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Sunday, July 30, 2006

People I Done Seen

Shannon Elizabeth, John Juanda, Devilfish Ulliot, Phil Hellmuth (featured table participant who was knocked out early; this was announced to the room to raucous applause), Doyle Brunson (also knocked out on the first day and the recipient of similar-but-actually-totally-different applause), Jesus Ferguson (spent a large portion of the day sitting directly behind me; has 20k going into day 2), Annie Duke (as mentioned, sitting at my table on day 2), Ron Jeremy (also sitting at a table near mine; I lasted longer than him, ladies), Norman Chad (who actually railed our table for five or six hands and engaged in friendly banter with our table for the duration), that annoying guy with the picture of his kids from last year's main event, that musician guy from last year's main event (flirting with the scantily clad Milwaukee's Best Light girls, not to be confused with the scantily clad Paradise Poker girls, the scantily clad Party Poker girls, the scantily clad Poker Stars girls, or the scantily-clad-and-actually-engaging-in-lingerie-pillow-fights Bodog girls), and others who I've forgotten.

Methods Via Which To Emphasise The Size Of Your Cleavage I Done Seen

All of them.

Percentage Of Professionally Hot Girls Who Would Actually Be Attractive In Something That Covered, Say, 60% Of Their Bodies

Hovering at about 30%. But that 30% is impressive. Also: irritating. I think it's worse when an impossibly hot girl is showing obviously fake enthusiasm towards you for money instead of the usual scoffing. I pointedly ignore them.

The Weird Thing About Las Vegas

It seems that the more expensive something is the more people are willing to pay whatever fee is associated -- and in Vegas, everything has a fee. I am currently paying 10.99 for 24 hours of Internet access. And yet they will beer your ass like there's no tomorrow when you're playing poker.

Black Tape

Okay: .com branded apparel has been banned from the WSOP for the past month. It should come as no surprise to anyone at this point. Despite this, Poker Stars had to have people roving about with black tape to place over the ".com" on approximately 80% of its players.

The Rockstar Bus

As three Asian guys and I exit the front lobby of the hotel the valet asks us if we're headed to the Rio -- we're marked by the PartyPoker (.net, never .com) shirts we wear -- and says that for five bucks we can book passage on a quote-unquote Rockstar Bus. Rockstar Bus? Surely I misheard...

No, I did not. The only possible way to describe this bus decked out in leopard-print couches complete with strategically placed stripper poles is, indeed, a "Rockstar Bus," though presumbably real rockstars wouldn't have some Dave Matthews Band concert playing on the plasma TV at the rear and blasting through the kickin' sound system. This is the part where someone says something like "only in Las Vegas."


I arrive approximately an hour early and wait outside the designated room. My nerves are such that I am surprised that my hands don't spasm uncontrollably. Eventually we're let into the room and I take my seat at approximately the same time as two older gentlemen who don't seem very intimidating. (In fact, one of them folds his big blind on the third hand and the other apparently folded a set of queens to minimal pressure, fearing a potential flush in a small pot. The latter eventually goes out when his KQ catches a king on the flop. He bets and gets raised; the raise gets a cold-caller. He calls and moves in on the turn and is shown a set... NH TY GG. I am at the very least better than these guys.)

I check each player who approaches the table; pleasingly, none of them are Phil Ivey. There is one guy who arrives late and flashes a gangster roll of impressive girth. He claims to be a 100-200 limit player (he charmingly refers to it as 1-2) and the roll is pretty convincing. The remainder of the table:

  • Guy from around Sarnia in a PokerStars jersey who seems to enjoy folding good hands more than actually raking chips.
  • Put-upon looking Asian guy who is not very good at all.
  • Swedish dude.
  • Extremely Jewish guy from Long Island who is almost maniacally agressive at times. He ends the day with almost 70k.
  • A few others who made little impression.

Hand Of Note #1

The aforementioned old guy -- the one who folded his big blind -- raises in early position and gets either one or two callers. I call with K6 of clubs. Flop is KQ6 rainbow and it's salad days. I bet 600; old guy raises to 1600; I raise to 3600... old guy raises another 4k... and I can't call. I assume QQ or KQ. My stack is down to about 6k. Frowny pants.

