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Old 06-30-2018, 02:32 PM   #1
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Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Prologue

I started playing poker about 15 years ago with the Moneymaker/WPT/online boom. Most of my early experience was with live 2/4 and 3/6 LHE at home games and Indian casinos. I became a winning player pretty quickly, but was always a huge bankroll nit and never had strong interest in trying to make it a full-time thing.

My peak playing years were 2009-2011, when I was sporadically employed. I would 8-table the NLHE 4.4/180s SNGs and $11 or less MTTs on Stars. I built up a bankroll of a few thousand from a $200 deposit and had a few minor scores and even a semi deep WCOOP run where I got to tangle with some big names.

After a while I got burned out though and basically stopped playing even before BF. Since then I've barely played at all, but every year during the WSOP I get the poker fever again and yearn for the days of grinding online.

I always watch the WSOP and it has always been a dream of mine to play in the main event or at least one of the prelims. I've been to Vegas twice before as an adult, but had no real bankroll to work with. Now that I finally have the time and money to make a proper WSOP trip, I decided to take the plunge. I registered for the 6/29 flight of the giant and booked at the lovely Gold Coast for about a week.

Trip goals: Play in a WSOP event, check out various casinos, sweat the main event for an hour or two, play in some other tourneys, and hopefully get my first Hendon Mob entry. I've cashed in three live tourneys before, but all of them were off the grid, so as far as the poker world knows, I don't exist. I'd also love to play in the main and I may try to sat in for cheap, but I'm not willing to pay $10k unless I hit a miracle score this week. Let's cross our fingers.

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Old 06-30-2018, 02:51 PM   #2
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Trip Prep

I had about a month after booking my travel and regging the giant to try to get my mind back into "poker shape".

I started out by making a few visits to the Oaks Card Club in Emeryville and played some 1/2 NLHE sessions there. Games were very soft and I was able to run well. I booked a solid profit across two sessions.

A while later I visited a local cardroom in Portland and tried to play more cash. Turns out all they were running at the time was a $40 and $20 add-on tourney. I late regged, looked down at QQ on the very first hand, and tripled up. Not bad. A while later I tried to bluff a maniac with 84o and lost a chunk of my stack. Was card dead until I managed to win a nice one with AA and limp into the final table as a shorty. I got it in again with AA and doubled. Never really had chips to play with and the blinds were ridic high, so I went out in 7th for a solid little profit. Between that and the Oaks wins, I'm now freerolling the giant.

I also re-watched the 2005 and 2006 MEs on YouTube. Wow, there was some awful play back then. Fun times. Matusow was really hamming it up for the cameras in 2005.

In addition to the old WSOP shows, I got a PokerGo subscription and watched some of the live WSOP streams and the SHRB. It is interesting to see how the game has evolved and how this sort of sticky check-heavy play style has become the norm.

Anyway, with a little profit in my pocket and poker fresh on my mind, I feel eager and confident to dive into Las Vegas and try my luck.

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Old 06-30-2018, 03:17 PM   #3
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Good luck bro
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:01 PM   #4
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 1, Part 1 - 6/25

The flight into town is uneventful for almost a couple hours, but then we almost take the worst bad beat possible. The plane hits some of the worst turbulence I've ever experienced. I'm generally not afraid of flying, but this time I was sweating it. The whole cabin is in butthole clench mode before we finally land safely. Thank you Southwest.

We get our bags and call a Lyft. Apparently we're not in the right spot for pickup. I looked it up online, but still got mixed up. The Lyft driver bounces on us and so we opt for one of the overpriced taxis. This trip is not off to the best start.

We arrive at the Gold Coast and are immediately charmed by its lingering aroma, which is best described as a cross between baby powder and an ashtray.

Now that we're finally in Vegas and unpacked, we head over to the Rio. Even this short walk in the blistering Vegas sun makes me feel like a turkey in the oven. I look up into the sky, squint, and am pretty sure I see vultures circling overhead.

