Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Missing Linq

This session took place the night after the story I told here.  That had been a really brutal day of poker in a trip that was also brutal.  You see, in addition to the $460 I lost there (in basically two hands), earlier that day I had played in one of the Venetian deepstacks.  How’d I do?  Well the fact that I was at the MGM that night in time for their NFL promo should give you the answer.  Still haven’t decided if I’m going to a post about that tournament.

Anyway, I was still reeling from that day the next night.  I was surely tempted to skip playing that evening.  But instead, I figured I’d do the next best thing—I’d lower the stakes. I headed over to the Linq to try the $1-$1 game there.  I figured I’d at least cut my loses if my bad run wasn’t over with.  Since they reopened the poker room there, I’d player there twice.  The first time, the tale was told here.  The second time I played there I was a bit under the weather and got nothing to blog about from a slightly losing session.  So even tho The Trooper wasn’t going to be there to pitch me some cards, I headed there after dinner.

As I got there, I saw one tournament table going and just a few people sitting at another table, with chips in front of them but no dealer.  It appeared like they were trying to get a cash game going.  As I approached the podium, the woman running the room gave me a big smile and a “Hi, how are you?”  My immediate assumption was that she was just happy to see anyone who appeared to be interested in playing in the room.  But as I got closer, I could tell by her expression that she actually recognized me and was saying hello to someone she knew (or at least, kinda knew).  And so I took a good look at her and decided she was, I was pretty sure, Pokermufin.

No that’s not a pseudonym I made  up.  Pokermufin was a member of the AVP forums back when they were going strong.  Our paths crossed there, but I think by the time I started getting real active, her posts were minimal. I hadn’t actually met her in person until this summer.  She was one of the AVP’ers at the mixed game I described here. 

Now, when I saw Pokermufin at that table back then, I dunno exactly how, but even though I had never met her, I somehow knew who she was.  I guess I had seen some pics of her recently in posts about previous AVP events I’d recently reviewed.  These were all events that took place before I was a member.  And then there were actually a couple of times when I ran into her—or so I thought—in poker rooms around town and thought it was her, but never had the right moment to ask.  Because you know, if you ask someone, “Are you Pokermufin?” and she’s not, it’s kind of awkward.

But at that mixed game, when I was 99% sure it was her, I knew I had to introduce myself.  It was a friendly crowd of course, we were all friends.  Pokermufin was one of the few people I didn’t know. So I figured out a way to ask the question the most delicate way possible.

“Excuse me….if the answer to the question I’m about to ask you is ‘no’ I apologize in advance but….are you ‘Pokermufin’?”  She laughed and said she understood my dilemma.  All the other players around (some of who know her as Pokermufin and some of whom do not) enjoyed my question as well.  She pled guilty and so I introduced myself.  She said she recognized me from around town as well.  I’ve always regretted not telling that story in the post I did about that night, and I’m glad I finally had an excuse to tell it.

Anyway, it turns out that since the Linq opened, she moved over there from another CET property and sometimes is the floor and sometimes deals.  We had a nice chat and she said they were trying to get the $1-$1 going.  So I took a seat and in short order we were able to start the game 6-handed with a reduced rake.  But fortunately it didn’t take all that long for the table to fill up and we played either 9-handed or 10-handed the rest of the time I was there.

I have to say, the Linq room is fun.  Because it is so small, you see the same dealers several times within a few hours.  We sorta become pals, and management obviously doesn’t mind if the dealers play around with the customers. All the dealers were friendly (as well as competent) but there was one dealer who was especially entertaining.  He liked to give all the players nicknames—well it seemed he gave a nickname to everyone but me.  What, “Costanza” didn’t come to him?

When anyone straddled he called it a “straddidle.”  He cracked jokes the entire time he was in the box.  Now, at one point, a guy made a $8 bet and I folded, we had been heads up on the flop.  The guy who bet said, “Would you have called $7?”  I said no. “How about $6?”  I laughed.  Not sure if he got to $5 or not.  The dealer said to me, “I always thought they should allow the last player with a chance to call to be able to bid on how low the bet would be to call.  You know, if you wanted to call just $4 there, you could offer that.”  Interesting variation.  But what if the bettor was making a pure bluff?

You’ve heard of multi-tabling?  Well, there was one guy at the table who was multi-casinoing.  There was a big stack of unattended chips when I took my seat.  About 20 minutes later, the owner of said chips took the seat behind him.  In the course of the evening, he disappeared for 20-30 minutes at a time every 20-30 minutes.  He explained that he was also in a game at the Flamingo (right next door).  Really?  Yes, I believed him.  I have no idea what he was accomplishing by doing this.

I bought in for $100 (still 100 big blinds).  By the time I wrote down a hand, I was down to $41, which tells you that this night was starting off just like every other session from this trip.  I’m not sure I had won a pot.  With Ace-Jack of hearts I called $4, three-way.  The flop was King-Queen-10, rainbow. The preflop raise bet $12 and I shoved. He called (other guy folded).  I was worried about being counterfeited when a Jack hit the river but the guy didn’t show when I tabled my straight.

I raised to $4 with Ace-Jack offsuit, which was too little because I had failed to notice that there was a $2 button straddle.  It was five-ways.  The flop was Ace-Queen-3, two diamonds.  My Ace was a diamond.  I bet $12 and no one called.

I called a $2 straddle with Ace-8 of diamonds, then called a total of $12. It was heads up.  Two diamonds on the flop, I called $21.  I shoved when I hit the flush on the turn and was called. The shove was only for $16 more, so I must have lost some of those chips I’d won on the earlier hands I discussed.  He called and my nut flush held.

