Friday, 27 March 2009

A few more Vegas Pics

Not wanting to bore everyone by showing all my photographs here are a few more choices of the best ones.

Bellagio Fountains .... this video just doesn't do them justice. They do a different music and display every quarter of an hour. They did an operatic one which just made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

View of the Bellagio Fountains with Paris Hotel in the background.

Latest flower display at Bellagio ... this face stood taller than the tallest man or woman.

The Sirens Pirate Ship at Treasure Island (TI)


Light show at Freemont Street

Just a few pics of Hoover Dam to come ... honest!

My last session of poker was played at 6am on the day that we were leaving. I sat down with a full table including a couple of swedes who had arrived the day before and hadn't been to bed yet, and the guy who I had put off a weak ace earlier in the week with my JJ.

My first big win came against one of the swedes immeadiately to my right. He had a habit of raising to $10 and did so when I looked down at KK. I raised it to $25 and got the guy I had previously played (with history) and the Swede calling. The flop came down QJ8 of hearts. The Swede bet $25. This looked weak to me and he had folded to an over the top raise before, but with 2 players in the hand the board was still pretty draw thick. I thought for a while and went all in for about $75 total, I had the K of hearts and was more worried that the Swede held something like the A hearts Q. I felt I couldn't just call to see if the turn flushed because of the guy to act behind me. Anyway the guy with history folded and the Swede thought then called. He didn't immeadiately show his hand until the turn # (can't remember) and the river 9 of hearts had fallen. I had the K flush and he showed TT for the straight (he didn't even have a heart; must've been the tiredness I guess ... would you call with TT here? Bottom pair and gutshot straight with three flush cards on the board!)

My only other hand of note was holding QQ. I raised to $15 early position and only getting history guy calling on the button. Just a note ... the raises seem high don't they. But beleive me, if you only raised 4xBB you would have 9 callers and the waitress in the pot.

In hindsight I now see a theme from history guy. He had seen me show down a lot of pocket pairs and probably deduced thats all I would play and so was prepared to call me light. He was involved in a lot of the pots I had raised and had either folded to my continuation bets or had been able to push me off pots when I had missed ... I wish I could play him some more because this would be valuable information now.

All I can remember is the flop came down with an 8 and a J on it and I wondered if he had called with something like 78 again (the hand he had cracked my Aces with earlier in the week). Anyway I continuation bet $20 and he called. I can't remember the turn but it didn't scare me so I checked and he bet $30 ... I called. The river came another 8. First to act I dwelt for a while. Really I was worrying that he had that 78 again, almost convincing myself that he did ... LOL. Anyway I bet $20 hoping it would look like a call me bet, showing strength ... or equally looking weak. He dwelt and folded and I took down a sizeable pot.

Buy in $100 - Cash out $263

Until next post

Keep it Tight!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

More Vegas and a quick cash in MTT last night

Firstly had a quick cash in the $3K guaranteed last night with 388 players starting I came 20th. Not much return but still nice to be there or there abouts.

So back to Vegas ... I so wish I was back to Vegas, here's some more pics ...

This is just a toy shop! Trojan Horse at Ceasars Palace shopping mall.

Does Egypt really look like this? The hotel Luxor.

I don't remember Venice being this clean! The Venetian hotel.

