Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blame It On Rio

I’m back home, at least for a (hopefully) short while.  My March Madness Vegas trip went well and I came back with much to write about.  I’m gonna start with a (relatively) short post that will give me some time to write some of the longer posts that I know you all crave.  Fear not, Poker Meister, I will be posting about the great session we had soon.

This took place on the Monday night after the first weekend of March Madness. I had had a really nice dinner with some friends over at the Gold Coast.  BTW, if you’re looking for a really quality meal that will cost you a lot less than the $100 per person the fancy joints on the Strip will, I can heartily recommend the Cortez Room.

It was close to 10 PM when we broke up, and I considered not playing poker at all.  I did have to work the next day.  But since I am addicted to poker, I rejected the idea of just returning to my room for the evening.  But the thought of schlepping over to the Strip and then making the long walk to the poker room at a place like BSC didn’t appeal to me.  By the time I got seated, it would be almost time to leave.

The Gold Coast closed its poker room a long time ago, but I was across the street from two poker rooms—those at the Palms and the Rio.  I checked my Bravo app and the Palms didn’t have a game or even a waiting list.  But the Rio showed three games going, all 1/3 NL.   So I made the very short drive over to the Rio and was at the poker room in minutes.  The poker room is conveniently located on the Gold Coast side of the Rio.

Oddly enough, the Rio poker room is one of the few rooms in Vegas I had never played in.  Oh, I played at the WSOP venue during the series, but never in the actual Rio poker room. 

I got seated right away at a table that wasn’t full and the first thing I noticed was that the room uses the hated $2 chips!  Ugh.  It was somewhat ironic, because I had only very recently posted my rant against the $2 chip (see here), even though that story had taken place almost a year earlier, around the time of last year’s March Madness.  Apparently there’s something about March Madness that brings out the $2 chips.

The only thing positive I can say about the two buck chips at Rio is that they are a very different color from the $1 chips.  One is white and one is blue I think (I didn’t make a note of it), and I’ll be damned if I can remember which is which.

It was almost an incredibly short session, as after a few minutes there, a couple of players left the game and there were walkers missing as well.  We dealt a couple of hands five-handed, and I really was not interested in playing such a short-handed game.  But it didn’t take long for new players to show up and soon our game was full, as were the other two games.  In fact, before I left, they even had to open another table.  Not bad for a Monday night.

I bought in for $300.  I won a small pot too insignificant to remember, then I lost a few bucks missing flops.  On the button with King-5 of spades, I went ahead and limped in after three players limped in front of me.  The blinds both called and 6 of us saw the flop.  That was pretty typical of the table, lots of limping, not much raising preflop. I suppose I should have raised instead, but I was still trying to get a feel for the players so I was playing nitty conservatively.

The flop was Jack or 10 high, but had two spades.  I called a $15 bet, as did one other player.  There was a red Queen on the turn and everyone checked.  The river was a red King. The guy who bet the flop now put out $30.  The other guy folded.  I took my time before acting.

My read was that he had flopped top pair, and was perhaps scared of the overcard on the turn.  Did the King give him a pair?  If so, he likely had a better kicker than I did.  But I also thought he maybe was trying to steal the pot, perhaps with middle pair or less.  And the size of his bet was too small to get me to fold.  With his bet, there was now $90 in the pot and I thought there was a decent chance I was good.  So I called.

I had gotten lucky.  He didn’t have a pair at all.  He had Ace-x of spades.  He was drawing to the same flush I was, except his was bigger.  If that third spade had come, I would have lost quite a few chips to him.  But I was right in that he was trying to steal.  As I scooped up the pot, I said the obvious.  “Boy, I’m glad you didn’t get your flush.”

A little later. in late position, I limped in with 7-6 hearts.  One of the blinds raised to $10 so I called.  Four of us saw the flop, which was 9-6-5, two diamonds, one heart.  I called a $20 bet and we were down to three players.  No one bet the turn, which was a black Queen.  The river was a very nice 8 of spades, giving me the straight.  It checked to me and I bet $45.  No one called.

