Thursday, May 03, 2007

Cowboy Clippers

By Pauly

During my two week stretch in Las Vegas, I had two work assignments both with PokerNews. The first was the WPT Championships (spread out over seven days) which was followed by the WSOP Circuit event at Caesar's (three days). The two are an interesting study of two vastly different poker circuits. I won't go into that right now, but the WSOPC was a much more relaxed environment and I felt as though the other media people were cooperating more that the rivalistic tension that went down at the Bellagio.

Getting to work with BJ Nemeth was an honor. I think that the coverage of the final tables were top notch. Over the last few months, PokerNews has developed the reputation in the industry that they are striving to become the best possible reporting team around and will hire the most qualified individuals for the job. When applied, that philosophy translated into some of the best tournament coverage I had ever seen which has been spread out over the Aussie Millions, the WPT, the WPT, and the WSOP Circuit. I'm fortunate to on that team and I'm looking forward to covering more events with them in the future.

Cory "UGOTPZD" Carroll won the WSOPC last night at Caesar's Palace. "He's the best player you never heard of," said Shaniac.

He's right. Carroll is from Nova Scotia and has made several final table appearances in several big online tournaments. The WSCOC marked the moment when people in the poker world final took notice. He outlasted Chad Brown and David "The Dragon" Pham at the final table to go on to win the $5K Circuit event that also included a tough field of 336 players. That's a decent sized number of entrants for a non-televised tournament these days.

To read the recap of the final table that I wrote for Poekr News, check out... Cory Carroll Wins Caesar's Palace WSOP Circuit Main Event.

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As soon as the final table ended, Change100 drove to Red Rock to play poker. While I waited for a seat in the 8/16 with a half kill, I donked around the 4/8 game. Here are some interesting hands...

Ah-Kh at 4/8 with a half kill at Red Rock: It was the second hand that I was dealt at my table and I found suited Slick in early position. I raised and got four callers. The flop was Ac-7d-6h. I bet out and got two callers. The turn was the 8h. I had TPTK with a nut flush draw. I bet and got raised by the fat ethnic guy with the sweaty armpits in Seat 4. One guy folded and I reraised to see if he had 10-9. He popped me back. Did he had a set or 10-9? Didn't matter, because I needed to make my flush to beat him. I just called and the river was a blank. I check-called his bet and he tabled 10-9 for the straight. I lost 35% of my buy-in on that hand. Rebuy!

7c-2c at 6/12 Limit (kill pot) at Red Rock: I was UTG in a kill pot and found the suited Hammer. I raised and the crazy Asian old guy (think of Mr. Myagi in a Commerce Casino windbreaker) three bet me. Two others behind called all three bets! I simpy called and had a $36 investment with tremendous implied tilt odds. The flop was Jh-7-x. I check-raised the flop and was heads up with Mr. Myagi. The turn was the 2h. With two pair, I bet out. Mr. Myagi quickly raised and I re-raised. He looked at me then looked at his cards. He looked at me again and looked at his cards. He called. The river was the 5h. I checked-called his river bet since I put him on a flush. He rivered me and flipped over Qh-3h. I showed my hand and said, "Wax off."

Ac-As at 4/8 with a half kill at Red Rock: I found two black Aces UTG and raised. Mr. Myagi three-bet, but by the time the action got back to me there was already six people in the pot! I called instead of raising to disguise my hand. The flop was A-K-J. I bet out and was raised by Mr. Myagi. An older fella in a black cowboy had three bet. He used a shiny silver nailclipper as his card capper. Never trust a cowboy who uses clippers at the table. I capped it. Mr. Myagi, the cowboy and myself saw the turn. A seven fell and I wondered if any of those clowns were playing Q-10. I bet and was raised by Mr. Myagi. The cowboy three-bet and I jammed. The river was 3. I led out and Mr. Myagi mucked. The cowboy raised me and I put him on Q-10. I just called and showed my set of Aces. He removed the nail clipper and flipped over his cards. Two red Cowboys fell to the felt. Aces hold up as a sea of grey chips are pushed my way. I tipped the dealer $5.

When it was over, I lost a few bucks at Red Rock playing poker. I didn't care. I have no respect for money these days at the table. I was donking around and quite content just bullshitting and drinking for free with the pill-popping locals (I was offered Percocet from the guy next to me and I declined). Plus, I was riding a natural high after ending a long work assignment and had crushed the NBA playoff games on Wednesday. I bet 2K each on the Spurs and the Lakers. I won both, almost getting unstuck for the trip. What's an $8 bet compared to the amounts I've been wagering on a single game or gambling with my savings in the stock market? I've been playng better at the tables because I've been playing without fear of losing.

I might be down about 1K in overall gambling during the last two weeks in Las Vegas, which includes poker, prop bets, craps, Pai Gow, and sportsbetting. At this stage, I lost more playing poker than at the sportsbook. I'm still in Vegas for another 24 hours. Time to get unstuck. I might just have to put a few bucks on De la Hoya before I skip town.

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For some final table photos, head over to for Flipchip's Casear's Circuit 2007 WSOP photos.

Also, check out Shirley Rosario's new website... Poker Vibe.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker. All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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