If you are looking for a trip report of Iron Man quality you should stop reading now. I¡¦m not that interesting (especially when on a solo trip) and I¡¦m not the world¡¦s greatest writer. If you want to hear about the poker that was played then read on my friends¡K
I had an early morning flight on Tuesday to Vegas via Minneapolis. I scored an exit row seat on the first leg of the flight, but the second leg was sold out and I wasn¡¦t so fortunate. I had an excellent stromboli for breakfast (eggs, bacon, ham, pepers) in Minneapolis. Flight was a little late leaving, but not too bad. Arrived in Vegas at 1:10 local time and there was virtually no taxi line at the airport and I¡¦m quickly on my way to the Rio. The taxi driver asked if I wanted to take the freeway and I declined, but at least it was a polite way of asking to long haul instead of just doing it without asking. I¡¦m able to get a room immediately and find it to be decent. There are a few things that could use updating, but I don¡¦t need 4 or 5 stars to be happy.
I get settled in and head for the convention center to register for event #38. I won a seat to the tournament in a home game and am very excited to finally be playing my first WSOP event. I register for the tournament and head over to the cash game area. I wait a few minutes and get called to my 1/3 table and buy in with 300. About 5 hands in I am in the big blind and call an EP raise to 8 and see a 5 handed flop of 662 with 2 hearts. I check and the original raiser bets 20, gets 1 caller and I raise to 65. The raiser calls and we see an off suit 3 on the turn. I bet 60 and get called. An off suit 2 falls on the river. I think a shove looks weaker than a typical value bet here, so I push all in for about 160. The raiser goes into the tank and eventually calls with AA. After 15 minutes I¡¦ve already doubled up!!! About 20 minutes later I raise 4 limpers to 22 with AA and get 2 callers. The flop is T62, I c-bet 35 and get 1 call. Turn is another 2 and I bet 65 and win the pot. Over the next hour or so I miss every flop badly and bleed some chips to the rest of the table. We get short handed and I decided it is time to find another game. I cash out with 745 (+445) after just 1 hour and 45 minutes. I did notice it is fairly cold in convention area for the WSOP.
I head to the sports book and bet on the Thunder to win out right at +125. I get a pizza from the Sports Deli next door and watch the 1st quarter of the game from there. The bet looks like a lock early on but the Thunder manage to give away another game to the Heat. I catch a cab over to the Venetian and get seated immediately with my 300 buy in. I am fairly card dead for the first hour or so and my stack falls to 240 when the following hand comes up. I check my option with T6 off suit and see a 6 handed flop of 974. It checks around on the flop and turn (5). The river brings an 8, giving me the 2nd nuts and I lead out for 7. Another player raises to 15 and it folds to me. I raise to 40 and the other player goes all in for 96 more. I had every intention of folding to a shove when I raised to 40 but I talked myself into a call and lose to JT. I buy another 200 in chips. No other interesting hands and I cash out with 315 (-185) after playing for 3.5 hours. It seemed that the dealer at the Venetian weren¡¦t as good as I remembered. I¡¦m guessing they have some less experienced dealers filling in during the DSE, but several were well below average. I did find it humorous to watch the 60ish gentleman next to me read about or look at pictures of the Kardashians the enter time he was at the table. If my wife were with me I would have introduced them as I¡¦m sure they would have had plenty to talk about. I head home and turn in early to prepare for the WSOP the next day.
