Friday, December 14, 2007

The Bellagio is a Decent Enough Place to Stay, I Guess

It always amazes me how quickly I lose track of what day it is when working these tournaments for the blog. The combo of being in a casino and working long days is pretty deadly, as far as wiping out any normal sense at all of what day it is, what time it is, etc. It's easy enough to tell when it's Friday, though, as that's when suddenly the pace is jammed, with people coming out of the woodwork, as opposed to the relative calm of the day before.

Things have gone smoothly so far and, other than missing my wife and zoo at home, it's been a great trip and a nice break from all of the never-ending house renovations and rehab work. My heater at massively -EV dumb casino games continues, as I wandered down early yesterday morning to play a little $2/5 NL at the Bellagio poker room before the tournament started, got on the waiting list, and grabbed a coffee at the nearby bar. I plunked some cash in the video poker machine, got my coffee, and realized that it was a $1 machine, which is a bit rich for my nickle and diming (well, quartering) video poker play. So I played a few hands of Double Bonus Jacks or Better, bemoaned the fact that my coffee had actually cost me $25, then hit quad 3s for a payout of about +$400. Sweet.

Added about $250 to that from playing poker for a few hours. Nothing real exciting, as I won a nice pot with AJc on a J high flop, with little blanks coming on the river and turn, and a fairly solid player calling my 2/3 pot bets all the way to the river, where I finally checked behind him fearing some monster, but he mucked what I assume was a weaker J. I also won a nice pot out of the BB with A9 on a Q 9 9 flop, that I slowplayed and got a call on the river with an overbet when another fairly solid player looked me up.

The best -EV action was at the slot bank right next to the tournament area (which is out on the main casino floor due to Fontana Room renovations). One of our players was near the rail there, so I spent many hours listening to the Monopoly Big Event bonus feature blaring on the community slots there, and finally got sucked into playing. Channeling my anti-Grubby mojo, I ended up +$350 on the day, playing off and on here and there during dead spots in the action, which isn't too bad for a silly nickle slots action.

We managed to get three of the five players through to Day 2, which ain't bad given the stength of the field. It'll be interesting to see what Phil Ivey does with his mountain of chips after Day 1, as he tends to play these things pretty fast, with little concern about busting out, so he'll likely have an uber-mountain of chips at the end of today or be donking it up in Bobby's Room.

Hoping to play a bit more poker this trip, but it's hard to squeeze time in on these working trips. Early mornings are usually the best time for me to play, but the games aren't always that juicy, unless you catch the drunks and degenerates still up from the night before. I'm here through next Wednesday, though, so hopefully I'll get in some hands at some point or another.

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