Aside from my unfortunate results yesterday, it has been an awesome experience being part of the Live Draw HK so far. I am still kid enough to get a kick out of seeing all the famous TV players, of whom there are an unbelievable amount. It seems like they are here every single one of them, merely walking among us mere mortals like they were not some kind of super humans. Phil Gordon is really tall. Joe Hachem is not tall at all.
Las Vegas is an all out assault on all senses, and playing poker in the big convention hall of the Rio is a challenge. Today my focus is on maintaining full concentration despite numerous distractions. Distractions does not only include noise from the hundreds of players in the tournament, it includes appearances from famous faces on the rail and regular announcements and crowd noise from the TV final tables in a semi secluded corner of the hall. Of course, distributing cash game players to their tables which are also in the hall must be done by loud speakers, so everyone can hear that Jimmy J. has an available seat at table 164. Being cold decked for an hour in such an environment makes it really tough to maintain focus.
Now, I will hit the breakfast buffet, and then take the shuttle bus from Harrah’s to the Rio. So far, the shuttle is the only thing in Vegas that is free. I fully expect to win event 47.
Once again I busted 3½ hours in. Players were considerably worse than yesterday, but the cards were the same.
We are close to starting stacks of t4000, blinds 25/50. I raise from MP with AQ, get called from BB. I flop top two pair, and bet t300, he calls, so pot is t1000. Turn is a J, he checks, and I check behind. My reasoning is that I won’t get calls from many worse hands, and that another bet pretty much ties my whole stack to the pot. I could put in a small bet maybe, or just bet big and commit myself, but I check behind with the intention of charging a big bet on the river or maybe inducing a bluff. River is a king completing a flush. He check/calls my half pot bet, and shows AT for the runner runner straight, taking 25% of my stack.
I get my stack back to 4k, find A3s in early position, and make an uncharacteristic limp. CO+1 raises to t200, button calls, and I call. Flop is J22 giving me a flush draw. Checked around. Turn is an ace, I bet 400, 1 fold, button raises to 1100. The board takes care of my kicker trouble to some degree, so I call, given that I can’t put him on a hand that beats me, except AQ. By that logic, maybe I should have 3-bet. River is a brick, we check, he shows AT and we chop. It turns out I was free rolling the turn.
My stack is around 4000 still, 100/200 blinds. 3 limpers, and I check from the BB with ATo. Flop is A25 with a flush draw. I bet 500 into the 800 pot, and get one caller, a loose and bad player. Turn is a 6, we both check. River is another 6, flush draw uncompleted. I check and he overbets 2200 into the 1800 pot. This is a critical decision, if I call and lose I am officially a short stack. I simply can’t put him on a hand that makes sense. He checked behind on the turn, pretty much ruling out two pair or better, and he called the flop, so how can he have a 6 without a hand worth betting the turn? I conclude that he must be trying to bluff me off a weak ace with a missed draw. I call after thinking for a long time, and he shows 64s. He called the flop for the gut shot I suppose.
I am now a short stack, and I am all in 3 or 4 times without callers. One annoying guy comments on it, as if there was any other way to sensibly play a less than 10BB stack. The whole table is aware that I move all in frequently, when I find AQo UTG. I now have 2200 still with 100/200 blinds, 25 antes, and I attempt to show unusual strength by just betting 600. Annoying guy comments how I must have a monster. The 64s guy from last hand laughs and agrees but still calls, saying he is donating to my monster hand. Annoying guy folds saying he would have called if I didn’t have such a monster. How annoying. BB comes along. Flop is T74 rainbow, BB checks, I push, and stupid 64s guy calls with A4s!!! Apparently, he wasn’t kidding around when he said he was making a donation on preflop. Sadly, he made a great bottom pair hand which held up.
I don’t think I have been getting much in the way of cards in Vegas so far. I am not saying I have played perfectly, but when your good hands don’t hold up when they meet resistance, poker becomes really hard. One more shot tomorrow, and after that, it will be all sight seeing and cash games.