Day 1 Totals:
Cash: +260, 5.25 Hours
I wake up refreshed Wednesday morning and eventually make it down to the breakfast buffet at the Rio. It was pretty good. I tried to stay away from most of the heavier foods so I didn¡¦t feel sluggish during the tournament. Head back to the room and relax for a while before making my way to the tournament at 12:00. I open raise to 100 from LP with 77 and both blinds call. The flop comes out Ace high, the SB bets, the BB calls and I fold. A few hands later I raise to 100 from EP with AK of hearts and get called by 4 players. The flop is something like 863 suited in spades and I check fold after a bet of 300 and 2 calls. Next hand I raise to 100 with AJ clubs and get called by the button and both blinds. Flop comes J76 rainbow, SB bets 200, BB raises to 650 and everyone folds. I think that is a pretty standard fold but it is only about 20 minutes in and I¡¦m getting frustrated. About an orbit later I open raise 98 clubs to 100 from the CO and only the bb calls. The flop is Q83 and I c-bet 175 and get called. A queen on the turn gets checked around. A king comes on the river, SB bets 300 and I fold. Maybe should have called there, but whatever. Next orbit I raise to 100 from the button with KJ hearts and get 3-bet to 300 from the BB, I call. Flop is J73 rainbow and I call a bet of 400. Turn is a 3 and SB bets 1500. I fold. As the tournament goes on I learn that the V in this hand is a super nit and I burned 200 on the pre-flop call and 400 on the turn. Later I raise to 100 in EP with AJ suited and get called by the BB. The flop comes Ace high with 3 hearts. BB checks, I bet 175, BB raises to 625. The BB was pretty aggressive and in hind sight I think checking back the flop was probably the best play. I raise a limper to 100 from LP with AA and win my first pot of the tournament. WTF? I get action on every other raise I¡¦ve made so far but nothing with AA. At the end of level 1 I¡¦m down to 2,925.
Blinds are now at 25/50, so I still have some room to play. First hand of the level and I find AA in EP and raise to 125. I get 4 callers and see a flop of 699 with 2 clubs. It checks to me and I bet 325. A late position player, a very active player that I¡¦m convinced isn¡¦t very good, raises to 1300, the BB smooth calls and I fold. I had every intention of jamming over the top of LP¡¦s raise until the blind came along. Once that happened I knew I was crushed as the BB was pretty tight. They get it all in on the turn and LP had 54 of clubs and BB had 99. Yeah, flopped quads. About an orbit later I raise to 125 with AQ off suit in LP and get 2 callers. We see a flop of T84. It checks to me and I c-bet 225. EP raise to 700, MP ships it for about 3100 and everyone folds. I¡¦m now getting short with about 2,000 left. Call raises to 125 3 hands in a row with 55, 77 and 22. All pots where multi-way and I miss each time and fold. I win a small pot with T8 from the small blind and end level 2 with 1675.
Early in level 3 (50/100) I see a free flop from the BB with Q7 of clubs. 4 of us see a flop of T73 with 2 clubs. I lead for 200 and get a call. A club hits the turn and I bet 350 and take down the pot. I¡¦m back up to 2,225. Next hand there is a raise to 250 from EP, 2 people call, I think about shipping but end up calling from the SB. I miss and fold on the flop. Back down to 1975. An orbit or so later I raise a limper with JJ to 325 and win pre-flop. A few hands later EP raises to 250 and the button calls. I find QQ in the SB and push in my last 1,825. EP calls with AQ, button tanks and folds. I hold and am back up to 4,000!!! I end level 3 with 3850.
In level 4 (75/150) there is a min raise from EP and 2 calls. I call with QJ clubs from the button. Flop is A84 with 2 diamonds. EP c-bets and is called. I fold. I¡¦m back down to 3,325. About half way through the level there is a limper and I find AA in LP. I raise to 600 and take down the pot. That is the last hand I played in level 4. I start level 5 (100/200) with 3175 and play 0 hands the entire level. It was absolutely brutal, I couldn¡¦t even find a decent spot to steal from LP. I think the best hand I saw was K8. I end the level with 2275. In level 6 (100/200/25) an active player makes it 450 in late position, the cutoff calls and I look down at AT of spades. I ship in my last 1,975 and the BB puts in his last 5,300. Everyone folds and I¡¦m up against JJ and don¡¦t hit. I¡¦m out after 5.25 hours. They didn¡¦t have the # of player remaining posted yet, but there were 990 of over 2,500 left at dinner (end of level 6), so I made through about half of the field.
