Warning: ACTUAL POKER CONTENT!
If you haven't read Part I - what are you waiting for?
Friday we woke up, and I educated Mikey on the proper preparation for a hard day at the tables - we ventured outside into the searing heat, rolling next door to Chipotle for some sustenance. Mikey attempted, and failed, the Guac Freeroll, although I did manage to get extra salsa free. They now try to charge for double salsa, but I threatened the salsa girl: "DYKWTFIA? I will write about this in my blog." "What eees a blog?"* she replied, and I shook my head, "Never mind - just give me more salsa." After wolfing down a mediocre chicken fajita burrito, I returned to the Venetian poker room to get down to business.
*did not actually happen
Paul X-22 Magriel was STILL there - apparently grinding it out in the 1-2NL game - I'd seen him there the previous night at 3am, and it was now around 11am. I watched him throw a quack quack ($22) bet at a kid on the flop, which was called, followed by a "double quack quack" $44 turn bet - which was called - followed by a "quack quack quack" $222 river bet, which the kid folded to.
They called me for the 2-5NL game, and I took the 7 seat at a table full of helpless flounders in the must move game. I played one interesting pot early, when, after 3 limpers, I put in a little sweetener to $25 on the button with KcJc. The small blind called quickly, as did 3 others, and we saw the flop 5 ways: Ac Tc 8s. I flopped the famous GSRD: gutshot royal draw.
The small blind surprised me by betting out $40, and everyone folded to me. I put him on a medium ace - something like AJ or A9, and I elected to smooth call and await further developments. When the turn bricked off with the 4h, the SB again led weakly at the pot with $60. This time I announced "Raise," and counted out $130 more - making it $190 to go. I had about $250 more behind, and his stack was virtually the same size. DBIWOHH (douchebag in way over his head) (clearly could not run with Kid Dynamite) thought for a solid two minutes, counting down his stack, before simply CALLING! At this point I put him on a hand like AQ, or maybe even AK.
An offsuit king fell on the river, giving me a pair of kings, which I knew was not good enough to show down after he checked to me. I calmly announced "All in" and counted down my $250 - after all - I am representing a hand like ace king myself!!! DYKWTFIA ?!?!?!
DBIWOHH took less than 5 seconds to muck his Ace Ten (flopped top two!!!) face up, lamenting "nice river." Several of the other blowfish nodded in approval - wow - what a disciplined laydown. "I can't believe you got away from that," I admitted, as I stacked his chips. He said "AK or trip aces?" I said "You know what I had," no you don't you douchebag - you have no fucking clue - and ANOTHER thing - if you're going to call the turn raise you have to call the river bet you idiot.
I was moved to the main game - which was playing a little bigger - the action was fast, furious and somewhat unpredictable. Several hours in I was treading water, somewhat annoyed that I couldn't find a hand to play a big pot with - until I looked down at 8h9h on the button in the face of a middle position raiser - a tighter kid sitting on about $2k in chips. I called the $30 as did the straddler ($2-$5 with a $10 straddle) and we took the flop 3 ways:
Th Jh Jc - I'd flopped an open ended straight flush draw in position, and I had about $650 in chips.
The straddler and the preflop raiser both checked to me, and I decided to bet out $70. The straddler mucked, and the preflop raiser, henceforth LBCR (luck box card rack), check raised me to $200.
Now, with my stack size, I thought this decision was pretty easy: I counted the pot and realized that when I moved all-in it would basically be another pot-sized raise and a show of extreme strength, and since I wasn't going to muck here, I announced "Raise," and slid $450 more into the middle - all in. I am almost positive he's mucking AA, KK, QQ here - I thought his check-raise said "I have a real hand, and I'm not ready to give up on this flop just because the board is paired - I want to know where I stand." Of course, my all-in re-raise in the face of that said "AA no good d-bag - you better have a monster." Unfortunately, he did.
LBCR shakes his head - cannot believe how cold this deck is - takes 45 seconds, and finally says "I'm not good enough to lay this down - I call - do you have tens?" Before I can even respond, the dealer has burned and turned the 2h, and my opponent has turned over his AJ. As I turn over my 8h9h, explaining "I don't have tens," the dealer burns and turns the river - a vicious ten, filling up my opponent's hand.
I calmly turned to the dealer, and explained that next time she should slow down and tap the table before she deals, in case we wanted to do business. I was shocked to hear her explain "you can't do that here." Now, perhaps she actually DID know who the fuck I was, because I'm not doing business anyway, but I was nonetheless surprised to hear this response. I sought out a floorman, who confirmed for me "of course you can run it multiple times," and I explained to him that the dealer (who was pushed after the hand) was not aware of that and should be made aware. The floorman returned 10 minutes later, asked to speak with me away from the table, and explained that he was very sorry, and that this specific dealer had been told NOT to run the board multiple times previously, and had made a mistake. I thanked him for his attention to the matter, and jokingly asked if he was going to give me 1/2 the pot from the cage. He declined.