After this brief trek through the desert, the Rio and its igloo-like temperatures are a welcome change. We wander around the casino for a bit, not sure where the action is and too stubborn to ask for directions. We get thoroughly lost and finally cave in. A helpful employee guides towards the Guy Fieri highway and soon we're in poker heaven.



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Old 06-30-2018, 11:07 PM   #5
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 1, Part 2 - 6/25

We walk around the WSOP for a bit to get acclimated and take in the sights, nearly bumping right into a wild Maria Ho. I know that even famous poker players aren't very famous, but when you've been watching this stuff on TV for years, it is a bit surreal to see these familiar faces everywhere you look.

We settle in for a nice nitty session of 1/3 NLHE, buying in for a whopping $100 like the ratholing scum we are. After two uneventful hours we cash out with a whopping $1 profit. Time to try our luck elsewhere tonight...

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Old 06-30-2018, 11:25 PM   #6
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 1, Part 3 - 6/25

Being the stubborn cheapskate that I am, I opt to walk to the strip instead of getting a Lyft. The hike east is far from scenic as we pass over the highway and walk across the Caesars Palace limo dropoff, which must be close to some sort of septic tank because there's a rank scent nearby.

Once we're on the strip, we have to figure out where to go. So many shimmering neon options.

I've heard that the games at Planet Hollywood are ridiculously soft and I aimed to test that theory. Feeling confident, I put my name down and eventually buy in for a massive $120. Unfortunately, the table is actually solid and my cards are DOA all night. Even the backdrop of PH's silicone PG-13 strippers can't salvage this brutal experience. We walk away from this loud hellpit seeking a classier alternative.

Another moderate hike brings us to the Aria, which I'd never been inside before. I like the mellower, classier vibe. We hit the tables for some 1/3 and manage to scrape back about half of what we lost at Planet Hollywood. Not bad.

Feeling tired, I march back home, grab some Taco Bell on the way, and finally call it a night around 3:30 am.

On the agenda for tomorrow? The Rio 1PM $250 Deep Stack, which promises big fields, big payouts, and a chance to pop our Hendon Mob cherry.

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Old 07-01-2018, 12:17 AM   #7
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

love your writing style. GL!
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:25 AM   #8
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Enjoying this

Please keep us updated on your adventures

How long did it take you to walk from Aria to the Gold Coast ?
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:32 AM   #9
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Think it took about an hour, but that included a stop to eat at that big Taco Bell cantina across the street.
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Enjoying this

Please keep us updated on your adventures

How long did it take you to walk from Aria to the Gold Coast ?
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:37 AM   #10
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 2, Part 1 - 6/26

It's time...it's time...it's...Rio time.

We go into the 1 pm $250 with a little bit of confidence and a lot of nerves. I'm an anxious person in general and I don't have a lot of live experience, so I was definitely feeling the butterflies.

Things get off to a good start though. The table is mediocre and we're able to pick up a few hands early, hitting a set against the table drooler and winning a third of his stack on a dirty board.

By the second break we've doubled our 20k starting stack and are full of optimism. Unfortunately, as the blinds rise and the pots become more significant, we go totally card dead and fold down to maybe 25 or 30k over the course of a few levels.

We pick up A9o in the BB. A shorty open jams for ~12k out of the button. We call and his Q7s hits trips. Now we're short. Desperation mode kicks in. We finally get a spot to shove and jam the mighty 97s out of middle position for about 10 bigs. Big blind calls with 44 and wins the race. We're out.

We retreat from the tournament to lick our wounds, ponder the meaning of life, and maybe try to recoup some money in cash games...

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Old 07-01-2018, 01:57 AM   #11
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 2, Part 2 - 6/26

We return to the luxurious Aria in pursuit of cash game glory. Our table consists of a drunk guy from Oregon, a sober guy from Oregon, a cute girl with fake tits and lips, tilty Turkish guy, a self-proclaimed Foxwood Reg who was at our table last night, and a few other randos.