I got pocket Aces and it was raised in front of me to $10. I made it $30.  A new player to the table cold called my $30 from the blinds and the original raiser folded.  The flop was King-10-2, two hearts. I was heartless.  I bet $45, around half my stack. He called.  A third heart on the turn and this time he led out for about $50, more than I had.  I tanked but realized that for the size of my stack and the size of the pot, I couldn’t possibly fold there.  I called and the river was a blank, he showed Queen-10 offsuit.  That was my biggest pot of the night.

Then there was a weird hand.  One of the better players at the table, and also the guy with the second biggest stack (and way bigger than mine) raised to $6.  I called with pocket Jacks.  There was another caller.  The flop was 10-9-4, rainbow I think.  The preflop raiser checked.  So I bet $10, the next guy folded, and the preflop raiser check-raised to $30.


Whenever I see that move, I don’t get it.  Since he was the preflop raiser, if he liked the flop enough to check-raise, how could he possibly be sure I (or the other guy) was going to bet?  I don’t see how he could.  Really, what hand could he have there where that made sense?

I was confused to be sure, but I decided to call and see another card.  I figured he most likely had a set of 10’s or 9’s.  But if he’s slow playing it, wouldn’t he just call my bet and get aggressive on the turn?  Anyway, we were heads up. 

The turn was a blank and he surprised me again by checking.  I was lost.  I checked behind.  Then an Ace hit the river, and he bet $45.  I assumed I was beat, so I folded.  He showed his hand. It was two Kings.  Seriously?  I didn’t get that all.  He checked the turn but the Ace on the river didn’t scare him?  And what was the flop check-raise all about?  I actually told him I thought his check-raise was quite odd.  He said he thought I was going to bet. Weird. I hadn’t been playing in a way that would give him that thought up until there.

Then I called $7 with Ace-King of diamonds.  Another player shoved for $22.  The first guy called so I did as well.  The board was all bricks until the river and no one bet.  The river was a King.  I checked it.  The live player had pocket 8’s.  The guy who shoved just mucked.  Lucky river.

And that was it.  I left after three hours or so, up $145.  It was certainly nice to leave ahead. It was good for the mind—and the soul. And you know, I should probably play the Linq more often.  Not only is it fun room, but I have to say the level of competition is pretty low.  I didn’t see anyone there who looked like a reg except for one player who sat next to me for awhile who I’ve played with in a few other rooms around town.  So maybe I’ll hit it up more often next visit.


  1. Happy thanksgiving!

    Jeff in MN

    1. Thanks, and same to you....or I guess by the time you see this, Happy Black Friday.

  2. "Then I called $7 with Ace-King of diamonds. Another player shoved for $22. The first guy called so I did as well. "

    Rob I have 2 questions for you & ifthe first one is a dumb question please forgive me as I am just in the beginning stages of making the transition to cash games. You did not mention approx what you would had or what the other guy had in chips where you had AK, but wouldn't the proper move have been to go all in pre flop in a squeeze play in order to isolate the guy that went all in for $22 or did you feel that the guy that raised originally and then flatted the $22 had a big pocket pair?

    my second question is one of simple curiosity. You used to refer to the places that you played on the strip as BSC which meant big strip casino. Previously you felt uncomfortable about stating where you were playing but I noticed now you seem to always say where and I was wondering what brought about that change. I will say that I so enjoy the fact that you do mention when you are playing much much better.

    Lastly a shout out to you and all your readers I hope you all had a very nice Thanksgiving and a great time with family and friends

    1. Geez, FD, you've asked a couple a questions that will probably take a response the size of one of my blog posts to answer. Let me get back to you.

      And thanks for the good wishes, and same to you.

    2. Oh geez -- now Rob is going to answer questions in his usual LENGTHY manner? Please -- more boobage instead, sir!

    3. Heh heh...just wait to you see my next post!

    4. response is my newest post....

  3. Rob - nice post re the Linq. When we go to LV in the spring, that's where we'll likely be staying. With only 1 cash game table going, it doesn't sound like there'd always be a game if I dropped in there during the week. Can you guesstimate how long a walk it is from the Linq to a more active poker room like Caesars or Ballys?

    1. Yeah, the Linq will be hit or miss on whether or not they have a game. Weekend evenings are you best bet. The good news is that its probably a five minute walk (for the average person) to either the Flamingo or Harrah's poker rooms. Flamingo is on the opposite side of the casino, so even the casino is right next store it's a bit of a walk, but it's one of the busiest rooms on the Strip and is located near the front of the property (and the Linq poker room is basically right on the Strip. Harrah's in the other direction is also right on the strip. Not far at all. (And as noted, there was a guy going back and forth on foot between games at Flamingo and Linq, so it's not very far)(

      Bally's would be me a much longer walk, you have to pass the Cromwell after the Flamingo, cross Flamingo and then walk back away from the Strip quite a bit as the property is not build on the Strip at all.

      You have to cross the Strip to get to Caesars but the good news is, there's an entrance to it near the crosswalk from the Linq that is very close to the poker room, but again, Caesars is not built on the Strip so still a bit of a walk

    2. Thanks, Rob! I guess I totally forgot about those 2 properties. Good point about the guy at your table who had a game going at the Flamingo.

  4. Thanks for the post, great read (as always) hope you had a great Thanksgiving
    Rochester NY

    1. Thanks and same to you. Happy Black Friday!

  5. Another great post Rob, that AA hand would have been a tough one with a bigger stack, villain definitely played that one strange. Oh and A+++ boobage too!

    1. Thanks, Annony. Glad you like my Thanksgiving boobage pic.

  6. Replies
    1. Ah come on, anger. 1 pic is pretty standard. I guess I've been spoiling you recently with multiple boobs.

    2. Thanks for the do-over.

      How about my latest I extra points when they move?