Poker Session 5
I can't for the life of me remember anything about this session now, don't know if I had a little drink at the time but I can't even remember any faces, if it comes back to me I'll amend this post. I did write down my buy ins and cash outs though.
Buy in $100 - Cash out $198
Poker Session 6
In this session I was playing against a couple of lads from new york who were waiting for their delayed flight and thus seemed reluctant to put much in the pot. There was also a really aggressive Asian woman who loved to straddle and would play it with a re raise if anyone raised it.
There was a fine moment where she was playing a $4 straddle and the guy in the cut off put in a raise to $15. The Asian woman re raised to $40 and the cut off went all in for about $120 or so. The Asian lady immediately called and showed AA to the guys AK. Nice Straddle hand to double up!
Anyway I managed to get a few of my chips in a hand holding 88 UTG. I hadn't been playing many hands and decided to put in a small raise to $7 (hoping it would look a bit weird). The button and the blinds both called. Flop comes down 2JK. The blinds check and I pause and slow check, willing to semi bluff a big check raise if the button bets and the blinds get out the way, however the button also checked. Turn is a Q. Blinds check, now I'm done with it and check. The button checks. River is a 5, no flushes. Blinds check. Ah what the hell ... I bet 17 and they all fold. I guess it did look weird and they thought I had a monster, it played weird anyway. In hindsight I should have continuation bet the flop but thought someone must have hit some of that flop.
Anyway I ended up working out a small profit.
Buy in $100 - Cash out $140
Gonna play some poker now so until next time.
Keep it Tight!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Back in good 'ol blighty ...

Well we got home safe and sound and today was my first day back at work. Not suffering too badly from jet lag ... and easing myself back into online poker tonight with a few $10 double ups whilst updating my blog ... already played 3 cashed 3.
So first for some pics ...
The trusty steed that got us there
Our first views of Vegas

First night out and about

We were delayed 3 hours coming back but the pilot got his foot down and made up an hour on the journey .. so we weren't too far behind when we arrived in England.

Got to say I am really not pleased at being home... Vegas is like a drug, you just want more and more.

A quick note about my poker sessions. We stopped at the Tropicana and as I think I mentioned before they have a pretty weak $1/$2 no limit game. Well they did ... the first thing we noticed that had changed about Vegas was that the Tropicana poker room had closed indefinitely, so all my poker was played at the MGM which is just a short walk over the bridge.

So a brief resume of poker Session 4 - 19/3/09 - 6am (yes most of my sessions were played at either early morning or just past midnight. I have to say it is funny watching the people who have been playing through the night, smelling of alcohol and trying to keep their eyes open for " ... just one more hand". If I'm honest I have been that person on one or two occasions in the past LOL)

Anyway nothing much spectacular happened in this session where I again bought in for $100. I got QQ once and had to fold to action after my initial raise on an ace high board. Other than that my stack dwindled to $46 over the space of an hour or so. Ready to leave I myself took one more hand just after the button had passed and looked down at AKos. UTG raised to about $15 (this didn't mean anything as he was a serial raiser and caller and could have just about anything, although this time he was UTG so I thought he had picture cards at least). It folded to me, and ignoring the past result of the first day went all in. Every one else folded and UTG called. He showed me an ace and said "do you have one of these?" I just nodded and a replay of session 1 started running through my mind. Anyway the K came on the turn and I doubled up to beat his AQos.

Buy in $100 - Cash out $95

That's it for tonight as I have probably spent an hour doing this post already ... more later!

Keep it Tight!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Session 3 continued

I didn't realise how long I spent doing this blog until I had to do it in 20 minute intervals ... so running out of time last time here is our latest holiday action and finally the continuation of my session 3 ...

Yesterday we hired a car and went to Hoover Dam. What an amazing feat of engineering and great value on the tours. If you go then make sure you take the highest priced tour ... you get to go into the dam itself and the views are breathtaking.

We then drove out to a place called Lake Mead. This has a lot of watersport activities and even the ability to hire a motor boat at $125 for the day. Well we didn't get to do that because of time restrictions but there is a mental note that a day on the colorado is a must for the next visit to Vegas.

Onto Poker Session 3

After my JJ semi bluff I had about $260 behind ... a couple of hands later my folding friend (with about $140 chips) first to act on the button raises to 7. SB folds and I look down at AA. Wanting to look like I am now bullying him I make it $25 to go. He calls. Flop comes down 882. He checks ... I bet out $25 ... he calls. Turn comes a 9 ... no flush worries! He checks ... I bet out $40 ... he reraises all in approx another $50 to call. Well I have him on either an over pair or A8. I have to call the $50 into about a $230 pot. I call and he shows 87os for the set. River is no ace and I am back to my buy in.

