travelling the world as a poker journalist and documenting everything at Tilted Behaviour
Due to my new PokerNews name for live-reporting purposes I have transferred by entire blog over to here. Therefore the http://my.pokernews.com/t_hKC__d/blog will be inactive from here on in.
So me and Heath got an early out after covering the main event so we decided that on one of our last nights in Vegas we should go play some cards together - something we haven't done over the past month and a bit.
Once back at his place we head across the road to SouthPoint Casino (where they film the high stakes poker shows) and sit down to play some $2-4 limit holdem. We chose limit because we wanted to sip on a few beers and not stress over trying to make money in NLH, but rather have some fun.
We both buy in for WAAAAYYYYY to much; but who cares . . . its limit!! Grind away for a while until this hand came up that tilted the both of us. Bit of background first - table is pretty passive, so we're playing alot of hands, and bluffing is working 88% of the time. I'm dealt under-the-gun +1 and limp after Heath folds. A few limpers round to the big blind who raises to $4, I call and so does everyone else. Flop comes down ; big blind checks, I bet $2, she raises to $4, I raise to $6 and she calls. The turn falls the and she check-calls my $4 bet. When the river lands the she again check-calls $4 and table my cards ready to scoop the pot in. However she rolls for nut full house and me and Heath look at each other and go, "what the fuck!?!?!?!"
Oh well, I moved on, took some pots down as Heath kept getting rivered by the same two people everytime he played a pot, until finally I hit YAHTZEE!!! Lady from last hand limps UTG, Heath limps UTG+1, I raise to $4 and get three callers to the lady who raises, Heath calls, I cap and everyone calls. Flop comes , lady bets $2, Heath folds, I raise to $4 and it is called round. Turn falls the and it is checked to a guy in late position who bets $4, lady calls, and I call. River is the and we check to him again. He fires $4, lady calls, I raise to $8 (Oh yeah!! Booyah the river check-raise in limit!!) and both players call. I table for the nizzles and the late position flashes as his cards go into the muck.
SHIP SHIP my first bonus for the trip and it paid $100 for the straight flush. That pot plus the bonus took me up to over $300 and I never looked back! Final hand for the night was when Heath says, "I'm getting aces here", I follow up with saying, "If you get aces, I'm going to 3-bet!". As the cards are dealt Heath states, "I got 'em!" and throws out $4, I sweat and instantly three-bet (well seriously, who isn't with natural nine???). It ends up getting capped and we see the flop of - oh yeah, second nizzles!!! Heath bets, I raise, he calls. Turn is a sick and we check-check, river falls a blank and he checks as I fire. "Oh this is sick, if you beat me here I'm leaving, I've had enough, I'm leaving" as Heath throws in $4. I roll my hand over and he stands up, knocks his chair over as he tables and picks up his chips and cashes out.
As I'm raking in HEATH'S CHIPS I decide that I should go as well and leave SouthPoint a $150 winner as we head back to Tommy's and Heath's place where I'm crashing for the next few nights.
Realising I only have a further 6 nights in Las Vegas, and with the main event at a point that haunted me for so long; the money bubble, I feel its time I tick off as many things I planned to do/purchase/visit before I leave to the cold of Melbourne.
My list to complete includes:
- Make a further 3k+ (inclusive of poker and work)
- Visit Frys
- Visit Premium Factory Outlets again
- Play heads-up against Garry
- Play at the Bellagio
- Buy a new poker bag
- Buy some new clothes (shirts, jeans, jocks - because everything is so much cheaper)
- Buy a voice-recorder
- Buy Joop Jump aftershave
I'll probably be adding to this list as each day gets knocked off, but it looks like I've got to focus on that first one as there are plenty of things in the buy column.
With the freeroll over and having a healthy $400 in pocket (as Heath and Guzzardi both had 10%) we were off to the PokerStars Players Party at Rain nightclub at the Palms. With Eric and Don ditching me as I was having a piss in the Rio carpark, I swung a lift via Garry along with Boncek and Schipis. On arrival we met up with some of the fellow PokerNews employees, grabbed our armbands for VIP access and headed inside.
