After the early afternoon swim with brother and sister’s kids, I went to shower and went to casino to play Paigow with Mom. Won $50 and left the winning with her.
Sunday, 02 Jul.
2.5 hrs (MGM)
Went to poker room and played for about 3 hours. Won $200, mostly from a lucky draw. I was down just a little bit at first, but then, I was on a flush draw on the flop. I got aggressive. Bet the flop and turn, got raised, and thought about folding, but decided to take a stab at the pot. Went all in, about $140 into same size pot. Villain had a set, so he easily called. But river completed my flush. Villain was upset, but not so much. He made some back and went to the tourney. I played a bit longer and waited to see how many would sign up for the tourney. It got up to 38 people in the 2nd level, so I decided it was worth the $80. Took the $200 win and headed to tourney.
Sunday, 02 Jul.
4 hrs (MGM)
Sat down in tourney, just two away from villain from cash game. He had no ill effects of the bad beat, but he was not getting good results at the tourney either. I sat down in BB, with 44, raised 4x bb and took the pot. My right hand neighbor remembered me from day before, as she was victim to the money bubble, partly thanks to me. She was very nice though. She ran good, just like my neighbor from previous tourney. I wanted to tell her to stay aggressive and to not just sit on the chips, but I could not muster up the courage to give any advice. She later busted in maybe 12th. She took out a bunch of players at our table, was clear chip leader at one point. But, as I watched her play, it was very much like the previous guy, tight, and fortunate with great hands. Did not take stab at uncontested pots.
Anyway, I chipped up steadily, was also fortunate with decent cards. Cash game villain got short and went quickly into shove mode. He shoved 3-4 times, not continuously, but just about every other hand. I woke up with AA, easily called his shove, but flop gave him two pairs, turned full house. Oh well, no real threat to my stack, maybe 25%. He busted shortly afterwards. A's got cracked about 3 times that table, and I was recipient of both ends. After I chipped up to high stack at the table, with neighbor moving to other table, I saw 45d. I raised to 3bb (T1200) from MP, only to see SB go all in for about T5500. BB called with about T3000. Pot was about T12000, I had about T25000. I was going to fold, but BB's call made it interesting for me. I thought that if I was going to use the chips to my advantage to go deep, I should take this gamble. Obviously I'm behind, but I had some draws. Called and flop was pretty good, x63. Turn quickly put an end to things, 2 for my straight. SB held AA. I was now at least co-leader for tourney, but then quickly took at painful blow. Young Vietnamese lady sat down (a bit earlier) talked a lot, acted drunk. I thought she was. She dropped low at first as she bought in late, but then caught a few hands. Then she turned aggressive to take pots. I had A2c in LP and raised 2.5 bb to take the pot. She quickly went all in. I felt that she was aggressive and thought that maybe she had only two face cards, which I could beat. I did not realize how big her stack was. I thought it was in the range of 9-10K. I called with about T37k and she turned over 1010. Lost the hand and about T15000, what a blow. She now had more chips than me. I was not in serious trouble, but now in bad position. Aggressive player to my left with bigger stack. I could not steal as much and my cards were running dead (even for my standard). I went into patient mode, let others knock each other out, and they did. Got down to about 12-14 players. My stack started to get impacted from blinds/ante. One of my motivations was to have what I call “ante chips”, ie. plenty of lowest denomination chips so as to not have to break a bigger chip for the ante. I wanted to take pots un-contested as they always have a bunch of ante chips. This worked out as I took a nice pot and got to the break with two 4 inch stacks of T25 chips. But, with the break came the color up and my ante chips were reduced significantly. No worries as my hands improved and I took some pots. Went to final table in the middle of the pack. Unfortunately, big stack (by far, maybe 30% of chips in play) was to my left. Fortunately, he was not aggressive. I improved my stack a bit, and chips moved around. About 5 players remaining, we started the chop talk. It was agreed, $500 each, but then, previous chip leader complained that new leader wanting $700 should not get more than him, so we played on. We did and busted out the weakest player as her stack was steadily going south, waiting for big hands. After she busted ($214? 5th place), break came and I negotiated the 4 way chop. $575 for me and small stack. $620 for previous chip lead and $700 for leader (who now had about 40% of chips). At the final table, I was not interested in big pots at all. I wanted the blinds and antes only. When I got a big hand, which I got plenty (KK, QQ, JJ) big ace, etc, I put in a big bet, did not play any flop. I always showed. When I had smaller cards, I took pots uncontested. Did not have to do this too often as I allowed others to go at one another. I learned from 1st tourney that most players are agreeable to a chop. If you make the money, it's a good chance to make decent money. Being chip leader did not gain that much more profit. Being chip leader typically meant that you were in a big hand. So you either needed a winner or were vulnerable to getting too low. I think the strategy worked. I will definitely play this tournament again at the next opportunity. I just hope that the turn out warrants it.
Sunday, 02 Jul.
