Sunday, December 25, 2005

maximizing EV on ten hours of sleep over an 80 hour time period


I got back from Vegas just yesterday after spending 3 nights there, WITHOUT McPeePee unfortunately. We missed his expertise and table insults. This entry will contain only stories about poker hands.

We arrive at about noon and I waste no time in finding a poker room. I head over to the MGM and sit down at a 1-2 NL table with a meager $100 buyin. This would be my first experience with live casino NL play. I hit a few hands and steal a few pots and I'm +$60. Most people gave me credit for hands, which I had, for the most part.

One exception was when I had AQo on the button, two limpers to me. I raise to $15 (7.5x) and I get called by the SB and one limper, SB being a solid player. Flop misses me completely with 9-5-4 rainbow, but I think I may have the best hand so I bet about 1/2 the pot when it's checked to me. SB calls me. Turn is a K and I bet about 2/5 of the pot. SB looks at me for a few seconds and folds, telling me my AK is good. He shows me a 9 and says he would've checkraised any other player when the K hit and hopefully made them throw their hand away. I smile, realizing that NL appeals to the kleptomaniac in me.

The MGM poker room is really nice. I do believe it's the sweetest low-limit poker room in the city, with cushioned chairs, good modern lighting, and waitresses serving Red Bulls till the roosters crow. Oh, we'd be back.

For some reason we leave, and I head over to the poker room at the Monte Carlo despite not hearing much about it -- 9 tables (MGM has 30-something), random players. I sit down at another 1-2 NL table and much to my annoyance there are three friends sitting in a row to the left of me. They won't compete with each other, but they will take shots at me for sure. I should've left earlier, but I was too cocky. Arrogance is a vice, kids.

Four or five limpers to me in the BB. I look down at a beautiful AK of hearts, which I want to play against a smaller field, since this isn't limit and I'm not yet fully experienced with letting go of TPTK hands. I raise to $15 and I only get called by a wonky player in middle position. Flop is a nasty A-A-2 rainbow. If I bet here, he'll almost certainly fold unless he has an ace. If he has a pocket pair he might take a shot at me. If I check, I might not get any action at all. I figure it looks suspicious to not bet, so I bet out $15 on the flop. He just calls. Turn is an 8 and I'm thinking my trips are good. I check, he bets $20, and I checkraise him all in (another $40 more to him at this point). He quickly calls and shows 22 for the flopped house. I miss my seven outs on the river and he eats my stack. I'm not sure what I can do there with the best non-fullhouse hand, I don't think there's any way I can let it go unless we're both really deep stacked.

I buy in again and lose another $70 in random hands, some to the triple friend team. Jerks. One guy limped in with AKo when his two friends were SB and BB, and checked to the river with TPTK. The least he could do is bet and have them fold. :( There's got to be some etiquette here.

QTo, three off the button. No limpers, I haven't won a hand and I've only shown down AKh earlier, so I raise to 6. I get called to my left (doh) and by the BB, three to the flop. Flop is Q-8-6 rainbow. BB bets out $10, and I min-raise to $20 total. My left raises to about $60 total, and BB thinks before moving all in (he has us both covered). I can't fold fast enough, while my left thinks for a long minute before calling (another $60 to him or so). He shows AQ, which holds up against the BB's Q9. Good hands all around. I can't steal pots. :(

I also meet a hilarious British guy here who clearly knows NL strategy and has an easy tell. If he bets strong, he has a good hand. Also a cocktail waitress called me adorably cute when I smiled at her, and she said that if she was any younger (she was 40+) then I would be in trouble. I wanted to tip her more but I lost money. :(

After dinner, I find the poker room at the Rio, which has three tables going. I see some old ladies and depressed old men at the 4-8 table. Despite being a little early in the week for 4-8, I am pretty sure that I am a better low-limit player than them, and I sit down with $200.

Despite this being the fishiest table ever, I manage to hit the crappiest run of cards. My KK runs into AA on a great J-9-6 board (he didn't 3bet from the SB despite having something like 6 players limping in and my raise in the MP) and falls flat. My QQ in the BB (I raised) senses that it is way behind in a K-9-3 flop with six people to the flop. I have TT in the BB with something like seven limpers, and I raise since I'm cocky and because the raise is marginally +EV (my hand is probably the best preflop, but is extremely vulnerable -- I should have no problems letting it go on a bad board). The flop is K-Q-J and I easily fold the river when I miss my straight draw and K3 and K6 chop the pot.

Afterwards we head over to the Excalibur, which has a fairly large poker room of about 20 or so tables, with a good amount of low-limit games going at any time. This particular casino usually spreads 1-3 and 2-6 (which allows you to bet anywhere between 1 and 3 (or 2 and 6) bucks per betting round, leading to larger pots earlier but smaller pots later, and more family pots overall). I sit down at a 1-3 table after Mike and his friends tell me how stupid everyone is. He's right. They're stupid. I make an easy +$60 while ordering all kinds of redbullvodkas, screwdrivers, and gin'ntonix from the waitress, pretending to be drunk and instead playing suited connectors and top ten hands. DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM

To give you an idea of the softness of the table, I hold 74s in LP. There are two limpers to me, so I raise to $2 (-EV, but screw you) and the BB plus the limpers call. Flop is T-8-8, giving me absolutely nothing. I bet $2 anyway and only get called in one place. Turn is a 4, so I bet $2 again and get called in one place. I am done with the hand and we both check the river. He turns over an unimproved AKc and my hand is good.

I get five hours of sleep.

Next post: THURSDAY [Wynn, MGM, Excalibur]


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