Summer Gathering 2008 Report
I was out for week 1 of the summer blogger gathering a couple weeks ago. I have not missed any of these since Summer 06. This one was by far the least attended, but still a bunch of fun. For me it started Thursday night at the IP. FallStaff, Easycure, and bwop were hanging at the IP Hooker bar when I arrived. I played a bit of Pai-Gow with StB before we got a 2/4 HORSE game going in the IP Poker Room. Mattazuma, and a few others showed up at that time. BWoP was crushing the split pot games, and knew all the terminology. She would shout “Straight to the 7 with the low” and scoop a pot. Then she yelled “nut – nut” and scooped another one. Then she said something like “straight to the 9 with a naked Ace low” and scooped another one. Let’s just say I was very intimidated. My entire live mixed game experience consists of the HORSE games at these gatherings. I was on the slow drain program and dropped about $60 over several hours. F-Train eventually showed up after his shift at the WSOP. The table broke around 3am and I called it a night.
Friday morning, I got up around noon, had some lunch and walked over to the MGM for some ½ NL. I got a call from Don who was going to be playing over at the Venetian starting around 3. I booked a win of about $80 at MGM without catching any starting cards, and headed over to the Venetian. I found Don, and got transferred to his table. We played for about 4 hours and I remained completely card dead and watched my $200 starting stack get down to about $120. I made a big river bet call with Ace high to win a nice pot when the other guys betting pattern made no sense to me. I would then flop trips, and slow play it all the way to the river. On the river there was a $25 bet and a call, so I re-raised to $50 and got called twice by losing hands. BOOM! Now I was nicely up over two ½ NL sessions, while never seeing a pocket pair higher than 99 or AK the entire trip. A couple orbits later I split and headed back to the MGM.
At the MGM a blogger mixed game table had formed and Zeem was in the house. The waiting list was long though, so I decided to play some more ½ nl. After about 90 minutes, I got my first big pocket pair (KK), and played it well to stack a guy who started the hand with about $80. Another decent win, and now I was up about $200 for the trip at NL Holdem. I booked the win and headed over to the mixed game table, but it had broken by that time with no bloggers left. I called it a night.
Saturday, I met up with Don again at the Venetian for another lengthy ½ NL session. ½ NL live is a very frustrating to play. The play is so bad, you know that you can crush it, but you need some real hands, as these guys will call with anything. I was card dead and sitting out forever. I limped with Ax on the button, and the flop comes 4 way all hearts. It checked to me, and I thought I might have the Ace of hearts so I bet from behind. The guy on my right calls. Turn is a black, and I check to find out that I don’t actually have the Ace of hearts. It goes check/check on the turn. The river is another heart, and it is checked to me. I fire out $25 into about a $35 pot, and the guy on my right thinks and calls with the Deuce of hearts for the lowest possible flush. This is why you really can’t bluff at ½ NL live. I got in a hand later with the same guy where I had bet the flop, and checked the turn. I knew the guy was weak, and was considering another river bluff, but thought better of it. After checking behind he has J6 for second pair crap kicker, and the win. I figure he auto-calls my river bet there so why waste the chips. See how this works. Any kind of a hand will get paid off big-time, but bluffing is just going to get you in trouble with these donkeys. Shortly after this, I would call an open raise to $10 with 33 for a four-way pot. Flop came down a nice 532 rainbow for my first and only set of the trip. First to act opened to $25. Initial raiser reraises to $75, and I just go ahead and jam all-in for about $140 total. Initial better folds, initial raiser calls with KK, and I am stacked by a K on the river. Poker is so easy. Then the maniac from Chicago pulls up in the seat to Don’s left. This guy was drunk, and “thought” he was a good player. He was all about jamming all his chips in there, preflop, flop, river it did not matter. He had to show what a poker player he was by jamming. He won a bunch early, but then had to reload a few times. Then he started complaining about the lack of drink service (valid complaint BTW). He complained twice to the manager, and was going on and on, until Don said he was acting like a 12 year old. That statement seriously bothered the drunk from Chicago, and for a while it looked like it was going to be fight night at the Venetian before cooler heads prevailed. I never got the situation I was looking for against drunky to Don’s left, or calling station to my right, and dropped about $50 more before quitting.
A bunch of us had dinner at the Café at the Venetian. It was a lot of fun. Zeem literally ate Wawfuls for dinner, and we talked about a bunch of food related prop bets, but never actually did one. Chili talked about how he likes to pour M&Ms into a jar of peanut butter, and then mix it up to eat out of the jar. We decided to head back to the IP and get another HORSE table going. This time the made us do $1 antes which were pretty steep compared to the ½ blinds. Columbo, Shamus, and FallStaff would show up later. We were discussing NASCAR for some reason, and StB asked Chili what he would think if the M&Ms car crashed into the Skippy car, lol. I gave up my seat to Falstaff so I could head over to the Rio and try to track down Pauly who I had not seen yet.
I found the good doctor in the media mezzanine of the Amazon ballroom. We were shooting the breeze as the 10k Stud event went to break, and just about every big named pro walked right past us. They all know Pauly, and all greeted him by name as they went by. It is kind of surreal if you are not used to the scene there, especially during the star-studded highest buy-in events. We discussed our second year plans for FantasySportsLive.com for a while, and then both decided to call it a night.
I decided to take off for home early Sunday to get back for the NBA finals. I was a bit disappointed that Chad avoided the gathering altogether, and that Don did not attend any of the planned nights, but oh well. If this is a trend, and the gatherings start declining in size, the few who still attend will be moving up a notch or two in my book (Possibly as high as B-listers). Overall, it was a great group, but still a bit of a disappointment over the debauchery of previous gatherings. If you were had to miss one this one was probably it.
Labels: 2008 WPBT Summer Vegas