Off to a slowish start, bonged out of 3 tournaments in the usual different ways - murdered my chips in the first hour, got hold of a good stack and then lost 2 big pots, hung around forever and lost the second allin. I also scored my biggest ever US cash win, a pathetic $370, which just about equals one win in a $100 SNG online, but a win's a win and that softened the tournament losses. Then today I thought, well, I'll play 3 tournaments if I have to, start off quickly and give Arnie's formula a chance to work its magic. Starting with the noon $180 (effectively) at the Venetian.
Which is all very well but the situations to make position plays have to arise and basically they didn't. Fortunately I doubled up twice on complete gifts instead. First I somehow extracted the lot with QJ on a board of QQJQ. I assume he had another Jack. Betting the turn definitely helped me, although it doesn't excuse it entirely from his POV. Then some geezer took offence to me check-raising him for the second time and launched it all in on the turn with AK on a rag board against my JJ. That'll teach me. Then I won a few decent pots AK v AQ, TT v KQ, AQ v KQ, pressed the eggs around the bubble and entered the final as chip leader.
Down to 5-handed and it was clear that I had 2 players and 2 goons to deal with. At this point a cast-iron law of poker came into effect. When some egg messes up the action by playing out of turn, invariably someone gets fucked as a result. Every time. Goon 1 throws his hand away in the big blind, says "they didn't touch the muck" and pulls them back. Good job you did that mate, you might get a walk now. Goon 2, some woman, makes a minimum raise in the cut off. I don't think so biatch, I'm all in. She insta-calls with KK. I have 22. 2 on the flop, never in doubt.
After that we circle around waiting for the other goon to wank off his short stack, he obliges, we play on for about 15 minutes and when the deal talk begins I have about half the chips. Short stack suggests a proportional chip count deal. He wasn't a bad player but he needs to read a book or two (Kill Phil covers this quite succinctly). I put on my most ingenuous face and say, hmmm, yeah we could do that. After 10 minutes of tortuous calculator work from the tournament director I trouser $2450. Chingy ching. Nice guys the two players, and I figure the least I can do is buy the short stack a beer (the other guy declined politely) . Well, the least I could do would be explain to him how bad the proportional chip deal is for a short stack, but I don't. So anyway, not a bad day's work and I can pass on this evening's events, kick back a bit.
 Good job really seeing as two crappy bottles of Amstel Light cost me $16 as it was.
We have a new champion for the Most Pathetic Pot-Odds Related Fold In Poker History prize. The previous winner
can fuck off, he's nowhere now. 200-400 with 25 ante. Some geezer limps. The egg makes it 1600. Geezer goes all in for 725 more. I swear, I know you won't believe me but I swear on everything I hold dear, the egg dwells up a bit and passes. He even had plenty of chips. I have to turn away to hide my expression of utter disbelief and contempt. Another guy can't keep it in, English guy I think though I didn't have a chance to talk to him, and says "Come on, you have to call with like 23 there". As is probably another iron law of poker, the egg has to compound it by talking some shite, and he says "I understand the game sir". Hehe. Shout that from the rooftops if you like, it doesn't make it so.
I have to bite my tongue sometimes at some of the casual, well you could call it racism really. A geezer goes all in on the turn for about 2/3 of the pot and some dude calls him. Now the board is QQ53 or something like that, the geezer has A5 and the caller dude JT. Wtf ? All becomes clear when the river comes an Ace and the dude announces "straight !". Once the ensuing confusion is cleared up he laughs and says he couldn't see the board and thought one of the Queens was a King. Fair enough. But then someone goes "You had a Mexican straight", and someone else finds this so amusing he has to repeat it 2 or 3 times chuckling to himself. Unless I'm missing something here, unless Mexican Stud is some game like Soko where 4-card gutshots count, the only reason it could be a Mexican straight is because Mexicans are stuuuuupid. Hmmm. I don't reckon too many Mexicans would pass for the last 725 in a 4700 pot.
Also one more thing, there was a very active player at the other end of the table ; he didn't last long, having bluffed off most of his chips, run the rest up to half a stack by moving in with rags and winning, and then busting out with Aces when the 725 egg called him pre-flop with 53 and hit two pair. At one point he was telling his neighbours how he wrote poker articles, and I thought I heard him say his name was Matt Slessinger or something. Now I've googled, it might well have been this guy
. If I'd known he was the author of "The Book Of Bluffs" when he reraised my attempted steal on the second hand of the tournament, I might have done something about it :-). At the time I thought he was a bit wild but I could at least see what he was trying to do. 10 seconds after he was out the door half the table agreed "that guy didn't know what he was doing". Who is right ? We'll never know. But it's probably me.Update :
I might be right that the guy could play, but I was wrong about who it was. I emailed Matt Lessinger and he said it wasn't him. Who exactly it was will remain a mystery.
In some ways it's a bit of a pain this being New Year. Prince tickets are $315 this weekend instead of the usual $125 and, unless he plays for three times as long, that's a gyp. I'm going to gamble that he's still playing in the summer and hold out till then. Although, as Pete B suggests, I could go and see Purple Reign at the Monte Carlo. Meanwhile the Venetian usually have a $500 tournament on Saturdays with 10K chips which would have been a nice change, but now it's a special $1000 Joe Hachem hosted tournament. With Q&A beforehand. How much did you trouser for this Joe would be the only question that springs to my mind, although to be fair he seems alright Hachem I have no bone to pick with the guy.
As for the flight, well it's difficult for me to compare because I've never flown business class before. The plane was a bit shabby-looking inside and the seats a bit plasticky but to be fair you could recline right back, there was all the legroom you needed and the food was a cut above the usual airline fare. Worth an extra 50% on the price ? Ahh, probably, if you're not on a tight budget. I'll see if I can sleep on the flight back which is an overnighter, that would be a big plus if I can.
Speaking of sleep I'm still not quite in phase here. Obviously I've shifted a bit but my body is most insistent that it wants to sleep from about 9pm - 5am and that's its final offer. However I can live with this because even if I stick with that, once I'm in Tunica that should become midnight - 8am which is just about perfect. They do say that West Coast players have an advantage in places like Atlantic City because of the time difference, we'll see if this pays off when I hit the Deep South.
Finally, if you think our footballers are up themselves, you should see these NFL guys. Christ on a bike !!