I couldn¡¦t have asked for a better table draw, almost all of the players played straight forward. I just missed every flop or was out flopped the entire day. The only way I survived as long as I did was by people betting out and getting called, basically telling me that they hit the flop. Overall I¡¦m happy with how I played, my reads were pretty good but just need to hit the board once in a while.
I went back to the room to relax for a little while and then head to a cash game at the WSOP at 7:45. I buy into a 1/3 game for 300 and the table is super tight. Nothing memorable happens and I cash out with 245 at 9:45 to grab a quick meal at the poker kitchen. I have some chinese that was pretty decent, but a little pricey at $12. I head back over to find another 1/3 game and buy back in with the same 245. I only play 1 memorable hand. I call a raise to 10 from the button with QT of diamonds. We see a 5 handed flop of J93 with 2 diamonds. The original raiser leads for 25, MP calls, I raise to 85, raise goes all in for just under 200 total, MP does the same and I call. The raise has A7 of diamonds and MP has K5 of diamonds. We all brick out and Ace high takes down a nice pot. I add another 200 but nothing exciting happens the rest of the session and I cash out with 220 at 2:45.
Day 2 Totals:
Tournaments: -1,500, 5.25 hours
Cash: -280, 6.25 hours
Tournaments: -1,500, 5.25 hours
Cash: -20, 11.5 hours
I wake up Thursday morning and head over to the Gold Coast for their breakfast buffet. I¡¦ve heard it is good for the price ($8 with their players card). I get there at 10:00 and find that they close the buffet from 10:00 ¡V 11:00 to switch it over to lunch. I end up getting called to a blackjack table and donate $100. I decide to head to the strip for lunch and end up at Ra at the Fashion Show Mall. It was good. I don¡¦t get to eat sushi as often as I¡¦d like as my wife can barely stand the smell of it, so I appreciated the opportunity to have some.
I then walk to the Venetian and buy into a new 1/2 game for 240 at 12:20. I¡¦m in the 9 seat and there is a 50ish douche bag (DB) in the 6 seat that can¡¦t stop talking about the 2/5 game that he is waiting for. He is making huge bets on every street and showing garbage. He gets stacked once and rebuys. Then I raise to 10 from EP with AK of hearts, there are 3 callers and DB raises to 35. I make it 100, he pushes for 210 and I call. I table my hand and he says AK is no good. I make a flush on the river and he starts going off about how AK always gets there against him. Since he is a douche I needle him a little and something like ¡§What¡¦s wrong, your little pair didn¡¦t hold up?¡¨ He¡¦s like ¡§Of course it didn¡¦t %#@&.¡¨ He fires his hand toward the muck and it tumbles over, expose a 7 and a 4. The whole table starts laughing and he storms off. Nothing else to exciting happens and I cash out at 1:50 with 430.
I head over to TI for the 2:00 tournament and we get started with 2 full tables. In the 2nd orbit an EP player opens for 150 and I raise to 450. The BB and EP both call. We see a flop of 973 and the BB leads out for 600, EP raises to 1600. I¡¦m thinking this is a push or fold spot and decided I¡¦m not ready to play for all of the chips just a few minutes into the tournament. I fold as does the BB. 2 hand later I raise a bunch of limpers to 275 and get 3 callers. The flop is A83 and it gets checked to me. I bet 400 and get called in 2 spots. The turn is a 3 and it checks to me again. I bet 1,000, one player calls, another goes all-in, I call as does the last player. I¡¦m up against A7 and 88. I don¡¦t catch on the river and I¡¦m out in 15 minutes.
