My flight touched down in Chicago about an hour before our families' annual Christmas Eve party. Cousins, Aunts, Uncles. Usually about 40 Moores in one place at the same time. For about 30 of them, this is the only time I will see them all year. Out of those 30 I usually forget about 7 names, which leads to some awkward conversations. They usually go something like this. ďHey Matt. Jeez youíre getting so old! I remember when you were like this big.Ē ďHeyÖyou. Yeah I guess I am getting old. One year older then last time you saw me.Ē I try to then slowly walk off, hoping to avoid the other handful of people whose namesí slip my mind.
This year the small talk was a little different. Word had spread that I was spending the month in Vegas playing poker, leading to the typical questions from clueless relatives. ďYouíre spending the whole month gambling!Ē ďHow much do you bet?Ē ďHave you seen any famous people out there?Ē I want to tell them how poker isnít really gambling, itís actually quite similar to what my dad does (Heís a stock broker). But I donít. I donít wanna exert the mental energy. Instead I tell them about the time I saw Kim Kardashian at the Bellagio, and how Iíve played with Don Cheadle. That usually satisfies their curiosity.
2 days later and itís time to get ready to head back. My flight requires me to leave for the airport at 4am on the 27th, 2am Vegas time. I rationalize that it probably wouldnít make any sense to go to bed since I wouldnít fall asleep until 1 anyways. Instead I go out with some friends from high school. We shoot the **** in between a case of Coors, and a fifth of JD. I like talking with them about Vegas. Their questions come in the tone of awe and admiration, instead of condescension.
Pretty sauced up, we get the cards out for some Black Jack. Iím the designated dealer because, well, Iím the only one who can afford it. First hand Iím showing an 8. Jack and Stew stay on 14 and 15. They donít get it. **** Vegas, I should just stay home and deal Black Jack all break.
2 hours later and 40 dollars richer I check the clock and realize its 5:00. Fukc, fukc fukc. My sober friend trades me a ride to the airport for my BJ winnings. I get to the gate just in time for the lady to tell me that sheís in the process of giving my seat away. Alright, well stop giving it away, Iím here. Sorry sir, Iíve already began the process. Very very offensive insults make it to the tip of my tongue. I hold them back and instead ask the Rosanne look-a-like to find me another flight.
One connection flight in Phoenix, emergency landing in Denver, and 2 middle seats later, Iím in Vegas. However, Iím drunk. Not booze drunk, but the type of drunk you get when you havenít slept in 30 something hours and the 5 hour energy shots are running on their final minutes.
I check into my new room at the Signatures. Peter at Blue Chip Management told me I couldnít have a strip view for this portion of my stay because those were guaranteed to others for New Years, but that instead I could move up a couple floors. Whatever. I get on the elevator and go to press the ď14Ē button. 11, 12, 14. Mother ****er. There is no 13th floor. IM ON the 13th floor. Just because they changed the god damn number on the stupid elevator DOES NOT mean my floor isnít thirteenth from the bottom. Thanks Peter, you traded me a strip view for two weeks of bad luck. I consider going back down and asking for a room switch, but that contradicts my one poker superstition. No matter how bad Iím running in one seat or how cold my cards are, I NEVER, ask for a seat change. Never. Consider yourself lucky Peter.
I go lie down in my room and just want to watch some TV and take a nap. Unfortunately I canít find the remote. I check under the bed. Is that the remote? No, thatís a used condom. Youíve got to be kidding me. I think about my superstition. **** that. The 13th floor was one thing. If there was a used condom sitting on the 3 seat, you best believe I wouldnít sit back down until I had the 8. I plan on calling down later to request a room switch.
Anyways I canít sleep. Maybe itís the certain kind of restlessness one gets from endless hours awake. Or maybe itís the image in my head I have because of the present Peter left me under the bed. Either way I head out to the Venetian for some 2/5.
After re-evaluating my game, Iím eager to get back in action. Thereís 2 seats open, Cathy tells me. One in the 3 seat next to a 300 pound man, getting a massage with half his Ass crack showing, and another in the 9 next to the most beautiful, big breasted, blonde woman that I have ever seen in a poker room. ďIíll take the 9.Ē
One limper and Butt-crack Bob opens to 25 in MP, I pop it up to 75 with A
. Gets back to him and he shoves for 220 all day. I call and am virtually drawing dead when he flops his 3rd Queen. Not the best start.
A bit later I get a small rush that sees me raising from UTG and the BB on back to back hands, then taking down both pots amongst multi way action with a simple C-Bet. Very next hand Iím in the SB with K
and 3 limpers to me. I make it 25 to build a pot. Everyone calls and the flop comes J
. I whiff the check raise. Turn comes the 5
. This time I lead for 55. Butt crack Bob min-raises to 110. It gets back to me and I shove him in for his final 300. He says, Iíll gamble and puts the money in with the naked Ace of spades. River bricks and Iím now up 250.
All the while Iíve been talking to the beautiful woman in the 8 seat. I find out her name is Carrie and sheís originally from Montreal. She lived in Los Angeles for 10 years but ďworkĒ has brought her to Vegas. OMG sheís a porn star. Has to be. She probably thinks Iím just being nice, which I am. But Iím also figuring out information about her, which Iím relaying back home to my friend Jack, a complete Porn Aficionado. I eyeball her measurements and send him her basic info, which he tells me he will research when he gets home.
Anyways, after a couple hours of playing real solid, tight, aggressive poker I get involved in a hand with the most competent player at the table. I open in MP to 20 with 55. He bumps it up to 75 on the button (the 4th time he has 3bet me), and the completely incompetent lady in the BB calls leaving 40 behind. Now the old Matt would know the BTNís doing this with a wide range, but counter with a fold or a call because the Old Matt is a biatch. The new Matt makes it 200 thinking the raiser will fold most of his range and I can flip with the old lady with dead money in the pot. That plan gets derailed when the BTN calls after deliberation and the lady puts her final 40 in the pot. Flop comes AA8. Iím still not convinced he has a strong hand, but think he could easily have 66 through 10 10 that I have to push out. I bet 160 confidently. He thinks forever and folds 8
face up. The turn and river come 2 blanks and the lady flips up KJ. The table is quite impressed to see me rake in the pot with 2 5's.
Up about 700 I get involved in one final pot. I limp UTG with A
. Guy from previous hand makes it 20 in MP. 7 callers total and we see a flop of A
. Checked around. Turn brings the 7
. I lead for 80. One caller and a local raises to 270 on the BTN. My hand really isnít all that strong, but the localís line isnít very believable. Could easily be a squeeze. I call, thinking Iím already winning a good percentage of the time. Other player calls as well. River brings 7
and the local bets 275. I guess I was wrong, plus Iím definitely not beating 2 people. I fold. After watching him play for a bit, the local plays rock tight and wouldnít make that play with anything but a set, which turns my hand into simply a dry flush draw. Oh well.
Turns out the women next to me is not a porn star, or one that Jack can locate at least. Just a beautiful poker player, and very sweet women as well. Iím disappointed, but really enjoyed talking with her.
I leave for the night up about 450. While the score isnít that large, Iím extremely happy with the way I played. A lot tighter and thought provoked. There were two other hands where I layed down a set and an over-pair to tighter players and was right. Making big folds is the first sign to being close to the top of my game. Itís tough to do, however, when stuck. So here's to getting off to a good start today...