Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
Annie Duke is arguing with the floor guys about the possibility of playing six levels -- a bad idea (they played only four and a half). I am seated two to the right of the elderly man with the kickass beard. I pissed the guy in the Poker Stars jersey off by steal-raising with 4-2, checking my flopped four to the river when I caught a deuce, and calling a river bet from the guy.
(Via Wicked Chops Poker... WCP also has evidence of the scantily-cladness if you're interested. And you are, you immoral persons. There is a separate post for the Bodog stuff, because if placed in close proximity to the other girls they might communicate something.)
Things were going swimmingly until a one-two gut punch that left me dazed and chipless. I had run up the 15k from the start of the day to a very healthy 60k stack that was about average. The first major pot I won was from Annie Duke, actually -- A10 suited caught an ace on the flop; I bet she calls; I move in on the blank turn and she goes away. Acting passively when I caught major pieces of the flop was working out great. I let others do my betting for me and took down major hunks of stack.
Then perhaps an hour after the dinner break the player directly to my right put in a raise. I find two black kings in the hole and reraise. The table folds around to him and he moves in after some deliberation. Clearly you know what happens next: I call and am shown aces. The board is no help and I'm down to 20k. About an orbit later I find what seems like redemption in a pair of my own aces and raise. Only the big blind calls. The flop is K77: bingo. He checks, I bet a quarter of my stack and he moves in. Unable to give him credit for a seven and beating everything else except an insanely played kings full I call and am shown 10-7 offsuit. Goodbye, tournament.
Final tally: nine and a half levels covering almost 20 hours, one trip to a shockingly expensive buffet that I resolve to get my money's worth at by eating my weight in crab legs, and a finish around 1400th of almost 9000. I don't know if the kings hand was a mistake... that player had been very aggressive preflop and I had already chopped him off twice. There's no way I can get away from the aces on my final hand, but I keep wondering about the kings. It's not a clear error like my two screwups on day 1, but I wonder if Annie Duke makes that call. Eh.
As I exited the Rio, still stunned, I hear not one but two "pssts" from what turns out to be an attractive-in-a-way woman who asks me to come over to her. Despite being the picture of midwest innocence, hooker alarms go off in my head and I mumble something along the lines of "um, er, no... I have to go... over here. Over here." I get in a cab and ask to go back to the MGM. The cabbie asks about my exit and I describe it. He's an inordinately friendly man but would never make it at the World Series, as in the course of a ten minute ride he picks up over four hours in hypothetical f-bomb penalites. He expertly routes around construction, taking me through the unfrequented back alleys between the casinos. From this perspective, Las Vegas almost seems like a real place.
In my room I sleep fitfully, haunted equally by two black kings and two red aces, traitors all.
Update: Annie apparently would not have dropped the kings. Wish my appearance on Pokernews.com was as something other than a bad-beat story, but that's life.
People I Done Seen
Shannon Elizabeth, John Juanda, Devilfish Ulliot, Phil Hellmuth (featured table participant who was knocked out early; this was announced to the room to raucous applause), Doyle Brunson (also knocked out on the first day and the recipient of similar-but-actually-totally-different applause), Jesus Ferguson (spent a large portion of the day sitting directly behind me; has 20k going into day 2), Annie Duke (as mentioned, sitting at my table on day 2), Ron Jeremy (also sitting at a table near mine; I lasted longer than him, ladies), Norman Chad (who actually railed our table for five or six hands and engaged in friendly banter with our table for the duration), that annoying guy with the picture of his kids from last year's main event, that musician guy from last year's main event (flirting with the scantily clad Milwaukee's Best Light girls, not to be confused with the scantily clad Paradise Poker girls, the scantily clad Party Poker girls, the scantily clad Poker Stars girls, or the scantily-clad-and-actually-engaging-in-lingerie-pillow-fights Bodog girls), and others who I've forgotten.