We play for 2.5 hours and book a $50 profit, but we are mere witnesses on this blessed night as cute girl enjoys one of the all-time great heaters I've ever seen in person. She hits quads on one of the first hands, felts tilty Turk with two outers on two separate occasions, and hero calls two different players with ace high to drag two massive pots. Tilty Turk is steaming and cursing under his breath, vowing revenge as Brunette Barbie stacks chips to the ceiling. Even with one horrible spew to Foxwoods Guy, she still has at least $800 of other people's money racked in front of her by the time I leave, the growth of her stack rivaled only by the growth of Drunken Oregon Guy's desperation to bed her as his barrage of compliments falls on disinterested ears.

Recognizing that it's only a matter of time until this goddess of death consumes our soul, we wisely remove our funds from the table and retreat to the Rio.

The plan for Wednesday? A trip to downtown Vegas in search of Benny Binion's ghost, with the daily $150 Golden Nugget 1pm and a trip to the Mob Museum high on the agenda.

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Old 07-01-2018, 02:25 AM   #12
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFace View Post
I've heard that the games at Planet Hollywood are ridiculously soft and I aimed to test that theory. Feeling confident, I put my name down and eventually buy in for a massive $120. Unfortunately, the table is actually solid and my cards are DOA all night.
Yeah, I don't get the PHo reputation for being a loose drunkfest; the couple of times I stopped by on Saturday night the 1/2 was infested with dweebs in full hoodie/earbuds/water/iPad mode.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:19 PM   #13
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

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Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
Yeah, I don't get the PHo reputation for being a loose drunkfest; the couple of times I stopped by on Saturday night the 1/2 was infested with dweebs in full hoodie/earbuds/water/iPad mode.
I think it’s the cycle of things. A room gets a good reputation and the cultures invade and ruin it.
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:05 PM   #14
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 3, Part 1 - 6/27

I'd been looking for some cheap MTTs to play that have decent structure, and the Golden Nugget's $150 daily in their Grand Poker Series seemed like a good option. I'd also been planning on visiting the Mob Museum, which is located nearby. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone. The plan was to head downtown, play the event, and then visit the museum if we busted early.

I haven't spent any real time downtown, but I expected it to be seedy and a bit depressing. The Nugget is actually a pretty nice facility though and their poker room is enormous.

With a bit of time to kill before cards were in the air, I wandered over to Binion's and checked out the birthplace of the WSOP. Their card room is quite small now and the 3-4 table MTT they were running seemed to fill every seat in it. There are some historic framed photographs of past main event winners on the walls nearby, but it's clearly not the best place for poker anymore.

A lot of the casinos in Vegas feature fancy retail spaces with storefronts from various overpriced luxury fashion brands. In contrast, Binion's signage for discount clothing caught my attention. I followed the signs to a small area in the back where I found a few sad racks of shabby t-shirts on plastic hangers. Obviously they are catering to a different audience than the places like the Wynn and Aria, which aim to be seen as glamorous.

We head back over to the Nugget and wait for the event to kick off. None other than 2004 World Champ Greg Raymer walks into the building and gets into the registration line. Will Fossilman be at our table? No. As it turns out, he's there for the $ 570 mixed PLO. Absolute unit, btw. The man is a brick.

As it turns out, the tournament is sufficiently tough even without Raymer at our table. Everybody is pretty solid. We make a set of 7s, but have to fold to an obvious straight after putting in a third of our stack. There's a lot of play in this event. Good structure and pace for a $150. Sadly, we are card dead beyond belief. We slightly misplay a small pair to drop from 10k to 8k, barely over half the starting stack. Blinds keep rising. Our cold cards continue. We finally find a spot to get it in with A4s in late position with roughly 10 bigs, but of course two of the players behind us wake up with AK and TT. We flop and turn the world, with wheel and nut flush draws. The river is a brick and just like that we're out.

Is anything more frustrating in poker than being card dead in a full ring tournament where the blinds are rising and your opponents are too sticky to be run over with nothing? Probably, but it still sucks. Not fun to sit there and fold for hours.

