Poker season upon us again...any interest in updates?

Discussion in 'On The Road Again' started by mb227, May 5, 2018.

  1. mb227

    mb227 1,000+ Posts

    Well, arguably it is ALWAYS poker season for me since I travel for tournaments, but the BIG stuff is about to be upon us. I have two trips this month to Vegas (one was actually this past week for a Seniors event at Venetian) and then still have yet to firm up the June/July WSOP and related travels.

    If there is enough interest here, then I can post some sporadic updates. If it was just going to be a cure for insomnia and the forum equivalent of dust bunnies rolling around, then I won't worry about it...
    Dionysus likes this.
  2. El Sapo

    El Sapo Bevo's BFF

    Subscribed. :hookem:
    Dionysus likes this.
  3. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 2,500+ Posts

    I'm in. I'm no poker expert and probably won't post here much, but would love to read up on what a pro's life is like.
  4. Dionysus

    Dionysus Admin Moderator

  5. mb227

    mb227 1,000+ Posts

    Not sure I can help much with the life of a pro, but I can tell you about being an avid player who likes playing the tourneys ;)

    Admittedly, though, of the 'pros' I have known through the years, burnout seemed a real risk. Some have even gotten out of poker and moved into other, more stable ventures (although some went the other direction and plowed large sums into cryptocurrency trading ventures).

    As a cash game player, I am generally not going to venture much beyond the $1/2, $1/3 and $2/5 NLHE games. Tournaments are something that I still try to stay under the $1,500 buy-in threshold. Most events are just triple-digit entries, often under $500.

    Balancing tournaments with a real job CAN, however, be a grind. Example was last week. Venetian had a Seniors event on Thursday. I flew out to Las Vegas on Wednesday night, played my event, busted out and went to play some blackjack and then had a red-eye back into IAH. After a few hours of quick rest at the lake house, I came into the office. I was feeling it by mid-afternoon.
    Vol Horn 4 Life and Driver 8 like this.
  6. mb227

    mb227 1,000+ Posts

    There have been month seniors events going on in Vegas the past few months. I flew out for one in April at the Wynn solely because they have kept it as a traditional ante. I am NOT a fan of the recent push to change the ante process to just one ante from the big blind (some are tying it to the button instead of the big blind). I had two nights comped at the Golden Nugget and I found a $29 fare each direction (double it since I had a carry-on) on Frontier. Tournament was a $400 entry.

    This was one of the few events where I felt like I ran like a god for the first dozen levels of so. Limp in with suited connectors and flop a draw to both a straight and a flush, with a possible straight flush out there as well. Connect on the turn for my straight AND a flush and get paid off, knocking someone out in the process. Shove pocket 9's and run into ace-king...and hold...twice against the same guy. One of the two hands, I sucked out for a flush when a king hit but it completed the flush. Yay me.

    At one point, I was getting close to twice the average chip stack. I got greedy...raised in early position with pocket 9's and a short-stack shoved all in for about 40K chips more. I called and lost the hand when he flopped an ace. Oh well...still above average. But it was like my mojo got stolen...card dead the rest of the way through with no big hands.

    I held on long enough to get to the final two tables though and was still consistently around the average chipstack. Unfortunately, it was getting late enough that I felt like I had to go into push-fold mode and was not getting good hands that I felt I could shove all-in with. The point of doing so is to be content to just collect blinds and antes. If the hand was going to be good enough to call pre-flop, you reach a point where it has to just all go in the middle.

    We went for about two hours it seemed playing hand-for-hand. 12 were getting paid and we were down to 13 players. A deal was offered for everyone to kick in $40 so that the bubble (last out before the money) basically got their entry fee back. It was refused by a couple of we continue. Eventually the deal is advanced again and this time it gets agreed to by all...bubble soon bursts.

    I wind up busting out in 10th when I shove something like K-9 suited but run into A-x in the same suit. I don't even have my flush draw potential to fall back upon. So, eight hours on the day and I pocket roughly a grand. Back out my entry and travel expenses and I was still up for the trip.

    Coming back from Vegas with more than you left with is always a good thing!

    The other good thing for me in this one was that it broke a string of getting close to the money but just missing. It sucks to play well and then just miss collecting SOMETHING.

    After I got back to my hotel, I went to the steakhouse at the top of Binions. They had an interesting item on their appeteaser menu...chicken fried lobster. Take a 12-ounce tail, massage it thin and then fry it up like a chicken-fried steak. Quite tasty and not overpriced...was something like $40 which is not outrageous for a tail that size.
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  7. mb227

    mb227 1,000+ Posts

    I mentioned the tournament last week...this one was at Venetian. Turned out there had been one the day before at Wynn and I looked at changing my flight. As it worked out, it was just as well that United wanted $75 to change to an earlier flight. The Wynn only had about 90 entries in their $400. Not that the Venetian had many more...we ended up with about 110 runners.

    I just qualified for the seniors events last year. Turned 50 literally the day cards went in the air at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Seniors event. The structure sucked, but I figured I HAD to play it and might even have gotten a mention as the year's youngest entrant. Didn't work out that well as I was card-dead and busted early. In the past year, I get a lot of comments that are people jokingly wanting to question whether I was in the right place. I feel 50+ many days but admittedly don't look the part.

    One thing I like about the Seniors events is that people actually TALK. Not much of the sunglasses, headphone hoodie wearing anti-social nonsense. And they are meaningful conversations about all sorts of topics...makes the day go by much easier.

