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Old 05-28-2009, 01:55 PM   #501
zaxx19
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonimiss View Post
chicago > boston
This X 1 mirrrrrrron.

Boston (aka NYC's lil brother) is teh bunk.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:09 PM   #502
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Very good read, I really enjoyed it.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:12 PM   #503
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

very enlightening post . thanks for the insight
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:26 PM   #504
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

yeah that is a great post I love hearing stories about people going to play poker as a profession and I also love to hear the fairy tale ending.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:45 AM   #505
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Eight Years in Las Vegas

Eight Years in Las Vegas

My eighth year in Las Vegas was unique compared to recent years. It was mostly uneventful and not very stressful. Basically, I played poker for twelve months and won a few dollars. Looking back, I don’t think my game improved as much as it should have in some areas, especially no-limit hold ‘em. But, in others, it improved notably. The end result, though, is good. Today, I believe I’m +EV in a more diverse number of medium stakes games than ever before, but I rarely made any effort to beat games for bigger stakes than I had played a year ago.

As my eighth year started, the World Series of Poker was getting under way, bringing with it a flood of cash games at the Rio and on the Strip. For the first time since I arrived in Las Vegas, I decided to make the host casino of the WSOP my home base while the tournaments ran. During my first four years in Las Vegas when the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe, it was too inconvenient for me to make the trip downtown. I stuck to the rooms on the Strip. When the WSOP moved to the Rio, a combination of playing online and nearly going broke kept me busy or unable to play. So, in many real ways, the 2008 WSOP was the first one in which I experienced the unique atmosphere the event provides.

I thought I might play the Rio SnGs to earn my way into a few WSOP tournaments cheaply. But, after playing one, I decided I didn’t care for the structure and stuck to the cash games which I was very motivated for.

As expected, the cash games at the Rio were very good. They were also more diverse at the medium stakes than you could typically find in Las Vegas. A 20-40 mixed game ran almost every day and I played in it regularly. It was often B.O.T.E. - badugi, Omaha 8 or better, triple draw 2 to 7, and stud 8 or better. I had never played either badugi or triple draw 2-7 in a casino and had only small stakes stud 8 or better experience from H.O.R.S.E. games. So, it was an unusual step for me to jump right into these stakes with relatively little experience. Then again, there aren’t any smaller stakes for those games available regularly.

It seemed my opponents thought I could handle myself in these games right away. On either my first or second time in the B.O.T.E. game, I was sitting next to 2+2 poster *TT* for most of the night. When we got up together to grab something to eat with Mason Malmuth, an opponent commented that he was happy we were leaving. I was surprised to hear that since it was a friendly table, so I asked him why he said it. Apparently, he thought the two of us were the best two players at the table. Since *TT* is a regular mixed games player at higher stakes (especially badugi and triple draw 2 to 7), I thought I was off to a good start in these games.

When I wasn’t in the mixed game, I would typically be in medium stakes limit games. The 20-40 limit hold ‘em game was routinely excellent and I could easily beat it on autopilot. Occasionally it could get over-aggressive, but otherwise a straight-forward TAG strategy would win the money. I also played a fair amount of 10-20 Omaha 8 or better and a little 20-40 Omaha 8 or better. Not including the B.O.T.E. game, this was the first time I had played Omaha 8 or better for these stakes. Previously, I had played only as high as the 5-10 game at the Mirage. The 10-20 game was great and easily beatable. The 20-40 varied. If it was filled with the Rio regulars, I was better off avoiding it. There were better games available.

I also played a little 2-5 Pot Limit Omaha for the first time at the Rio. PLO hasn’t had much success in Las Vegas, but there were plenty of games during the WSOP. I wasn’t too happy with my play in PLO. Unlike other games, PLO didn’t feel natural to me and I was making mistakes which could be avoided (such as getting all-in with bottom set of deuces when I should have known I was beat by a higher set). I was buying-in small for the PLO games and left the WSOP thinking I should probably find a good PLO book before I played again.

My time at the Rio ended with me getting a job- but only for four days. Two Plus Two Publishing had a booth at the 2008 Gaming Life Expo and Mason asked me to work there. The work was relatively easy. I carried some boxes around, made sure the books on our table were well stocked, and kept the lines for autographs reasonably well organized. However, it was often slow which allowed me to talk to Ray Zee, Dan Harrington, or whoever else from the 2+2 forums was hanging out at the booth.

I took a short break when the WSOP was over. Las Vegas poker is dead in the weeks that follow the Main Event, so it’s a good time not to play. During this time, I pondered some things which would come up again late in the year and while I was writing this update.

What games should I be playing? Is it more important/valuable to play a diverse number of games? Or, should I be trying to play as high as possible at whatever individual game I think I’m best at? How do I find the right mix between playing different games and higher stakes?

