Friday, July 01, 2005

Las Vegas Updates - Day 1

Cash Games = +$5112
Tournaments = -$200
Overall = +$4912

I finally arrived in Vegas after a short delay and had to wait for my luggage for one hour. If that had disappeared i would have begun my stay at the Rio on tilt. It was an amazing experience driving in the taxi along the strip. I had no idea how big all the hotels were. I entered the Rio and quickly headed down to the poker room around 10pm. The room is huge and i wandered around for 10 minutes in a bit of a daze looking for a familiar face. It took a while but i eventually spotted a couple of Brits. I really didn't want to start of my trip my playing in a massive cash game and losing so thought i would take it easy. I nightly $200 NL Holdem tournament started so i thought i'd give that a go for some fun. Was sat next to Vicky Coren and i spotted more and more Brits as the evening progressed. My tournament lasted just 10 mins as i lost to a straight with top pair.

I decided that i fancied a bit of Omaha cash so joined a $5/$5 table. I sat down with $2000 as i prefer to play a big stack whenever possible. The game was seemed quite good. A few young guns and a couple of Americans. The first decent i won was on a semi bluff. I raised it to $50 to play with AQJK and picked up two callers and it flopped Q78. I bet £125 after one of the players checked and got two callers. The turn was a T and i bet the pot which was enough to get both players to lay down their hands. I still had a 9JK or A if someone did call or reraise me. I then won a few small pots and hit a high of $3500 then went down to $2500 again after losing the following pot. I was in the live straddle of $10 and had JJTT double suited. Everyone limped and i made it $45 to play. I picked up 5 callers and it flopped J8A with two spades (I had no spades) and i bet the pot of around $300. A tightish player then went all in for $1000. Due to the nature of the flop i put him on a wrap and maybe a flush draw. As he limped and then didn't reraise when i raised preflop i didn't put him on Aces. He did have Aces and it shows the advantage of just calling with them sometimes to disguise your hand. If he had reraised preflop it would have made my decision easier on the flop.

Soon after i raised in middle position to $70 to play with 8h9sTsKh. The small blind reraised to $250 and i called as i had position on him and was certain he had Aces. It flopped KK2 and he checked and i bet $300. He called. The turn was a 3h to bring a back door flush draw. He checked again and as i didn't want to give a free card i bet $1100 which he called all in. I was sure i was beat and needed to hit when he called so quickly. The river a black 7 and i showed my King and he tapped the table. Turned out he had AA45 with hearts so was looking for an A6 or a heart. I was up to $4000 and the table started playing alot more aggressively. I found TJJK in the small blind and called a $50 raise along with 5 others It flopped KQ3 rainbow. I checked as did everyone else. The turn was a 9 to give me the nut straight. I decided to check hoping to reraise if someone did bet. Everyone checked again. River a 7 and i bet $200 and got not one but two callers with trips. There were a few short stacks at the table and i took one of them out when i called with TJ56 and it flopped T56. I reraised him all in for $450 and he missed his draws and i was on over $5000. I then pulled off a few more bluffs and won a pot of around $800 when i check raised with AK97 on a AK2 flop. Turn was a 8 and my pot bet got my opponent to pass.

In the last couple of hours a couple of loose Americans joined the table. I won a few $200-$300 pots against them and hit a lovely flop when i raised to $50 preflop on the button with A789 double suited and it flopped 456 rainbow. Everyone checked to me and i bet $150 hoping that someone would think i was stealing and reraise. Someone did and i just smooth called hoping for a blank so i could reraise him on the turn. Turn was a blank and he checked and passed to my bet of $1000. Didn't have any other hands that i remember the details of but i finished up with $7112 so i am very happy with how it went.

As far an an Omaha session (8 hours long) goes it was pretty much smooth sailing. I never really had to get lucky. My bluffs were hardly ever called and i had good positon on the weaker players on the table. I was taking my time with big decisions and calculating my odds. After so much online action i have tended to make decisions too quickly when i have played live recently. For the time being i am going to stick to the $5/$5 game as i can play exactly the way i like with a big stack. In the bigger games its much tougher facing decision for a couple of thousand dollars though i am sure to give it a go at some point.

On a side note it was great to see Lawrence Gosney become the first Brit to win a bracelet this year... Doyle Brunson also won his tenth bracelet and there was a huge buzz in the room whilst ESPN were filming that.

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