Warning: This post is pure poker. If you are looking for West Ham , Travel stuff and or photos, please click the links at the top of the page.
During our recent trips to Vegas , I have one day to play the Aria free from the distractions that being a tourist (am I still a tourist ?) brings. This means A) Have a good breakfast, B) No Drinking, C) Get your game head on.
This was my 4th attempt at this tournament, and was one that I had not cashed at yet. This is not too much of a surprise, as it normally has 130+ runners and is of a decent standard (146 this day), and if I’m honest is a bit of a step up from what I’m used to. And I don’t play many tournies these days, or much poker to be honest.
So bearing in mind points B and C (post A) I drove down to the Aria and was ready, with ticket for 12.45. Table 2 was my starting place, and was a nice spot out of the way on the upper level, in seat 1.
This did actually prove to be a bit of a pain as due to comfy seats, you tend to relax a bit and not being over endowed in the height department, I found I couldn’t really see if seats 9 and 10 (8 and 9?) had acted. This appeared to annoy my first dealer, and so I asked him if the players down the other end could push their cards out a bit and we could move on. On the 3rd request the players got the idea and life was great.
Because of the decent blind structure, you can ease into this game and bide your time. What became apparent was that the 3 guys to my left were regulars, and one of the 3, 3 bet me with nearly every raise I did. OK fine, we lock down and wait for premium hands. There was a guy at seat 6 or 7, who seem to go in with weird hands and sucked out a couple of times and then took a bit of a beating to get back to his opening stack. I had him targeted as someone I could win off of as he didn’t seem to like laying down. So I had chipped up to about 14k after a couple of small wins and looked down at QQ. This guy had raised the 50/100 blinds to about 500 and my 3 amigos had already folded and I was on the button. Nice. I reraised to about 2100. He insta went all in for about 6 k. I called and he turned over j9 unsuited. Thanks. The board blanked both of us and I am at 20k and change. This and the fact I wasn’t playing many hands got me a tight image, and I had 22k at the first break with an average of 12.
Post the break we got 2 ladies at our table. one was OK, and the other was noisy as hell. She had some interior design business in SF, and found out that one of the guys worked for google in SF ,and was just bugging him for leads and work. Then she started talking about cars. She had a BMW Mini. As does my wife. This was a fatal mistake for me to mention as she then went on this chatter about how rare they were. Really? I can look out of my front door and see 3 (not all ours !). And I’ve seen enough in the US to know they are not “that” rare. If she said she had a Hillman Hunter fair enough. Anyway as well as talking she liked to be involved in every hand and that suited me. She was also talking about meeting someone, so I smelled someone who wanted out. AK was enough when she pushed all in preflop, without really taking too much notice of her cards. She had AQ, and I win the race to go to 43k. Another interesting character joins the fray. A (I think) young Mexican guy (YMG), who when faced with a diamond diamond flop and a bet from his opponent, just grabbed a pile of chips and put out a crazy raise (about 12k into a 3k pot). He then said while collecting his chips “I never like someone trying to hit their flush, so I have to block”. I manage to chip up to the second break to about 53k with the tournament average being 19k. This was after knocking out a short stack with 10 10 to their AJ os. I got a 10, they got one jack. Better than the day before where my 3 10’s got unlocked by a straight !
Anyway, we then move table for the next session , and I end up again with our new friend YMG. I get a hand, suited connectors 9 10d, but I have a pile of chips, so I put out a min raise in a late position. He calls, and 2 of us see the flop. I have him covered about 2/1. The board whiffs massive for me, but there are 2 clubs out there and an Ace and a 10. So I have a mid pair, but there is a potential for a flush draw (if I had clubs). YMG checks, I put out a 3/4 pot bet. He instantly pops about 22k in 500’s on the table. That’s about pot *5. I have nearly 50k behind to his now 14k. Remembering his earlier statement I shove. This puts him over the edge. He starts figeting and telling me i don’t have a hand yet. Normally I adopt a completely neutral stance in this position, but just to get at him even more, I just stare at him with a huge smile on my face. After about 40 secs he bought my “I Have Aces, not a flush” look, and folded. He was gutted as hell, and I have 63k. Things are going well. YMG in a fit of pique went all in with crap and left the table shortly after. Who would do that? Push all your chips in with rubbish? Madness ! Hehe.
After all this good luck comes bad, and I got a little carried away, called a 5k opener with Jacks, and then 3 bet him 15 K over his 5k cbet post flop. He then went all in. The board was high and I had to fold. Silly boy but I made uncharted territory and the 3rd break with 30k. There were at this point 30 people left and the money began at 15. Time to work.
Basically, working meant making some serious all-ins after another table change. They didn’t know me, and I have a small stack, but not small enough to make rash calls against. Chip , chip chip up to about 40k. Another table change, another shove this time AJ into KQ. Hit the A to go to 83k. Happy Mrben. Its time to float to the cash. But the blinds are 2/4k with 500 Antes . There are over 1m chips in play, so I am actually below average. Not floating available ! It doesn’t take long to be at 58k but there are only 19 people left. A couple of very small stacks leave and we get to the bubble.
Now I have an admission to make here. Everybody was asked if they wanted to donate $10 to the bubble fund. I have no issues with this at all, but the question was “Does anyone have an issue with donating 10 bucks to the bubble fund ?” So I, correctly said No. Someone on the other table heard me say no and started a commotion to his dealer (I pieced this all together later). This meant no bubble payment. Our table complained a bit and eventually, they got out the vote cards. We got 8 yes’s as did the other table and off we go. But I’m sure I created that mess. Apologies !
Anyway I get moved again and make break 4 with about 26 k. I now have a cowboy to my right who has bundles of chips (5k chips ? Not on my stack sir) and the blinds are 3k/6k/500. I manage to bluff (literally) my way along until the min cashes have gone. There are 12 left and the next payment is 240 odd. not quite what I expected for being in this long but better than a poke with a sharp stick. I have to move again and we are at 4k 8k 1k and I have about 30k in chips. This table has the world and his dog of big stacks, so its go hard or go home. I went home about 5 minutes later when my K9 all in gets beat by 99. Boooooo.
So that took about 7 hours, to not even double my money. I believe someone else has a better Aria story from a couple of days later, but we are to to see it Rob
So once I got over the initial disappointment of my ROI, I actually realised that I can read people reasonably well, and can play real poker (again) and will be back for this one later in the year.