Friday, June 10, 2005

Vegas Part 3: Aladdin Classic and Toothless Donkeys


Catch up:
Part 1 - The Ride In
Part 2 - Storming the Castle

Saturday, June 04, 2005, 9:12pm

The WPBT Aladdin Classic tournament was awesome. I can’t possibly say enough good things about it – mainly, thanks to everybody who helped put the event together. The experience of playing poker with so many bloggers was indescribable.

The day started out with a sausage biscuit from McDonald’s. I didn’t want to wake up any earlier than absolutely necessary, and I’d have had to wake up earlier to have a properly planned breakfast. So, I didn’t. Though I love those lil biscuits and rarely am awake in time to get one. April and Maura were kind enough to allow me to hitch a ride with them over to the Aladdin for the tourney.

I got to talking to Terry from Playing Poker and Teaching Science, who I discovered lives only a few (ie. 3) hours away from Randy and I, coincidentally in the same town where we’ll be going to see Dave Matthews Band this weekend. Small world! Nice to meet ya, Terry!

Ten o’clock in the a.m. rolled around and it was time to shuffle up and deal.

I was seated at table 11, seat 7. Looks lucky to me! I came to discover that I was at the TV table! How cool is that? I was amongst some of the blogging elite – the TV table, if you will. The lineup:

Seat 1: Pauly
Seat 2: Miss T74
Seat 3: Mr. Reed
Seat 4: BadBlood
Seat 5: Chris Halverson
Seat 6: PokerGeek
Seat 7: Me
Seat 8: Chad
Seat 9: April
Seat 10: Maigrey

(Lineup snagged from Chris Halverson – check out his site for more stories from our table!)

Poker Geek showed the very first Hammer of the game, the first hand at our table and possibly the first of the tournament. He won the pot with his preflop raise to 200. Sadly, his tournament ended in similar fashion (minus the win), when he pushed all in with the Hammer and was called by a hand that beat him. Kudos to the Geek though – it was wildly entertaining.

Our table had some of the most horrific beats, which I’m sure will be described by those who endured them. The whole tourney actually was speckled with big hands all over the place. April (Texas)’s exit was particularly harsh.

I don’t really have many hand stories – I won a few decent pots early on, which allowed me to fold through several orbits while my cards were dead. As I started getting down to critical mass, I went on a small rush and took several pots in a row to put myself in good shape relative to the table. Most of my chips came from CJ, but I ended up giving them back to him. See, I can share!

The hand that hurt me the most was somewhat my own doing. I’ve got about 10x the big blind in front of me, which was actually a good sized stack at the table – maybe even the chip lead. I’d won a few pots, and action folded to me with QJ suited. I raised to 4x the big blind,4,000, figuring my hand to be pretty good against only the blinds. (I believe I was on the button for this one). CJ re-raised me all in for another 3,500. The big blind folded, and for more than 2:1 on my money, I called. CJ showed A3 (suited, if I’m not mistaken). The flop brought my Queen, but also brought two 3’s, and my hand didn’t improve. That one hand put quite a hurt on my stack, and ended up being the crippler for me. I never recovered.

I don’t think I could have played it differently. With most players short stacked (heck, even I was practically short stacked at 10xBB) and blinds as large as they were, they were worth stealing. I had a hand that I wouldn’t mind going to battle with, should my steal attempt be called. The alternative, I suppose, would have been to try and limp, which would have given me the option to fold if CJ pushed all in. Still, though, I think I would have called. So, that’s how the cookie crumbles.

8 spots were originally supposed to pay out. Once the final table assembled, however, it was decided that 10 spots would pay out. (I like the decision – it would suck to make it to the final table and leave with nothing). Unfortunately, I finished 11th – on the bubble for the money and the final table.

Sorry, girls! I tried to represent!

I did get a Full Tilt hat outta the deal, which is actually way cooler to me than you might think it is. I like hats. I drive an Eclipse Spyder, so they come in very handy in the summertime.

Congrats to the entire final table, especially CJ and Bill Rini, who provided a dramatic finish to a most excellent event. A toast for Bill Rini, winner of the WPBT Aladdin Classic!

It was an awesome experience, and the poker was excellent – at least from my vantage point. I highly enjoyed it. As Easycure mentioned (and I concur) – this blogger group is a bunch of pretty smart people.

Next up…. Lunch! Burgers. Good – though the restaurant’s description of “tons” of bacon on the bacon cheeseburger was a tad bit misleading. I got to chat with FHWRDH for a bit, which I much enjoyed. Nice to meet you!

Time for the afterparty! AlCan’tHang’s after party at the Salsa place started a bit early, as many bloggers were starving after the tournament. A bunch of people headed to the restaurant to get the party started, and it was going strong by the time I arrived with the burger bunch. I got to meet a bunch of people at the afterparty, including Gracie and Iggy. Poker Prof did a great impersonation of Marcel Luske, which is one of the few photos I managed to snap over the weekend.

