W-Day Plus 32: No Player


I’m thinking about putting a pin on the “NO PLAYER” button I found the other day so I can wear it just to alert people of my status. Of course, most of the time, I’d wear it with the They Might Be Giants snowman that has been my go-to gear for playing poker the past few years (though the hoodie pre-dates my poker playing).

I got to the Rio yesterday a bit early. We were supposed to be setting up on one of the feature tables, but the only setup going on was for the $50K Players Championship, on Feature Table 3. Andrew Lichtenberger and Craig Blight were still up on the main feature table, so I sat down in the stands for the first time ever. Sort of odd that I hadn’t yet, though I had tripped and gone down face-first a couple of weeks ago walking around on the outside of the main stage (there’s luminescent tape on the edges of a platform that runs from the table to the back of the stage area but that doesn’t work if the lights aren’t on).


Live reporting going on. The real action at the WSOP.

Day 4 of the $1.500 PLO8/O8/Big O tournament did not last long. We had five players coming back, one of them got knocked out in the second hand, then the two chip leaders got into a hand close to the end of the first hour that ended up with Gavin Smith out in fourth place and Allan Le with more than 80% of the chips in play. It was all over before we were out of the level.

So, I’d skipped a couple of things I had been thinking about playing on my day off because of the extra day, went back to the house, played a little bit of PLO8 on WSOP.com (and lost), then got myself ready for another Survivor tournament at the Venetian.

I thought things might be kind of interesting while I was in line at the cage waiting to get my ticket when I heard one guy trying to explain to another why it didn’t matter how many players were in the tournament, it didn’t affect the size of the payout. But even he seemed to be getting it wrong somehow.

Unfortunately, I was the fish in this case. We were only in the second level of play—100/200—when I raised to 5,100 in early positoon by grabbing a 5K chip instead of a 500 chip. Then a guy who appeared to be a regular shoved for more than my stack from the big blind after everyone else folded to my obvious mistake. I weighed my options. I had AxJx. I’d misclicked and put half my stack in, with the blinds going up, I’d be down to about 15BB on the next hand or so if I folded. I figured I was probably about 30%, I was going to have to call off another 5K to get 15K back, so I took the plunge and lost to his JxJx. That was humiliating. BTW, does anyone know if Kristi Gazes is still playing tournaments? I could have sworn that the woman sitting in the 4 seat on the table was Gazes, but I don’t see a Hendon Mob cash for her for years.

I wasn’t prepared to reenter but I did. I walked into a table where there had been some sort of heated discussion involving an older, maybe Italian, guy wearing a hat and dark sunglasses (which seemed not to be helping his view of the action) and the guy on my right at the new table. Don

‘t know what it was about, but there was a stench of acrimony hanging over the action for a while. The old guy then lost a pot that took him down to about 3K, and when he shoved over a raise from me and a call by the Lebanese/New Zealand guy on my left, I re-shoved my KxQx. The guy on my left folded what he said was AxQx and the Italian guy showed KxJx. King on the flop and an ace on the turn which got the guy on my left exclaiming about how he shouldn’t have laid down his hand. I thought that maybe my luck might be turning around.

The Italian guy re-entered and pulled his own seat card, so he came right back to the table, where he picked up aces twice and started building a big stack. Then, thankfully, our table broke. Things went relatively well there, I picked up some pots, though I was contending with some sicko Euros on my right who were showing down 7x4x and 9x2x for bottom pair to win a couple hands. Took some chips off the Italian guy, who ended up at the table after a break and promptly picked off a player with a pair of kings. He had to lay a hand down to me after I shoved on him with top two for a pot of about 15,000, and said he would get the chips later. I reminded him that I’d been the one to bust him earlier, and he said (from his admittedly larger stack) “Where are all your chips, then?” I guess I could have replied that he didn’t have all that many when I busted him.

Then things started to slide a bit, though not so much for me as the Italian guy, who lost his entire stack to the sicko who’d called down with 9x2x. His aces this time were better than what the Italian guy had, and that put him up to about 120K at a time when I had maybe 18K left.

More than half the field was gone already four hours in, but I was on about 12BB. I picked up 9x9x in the big blind, there was a raise, an all in from the guy on my right. I shoved, the original raiser thought about it and folded, and the guy on my right flipped over queens. Then the card in the door was a nine, he looked kind of sick, and the guy who folded was patting himself on the back for folding AxKx because there was an ace on the flop as well.

Lost a couple pots, blinds went up, and I was back down to 15BB when another one of the European players opened for about 3X and I shoved KxQx from the button. He dithered about calling with KxJx before he did it, but he did, and everything ran smooth for me until the river, which was the jack. 100 players gone out of 135, 21 spots from the money, and while a double up there would not have assured me of making the money, it would have given me a fighting chance. Very disappointing.


Prostitute or Notstitute?

I’m walking from the Venetian Poker Room to the Palazzo parking garage.

In the mall between the buildings, I notice a young woman ahead of me in a short skirt with a large tattoo on her thigh. I turn my attention back to my phone.

Never been to the Monte Carlo, so I’m looking at Google Maps, and as I pass the young woman, she alters her course to come talk to me and asks what I’m doing, offers up that she’s been playing blackjack, etc.

I am under no illusions as to my appearance. I am fat. I’m dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, with an unbuttoned short-sleeve shirt over the t-shirt. I’m easily old enough to be the woman’s father. I don’t look like I have money (and I don’t).

Schlubbing along in a hotel that’s way out of my price range.

This young woman is…

a) …a prostitute.

b) …just another Vegas victim looking for a fatherly figure with whom to commiserate.

c) …it’s Vegas, baby.

After that, I headed over to the Monte Carlo. PokerNews celeb/broadcaster Remko Rinkema hosts a 4/8 Mix game there on a semi-regular basis that I’d been hoping to make it to, and after blasting off two buyins at the Venetian, it seemed like a perfect time.

I got there during a round of Razzdugi and promptly scooped two pots. DIdn’t do as well in 2-7 Single Draw, but Std 8 and PLO8 were good. I wasn’t close to recouping my Survivor buyins or anything of the sort, but I picked up a little bit of a profit.

Then the vultures swooped in and we got a couple new players Someone who shall remain nameless made up a PLO game with three river cards that lasted all of one hand, but that hand was exceedingly costly to me. And one of the new guys was whining about the $80 cap and wanted to play every game no limit, even the stud games. Flipping for rollz just isn’t my thing, plus I got no rollz to flip, so I slunk off into the early morning to lick my wounds.

BTW, you may have heard about the parking fees instituted at the MGM-brand casinos on the Strip starting this month. Here’s what your $20 buys along with 3 hours of parking at the Monte Carlo:

That’s the inside half of the elevator door half-way open. Don’t worry, you can slip out through the open section before it goes back to whatever mechanical hell if comes from.