Friday, June 29, 2007


My annual jaunt to Vegas and the WSOP is over. There's not that much to say as I didn't really hang out that much at the actual WSOP itself. There's a strange phenomenon of being less in touch with what's going on in the Amazon Room and the WSOP when you are actually in town. I played one event, the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo, and a couple of single table satellites (one of which I chopped with the Champ). The worst beat of my trip actually occurred before I got there with my flight being delayed for twenty four hours meaning I lost a whole day of my holiday.

Faces I ran into included John Duthie (he was on the same flight and the Champ and I cadged a lift off him in his high roller limo courtesy of the Bellagio), Ali Sarkeshik, Philip Marmostein (on my left in the PLO 8/b comp), Neil Channing, the Hendon Mob, Al Rappaport, Warren Wooldridge, DY, Andy Ward, Jon Shoreman (busy cracking away at the 300/600 Badugi and Deuce games and in the final of the Deuce to Seven Triple Draw w/rebuys as I write this), Carlo Citrone, Dave Barnes, Michael Greco and Roland De Wolfe.

The highlight of the trip was having it right off on a machine (Wild Taxi) with the Champ on my last night. At one point we had over 20,000 credits in the hod, but finally cashed out with a little over 15,000. As we were playing nickels this meant $750 - woo-hoo! Small beer compared with all the gambling and poker going on around us (in fact, that night Vicky had really had it off on the Blackjack; discretion won't let me write the number, but trust me, it was an amount similar to a decent tournament win) but as it was our biggest ever machine result the Champ and I were quite excited.

While we were playing we also experienced the machine railbird. A rather sour faced middle aged and (surprise surprise) over-weight woman hung around watching us play. When our total was around 7,000 credits she expressed surprise that we weren't going to cash out. It seemed like she wanted us to cash out so she could either try to borrow money or she knew that the machine was hot and wanted to play it herself. After hanging about for a few more minutes and realising that we weren't intending to stop she stomped off muttering to herself. Not long after her departure the Wild Taxi hit 20,000 credits. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I think that woman knew the machine was ready to spew $. The Champ and I agreed that those machines are utterly addictive.

The Champ and I also had the pleasure of meeting top poker author Michael Craig (you know, The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King). Of course, he was only interested in meeting her, I just happened to be there. He was a very nice guy and he gave us both a copy of his new book which is The Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide: Tournament Edition. I've only skimmed a few parts of it so far, but I have to say it looks really good (and I'm not just saying that because he gave me a copy). In fact, Michael is living proof of his own book as the day we met him he had just come 7th in Event 40, the $1,500 Mixed Limit/No Limit Holdem at the WSOP.

As for poker, I certainly played a lot of it, pretty much all $2/$5 No Limit Holdem. I did intend to play a little bigger i.e. the $5/$10 game, but that particular game at the Wynn (where I stayed) is a lot tougher than the $2/$5. I was going to go to Bellagio to play their $5/$10 game as I heard it was a lot softer than the Wynn, but I never got around to it. In fact, this was the first visit to Vegas where I haven't gone to the Bellagio. DY was moaning that there were too many tryers and I have to admit that maybe the games at the Wynn weren't as good as last year or the year before, but I still played in at least two utterly blinding games, so maybe he got unlucky (although I suspect DY just wants all of his opponents to be playing for the first time ever without even having an idea of the rules - of course, then he'd complain that they were all unbluffable or something). Seeing as the Wynn is a nice and well run room it attracts its fair share of locals and pros, all of whom seemed very friendly and good to play with. I especially like the veteran players like Burt and Billy and Jackson - the latter two being Good Ol' Boys whose southern wit I particularly enjoyed.

The only memorable hand was one I wasn't in. Everyone folded to the button who made it $15. The small blind folded and the big blind called. Flop was J T 7. I can't remember the betting, but there was at least 3 or 4 bets and raises before the big blind finally stuck it all in after a long dwell up and a few speeches of the "You flop a straight on me buddy?" variety. The button was now forced to call after putting so much money in himself and allowing the pot to grow so big. Anyway, I figured it must be set over set or top two versus a set or a straight versus a set. Obviously I'm a complete idiot as the big blind had pocket Queens (fair enough) and the button made all that action with....7 9. Naturally the river was nice big fat 8 and the button won a very nice pot.

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