So there have been a couple of trips to Vegas since I last regularly updated this here blog (yeah, sorry about that, been a really busy time in the non-blog life, and not much going on at the home game, so not much fodder for the blog. Hell, you should just follow me on twitter, I ramble less there anyway), so I figured I should probably write about them at some point.
I went out for Sir Brian the Red's 40th birthday, hit a high hand jackpot and still lost $1,600 in five days.
That one's out of the way, at least.
Most of it was only due to moderately donkish play, but a lot of bad situations that I should have been good enough to get out of, but wasn't. It happens. Meh.
Then I went back less than two weeks later for work. I took Suzy along so she could mooch free meals off of manufacturers and we added a day off on the front end and back end. I covered the front end and Suzy's tournament success in another post, but the day at the back end was a lot of fun and pretty relaxing, actually. We got up whenever we felt like it and wandered over to see the tiger cubs at the Mirage. They were every bit as ridiculously cute as you would expect, and the baby dolphin was also adorable. We had a good time with that, then wandered down to the Bellagio to see the fall decor at the conservatory.
In addition to being a costumer, Suzy loves the flowers, so she was in hog heaven. The fairies and watermill were very cool, and the big tree with eyes that followed you around the room was pretty spiffy. Nice lighting, too (it is, after all, kinda my gig). Then we watched the fountain show, which never really gets old for me. We had a decent, if less extravagant than the business dinners we'd had the previous three nights, and I headed down to the poker room at the IP to see how life was going there. We were stuck about $650 for the trip, and I wanted to make a last surge and book a win before we left. I sat in the open seat at a 1/2 table and bought in for $100. I've taken to buying short while I try to figure out the table, and if it's soft enough, I build that up quickly enough. If the table's tough, I probably blow through a hundy pretty quickly and just head off in search of greener pastures.
This looked like a pretty good table, with one kid wearing the whole getup, iPod, noise-cancelling headphones, sunglasses at night, the whole deal. I figured he was either going to double me up or stack me, because that's kinda how you earn your Junior Douchebag merit badge nowadays. He was a decent player, and he and his buddy were in town from Colorado. That actually helped me evaluate how to play him, since Colorado also has no legal real poker (but they did just pass a law allowing you to bet up to $100, I think, which should help the games there quite a bit), so he either was an online guy without much live experience or just a kid without much live experience. I pegged him as someone who was very impressed with himself and figured I could take advantage of that a little.
I was right and wrong. He was impressed with himself. He didn't have much live experience. And he did double me up. But he was a good player, and I got lucky to get money out of him. The first time we tangled I picked up Aces in middle position and raised to $11. The table had been pretty tight, and my "yo to go" raise was a little stiff. I was pretty surprised when Junior re-popped me to $45, but since I had about $150 in front of me, I shrugged and stuck it all in the middle. He thought for a long time before finally laying it down, and by the way he agonized, I narrowed his range to just a few hands. He claimed Queens, and I believe it. He was a little too proud of the laydown for it to be anything smaller, and only a very few people fold Kings preflop.
A few hands later he went on uber-tilt when he folded what he claimed was pocket tens preflop in the face of a raise and a three-bet and the flop came out 10-high. The three-bettor's aces held up, and Junior was pissed. A little bit after this I picked up A-10 in late position and called a preflop raise. Flop came down Q-J-9, and I called a small bet from Junior looking for my gutshot. A player behind me went all in for not much more, and Junior and I both called. The turn was an 8, and I had to double-check to realize that I'd actually been double-gutted and now had the second nuts with a redraw to the nuts.
The action checked around, and when a King hit the river, I led out with a bet of about half my remaining stack. Junior went into the tank for a bit before making the crying call, and whined about his K-10 getting cracked by me hitting a 3-outer on the river. I might have mentioned something about him not being allowed to cry when he checked the turn and let me get there, but my recollection was a little fuzzy. I thought about playing more to try and exploit his tilt, but when I almost missed my straight on the turn realized that I wasn't thinking straight and racked up. So I made a nice little comeback, due in large part to a couple of lucky hands, but that's kinda how that happens.