Friday, November 30, 2007


I went to Mandalay Bay tonight. Not exactly sure why. I wanted to play smaller than the Bellagio and I remembered they only ran 1/2 and 2/4 no limit the last time I was there.

2/4 was a long wait so I sat down when a seat at 1/2 became available. It's been awhile since I've played 1/2 and to be honest I'm not sure I can play 1/2 anymore. I just don't play my best. Or at least as well as I play at 2/5. Then again it's a completely different game.

On most hands at 1/2 everyone limps in for 2 bucks. No matter what cards they have. It could be kings. The thing to realize here is that most of these players aren't trapping you when they limp. They just don't know they're supposed to raise. Maybe they're scared of seeing an ace on the flop so they limp. Whatever the reason, this makes playing 1/2 such a different game than 2/5. 1/2 doesn't feel like poker.

My thought for how to counteract all this constant limping is that it might make sense to just push anytime I want to play a hand. Just keep racing. If I run into a monster oh well. But otherwise if I raise to 15 bucks and 7 people call, I have no clue where I stand on the flop. My only real expectation is that I'm now trailing one of the other 6 hands.

So why not keep it simple? I've got good cards? Push the chips in!

Otherwise 1/2 becomes an evening trapped in purgatory seeing $2 flops with 8,10 off suit, waiting to catch a full house. If I'm going to do that with my time I may as well go sit down at the roulette wheel. At least at roulette I know I'm getting paid off when I get lucky.

When I initially sat down the dealer said something about how he's seen me before. I didn't realize this was his way of asking me if I needed a poker lesson. When I said that I had only been to Mandalay Bay once in the past year, he proceeded to explain to me how to play Texas Hold 'em. It took him around 5 minutes. A very long 300 seconds. This was both amusing and painful. However if he was going to treat me like a beginner I wasn't about to stop him.

As for the session I made a few good lay downs. That's the good news.

The bad news? I had to make a few good lay downs because my hands kept ending up second best.

Poker can be strange that way. Like tonight I actually got cards. Preflop at least. But each time things got real confusing once the flop came out. It was one of those nights where I'd pay money to see how a top level pro would handle these situations.

I kept finding myself in spots where I'd raise preflop with a good looking medium pair. But then the flop would bring overcards. And the turns kept offering up 4 card flushes. Or 4 cards to a straight. And I had to either bluff my way out of it or give up and keep folding.

It's never a good sign when you bluff into a scary looking board and you immediately witness pure glee and joy entering into your opponents (sub)consciousness.

There were also two occasions last night where I flopped the nut flush draw and came up empty on the turn and river. I'm plenty used to missing my draws however both times a third player in the hand felt the need to show their inferior flush draw as they folded on the river.

This made missing my draw sting a little more for me. The knowledge that I would have actually gotten paid off on the river by at least one player if I hit.

It should make no difference to me to see their cards. But sometimes it does.

Entitlement kicks in.


PJS JR. said...

I really used to love opening this blog and hearing about your situations, hands, reads, winnings, losings, poker excitement. Now, it seems like it has lost a little punch, and for that, I am disappointed. I hope the last month of your year goes well, and hope to read a lot about it in the coming weeks.

Robert said...

Please know that I do want to share everything in deep well written posts. The problem is it's become hard to both live the Vegas year, and also find adequate time to properly write about the journey.

If my story were a novel, I could just take my daily notes. Then at the end of the experience I could write about it.

But when I want to give blog updates, I often face the choice between writing a shorter, less meaningful entry or posting nothing at all.

So I will often choose the putting up a less impressive entry. For my own documentation. This enables me to remember something I deem important about that particular day or week.

I know these less meaningful posts frustrate some readers. So much happens here and I do wish I could write about it all.

Yet at the same time we need to understand that this is my real life. The Vegas Year could end at any moment. I have to worry (focus) about paying bills much more than I need to tell everyone what I did post flop after I raised and got 8 callers with my ace king suited.

I love writing. I thank you for reading. I appreciate your caring enough to comment. You phrased your criticism as kindly as possible.

We're on the same page. You want to read. I want to write. I hope I can find enough time in the future to do it well.

As for now I think we should all enjoy the irony of getting a comment related to "disappointment" after I've written a post titled "Entitlement."

WillyR said...

Funny. The guy that left you the comment has a blog he started in the beginning of October about the poker scene in Cabo. He still hasn't written an official post.

Rob, you make it look easy. Easy enough that we all feel justified in chastising you when we haven't gotten enough posts or when we feel they aren't good enough.

We're all looking forward to a great season finale. Rumor has it that Shecky may be making a Vegas appearance. Can you confirm?