Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Broken Walls of Ruin

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

You always remember the last time you were in Las Vegas.

I'll pause for a moment while you close your eyes and let your mind wander.


So what was it like to feel the pile of chips of that monster pot you won? Did you taste the shrimp cocktail? Could you smell the cheap stripper perfume? Hear the relentless cacophony of slot machines? Feel the thickness of desperation that filled the artificial air?

I can't stop thinking about the last time I was in Vegas. It's one of those weird things that you have instant recall for, sort of like what you were doing the day RFK was assassinated or where you were when Flight 173 smacked into the south tower.

The last time I was in Las Vegas was with my brother and friends for the second week of March Madness. When the trip was over, I fled Sin City faster than a mass refugee evasion of Milosevic's Serbia. Despite a category 6 hangover, I somehow completed the solo drive back to Los Angeles without puking on myself or shitting my pants somewhere in bat country on the edge of the desert near Barstow. I may or may not have gotten food poisoning because I was sick for two days after Vegas. It very well could have been all the booze and all the partying or it could have been a batch of bunk food. Regardless, Vegas kicked my ass the last time I was here so I wasn't exactly looking forward to returning.

On Tuesday, the drive from Hollyweird to Las Vegas was uneventful. It took us four hours to arrive at the city limits and another half hour drive to the house in Summerlin which we nicknamed Sheckytown for lack of a better moniker for our new humble abode. Change100 and I are sharing a house with Schecky and Jen Leo for the next two months. Jen Leo was excited to have us. I was excited for the pool. I already sampled the frigid waters that gave me a severe case of shrinkage.

I packed super light this summer; only clothes, a printer, and enough pharmies to keep Paula Abdul jacked up for the next two seasons of American Idol. Change100's "shoe bag" was bigger than the backpack that held all of my clothes. The most abundant item that I brought with me were 15 pairs of underwear which means that I don't have to do laundry for at least two weeks.

My roomies were kind enough to set up a desk in the corner of an underutilized room. I really don't require much to get work done... just a lamp, a desk, and chair. I have all three in an area sort of isolated from the common areas. No more excuses. I'm ready to write.

The WSOP officially begins on Friday. Since I'll be a features writer at Poker News this summer, I have to attend a Poker News staff meeting on Thursday. I really didn't have too much time to myself before I slip into WSOP mode.

Everyone in Scheckytown crashed early and I found myself in a familiar situation... everyone was asleep, with nothing on TV, and I was lacking inspiration to write. I was wide awake and took the opportunity to drive over to Red Rock Casino to play poker. I only stayed for an hour or so and played 1/2 NL with a couple of loose locals.

Here are a few tawdry hands from yours truly...

The first one involved a pot that I won at a showdown with 9-high! That's right. It was so fuckin' ugly too. I raised with 9d-8d and had two callers. I flopped a gutshot and a flush draw and jammed all the way to the river. I bet 1/2 the pot on the river and bluffed at the pot with nadda. One player folded and I was shocked that the other guy called. I almost mucked my hand but I tabled my cards and said, "You got me."

He flipped over 7d-6d and also had a busted flush draw. His 7-high was no good. The guy who folded on the river had a pair of fives. My opponent only called because he was the big stack at the table (with over 1.2K) and said he wanted to see my cards.

After that hand, my table pegged me for a crazy donkey.

I had a short stack pay me off with Big Slick. The flop was King high and I was looking good with TPTK. My opponent shoved on the turn and I insta-called. She tabled two black Queens. My hand held up and inside of fifteen minutes I had almost tripled up.

I spewed chips when I had trips cracked by a flush.

And then I sucked out which tilted the table. My opponent, a guy in his 60s with a severe golf tan, was so pissed off that I thought his eyeballs were going to pop out of his sockets and blood and goo would ooze out of his eyes and run down his leathery face.

I have to admit, it was a suck out, but he could have played his hand better. Two players limped. I re-raised with Ac-Kd preflop. Eyegoo guy called from the cutoff. Everyone folded. The flop was Qc-7d-2c. I bet and Eyegoo called. The turn was the 9c. I bet 2/3 the pot and Eyegoo called. The river was the 3c. I fired out and Eyegoo re-raised all in for is last stack of reds. I called with my nut flush. He showed Qs-7h. He got even more pissed when a couple of guys at his end of the table told him that he played his hand poorly.

Most of my profit disappeared when I had my Kings cracked by J-10. My opponent flopped two pair. We got it all in on the flop and I couldn't improve. After that hand, I racked up my remaining chips and headed for the cage. I lost that burning desire to play poker and I finally found the inspiration to go home and write.

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

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