As me and Heath were asked for ID's, all the PokerStars pros were being snapped by the many cameras and intervied by our own Melissa Castello. Once into Rain we were greated with a burlesque-themed party and by a mass of people taking up all the dancefloor space on the bottom level. Losing Heath as I wondered past the main bar and up the stairs, I spotted Slippers and Dane high on the third level and headed straight there. As we headed down to the second level, directly above the main bar, we joined a booth filled with predominately Aussies. Joe Hachem and family, Tony Hachem and Shane Warne, Emad Tahtooh, Grant Levy, Billy the Croc, Gary Benson and many more filled the couch and standing space as a longed for a drink.
Heading up to the bar I bumped into Joy and her entourage which included Maria Ho , who everyone seems to be obsessed with apart from me. As the girls bought me a drink I found Donnie and we negotiated our way back into the 'Hachem' area as our VIP status of grey wristbands weren't as good as the black ones needed to have full VIP access. After Joe did his speech about how PokerStars are going in this years main event Emad let me have his black wristband and I tucked it under my black hair tie that was around my wrist from earlier.
As the night progressed everyone was downing the free drinks as more and more fun was being had. With burlesque dancers on platforms and suspended above the air, a Dita Von Teese show on the front stage, a fight between PokerNews employees Eric Ramsey and Joe Schepis as well as a full on pash-fest put on by Dario Minieri and Isabelle Mercier it was definately a night not to miss!
We all headed to Maccas after the night was out, and just when you thought the night couldn't get any better, who do we see having maccas . . . Joe Hachem and his family. I always thought that Joe was so down to earth, but to see him taking a chunk out of a quarter pounder just proves it more. After eating our burgers I decided to crash with Don and Slippers as Christian was playing $1-2 and who knows how long he would be there!! Another night on a couch . . . its something I'm definately getting use to . . . ha ha ha.
P.S - I'm going to post some photos in this blog, but for the rest head to my facebook.
With all of the day 1's from the 2008 WSOP Main Event being played there has been a planned break before the two day 2's are to begin. With reportable events on (because who cares about the Casino Employees event . . .) PokerNews planned a day out of fun for all their employees.
The day started nice and early at 1pm at the Las Vegas Indoor Soccer Centre where kick-off between the USA and the World in the inaugural PokerNews International Friendly began. With Garry captaining the USA team and Felipe (our photographer) captaining our World team, the fireworks soon began when USA captain Gates scored the first goal for the home team. It was quickly followed by USA-recruit Dustin Sitar when he scored soon after. Not only was he a non-PokerNews member (one was allowed per team) but he was also a successful poker player.
Scores were traded back and forth with the USA staying ahead at all times until half-time. We lost our star in Giovanni, and it would be left to me, Slippers, Thano, Felipe and some of the Dutch-PokerNews staff to gain the lead back. However this would be a really hard task as the USA team contained 4 semi-pro soccer players in Dustin, Garry (who has played indoor many times before this match), Don ( who played college soccer) and Neil.
The second half was all USA as the retained their lead until the final minute. With the scores at 11-9 in USA's favour, one of our dutch players put a ripper goal in to put us behind by 1, and with about 30 seconds to go, yours truly scored one to even the scores. As the USA players sunk to the ground, we lined up for peneltys, and being the shittest soccer player alive I sat back as the first reserve. As we shot first, the scores went 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-4 until it was up to the captains. Felipe stepped up and shot deep into the top corner to put the scores to 5-4 and next it was up to Garry. As he lined up with all of the pressure on his shoulders he aimed to the far left, and as it hurled toward the back of the net it was saved by our goalie sending the World team to victory!!
Following the soccer match we played a game of bball and were joined by Christian, Dane and Guzz. With an intense match it was the USA's turn to take home the victory against the predominately Australian based world team.
Following a quick trip home we would arrive back at the Rio for the PokerNews freeroll. Not before I left Guzzardi wanted a piece of the action and bought 10% of me for $10 - which I thought was a fair deal as the chance of cashing in a freeroll is always small when you're a great player like myself (ha ha ha) as there is so many banana plays occuring.
The freeroll began in the Amazon room at the same time the Casino employees event was being undertaken. Wearing my Nascar-inspired shirt with all the online poker company's logo's attached from Full Tilt to 888 to t6 and poker-affiliated company's such as PokerNews, Bluff, PokerRoad and WPA I sat down and played extremely tight until moving to my second table. I took down a few pots and built my stack to around 6000 (double starting) before again moving to my third table. Sitting with Don, Eric, Leon and some others time ticked away as we approached the starting time for the PokerStars party.