We leave the Nugget feeling a little bit down. It's only our second day in Vegas and we're already down $400 out of a $1k MTT budget. Not a huge shocker, but not the start we were looking for.

It's a little before 5 pm and we weigh our options. The Mob Museum is open until 10 and there's a nightly $110 MTT at the Nugget starting at 7. With the runbad fresh on my mind, I'm not sure I want to go back in that room and play again, but the timing might work out nicely to make a quick museum trip, grab dinner, and play in the tourney.

We head for the Mob Museum, eager to learn more about Vegas luminaries like Siegel, Lansky, and Dalitz...





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Old 07-01-2018, 02:08 PM   #15
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 3, Part 2 - 6/27

The Mob Museum is an interesting diversion, but our mind is still on the action. We leave the museum around 6:30, grab a quick burrito, and head back over to the Nugget.

The tournament begins, and we're seated only two tables away from where Raymer and Leif Force are playing the PLO.

One of the first players to sit down is a middle-aged guy (MAG) two seats to our left. It quickly becomes clear that MAG is a solid player. He picks up some hands, plays well, and rapidly builds up a nice stack.

Meanwhile we're just treading water. With a competent big stack two spots behind us, we have to be careful with steal attempts. MAG uses his big stack well with controlled aggression, continuing to accumulate chips and boss the table.

This 7 pm tournament is a lot faster than the 1 pm. The stacks aren't as big and the levels are shorter. It's basically a turbo, so we know we can't sit around and fold forever. We eventually start to get short. With about 10 BBs remaining, we're able to get through a couple shoves with less than ideal holdings.

Then we finally get our big hand. We pick up QQ and get three way action aipf. A queen in the door ends any drama and we find the triple up. Now we have some chips to work with and a real path to the money places. With 75 entries in the tournament, we'll have to make the final table to get paid.

With about 12 players remaining, a huge hand unfolds. A short stack moves in from MP. A shorter stack to his left re-ships. We wake up with AK. We could fold this if needed, but these stacks are short and desperate enough that they should be pushing far worse than AK here. We shove over the top and find ourselves up against QQ and the dreaded AA. I lament my misfortune, feeling like there's no way I could have avoided this spot.

The flop brings two hearts. A heart on the turn. Guess what's next? A fourth heart on the river. Is this real life? We make the nut flush and bust both opponents with the worst hand. Thank you, poker gods.

We're at the final table with 9 remaining.

We move over there and MAG, still loaded with chips, is now directly to our left and still playing well. It takes more than an hour for the first knockout, but the shorty finally falls. Another player goes out and then a British guy who had been chip leader dumps to MAG and then busts himself shortly thereafter in a mini meltdown.

Down to 6. We start to get short again and blinds are going up quickly. With about 40k behind us at 6000/3000, we ship A9o and get called by AK. We spike the 9 to crack it. Up to about 100k and healthy again.

We win another nice hand with KK. Now we're getting close to being chip leader. The guy from the A9 hand busts. A medium stack shoves in LP. We wake up with TT in the BB, call, and bust him.

Down to 4. $2k for first. It's beginning to feel real. Villain from KK hand raises. We find 88 and ship it. He calls with ace rag and can't hit.

Down to 3: myself, MAG, and a girl who has managed to nurse her short stack back to full health. We're all pretty even in chips and by this point the blinds are so high that we're not even playing poker anymore. It's just a complete flippament.

I win a race against MAG. I double up the girl when she gets short. MAG wins a race against me. We're all tired and realizing that this tournament has become a brainless luck fest. We agree to chop for nearly $1.4k each. Just like that the tournament is over and we've managed to convert our rungood into a nice little payday.

I have no delusions that I somehow beasted in this tournament and outplayed my opponents. While I did have the sense to make appropriate atc shoves when needed instead of folding down to nothing, running deep mainly came down to picking up hands at critical inflection points, making obvious pre-flop plays, and getting good runouts. This was more luck than skill.

