Discussions in Poker, family, and life --- working to make them all fit.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Vegas Part 3
I shuttle back to the hotel and of course get distracted by a BJ table on the way to my room. In an hour or so my buy-in has been tripled and all of a sudden I’m even for the trip! As usual this win puts a little extra wind in my sails. I cruise over to the poker room in time for the NL event and the place is absolutely slammed with people. Taken by the feeling of gambling invincibility I throw down my entry fee along with 250+ others and quickly head back up to the room to make a few blogger phone calls.
First I look for Pauly’s number and of course it’s not listed. I would be corrected on my oversight several times later in the trip. Yes, Pauly’s number was on the sheet and I simply missed it in my haste.
Next I give Otis a call. By now you all know thatthis was dumb as well because Otis was still playing in Event #2. What I didn’t mention in report #2 was that at some point during my wandering of the WSOP I came across the re-draw list following the first break. I actually remembered Otis’ name and checked the sheet and it wasn’t listed. Maybe I have trouble reading or something. I mistakenly assumed Otis had been eliminated already. Of course he does not answer so I leave a message.
Finally I call Mr. Halverson, get his voice mail and leave him a message.
The tournament goes by quickly and all of a sudden we’re atthe third break with ~70 players left and the top 24 making the money. I haven’t caught many hands, but a limp re-raise all-in with AA scores me a huge pot. I quickly double up again 30 minutes later when I getto limp re-raise all-in with KK and get called by AK. A few more hours pass and I’m in the money. Hyper shows up to sweat me and Mrs. Royal calls to say she has landed. I get knocked out about 45 min later a few spots away from the final table and just in time to meet Mrs. Royal atthe hotel entrance. I played a greattournament and even made a little cash.
The only hand from the tournament I still think about is the following:
We’re down to two tables with ~16 players left. There are 3-4 of us super short stacked and an all-in is only double the BB plus there are antes too. I pickup KTo UTG and I’m committed to this hand or the next. I consider pushing and probably should have since KT is better than any random hand in the BB. I justified a fold figuring that a big stack may push on my BB, which had been happening a lot, and I’d get it heads up. If I push from UTG with my puny stack I’m going to get several callers and will likely be eliminated. Anyway I fold.
Action then goes:
all-in (short stack)
all-in (short, but covering the first raiser)
raise (big stack from the SB)
re-raise all-in (big stack from the BB)
SB folds and shows AQ
The hands are:
Of course a K hits and I would have hex-times-upped had I been in the hand. Sigh…
After meeting the Mrs. Atthe hotel entrance I toss outthe idea of heading over to the Excalibur to finally meet some bloggers.As expected Mrs. Royal, now up for an unusual 20 hrs straight, was not interested in a trip to the strip for who knows how many more hours. She suggests we hitthe café instead and I’m forced to oblige.
We have a nice (Vegas time) meal together and then head up to the room for the night.Those of you with younger children will understand when I say thatthe Mrs. and I rarely have a nice dinner to ourselves.I think this Vegas trip doubled the number of times we’ve been able to do this in the lasttwo years putting the total to four.What was even better was this early morning dinner reminded me so much of the way things used to be.Pre-marriage (for the most part), back in college, having a late night snack at some diner.It sure is fun to reminisce and bring back those old feelings.
According to reports on Tao of Poker and elsewhere the 2004 WSOP Champion Greg Raymer has been busted in 25th place. Congratulations to Greg for his outstanding performance! He was down to just over $3,000 in chips on day one and managed to finish 25th of 5561 players. I'm already looking forward to ESPN's coverage!
So where does this rank in terms consecutive WSOP finishes? Doyle won back to back. Chan went 1st, 1st, 2nd in much larger fields. Dan Harrington's back to back final tables in 2003 and 2004 was considered by many to be the greatest yet. I personally feel Raymer's 2004 / 2005 results are superior to Harrington's and right on par with Chan. 1st in a field of 2500 and 25th in a field of 5500, wow!
Any of the idiots who grouped Raymer with Moneymaker and Varkonyi can STFU now.
I’m up by and with just over 3 hours of sleep it still feels like I slept in too long. During every Vegas trip the morning of day 2 always seems to be tough for me. I always try to stay up late the night before hoping to sleep in and get my internal clock rapidly adjusted to Pacific Time. This works to some extent, but it needs to be balanced with minimal alcohol intake or the whole day will be quickly ruined. This trip the line was straddled perfectly and I was still wiped. Not wanting to wake the others just yet so I head down to the coffee shop for some caffeine.
One large mocha later and the cob webs have started to recede. A.I. leaves me a message about heading to the spa, I pass. The next couple of hours are quickly killed playing some double double bonus VP and Star Wars penny slots. Both games drain a little from the bankroll. AI gets back from the spa and we check outthe poker room to score a daily tournament schedule. There’s only three tables running and they’re filled with local rocks…no real temptation to play since we expectto meet Hyper and Lisa soon. A.I. suggests we play a little BJ while we wait for the others. I won my $5 match play bet and then proceeded to drop $200 in 45 minutes. Finally Hyper shows up and I’m more than happy to departthe table.
We find Lisa, hitthe bar, the Star Wars games (again) and I played my only session of craps for the trip and ended up +$125…woohoo! After a quick lunch at Terrible’s (burger joint) we’re off to the Rioto watch some bloggers play in the WSOP!
The Coast casinos all have free shuttles back and forth so we took one from the Orleansto the Gold Coast and hoofed it over to the Rio from there.After a few of these hikes we had the shortest path down to only a five minute walk.The Rio is out of the way and I never had reason to go there before now.My first impressions were nice, but similar to every other casino in Vegas once you get inside.The Erocktica posters are eye catching…
It’s a good walk to the convention center once you actually get in the Rio.There is a better place to park if you have a car though it was a moot point for us.
We arrive an hour into WSOP Event #2 ($1500 NL won by Allen Cunningham) and the atmosphere is simply electric.Large tournaments are something I’m pretty familiar with.I competed in a MtG: Pro Tour Event, Chess Nationals and one of the Quake 3 Pro tournaments.A large poker tournament is similar to all of these exceptthe smell of money is much more prevalent…it’s everywhere!
The other obvious thing is the sound of chip shuffling.I described itto a colleague at work as being just like out white noise generators except with chips.It’s a strange sound at first, but after a short while it just becomes background noise.
I won’t bore you too much with specific pro details, but I’ll just say it was neatto see everyone.Here are a couple of physical appearance things I noticed.
TJ Cloutier:Is an absolute monster.Yeah I know he played football.He’s still a total monster and towered over everyone.
Phil Hellmuth:I knew he was tall, but he seemed even taller in person.You could see him in his seat from across the room because his head was so far above everyone else atthe table.Phil Gordon was tall as expected.
Scott Fischman / Carlos Mortenson:Wow are they both short!
Clony Gowen / Evelyn Ng / Erin Ness (Maxim Girl):All were decked out and looking fine.
I do aboutthree laps around the room trying to spot a blogger that I recognized.Iggy is pretty much the only blogger I’ve met several times so I had my eyes open for him, but no such luck.I figure I’ll have a good chance to notice Pauly or Badblood…nothing.Of course I’ve left my cell phone sheet back atthe hotel…blah
We hang out for about 3 hours watching the action.After thatthe others decide to play some 2/4 atthe Gold Coast and I head back to the Orleans for a quick nap.