Thursday, March 4, 2010

January 2010, Las Vegas Trip Report, Day 3, part 2 – The Fall of “Spew”cypher

I used to be a heavy gambler. But now I just make mental bets. That's how I lost my mind. – Steve Allen

Following the show, we returned to PH. After I tucked my lovely wife in for the night, I made a beeline for the poker room. I was all too keenly aware that this was my last night in Sin City and I was hell-bent on getting my gamble on.
At approx midnight on Friday, there were 8-9 tables of 1-2 going. I immediately notice that there were really BIG stacks on almost every table. I get seated and quickly learn that 3-4 of the big stacks ($600 or so) on my left are actually good players and the going is tough. Why do these guys insist on playing 300-400bbs (or more) deep? Why not play 2-5NL? Anyway, I figure I will introduce them to my uber-tag short stack game. Unfortunately, I can’t get anything playable. Billy (from previous post) is on my right and loses approx $450 when his A-A loses to K-2 on flop of K-2-10, turn (2), river (7). Ouch. After a half an hour of folding and hoping for a good hand, a seat to the left of the tough players opens and I jump at the chance to have position on them. Soon, I get Ac-Kh in LP. I raise some limpers making it $15 to play and get two callers. Flop is Kc-Jd-10c. So, I have TPTK, inside straight draw, and backdoor nut flush draw. It is checked to me so I bet 2/3 pot. One guy folds the other check raises enough to put me all in. I put him on a pair and a draw like K-Q, Q-10, Q-J, maybe A-Q but less likely since he tried to limp in (also I thought if he had the straight he would have just called). I called and he shows Q-9 for a flopped straight. Neither the turn nor the river improved me and I am felted. Undeterred, I reload and keep playing.

Soon I look down to a beautiful sight, two red Aces. I open to $15 and the California cougar and one other guy call. The flop is 10-5-7.
I bet the pot on the flop. One guy folds but the cougar calls. Turn is a (4). Calif. Cougar checks and I bet pot again. Her hand trembled as she check raised, but before I stop to think (I have not seen her bluff all day, she has only raised with 2 pair or better, and I have played with her for 3 hours), I shove and she insta-calls. She then tables her 4-5s for a turned 2 pair. My over eagerness caused me ignore what I should have known - I was beat. The river is an immaterial King and I am felted a second time in under two hours (which is very uncommon for me).
As I am digging out more funds for another re-buy, the dealer says, “Don’t worry”, reminding me of the “Aces Cracked promotion”,” you just won $200!”
I go from rather dejected to somewhat elated instantly. The floor is called over to confirm everything. To my utter dismay, the floor nonchalantly says, “Sir, I’m sorry but the promo is only Monday through Thursday and this is early Saturday.” I am not tilted, but I was frustrated. I could not seem to get anything going and the mistake of seeing the shaky hand check raise and not going with my read against the cougar confirmed the apparent fact that I was not on my A-game. The goofy mix up about the promo did nothing to help either.

However, this is my LAST night in Vegas so I reload again. Before long, I get A-2o in the BB. I see a limped flop with three opponents. The flop is A-2-5! I lead out for a pot sized bet and one guy calls. The turn is a Q, which I do not think helped my opponent. I figure my opponent for a weak ace since he limped in. My stack is not much more than twice the pot so I overbet/shove and my opponent calls. The River is a 7. I table proudly my flopped 2 pair and he tables his A-7o for a higher 2 pair on the river. I groan audibly. I stand up and take a short walk to clear my thoughts. I watch the “Bambi legged” chicks, drunkenly stumbling around in their high heels, waiting to be devoured by some local predator as they emerge from the nearby club while I finish my beer. I quickly come to the realization that I am not on my A-game and not likely to be able to muster it at this point. So, as much as I did not want to, I called it a night. Although I thought to myself (as I walked to the elevators), I could not believe I was voluntarily leaving the poker room before dawn on my last night in the Capitol of the Poker World. However, in hindsight, I was rather pleased with myself for not losing more on a bad night (which I could have easily done). Sometimes, you have to know when to say when. I would never have been able to do that earlier in my poker life, but now, it wasn’t that hard. I know that deep down inside, for me, playing and winning is more important than just playing.

1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

Good job at quitting when you did. One thing I forget to do, that you reminded me of is that when I'm not doing well, I should ask for a table change. Sometimes a fresh start helps.