Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Luck of the Irish

Well, I’m back in Vegas as I write this, and presumably, as you read it.  So there’s little danger of me running out of fodder for blog posts any time soon.  I did want to alert all my readers who plan to visit Vegas of a website that has a good map of the Vegas strip that may prove useful.  It’s on a site called and you can find the map here.  The nice thing about the map is if you click on the property it will take you directly to the property’s own website.  Check it out when you have a chance.

Last night I tried something a little different at the MGM poker room—I played 2/6 spread limit instead of my usual 1/2 NL game.  Just recently I mentioned here that my old 2/4 game had been replaced by this new 2/6 game.  The MGM is currently offering an additional promo for this game (as well as 4/8 limit if they ever get it going).  It’s a $100 high hand of the hour.  To encourage play, they are taking only a $2 rake (as well as a $2 promo drop).  Limit and spread limit players are still eligible for the other promos (described here), so it’s a pretty good deal.

The promo has worked for them as they are now having more 2/6 games going more regularly than 2/4 had been previously been getting.  I guess the promo was enough to get me to give it a try at least one nite, and last nite was the nite.

Good decision.  When I first got to the table, it was an absolute blast, and definitely reminded me of the good old days of 2/4 that I recently described.  There was a woman at the table who had taken her daughter to Vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday.  Said daughter was there with her girlfriend, same age, watching her mom play.  Both girls were very attractive, albeit they were wearing rather modest dresses for Vegas.

The three of them were laughing and joking the whole time, and the good time they were having was contagious.

There was a off-duty dealer playing at the table, and he said hello to me as I took my seat.  Mom picked up on this right away, she must have already learned the player actually worked there.  She said to me, “Oh no, do you work here too?  Are you part of some conspiracy?”

I laughed and said I didn't work there.  Though sometimes I feel like I do.  I happened to be wearing a very green shirt, and she took note of that right away.  She asked me if I was Irish because I was wearing green.  Although I told her I was not, she called me “Irish” the rest of the night.  The guy to her right was from Canada and she called him “Canada.”  He finally took to calling the mom “Florida” since that’s where she’s visiting from.

She called her daughter “Blondie” because of her blonde hair.  She revealed to us that the daughter bleaches her hair blonde even though she is a natural blonde.  I resisted the temptation to pursue that information in a salacious manner.  Although the group was fun, they were not particularly risqué.

But the blonde daughter and her dark-haired girlfriend sat with Mom the whole time and were every bit as much a part of the game as if they were playing.  There was never a moment of silence at the table, which was ok because they were so much fun.

I was disappointed to learn that they had to leave soon to see a show.  There were jokes that the girls were going to a Chippendale’s show but Mom said no, it was one of the big shows on the Strip.  But the girls indicated they could be headed to Chippendale’s on another night and the mom was fine with it.  Perhaps the mom would join them?

The three of them were having fun with the attractive blonde woman next to me, a Southern California resident who also has a place in Vegas.  She comes to Vegas regularly and I know I’ve seen her before; she recognized me as well.  She never plays NL though, I think I’ve mostly seen her watching her husband play.  She mentioned being a neighbor (in L.A.) of Justin Beiber and one of the Kardashians.  The friend of the daughter indicated that she was a big fan of the Kardashians.  Ok, no one is perfect.

Mom seemed to be doing ok at the game.  It was clear that she had been playing for many hours before I showed up.  She played pretty much every hand and seldom folded—ever.  She paid me off when she was holding some fairly weak hands and stayed in.  Typical of the average limit player, I suppose.  She didn’t come to Vegas to fold.  Still she was doing ok and kept winning tickets to the 10PM cash give away drawing (flush or better).  Which was a shame because she knew she wasn’t going to be there for the drawing (and that’s required to win).  I dunno why she kept have her daughter—who she called her secretary—fill out the tickets.

