Friday, June 20, 2008

Short stories from Vegas.

I played in a tournament at Bellagio early in the trip. An old rock to my right started out loudly declaring how he would never raise an ace and a face card, "never!". Another player questioned his truthfullness, and he repeated "NEVER!", clearly agitated. First hand I remember him playing he was betting flop and turn of a semi large pot on a QJxx board with two spades. When the river came a non spade king, instead of considering his action he just started mumbling "You motherfucking...", and checked it down. He showed an ace high flush draw, and the other guy took it down with KT for a rivered one pair. Clearly the old guy thought the world was against him. 20 minutes later we had the most brutal of suckouts on the table as some guy was sent out of the tournament with 33 against AJ on a JT3 board. Turn, T, River: J. Just a sick beat that pretty much left the table shell shocked. The old guy commented "well, what about me with that king on the river, talk about being unlucky". Half an hour later, he flopped a flush from the big blind against another guys set. A set against a flush is not in horrible shape with 7 outs on the turn and 10 on the river, and he hit one of those. That was too much for old guy who stood up and yelled "Did you ever see shit like that in your life?!?!?". My answer would be, well, yeah, once or twice. He also got in a few choice words about the WSOP management who wouldn't let him play in an event when he was only half an hour late. Some people just have no luck at all.

In the $5k event, I played at a table with both TJ Cloutier and Allen Cunningham. The only table chatter I overheard there was TJ telling how he had once seen Doyle get away from quad tens "years and years ago". As he himself has documented in his book 'Championship NL Hold'em', TJ is the very definition of a solid rock, who has made his living at the poker tables folding a lot, and then soul reading people in big pots. He displayed both in a hand where he 3-bet from the button. The first raiser then said "why so little?", and then 4 bet it. That sent TJ into the tank. After a while he said "Another raise...". Then "...with a speech...", and then he folded queens.

Most places in the world, driving a Hummer will be a powerful statement in itself. But in Vegas, some people can't handle the thought of someone not noticing how much money they have. So they stretch the Hummer. A lot. And then they paint it pink...

Thomas from the office had Gus Hansen at his table in Mondays event. Obviously, the first time Thomas raised his blind, Gus instantly moves all in for a full stack early in the tournament. Thomas folds and Gus says to him: "I only do that when I think I have the best hand". And then smiling: "...but I always think I have the best hand."

Same Thomas busted Phil Helmuth in an earlier event with aces against Helmuth kings. Helmuth took it gracefully, shaking his hand saying "That's the only way they beat me".

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