Damn that was played badly ... ok I am not folding AA and it is hard to let go on that kind of board (if I play it all in heads up every time I win approx 80%) ... still I didn't go with the "if he has a monster let him drag the chips out of me!" line, I could have saved chips there.

Well this affected me, and even though I wasn't behind on my buy in I still felt like I was chasing losses. So I took a few rounds of the table and then left with what I started ...

Buy in $100 - Cash Out $100

So today is our last day as we travel home this evening.

I hear so many people say that 4 nights in Vegas is enough. I strongly disagree! If you love poker, warm weather and great night life then I don't think you could tire of the place. Especially if you take the car out to some of the suburbs for example Boulder City. So I am pretty sad that the holiday is coming to an end.

Off now back to the room to pack my case.

I have played a few more sessions of poker and will post the action when I get back to England ... as well a some of the photos and videos I have taken whilst here.

Thanks again for reading.

Keep it Tight!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Vegas is busy this weekend

There is some sort of college basketball event here this weekend and the place has packed out with hundreds, if not thousands of students, families and supporters.

I had about an hour and a half to myself this afternoon and went to MGM to get a few hands of poker. Put my name down (it didn't even show on the monitor there were so many waiting) waited 30 minutes and then realised that it wasn't going to be worth sitting down to play. You have no idea how frustrating it was to see tables of youngsters, all unable to drink yet trying to play through a drink induced haze. Damn it looked juicy.

Anyway session 3 that I have played ...

It is very rare that I sit down to a cash game and feel like the favourite, but that is exactly how I felt!

Early on I got JJ and saw a board of ##K, with 2 clubs ... I continuation bet and got called. The turn came a low blank and it was checked to me, I checked. The river came another low blank and the other player bet out about a 1/4 sized pot bet. It just didn't fit he had the K so I reluctantly called and he showed the missed flush draw. Good read number 1 (ok I let him have a free card on the river but it worked out ok).

Then I get into a hand with another JJ. All folded to the button who put in a raise. I re-raise and he calls ... heads up (pot about 31). Flop came ##A. I bet again (about 25) ... he pauses almost mucking then calls. The turn doesn't improve my hand and I slow down ... check ... he checks. River doesn't improve me but no more over cards. I check ... he bets about $25. I get this instinctive feeling he is weak ... reach for some chips and re raise to $85. He goes for his chips ... ums and ahhhs then folds. I show him JJ and he says he mucked an A (must've been a poor kicker).

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Well into the week

Just been so busy walking and sight seeing that not had a chance to update here.

Been doing plenty of shopping, went to the Las Vegas Retail Centre, Planet Hollywood shopping mile, The Ceasars Forum and the Fashion Mall. The girlfriend just loves the shops here.

Also been playing and drinking in the Casino's - mainly slots ... not +ev but it something we can do together and really enjoying it.

Yesterday was my other halfs birthday (the other reason for this trip!). Started the day with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries delivered to the room and devoured whilst relaxing in a bubble covered bath. Living the life of a high flying poker player eh?

We then went to the Wynn. I think looks wise this is my favourite casino on the strip - very classy. So breakfast on their terrace and then down to the lake to have a drink in front of their impressive water features and to soak up the sun.

We purchased tickets to the La Reve show here and watched the spectacular show last night. The set, the music and the skill of the performers was absolutely amazing ... a must see!

On the poker front I have had a little success but it has mainly been through quick snatches of action for one or two hours at a time.

Session 2

A profit mainly due to being able to limp in on the button with 56os and getting a beautiful flop of 234. Drunk man on the BB leads out, EP calls ... it then folds to me, I call (slow playing my monster). The turn brought a scary 4. Drunk BB bets again, EP folds, I re raise and BB puts me all in for another $60 odd. I am worried about him having the full house and ask him if he has A5. He miss hears me and with a look of surprise and discust says " .. you have A5 then I'm beat!" I call he has a set of 4's and I rake in the big pot.