I won't complain though. On just our second day of play, we've managed to bink enough money to cover our whole MTT budget for the trip. The Giant looms on the horizon, but after a long day at the tables, tomorrow may be more about resting and relaxing than gambling...

Final table pic below.

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Old 07-01-2018, 02:59 PM   #16
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Well done!
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:27 PM   #17
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Enjoying this TR so far, and nice score
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:26 PM   #18
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Niiiice!!


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Old 07-02-2018, 02:03 AM   #19
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 4 - 6/28

Having spent ~12 hours at the table yesterday, I wasn't in the mood for another full day of poker. Instead I wanted to explore some new casinos and maybe check out a show. I'm a big Beatles fan and it's probably been 15+ years since I last saw a Cirque du Soleil show, so I figured "Love" might be a great option.

I took a Lyft to the Mirage and bought a ticket for the 7 pm show. With a lot of time to kill, I walked over to the Wynn and checked out its poker room. I had never been before and on this day the room was overflowing with tables for their big $1k event. Looked like a good time, but that's a bit beyond my skill level and bankroll. So is the "all you can eat pasta" at the nearby restaurant. $29 for pasta? It better be made from solid gold.

We ditch the Wynn and settle into a quick 1/2 session at Treasure Island. We win a little pot with AA. We get QQ and raise. A douchey ogre a few seats away calls. The board comes 77 with a rag. We raise and get called. We check the turn to induce a bluff and check raise Ogre's $15 stab to $50. He dumps his hand. A while later we pick up KQ in a pot with two limpers. We pop it to $12. Ogre comes along. Flop comes Q95 rainbow. We raise $15 and Ogre makes it $50 to go.

Now, I had observed from earlier hands that Ogre liked to trap with his big hands. He would've smoothed with 99 or 55. AQ probably raises pre. Q9 is the only possibility that might play it this way. I should've known he was full of ****, but my nitty instinct kicked in and I didn't take the time to actually think it through. I mucked my hand. Ogre slammed down some jack rag hand and proudly said, "Good fold, sir." He was so proud of himself like he just bluffed Phil Ivey to ship the main event. He fled from the table before I could extract a measure of revenge, but I took it as a cheap lesson to think things through and not play scared. Thank you for your many valuable lessons, sir.

"Love" starts a while later. It's a fine show with good music, colorful visuals, interesting setpieces, and a plethora of dancers with bodies like Greek godesses. Still, we can't help but feel that we aren't nearly high enough to fully appreciate this spectacle.

We trek back west to the Rio and spend some memorable time railing the $1.5k Omaha Hi/Lo final table featuring Matusow, Elezra, Bruno Fitoussi, and two randos I'd never heard of. The FT was being held in a secluded corner of the Brasilia or Amazon room and it was quite intimate. There were maybe 30 people around the rail. Eli was frequently standing to speak with friends on the rail while The Mouth lived up to his nickname by chatting with the crowd and insisting that everyone on his rail get a cocktail. Having just re-watched the 2005 ME where Mike made his final table run and got a lot of camera time, it was fun to see the genuine article up close vying for a bracelet and hundreds of thousands of dollars. You wouldn't have known the stakes were so high given the party-like atmosphere. I wish I had taken pics because it was the highlight of the day.

Ultimately, Matusow busted in 4th after calling off most of his stack into the eventual winner's flush. With the main attraction out, we retreated to the Gold Coast and called it a day.

Looming large on the horizon...tomorrow's 7 pm flight of the giant. Our first WSOP event ever, and if that weren't enough, we have a former bracelet winner at our starting table. Will our tourney rungood continue?

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Old 07-02-2018, 02:40 AM   #20
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 5 - 6/29

The giant. This is the big one for us. I've never been to the WSOP before and finally playing in a bracelet event is the main reason why I came to Vegas. Can we overcome all odds and make a deep run?

Our warm up hour of 1/3 at the Rio goes well. We fold for a while before getting it all in with AK to double. Up $50 and feeling calm and confident, we head over to the Miranda room to get started.

