Thursday, December 07, 2006

First Vegas Update: Tourists with Bad Hair 1, Pauly 0

The drive from LA to Vegas took about four hours. We stopped off in Baker for gas and Change100 courageously went into Taco Bell and ate an E. Coli Taco. After a quick nap, we headed over to the Mirage to play some cards. She signed up for a 3/6 Limit table while I wandered over and checked the list for 10/20 Limit and 1/2 NL. I got on the waitlist for 10/20 and sat down at a juicy 1/2 NL table. There were no cowboys playing, but a couple of fishy tourists were bleeding stacks of $5 red chips so I quickly jumped into the mix.

A-8s: 1/2 NL at The Mirage

During the first orbit I limped in at the CO with A-8s and flat called a raise from the button. The flop: 8-2-2. I bet out and got two callers. The turn: 4. I bet out and one player called. The river was a lovely Ace. Thinking that two pair is the best hand, I bet the pot and quickly got min-raised. I almost mucked because that raise was too suspicious. It was like he wanted me to call. I went into the tank and replayed the hand in my head. He raised me preflop but cold-called my bets on the flop and turn. Was he slowplaying something? I sighed and reluctantly called as I pushed a stack of red chips to the center of the table. I flipped over A-8 and my opponent flashed A-4 and tossed his cards into the muck.

A-A: 1/2 NL at The Mirage

I also won a rare big pot preflop. I was shocked because tourists on the Strip have a tough time folding to a re-raise preflop. With A-A in MP, I cringed when I saw two limpers in front of me as my testicles shrunk to the size of peas. I raised 6x BB. The guy behind me called and the button re-raised me about the size of the pot. One fishy middle-aged chick with big hair circa 1985 called. With almost 100 in the pot, I raised another 100. The guy next to me mucked and later told me he had J-J. Like I believed him.

The button rubbed his eyes for two minutes straight before he muttered something like, "That guy has Aces or Kings." He folded and the chick with the bad hair tried to get information out of me by asking me a dozen questions. I just shrugged my shoulders and sat in silence. She eventually mucked and I took down a hefty size pot preflop.

"Did you have a pair? Aces?" she asked.

"You'll have to wait to see that hand on TV," I joked.

She was not amused. Too much hairspray hinders your sense of humor. I should have shown her my Aces because she might have given me respect in a future pot. Because I never showed her my hand, a seed of doubt festered inside the hallways of her mind.

A-10s: 1/2 NL at The Mirage

I ended up losing a big pot to the chick with the big hair on a hand she had no business being in. I called a raise preflop with A-10s and flopped top two pair. There were two clubs on the flop and I played my hand strongly. After bad hair bet 1/2 the pot on the flop (about 30), I reraised another 100. She thought for a few minutes and called. I knew she was on a club draw. Both times she flopped a set earlier in that session, she played it hard and made sure no one outdrew her.

The turn was a blank and she bet out about 1/10 the pot. If I raised all-in, she had me covered and would call in a second. I min-raised her to see where she was at. She just called. My stack wasn't big enough from deter her from chasing her flush to the river. Against players like that, the right play would be to get all the money in the pot while I was ahead, but I decided to wait to see the river card instead of moving all in. She was catching cards and on a rush. If she missed on the river, I'd push.

Of course, the river was a club and she fired out a huge bet, worth almost 3/4 of my stack. I picked up my cards and tossed them into the muck. She showed the second nut flush. Had I pushed all in on the turn, I would have been felted. As is, I only lost 1/2 my stack and was still up overall for the session.

Against tourists who won't fold a flush draw and who don't understand pot odds or fold equity, it's nearly impossible to get them off a hand. In those instances, it's better to build a smaller pot than a bigger one and wait to see the river before making a move. I played defensive poker on that hand and ended up saving half my stack.

7-2o: 3/6 Limit at The Mirage

When my table broke and I sat down at Change100's table with a slew of awful players. She was on slight tilt after an old Asain lady sucked out on her. I raised UTG with The Hammer and hit the flop of 10-7-10. I bet out on the flop and turn. One guy called me all the way to the river with nothing except K-Q. He promptly spiked a King on the river and acted like he won the WSOP when the pot got pushed to him. When I sheepishly turned over my hand, he gave me a look of bewilderment before celebrating. The old lady in seat 9 simply laughed upon seeing 7-2o.

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