Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Table Full Of Drooling Locals

It was just another Tuesday night at the Bellagio.

As I waited to sit down at 2/5 I noticed that Bobby's Room was open.

Bobby's Room is a glass enclosed area in the Bellagio poker room named for Bobby Baldwin. Baldwin is the 1978 WSOP Main Event champion who then got involved behind the scenes with jobs as President of the Bellagio and CEO of the Mirage Casino.

Bobby's Room has been closed every time I've visited the Bellagio this month but last night the door to the room was finally open. Seated inside at one of the tables were Jennifer Harmon, Eli Elezra, Doyle Brunson and Ming Ly. Just the 4 of them playing together.

Makes you wonder who the supplier is in that game...

As for me, I sat down around 930 PM and did my usual thing not winning any hands for the first hour. I was dry for at least the first 4 orbits. What these slow starts have reinforced for me is to not fall behind early. No need to go into a deficit trying to make something happen. I will eventually win a big pot. The key is for that big pot to be profit. And not me catching up on losses.

Around two hours into the session I misplayed one hand pretty poorly. I had small suited connectors in an unraised pot. I flopped a pair and an open ended straight draw. I ended up calling 3 bets in a row. Obviously the first 2 times I had my straight draw as well. But even when I missed on the river I was still convinced I could be ahead. I thought my opponent was on a drawing hand. So when he over bet $100 at the end it was a damn close decision.

If I called I'd basically only be able to beat a bluff. A busted draw. But like I said, that's what I thought he had. I called and ended up paying him off on a flopped straight.

It felt like a bad play.

On the flip side, I had a read and I trusted it. That's what I do.

I make plenty of crazy calls that do work. I can't beat myself up when I'm wrong.

Meanwhile I couldn't make much of anything happen on the night.

At 1:30 AM after 4 hours of play I was down $275.

At this point our table was 6 handed and I raised it to 15 on the button with king 8 suited.

Both blinds called.

Flop was king, king, rag. They both check.

I made the continuation bet here with my trips.

Why? Because the blinds were both experienced players. If I check here it looks too much like I'm slow playing my trip kings. Lets put out a bet that makes it look like I don't have a king and see what they do.

So I bet 20. They both call.

Turn is a blank. They check to me again and this time I bet 35.

One folds. One calls.

River is another blank and this time the blind fires out 50. I like this bet because it removes the possibility of my betting and getting check raised.

Hey for all I know he has a king with a better kicker. After all he did call my first two bets fearlessly. And now this bet looks like he's leading out for value.

I don't trust my hand or have any kind of read that inspires me to raise him here. But I'm definitely more than happy to call the 50.

He immediately turns over his pocket aces as if obviously he has the best hand.

I show king 8 and feel real proud when he says to no one in particular "There's no way I put him on a king there because he led out on the flop."

He also complained that I raised preflop with king 8 suited.

I guess he could have reraised me preflop with his aces and gotten rid of me.

I was only down 137 dollars when the table broke at 1:50 AM. And of course I'm thinking to myself "Damn....if I didn't overplay that one suited connector hand I'd be up right now."

At my new table I pick up ace 10 suited in the blinds in an unraised pot.

Flop is Ace, 5,6. It gets checked around.

Turn is another ace. I bet 20 and get raised to 60.

When the reraise comes here it usually means I am beat. I have the chance to make the great laydown. Let go of my trips. There are so many ways I am beat. Ace jack. Ace queen. Ace king. Ace 5. Ace 6. Just to name five.

But two things sway me to stick around.

1- He didn't raise preflop so maybe he doesn't have a bigger ace.

2- He only has another 140 dollars.

This second part feels like bad poker. Because if he has $500 in front of him I fold. But knowing that my worse case scenario was losing an additional 180 bucks convinces me to make the bad call.

I call and he turns over pocket 6's. He has a set.

Of course he does. He was trying to tell me with his reraise but I didn't listen.

A few hands later I lose with pocket jacks, and poof, just like that I'm down 407.

My table breaks again and this time I move to a wild table where everyone calls any size raise preflop. My first hand there I watch a guy raise it to 50 in early position and get 4 callers.

On another hand there was a straddle to 10, a few callers and then the big blind makes it 100!
I didn't believe him and was so tempted to call (or reraise with my queen 10 suited). There were 2 callers in front of me but still I folded for the 100 bucks. I only had around 300 on the table and I didn't want to call for 1/3rd of my stack.

Of course the flop came queen high with two clubs.

At this table there was one player in particular who was my target. He had a couple grand in front of him so obviously he'd been running well. However it quickly became clear that he'd call down with any piece of the flop.

I eventually got into two hands with him. Both times I had ace queen. Both times I flopped an ace. And both times he called down all 3 bets! He personally put me up on the night. He took a losing session for me and turned it into profit.

I was completely exhausted and finally left the Bellagio around 4 AM. I probably cost myself additional money by leaving because that one bad player was still sitting there.

Surrounded by a table full of drooling locals.

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