    Anyhow...I was slowly chipping up when I look down at pocket Jacks in early position. I HATE pocket jacks...there are so many ways to play them and they ALL seem to be wrong LOL! I make a smallish bet and get called in a few places. Flop comes out J-3-3. I was liking my hand but...damn...early position, hard to bet much and get paid off. I lead for about 60% of the pot (somewhere around 2500 chips if I remember right) and get called in two places. Turn is the case jack. I should have gotten an award for my acting on that one...I go with the same bet and get called by the woman a few seats to my right. Turn was a meaningless 7 that completed no draws. After much pondering, I made a small "come at me" bet...smaller than the flop and turn bets. She shoves all in and before she could even finish saying "All In" I had called. She did not show, but I suspect she had aces or kings.

    Strictly speaking, in a tournament, all-in hands are supposed to be exposed. But I am not someone that wants to be THAT person, so I didn't push the issue. I am content to just knock someone out of an sense in rubbing salt into the wound.

    Rest of the day did not go well. Three or four hands with AK that I couldn't connect with and had to get away from. And five or six hands where I flopped the nut flush draw and could not get any help on the turn and river. Ultimately, I shove with Ace-nine suited but run into kings. I busted out in the low 40's and went back to my hotel.

    Felt as though I had played reasonably well through the day but missing a cash is never fun.

    After returning downtown, I went to play blackjack at Binions...caught the third base seat in the single-deck game and so I was seeing five other players decimate a deck before it got back to me. It was a productive few hours. I left when some millenials arrived and insisted on their double-down cards being face down. I reminded them that in single-deck, that harms the others at the table. They didn't care. I colored up and left.

    Next trip is Memorial Day weekend, flying Saturday night and playing Sunday. Flight back is Monday evening. Elected to burn some points and took the American Airlines flight for the return home, although it means connecting through PHX.

    Schedule for June still has to be sorted out...airfare this year is not as good as it was last year. There are events every day if I had the time to spend all of June out there though. Each major property with a poker room has a series that runs parallel to the WSOP. Planet Hollywood, Orleans, Wynn, Venetian, Aria, Golden Nugget and even Binions have tons of events. Buy-ins can be found from a few hundred on up to the nose-bleed One Drop (basically a one-mil buy-in). Most of what I play will be under a grand per event...and I expect to cash enough of them to at least recoup expenses.
  8. El Sapo

    El Sapo Bevo's BFF

    Great read, I hope you'll update from time to time :hookem:

    In person I play at the same stakes you do ($1/2 - $2/5) but I've never played in a casino tournament before. Here in Cen-Tex I don't have a whole lot of options for poker so I mostly play online penny stakes ranging from $20-$50 buy ins. I can afford more than this but I simply don't trust the security of online games so that's the most I'll wager. Global Poker (the one that advertises on Facebook) has soft real money games btw. I can see how the seniors tournaments would be pretty cool... less attitude... interesting conversation etc. Reading your stories I forget how aggressive you've got to be in tournaments. I used to be decent at tourneys but time and patience have made me a better cash game player. Nowhere in any of this am I implying I am a good player, btw.

    ...and here, you and I will always have common ground. When I look down and see pocket jacks I don't excited, instead I wonder how much $ I'm going to lose. I tend to play jacks pretty fast until the inevitable overcard(s) start hitting the board and people begin shooting back at me. Once in a blue moon the jacks will hold up. :facepalm:
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  9. mb227

    mb227 1,000+ Posts

    There are a few card rooms around the Austin area. I have not played any of them, but they run the same model as some of the ones around the Houston area. Membership that can be daily or monthly and then a 'seat rental' where the costs come out of the pocket as opposed to chips off of the table. It is a grey area in which they seek to stay within the language of the law. Not sure how much they do on tournaments, but it is at least an option for the cash games...

    Like you, I am not a fan of the online games, and was not one even before Black Friday. I much prefer to see my opponents and know that they aren't colluding from across the country or world.

    Like you, I have a preference for the cash games. I've had tournament events where I literally folded every hand for a couple of hours straight save for a big blind where it was limped around. Being card-dead is just no fun but if you try to force the action and it doesn't work out, you are done for the event whereas in a cash game, it is a matter of just calling for a chip runner.

    LOL...I think many a poker player feels the same way about jacks, no matter whether it is no-limit or one of the other games.
    El Sapo likes this.
  10. mb227

    mb227 1,000+ Posts

    Side note...had considered traveling to New Orleans this past weekend since they had a Circuit event going on. Women's event was Saturday and Seniors was on Sunday, both at the $250 price point and both slated to begin with 10K in chips.

    Very glad I did not go for the women's event...they not only had a small turnout (64 total entries) but it appears the chip stack to start the event was slashed to 8K. It would have pissed me off something fierce had I gone and found that out at the time I got to the table. I raised the issue to WSOP on Twitter Saturday afternoon/evening and got zero response. This influenced me enough to stay home Sunday.

    I have not got a straight answer about starting stack yesterday...the online clock sure made it look as though it was also shorted to 8K. However, late in the afternoon, someone changed it to reflect 10K as starting stack...this occurred after some posts had been made in which I indicated that it would seem to be a Gaming Commission issue if starting stack was not what had been advertised. things travel is still set for a few weeks from now with the seniors event at Venetian on the 27th.
    El Sapo likes this.

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