A guy from Copenhagen came to the table.  He was young, blond, good looking I guess, and an exchange student living in San Diego.  He definitely got the girls’ attention.  He said he had just starting surfing so they called him “The Surfer.”  He suggested they all go to Chippendale’s together, although when I commented on him wanting to go, he backed off.

The woman next to me had teenagers who were with them and the Mom from Florida wanted the Mom from L.A. to have her 19-year old son meet her daughter, who was interested as well.  There was talk of all of them (the kids) going to Hakassan on Friday night.

Poker is a very social game, especially a limit or spread limit game. 

Sadly, the mom and the two cute, 21-year-old girls left for their show.  That’s when the poker got interesting, at least for me.  

Because it was limit, I limped in with Ace-9 off suit.  The flop was Jack-Ace-Ace.  I bet $4 and lady from L.A. raised to $10.  I called.  I checked a King on the turn and she bet $6 and I called.  I suspected she either had a bigger kicker than my 9 or a boat.  But she couldn’t bet enough to get me to fold.  I was happy to see a 9 on the river, giving me the boat, but I couldn’t help thinking she had a bigger boat than I did.  When I bet $6 and she raised to $12, I just called. 

She did indeed have a boat.  In fact, with pocket Jacks, she flopped it.  But I hit the bigger boat on the river.  Not only did I win the pot, but I took over the lead in the “high hand of the hour” promo.

The lady gave me a hard time—in a very nice, friendly way—about sucking out on her like that.  I apologized and because she was such a nice woman, I almost meant it.

At least we both got tickets for the 10PM drawing.  That was the first one of the night for me.

I won a bigger pot a bit later when I had 3-5 clubs in the small blind.  With almost everyone limping in, it was easy to call.  There was an Ace and two clubs on the flop.  I called a bet, $4 I think.  When I turned the flush, I bet $6 and my opponent called.  The river was a blank.   I bet $6 again and the woman who had bet the flop raised to $12.  I called, worried she had a better flush.  Nope, she just had an Ace and I took the pot.

I limped in with King-7 of spades hoping to catch another flush—and thus, another drawing ticket.  I did indeed flop the flush draw and called $4. Again I hit it on the turn, I bet and had two callers.  When I bet the river, I was raised and just called, worried about the Ace high flush.  But the raiser had a straight and the other player had a much smaller flush.  Another good pot.

A little bit after the full house, the woman’s husband came by to see how she was doing.  He was a big guy.  She said to me, “Why don’t you tell my big husband what you did to me.”  Gulp.  I explained it and he just laughed.  “That’s poker,” he said.  Indeed it is.

My boat held up as the high hand of the hour and I got paid $100 for it.  Nice.  But I didn’t get picked for the 10PM drawing.  Ironically, the big husband of the lady from L.A. that I had sucked out on did.  I just couldn’t stay lucky enough long enough to get one of my three tickets picked.

Still, I had a fun session, especially the early part with the family from Florida.  And I won some money.  Even without the promo money, I left up, so it was a good experiment all the way around.  I will say that I wasn't paying attention to the poker with the intensity I do at a NL game. In fact I was just playing the cards, not really playing the players.  Not intellectually challenging, but a nice break from "serious" poker while still winning some money.  A nice change of pace.

I suspect I'll try it again sometime.


  1. Definately reminds me of the 2 4 limit days. I will have to try my hand at some spread limit next time I'm there. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Good story - keep em comin.

  2. true. i love or loved limit poker. moneymaker and the TV POKER killed it.imo.when,i lived in florida on suncruz casino ship. we use to play 5 10 limit everyday on the morning . also, sometimes 5 10 round and round. and with a kill. good times.

    1. Thanks, was fun, mostly because of the players. It sure wasn't as mentally challenging as NL is....but I suspect higher limit poker, as opposed to 2/4 or 2/6, would be a very different animal.

    2. true but it is a relative to the players and bankrolls but u know that ,brother. happy football day aka thanksgiving . GO RAIDERS. they r up at the half