April 07, 2009
My friends and I are in Vegas for the WSOP. We arenâ€™t ballin enough to actually play in the WSOP events, but we still manage to play in at least 10 different tournaments during our week here. We have played at various casinos, including the Orleans which has the best structure imo, with the average buyin being around $100.
Itâ€™s our last night in Sin City and we decide to play a $250 tourney at the Venetian. I have cashed twice already, with a 3rd out of 77 which was nice, so I donâ€™t mind playing a larger buyin. I pick up KK in the first level, and long story short, I get it all in on a 9 high flop against AA. $250 = 15 minutes of playing time. Awesome.
So anyway, I decide Iâ€™m going to head over to the Rio to check out the WSOP action, see if I can see some pros, and maybe even get a few autographs. I split a cab w/ some dude and he tells me that he gets staked by some rich people in Chicago to come out here and play. It doesnâ€™t really matter if heâ€™s telling the truth as it makes for entertaining cab-ride conversation. Since heâ€™s so ballin, he pays for the ride and Iâ€™m happy to save a few bucks.
I walk into the Rio and peruse the tables for anybody worth watching. I find what Iâ€™m looking for at the end of the room. Itâ€™s the 2-7 lowball triple-draw WSOP event and notables sitting at this table are David Sklansky, Phil Hellmuth, and Shawn â€œSheikyâ€ Sheikhan. Pretty sweet table to watch, other than the fact that I really have no idea how to play this game. Thereâ€™s no flop, and no hole-card camera obviously, so there really isnâ€™t much to see. Also, watching Sklansky play is like watching a sloth do long division on an abacus. So what would make someone stand around and watch this table? You look over and realize that Hellmuth and Sheikhan are sitting right next to each other.
If you donâ€™t know who Shawn Sheikhan is, you can find some good clips of him on YouTube. Lets just say that he has a knack for agitating certain pros. This table has Hellmuth implosion written all over it.
So I decide to stand and watch, along w/ a few others. Plenty of people come and go beside me, each of them perplexed as to why the dealer refuses to deal a flop. I try to explain to some of them, but soon learn of the futility in educating the general poker public. The blonde with the fake boobs doesnâ€™t care, nor would she be able to comprehend, the most basic of rules involved in a friendly Uno game, let alone a 2-7 lowball triple draw game.
Inevitably, Hellmuth loses a pot to Sheiky and goes on a rant about how poorly he is playing. Never one to back down, Sheiky fires back and comments that â€œthis isnâ€™t a Holdâ€™em event, Philâ€ and â€œyou stood pat with a J!â€ (For the uninformed, you are trying to make the lowest hand possible and J high is not a great hand.) Hellmuth goes on to complain about his cards nonstop and eventually tilts himself out the tourney. He insta-leaves the table, forgetting his magazine and bag of nuts. After a short time, Sheikhan realizes this and instantly shouts to me and the rest of the railbirds â€œanybody want Philâ€™s nuts?!â€ Everyone gets a good laugh, and one guy quickly yells â€œIâ€™ll take â€™em!â€ Shawn hucks them over to him and he is awkwardly proud of his prize. â€œIâ€™ll sell them on ebay!â€ he shouts, to which Shawn responds â€œI better get a cut!â€
My forecast for the table proved true, and it was definitely entertaining. I stuck around to watch Shawn play some more. He was seated at the end of the table, facing the crowd. There was a player, letâ€™s call him X, facing Shawn right next to me, and X would often pick up his cards high enough for me to see them. An interesting moral dilemma arose because of this. Sheikhan and X were in several hands against each other, and Shawn picked up on the fact that I could see Xâ€™s cards. Shawn started looking to me after I looked at Xâ€™s cards, hoping for some information. I assumed in a regular situation this would be morally unethical and I would not partake in such cheating. However, since I really had no idea what was going on in this game, I decided to give Shawn some random head nods when he looked at me. Even if I knew what I was doing, what does a head nod mean anyway? He has a good hand? He missed? Who knows. All I know is that I didnâ€™t know so I figured Iâ€™d act like I did know and see if Shawn knew. I donâ€™t know if he did, but it was fun haha.
Finally Shawn busted out and I decided that was a good time for me to head back to my hotel. I started walking out and Sheikhan and I met up in the hallway. I commented that he played well (with absolutely nothing to back this up) and he quickly responded explaining how poorly he played. I told him â€œat least you busted Phil,â€ and he just said â€œPhilâ€™s a fuckinâ€™ idiot.â€ Shawnâ€™s a real sweetheart. He was funny tho, Iâ€™ll give him that. We walked out of the Rio and I walked to the line to catch a cab and just said â€œlata man.â€ Thatâ€™s when he responded, â€œyou catching a cab? Câ€™mon man, Iâ€™ll give you a ride.â€ Sweet! A poker pro offering to give some random fan a ride! AND I donâ€™t have to pay for a cab! So we head over to the valet and he discovers that he only has $100 bills. â€œYou got $5?â€ he asks me. I just laughed and handed him a $10 bill and he asked the valet for $5 back. They looked perplexed considering this dude is rich and asking for $5 back, but then he told them it was mine and they quickly understood. So there goes my free ride lol. They pull around his $100k sports car (canâ€™t remember what it was right now) and we speed down the strip to my hotel. He drops me off and tells me to say hey the next time Iâ€™m in Vegas. I head up to my room with a story to tell everyone.
Now the KK vs AA doesnâ€™t seem so bad :)