With only two tables remaining people really wanted to cash in this freeroll, but I was aiming high for the first prize of $2000. Having swapped 10% with Heath earlier, he was eventually eliminated and began to rail me hoping to make some money off me to cover his potential expenses later on. With Eric being the only one to pass on a deal with 13 remaining I limped to the final table of 10 in about 4th chip position. Deciding on a deal, we all took $500 and flipped for the remaining $300 - which I lost.
Getting changed out of my poker-shirt we were all on the way to enjoy what PokerStars could provide for not only their players and staff, but also their VIP's in us PokerNews guys.
Today was the start of the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event, and with a starting field of 1297 it worked its way down to the 600 mark to end the first of the four day 1's.
With everyone due to work, I was assigned with Heath as my blogger and Zeeks as my fellow reporter. With half the team leaving at dinner, everyone's workload was doubled and as we approached the 5th and final level of the night everyone was ready and done for the night. Finally with an early night (that being an exit from the Rio before 2am) I was on my way home for an early night.
As the major American public holiday being tomorrow, and an early exit due for me and Heath, plans are for fireworks, poker, some grub and who knows what else.
Details to follow . . .
With all of us having the day off, I decided NOT to go sky-diving but instead head into the strip to get outside for once. However that didn't last too long as I headed into Fashion Show Mall to check out some shops. With my only purchase being of a really bad haircut I was on my way to the Venetian to play some cards while I waited to recieve a call from the others to what our intended plan was for the night.
Getting stacked for my first buy-in on $1-2 I decided to move over to the $1-2 Crazy Pineapple game. Being only 6-handed the game was really fun, and I built my stack from $200 to over $300 within the hour taking down small pot after small pot. Getting the word that the guys had arrived at Stoney's I was on my way out to this western bar.
Stoney's Rockin Country bar was way out of town where Sunday night is ladies night as they drink for only a buck. Nearly everyone was there from the house plus Don, Slippers and Zeeks. With Corona's flowing freely, we all made it on the dancefloor dancing to some good old western tunes, and following that we soon enough hit the mechanical bull.
Videos to come soon . . .
Following the cash in the Caesars Palace mega-stack series I headed into work for the last 6 hours or so of my intended shift. Following that I was booked in for the PokerNews freeroll where the (as voted) top 6 reporters played off for a seat into the following day's WSOP $1,500 event. With me and Slippers quickly donking off our chips the remaining reporters got into a tasing war with Melissa's taser in the back alleys of the Amazon room.
Soon after we headed to the newly found players lounge. This lounge was awesome, it contained a virtual golf game where you get to smack the ball into a screen, a heads-up machine, Nintendo wii, putting green, pool and some arcade games. Garry, Mel, Slippers, Zeeks and I stayed there until the wee hours playing props and drinking until everyone decided that at 6am it was probably time to leave. Being the sick degen that I am, and having to work at 12 I decided I would sleep on the couch and not waste time or money in getting home.
With a full day of work under my belt after the night on the couch at the Rio I decided that on my day off I would venture out to the Premium Factory Outlets for a day of shopping. Seeing Slippers on the way to the taxi stand I somehow convinced to come along. With my purchase of a nice Polo sweat for my dad and my BOSE headphones me and Slippers were on our to the Venetian to play some poker.
Sitting down on the $4-8 Omaha hi-lo game our stack fluctuated up and down several times before we colluded like Jozef Berec never could!! With Slippers in the small blind and myself in the big blind, we both checked preflop before slippers led for $4 on a flop of with -x-x, I decided to try and sneak some extra value in there so i raised the action up to $8 with and we got two callers. When the hit the turn Slippers led for $8 and i called followed by the two other players. When Slippers checked the on the river, I bet, and it was called round to slippers who 2-bet, followed by my 3-bet and we got both of the remaining players to call and we scooped the pot. SHIP IT CRUCIAL!!! Collusion at its FINEST!!!
Following a good old Aussie BBQ at Slippers house followed by some jacuzzi and poker action I was rostered on to cover the 50k HORSE. With a long day us reporters scored some free WSOP mugs, as well as me personally scoring Phil Ivey's main event ticket stub with negative 200k in prop bets written on the back as well as Durrr's HORSE ticket stub. Maybe they can take the event out and it will be worth HEAPS on ebay!!!