This same floor man came back to me an hour later and again pulled me aside, explaining that he'd talked to the head of the poker room, who had told him that they discourage running it multiple times in games smaller than 10-20 NL because it confuses the tourists. Now, why am I dwelling on this? Because it illustrates one of the things that makes the Venetian the best poker room in town - this floorman took the time to come back to me three separate times on the issue, just to make sure he had fully and accurately explained himself - and I thanked him for the attention and professionalism. I didn't even have to explain to him that I was a world famous blogger with a massive internet following who could easily put the Venetian poker room out of business. I asked him if Kathy Raymond, the manager, was around, as I wanted to commend her on the quality of the poker room, and also to ask her how it was possible that the room she ran at Foxwoods chugged maximum cock, while the Venetian room was the best I'd seen (and when I say that, I mean the best RUN - the best EXPERIENCE). Unfortunately, Kathy was not around, so I returned to donking off my chips.
After steaming off another buy in over the next two hours, I decided to go seek some more positive EV in the double deck blackjack pit, where I encountered a subprime liquidity crisis of my own. After being tilted by the suboptimal play of a douchebag who decided to hit his hard 17 against a ten, and took the 5 that was supposed to be painted on my 16, I moved to an adjacent table to take on the dealer heads up. The pitboss asked me to color up my green $25 chips before leaving, but I explained that I was just going to the next table. He explained "but I don't have room for them in that rack," and I thought he was just busting on me - like "hey kid - we're getting all those chips one way or another," but then realized his point that the rack was full. Hah - I was really going to stick it to the Venetian by making them figure out where to put my chips!
After dumping one buy-in, and 1/2 of another, a woman I'd played with previously in the same pit joined the table to enjoy the carnage. I was playing two hands of $75 each, and found a 6-5 and an 8-3 against a dealer ten. I doubled both - going into my pocket for more cash - and watched the dealer make a 5 card twenty against my 16 and 17. Fuck you. I had 4 hundy's left in my pocket, and three green chips, and I layed them in the spot: all in.
"I have to change them, sir," the dealer explained, and I waited as she made me a nice stack of green chips. Tina, the other woman at the table, rubbed the felt excitedly, as the dealer dealt our hands face down - and showed a deuce. Tina looked at her hand: blackjack! I laughed, and lifted my hand off the felt: ACE. "OOOH" - she was excited - "show me first," I laughed again, shook my head, and squeeeeeeeezed the second card: aaaaaace....
Obviously, you have to split aces, but I had a liquidity issue - I had no more cash in my pocket! I paused, stood up, looked at the sky, and whispered "fuck." The pit boss was fully aware of my situation, and was standing by, trying not to laugh, as he watched me squirm and try to find a solution. I reached into my "non-bankroll" pocket and fingered $180 or so in $20's. This cannot be happening - DYKWTFIA? I'm Kid fucking Dynamite! I have AMPLE liquidity in my room safe - how did I end up short stacked and all in at the double deck blackjack pit with a hand that I need to split ?!!?!? Normally, this would be solved simply by an insta-loan from the BigShow - but I was without his tutelage on this trip.
Tina, realizing my dilemna, inquires cautiously, "Would you like to borrow some money?" Now, I'm sitting there in a Bruce Springsteen Fenway Park t-shirt and cargo shorts, and she has no idea who the fuck I am, so I try to remain calm and not scare her away with desperation.
Calmly, confidently, I look at her, "Yes. I have plenty of money in my safe, I'll go get it if I lose the hand." She looks at the pit boss, who gives her a "don't look at me - this is between the two of you" look. "I don't know if this is a good idea," she hesitates - after all, she's probably worried that I'm going to have to sell my blood or something if I lose this hand. "Look, I can handle the action - I want the action," I explained, without resorting to "DYKWTFIA."
After another glance at the pit boss, who is now smirking, and still giving her the "don't get me involved in this" look, she asks "are you SURE you want to do this?" "Absolutely," I tell her, but just so there's no confusion, I add "just to be clear - you're not buying my hand - you're loaning me $475 which I will pay back either way."
"Give me something to hold on to," Tina requests collateral, and before she's even done talking I've slid my phone across the table. She nods to the pit boss, who instructs the dealer to give me $500 from Tina's marker. The dealer, a 50-something woman, is freaking out - certain that if she puts a bad beat on me here I'll have to sell a kidney to get out of debt.
She paints my two cards face down, and then proceeds to bust her hand - a 4 card 24. Tina and the dealer are whooping and hollering, and I slide Tina back the money I'd borrowed, and just laugh - I immediately walk away from the table and call Big Show and Dirty Dave with this completely absurd story - how I had to borrow money from a random person at the blackjack table because I'd ended up all-in with aces. The pit boss doesn't seem to understand that it's not the money that made the hand a big deal for me - I mean, it was a big bet for me, but the sigmas of the situation were much more impressive than the win. When I get up to leave the table 45 minutes later, the pit boss says "Where are you going?" "Casino credit - this is never happening again," I reply coolly, and go fill out a credit app.
I took a walk to the pool, nearly combusting when the sun hit my hooded sweatshirt that is standard poker-room gear for me. I found several members of the crew lounging in the wading pool. "Do you guys realize it's 115 degrees?" I was in awe. "Why are you wearing a sweatshirt?" They were mystified, not understanding that the temperature inside the casino was 1/2 of what it was out by the wading pool.
After releasing my guns from the confines of the sweatshirt, and basking in 5 minutes of Vegas heat, it was time for me to return to the indoor environment, where I donked off a buy-in at the Pai-Gow pit before going upstairs to change for dinner.
part III to come...