That put me up over $100 and I’d be playing pretty close to an hour.  I thought about staying longer.  I thought the table was pretty soft.  I dunno if that’s typical of the room or not, hard to tell with such a small sample size.  But I’d seen some really poor calls in hands I wasn’t in.  I didn’t really see anyone at the table who seemed to have any game at all. The trouble was, there wasn’t very much money at the table.  After I’d won that K-5 hand, my stack was by far the biggest there.  I figured if I stayed a few hours, I could clean up—except that it would take me forever to win a couple of more hundred with the small stacks available.

Instead, I decided to call it quits.  I was on my last orbit when I woke up with pocket Aces.  I raised to $12 and only had one caller.  The flop was low, two hearts (I didn’t have the Ace of hearts).  I bet $18 and he called.  Another blank on the turn (non-heart) and I bet $25, again, he called.  The third heart on the river slowed me down and I checked, as did my opponent.  He mucked when he saw my Aces.

And that was it.  I was up over $150 up for about an hour’s play.  Not bad for my first try at the Rio poker room.  Overall, I the room seemed quite nice for a small room.  Well run. Just wish the stacks were bigger—though that might have meant better players.  Possibly.

I’ll be back, though next time it will likely be at the WSOP venue this summer

19 comments:

  1. Is my post actually longer than yours? WHAT is going on?! Nice session... ;)

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    1. Heh heh. It's a world gone mad, Coach!

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  2. 100 dollars a person for dinner? WTF. no wonder .u dont go downtown to fremont.sweet post. nice pic too.

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    1. That's close to what those fancy schmancy places on the Strip will cost ya.

      Too rich for my blood--unless someone else is paying!

      My speed is Nathan's Hot Dog at NYNY.

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    2. Oh the pic is of Michelle Johnson from the film "Blame it on Rio", hence the connection with the post.

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    3. is that the movie with micheal caine?

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    4. Yes. A very funny movie, loved it when it came out, but it didn't go over very well because of the age-difference issue.

      BTW, it was tough to find pics of Michelle from the movie where she was dressed enough for my G-rated poker blog.

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    5. we need to change to PG-13 then. lol.

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  3. m gonna start with a (relatively) short post

    Glad you added the word relatively!

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    1. I suppose for some bloggers, it might be considered a long post.

      For me, it was basically a Tweet.

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  4. also, i read the funbags post and totally agree. i hate that term. that alex girl from true detective has SOME GREAT TITS and to quote al pacino from the movie HEAT "BCUZ SHE HAS GOT A GREAT ASS" NOW I HATE WOODY HARRELSON TOO

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    1. Thanks, anger. Yes, Alex has quite the body on her, doesn't she. There's really no excuse for ever wearing clothes.

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    2. mayb yoga pants and a sports bra.LMAO but only so she can take them off slowly

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  5. Dang -- I first saw Blame It On Rio when it first came out. Definitely showing my age here.

    I played at the Rio before. The game started much like you described. After a couple of hours, a couple of regs showed up who were better than the tourists at the table. Decent experience for me, but nothing in particular that would make me want to go back during non-WSOP times.

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    1. Well, look at it this way, Lightning.

      Blame it On Rio is so old, Demi Moore appeared in it--topless--BEFORE she went to Tits-R-Us in Beverly Hills and purchased her after-market add-ons.

      Man, we're older than Demi's breasts.

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  6. "A little later. in late position, I limped in with 7-6 hearts."

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell your readers three reasons why a raise would be better than a limp in this situation, followed by a promise to play better in the future.

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    1. LOL. Will your comment self-destruct in 10 seconds?

      1. I could have picked up the blinds and limpers $ w/o even seeing the flop.

      2. If I saw the flop, I could have won the pot with a c-bet on the flop.

      3. It might have helped changed my image so that I would have gotten more calls later with my value bets.

      I promise to play better in the future--or at least try. Purging the nit out of me isn't easy.

      Always good to hear from you, Grump.

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  7. We could continue: If you flop trips or 2 pair, players with an overpair to the board may well call you down for a nice payoff. If your hand gets shown, and people are paying enough attention to see what you did, you may get paid more next time you have a big pair, because people will think you're playing the little cards again. If you make a straight, it will be completely disguised.

    Etc.

    In short, playing suited connectors (and other hands) in late position the same way as you do your big pairs makes you a much, much more difficult player for opponents to read. Conversely, if you consistently limp with hands like this but raise with AK and big pairs, you're basically playing with your cards face up.

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    1. You are so right, as usual.

      I'm a gonna read just your comment three times (at least) before my next session.

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