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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Superstitious??? Who!!!??? Me???

 No. Never. Not even a little bit. Okay. Fine. You got me. That's a big huge lie. Sort of like today, for instance. It's Sunday. Every day in Vegas has been about 110 degrees, and sunny, of course. Not a cloud to be seen. So last night, I call it an early night...with the intention being to get some sleep, get up at 9am...hit the pool for two hours, swim a few laps, then head to Rio for day 1b of the last $1k event. How are we looking on that plan?

I'll tell you how. After getting my bathing suit on and brushing my teeth, I wander down to the pool, step out into the....what!!!??? The rain? Yeah. RAIN! Slight wind blowing, clouds filling the sky...and RAIN!!!! Just then I noticed I was standing under a a black cat went running by me! Okay...maybe those last two things didn't happen, but they should have. I have no doubt that while shaving in the shower today I will 

drop, and mirror. So what has gotten me on this superstition kick? I don't know. Things are just going very bizarrely the last few days. To start it off...I have stopped wearing my flip flops and started wearing shoes. For four days now of not wearing shoes...I have won money. My main motivation for not wearing my flip flops was two things. (a) I was tired of my feet always being sweaty. (b) I was tired of my feet being so dirty from all the Vegas soot that I couldn't even get them clean, even by scrubbing them with soap.

I also have a certain hat that has done nothing but bring me back luck. It is now buried in a place where I will not accidentally screw up and grab it. There is a certain bracelet that whenever I wore it I was feeling doomed. It too has been stashed. But the ONE major thing that has me wondering...WTF is going on here?

I have been playing at Caeser's a good deal this summer...after a three-year hiatus, and one thing that continues to persist in my poker that I tend to run VERY good at that poker room. To a point. Something very strange has now occurred three times. And this last one really let a mark.

Kai and I went to play the $340 there on his first day back in town the other day. At the end of the first break I had over $90k ($25k starting stack) and he had around $50k. We were cruising. My stack would dwindle...while his would grow. When we arrived at 38 players...11 from the money, tragedy struck. Poker tragedy. 

Super-aggressive Asian kid raises my BB. It folds to me. I look down at...ding ding ding...AA. Perfect. I don't shove all a lot of retards who want to make sure they get NO value out of their aces, I re-raise. Which leads to 'Mr. I can't ever fold AK or JJ preflop, EVER' to shove all in. Obviously I didn't fold. As you can see in the photo above...the flop produced a Q-10-8 board...providing him with hope, the 'ol ONE card to hit...a harmless 2 on the turn had me thinking about an about-to-be massive chip stack. Then the kick in the gut...BOOM! Jack on the river. OMG. Not again! This left me with 1500 chips. The blinds, in case I didn't mention it...were 3k/6k with a 500 ante. Yeah. And I was the SB next hand.

Well, I would put on quite a miraculous charge...waking up with AK that next hand...and winning. Shoving on the button with J9...and winning. Then, before I knew it...I had 85k about 15 minutes later. It was incredible. I would squeak into the money...then start a little charge. I kept picking up spot after spot...then...when I had gotten up to 300k...with the average at around 442k...I actually started thinking about winning this damn tournament, and walking out of there with close to $15k.

Forget it. With 13 players left...the guy on my right raises on the button for the umpteenth time. I look down at AK. Nice! I shove all in. BB folds, he snap calls (????) and turns over.......AQ? AJ? Middle pair? How about KK? Ohhhhh shittttt. And simultaneously the douchebag in the BB tells me he folded A10. Thanks, pal. No two outer for me...and I was ready??? Once again....13th place!  This marks the THIRD time at Caeser's in the past two weeks where I have finished in 13th place. Is that creepy? Or am I just being dramatic? You decide.

Last night, while waiting in valet at Venetian...this all happened in a 3-minute period of time. First...its the night of a big UFC fight in Vegas...which always means you are going to see a lot of goofy shit.

Um yeah...sweetie, if you could please just slide your arm down a little lower? And your foot up a little higher? Yeah...that would be great...thanks!

Okay...NO! This is NOT what we see...but sure is what we WISH we were seeing, instead, right? Yeah isn't perfect!

Yo! How you doin!?? Whatchu looking at? You gots a problem? Get outtta heeere!

 Instead...lots of THIS. Lots of it. Most of it dressed in TapOut gear. Nearly all of them showing off their tattoos. And of course, their muscles.

Keeping tanning salons in New Jersey booming!!!
Yeah...a lot of this! So a limo pulls up...not just the normal, run of the mill limo, but one of those Hummers that they have customized to be about 80 feet long, and tall enough so people can actually dance inside of it. The doors open...and here they come, the bimbos, dark haired, dyed blonde...all with attitude, all with their East Coast style of dress. I counted 9 in all...all dancing, most with drinks in hand...some of them dodging cabs that don't care anything about their celebratory mood. And then....out he comes. All 5'4 of him. The host for the evening...we'll just call him Vinnie. He was as happy as a pig in shit. And ohhhh baby, was he ever 'The Man.' If you don't believe could just ask HIM!

Two seconds later...I hear a ruckus. Coming in my direction is a group of black folks...maybe 8 of them. One kid, about 8 years old, is carrying a stroller over his shoulder. The Mom is carrying her toddler, who is sound asleep...the Dad has a 40-ouncer in his hand...and three teenage boys are shirtless...and all of them have their pants literally past their thighs...almost to their knees...with their boxer shorts the only thing you could really see, and of course, their ass. I was so were all the 'normal' people standing out front of Venetian...that I forget to snap a photo.

