Friday, February 20, 2009


After all the initial high jinks, we got down to what we would be doing all day every day, playing cards. I will not bore you with a bunch of intricate hand details. I played a wide swath of games including single table satellites, multi-table tournaments and plenty of cash poker. We managed to get a mix game going on two separate occasions at the Venetian Poker Room. It was 6/12 HORSE on Saturday, 5/10 Mix on Sunday. There was 15/30 mix going at the Wynn on Monday, but the game looked too tough and too high for me so I didn't sit. I was also pretty much broke by then, but I will get to that later.

The central purpose of the trip was to participate in the Deep-Stack tournaments at the Venetian, most notably the $330 buy-in HORSE on Sunday Feb 15. I started out quite well in that tournament, jumping out to the chip lead over the 200+ player field pretty quickly. Starting with 12k, I was up to 28K within 3 hours, mostly just getting a great run of cards and getting action on every hand I played (people just seem to call me more often). As it turns out, if you want to be lucky in a tournament it better to be lucky late than early. I took a couple of bad beats just before the dinner break to knock me back to about 18k. After dinner I lost a huge razz pot that would prove to be my undoing. I made a really good hand... a 75432 low on 5th streeat and had been taking the betting lead the entire hand against what could only be a draw. I was being called by a player that had to wonder if his draw was even live, as he was showing a J763 on 6th street. On 7th I made an even better low, showing down a 65432. My opponent called me in the dark (obviously he had a made 7 to do so) and then took almost a full minute to squeeze out his river, which he then flicked with his hand and appeared to be mucking... prompting me to silently rejoice at the huge pot I had just won. Oh wait... he caught an A on 7th giving him 65431. "Winner Winner," he says and collects the massive pot. Nice slowroll dick. I never recovered. I got it all in about 30 minutes later in a stud 8 pot with a pair of fives and four cards to a 6 low, only to watch it come 9, T. I lost to rivered pair of Jacks and I was busted. I went from first to worst within 1 hour of play.

I played some cash games including the aforementioned mix game until about 6:30 am...swiping out with 17 hours of play time in one session. I guess I got about 4 or 5 hours of sleep, and crawled out of bed sometime after noon. I headed over to the Wynn and played in a tournament at 2 pm. I got busted with AA in that one (always fun) and then sat down to play cash with borrowed money, as I had managed to blow through my entire bankroll. I lost in the cash game as well, putting me into negative territory having lost everything I brought as well as the borrowed stake. I decided to take one last shot at a score and bought into the 7pm Wynn tournament. The structure appeared to be very player-friendly with 30 minute levels and 10k in starting chips. Matt entered as well, and we agreed that if we ended up 1st and 2nd in the tournament that we would chop it.

And that's exactly what happened. 7 hours later we eliminated the 3rd player and took about 1450 each. The win covered a large portion of my losses and and turned what would have been an extremely depressing Tuesday morning into a much happier one. After cashing in, we had enough time to get back to the hotel, pack, and get a 2 hour nap in before having to be at the airport in time for a 630 am flight home. I had to be at work by 9 am, and knew it was going to be a long day.

All told I put in 7 hours on Friday night. 15 hours on Saturday. 17 hours on Sunday. and 12 hours on Monday. 51 hours of poker in the span of less than 80 hours that I spent in Vegas... and posted a $300 loss. That works out to a little under $6 loss per hour.

But the hotel room was free.

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