I hadn’t played no-limit hold ’em for nearly three months. Instead, I played mostly limit poker and only occasionally was it limit hold ‘em. But, no-limit hold ‘em was still the dominate game and I couldn’t ignore it. So, when I started playing again in late July, I went back to 2-5 no-limit.

From late July until mid-November, I played almost exclusively 2-5 no-limit hold ’em. It’s a comfortable game for me in which the competition is relatively easy to beat and when losing days happen, they’re easy to handle. The problems I thought I had with my no-limit game a year earlier were no longer there. But, for reasons that I don’t have, I never played any 5-10 no-limit during this time. My primary place to play no-limit hold ‘em is the Venetian which has 5-10 games running every day. So, it’s not as if I couldn’t simply get on a list and wait to get called. I guess I was just in a comfort zone and not particularly motivated to press myself at 5-10, which I had only a little experience in.

When I wrote my update last year, I had played some 5-10 at the Bellagio and faired well. My basic assessment of the game was that I was +EV against a mix of reasonably good and obviously bad but aggressive opponents. But, I wasn’t motivated to play 5-10 at this time.

How important is it for a player to continue moving up in stakes if he’s comfortable and winning a decent amount at his current stakes? For all but a handful of the world’s best players, anybody who continued to move up in stakes would eventually reach a game in which they were simply –EV in. The Peter Principle applies in poker and it can be costly. I’m certain my ceiling is not the Las Vegas 5-10 no-limit games. But, maybe it’s the 10-20 games which I’ve only observed (and often look super juicy). Whatever it is, should I be pressing to find out what it is? And, should I be doing it in all games and not just no-limit hold ‘em?

Anyway, I was playing 2-5 no-limit hold ‘em until mid-November when I switched games again. At that time, I made a very big effort to improve my Omaha 8 or better game. I really enjoy playing it and knew a regular 10-20 (with a half-kill) game was running at the Wynn. So, for the next couple months, Omaha 8 or better became my primary game. Whether it was correct strategy or not, I was quickly the most aggressive player in the Wynn 10-20 game. My pre-flop raising range seemed to be wider than everybody else’s and I was more likely to jam pots post-flop than others. The difference between my aggressiveness and others was much more noticeable in Omaha 8 or better than any game I had played before. It struck me as odd that I probably had a LAG image in this game when I was probably viewed as Tighty McWhitey in just about any other game I played. However, I was sure I was actually playing tight-aggressive. I was never the guy showing down Sevens full of Eights to take down a pot.

I was doing so well in the Wynn 10-20 game that I picked up and moved over to the Bellagio where a 30-60 game runs regularly. In that game, my aggressiveness was matched by quite a few others. Also, the competition is naturally tougher. The Bellagio 30-60 game can be great at times. It can be a big action game in which you can sit back, wait for a hand, and get paid off when it hits. With a 1/3 kill to 40-80, pots greater than $1,000 are scooped somewhat regularly. But, it can also be a game filled with competent opponents which I can’t expect to have much of an edge over. When the game was good, I continued playing. When it was bad, I took advantage of the Bellagio’s game selection and played limit hold ‘em or stud instead.

So, until about early March, I was usually at the Bellagio playing 30-60 Omaha 8 or better, 15-30 limit hold ‘em, 30-60 limit hold ‘em, and occasionally 20-40 stud. For what it’s worth, I’m starting to think the gap between the 15-30 and 30-60 limit hold ‘em games is bigger now than it’s ever been. The 15-30 game is simply an autopilot TAG game. The 30-60 game has quite a few decent players since the limit games have dried up and limit hold ‘em games at higher stakes are erratic. The 30-60 game is where the good, but not great, limit hold ‘em grinders often end up. Sadly, I think the 20-40 stud game is getting worse because of a shrinking population of players. It’s not going to survive many more years.

I took a lot of March off and I’m blaming the newly created Chess forum on 2+2. Chess is my old love and I spent considerable time studying and playing online. Diversions can be useful, though.

When April came around, I got back to playing and back to thinking about what I should be playing. Again, I had spent a big chunk of time, four and a half months, without playing no-limit hold ‘em.

Like I asked above:

What games should I be playing? Is it more important/valuable to play a diverse number of games? Or, should I be trying to play as high as possible at whatever individual game I think I’m best at? How do I find the right mix between playing different games and higher stakes?

In my eighth year in Las Vegas, I regularly played my personal highest takes in Omaha 8 or better and occasionally played my personal highest stakes in stud 8 or better, badugi, and triple draw 2 to 7 (during mixed games). But, in no-limit hold ‘em, I was just holding steady in the 2-5 game which is what I spent playing right up until this post.

Often, my decisions on what games I would play weren’t logically thought out. I wasn’t deciding to play Omaha 8 or better instead of no-limit hold ‘em because of an EV calculation. I picked the game I played because I was motivated to play it. Though, it could be argued that playing the game you are motivated at is a logical choice.