After walking in the heat from the Aladdin to the party, I was parched! I ordered a yard-long strawberry margarita. Wow. I had a hard time putting a dent in the thing. It was huge!! I thought it was a sort of optical illusion, with the neck of the glass being so tall and thin, but – really, it took me the entire time we were at the party to drink just down the neck of the glass to the big cup-bowl at the bottom. I did, however, get to carry my first drink on the streets of Las Vegas while heading to our next destination…

Some of us wanted to get back to the gambling, so it was over to the Plaza with BG, Nate (blogger friend and final table finisher, nice job!), Mike (who I just now realized is on_thg!!), and… damn it! I’m missing somebody! Was it Jason? I’m so horrific with names. Next time, this tourney REALLY needs to employ nametags – just until we learn who everybody is. The plan: poker. Or blackjack, or craps.

Mike and I ended up at a $3/6 limit game. I had thought that maybe the play would be of a bit higher quality than the $1/3 game at Excalibur or the $2/4 games I was used to. Ummm, yeah.

As I write this, I’ve relaxed a bit since I first came up to the room here. I’m stuck $100 from that game. The table:

1: Oober-rock, top 5 hands only
2: Appeared to be oober-rock’s husband – seemed a bit tight as well but not quite as much as his wife
3: random guys
4: more random guys (for a few minutes, it was a lucky gentleman who sat down, played his first hand for a 7-high straight flush and won $500 in the high hand contest… and then didn’t tip the dealer. Rude)
5: me
6: ATC with no teeth
7: Pizza man – knows how to play both the game and the player
8: Mike

The action from the random guys and toothless old man was much like a low limit Party Poker table. Any ace, any face, any connectors, any suited, any card with a number on it. Holy crap. I’m not even going to go into details. Toothless man was quite annoying, at one point dropping his unlit cigarette on the floor and then bending over to get it. Instead of saying “excuse me” or asking me to please move out of the way, he sticks his head in my lap. My arm was blocking access to said lap, but still – it was obnoxious, and became even more so when he said, “sorry for sticking my head in your crotch, had to pick up my cigarette.” Sick. I did my best to ignore him, as he dragged pot after pot with junk hands catching miracle flops, ridiculous bottom pairs against the random morons showing down high card…. When sitting with those types, I just remind myself – I will take their money soon enough. Just wait for a hand…

Any drawing hand was fair game at this table, as with 4-5 or more players going to a flop, odds were there to play the suited connectors and Ax/Kx suited hands. Sadly, though, I couldn’t even find those hands in the pocket – let alone big hands. Cold, cold cards, and when I could limp for a cheap flop, the board missed me completely. When it did hit for me, my hand was second best.

I won one ten-high flush hand early on from the blinds. I had 10-5 suited from the big blind and got to see the flop for free. Two diamonds. Even with the flush draw, I wasn’t happy about it being 10- high. Though I kept hearing Gus Hansen in my head – “I’ve got ten high, I have to call…” One of my favorite suckouts of all time (against Antonio Esfandiari). I completed my flush on the river and my bet got raised by Pizza man. I thought, “Shit, he’s got me..” He turned over 9-7 for the lower flush, and I took the pot. Pizza man was a cool guy. He made the same facial gestures as I was thinking whenever toothless man or one of the random guys made a donkey play.

Mike managed to river a flush on me with his Ax suited. Again I was in the blinds – 2-6 I believe was my hand. Something junk like that. My straight filled in on the turn and I bet it, but a third club hit on the river to give Mike the nut flush with his Ax suited. Bye bye, chips!

Another hand I was in with Mike – I had pocket fours out of position. Tried to limp, and Mike raised it. I called. Flop came down all low cards but no fours. I figured, he’s probably got high cards for the raise, so I don’t believe the flop helped him. Regardless, I checked, as they were all overcards to mine. Mike bet, I called. Figured I’d check-call until the board got scary and I thought I was beat. Turn came a blank, and I still thought my hand may be good. Check-bet-call. The river brought an ace, and of course, I figured I was now sufficiently screwed. Too much in the pot at this point – can’t fold for one more bet. Check-bet-call – Mike turns over AQ to beat my four’s. The river was not kind to me today. Maybe I should have been betting if I thought I had the best hand? I thought about it. I thought my hand might be good, but I definitely didn’t think it was a strong hand. I believe the board was paired – maybe I could have scared Mike into dumping his AQ thinking I’d made trips. Maybe not… probably not. A man can’t fold unless you bet into him though – and I didn’t give Mike that chance.

AK suited hit me twice, both times flopping me the nut flush draw, and neither time connecting with me for a pair or flush. The first time, I got to the river and folded to a bet, as I’d missed my hand, and the fold saved me $6. The second time, I folded on the river to constant betting and a preflop raise from Miss Oober Rock, only to find out (via her announcement – I didn’t see the cards) that she, too, had AK and had completely missed.

