This year, the Venetian events are being held in the Sands Expo centre, as opposed to in the main casino. Despite it being nice and airy, and playing 9 handed, with no slots, smoke, or loud music pervading the atmosphere,a few of the players have already moaned that they have a bit of a walk from the casino to the tournament area. Personally I'd say judging by appearances, a walk won't do too many of them that much harm, and they could probably use a bit of cardio anyway. Personally I like the new set-up. Last time I saw it was when it was used to test the Batmobile in the Dark Knight trilogy, but it has a nice feel to it if you're there to actually play poker.
Argh. The times I should listen to my inner voice and I don't... I would now be on 50K had I just stayed with a crappy suited hand but I let it go and rivered a flush. The other two in the pot just bet and called 8K each on the river and a straight won the hand. Early in these things is really the time to get paid. Never mind. Still on the 30K starting stack.
Back up to 35K when a guy telegraphs a big pair with a preflop reraise so I decide to take him on with 73 suited. I flop a pair and river a straight, and he looks like he wants to throw up. I flash him a winning smile and a wink, and we're all friends again.
First break and I'm around 33K. I take a walk outside, where your choices are to either listen to neckbeards going on about poker, to stand with the smokers and get lung cancer, or to walk further down and stand out in the Nevada sun, where you an get skin cancer instead. Fun!
Level 5, and whilst I've stayed in the mix, I've dropped to 26K due to kicker trouble in a couple of hands, and one river bluff I probably shouldn't have tried, as I knew the guy was steaming a little and was likely to call. No big deal right now. Getting involved in a few pots when I've rarely played any decent starting hands is always good, as long as being aware of when to back off is always around somewhere in the mind.
Screen shows 735/985 with the alternates still lining up. In theory 16 levels get played today, and so far we've only lost one guy, who comprehensively blew his brains out when he realised he need to be somewhere other than in a poker tournament. Of course this was after he'd bought in of course. Some other guy at the table was the lucky beneficiary once he realised he should not be playing today and had to dust off his stack to anyone else.
Back to starting stack of 30K again. Everyone here can play, it's it's mostly a position or hand showing exercise right now. No one is getting too out of line.
Dropped down to 17K in 2 hands where I had combo draws and barrelled the river, only to get called down by ace high which was good. This bore out two things: the first was as per my earlier post when I've been playing a little onlne before the trip, people are far more inclined to call off light. Secondly, which might sound contrary to the first, I should be making the river bets bigger. That is to say even when I do have the hands, as people are far more inclined to just stack off now with even one pair. C'est la vie.
A tad unfortunate slightly later, when my 99 loses to a set of two's when he calls the flop with nothing and turns a deuce. 900/1230 players currently remain.
I catapult back up to 27K when one of the newer players at the table, an aggressive English guy, decides to 3-bet me when I raise with QQ, the first really decent starting hand I've seen in a while. I decide that facing a 5K bet with about 8K more behind won't do it, so I stuff it in. He snap calls, and tables...A 5 ofsuit. OK...
The flop comes 468 giving him another 4 outs for a straight, then on the turn it comes a 3, to give him another 4 outs and a double gutshot and an overcard!!!
Luckily the river bricks everything, and our boy does good. Back in business.
Shortly after and I flop gin with A10 on a JQK flop, and AK decides he wants to barrel every street with one pair. I bust him and jump to 50K + and suddenly life is looking better.
The funniest hand just came up. Funny because it's unlikely most people would play it the way I did, or would have ended up the same way...
I get Aces (this is the hand immediately following the A 10 flopped straight remember), and I put in a preflop raise. I get two callers and the flop comes 7 8 10 with two diamonds. I fire out a bet, not loving it too much, but one folds and one calls.
The turn is the Ace of clubs, putting two clubs and two diamonds on board. Suddenly I'm liking things a bit more again. I bet 6500, and he dwells and calls.
The river... is the 6c. A dreadful card, making both a straight and a flush. I fire a smallish bet of 4500 considering the size of the pot, and he quickly raises to 18K. A set of Aces is a pretty hand, but in this spot it's likely toast, and I let it go. He says he had 10 9 of diamonds and rivered the straight, and though I'm wary of speeches I'm inclined to believe him. I think he's pretty much never bluffing there. On we go.
Dinner break, and I'm on 52K or so, which is plenty healthy. Back in an hour or so.
Screen is showing 693/1426 remaining,
Some fancy footwork just got me up to 74K or so versus a young beard in a hoodie who was a serial raiser. We see a raised pot and I lead out with 5c 4c on a 10g 5d 3c flopHe raises me, but experience has told me he's often (excuse the technical terminology) full of shit, so I call the 10K raise. The turn is the Qc giving be nearly lowest pair, and a flush draw, however, against this guy I'm quite happy to play some poker. I open ship and watch as he squirms and finally folds. I show the 54 just to twist the knife slightly and send a message, which I'm sure was well received.
Just had a minor disaster with set over set when I had 66 vs 10 10 on a Q 6 10 flop. I lost a chunk but didn't stack off, largely because it running out Q 6 10 K A slowed us both down a bit. Back to 43K again as we hit the 15 minute break at the end of level 12.
476/1426 now remain, and we have a max of 4 levels left to play today, as we hit 300/1K/2K.
Another nasty one as my 55 loses out on a 7 7 8 9 10 board, and I go down to 29K. Not a great feeling, but I'm playing well and have thus far cheated death a few times by being astute. I don't mind getting it in of course, but as you all know I'd rather be doing the shoving than the calling.
I steal one and get back to 24K after a few orbits with nothing happening. It's getting a bit tight at the moment, but I'm not doing anything wrong. I'll possibly have to have a gamble if the hand comes up in order to stay in the hunt. I'm OK with that.
Looks like our table will be the next to break. We've lost a few more of the regulars, and blinds are now at 300/1K/2K. I put in a raise with 5d 6d, and get one caller out of the big blind.
Flop 4 5 7. Here we go then.
I'm first to speak, and I lead out for 6k out of the 20K or so I have. The big blid thinks, then shoves. I don't put him on a set, or anything meaningful, maybe some fluke, but likely not a straight. Whatever it is I doubt I'm drawing dead. Time to make a stand. I call. We have around the same chips.
He turns over 5 7 offsuit for a flopped two pair. Ugh.
The turn gives me a flush draw too, but the river bricks out and I bust around 450th of 1426. No complaints on the exit hand. Of course, winning it would have been better, but I played fine, took my shots, and held my own with no problems.
I popped over to the Rio after, and bought into tomorrow's $1500 Monster Stack, since it starts at 10am and I don't want to be standing in line with the great unwashed for 2 hours in the morning to buy in because I couldn't be bothered to do it the day before. A good night's sleep, and back on the horse tomorrow.