9.5 hrs (MGM)
After the tournament, I went right back to 1/2NL cash game. It was about 11:30 pm and I was getting hungry, having skipped dinner. Sat down only to hear some bantering between a couple of players (slick hair guy with Austrian accent and older man with raspy voice). Older man was talking a lot of trash as he continued to haul in chips, pot after pot. Apparently, he had been running very good as Austrian accent continued to sing "Happy Birthday" following each pot the old man won. Old man was playing extremely weird style. He wanted to limp in every pot, rarely bet more than $15, even if pot had over $50. He took another sizeable pot before I really started to play. His neighbor, Jen (seemed to know him) got a hand and raised pre-. He called with some others and flop came K8x. She bet something like $25 ($150 behind) and he called. Turn was a second K. She bet $50 and he called. River was the second 8. She shipped the rest, and he called. He showed only an 8 to win the pot (Jen had QQ), pushing his stack to >$1000.
I went to grab some to-go food for me and my brother, who was sitting at a different table. Went to the MGM food court (McDonald's). Came back with the food but was not hungry, maybe from munching on the fries on the way back. I originally wanted to change table as I did not want to hear the old raspy voice continue with his trash talk. But, I decided to stay and was glad that I did. I disrupted old man's domination of the table, which was playing into his style. It was the most passive table I ever sat in. Other big stack at the table rarely played a hand. After a little while, he moved to my left (I figured he realized that I raised more and wanted to play behind). Old man was two to my left. After old man started losing some pots, mostly to me, the other big stack started to needle him. Old man told him to go "eat shit and bark at the moon". From then on, I referred to old man as Mr. Moon. I started to raise, not much, $8 and $10 pre-flop whenever I had a hand that I liked. Mr. Moon would admonish me, saying "what are you doing? You want to win $2 dollars?" I told him that I wasn't going to let him see every flop for $2. He didn't like that and started to target me. But, he wasn't shooting big bullets, more like throwing pebbles. First notable hand I played against Mr. Moon:
- 2h4h, limped on Button, flop Ah5h6. Mr. Moon bet $10 and I raised to $25. He looked at me and called. Turn was beautiful, black 3. I continued with $40 and he called. River was blank. He actually led out for something like $70. I looked at the board and decided to only call with the second nuts. I was only concerned because of Mr. Austrian's birthday songs. I was good to take the pot. After that pot, I continued to chip away at Mr. Moon's stack and he started to fall back to earth also.
By the time the table broke, about 4 am, Mr. Moon was felted, plus $100 more. I took about 2/3 of his stack and moved to another table. My flight was 11 am, so I decided to play until I had to leave for the airport.
Unfortunately, when I moved to the new table, I got monster hands but no one had a hand to play against. First hand, KK. Raised to $12, got two callers. Flopped a set. Bet $25, one caller. Checked turn. Bet river with no caller. Some other big hands, KK in BB, only to chop blinds. A7, limped and flopped AA7. Checked and turn was case A. Needless to say, no one else made a hand.
I did play a couple of hands against a Donk. Won one, and lost one.
- 910s in EP, called a $10 raise and flopped a straight, 8JQ. I bet out $20, and was quickly raised by the Donk, $25 more. I just called. Turn was blank. He bet, I called. River was a J. I was a bit concerned so I led out for $100 only. He called and I took the pot.
- 56s in LP, called $12 raise by Donk to see flop, 679. Raiser c-bet $25. I did not believe he had a pocket pair, so I called to see how far he would go. Turn was a 10. He continued with $50. I still did not believe, so I called. I put him on AK. River was an 8, putting the straight on the board. He bet $100. I thought that I had to call. He turned over KJ. I guess it was a good call on flop, bad call on river, and worse call on turn (should have raised). I missed this twice. Upon good reads in position, I did not make the raise. I lost another hand at the previous table in the same manner.
- AK, I raised on button to $12 and got a couple of callers. Missed the flop completely, 9 high, and a new aggressive guy bet $20. I just called. Turn was a K. Villain continued with $50 bet. Instead of raising, I just called, knowing that I had position. River was a 10. He bet $100. I called, and he proudly showed JQ for the rivered straight. I should not have let him get there. Oh well, another thing to work on for my game. Obviously, the other is having the ability to lay down a big hand, like TPTK or two pairs.
Overall, another very good run in Vegas, third straight profitable trip. I did run very good. Got pocket pairs numerous times in every session played. Hit sets, flushes and straights. Hit a few full houses and quads twice.
But, I think that I played my hands well to extract value, build pots, string people along, got under their skin a bit – not too much though as I really do enjoy chatting with fellow players. Poker is a hobby, not a job, and I really don’t get too upset over a bad beat or even losing to players making bad decisions, because these are the same players that tend to pay you off when you make a good hand. I’m more upset when I make a bad play myself, but still willing to work on it.
Can't wait for next trip, which is less than two months away. Thanks for reading.
Sorry if the report is too long, but I love to read reports on this site, especially the longer ones, so I thought I'd contribute.