This post has been delayed for a few days due to jetlag and playing catch up after getting back from a vacation. (That’s the one thing that always bothers me about going on a fun trip, the few days readjusting to normal life afterward. Hopefully soon I will have some passive income and a career that ties more into my purpose, but like always, that’s for another post!)
As you no undoubtedly have guessed from the title, I didn’t run so hot. I also didn’t get to play as much as I wanted, but it still didn’t ruin my trip. I’ll break it down into sessions:
Session 1 – Venetian $1-$2 NL
Aww, the first time sitting at the poker table, it felt great! The Venetian is probably my favorite poker room in Vegas, lots of tables to choose from and the atmosphere is just right. I don’t have any real memorable hands from this sessions, mainly just standard plays and no big pots. I won about 80% of my hands without showdown, hardly ever going to the turn. The biggest hand went down like this:
I was at the table for about an hour and had a solid yet aggressive image. I made it $12 from the CO and the SB and BB called. The SB had been with me the whole time, nothing too special, didn’t talk at all and seemed to know how to play but just called too much, BB was unknown. The flop came 672 and the SB lead for $15. BB folded and I just called with my overs and gssd. I put him on a weak one pair hand like a 6 or 7 and thought I could also scare him off if a high card hit on the turn. The turn came a T and he lead again, this time for $40 which was about 4/5 of the pot. At this point I wasn’t sure if I was ahead or not. He could easily have an over pair, as few live players ever 3bet, and if they do, you know it’s huge. He did look kind of uncomfortable but after improving I decided to call and see what he did on the river. The river was a blank and he checked, now here I am probably good but a value bet would be pretty thin. I’ve seen live players check 2 pair here because the pot is big and are always scared. I checked behind and he tabled 88, T was good.
Results – 2 hours 25 mins +$122
Not a super interesting session, but nothing really else to choose from. After a couple hours I got up and went back to the room. Felt good to be up the first night.
Session 2 – Ballys $1-$2 NL
Ballys is an interesting poker room, much more laid back and loud than the Venetian. It has its good and bad points, but overall I like playing there. I think I played worse this session than I have in a very long time. I was limping, calling and making bad plays way too often.
I don’t even remember any memorable hands, I just bled chips. An example of a hand that I butchered – I was on the button and there were 4 limpers and I limped behind with JTo, SB called, BB checked. The flop came 5JA and it checked to me, so I checked behind. The turn came a 3 and the SB lead for $10, some huge donk called and it folded to me. Now this is a pretty standard fold, the SB was decent and not splashing around much, but I called. At the time I thought I may be ahead of the donk and the SB could be betting some draw. The river was a blank and SB lead for $20. The donk folded and now I tanked. Talking about the hand now it seems like such a brainless laydown, but I called and he showed me 53o for 2 pair… go me!
Results – 2 hours 5 mins -$135
I was pretty upset from playing so bad, but I also was pretty card dead. I had a lot of misses with AK, AQ and even flopped a set only to have everyone fold. I got up and went to enjoy the rest of the night.
Session 3 – Imperial Palace $1-$2 NL
This game was too good. There were 4 people at the table that were all friends, and they were all wasted. 3 others were tight old men and an interesting girl-softball player who loved being super aggressive. I played very aggressive and was raising the limp happy table in position quite a lot.
After being aggressive I looked down at AA in the bb… hello! There were 5 limpers, so I made it $16. This is live poker, so I could have made it more, but I don’t mind play AA multi-way here. UTG called and top my surprise everyone else folded. UTG only had about $90 so I know this would be an easy hand to play. The flop came J88 with 2 spades, and I lead out for $25. He snap called. The turn came a blank, and I lead again, this time for $40. He insta-called again. At this point I was pretty sure he had some sort of a draw, maybe a jack. This is when I butchered the hand – The river came a J, putting J88XJ on the board. He had only about $50 left and the pot was around $140 so I just put him all-in.
I should have sat and thought about this for a while, betting was probably the worst move. What in the world is he going to call me with that I beat? Maybe an ace high flush draw? The clear play is to check and have him maybe bluff his draws. I’m never check folding, but I should have gave him a chance to bluff. He sighed and folded and I took down the pot.
