June 24, 2009
I know what youâ€™re asking yourself after reading the first 2 trip reports (if anybody actually did read them haha). Did Tecmo actually play any poker while in Vegas? Yes, in fact, I did. Hereâ€™s me (black hoodie, white earphone hanging down) rockin it at the 2/5 NLHE tables at the Rio. You canâ€™t see him, but 2fouroffsuit is sitting at the very next table and he can vouch for me :) (Also a very cool dude.) I planned on playing roughly 25 hours of cash while in Vegas, but I was busy having too much fun and only got in about 8-9 hours. Decided to get one last session in the night before my flight. I wanted to see if my runbad would continue or if I could turn it around.
A couple of key hands from that final session-
Hand #1 â€“ UTG (20something probable internet player) limps, 2 more limpers, I look down at KK in the SB and raise it to 35. UTG 3b to 100, limpers fold. UTG has about $300 behind, and I have him covered. At this point, I put UTG on a very strong range, JJ+ or AK. If he has AA, the money is going in â€“ so be it. If he has anything else, Iâ€™m HIGHLY confident he will cbet ANY flop if I just call and check to him. I figure this is the best way to get stacks in so I elect to call. Flop comes down JJx. All things considered, a very good flop for me. His range now becomes AA, QQ, or AK. Iâ€™m looking good against 2/3 of those â€“ all of which will cbet that flop. I check and he ships it pretty quickly. I snapcall and he asks if I have a J. Iâ€™m immediately worried about AA if he only cares about trips, but he tables QQ, my KK holds. Ship it!
Hand #2 â€“ Random fish limps in EP, I raise it to $30 w/ 55. SB 3bs to $65 and fish calls. I look at SBâ€™s stack and he has about $100 behind. Fish has about $200. Not exactly what I was looking for, but the raise was so small I decided to gambool it up. Flop J52rb. Jackpot. SB thinks and shoves his stack, fish folds, and I obviously call. SB tables JJ, much to my dismay. He asks, â€œoverpair?â€ I somberly reply, â€œnope, set over set.â€ Turn is the case 5! He immediately says, â€œI sure hope you have deuces.â€ â€œFraid not sir.â€ The way I had been running â€“ hitting a 1 outer felt like things balanced out for the trip.
My friends and I also hit up some buffets out there that were pretty good. The Rioâ€™s was decent, and the Bellagioâ€™s was probably a bit better. The Bellagio had crab legs that were already cut open for you! Pretty sweet, altho they couldnâ€™t really compare to Baltimore crabs ;) The desserts all looked amazing too. As you can see, Iâ€™m a big fan of dessertâ€¦
We had reached the end of the week and our plane was leaving at 10:00am on Monday, June 8th. This meant that we had to be up pretty early and Mike and Justin decided to head to bed around midnight. I wasnâ€™t very tired (is anybody ever tired in Vegas?) so I decided to walk around and check things out on my last night there. I went over and sweated a couple of events that were going on. Brandon Cantu was at one of the end tables and his girl was sitting near him with one of those tiny yapping dogs. I didnâ€™t even know dogs were allowed in the Rio. Ivey and Lederer were seated right next to each other, and Hellmuth was behind them at the next table. Ivey and Hellmuth were trash talking back and forth about how long it will take Ivey to pass Phil in total number of bracelets. After winning two already this year, it looks like it wonâ€™t be long. Then I went over to watch the final table of the $1500 Stud event. John Juanda, Jeffrey Lissandro, and Nicki Frangos were all playing. Frangos got all in on 4th w/ AAKK, but he was up against trip Js. He kept saying he knew the guy had trips, but what was he going to do. He picked up a gut-shot straight draw on 6th street, but it was the gut-shot to the case Jack so it didnâ€™t help much. He was down to his last card and someone shouted â€œAce of spades!â€ He peeled up the middle half of his card and it was blankâ€¦â€œooooo itâ€™s blank!â€â€¦..He flips it overâ€¦â€œACE OF SPADES!!!! OHHHH HELLLZZ YESSSS. THAT ACE IS BETTER THAN SEX!!!!â€ hahaha Needless to say, it was a pretty entertaining table. At 3:00am, they started packing up the chips. One of the tournament helpers came around and asked everyone to sign a sheet with their name, address, and a few other pieces of information. Lissandro immediately started whining â€œOh goddd, why do I have fill that piece of crap out again, Iâ€™ve already made other final tables this year! Why canâ€™t you just find that sheet I already filled out and use it again?! Iâ€™m not signing that crap. Iâ€™m going home.â€ What a prick. The 20something tournament helper reluctantly just appeased Lissandro and didnâ€™t make him sign it. Most poker players that Iâ€™ve met have been great guys. Only Lissandro and Hellmuth have been pricks so far. Unfortunately Lissandro went on to win that event AND another one.
Luckily, right after that, I met Ken â€œTeachâ€ Aldridge, winner of the $1500 NLHE 6 handed event. This guy was by far the nicest, most appreciative bracelet winner Iâ€™ve ever met. He was walking by, bracelet on wrist, and I just asked him â€œso how does it feel?â€ He immediately went on a 15 minute Shakespearian monologue, explaining the plays he made and how he won with the giddyness of a child. It was so refreshing to meet him and see that people like him could win. He is a retired teacher from North Carolina who just loved every minute of the attention he was getting. We talked for a bit, and he even let me put the bracelet on! I told him I didnâ€™t have a camera and he was genuinely bummed out for me. I told him I had my crappy camera phone and he immediately got excited again. He took a pic of me with the bracelet on and a close-up of it. I donâ€™t know how good he is at poker, but I was immediately a huge fan of him as a person.
It was a great final night and I was definitely glad I stayed up for it. All in all, the trip was a huge success. I wish I had played a bit more poker, but it turned into more of a vacation than a business trip. Oh yea! I almost forgot to mention that I hit up the DC Hoopament before I left. Had a great time meeting more DC people (including Krantz!), showed off my sweet ballin skillz, and got some good exercise too. Wish Joe Tall could have played, but heâ€™s got some freaky stuff going on with fluid in his knee. I do wish I could have stayed for the DC Home Game tho as Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s going to be a blast. I also would have liked to meet DJ Sensei and Wilt, but they arrived the same day I was leaving. Oh well, next year :) I already canâ€™t wait to go back!