Poker & Lifestyle Blog
So i'm playing 10-20 NL at the Bellagio on the opening week of March Madness. I always wanted to check out Vegas during the opening week of March Madness as i've heard its quite the crowd scene. The 10-20 feeder game i'm in is somewhat average when Brian Rast shows up, he seems to always pop in at my 10-20 when i'm playing. Cools. Fortunately, a few of these French guys randomly show up at like 1am. One of them mentions something about PLO, and Rast is like "I'm down". Then a negotiation of stakes takes place, and Rast mentions something like 100-200 20k buy-in, then they like decide to raise him and are like lets make it 200-400 100k buy-in. Rast is like "Uhhh ok yeah sure whatever lets just get the game started and we will go from there." A few minutes later Rast pulls out a 100k in chips to let the guys know he's not full of hot air. One of the French guys involved in the negotiations was railing his friends and he went to the casino cage to get 100k. I was thinking like man, unreal, must be fun to have elite PLO skills and a bankroll to play that big & bink the timing lottery of something like this which just happens organically at your 10-20 table while you're essentially just dicking around on Tuesday night. I get moved to the main game as does Rast, and as it turns out the game doesn't happen, which isn't too surprising although Rast, who i'm sure has seen many of these situations play out a lot, thought that it was actually quite likely the game was going to happen despite people's tendency to talk a big game but not follow through. Right as the excitement of this big PLO game not happening began to quell, none other than Dan Bilzerian shows up. I've heard quite a bit of Dan Bilzerian, i follow him on twitter and i've heard many stories. From all accounts, the guy is a man of action on and off the felt. That being said, i'm always leery of stories i hear second hand, so i assumed 70 percent of what i heard was accurate as far as scale and extent of the tales go, i totally believed that the guy was an animal though i just assumed each story had a decent bit of built in exaggeration for effect. He rolls up the top stoop of the Bellagio high-limit side and does a stop and chat with Rast and Matt Marafioti (ADZ on stars) and a few others at my table. Those who know him kinda make a "Hey we will make it 10-handed for you" jokes and sure enough he decides to sit in and play despite not really intending on playing 10-20 from what i remember, perhaps he heard about the PLO game and surfaced. He sits down and within a few minutes produces like ten or more 10k banded stacks of cash. Between he and Rast there's like a quarter of a million at the table. Definitely gave me an inferiority complex about my measly 8k stack at the time. After a few rounds of play it becomes evident Blitz is gambling quite a bit and has some serious waggle to his game. Within a few orbits the game turns to 10-20-40 predictably. Here's a few hands that i stand out to me.
Throughout the game Blitz is betting 1k with this guy at the table on the flop being black or red dominant. I wasn't paying super close attention but at some point, he tossed the guy he was playing with an extra 1k chip, i think it was perhaps for the guy being honest in a spot where he could have taken advantage of him perhaps, it also could have been something else as well but i just saw him toss the guy an extra 1k chip and he was like 'wow i guess i'll take a free 1k' or something and then Blitz tosses two other 1k chips across the table for no apparent reason other than just to make it rain i suppose. It was kind of like being at a strip club minus all the women and cleavage. Andre, a super nice kid and regular in these high stakes games who goes by like IKA something online, felt kinda dirty about taking the money and tossed it back, but then Blitz promptly tossed it back to him. I've played a lot of poker but have never seen a guy just shower 1k chips or anything near that on guys at the table for funsies effectively. If i was super busto or devoid of any pride at that point i would have done my best Wally voice and been like "Wow Blitz that's so cool you just made it rain 1k chips" or something to that effective perhaps mentioning how i just missed the 1k chip landing in front of me by a few inches and i feel like he definitely would have made me not feel left out and dropped another rain drop.
Blitz makes it 80 from utg, a few people call, i make it like 400 with black kings out of the big blind, i have around 13k at this point. It gets back to Blitz, he makes it 2400, I make it 4500, he calls. Flop is Tc 7s 4c, pot now has like 9k in it, i bet 3k, he hems and haws and thinks for awhile and is like 'Well i guess this is a fold?" and turns over 8h3h face up. Had i known that Blitz could potentially have that wide of a garbage range in a 5b pot where he's put in like a third of my stack, i probably would have checked or bet like 1k to $1500, i really feel like there's a super good chance if i check he plays the AK game and ships and maybe even does that over like a super small 1k bet. If he has anything that's calling my 3k bet he's prolly gonna bet flop himself if i check or call or raise my smaller bet anyway so i feel like betting smaller just is a way better overplay in hindsight knowing how wide his range can be in a 5b pot. In a hand like this betting for protection is somewhat moot because if he has anything that can end up beating me like a gutter or flush draw or open-ended or a pair that can turn two pair he's calling most flop bet sizes of 3k or less anyhow. The pot is also so big preflop, i can easily get my money in by betting 1k on flop and inducing him to raise or float super wide and then decide on my sizing on the turn. I just think he has too much testosterone to let me win the pot by betting 1k into 9k, but when i bet 3k i allow him to do the right thing with his air. A 3k bet is still small given the pot size, and would be appropriate in a lot of situations, but i just think betting even smaller is even better since he's such a pervert. If he flops any pair, any straight draw or flush draw, he's calling my small bet of 3k likely anyhow, so i mine as well bet an even smaller amount to get peels from air or even something like KJ, QJ, AQ, AJ etc, that can find folds to a 3k bet when i have only 6k behind.