Methods Via Which To Emphasise The Size Of Your Cleavage I Done Seen
All of them.
Percentage Of Professionally Hot Girls Who Would Actually Be Attractive In Something That Covered, Say, 60% Of Their Bodies
Hovering at about 30%. But that 30% is impressive. Also: irritating. I think it's worse when an impossibly hot girl is showing obviously fake enthusiasm towards you for money instead of the usual scoffing. I pointedly ignore them.
The Weird Thing About Las Vegas
It seems that the more expensive something is the more people are willing to pay whatever fee is associated -- and in Vegas, everything has a fee. I am currently paying 10.99 for 24 hours of Internet access. And yet they will beer your ass like there's no tomorrow when you're playing poker.
Okay: .com branded apparel has been banned from the WSOP for the past month. It should come as no surprise to anyone at this point. Despite this, Poker Stars had to have people roving about with black tape to place over the ".com" on approximately 80% of its players.
The Rockstar Bus
As three Asian guys and I exit the front lobby of the hotel the valet asks us if we're headed to the Rio -- we're marked by the PartyPoker (.net, never .com) shirts we wear -- and says that for five bucks we can book passage on a quote-unquote Rockstar Bus. Rockstar Bus? Surely I misheard...
No, I did not. The only possible way to describe this bus decked out in leopard-print couches complete with strategically placed stripper poles is, indeed, a "Rockstar Bus," though presumbably real rockstars wouldn't have some Dave Matthews Band concert playing on the plasma TV at the rear and blasting through the kickin' sound system. This is the part where someone says something like "only in Las Vegas."
I arrive approximately an hour early and wait outside the designated room. My nerves are such that I am surprised that my hands don't spasm uncontrollably. Eventually we're let into the room and I take my seat at approximately the same time as two older gentlemen who don't seem very intimidating. (In fact, one of them folds his big blind on the third hand and the other apparently folded a set of queens to minimal pressure, fearing a potential flush in a small pot. The latter eventually goes out when his KQ catches a king on the flop. He bets and gets raised; the raise gets a cold-caller. He calls and moves in on the turn and is shown a set... NH TY GG. I am at the very least better than these guys.)
I check each player who approaches the table; pleasingly, none of them are Phil Ivey. There is one guy who arrives late and flashes a gangster roll of impressive girth. He claims to be a 100-200 limit player (he charmingly refers to it as 1-2) and the roll is pretty convincing. The remainder of the table:
- Guy from around Sarnia in a PokerStars jersey who seems to enjoy folding good hands more than actually raking chips.
- Put-upon looking Asian guy who is not very good at all.
- Swedish dude.
- Extremely Jewish guy from Long Island who is almost maniacally agressive at times. He ends the day with almost 70k.
- A few others who made little impression.
Hand Of Note #1
The aforementioned old guy -- the one who folded his big blind -- raises in early position and gets either one or two callers. I call with K6 of clubs. Flop is KQ6 rainbow and it's salad days. I bet 600; old guy raises to 1600; I raise to 3600... old guy raises another 4k... and I can't call. I assume QQ or KQ. My stack is down to about 6k. Frowny pants.
I make it 200 with KK in early position and get two callers; then Put-Upon Asian Guy makes it 1500. My stack is about 6300 and I go into the tank. Since PUAG doesn't seem like the kind of player who would make this sort of bet with aces -- it's a go-away-please bet -- I figure that I'm probably 4 to 1 over some sort of middle pair. I push. Callers fold, PUAG calls with QQ. Flop is three clubs; I have the K and he does not have the Q, reducing his outs from two to one. Lightning doesn't strike and I double through to about 13k. Table discussion after the PUAG is gone centers around the theory that he though I had substantially fewer chips.
Other than a few blind steals and some other flops seen that don't amount to much, this concludes level 1. I have around the 13k I had after the KK hand.