I take the tram over to the Mirage and get seated at a new table and buy in for 220 at 2:40. I bleed off about $50 over the first hour and decide to add another $100 to my stack. The very next hand I raise to 10 from EP with AA, a bad player in middle position raises to 35, one person flat calls, I re-pop it to 90, MP ships it for 175 and the other player folds. My AA holds up vs T3 off suit ƒº I while later I win a decent sized pot with 88 unimproved vs A7 on a 7 high flop and I¡¦m up to 520. There are 2 British friends at the table that will come into play in the next few hands. Both are pretty good players and claim to be online ¡¥Pros¡¦ back home. It is clear that they are thinking players and I haven¡¦t played a significant pot with either of them yet. Both of them have been 3-betting a fair amount and have yet to be called down. I raise KQ of diamonds to 12 from middle position, 1 player calls and the older British guy (OBG) raises to 42 from the small blind. Effective stacks are about 650 and I decide to call. The flop is A75 rainbow and OBG bets 45. His body language tells me that I doesn¡¦t like the Ace on the board so I call, intending to take the pot away on the turn, which is a 9 of diamonds. This gives me the nut flush draw as well. OBG checks, I bet 75, he starts talking and eventually mucks JJ face up. I slide my cards in a rake a nice pot. A few hands later the younger British guy (YBG) opens to 12, 2 players call as do I with 67 of diamonds. The flop is 632 with 2 diamonds and EP leads out for 20. It folds to me and I raise to 55 and YBG calls. The turn is the 8 of diamonds and YBG bets 55. I know that repeating a bet from the previous street is usually a sign of weakness, so I tried to think what hand he would do this with. I think he would be more with a hand like AK with the Ace of diamonds or even a big pair with a diamond. I eventually came to the conclusion that he is bluffing or has a pair with no diamonds. I decided to call as a raise would just take down the pot. The river is an off suit Ace and YBG bets 110, I call and my hand is good. My stack is now a little over 950. I take down a series of small and medium pots without showdown and my stack grows to 1,150. An older Asian (OA) raises to 7 from EP. This guy is about as tight as they come and has still managed to build up a stack of about 500. His biggest weakness is that he bets huge with the near nuts, so it is easy to fold when he hits huge. I call with AJ of spades and we see a 5 way flop of J74 with 2 spades. OA bets 20, I raise to 55 and OA calls. The turn is an off suit 8 and OA check calls 60. The river is an off suit 9 and OA checks. I can¡¦t come up with a hand that he could possibly call with that I can beat. Best case is that he has AJ. I check and OA rolls over KK. I continue to bleed chips for a while and decide to move on at 10:25, cashing out at exactly 900. It seemed like most of the dealers here are terribly slow and somewhat grumpy (don¡¦t worry AlsakaGal, I don¡¦t think you were dealing while I was there). The lone bright spot was a Amy, she was hands down the fastest dealer and was able to keep the action moving even while talking with the players at the table. Next time she just needs to peel a spade off for me against OA and she would really be the nuts!
I decide to wander the strip for a while and find a quite spot outside of Caesars to call home. I then head to the Bellagio and catch a fountain show. I was planning on heading to their poker room but decided I was too tired and just called it a night.
Day 3 Totals:
Tournaments: -50, .25 hours
Cash: 770, 9.25 hours
Tournaments: -1,550, 5.5 hours
Cash: 750, 20.75 hours
After the typical morning routine I head to the Grand Lux at the Venetian for breakfast. I grab a seat at the bar and do a double take when someone with an AVP hat sits down a few seats away. It is non-other than the AVP blogger zzjitterzz. I had played with him at Prairie Meadows once before in Des Moines, but that was before I knew of his AVP handle. We had a nice chat and then I went over and grabbed a seat at a newly opened 1/2 table with my 300 buy in at 11:30. I quickly dust off 100 with AQ vs KQ on a KQ8 flop. Fail to win hands with AK and QT suited and I add another 100 to my stack. I then lose with A5 vs AK on a board of AK448. I managed to lose the minimum in that hand but my stack has dwindled down to 185. Take a 5 way flop for $12 with 22 and miss my set. I then lose a small pot where I raised with A8 and get called by 55. Final board is A54JK and I¡¦m down to 150. I limp UTG with TT and then call a raise to 12. 3 see a flop of 866 and I check raise the raiser and take down the pot. I raise to 10 (175 behind) from EP with KK, 1 player calls and the button raises to 35. I try to figure out the right size of 4-bet and decide to just ship in my stack. Button snap calls and I¡¦m up against AA. I manage to river a king and I¡¦m back to 350!!! I manage to lose the minimum (about 50) with AK vs a flop set of eights on a board of A893A. The river checks around (I had position) and the V asks how I could check back that river. He was a tell spewing nit, so there wasn¡¦t much else he could have bet the flop and turn with. I just tell him I had a bad feeling and he laughs and keeps needling me about making a ¡¥bad¡¦ check on the river. I finally ask how much was in the pot and he says about 100. I then ask him who is worse, the player that loses 50 with trip Aces or the player who only wins 50 with a boat against trip Aces. He gets pissed and leaves. I¡¦m usually not an ass, but he had it coming. Plus he was a nit that wasn¡¦t giving any action, so I feel like I did the table a favor by chasing him away. I then hover around 350 for the next hour or so by playing a series of small pots. I win a decent pot with AQ on a queen high board to get up to 435. I play 57 in a limped pot from the BB and see a 6 handed flop of Q52. The button bets 10, I call as does 1 other player. The turn is a 7 and I check raise the buttons from 15 to 45 and he calls. I bet 45 on the river and get called. My hand is good and I¡¦m up to 535. I cash out at 3:30 with 510.