By that point, I’m down to my last $25 or so. Somewhere around this time, the toothless man lost to Miss Oober Rock when he tried to bluff her out of a pot where she (again) held AK and hit her K (two queens onboard as well). She won the pot, and the toothless man made some comment about that being a “nice hand for a girl.” Oh boy. Here we go. I’m stuck a buy-in resulting mostly from this toothless idiot playing moronic poker, and the sick old man is getting sexist on us. It’s one of my quirks that I get easily offended when it is insinuated that I or another woman cannot do something or do it well because of our gender. I’m no feminist or anything – I will gladly assume the traditional “female” roles in society and relationships, but it’s not because I “can’t” do something. I’ve always been into more stereotypical “guy” things than “girl” things. I worked as a computer repair tech/network tech for a few years, with a bunch of guys. I’m a programmer – a male dominated field. I’ve always been into sports, I play poker. I don’t know why I feel the need to defend the notion that a girl can do whatever she damn well puts her mind to, but I do. So when toothless bastard made that comment, I felt the agitation set in.

With not much money left, I’d mentally resigned myself to “last orbit” status, when all of a sudden I find myself with pocket Aces. I should have raised preflop, or not – preflop raises got no respect at that table and seemed to even encourage more people to call. It didn’t matter. The flop came all low cards with nothing scary for my aces, and I bet them all the way, hoping to at least double up and get the hell off that table.

Too bad the random moron with Q5 offsuit beat me with two pair.

That’s it… time to go back up to the hotel room before I kill somebody. It’s frustrating as all hell to play with morons. I can lose with dignity against people who know how to play the game and respect its nuances. For the idiots, though – I don’t care how much we’re supposed to love them calling down all manner of raises with junk. I don’t love them. I despise them. I’m not talking about the people who are new to the game and just learning – they’re just learning. I’m talking about toothless guy, who really could care less what happens at the table. He was all in at several points, bought in for a minimum buy in. He’s not playing poker because he loves the game, or because he wants to improve his game playing against people he’s unfamiliar with. He’s playing because he’s drunk and gambling away his social security check. Well hell, why not. Might as well be rude and disrespectful too! If he called “time” one more time just to fold his hand, I might have screamed.

My disdain of course is because a hundred bucks, to me, is important. Granted, this is all poker money that I’d won on Full Tilt, and it is intended to be spent in Vegas this weekend, but it just pisses me off to no end to give my money to donkeys who have no respect for the game of poker. They have no clue of how to play the game (and don’t care enough to get a clue), and throw money around like it’s nothing. I guess I shouldn’t be playing if, to me, chips equal money. But I don’t know too many people who enjoy giving their money away to ignorant toothless sick old men who bitch when the dealer doesn’t say “thank you” loud enough for the shitty 50 cent tips he was tossing at them, and then degrade a player for not folding to a bluff because she’s a girl.

Arg!!! Frustrated.

At any rate, I was glad to get to play some poker with Mike, which was cool (even though he whooped my ass!) :) I'll gladly ship my chips to a fellow blogger any day, when the alternative is to donate them to donkeys.

I don’t plan to play anymore poker tonight. April H just called – I’m going to go meet her and Maura for a late night dinner. Not sure what after that – I’m thinking maybe bedtime, and then get up early for some more poker. Aladdin has $50 single table sit n’ goes all day on Sunday. That sounds kick ass to me.

Off I go…..

1:01am June 5, 2005 (Saturday night)

Just got back from dinner with April and Maura. We went to a rib/steak place (I already forgot the name – Tony & Somebody’s?) Good stuff. They had the steak and lobster special, but due to my not eating swimming things, I opted for a BBQ beef sandwich. Tasty! Maura taught me how to play Keno, which I’ve seen all over the place but never knew what it was. After dinner we walked a bit up and down Fremont Street and checked out the light show again. It was different from the one I saw last night. This one was patriotic – an “all American” type theme. Cool.

We came over to the Plaza and I played my usual $20 in the video poker machine – a nightcap, if you will. Nothing doing. That signaled the end of my gambling day. April and Maura headed back across the street to their hotel, and I headed up here where I now sit in my pajamas, typing this tale of today’s adventures.

Down $245 today – counting the Aladdin tourney, poker, and meals. Not a stellar day for me!

Right now, the only thing on Sunday’s agenda is to sleep in and not wake up to an alarm clock. I’m thinking I’d like to play more poker, but I’m not going to put anything in stone. Right now, I’ve got droopy eyes. Time for bed!

I am so NOT a party animal! I think I'm catching a cold, unfortunately. But, I’m sure I’ll be up early Sunday for more poker….

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3 Comments:

  1. Chris Halverson said...
    Nice writeup. Keno? Oh no...Talk about -EV.

    I agree about being frustrated playing against total doorknobs. It's frustrating.

    11th in the tourney? Nice job!! It was good playing with you.
    on_thg said...
    That slimeball on your left was hands down the most disgusting thing I saw in Vegas ... I still can't believe you didn't just get up and walk away. Did you see how filthy his shirt was?

    It was a pleasure playing with you!
    Ignatious said...
    it was great to finally meet you shelly, even though we didn't get any table time together, per se,

    i'm enjoying your writeups immensely.

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