Just got back from Vegas, and wanted to post a few thoughts. Since I'm lazy I'll just be putting up some highlights. I'm also going to try to put a few things I learned into the mix. First, I'll be putting up some BAD things about Vegas. This isn't because I am inherently negative, but there was a lot I could take away from this trip, without getting too sickly sweet about all the GREAT things that happened. Right after this post, I'll be putting up the good things- so stay tuned
I hope you enjoy!!!
Top Ten BAD things about Vegas:
10) My play at the 1/2 NLHE at the Orleans.
Kaileine (sp?) was at the table, and I don't think she recognized me. I donk'ed off 300$ in nothing flat. Lesson Learned: I will NOT take an evening flight straight to the table again!
9) The SNG structure at the Orleans.
We had a 55$ SNG set up for us (just PSO) by the Orleans staff, and it looked like a good table, with a minimal 7% vig, so what the heck! 10 minute levels, 1k start stacks, and 25/50 start blinds quickly made things go down hill though. Big Lesson Learned; CHECK THE STRUCTURE before ponying up cash!
8) No smoking in restaurants.
This isn't the WORST thing I can imagine, as I do not prefer to smoke while eating, but when you are eating oysters at a table and can step around a hand rail to smoke, and still be within 6 inches of where you started, does a smoking ban really make sense? Lesson Learned: park a chair outside the open sided restaurants so you can smoke after a meal, and still stay part of the table chit chat.
7) Black Jack at the Orleans.
After my NLHE debacle (see #10 above), I compounded my "mistake" by hitting the tables. 700$ in losses later, I was flat busted for the trip. Sure, it will not be EVERY DAY that you play Black Jack for 2.5 hours, and see the dealer bust exactly once (plus show a 4, 5, or 6 10 times and make 20 or 21 each time!), but it CAN happen. Lesson Learned: Do NOT let your first night become (potentially) your LAST night!
6) McCarran airport tram.
Both times, in and out, the air conditioning (if it exists!) was NOT working on the tram from the gate to the baggage claim, and vice versa. When it is 100 degrees outside, and the bodies inside the tram make for high indoor humidity, no A/C is NOT a desirable thing! Lesson Learned: thinking "cool" thoughts does not work.
5) Being card dead in the PSO tourney.
I got involved a bit too often early on with small to mid PP, and this shortened my stack when I failed to flop a set in any of 4 pots. I also managed to get in a couple of times with 2 decent (but unspectaculr) broadways for limps, with position, but couldn't keep going. My bust out was a total donk move- I was in cutoff and called 2 ep limpers with K3o, only to see the big stacked button raise behind me. I thought the raise was a bit too small for a 3 limper pot, so rather than muck, I called. A 3 club, Queen high raggedy flop fell, and I moved in. Button big stack got bigger with his AA. Realistically, since I was NOT holding a club, there was a strong likelihood the Big Stack did, and would have been all but forced to call my move for a small portion of his stack and 2 to 1 overlay with any draw (even an over card draw). As bad as that was though, it was the play BEFORE my bust out that set me up for the fall. Lesson Learned: you do NOT have to play EVERY pp, even if they ARE 55/66.
4) People at the Orleans 2/4 limit game.
While in general this was a good friendly game, there were quite a few whiners, cryers, and even a card thrower, in the 2/4 limit. The 2/4 LIMIT???? I mean jeez, if 60$ or 80$ means THAT much to you, go paly Keno FFS! Lesson Learned: even when you are VERY short of money, smile if/when you are losing. Poker is still a GAME for cripes sake, and if you can't enjoy it, there are better things to do with your time.
3) The hard floors at the Gold Coast.
As a result of my stupidity at cards of all sorts, and going broke early, I had to check out of my room early. A BIG thanks to Moriarti for offering to let me crash in his room so I could get back the 350$ hold the Orleans had on my card. The accomodations were not the best (as the floor was HARD!), but getitng to spend some time talking poker with another player when the chips were down for me, put me back on track. So a BIG thanks John, the room was the least of of the good things you gave me- the poker talk really got me straight! Lesson Learned: Consequences for stupid acts really re-inforce a lesson. Sleeping on a floor for 2 nights was just the ticket for making me think a bit next time!
2) No shuttles from the Orleans to downtown.
My favorite place to play poker, by far, was Binion's. This historic poker room is located downtown, right on Fremont street. If you LOVE poker, this is a must stop. The ring games are good, and the small buy-in tournies are even better, but it is the atmosphere that seals the deal. The low ceilings, dark wood trim, and memorbilia simple breathes "poker". While I may never get to where the greats have gone in poker, I can surely go where they started. Binion's is the place! Lesson Learned: split a cab ride with a friend, but GO!
1) the PSO Convention (It was too SHORT!)
Mark Seif kicked it off with an awesome talk on reading others at the table. A question came from the audience asking "what is it pro's are looking for when they talk to another player in a tourney." Mark's answer (they tend to look for an indication of "comfort level", rather than any particular answer) was worth the cost of the flight alone. TJ may not be the most organized speaker in the world (no offense meant sir!), but his side stories are enough to make me sit there for as long as he wants to talk, all by themselves! Al gave a great talk, with an overload of uesful tips in his inimitable teaching style. All the other speakers where awesome too, especially Tom's history laden talk, complete with priceless videos and photos of early WSOP events. I last attended the 2005 convention (in Janurary of that year), and while that event was good, this one blew that one away BY FAR! I'm thinking next year will be even better! I don't think I have to gush on too much about the real reason for going to a PSO convention though- it is the poeple. If you've never been to a PSO live event, you've missed the whole poker experience. So to the old friends I got to see again, thank you. To the new friends I made this time around, thank you too. And to those of you who think all these blogs about the convention SHOULD be about name dropping, check out my good things list coming next! Lesson Learned: PSO's conventions are without a doubt the most fun you can have in poker, short of the WSOP final table! ;-)