglected to notice the $100 bill clearly displayed and in play. Bigger donk donks off $160. All in player shows trip sixes and is a target donk now with a big stack. Good aggressive player gets involved in a hand with this guy. Flop is K,Q, 10 with 2 clubs. Some action on the flop with a raise, pot is now about $100. Next card is a low club. Aggressive player bets $100 and megadonk looks at this cards and says do you have AK. He calls, Final cards is a club. Aggressive player goes all in for about $60 more and meagadonk calls. Aggressive player has Ace high flush with AJ, for the flopped straight. Megadonk reportedly had K3 os, with the 3 being a club at least according to the player next to him who glanced at his cards.
I finally show down Ace 4 in the blind for a winner on a limped pot with aggressive player betting the river on a busted straight draw. My streak of 16 hours of live play without being able to show down 2 pair or better for a winner has finally ended. I later show down two pair, queens and fours, when my pocket queens beat 9,6 on a board of 9,8,4. All of our money goes in on the flop, though he is short stacked and has about $40. The turn was a 6, the river is a four and I finally see a friendly river.
Master of the Multi Way All In Strikes Again
Similar situation at Mandalay Bay with all of us ready to go. Marsh and I are both done playing. Marsh is up a few hundred as he flopped quad 5’s and was paid off. Mandalay Bay also has a bonus if you show down quads and he picked up an additional $265. MB asks for one last hand as she has the button. 2 Limpers, she limps from the button, the blinds are mucked on bathroom brake and 3 people see the flop with $8 starting in the pot. MB flops perfect on the 9,10, Jack rainbow flop with KQ os. Check, check and she bets $5. Call, Call. The next card is the 8 of diamonds, putting 2 diamonds on the board. Stack sizes are original limper about $250, aggressive Russian guy about $500, and MB about $260. Original limper checks, aggressive Russian guy bets $20, MB raises to $50, and original limper and aggressive Russian guy both call. The final card is the ultimate scare card, the 9 of diamonds, pairing the board and putting the 8,9, and 10 of diamonds on the board. Original limper checks, aggressive Russian guy grabs a big stack of about $150 or so, MB looks distraught but announces all in anyways, original limper calls, as does aggressive Russian guy. Dealer says show me a winner. MB says to the Russian, “Do you have the flush?” as she realized on the river that this was the most likely possible sick suck out. He was playing LAG crazy enough to hang on to a hand like that. Having watched him blow through 3, $200 buy-ins earlier, it became apparent that he had lots to throw around. Players show. The original limper had Q,10 os for the straight to the queen, aggressive Russian guy had K,9 suited in spades for trip 9’s and MB rakes the pot of $779 with the straight to the King.
MB also made her first cash in a tourney with fourth place for $200. She was complimented by one nice gentleman who said she played the part of the big stack bully well.
Definitely a humbling experience for me in Vegas. I played about 10 hands of NL Hold’m on cake this morning and stacked someone with pocket aces when I flopped perfect with a Q,3,3 board with 2 hearts with my Ace, 3 suited in diamonds. Where were these flops in Vegas?