Two sessions at the MGM and a day on the couch watching the Masters. Life is wonderful!
I went to the MGM both Friday and Saturday evenings with my girlfriend, the lovely Carmen SinCity and had a blast. I've only been playing poker semi-seriously for about 8 months so I'm by no means an expert but I'm no slouch either, and I must say that room was full of fish. Plenty of tourist who all think they got game when in fact they didn't but because of the fish factor man did I see some poor poker and way too many of bad beats. Yes believe it or not I took some bad beats as well.
Saturday the aforementioned Carmen SinCity had the benefit of doubling up with Pocket Kings early on then in the ideal dream situation doubled up again when her set of Aces smoked a set of tens. Some nice work to turn a $200 maximum buy-in to $861 over a 7 hour session. Well done baby and thanks for breakfast on the way home.
I'm one of those guys that used to bitch and moan about bad beats and how unlucky I always seem to be until recently reading an archived blog that contained a quote basically saying if you have your money in the pot and a high majority of that time it's with the best cards then you're going to encounter some bad beats. Now sometimes I think for me it's still more than my fair share and I felt like Friday was no exception. 7 times I got a good portion of my chips in the pot and on all 7 hands I held the best cards but unfortunately I only won twice. Thankfully it was enough to return about a $70 profit but I couldn't help think about what could have been.
I got rivered by a runner/runner flush and then a gut shot to lose about $120. After re-buying for that $120 to get my stack back up to the max of $200 I caught Pocket Queens against A-J then a set of 10s against two pair to get up to almost $600. Then in a matter of 30 minutes I got caught by another flush with TPTK, counterfeited with two pair to a higher two pair when the board went runner/runner to pair, and lost with JJ against 10-10. That was enough. Time to go before I wound up back in the negative again.
Saturday it was back for some more fun and before I knew it here comes the first bad beat of the night. I raised on the button with Jd-5d behind four limpers and got one caller UTG with Ah-3h. Flop came As-Js-5c and UTG bet $25 which I smooth called. Turn was an 8d, UTG bet $25 I re-raised to $75 UTG goes all-in. I called and cards are turned up and I'm feeling good. River is the 4d and the wheel runs me over. Oh great here we go again.
Now I go card dead for about 90 minutes and just sit back and watch and talk hands with two players who turn out to be locals and regulars. At the other end of the table is a guy in town from Atlanta for a National Paper Rock Scissors competition. Really. How could anybody make something like that up? My man was sippin' Hennessey's and kissing a picture of his kid every time he played a hand, it was pure entertainment. This guy was bad but lucky. He'd always bet if he hit top pair, check/call we he hit middle or bottom pair and fold if he hit nothing. Problem was nobody caught on to his game except the three of us card dead locals who I might add were salivating to get this guys chips.
Well I finally get Jh-10h in the cutoff seat and I make a small raise which is called by three limpers and my man in the big blind. Flop comes Ah-Jd-10c and my man bets out $20 right away I had him on Ace rag and I smooth call. Now he could have had K-Q but after watching his play closely for the last 90 minutes I stayed with the Ace rag. Turn is a 2h and my man makes it another $25 to go. I now have two pair and a flush draw and I'm licking my chops. I reraise all-in and get called. My new table buddies are whispering you're going to get paid Don as my man turns over Ac-5d. I'm thinking no Ace, no Ace and the river is a 2c. It takes a second before I realize my dilemma. Counterfeited once again. This lucky guy winds up with a higher two pair and I'm now stuck $400.
I was pissed. I usually hold my composure but I lost it. A few yelled "Fucks" and a five minute walk and for the most part I was calmed down. I gave my self a little pep talk and remembered I had the best hand both times going in and I got sucked out on and that I was going to go back to the table and grind my way back.
After about 15 minutes I limp with pocket 6's, catch a set and win about $75 pot. I few small victories and my stack is up to around $300 when I meet my nemesis again. In the cut-off I limp with 6h-5d and 6 other limpers see the flop of Kc-4s-3d. Now I almost never play a hand like 6-5o but with all the limpers I figure why not. So my nemesis in the big blind bets $10 and 3 of us see the turn which is 9h. My man bets $25 and UTG calls. $94 in the pot and the money and odds seem good so I call. The turn is a 7c. Finally! My man bets $50 which is a big bet for him and I really get excited as now I think he has two pair and if so there is no way he can lay down that hand. With my read on him and the size of the pot I go all-in which is counted to $257. My man immediately calls and I'm sure he was thinking about again spanking my ass and again taking all my chips. As he stands he turns over K-7 for two pair and I swear I've never seen a bigger smile. Rikki, an awesome dealer who had been paying close attention to the action, said, "let me see that 6-5." I turn over the 6-5 while looking at a face I'll never forget. It took a few seconds, helped by the dealer sending me a three push pile, for the smile on Mr. Rock Paper Scissors face to turn to a look of utter disbelief. All my sorrow/anger from the previous two days of bad beats was instantly rewarded by one of ultimate satisfaction as after a long fight I caught a card and reeled in my biggest catch yet. I'm sure my friend enjoyed his free stay in Vegas and who knows maybe he won the $50k first prize in his little contest but no matter how much fun he had on his trip I'm sure he'll always remember the feeling he had the moment he realized that he lost that monster pot on Table 7 of the 1-2 NL game at the MGM Grand.
I ended up cashing for a $63 profit which I'll gladly take after the way the night started. I also learned a lesson about keeping my cool, staying off tilt and grinding my way back. I look forward to my next live session which will probably be Tuesday afternoon evening. I can't wait.