Buy in $100, Cash out $226

I only get 20 minutes here on the internet so am again running out of time to post the rest of my poker action ... but will try again later ...

Thanks for reading.

Until next post

Keep it tight!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The Holiday has Begun

We arrived safe and sound at 3.30pm local time without any hitches. Well without any major hitches - well just one ... Virgin Atlantic Airlines ... that large Atlantic Airline Carrier ... ran out of alcoholic drinks with 4.5 hrs still left to fly. So having only had 3 glasses of wine I was left hanging for my 4th ... I was very dissapointed. I also managed to stay off TILT as the small child in the seat behind kept kicking me in the kidneys on a 1/4 hourly basis. But to be fair they were very well behaved, even I struggled to sit still for the 10 hour flight and they were very quiet.

So two days in what have we done? . Well we have walked, walked, walked ... (I forgot how large this place was) ... and have mainly concentrated on showing my other half a few of the Casinos. So far we have visited Excalibur, MGM, Paris, Ballys, New York New York and Ceasars.

We saw the Atlantis free show in the Ceasars Palace shopping centre yesterday ... this was the first time I had seen it and was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately I haven't figured out a way to get my photos on here so will have to post them when I get back.

On the poker front I have managed to play once ... at 5am Tuesday morning.

In this session I bought in for $100 on a $1/2 table. I don't know why but I always feel nervous the first couple of sessions in Vegas so thought I'd ease myself in with half a buy in.

First hand of note I got JJ in early position. I raised it to $10 and got button as a caller. The flop came down A high with two cards under the JJ. I bet out $20 and the button re raises me all in for a futher $70 dollars or so. I fold.

The other hand I get AQ in the BB. It all folds to the button (a LAG). He raises $20, I all in for a full $42, he has A3, 3 on the flop and I am a hundred down.

Until next time.

Keep it Tight.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Last Update Before Vegas

First off the $20,000 Guaranteed tournament I qualified for. Well as you probably guessed I didn't do too well. There were 288 players, starting stacks of 3000, blinds at 15 mins.

I didn't get very involved early on with my stack staying just above or around the starting level of 3000. Then 40 minutes in, holding 77 on the button and with 5 players in the pot, I hit a set of 7's on a board of 567 (two clubs). It checks to me, I pot bet (500) and get 1 caller (the BB). The turn came a 4 (no club). BB checks. At this point I decide to control the pot (pot 1500, my stack 2400) by letting a free card on the river with the intention of calling a small bet. He may have already hit his straight draw and I don't feel by betting I'm putting him off a flush draw (he could be a flush draw with an 8 anyway). River comes an A (no club). BB bets 400, small enough to tell me I'm probably beaten but also small enough to look up, so I call and he takes the pot with J8os and his straight.

From then on my stack just got shorter until I was forced to call the SB push all in with my BB A8os. He had pocket tens and I was out 125th.

So for the rest of the week I have been grinding the small buy in standard and double up single table tournaments (6 and 10 man). I want to get some dollars in the pot to give me a bit of a buffer for the Vegas trip. What I don't want to do on this trip is blow a large defecit and then spend the rest of the year slowly clawing back to break even.

This plan so far has worked well (the green March line on my graph is going in the right direction) and I have hit what I think are some impressive stats:

SnG's played 56 (28 double up - 28 standard)
Standard SnG's cashed = 24 (12-1st, 5-2nd, 7-3rd)
Double up SnG's cashed = 20

OK the dollar wins are not massive but the ROI for march including a few cash table winnings is currently sitting at 19.82%.

So I have a little buffer of around $300 to start me off on the cash games in the good ol' USofA. That'll be one and a half buy ins as I generally play the $1/$2 NL full ring cash games. Lets hope I don't have to delve into my pocket too many times if this gets busted early.

