Friday, July 24, 2009

It's Good To Be Back

I played three events at this year's WSOP and got absolutely nowhere. Surprise, surprise I hear you say.

What was really annoying was that I got really ill and ended up lying in bed in my hotel room for the last two and a half days, so I didn't even get a chance to win back the tournament buy-ins in the cash games.

And when you're used to the cash games at the Vic even the bad games in Vegas seem super-soft. I played in two very good 2-5 PLO games at the Venetian, one good 5-10 NLH at the Bellagio and one good 5-10 NLH at the Wynn. I heard there were some blinding games at the Rio, but even though the running of the rooms at the Rio has improved I don't really like playing there so I gave it a miss.

Being the idiot that I am I kept playing the 20-40 Limit Mix game at the Wynn because I just love mixed games, but I was a definite dog in that game. Included in the mix were three games I had never played before - A-5 triple draw lowball, 2-7 Razz and Crazy Pineapple Hi-Lo.

There were at least four or five regulars in that game who were all strong players and at least twice I knew that it was my money they were carving up. Good game selection eh? But I kept playing because I wanted to learn and practise for the WSOP Mixed event which featured mostly limit games. Just watching this one guy Kendall, who I thought was the best player in the game, was an education in itself.

The $2,500 Mixed event turned out to be torture, mainly because that's when I started coming down with what may well have been Swine Flu for all I know. I had quite a good table draw as the only player I recognised on it was Clonie Gowan (nice and friendly btw). All around me were other tables that were pro-heavy with plenty of online and live faces.

The table next to ours was playing a lot faster than we were and at some point Clonie asked aloud, "Hey, how did those guys get to playing PLO already?"

I told her, "They all agreed to omit the Razz section on their table", and she believed me. Hmmm, I obviously need to try this bluffing thing more often...

Much as I love Vegas I have to say it was great to be back in the Vic the other night. In the 5-10 NLH game Frank Hughes was mercilessly taunting some young kid who, if he's not careful, could be the next Phil Hellmuth. By that I mean he was not only a bad loser, but a bad winner, at one point telling another player whom he had beaten in a big pot, "See how good I read you buddy? Maybe you want to borrow my sunglasses so you won't give off as many tells next time".

This kid also insisted on telling the whole table several times, "The only way you'll get my money is if you have the nuts and I have the second nuts or you hit a two outer against me - it's very hard to win my money".

You can imagine Frank's delight when he made a set of deuces on the river versus the kid's pocket kings. The ace-high flop slowed the kid down so you can see why Frank had a stab on the turn. Naturally on the river when he hit Gin, Frank made a nice value bet which had Hellmuth Junior muttering out loud, "Why does this always happen to me?". As he stormed off after being shown the outdraw Frank called out, "Thanks for the call on the river there kid. He's the future of British poker I tell ya."

Btw, did I mention that this kid was flopping sets left, right and centre and making 2-pairs on the turn Vs TPTK every other hand? He was hotter than a whore's drawers. As I moaned about him walking between the raindrops Frank consoled me with one of poker and gambling's profound truths, "Don't worry, he'll be selling the Big Issue in three weeks time... "