HON #2

I make it 200 with KK in early position and get two callers; then Put-Upon Asian Guy makes it 1500. My stack is about 6300 and I go into the tank. Since PUAG doesn't seem like the kind of player who would make this sort of bet with aces -- it's a go-away-please bet -- I figure that I'm probably 4 to 1 over some sort of middle pair. I push. Callers fold, PUAG calls with QQ. Flop is three clubs; I have the K and he does not have the Q, reducing his outs from two to one. Lightning doesn't strike and I double through to about 13k. Table discussion after the PUAG is gone centers around the theory that he though I had substantially fewer chips.

Other than a few blind steals and some other flops seen that don't amount to much, this concludes level 1. I have around the 13k I had after the KK hand.

HON #3

Less notable for the hand itself -- I raise with JJ, Gangsta Limit Guy calls in the BB, then we check down 99A-Q-blank and I take a small pot -- than the uncomplimentary thing I say about jacks after the hand which gets me a ten minute penalty. The f-bomb is verboten at the world series, though you can use other forms of swearing all you want.

I sit out for ten minutes.

HON #4

Hello, nurse: first hand after the penalty is AA. I raise and get one caller -- New York Guy, who's in the small blind. Flop is 24J with two low spades. He bets, I raise, I get re-raised. Tank. I know this guy is very aggressive and capable of bluffing audaciously. He represents the set here. After some time I call. There's now more than 10k in this pot. We'll see what he does on the turn... or maybe we won't care: the beautiful ace of clubs is the turn. He bets out 4k, shove, and he folds. At this point I'm around 21k.

I don't get invovled in all that many big hands for a while. I do the occasional blind steal but more often I re-steal from Gangsta Limit Guy and Swedish Guy -- the former of whom raises a ton of pots, the latter of whom is just tight-weak. The most notable time is when I'm in the BB and GLG makes it 600 -- this was level three, then -- and gets a call from Swedish guy. I've got 97 of hearts and make it 2k. GLG looks disgusted and folds; Swedish guy does likewise, flipping over KQ. Another time I reraise GLG with AJ on the button and take down the pot when the flop is QQ-rag. I'm more than holding ground over this period of time. By the dinner break I have 26k in chips and the table chip leader.

Then bad things happen.

HON #5

I steal-raise with A8 off in third or fourth position. GLG calls from the BB. Flop is A62 all spades -- my 8 is a spade. Check to me, I bet 1k and get moved in on. Horrible error here: I have a hand that is good but despises a reraise. Like the JJ hand I should just play this for showdown value. Instead I have 6300 to me in a pot that's about 4k in size. I figure this is either a mid-pocket pair with a spade, in which case I'm ahead, or a set of sixes or twos, in which case I'm behind but but not dead... the thought that I've got another ace with a bigger spade kicker does not occur tome and should have swung my decision to fold. I do call, though, and am shown trip sixes. Turn is the ten of spades -- hurrah -- river is the ten of hearts -- curses. This live stuff is just as rigged as online play. Down to about 18k.

I resume the good play, though, and chip away at the stacks of others. One typical hand:

HON #6

Folded to me in the SB. The weak old guy who was shown a set of twos hasn't picked up his fateful KQ yet and is in the BB. I raise with 9-6 off. Flop is Q94 all hearts -- I have nary a one -- I bet 800 and get min-raised. A danger sign from a good player but I think this means he caught a piece but is looking to get away from it, especially when he re-checks his cards... no flush for this guy. I repop to 4k and he goes away, asking if I had a Q. I tell him low hearts.

By the time we've gotten to the final break of the night I am back where I was before the A8 hand at 25 or 26k.

HON #7

Again a steal raise from mid position with A7 -- memo to self, stop freakin' doing this -- is called by NY Guy. Flop is rags not including a seven. I check and then raise his bet. He says "I'll just call" and does so. flop is another low rag, giving me a gutshot, and I bet out 8k only to get raised all in. I drop it. Should have quit after the flop call, or better yet not gone after one of the better players on the table out of position. I'm down to 10k after all that.

The remainder of the night I'm pretty much in push-fold mode. I win a small hand in the BB when I call the SB's raise and then bet out a straight draw I made with QJ. I push all in with a better and a caller with 76off and am not called. I come over a standard opening bet with AK and am not called by AQ. By the time we're done I have 15k.

I'm Not Sure What To File This Under

PUAG after sadly contemplating his dwindling stack: "I wish I had a girlfriend so I could beat her tonight." I think "disappointing item that proves your sense of humor is not nearly as sophisticated as you think it is."

I play Tuesday.

I plan on sleeping until then.