Las Vegas, Oct 20,
Since my last blog I have been in New York for a week visiting my good friend Roy Kvatningen that has started working there. What a city! I would love to go back there again very often, as I really liked a lot of things about that wonderful place.
This is not a travel blog, so I will stop talking about New York already. I have to admit my plan was to go to New York New York, the Vegas hotel to keep the New York theme going, but instead I ended up going to Planet Hollywood.
Planet Hollywood is one of the hotels that is located on the middle of the Strip in Vegas, so it’s super central and always busy. The resort has 2,600 rooms and the casino is big in typical Vegas style. You have a couple of pools here, a few shows, multiple restaurants and a big shopping center, the Miracle Mile Shops.
The poker room has 9 tables and has been moved to a new location in the casino. I liked the atmosphere there and the people working there is of course very professional and good, as expected for a casino on the Vegas Strip.
Since I turned 30 (yes, believe it or not, I’m over 30), I have tried to let my birthdays go by in silence. Yesterday was my birthday, so I decided to play and hope that I would get some presents at the tables. I didn’t tell anyone, of course.
When I arrived there was only one 1/2 game going. I had to wait for about 30 minutes before I got my seat and when I sat down I right away got recognized by a few of the players at the table. I of course told them about my tournament poker experience and there was a lot of talk and laughs at the table. I think all but one was a grinder when I arrived, including the Brazilian guy that could hardly be called a recreational player even though he was visiting Vegas.
Right as I sat down I started losing. I didn’t play bad, but got the second best hand a few times. The level of play was decent except for especially one player that didn’t raise or reraise one single hand the first 3 hours of play. He had a lot of super good hands and most of them against me. He didn’t fold before the flop at all in the start and hit monsters with his J-4 and 9-4 beating over pairs. Twice against me he hit quads with a pair in his hand. One of them was all in preflop when I had K-K vs. his 3-3. I think I lost about $ 1,000 dollars to this guy during the night. This will end the bad news for now.
The good news was that I won from most of the other players. I decided to not show my bluffs and play a bit less maniac that usual. It worked pretty well for me. I opted to see quite a few flops and had fun playing.
In one of the hands I had A-6 of clubs in the small blind. I called a raise to $ 17 from the button with it, which is not necessarily a good play. But a few of the guys raised very high preflop and since this guy had over $ 300 in front of him, I decided to call. The big blind folded. The flop was 7-6-6. Not too shabby, I guess. I checked to the aggressor that bet $ 15. I raised to $ 45 and got called. On the turn, a jack, I bet $ 110. He called again, pretty fast. The river was a queen. I was a bit afraid of queens full, but since I was never folding I put him all in for his last $ 160 or so. He used a lot of time and I realized he probably had kings. He was close to folding it looked like, so I started trying to change his mind by talking to him. I do this both when I’m bluffing and when I’m value betting, but of course with different hopes for the outcome. It worked this time and he ended up calling me. He never showed his hand after I showed mine. Maybe this was a birthday present?
I had some sushi that I got served at the table and it was decent, but nothing more. I also had a few glasses of Chivas Regal that tasted much better than the sushi. Cheers!
They have an optional $ 10 straddle on the button here, and I used it every time (surprise, surprise). For the first couple of hours I didn’t use my option to raise one single time, but still when I did start to raise, people didn’t believe me.
I had 10-10 after 4 players had called my button straddle. I raised to $ 50 and got two callers. The flop was a decent 9-3-2. The guy in the big blind fired out $ 65 and the other villain folded. I put him all in for the rest he had, between $ 150 and 200 behind and he looked like he got punched in his stomach when I put him all in. He ended up calling with A-3. The blank turn was just a teaser before the ace on the river sent the close to a $ 600 pot the wrong way. Barry Greenstein could probably have written a book about this.
After the week in New York I was pretty tired so I decided to go to bed not so long after.
Planet Hollywood has a poker room that is good both for grinders and for tourists. The rake is a bit higher ($ 5 + 1) then most other Vegas rooms, but they also have an hourly splash pot from $ 25 to $ 250.
I ended up with a profit of $ 379. Not fantastic playing 1/2, but I no longer consider working at McDonalds as the most likely result after these blogs.