Less notable for the hand itself -- I raise with JJ, Gangsta Limit Guy calls in the BB, then we check down 99A-Q-blank and I take a small pot -- than the uncomplimentary thing I say about jacks after the hand which gets me a ten minute penalty. The f-bomb is verboten at the world series, though you can use other forms of swearing all you want.
I sit out for ten minutes.
Hello, nurse: first hand after the penalty is AA. I raise and get one caller -- New York Guy, who's in the small blind. Flop is 24J with two low spades. He bets, I raise, I get re-raised. Tank. I know this guy is very aggressive and capable of bluffing audaciously. He represents the set here. After some time I call. There's now more than 10k in this pot. We'll see what he does on the turn... or maybe we won't care: the beautiful ace of clubs is the turn. He bets out 4k, shove, and he folds. At this point I'm around 21k.
I don't get invovled in all that many big hands for a while. I do the occasional blind steal but more often I re-steal from Gangsta Limit Guy and Swedish Guy -- the former of whom raises a ton of pots, the latter of whom is just tight-weak. The most notable time is when I'm in the BB and GLG makes it 600 -- this was level three, then -- and gets a call from Swedish guy. I've got 97 of hearts and make it 2k. GLG looks disgusted and folds; Swedish guy does likewise, flipping over KQ. Another time I reraise GLG with AJ on the button and take down the pot when the flop is QQ-rag. I'm more than holding ground over this period of time. By the dinner break I have 26k in chips and the table chip leader.
Then bad things happen.
I steal-raise with A8 off in third or fourth position. GLG calls from the BB. Flop is A62 all spades -- my 8 is a spade. Check to me, I bet 1k and get moved in on. Horrible error here: I have a hand that is good but despises a reraise. Like the JJ hand I should just play this for showdown value. Instead I have 6300 to me in a pot that's about 4k in size. I figure this is either a mid-pocket pair with a spade, in which case I'm ahead, or a set of sixes or twos, in which case I'm behind but but not dead... the thought that I've got another ace with a bigger spade kicker does not occur tome and
should have swung my decision to fold. I do call, though, and am shown trip sixes. Turn is the ten of spades -- hurrah -- river is the ten of hearts -- curses. This live stuff is just as rigged as online play. Down to about 18k.
I resume the good play, though, and chip away at the stacks of others. One typical hand:
Folded to me in the SB. The weak old guy who was shown a set of twos hasn't picked up his fateful KQ yet and is in the BB. I raise with 9-6 off. Flop is Q94 all hearts -- I have nary a one -- I bet 800 and get min-raised. A danger sign from a good player but I think this means he caught a piece but is looking to get away from it, especially when he re-checks his cards... no flush for this guy. I repop to 4k and he goes away, asking if I had a Q. I tell him low hearts.
By the time we've gotten to the final break of the night I am back where I was before the A8 hand at 25 or 26k.
Again a steal raise from mid position with A7 -- memo to self, stop freakin' doing this -- is called by NY Guy. Flop is rags not including a seven. I check and then raise his bet. He says "I'll just call" and does so. flop is another low rag, giving me a gutshot, and I bet out 8k only to get raised all in. I drop it. Should have quit after the flop call, or better yet not gone after one of the better players on the table out of position. I'm down to 10k after all that.
The remainder of the night I'm pretty much in push-fold mode. I win a small hand in the BB when I call the SB's raise and then bet out a straight draw I made with QJ. I push all in with a better and a caller with 76off and am not called. I come over a standard opening bet with AK and am not called by AQ. By the time we're done I have 15k.
I'm Not Sure What To File This Under
PUAG after sadly contemplating his dwindling stack: "I wish I had a girlfriend so I could beat her tonight." I think "disappointing item that proves your sense of humor is not nearly as sophisticated as you think it is."
I play Tuesday.
I plan on sleeping until then.
