At Bally's yesterday, about an hour in to the session, a very old man showed up at the table and slowly emptied his pockets on to the felt. He spent a full five minutes (which is a long time when you're in the middle of it) sorting through the various crumpled up bills and other detritus before he finally separated a hundo out to buy in.
I think that he had lost the ability to speak somewhere along the long road. There were spots where he should have said things, but instead he looked to be left with only the ability to weakly indicate what he needed or intended to do, all this very much to the dealer's frustration.
The jury is still out with me whether or not he was unfamiliar with $1/$2, or if he just was functioning very poorly in real time, or if it was some combination of both problems.
He had to be prompted with the list of available actions on every hand, on every street when it was his turn, and he often went out of turn. He also surrendered his big blind option twice after it had been limped around and he could have just checked it (full disclosure: I've done this very thing twice in two weeks from pure inattention ).
After a half hour or this farce/tragedy, he actually opened a pot for $15 and everyone folded out of surprise. Then he opened the next hand for $15 and got two callers: one was an American tourist and the other was a foreign tourist who had already received two 'final' warnings for refusing to speak English with his buddy at the table, and who was currently and actively ignoring those sanctions. Being an obvious fish, though, no one at the table had really wanted him kicked off.
Flop was 85Tr and the action was on the old man, who promptly turned over his hand, which was KTo.
The floor was called and American Tourist made the suggestion for everyone to check it down from there. During all the hubbub, the old guy blithely busted out a $20 bet. American Tourist folded and Foreign Fish called, while the floor stood by in bemusement.
I can't get in the old guy's head here. I don't know if he knew he'd turned his cards up, or if he was trying to make the best of a bad spot, or if potato.
Old guy checks and FF bets $25. Old guy calls.
Old guy checks and FF puts him in for his last $40 or so. Old guy calls and FF shows QT for the two pair.
The old guy stands up and reaches for his pockets to buy in again, but the floor came over and--I don't know what he said to him--but he very gently and quietly encouraged him to leave the table.
There was no penalty or rebuke for the foreign fish.
Last edited by suitedjustice; 07-20-2018 at 11:07 AM.
So the freeroll: Playing at the Flamingo for 13 hours within a week qualifies you. The prize pool is $10,000. 1st through 20th places get $350 each and 21st through 40th get $150 each. Today there were 72 runners, so the EV per runner was $138 each. Given my 2 hour per tourney estimate, that makes for a $69/hour EV. That figure makes it worth breaking my 'no tourneys during the work week' rule. Harrahs runs the exact same promo, so I think I'll be locking up 26 hours/week at the two sites for a while, given the risk/reward ratio of the promo freerolls here in the earlygoing.
It's not completely free. There's a $5 cover charge, which I interpret as a nuisance fee designed to get you to show up once you've signed up, as you can sign up any time during the week once you have your 13 hours in.
Given the way a lot of people think, the prospect of losing the $5 that they've plunked down is probably more of an incentive to show up than the prospect of losing almost $70/hr in EV. Today, 3 runners who put in the 13 hours and the $5 were still no-shows.
I went out in 51st and got bupkis. The hand I busted on might be of some interest. Blind levels were 15 minutes and almost everyone was short stacked within the first 90 minutes.
UTG open shoved with 4bbs, MP had 10 or so bbs and reshoved. I had 5bbs on the button and 88. I tossed my stack in without giving it much thought.
NARRATOR: He was wrong.
UTG had A6o, so we're going to give him the proper wide shoving range. MP's spot was a bit more problematic. Runners were dropping off quick and the bubble was coming up on a very shallow two-tier payout scenario--almost an all-or-nothing, satellite type payout scheme.
This rewards nittyness for anyone with a larger (relative to the average) stack. So we're going to give MP a much tighter range on the reshove.
I was risking 5bbs to pick up 15.5bbs--and that's the problem--there were no antes. At 600/1200 blinds, my head was geared for antes. Without them, I needed 32% equity.
Now, let's add 10% antes for 8 players, where I'd be risking 5bbs to make 16.3bb. That would require 30.6% equity. Still marginally bad but closer.
Obviously, I can't run equilab simulations in my head, but I can check on my guesswork later to see if I'm terribly off. After playing so many tourneys over the years, I'm usually within a few percent; so I have that going for me, which is nice.
Let's look at pocket 9s in this spot.
