Friday, June 17, 2016

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times...

I didn't talk about it too much on this blog, but I went to Vegas for what turns out to be the longest trip I've ever taken.  I had grandiose plans on taking down a bracelet (or three), but definitely had intentions to run good (who doesn't have that plan?) and at least score a cash.

My wife bought me a round trip ticket to Vegas for my birthday, working with a friend to research tournament options, hotel accommodations, etc.  Consistent with my arrival date, I opted to play the Millionaire Maker last week.  Mind you this is my first WSOP; I've never seen the Rio during WSOP, nor have I ever played in any non-circuit event.  I arrived at Rio late Thursday night, surveying a mostly filled Pavilion room and lots of action.  Turns out there are 2 other rooms almost as cavernous!  Wow!  Poker in America is alive!  I meet up with a few buddies, and see one of the floor managers from Baltimore.  After meets & greets, I go back to my hotel to get some rest for the 10AM start the following day.

I was a little late to my table to start the morning, so I maybe was blinded off 75 chips - a paltry amount.  I think I treaded water for a few hours with a stack size hovering around 7000 from the 7500 start.  No major hands to reiterate for this blog, but my table was eventually broken and I was seated around 2 tables behind where I was originally.

I walk over to the new table to find that I would be sitting in the big blind.  At this point, blinds are 100/200 with a 50 ante.  I look at the table, say aloud "I'm in the Big Blind?  I'm going to take a walk," and continue to take a walk around the room after observing my poor starting spot (I maybe have 6000 chips at this point).  As I circle back around to my seat after the dealer deals the cards, the dealer yells, "Floor!" and tells the floor that I avoided my blinds.  Apparently, that's against the rules - I had no idea.  I've played in all of 3 tournaments and never had to deal with a situation such as this.  Floor calls the tournament director, and tournament director says that I'm supposed to pay my big blind and small blind (with missed antes) to the pot on the next hand, as well as sit out a one round penalty (paying antes).  That's not all.  I'm also supposed to miss my next big blind and small blind (and antes) and can sit back in as the cutoff.  Pretty steep penalty; around 20% of my stack!  WTF.  At this table, though, I eventually recover my chip stack and work back to maybe 8000 before another table break.

I move into the Brasilia Room, which is where I'd finish my tournament with another atrocious penalty / angle shoot.  Guy sitting next to me is a complete fish with a mountain of chips - just trying to give them away.  A few hours pass and I dribble my stack down to ~4000 through blinds and antes.  Guy nearly doubles me up with JJ on a KK7 x 7 board with 22.  I'm sitting on around 8000 chips now and he pulls an angle shoot on me:

In the BB with 150/300/50 blinds and look down at AJ.  UTG limped, folded around to SB (fish) who calls his option.  Dealers starts to deal but I hold him up because I haven't acted.  I take the 3 100 chips and pull them back - putting out a single 1000 chip.  UTG instacalls and SB starts complaining that I just called.  I say "excuse me?"  It was very clear that I was raising.  He says 1 chip = call.  Half the table is like WTF - such a standard thing.  He's insistent.  Calls floor.  In the meantime, he tells me he understood what I wanted to do, but 1 chip = call.  Floor rules in his favor.  Seriously?  WTF?  Same floor person that gave me the penalty before, BTW.  Flop comes 9 9 x.  I lead for 800.  UTG calls and SB folds.  Turn is a blank.  I check / UTG leads & I fold.

I would eventually get all in with angle shooter on my BB with 9 4 on a Qd 9 5 4d board against his 76dd - diamond on the river LDO.  I so wanted to throat punch this douche bag....  Thus ends my Millionaire Maker WSOP run...

I decided to not dump more money into tournament poker - particularly because I was running so poorly.  Switching over to cash games, my whole week would be filled with card deadness & second besting.  At every flop, turn and river, I felt like I was being outplayed, only to be proved that I was being outlucked...  The majority of the time, I would properly fold - I think there were 2 or 3 bad calls that I made in the 45 hours of cash play.  45 hours in 4-5 days and you get pretty sick of building a pot only to have to fold the river...

My last day of cash would mostly make up for my run bad in cash, as I didn't get hit by the deck, but ran pretty darn well.

Final notes:  I played in Rio, Planet Hollywood (briefly, which is a crappy poker room.  I met Tim TheTrooper97Vlog at PH - he was sitting at the same table as me!), and Belagio (my favorite Vegas poker room).  I saw Scotty Nguyen, Doyle, Scott Seiver, Elie Elezra, Johnny Chan and Antonio Esfandiari.  It was a fun time - particularly when I was able to make up my deficit on the last day.  Let me tell you: Vegas is miserable when you're running bad as a poker player.

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