I decide to try out the Mirage again to see if I can repeat the success of the prior day. I get seated after a short wait an find OBG and YBG at the table. I buy in for 240 at 4:15. On my 5th hand I get QQ in EP and raise to 10. OBG is the only caller. The flop is J43, I bet 16 and get called. The turn is a 4, I bet 25, OBG raises to 50 and I call. The river is a 2 and I check so OBG can bet/bluff again but he checks behind and my hand is good. I¡¦m quickly up to 315. I win a series of small pots with JJ, QJ, JT and A9 to get up to about 350. I open raise to 10 with KT suited and take a flop heads up with OBG. We both flop 2 pair and each lose a dollar on the hand. I then go horribly card dead for a couple hours and my stack dwindles back to 270. I finally find a playable hand and call a raise to 8 with 86 suited from the button. We see a 5 handed flop of 876. Checks to me and I bet 20 and get called in 2 spots. An Ace falls on the turn, I bet 60 and take it down. Back up to 335. I get rivered in a 3 pots (22 < 54s straight, A4
Day 4 Totals:
Cash: 45, 12.5 hours (I almost made $4/hour!!!)
Tournaments: -1,550, 5.5 hours
Cash: 795, 33.25 hours
I wake up fairly early the last morning and get my things packed up. I don¡¦t fly out until 3:45 but decide to go ahead and check out and go find a game. I go to the actual poker room at the Rio and jump in an open seat with 300 at 9:15. A drunk that has probably been playing all night raises to 10 and I call with KQ of hearts. I miss the flop and fold to his c-bet. I later flop trip 3s from the big blind in a 5 way limped pot. It checks around on the flop. The 4 of spades adds a flush draw for me and I lead out for 6 and get 1 caller. The river is the 6 of spades and I bet 15, get raised to 40, call and see 42. Grump would be proud. The game is painfully tight so I cash out at10:00 with 230.
I head over to the cash games at the WSOP and quickly get seated at a super loose table. I buy in for 300 at 10:20. The first hand I call a raise to 10 from the BB with T9 suited. The 3 handed flop is 962 and I check call a bet of 20 from the raiser. The turn is a ten and it checks around. The river is a 4, I bet 35 and get called. My hand is good and I¡¦m up to 390. The next orbit the cutoff raises to 16, the button calls, I 3-bet to 46 from the SB and the button calls. We see a flop of AA5 and I lead out for 60. The button makes it 125 and I call. The turn is an ace and it checks around. The river is an 8, I bet 115 and button folds 55 face up. It is nice to run good sometimes. I¡¦m up to 575. I eventually build my stack up to 680 by winning a series of small pots. All of the sudden most of the table turns over and the game gets pretty nitty. I cash out at 12:50 with 585. I grab some tacos at the poker kitchen at the Rio and head for the airport.
Day 5 Totals:
Cash: +215, 3.25 hours
Tournaments: -1,550, 5.5 hours
Cash: 1,010, 36.5 hours