After running over the table for a bit I was now up around $150 when this hand happened. The softball chick had about $230 and made it $12 from MP. I looked down to see QQ on the BTN. I made it $35 straight and it folded back to her who called after a few seconds. The flop came 782 with 2 diamonds and she instantly said “All-in.” Woah. She had been raising a lot of hands but hadn’t open shoved. The pot was around $75 and her bet was $200 or so to me. After looking at her and debating for a bit, I decided well, it’s live poker and called. I thought she could do this with a naked flush draw, maybe even top pair or straight draw as well. She didn’t show her hand, but the board came running diamonds and she turned up AdQh proudly. Well, nh, gg.
Results – 2 hours 10 mins -$42
I controlled my tilt, won a few more pots then headed back to the room for the night.
Session 4 – Caesars $1-$3 NL
By now it was Sunday night and I knew this was my last session in Vegas. I was kind of upset that I only played 4 sessions, but I had a fun time and poker wasn’t my main focus.
I love Caesar’s poker room, probably about the same as the Venetian. The $1- $3 blinds creates more action than you would think. I sat down with $300, and was only covered by 1 person who had about $600. Max buy-in was $500, so wasn’t sure how much he was up. After one revolution, there were 5 limpers and I had K2s in the BB and tapped the table. The flop came down T73 with 2 spades and I lead for $10. I usually do this to try to juice the pot a bit with draws, and most live players don’t expect people to bet with draws. It folded to someone with about $100 in front of him who called. The turn came the 7s, which paired the board and gave me a flush. I lead for $25 and he instantly moved all-in. I called and he ended up having the nut flush, nice hand sir.
Sometime later, I limped J7o after 3 others in the SB and the flop came 77T. I lead for $10 and bigger-flush guy called. Then turn was a K and I bet $30, which he called again. The river was a blank, and I had about $110 left. The pot was around $80 and instead of value betting I just went all-in. Looking back I was pretty sure he had some kind of a T, so this bet was bad. He can fold his ten to a shove but might call $40 or so. Of course he folded and I scooped the small pot.
I didn’t reload and decided to just keep playing with my ~$200 stack. I had been raising a fair enough amount for the old guy next to me to make a comment before this hand happened. I had AQo and made it $15 over 1 limp, the call-happy quiet Asian guy next to me called and everyone else folded. The flop came A69r and I bet $20. After a small delay he called. The turn came a Q and I decided to check. I usually lead here most of the time and is probably the better play, but wanted to see what he would do. To my surprise he bet $60, which was about pot. I wasn’t really sure what this meant, maybe an ace, maybe the same hand. I didn’t want to just call and check/check the river and calling then shoving the river would look pretty strong, so I went all-in. He sighed and called, turning over 66. Yikes.
I reloaded another $200. About 10 hands later, I may have looked a bit steamed, and raised QQ to $18 with 3 limpers, 2 of which called. One of them was a new guy so the previous hand (about 20 minutes ago) didn’t matter. The flop came TT6 with 2 diamonds, they both slowly checked to me and I bet $35. After some thought, one called, and so did the other. The turn fell a diamond, and new guy sat for 15-20 seconds before checking. The other insta-checked and I sat for a moment. I was pretty sure new guy hit his flush or maybe had a T and now didn’t know what to do, so I checked behind, betting would be pretty crazy here.
The river was another T and boated me up. Both of them checked to me again and now I’m good 100% of the time. New guy had about $50 left and the other villain had around $100. The pot was about $130 and I bet $50. New guy pissed and moaned and eventually called, the other instantly folding. He turned up KJdd, said something under his breath and left.
Results – 2 hours 5 mins -$154
I didn’t stay for too much longer, and went back to the room to pack.
I actually played 5 sessions, but one of them was only 20 minutes long and I won $3 so didn’t comment on it. Overall, here were my results:
5 Sessions, 9.08 Hours, -$206
It’s never fun leaving Vegas being down, but it could have been much worse. I could tell that I have become much, much better at controlling my tilt. After some bad beats and coolers I kept my composure and won back some of my losses. Overall, I played about a B game, I think. I definitely could have played better and if things would have worked out differently, would be up instead of down.
This turned out to be much longer than anticipated, and I’m pretty sick of thinking about poker for now. Hopefully the poker room nearby opens soon…