Oh don't worry, the opportunity to snap a photo of a child out way past midnight didn't have to wait too long, minutes in fact. Poor kid...can only wonder where HIS future is headed.

I just do NOT understand what is going on in our society. What makes the stupid trends so hot, what makes people such bad parents....just baffles me. As I say this, we are awaiting the verdict on the fate of 'The Tot Mom' as Nancy Grace has so annoyingly taken to calling Casey Anthony. 

Casino walkers/perusers continue to hold a very firm spot in my Top 3 things to hate about Las Vegas. Lets just STOP in the middle of a busy walkway to either take a photo, or just reassess where we are and where we are going next! Or...when we are standing in the busiest walk area...and we see our good friend from 10 years ago...lets stop right there and scream "Oh My God!!!!" and hug and reminisce while 100's of people are trying to get by you! If there are 5 of you...make sure you all walk spread out in ONE LINE so NO ONE can get by you. Please...please do that! And couples...if you are going up an all means, please make sure you don't stand one behind the other. No no...I insist that you stand side-by-side...and make no attempt to let anyone behind you get by you.

Kai and I were talking about this yesterday, and we have both taken to a more militant style of dealing with errant walkers. Its called the 'drop the shoulder and brace for impact' style of walking. I sent a guy nearly to the ground the other night coming out of Caesers when he was just walking/weaving towards me while cursing to his friends...and then....right as he neared me....Kapow!

"Excuse me" I offered. Kai giggled. LEARN HOW TO WALK IN VEGAS you idiots! I swear...someone should offer a class on how to effectively and safely navigate your way (by foot) through the streets and casinos of Las Vegas.

I played the Main Event at the Golden Nugget yesterday. Or...better yet, it played ME. From the time I sat down, I hated my table, three of the same guys from my Caeser's table the day before. And one from the other day...the faggy little Swiss guy with the light blue headphones, the yellow ridiculous glasses, and the nasty little habit of taking an unacceptable amount of time to act on EVERY hand. I bluffed myself a huge pot early...and turned my 25k starting stack into about 33k early. For the most part...I just sat there folding.

They moved this guy with a very, very long and pointy nose to our table. After seconds of watching him operate, I could tell he was a cash game player. He was very fond of punishing the limpers. Which gave me the idea of limping strong...or even semi-strong, calling his raise, and trying to snare his ass. Such case nearly occurred, but instead resulted in my eventual demise. 

With Q-10s I decide to limp for 200. He of course makes it 550...this time with the always dangerous 6-9 offsuit. Everyone else folds. I call. He...for your viewing pleasure is the hand.

We will call the flop INCREDIBLE. I check. He leads out for 750 with his middle pair, no kicker, and no other draw. I decide not to fool around too much...and raise him to 1850. He thinks....then calls. Turn card paired the board, which I thought was probably good for me. Now I bet pretty big. He tanks. Then raises. Feels like a move. I shove all in. He snap calls...and shows me that he turned trips. You GOTTA be kidding me!!!!!??? And of course I miss hitting either another Q or any spade for the flush. And I was crippled, and left wanting to saw this guy in half. (yes...that is a remote Pinocchio reference)

Our table would break shortly after that. I took my 4500 to another blinded down to about it in with A5 against 33 and double up...only to lose on the very next hand. Really a disappointing day.

Then I jetted down to Venetian to play the nightly. That was a joke. There is a fat, crazy, Russian guy with a big bushy beard who plays a lot of nightly, and almost never cashes...but he does manage to take out a lot of players early with his insane style. Raising nearly every hand...and always too much, he drives the table nuts. Well I get AA behind one of his 4x re-raises and just flat call...which brings in another player. Flop is whatever it is. He bets a lot. I smooth call. Other guy folds. Turn is also whatever. He bets again. It's half my stack. Now I go all in. A 10k pot and he only has to call 2k more. He tanks. I finally call clock on him. He drains the clock then folds. Sigh. So now I have chips.

I get 44 at 200/400 in early position...and limp. Which sets off a frenzied limp fest. 7 players in all. Flop comes 4-3-6 and the BB shoves all in. I sense defeat, but still feel like I have to call. Another one! BB turns over 5-5. Uh ended. But would he hit a 2 or a 7? No...instead the dealer turns a 6, giving me a boat...and cutting down his outs to just two fives and two sixes. River? Yep...a six. Giving him a bigger full house. Unreal. Crippled me.

But I did rally...but still fell short, going out 38th out of 154 players. Another waste of time.

Wandered over to SNG-land...and JUST missed getting the last seat on a sit-n-go. Damn. Finally got into a $130...with the whole table in on a $20 last longer. After winning a few hands...I call a guy's UTG raise of $350 with KK. Four other people call. Great! The flop comes K-J-3 with two diamonds. Original raiser goes all in. The next guy also goes all in. I call...everyone is getting excited. The button goes all in! Wow..nice pot here. You all know I'm losing this hand right? To the original raiser...who had A7d. Nice hand sir. Nice flush on the river. FML!

Left me with 200 chips at 75-150. Make a long story not as long...I made a huge comeback...and eventually WON that SNG...and the last longer money...which really left me feeling pretty good as I left the Venetian for the night. The ironic hand...was when that same guy who snapped my KINGS called my all in shove holding 5's with two kings of his own...and me hitting a 5 on the turn! Ha Ha! 

So today...yeah, based on the sheer number of players that entered yesterday in the $1k at Rio...I don't see any way possible that I can miss this tourney...even if it is a total crapshoot. I also don't want to be too late getting over I am going to need to wrap this up. Trust me, I still have plenty of things to chat about. Just didn't want to get too much father behind!!!!


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