I'm not taking the laptop and will be posting here when I have time using the hotels internet terminals. Not sure how much poker I will be playing as the girlfriend will be with me for our main holidays of the year. This is her first trip to Vegas and the most important thing to me is that she enjoys the trip, so I won't be abandoning her to play poker whilst she is awake. That leaves the wee small hours whilst she sleeps, at least I will get the juicy tables as the drinkers will be in full flow by that time.

So Until Vegas ...

Keep it Tight!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Pacific $20,000 Guaranteed Qualifier

Just qualified for the Pacific Poker $20K guaranteed tournament. 33 players starting I came out on top to get my ticket. Not bad a $55 ticket for $6.
Not much to describe my win really, was pre occupied watching the football and just generally played my big hands hard (5 minute blinds don't give much play).
So hopefully I can go deep and get my first meaningfull win of 2009.
Oh by the way, did I mention I go to Vegas in 6 days.
Keep it Tight!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

GUKPT $10 rebuy with my free ticket

Well I used my freeroll ticket last night to try and get a $109 pass to tonights GUKPT qualifier.

There were 14 players with 2 tickets being awarded and third getting $42 return.

I played fairly well and narrowly missed out on the $109 qualifier pass but did come 3rd so a bit of return for my efforts.

My downfall really came earlier in the tournament (with about 7 left) when I fought back at a guy who had been stealing my blind regularly. I had him covered and was determined to knock his short stack out. He did his regular SB raise after everyone folded to him, I re raised large with A8. If he had folded all well and good, if he re raised I was prepared to take him all in anyway. Well this time he had KK and no A came to my rescue so he doubled up and unfortunately was the person to take me out when there were 3 left.

Still I keep knocking on the door with these things and am confident I will sooner or later qualify for something meaningful.

On a brighter note ... Vegas is only 12 days away!!!

So time to get some cash game practice on line.

Until Next Time

Keep it Tight!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

And the winner for performing in the most pointless tournaments IS .....

Last night I sat down all enthusiastic ... if a little tired ... ready to carry on the winning streak that had began on day one of March.
3 SnG's and 3 Sub Qualifiers later (Pacific $20,000, Pacific Irish Open and GUKPT) ... I had but one cash in one SnG.
If I had JJ they had QQ ... If I had AQ they had AK ... you get the idea.
Well combining tiredness with tiltedness is not a good formula for success ... but I still wanted to play poker.
So I decided to play a GUKPT freeroll. Mainly just to let off steam, throw a few chips around and it doesn't really matter.
Well I made the break with a reasonable stack and out of the 336 players there were about 200 left, alot of who were sitting out I might add. The main thing was that I was happy again, I had let off my steam, the chips had been all in a few times and I was just about ready for bed.
By the second break (thanks to quad 8's) I was still around average stack and was basically prepared to put my chips in ... I wanted to go bed.
During the third period I realised that there were only 50 or so left with prizes being paid to 5th and I was sitting OK.
Once on the final table I had forgotten my tiredness and wanted a prize.
Then (with 7 left in the tournament) I decided to push all in holding K7os before the blinds gobbled me up (I was reading the BB as a non caller so he was my target). The button called and so did the BB. I was up against AK and KQ. The seven hit the turn and I was punching the air .... hang on what am I doing ... this is a freeroll saddo ... but I had just trippled up.
Anyway I hit the top 5 and have a free $11 ticket to tonights $11 rebuy GUKPT Sub Qualifier.


I also just wanted to congratulate Steve Holden (as he reads my blog) on his 9th place GUKPT finish. I was sorry to read that it may have been a little soured by some antics of one of his mates, but still a great showing.
I watched from 6 left on Nutz tv and had to feel for RiverAsUsual as Joe Grech hit out on him and the river as usual did for him twice to see him end up in 4th. I have to say having played with RiverAs Usual on Blue Square the river is particularly unkind to him, but well done also.
Thats All For Now!
Until Next Time
Keep it Tight!