Surprisingly not that much better, but fine if they were running antes, which they weren't
There was one other hand, in the cash game towards the end of the day, that was not of particular interest, other than for the amount of real money that went into it. I had built up a very nice stack at Harrahs, thanks to a bluffing donor with bad card sense and terrible timing, but I subsequently punted it off from the button vs a good reg in the sb--in an $1100 pot all in preflop, AK < QQ.
Both of us thought the other one was trying to get in the last bet, and that's how we got up to six, with me putting in the last of them. Nice hand sir. Flamingo $5 entry, Bally's, Harrah's: 8 hours:
Last edited by suitedjustice; 07-21-2018 at 02:10 AM.
Harrahs poker room has by a very high margin the highest proportion of regs and nits of any low stakes game I've played in. No other room is even close. I would never set foot in there again, if not for the great weekly freeroll they run. One might be inclined to see a correlation between these two features--the regs and the freeroll--but Flamingo has the same freeroll without being a total nitcastle.
On the third hand, Harrahs' room is much more comfortable and convenient to play in, so that might be the actual deciding factor for the regs. It's also possible that there might be a very complicated algorithm involved that I'm not seeing, maybe something similar to the clustering of stars and galaxies, where once there was only undifferentiated and superheated dust and gases.
So now I've been to most of the larger poker rooms in Las Vegas, excepting South Point, which is a hike, and also very pointedly excepting the Venetian.
I hear that the room itself and the service at the Venetian are very nice, but I won't be raking them a single nickel until such a time as when that twisted old ghoul Sheldon Adelson no longer draws breath on this fair Earth.
For all we know, he's going to pull a Mr. House from Fallout New Vegas and live to be 250 through some combination of horror machinery and the Blood of the Young.
I've scouted the Venetian's blackjack tables, looking to make myself into an EV nuisance by counting cards, but the crooked ****s offer only the 6:5 blackjack payout at the low and mid levels.
6:5 blackjack is unbeatable and a straight rip, assuredly invented by sociopathic bean counters and rolled out specifically for fleecing country rubes. The first greedhead to implement this abomination years back should be made to spend an eternity by themselves in a defunct Cumberland Farms convenience store, trying to break even in the state lottery keno, forever and ever. World without end.
Promise me that if you play blackjack, you'll always play 3:2 and never 6:5. Your friendly dealer can quickly tell you which version is running on their table. Politely ask them to direct you to a 3:2 game of they're not already pitching one.
Harrahs and Flamingo: 8 Hours:
Last edited by suitedjustice; 07-22-2018 at 03:24 AM.
Sunday started off bad and went on from there. I'm working hard to avoid being results oriented, but at the end of several consecutive days of losing sessions, it finally got me down a bit.
I kicked off the session by getting into a dick-waving contest with a good reg on my left. I don't mind engaging in that sort of thing, as early as possible, if I think it will get them to back off a bit for the rest of the session.
I picked up A4 in the hijack and opened for $10. Good reg 3-bet me from the BB to $30. I thought this might be a good time and place for a light 4-bet, but I think I flubbed the sizing, making it $70 to go. In retrospect, $85 might have been closer to what I was looking for.
Obviously, he's not folding premiums for either number. The question is: if he won't fold his light-3bs (Axs, Kxs, small pairs and small suited connectors) for $70, is he going to fold them for $85? I think anything higher than $85 is just chucking money away, given the percentage of time that he'll have the goods there.
Pot: $141 with around $230 behind.
If checked to, I'm shipping the chips over the line in every universe (barring the ones where good reg accidentally tables 77 or 22, or he open folds, or the bombs hit). But good reg shipped first and I folded. Nice hand, sir.
From there I took some standard beats not worth mentioning, and the week was starting to bear down on me. I don't typically play ad content in my posts, but at the lowest point so far, when fear of failure and crippling doubt were beginning to settle in, I glanced up at the TV and caught this snippet.
It's unfortunate that I can't take a shot of tequila without retching, so I can't endorse the product, although I do endorse the message.
I perked up, chipped up (a bit), racked up, and took off for the South Strip, to clear my head and see if there were any tourists killing time before their flight out.
At the MGM I sat down and watched 3 good aggro regs who seemed to be pretty familiar with each other take turns carving up the table, while never once getting in a hand with each other. That could have been a coincidence, as I didn't stay there above twenty minutes. I feel like I can handle two aggro regs at a table, if they have any sort of dynamic vs each other--but I feel that I'm not ready for three, particularly if they all seem to be staying out of each others' way.
So I made 34 hours in the Wed-Sun work week. I'll try to make 40 in the next.
