Thursday, January 29, 2015

Missing the Boat at the Venetian

This post is a continuation of the day and night I discussed here, my very good session at Bally's with Nick & Lightning.

As the evening wore on, there were two topics of conversation that became dominant.  One was dinner.  When to break for it and then where to eat.  The other topic was whether or not we would try to join Tony at the Venetian for a session.  Tony had been texting Lightning for quite some time asking us all to come play with him.

Of course, seeing how well I was doing, Lightning was wondering if I wanted to forgo breaking for dinner—or going anywhere else to play—and just stay there for the foreseeable future.  Noting that I had done terribly the night before at MGM, he wondered if I should consider making Bally’s my new room of choice. 

It took us a long time to decide to leave, we were all having fun, I was winning, and Lightning wasn’t getting an answer to a key question he was asking Tony before he would commit to all of us heading over to the Venetian.  But we just had to eat, and while dinning at the elegant, newly improved Bally’s food court, Lightning got the info he needed and we discussed going to the V after our meal.

Lightning and Nick were definitely going, but I had to think about it.  It was getting late for me.  It was a Sunday night and, unlike the two of them, I had to actually put in some hours in a real job the next day.  But I finally decided to be sociable and put in an appearance.  I’d put in an hour, hour and a half tops and then call it a night.

We headed over to the Venetian.  Since Lightning was parked in Bally’s, the two of them got there first, as I had to walk all the way back to Caesars to get my car.  By the time I arrived, I expected to see them in a game, but no, they were sitting in the Venetian poker room’s waiting area.

They informed that they couldn’t find Tony.  It had been awhile since Lightning had heard from him, but last he had heard, Tony was playing in a 1/2 game there dying for us to meet up with him.  Note: Those of you who follow the Tony saga—and I’m sure that’s almost all of you—already know what happened to Tony on this night.

Meanwhile, many texts from Lightning went unanswered.  What to do, what to do? 

We wasted a good 10-15 minutes sitting around, pondering that perplexing question, hoping that Tony would either show up or send Lightning a text letting him know what he was up to.

In the meantime, I got a tweet from Alysia Chang asking if we were playing at Caesars for the promos.  I sent her back a message that there was no way to get into a game there.  And I said what I still believed to be true at that moment: That we were all at the Venetian and we were all going to be playing with Tony at some point.  She decided to head over and join us.

We then had one of the silliest discussions I can recall.  It was late, getting near 11PM I believe.  We agreed that we should not worry about Tony—since he was now ignoring us—and just find a place to play some poker.  This discussion took place in the Venetian poker room, one of the very nicest poker rooms in all Vegas.  And yet, somehow, both Nick and Lightning were trying to think of a place for us to go play poker.  Um, guys, look all around you.  We’re in a poker room!  A nice one.  It took me a lot longer than it should have to convince these out-of-town yokels that we should play in the poker room where we were having the discussion.

With remarkable ease we all managed to get into a game together.  The table where they sent me had two open seats within a few minutes after I was seated, and they were able to grab them.  Not long after that, Alysia showed up and managed to get seated at our game as well.

The problem was the three of them were all in a corner at one side of the table and I was by myself at the opposite end.  The three of them were seemingly having a grand ol’ time chatting away, speculating on TBC’s whereabouts (among other topics), and I could barely hear every third word, if I was lucky.  The seating arrangements eventually led to some ruinous poker decisions.

One of the first hands I had was pocket Jacks.  Yes, again.  Recall that I had pocket Jacks twice very early in my Bally’s session earlier that same day.  I raised to $10, only one caller.  The flop was King-Queen-Jack rainbow.  That was the exact same flop I had the first time I had Jacks at Bally’s.  I bet $15 and he folded.

A bit later I had pocket 3’s. I was one of many limpers.  The flop was 3-6-8, two clubs.  I bet $5.  Another player made it $15, I made it $45 and the two of them called.  The turn was a 7, not a club and I just shoved.  No call.

In the big blind I had 7-6 offsuit and no one raised.  The flop was A-9-5 and Lightning bet $10.  I called with my gut shot.  It was heads up.  Blank on the turn, we both checked.  Another 5 on the river, I bet $20 with nothing, and Lightning folded.  See, I do bluff.  But only my friends.

Then it was time for me to get the dreaded pocket Kings.  The guy to my immediate right raised to $13 in front of me.  I made $37.  He called and we were heads up.  The flop was Ace-high.  I bet $60. He tanked and then folded.   He didn’t show but said something about “Ace-magnets.”  His neighbor asked him if he had Kings and he confirmed that he did.

“Really?  You had pocket Kings?”  He assured me that he had.  “Well, then neither one of us was gonna hit our set.”  He did a double-take and asked me if I really had the other two Kings.  I assured him that I had.

See?  I can too play pocket Kings!

He shook his head.  “Well, it was a good bet then.  You bet $60 with an Ace on the flop?”

Well yes, that’s exactly what I did.  I almost always bet my dreaded Kings when an Ace hits the flop. I might not stick around to the river but I think you have to bet there and see what the response is.  I don’t believe in being afraid of an Ace until I’m given reason to.  I don’t play those dreaded Kings meekly….maybe that’s why they sometimes bite me.

