Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Las Vegas wrap up

Well it's been a busy week since I got back but I'm finally getting around to doing a wrap up post.

First of all, thanks to everyone who was reading along. It's good to know I have the crew back home looking over my shoulder while at the tables and giving me feedback. We are used to the technology now but really even just a few years ago there would be no way that you guys would be getting near real time updates with the ease and convenience of just checking your browser/RSS reader/phone. As suspected a quick review indicates a more content rich blog this trip than in the past. Odd since as I mentioned before it was almost exclusively thumb typing instead of my external keyboard. What really helped for me was to break down the session into smaller bites. I tracked more hands that way and keeps my typing workload down to more manageable smaller bites instead of slogging through a whole session afterwards. Also gave me something to do while folding a la Ryan's DS play.

Overall I was fairly pleased with my play. All of the bankroll management discussion has put poker in LV into a different perspective and I treat my buy ins with a litle more respect than in the past. It was also a bit of a renaissance for me as well. I went back to basics and even had to relearn a few things. Shifting out of the Marty Farha wide open mode that I've played in the past in LV, I went back to basics of folding a lot of hands...maybe too many even. I also found that the vast majority of my decision making was done on the Flop. I have a limited amount of hands I'm starting off with and based on the flop my decisions end up being fairly easy. Fit or fold. Very little chasing and definitely none without reasonable odds.

Once I got the hand selection and Flop decision thing down then I took the step of getting my money in when I thought I had the best of it. It was pretty much brute force betting and as pointed out in the comments I could have likely massaged another bill out of the weekend if I had been more surgical (assuming I didn't get drawn out on). Most notably AQ versus KK, AK vs K9 on AK9 flop, and nut Flush versus two pair. For whatever reason, betting that would be second nature to me at WNP just fell out of my head down there. Maybe due to a different crowd or being out of my element but either way I just wasn't playing as optimally as I could have. It also took Ryan yelling through the tubes to slap some sense into me to either a) stop showing cards or b) use my image to bluff more. Totally reasonable but just not what I was doing at the time. Made the adjustment though and it may well have netted me a call on my last big hand of sucker Straight versus top two pair though she may not have gone away even if turned my hand up since I think she over-estimated her position in the hand.

I know we joke about the 1/2 games being unbeatable and I made a post earlier about crunching some numbers so here's the math comparing Caesars to MGM to Binions:

* Caesars is a 1/3 game so you are paying $4/orbit and since they play nine handed that comes out to .44/hand or $13.33 for an hour of play assuming 30 hands/hour. Assuming to win a $40 pot in that hour, it is going to be raked a full 10% that maxes out at $4 plus the extra $1 for the HHJ and BBJ bonuses. Bottom line: $21.67 net for winning a $40 pot in an hour of play.

* MGM is a 1/2 game at a full ten handed table so it is only .30/hand or $9/hour. Taking down the $40 pot will still get max raked but you save on the bonus. Bottom line: $27 net, almost 25% more than Caesars.

* And just for comparison, we'll throw in Binions. Same as MGM but with only a 5% rake so you net out $29, best deal of all.

The tax paid is substantial as we all know but actually running the numbers is a little sobering. This underscores the strategy of playing big pots in No Limit games even more since you minimize the effect of the rake that way. Game selection is also important as we can see since where you play can have a big effect on how much you bring home.

Mail bag:
I do get your comments on the blog but I cannot reply to the comments from my phone. I tried from my browser but I think due to some JavaScript issue or something I cannot submit comments in response so here is some catch up.

* Bad beat hand with guy calling off his stack with bottom pair. Yeah, I know I want this guy in the hand. I have no qualms about it. I know I'm stacking that guy 90% of the time so I welcome his action, just don't like those 10% times but nobody does. He actually lucked into another two outer an orbit later when he called off his whole stack with a random 9 on a 922 flop to a guy who flopped trips then he caught a 9 on the River after all the money had gotten in. Even elicited a comment from a guy at the table who noted that he'd been catching lucky.

* Slowing down my betting to get callers. When it comes to trying to isolate down to one player in a multiway limped pot, I am fine with taking down the pot versus risking getting into a multiway pot and some hard decisions. When there are enough blinds to get me a few more orbits I would rather err on the side of just taking it down right there. I also have the chance of opening the door for someone who thinks I'm stealing and wants to re-steal or someone who wanted to limp/pop with JJ or QQ. If the field is small enough then I will throttle back the bet amount to try to get one caller.

* "Pro" playing 1/2 at PH. From everything I saw I have no reason to not believe that this guy can grind out a living playing ABC poker everyday at those tables. There is enough d0nk play to feed a solid player who is disciplined enough to manage a bankroll. Some who can average clearing one bill a day, as Marsh himself has, is netting out a livable wage especially considering that it is tax free.

* KK vs AQ. Agreed. I should have flat called and let him fire again on the Turn which would have been for the rest of his stack. Sub-optimal.

* Ryan's official challenge to not show another hand: accepted.

* Value bet on the end with trip Sixes. I actually misplayed this one too. The 15 on the end was actually almost the rest of my stack. If I had planned it out better I would have made a slightly larger bet on the Turn and then a shrug shove with a the rest of my stack which would have been smaller than the Turn bet so I could get paid in full. As it was I think an "all in" might sound more intimidating than it ended up being since those words often connote a big bet even though it was only a few bucks more than my River vbet.

* Did I actually jump around like Beth Shak and shove my pair of bullets in the faces of everyone at the table? Of course not. I actually did more of a Hevad Kahn "oooh haaa" type dance and picked up my chair and pumped it over my head instead.

Miscellaneous side notes:
* I was talking to one of the dealers at Planet Hollywood about their Chinese Poker tournament and she added a tidbit that hadn't come up before. She described how dealing actually took less down time than in a Hold'em tournament since they would use two decks and deal out the next hand while the players were setting their hands from the opposite deck. PH does not have auto shufflers and in a standard Hold'em tourney everyone waits for the deck to be made between hands.

* The gate that US Airways uses at McCarran is totally ghetto. The bathrooms are trash and the wing looks like it hasn't been updated since the airport was originally built. Half of the area was actually drywalled off and it looks like that half was getting a makeover but our side was not pretty.

OK, that's a wrap for this trip. Thanks again to everyone for reading. I hope everyone enjoys reading as much as I enjoy blogging. Until next time (prolly another couple months or so).


Sushi Cowboy said...


Ryan said...

It's always fun to follow along at home...nice job playing and blogging.

jtrey333 said...

I *heart* the blog.

Marshall said...

Good stuff Marty.

royalbacon said...

Yep, awesomely awesome.