Saturday, September 24, 2005

Going Pro: Week 9 (Vegas Trip Report)

Started off the weekend by heading down to LA to play some live chips. Oh how I miss my live play up here in NL-less Northern California. I started off with my roomate in a $400 Buy-In 5-10 blind game. The table was very agressive and fairly good. I played for about two hours and with the exception of one hand that I played very very well (AQ flopped top pair and I extracted maximum value from a calling station with a weak underpair) I felt thoroughly outmatched. I was re-raised at least five times pre-flop and I folded each time. The last hand was actually against my roomate and if he is putting moves on me (he later said he held 57o vs my AJo) then I am obviously emitting some serious vaginal vibes. Seems like its a slippery slope against good players, once they see that you'll fold to pressure...they'll just keep applying it at every opportunity.

I walked away from the game with $400 in chips but a $600 loser as I had rebought (you are allowed to add $600 if you bust). I then went upstairs and played a $130 Sit N Go for tournament chips to get into the California State Poker Championships. I started off with most players thinking I was a tool-box for asking the dealer multiple questions before I acted on my first hand (how many starting chips, how often do the blinds rise, is this winner take all etc etc) then raising with my AKs. Though I got the last laugh as the only player at the table who understood anything close to proper STT strategy was the guy who I got heads up with. Though even he didn't understand the need to open up your calling standards versus a push-bot and after I refused his chop request he got pretty much blinded off and the $1000+ first prize was mine.

This got me to thinking. I've been on a pretty poor run lately in my NL cash game play, some of this due to bad cards but a lot more is due to me being outmached I think. As my bankroll has grown the stakes that interest me have changed, and for MTT and STT play this is fine, because my game has also improved a great deal. But for my cash game play, this is not necessarily the case. Though I still do very well in lower buy-in cash games, when I start getting up to the $500+ buy-in games my leaks start to become very evident and I don't do nearly as well, unless I catch amazing cards. I really am stuck with how to handle this, as I definately want to be a complete poker player and master multiple different types of play. Though if I have to play 1-2 blind NL to win, I am MUCH better off playing STT's from a $/hr standpoint.

Whatever, I go back after the STT and play some 2-5 blind $200 buy-in NL and do very well. I made just over $500 more in several more hours of play. Felt nice to be back in the aquarium again.

After Commerce we hung around LA for another 12 hours or so and then headed to Vegas! Me and a couple of buddies nearly finished a bottle of Grey Goose on the way and the trip was off to a great start. We stopped in at Whiskey Petes as is our tradition and played some house edge games and drank more Grey Goose. By the time we got to Vegas it was well past 1am so we decided to just go to Spearmint Rhino. Several hours, $2,000 and many drinks later, the four of us decided to call it a night. I'll save the details to protect the innocent, but we'll just say a good time was had by all ;)

The next day was a full-on poker expedition. I started off poorly by dumping $500 at the 2-5 NL game at the Wynn. Over the next 24 hours I would repeat this feat a couple of more times with the exact dollar amount varying slightly each time. So I drank.

Two friends decided to head back on Sunday night but me and one friend decided to stay behind. There are few places I'd rather be in the world than at the Bellagio. We stayed thru Wednesday night and finally decided to come back when his winning streak started to come to a close and my losses started to stress me out.

My biggest leak at the moment is definately craps. As with the cash games, due to my bankroll size, the stakes that interest me at the craps table have changed. So I bet more. This then compunds my losses (as the house will always beat me long-run at the craps table) and puts me on life-tilt. I really have got to stop playing craps if I expect to spend a lot of time in Vegas.

I finally caught a heater the last day in town with some of the heat coming from online play and then with us missing our flight I made $500ish back at Wynn in the 2-5 game. Then when we got back to LA I played some more at Commerce and made just under $700. I also pulled off some nice market timing with some stocks I own and that little psychological bump put me in nice form coming back home to get grinding again.

So all in all, the trip was definately not a profitable one...but it was great to spend some time with my buddies and see Vegas. Nothing energizes me more than the Bellagio.

Off to Thailand October 4th and until then will be 8-tabling till my eyes bleed hopefully.

Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!

Wild Bill