Right away, we get smacked in the face by the deck. We raise JTs in late position and flop the flush. A late position caller gives us two streets of solid value before folding to a big river bet. Moments later we pick up AQ, raise, and hit a Q high flop. We lead the flop and pick up a caller. I don't remember the turn action, but we check the river and our opponent bluffs at it for 4.1k. We snap it off to his surprise and win.

This bluffy guy is having a rough go of it and he's down near 25-30% of the starting stack before long. At one point he's talking about busting on purpose so he can rebuy. That didn't happen because he managed to cling on for dear life until after registration closed. I didn't know it at the time, but it turns out that this guy (Gregory Kolo) won a PLHE bracelet in 2014 and is apparently some sort of crusher. A while after our table had broken, I saw him in the hallway during the break and thought, 'Wow, that guy's still here? Good for him.'

Would you believe that he ended up finishing top 15 in this event and nearly made the final table? I guess it's not how you start, but how you finish that counts.

On that note, our early rungood turns out to be the high water mark for the night. After swelling our stack from 25k to 40k within the first orbit, we never eclipse that for the rest of the tournament. Our table is solid, including a tricky British guy of Indian descent who heros a guy's whole stack with a middle pair on a disgustingly wet board. Moreover, we're just not picking up hands. Every time we open the bottom of our range, we get smashed by a three bet. I don't think it was live tells, but rather just bad situational luck.

Eventually we get moved from our table of young guys to a table filled with more casual older folks and only a couple Internet kids. This table feels exponentially easier, but we still struggle to accumulate. Our K7 desperation shove spikes two pair against an ace rag caller. We double to about 32k. We open UTG with QQ for around 3x and get no action. Apart from that, we don't pick up anything playable.

The Miranda room is thinning out. A lot of people are getting eliminated. Soon they break our table again and move us into Brasilia. For the first time, all the surviving players are under one roof. Chris Ferguson is sitting a stone's throw away at a different table. Will Kassouf (I keep seeing him everywhere) walks by, presumably having just been felted.

Unfortunately, the new room doesn't bring new rungood. With blinds at 4000/2000/500, we get A8o at UTG+1 and ship our 31k stack. AKs a few seats over re-ships and holds. We're out, and slightly gutted. We lasted all the way to level 14, but ultimately we just couldn't pick up pots in crunch time and the blinds gobbled us up.

I'm still glad I played in the tournament. There's something magical about playing in an actual bracelet event with 4300+ runners. The field becomes like one big living, breathing entity, and with each break you can feel the excitment and electricity from all the players who flood into the hallways and long bathroom lines, their dreams still alive and pulsing. Even though it didn't go our way, I'm happy to have had the experience.

Below is a pic of our starting stack. RIP little chippies.

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Old 07-02-2018, 03:08 AM   #21
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 6, Part 1 - 6/30

With the taste of last night's disappointment fresh in our mouth, we register for the Rio $250 1 pm deep stack and try to bink another nice score.

The whole tournament is like a big yo-yo. We're never really card dead, but every time we win a nice pot and get momentum, we get knocked back down. A shorty old man jams to our right. We look down at KK and re-ship for maybe 35k. The 15k stack to our left tanks. Obviously he's behind. After some thought, he calls with JJ. To our dismay, old man has AA. He flops quads. Turn is a jack. ****. We lose the main and the side. Back to a starting stack.

We win some back from a spewy black guy who had previously outraged the table by angling on a double up and shorting another player 10k. Half the table is ready to take it outside. The dealer is getting berated for her miscount. It's a ****show.

In the aftermath we play an interesting hand against an aggro Aussie guy who likes to barrel. We get KJs in late mp. We raise. He calls. Rag flop. He donks it for 2k. This feels incredibly weak to me. We call with the intention of taking over on the turn. Turn is a brick. He leads for 4k. I mess up my sizing and re-raise to 13k (would've gone for 11k normally). He calls. The river is another brick. He blasts again. I don't feel like we can call. We fold and he proudly slams down a QJ bluff. Half our stack is gone.