Due to a hilarious naivety in re: the amount of time I'd have to do things other than play poker and the general difficulty of navigating the vast sea of humanity that was day 1B of the WSOP updates were obviously not forthcoming. We finished at around 6 or 7 AM EST.
In brief: I live but have only increased my stack from 10k to 15k. At one point it was around 26k but I got cute bluffing and lost a big chunk. No one of note was at my table -- though a few players were clearly very good -- though Ron Jeremy sat at the one next to me. He busted out around 10. Hellmuth, Brunson, Mizrachi, and many others are gone. Annie Duke, however, is not. She's sitting three to my left on my table for Tuesday.
More detail later.
All in one place. Bevo Sports has collected the various preseason top 25s in one large table for your viewing convenience.
Offensive line fears: assuaged. I remember the days of yore when you would come home from class with an hour to kill and watch something along the lines of "Bear In The Big Blue House" because, hey, it was college and you were going to live forever. Something similar must have happened in the life of the reader who notified me of the existence of Disney's "American Dragon":
Dragon up! Jake Long is your average 13-year-old kid who just happens to be a powerful and magical dragon! While learning to master his mad dragon skills (with the help of Grandpa and Fu Dog), it's Jake's destiny to protect all the magical creatures in New York from some seriously bad dudes.
(If you're wondering, Fu Dog is "a 600-year-old talking dog, and Jake's official animal guardian.") If you go to the character page and mouse over Jake you get to hear him exclaim "Y'all see me represent!" If you're thinking to yourself "boy, I bet MGoBlog pile-drives 'Dragon Up!' and 'Y'all see me represent' into the ground over the next sixth months," you know me all too well. As said reader -- name unspecified by probably somethng along the lines of "N---- Acasto" -- put it:
How can analysts say that our offensive line is questionable this season when our left tackle is a skateboarding, crime-fighting, fire-breathing mythical creature?
Projected series duration: six episodes. In the meantime, anyone need some IM icons?
Projected league duration: six games. You've probably heard about this minor-league NFL thing that will play on the campuses of collegiate teams by now. I was torn on whether the idea is a good one or not: I'd probably go see Marquise Walker play but not Cato June (what's that you say, Cato June is a pro-bowl NFL linebacker? Pshaw), but when SMQB dubbed the thing "the Hula Bowl League" that clarified things. Do I watch the Hula Bowl? No. Does it take ten seconds after hearing the words "Hula Bowl" to remember what, in fact, the Hula Bowl is? Yes.
A Notre Dame preview... is not coming from me, as I still have five Big Ten teams and Indiana (ha!) to go. Lo siento. Maize 'n' Brew's opponent-by-opponent preview has just reached ND if you need to know all about the Irish.
SMQB has previewed Penn State and projected 7-5; annoyed PSU fans can now storm over there.
Phil Hellmuth: prepare to meet the rail. Until Saturday.
So, right: I board a plane bound for Las Vegas tomorrow. Saturday I play in the WSOP. Woodson willing I will continue on from there.
You and your oversized head are going
I wouldn't expect much (anything) tomorrow. I may relates some first-day impressions as I plan to railbird portions of the first day and get in some live PLO. Saturday I'll update progress and try to capture the overall gist of the thing in the breaks provided me. If I'm still in I'll do likewise until the inevitable bust occurs. Realistically, I'll be happy if I make the second day or bust Bill Simmons. If and when the Simmons bust happens I promise to scream "HA! Where's your Basketball Jesus now?"
Anyone who happens to be in Vegas and wants to get a drink or something, shoot me an email. I could not convince any of my weak-ass friends to come along.
Voracity coming up in an hour or two, then it's plane time.
And, wow, that picture of Simmons is really big. It's very, very big. At least it's very tall compared to its width and thus doesn't push the text down as much as one might expect. This screws with the look of the page and therefore requires additional text that, though it may not say much of anything, does have the benefit of preventing the goofy visage of Simmons from jutting into the post below it. All entirely hypothetical, of course.