The portly man sat with $2,000 in front of him, ready to do business. Three stacks of greens, a few Benjamins, a couple of stacks of reds and a handful of blue chips stood as a fortress in front of the man, while the Gallery of Champions, all of the photos of the winners in the history of the WSOP main event, hung on the wall behind him in the Binion’s poker room.
Did I mention this was a $1-$2 blinds no limit game?
Brian -- that was his name -- scared a few big stacks away as he sat down and unracked his massive stacks of chips. He cursed out loud when one man with $1,500 racked up and left, as he’d hoped to bust the man. All that was left were players with two or three stacks of reds in front of them.
Brian went for the small helpings, taking $200 from one all in man who’d flopped a set of sixes, but it was no match for Brian, who had limped with aces and caught another on the flop.
“I put you on aces,” said the player to my left.
“If you put me on a hand you need to be playing over at the Rio,” Brian said as he riffled two stacks of reds.
“You think you’re Moneymaker or something?” inquired the player.
“Moneymaker ain’t shit. I took him for $25,000 last week,” Brian sneered.
“You look like Greg Raymer,” joked the dealer. “You his cousin?”
Brian looked behind him to Raymer’s photo on the wall. “Sure, can’t you see the resemblance?” he asked.
There are the characters that make poker interesting. I sat with Brian tonight in Binion's, managing to stay out of his way and win $125 in the process. I took $200 and change in an earlier session at Binion's. I usually play NL over at the Golden Nugget, but they are moving into a new poker room today and the room was closed. (I caught a glimpse of the new room. It's quite posh.)
I've done quite well at NL cash games on the trip so far, up about $1,300 or so in those. It's the other games that have taken me back down nearly to even.
I know most people don't like downtown, but I have to admit I love it. All of the casinos are certainly within walking distance. If I can't find a poker game at Binion's, I can walk to the Nugget or down to the Plaza. If I want snacks or a drink there's three stores serving those. There's the movie theater down at the Neonopolis. If I want a cheap and quick meal I can go to the Golden Gate for 99 cent shrimp cocktails or get 2 hot dogs for $1.29 at the old Pioneer Club. The conveniences down here are great.
On some days, like today, I never leave downtown. I finally broke down and got a rental car lined up for tomorrow so I have to head to the airport to pick it up. Hoyt's BBQ is tomorrow evening. That should be fun.
Oh, that tournament I played Wednesday night? Another one of those blowhards (except one who really CAN'T play) busted me when he limped with K-4 and called my raise from the small blind with aces. The flop was 4-5-6 and he called, the turn was 5 and I went all in and he called. You know what the river was. The guy was a card rack in the early part of the tournament, but had just lost a lot of chips and was steaming.