My ninth year should start much like my eight year did. The WSOP is underway, the cash games are plentiful, and I’ve got lots of options on what table to sit at.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:05 AM   #506
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

It's about time!
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:20 AM   #507
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

There we go!!!!!

Thank you for sharing your story with us. Good luck in 2009.

Do you plan on playing in the WSOP this year?

Last edited by hmmfold; 05-29-2009 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:26 AM   #508
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

thank you
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:43 AM   #509
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Re: Eight Years in Las Vegas

Sounds like you've settled into a comfort zone that is manageable but has enough upside potential to make it worthwhile. Branching out to PLO seems like an unnecessary diversion.

I would focus more on that 5/10 NL action before endeavoring to enter into the serious swings of a game like PLO.

As for Omaha 8, people are pretty routinely abominable at this game. Moving into it more regularly can't be a bad idea.

Speaking of which, is there any stud 8 around?

Sounds like you're settling in but not getting stale. Good for you.

By the way, define "motivated."

Is it linked to your mortgage, or your attention span?

Just curious.

Nice job, as always.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:44 AM   #510
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

You ever think about writing a book?

Regards, Lee
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:13 AM   #511
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Sounds like a fantastic year compared to the last few. Good, good stuff. You mentioned the gap between 15-30 and the 30-60 is larger. It seems the trend also follows what is happening online.

You didn't mention much about playing online in this recap - is that still part of your overall poker playing, or is it the back seat for the time being? Poker Stars has Badgui and Stud-8. Have you thought about grinding your teeth there?

Sarge
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:45 PM   #512
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

A+ thread. I've just read all of it. Can't wait for next year and the next update.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:57 AM   #513
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Thanks for the update Dynasty
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:51 PM   #514
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Fantastic read from start to finish and thanks for the honest account of your years grinding in LV. So many of us wish we had the balls to take that leap. Sounds like you've arrived. We all look forward to the next installment. This thread is responsible for a drastic cut in workplace productivity.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:31 PM   #515
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

for 2 years now i've been meaning to read this *entire* thread, maybe tonight
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:40 PM   #516
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold_O View Post
for 2 years now i've been meaning to read this *entire* thread, maybe tonight
It'd be kind of cool if someone could just copy and paste Dynastys updates onto one post. I've tried to read most of it but feel I may have missed an update or 3.
Thanks ahead of time if anyone cares to do it. Ya , im lazy I know.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:18 AM   #517
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

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Originally Posted by Lee Jones View Post
You ever think about writing a book?

Regards, Lee
Listen to Lee. Your story in a book could light a new fire in many card players. Every card player dreams of having the skill and courage to do what you have done. Reading your "Years in Vegas" is as close as most will ever come to living the dream you have made reality. Your story gives all card players the fuel to keep grinding and dreaming. Give us a book.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:47 PM   #518
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

I'd buy a book by Dynasty in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:03 PM   #519
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Amazing post man
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:03 PM   #520
Dynasty
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASUndevil View Post
dynasty-- i just have 1 question. it seemed like you had a turn for the better when you got the job with 2+2. do you feel that having a PT job eliminated some of your stress and helped give you that 'calm confidence?' what i mean is since you didnt have to worry about your basic bills did that help you not play with such scared money.
Working on the Magazine did eliminate some stress (except for when I'm scrambling to get enough quality articles each month).

Having the work be poker related was good since it keeps me thinking about the game. I'd attribute my ability to beat the Vegas Omaha 8 or better games largely to my editing of Frank Jerome's articles which have appeared in nearly every issue I've edited. So, I've become a better and more well rounded player because of the work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmfold View Post
Do you plan on playing in the WSOP this year?
If I play in any tournament, it will probably be next Sunday's HORSE tournament. However, it might not fit into my schedule well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge85 View Post
You didn't mention much about playing online in this recap - is that still part of your overall poker playing, or is it the back seat for the time being?
I haven't played seriosuly online since late 2005 and I'm not interested in going back.

I do have some micro-stakes fooling around money on one site and recently played a bit of high draw.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:10 PM   #521
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

top 5 threads in 2p2 history
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:13 PM   #522
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Not sure of 2+2 has a hall of fame if so ship it.

If not make a hall of fame then ship it.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:15 AM   #523
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Jones View Post
You ever think about writing a book?

Regards, Lee
This. He already has the first 8 chapters written.

Thanks for the update Dynasty.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:25 AM   #524
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Just spent quite awhile reading this entire thread. Simply brilliant stuff. I felt like I was in a bit of a rut & feeling burnt out with the game, but this thread was inspirational to me for whatever reason. Really makes me want to grind. Thank you for the long dedication you've put into this thread over the years Dynasty.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:40 AM   #525
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

nice bump, i had 4got about this thread.
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