I make it 140 on button when its 10-20-40 with AcQc, Blitz makes it ~800 from the bb, i call. Qs7h4c, he bets 900 i call. Turn is the 7c, pairing board and giving me a nut flush draw, he checks, i check. River is a 9h, he leads out for ~2500, i call, he has 99. Fine with how i played that, just didn't work out, could have bet the turn but i think i induce bluffs and potentially value bets from worse on river from him and probably expand his calling range on river perhaps too than if i bet turn, i also give him some chance to hit a pair and pay me off on river. I'm not sure he calls turn with 99s he probably peels i suppose but i also don't think i'm getting 3 streets from him too often when he checks turn with that type of hand, and he's also quite capable to put in a huge raise if i bet turn, putting me in a tough spot since the guy has a colossal sack.
I open JJ to 120 when its 10-20 utg. Blitz calls as do 3 others by the time it gets to this French guy who had been playing 10-20 like every night for the past few days. Super cool dude but he was definitely a civilian and wasn't the type to fly all the way to Vegas to muck hands for amounts of money that are nominal to a man of his affluence. He 3 bets to 800 from big blind. I have around 8k at this time and call, Blitz and two others call. Flop is Kh Jh 4c. The French aristocrat leads out for 3k, its on me with like around 7500. I contemplate calling or shoving and decide to ship it in. Blitz tanks forever and eventually folds and asks around if he should have peeled or not. French dude calls with QQ. Turn brings another club and Blitz goes nuts because he would have turned a backdoor club draw with his pair of Jacks and says i would have tripled up had i called flop.
I'm at the feeder game playing 4-handed with a very aggressive younger kid to my left. I open JdTd on the button to 60 and he makes it 200, i call. Flop is Kc 6d 4d, he checks i check. Turn is Ah, he leads for 300, i make it 800, he calls. River is a 9c, he checks i jam for around 2500, he tanks for a good bit and folds.
Have to classify this possibly as my WPOY (Worst Play of Year) hand of 2012 probably. It's not only a hand i believe i butchered but it hammers home a pretty important lesson i need to starting abiding by and not just saying i will which is paying real close attention to the game. I used to be super attentive back in the day when i was starting out and playing on a shorter roll, there also wasn't twitter and smartphones with facebook and NBA league pass and texting wasn't as big of a part of my lifestyle as it is now. All those thing absolutely cut into my winrate to some degree, perhaps even to a decent degree ashamedly. This hand is an absolute example of that. It's a 4-handed 5-10 NL uncapped game at Wynn, there's a young good solid reg, a 50-year old i've never played with but recognize as a semi-reg to full blown Vegas reg, and there's an Indian guy who was the straw that stirred the drink. I had just seen him call like a 1k bet on the river on a like a 789Jx board with pockets aces a few minutes before this hand. He opens to 40, the 50-year-old reg calls, and i reraise with AK to 200. Indian guy predictably calls, who has like 3k, and it gets to the older reg, who now reraises to 800! I'm like what, the play definitely caught me off guard. I have around 3k at this point like 45 minutes into the session, and the guy's stack is south of 2200 to start the hand. I basically just made a demographic read and folded based on the fact that he's an older guy and a reg, that combination usually leads me to believe he's probably way more likely to be a nit than otherwise. He also has no reason to believe i'm out of line as its early in our session and older guys in this spot rarely do heroic moves preflop, especially a backraise, and often slowplay hands like AK, JJ, QQ (and sometimes AA & KK) because well people like this generally are overly passive and trappy preflop. I go through some of my show the bluff antics i'm known to do and he says he had AJ and he reached to his cards near the muck and revealed a J. He said by the time it got back to him there was a lot of money in the pot so he decided to make a play. I made two big mistakes here. For one, i didn't take near as much time to consider all the aspects at play, and secondly, i was jacking around on my phone at the time so i had no idea what his actions were like during the hand leading up to my raise. Had i been paying close attention to the game i probably would have noticed that after the fish raised, he called rather quickly without giving much thought to re-raising, deciding to slowplay, etc. If i was paying close attention, it's very likely i would have seen that, which makes my ship a rather trivial one. As far as taking time is concerned, i would have realized that it's a pretty bizarre play to just call a fishes raise on the button, especially in a 4-handed game when there's only two people behind you, not to mention that neither of those two behind him have given him no inclination to slowplay to induce a squeeze, which is super optimistic anyhow. Of course, older guys like this do sometimes do the over elaborate slowplays which make little sense which is why they are who they are, but all things considered, if he happens to have AA or KK 4-handed then God bless him. I gotta go all the way! Super embarrassing gaffe on my part. I get super scared when older dudes start shoveling in money, and often give them too much credit, although i do think that their ranges are pretty tight in these spot for the most part.
Have a ton more stuff to write about, most of it being sports, but i don't want this blog to be so long so i'll break it up and do a sports and other stuff blog in a week or two.