After reading a couple weeks worth of hand histories:
-Giving villains too much credit for skill
-But also light four betting regs is like saying “I HATE MONEY”
-If you’re gonna craft a table image impression like “3 regs carving the table and avoiding each other” you gotta test them at least a hand.
Based on your reported time at the tables, you’re acquiring reads but you’re not telling us always if you figured out if your read is right, or if it’s just a hunch you’re going with before staying/leaving.
But seriously stop 4 betting regs with weak suited aces he came with 99+ and was shoving all flops that missed your range Ax/suited broadway cards range. Also a stronger 4 bet like 105 probably reps JJ+ a lot better although the hand probably plays out the same way.
It was one of my biggest leaks a few years back playing in Vegas.
I would sit a table, after 20 minutes felt like I had a read on the whole situation and sometimes wouldn’t even bother to see if I was right, I would just up and leave.
I think I’m general you’re a better player than you’re giving yourself credit for in the moment when playing and you’re giving the locals a little too much respect. Once you get a feel for just how ABC and 2 dimensional most your villains play you’re going to be crushing nightly
I'll start with the positive. The new diet is working. I've lost some weight. I have more energy and along with that, I have a higher tolerance for longer sessions. Of course I'm half-assing it, the diet; I haven't so much as looked at a book, or even a pamphlet. I cut out most of the breads, sugars, pasta and potatoes that made up around 80% of my former intake. Seems to be going well.
Regarding the sessions themselves: I had to engage in a bit of self-talk today. I've been a wage slave for all of my adult life. I wanted this job for its promises to involve no bosses, no customers, no shareholders, and no agents.
It has delivered on all this, but have I delivered on my end of the bargain? I'm the one now who's responsible for telling me where I have to be and what I have to do, and I've found that my wage-slave upbringing necessitates that I have some sort of boss. I'll paraphrase the short monologue I subjected myself to.
"Mr. Justice put up every last dollar of his hard earned money and offered you an incredible percentage of the take when he hired you on as a professional player. Are you a professional player? Why are you taking hands off, then? Do professionals take hands off so they can **** around on their phones? You're missing reads. Why are you eyeballing sports highlights on the TV for games you don't care about?"
And so forth along those lines: self-motivating is going to have to be a regular task.
I'll close with today's results.
Harrahs and Flamingo: 8 hours: No quads, no flushes, no straights, no sets, no trips, and a lone two pair that was raised big when a fourth straight card hit the river.
The Harrahs' 10k "freeroll" ($10 buy in) went off today with 54 runners. Given the 13 hour weekly play requirement, the prize pool minus the $10 token expenditure adds up to an additional $13.48 per hour in EV paid to you during the 13 hours that you're playing for it. Estimated table rake per player is $10/hour, so we're looking at a negative rake situation.
Thus far I don't like Harrahs much. To paraphrase an old saying, I hate the players and I hate the game. But how often does Las Vegas offer you a steady and simple positive EV gamble?
It's a dilemma, and it goes right to the heart of what I hoped to accomplish (and to avoid) when I quit my steady job and started playing. I think I'm going to give it one more week there and see if it gets better.
Harrahs (freeroll $190 cash) and Flamingo: 8 hours:
Last edited by suitedjustice; 07-26-2018 at 11:55 PM.
If the comp makes the 13 hrs free, then the casino must suck ass to need to bring in players that badly.
I do love a free lunch when I can get it.
You are great at telling stories, maybe when you have time you can give us a short narrative that describes what the venue and players are like.
I'm mostly struck by the diversity at the tables. Within a short period yesterday my table held at different points a Lebanese woman wearing a head scarf, a German couple, a black skater kid, a Texas rancher, two swole dudes (who I think may have been a couple), and an Asian lady in her 80's who played a decent TAG game. I love that.
Last edited by suitedjustice; 07-27-2018 at 09:57 AM.
1) Mama-san is not a TAG. She's weak tight. I wanted her to be a good player for the story value of it, but no. She's not terrible by any means, just a little weak tight.
Harrahs beat my ass in again, as per usual, but I took it in stride and put my hours in there just the same. After that I slouched over to the Flamingo. Towards the end of the day there, I found myself entering into the fifteenth hour of continued failure to pick up trips or better on any hand, on any street. Then a correction came in the form of quads over a boat, and all the money went in.
Of course I punted off $150 of that on the next hand, but it was still a nice ending to the day.
Flamingo Freeroll (+$145), Harrahs and Flamingo Cash: 8 hours