Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back in the thick of things...and cool Binion's news

It's the ides of May and the blogger tournaments are starting to wind down. I am kind of glad. They are fun to play, but the nightly jaunt wears on you, and my wife says, "I can't wait to get my husband back." Last month by this time I was pretty well out of the running and skipped about half of the remaining tournaments, but I am in the thick of things again in May (probably still in second place after JDSchellnut's win last night. Evy could leapfrog me too.)

I look forward to the OE tournament tonight because I have witnessed some tragically bad play in the mixed game blogger tournaments, especially Omaha Hi-Lo and Stud Hi-Lo. Those high pairs are no good in that latter game people, and 4-5-6-7 is a terrible hand in the former, guys and gals. There's your two cents for the day.

Actually, it's funny I say that because I busted 3rd in the HOE event Tuesday with split kings to open. I raised and Chippy re-raised with 6-6-3 and caught two pair on fourth while I did not improve. I've been wondering about this obviously both hands suck at a full I said before high pairs are no good, and a hand like 6-6-3 is in no man's land. Is it a high draw or a low draw? Not much of either. However, I wonder when heads up which is better. At first I thought obviously the kings, but now I am not so sure. It seems with the 6-6-3 you are likely to either make a low (knowing your opponent will not make one other than runner runner runner runner) or a good high hand. But will those sixes make a high hand better than the kings often enough when it also doesn't make a low (for the split pot) to make it more profitable than the kings? Math geeks? Anyone?

Now if I manage to luck up and win another $2,000 package I wonder if it would be uncouth to use those funds to bankroll play in other Vegas tournaments rather than the WSOP? I plan to play some tournaments at either/or/all of the above: Binion's Poker Classic, Venetian Deep Stack and The Grand Poker Series at the GN so I am thinking I would thereotically put any additional FTP prizes toward that. Alternatively, I could buy into two $1,500 and sell several hundred dollars in shares to poker pals and use those funds to bankroll smaller tournament entries. Thoughts?

I still haven't booked my flight (though I booked Amy and me for the GN on July 3-7 as they had a special for their poker series...$350 after tax at a four-star hotel on the July 4th weekend...yes, please), but I am thinking of getting a one-way ticket to Vegas around June 25th, 26th, 27th. I would decide later when to come home, possibly with Amy on July 7 or later if I either win a main event seat or pick up more writing work. I've talked to Ted and will probably stay at Binion's again for most of my Vegas trip.

Speaking of Binion's (the staff of which I interviewed for the latest Q & A in the May issue of Rounder), you may recall (or have at least heard) that Benny Binion used to have 100 $10,000 bills in a horseshoe-shaped display in the casino where people could get their picture taken with a million smackers. Well, guess what? They are bringing it back, in a different fashion.

This, from General Manager Tim Lager:

"There are some things we want to do down here that we think will be big hooks for the property. Obviously, a huge hook for the property in the past was the million dollars display. We can’t do the same display anymore because those were $10,000 bills. You can’t get a hold of them. In our remodeling plans, in an area back by the poker room we’re going to do a display – when someone won the World Series of Poker they came out with the box of money and piled it on top of the poker table and took the picture of the gentleman – we’re going to do a similar type thing where we have the poker table set up with a million dollars and a Plexiglas pyramid to put over it so people can come in and take photographs, which we think will be a huge hook. Everybody remember a million bucks so we think that’s the kind of stuff that’s going to start bringing bodies back down here."

In the interview, Lager said the tournament area is going to be moved to where the old sportsbook was after that area is remodeled. I have always been a fan of Downtown Las Vegas so I hope these summer tournaments will draw some people to the area. Viva la Fremont Street!

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