Monday, July 04, 2005

Independence Day in Vegas

The sound of voices in the gargantuan room is eclipsed only by the clattering of chips being riffled together from two piles to one, two piles to one, two piles to one, the indoor equivalent of crickets chirping on a hot summer night. The sounds are broken occasionally by calls over the PA system for new games or satellites or as dealers exclaim “SEAT OPEN” as another player goes bust. A tournament here, a cash game there, it can all be overwhelming to even the hardened players. With so many option what is a player to do? If poker is a drug, then players come to the World Series of Poker to get their fix.

The preliminaries wind down today and tomorrow with the $1K plus rebuys NLHE event and the deuce to seven lowball, the last ones before the big one. There will be two days of super and mega satellites as players without a seat in the main event scramble to punch their ticket. I won’t be one of them. I’m so frustrated with my results in Vegas so far -- especially in tournaments -- that my heart, and perhaps ego, can’t take another big hit. I bubbled twice again yesterday, this time in a couple of $100 tournaments at the Plaza. In the first, we were down to seven players and I’m about third in chips when I make a straight on the turn and go all in to make it look like a bluff and my only opponent calls quickly with a flush. Only the top four got paid.

I was going to call it a night, but I gave Fell Knight a ring before I went to bed and he said he wanted to come Downtown and meet up so I said I was good for several more hours. We went back and played the midnight tournament at the Plaza. He didn’t catch any hands and went out right at the first break. I did okay for awhile and then went card dead. Finally with 11 players to go (the top seven got paid) I had an A-3 in the big blind after two people limped. One of the limpers was a drunk guy who would play any two cards and seemed to win with all of them. I took my chance and pushed the rest of my short stack in. The drunk calls with 10-10. Ouch. In contrast to my opponents, I never catch the ace when I have it as my overcard so I went bye bye again out of the money.

Fell had gone to Binion’s to play the 2 a.m. tournament so I went over there to check that out. I spotted a short handed 4-8 game and couldn’t resist sitting down. That was a mistake. Although it was the craziest game I had ever seen I couldn’t catch a winner and dropped $300 without scooping a pot. I never thought I would say that about a 4-8 game!

Tensions really heightened at that table when a New Yorker with dyed blonde hair sits down and in short time gets into a verbal argument with a slightly drunk kid. I can’t even remember exactly what the argument was, something about limit vs. no limit. The cocky blonde wanted to raise the stakes. He had earlier asked my to play 50-100 heads up out of the blue. I told him I didn’t have the bankroll for it. What I didn’t say was that at that point I also didn’t have the heart for it.

“Let’s take this outside,” blondie told the kid.

“You want to fight me?” the kid asks incredulously.

“No, I want to bash your teeth in,” blondie replies.

The floorman is finally called over as the argument continues to escalate and threatens to expel blondie if he doesn’t calm down. All this excitement in a 4-8 game!

Later, a middle aged drunk, who sat there with a Samuel Adams constantly at his side and his head propped on his chin as his eyes drooped slowly closed, raised and said he was afraid the blonde guy was going to beat him up for raising.

The New Yorker begins his DeNiro routine again by replying, “Was I talking to you?”

I didn’t see how this all concluded, as this was about the time I went bust and left the table. Fell fared no better, being eliminated with two tables left. He caught a cab back to his pad with veeRob and GambleAB and I headed for bed.

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