Weird spot. On the one hand, I'm glad I recognized his weakness and had the heart to raise the turn with weak holdings. On the other hand, I'm not sure I played it right. I probably should've just smoothed the turn, as my re-raise may have set off his BS detector.

Anyway, we eventually move tables and, after much waiting, I manage to double with KK > KJ aipf for maybe 55k total. Before I can even count my chips, I get QQ on literally the next hand. A guy open ships for about 25k from early position. We snap it off and he has AJ. Ace on the river. ****. If we had won that, we would've had a real stack to work with and a good shot to make the money. Instead we're getting short again with the blinds creeping up. We eventually shove K4o from late position and get obliterated by multiple hands. We're out in approximately 330th, with only 177 spots paid. Will we ever get some sustained rungood at the Rio?

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Old 07-02-2018, 03:37 AM   #22
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 6, Part 2 - 6/30

After dinner at Ping Pang Pong (best food spot at the Gold Coast IMO), we recharge our batteries and head over to Aria to play some cash. We put our name down for 1/3, but the list is 80+ deep and it's clear that they're prioritizing 2/5 for any new tables.

We bail and walk over to MGM Grand. I've heard that the games are soft here, but I did not expect to witness the self-immolation that awaited.

We sit down and witness a brutal beat right away when a player calls a big pre-flop raise with Q8s vs. KK and felts the raiser later in the hand when he catches a third 8 on the river. That was probably the first and last pot that he won all night.

For the remainder of the evening, this guy continued to show almost admirable levels of stubborness and reckless abandon, chasing every pot and every flop with almost any two rags, inevitably paying off whoever was lucky enough to make a hand against him. This guy never saw a hand he didn't like or a massive river bet he couldn't talk himself into calling with the second best hand. It's almost like he thought he was playing a slot machine or roulette and if he just pushed the button enough times, he was bound to win eventually. But of course everyone else at the table noticed this and just ruthlessly feasted on him like a pack of hyenas until he finally drained his entire wallet after multiple rebuys.

A part of me wanted to pull him aside and offer some advice. Another part of me was praying I could make a hand against him.

I've never been big on cash games. Even back when I was playing online everyday, I always preferred tournaments. To me, there's something exciting about dropping one buy in and trying to ride it all the way to the finish line, whereas cash just feels like bumhunting and trying to fleece a mark for everything he's got. I like the competitive side of poker, but not the outright predatory/self-destructive side. Sometimes you see people spewing and it makes you feel bad about enabling them.

Anyway, we never had to confront that cognitive dissonance on the felt at MGM because the deck was ice cold for us all night. I think I literally had to wait two hours before winning my first hand. By then the spewy guy was gone. It was after 2 am. I was ready to cut my minor losses (about $25) and call it a night.

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Old 07-02-2018, 06:16 PM   #23
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 7 - 7/1

I had a free day ahead of me and I felt like I had some unfinished business with the Rio 1pm $250 after crashing out two times this week, so I registered and tried my luck for a third time. There is great value in this tournament and on a Sunday with the $888 distracting some of the better players, I'm expecting a softer field than usual.

I had probably the most passive starting table that I've experienced anywhere on this trip so far. Mostly older folks. No hoodie and sunglasses kids. Lots of tight abc play all around.

We miraculously pick up AA 5 times in the first 6 levels, winning every time, but never getting a ton of action. We're healthy in chips as the field steadily thins.

A teary-eyed chatterbox from Boston joins our table and begins livening up the table and joking around with everyone. Fun guy, but he seemed to be in the midst of some type of life crisis based on some of his behavior and comments. We play a hand against him and the BB from the SB with KJ. Flop comes AKx. Two checks to Boston and he shoves for his 7.5k remaining. We call and he catches running tens with T9 to stay alive.

A while later the card gods reverse our luck when we catch a full house on the river to crack a guy's turned straight to bust him and win a big pot.

My favorite hand of the day happens right before the dinner break when we're on about 60k at 2000/1000. We are in the BB with Q6. UTG who I've been next to all day limps. Flop comes Q high with two spades. We check. He bets 4k. We call. Turn brings a second club and 3 to a straight on the board. We check. He bets 7k. We call. River is the ten of spades, putting three spades on the board and 4 to a straight. Any jack now has a straight. I know that he probably hates this river card. I have a really tight table image and have only shown down big hands. I calmly slide out 13k and he thinks about it for a little while and says, "Well, you haven't shown any bluffs all day. I believe you." He folds. He claims to have had a misplayed AK of clubs, but he seems frustrated and asks me about the hand after the break, so I think he might've mucked something stronger than that. If not, maybe we were bluffing with the best hand.

Things continue to go smoothly for a while and we have an average stack with 230 players left and 152 places paid. The $40k up top is starting to seem tangible.

Unfortunately, blinds are going up very quickly and our cards go cold. A few steal attempts fail and I don't c-bet on one hand where I probably should've, which costs me 25k. Before you know it we're getting really short near the bubble. The nit old woman to my immediate right who is trying to fold into the money shoves for like 2 BBs when it's folded around to her. I call with J8 and her A9 wins.

Now we're on life support just a few spots away from the money. After being so healthy just an hour ago, it now feels like we're destined to hard bubble this. Fortunately, a few players bust and we make the cut. We get our last BB in with 86s and lose to AQs. Min cash.

It's a letdown after having 80k chips at 4000/2000, but this tournament moves faaaast and you really can't afforded extended droughts. There are lots of things I could've done better, but at least we scored our first cash at the Rio and walked away with a profit after 9 hours at the tables.

Tomorrow is Day 1A of the main event. I'm definitely not going to buy in directly, but maybe I'll throw a hail Mary in a satellite or two.

Last edited by DogFace; 07-02-2018 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 07-02-2018, 10:22 PM   #24
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Day 8, Part 1 - 7/02

I walked over to the Rio and tried to figure out my plan for the day. I really want to play in the main, but it's way beyond my budget. I'll probably have to settle for just watching.

I wandered into the Amazon room just in time to see Jack Eiffel and Scott Blumstein kick off the "shuffle up and deal." I scanned the field for familiar faces and found Justin Bonomo seated right next to the rail (pic below).

This field doesn't look too scary and the structure is absolutely amazing. I need to find a way to play in this tournament next year.

I ponder hanging around for the 4 pm $200 daily deepstack to make one last run at an mtt on this trip, but I don't really want to sit at the table all day again after a long Sunday.

Instead I opt to take a punt at one of the $125 stts. If I can win that, I can reg for a $1k and try to win a seat. It's a big longshot, but I'm in the mood for a quick gamble.

Quick is the appropriate word here because these $125s have virtually no play in them at all. You start with 1k chips at 25/50 with blinds rising every 15 minutes. Post-flop play is almost nonexistent.

One player at my table spews early. After a level of folding and bullying the BB once, we pick up AQd in EP and decide to shove it. We get called by TT and brick out in 9th. That was quick.

These little STTs are probably very +EV if you have a good feel for shoving/calling ranges because most people in them probably don't, but any given one is a huge crapshoot. I wouldn't recommend them unless you plan on spamming them.

I could stick around the Rio and try my hand at something else, but it's going to be hard to scrounge up $10k from these satellites without investing heavily and I'm not willing to do that right now. I took my one longshot and I'm at peace with it. It's been a profitable trip overall and I've achieved my goals. Next year we'll aim higher.

I decide to leave the Rio for lunch. I hit Lotus of Siam because I've heard so much about it and I generally rate Thai food. I had some type of noodle dish with a creamy, curry-like broth and beef. Solid choice.

Then I went back to the hotel to relax for a bit. I plan to watch some of the featured table at the Rio tonight after dinner and if I'm eager for action then I may register for the 10 pm $150 turbo deep stack.

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Old 07-03-2018, 02:06 PM   #25
TJ Eckleburg12
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Re: Nitty By Nature 6/25 - 7/03

Really enjoying this, great job on the tourney chop!
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