What I didn’t ask him is why the heck he didn’t repop it after I re-raised him?  I mean, if he had, we would have gotten it all in preflop and we would have chopped the pot.

So I was building up a nice little stack, a nice little profit, when this nightmare occurred.  Alysia raised to $10.  I called with pocket deuces.  I believe we were heads up, if not, a third player dropped out after the flop.  I rather liked the flop.  It was 4-4-2.  Yes, I do enjoy flopping boats.

She bet $15 and I just called.  The turn was an Ace and this time she checked.  I thought about betting but decided to slow play it still.  I think it was a 5 on the river.  She bet $15.  I made it $45.  She announced all-in and I snap called, sure my boat was the winning hand.

From across the table I hear, “What, do you have pocket fours?”  She turned up two Aces!  I couldn’t believe it.  OK, I could, but I didn’t want to.  “You sucked out on me,” was all I could get past my lips.  That was indeed a major cooler hand.

The guy next to me said, “Yeah, but you sucked out on her first.”


“She had the better hand preflop.”

Well yeah, that’s true.  But that’s not a suckout.  I maintained (and do here) that you can’t suck out on the flop. For it to be a suckout, it has to happen on the turn or the river.  The flop is suck-out proof.  I mean, unless it’s all in preflop.  Then you can have a suckout.  Aces vs. Kings, all-in preflop, King hits the flop, that’s a suckout.  But if I see a flop for $10 with deuces and hit my set (or in this case, a boat), that’s not a suckout.  It became a suckout when Alysia hit her two-outer with only two cards left to come (OK, she actually had a four-outer, either of the remaining 4’s would have given her a bigger full house too).

Does that make sense?  Do I have a valid point?

Anyway, it’s just semantics.  Whatever, it was a cooler, as I said.  I didn’t write down the amounts, but I had her covered (I think she bought in for $100), I still had chips, enough so I didn’t have to rebuy, but I was no longer profitable for the session.

But I won a number of smallish and not so small pots.  I got pocket Aces and got two streets of value for them before taking it down.  I had KK vs JJ—I had to slow down on the flop because it was Ace high and all clubs.  However, I had the King of clubs and caught the nut flush on the river.

I was back above my $200 buy in and pretty much ready to call it night.  Now, because I was running so well (until the deuces full hand) I had passed on a few opportunities to change seats and get closer to the rest of the gang.  But as I was just about done, and ready to cash out with a small profit, I decide to move next to the gang for a few more hands.

You see, Lightning had indicated he had finally heard from Tony and he didn’t want to shout what he had heard from him across the room.  So I decided to move not just to be sociable, but so I could learn why Tony had disappeared from the V before we had gotten there.

When I left my “lucky seat” the guy to my right—the one who had folded his Kings to my Kings—said, “What, that seat is not good enough for you?”  He started listing all the good hands that I had that he had seen, starting with the Kings vs. Kings hand.  I didn’t explain to him why I left.

Anyway, I soon learned Tony’s fate.  This was the night he was banned from the Venetian.  He was now at the Wynn and asking us all to join him there.  I dunno about anyone else, but I was just about done and wasn’t going to waste time going to another poker room.  I guess everyone agreed as we stayed put.

But that did give me the opportunity to badly misplay a hand.  I raised to $8 in early position with pocket Queens.  At least one person called, and then it was on one of the two new players to the table.  I recognized this first new guy.  I remembered him not only from the very first freeroll I had played in at the MGM, but I had seen him earlier in the day at Caesars.  Yeah, he was one of zillions of folks who tried and failed to get into their room when they had all these promos going on.  He made it $35.

Now, the next guy was the guy who had taken over the seat that I had recently vacated. And he made it $70.

The second guy had about a similar amount behind, the first guy had less, closer to $120.  I had them both covered.  It folded back to me.

I wanted to fold, I should have folded.  And instead, I started thinking about not folding.  I’m not sure what my thought process was, other than I felt like I was running good this day (yeah….if you ignore the deuces full I flopped and lost with).  And the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t get away from it.

And I assumed that if I just called, there was a good chance the first guy would re-raise and we’d get it all in anyway.  So I figured I might as well just shove there.  Maybe I had a little fold equity.  Maybe the guy who made it $35 would fold his Ace-King.  So I shoved.

The first guy tanked for a long time….then finally called.  The second guy snapped called, which didn’t make me feel too good.  The board totally bricked and here’s why.  The first guy—the guy who made it $35, the guy who I had seen at Caesars earlier in the day—had the other two Queens.  Yeah, we were both drawing pretty dead.  Because the guy who had made it $70, the guy who had taken over my old “lucky seat” had two Aces.

Shit.  We all showed our cards and Nick and Lightning were justifiable puzzled by my play.  I couldn’t really come up with a good explanation.

But then, just to poor salt in my wound, Nick had to point out, “You left that seat, Rob.”  Thanks for that Nick, really appreciated it.  There’s a word for people like you.  But I can’t use it in print without getting banned from Google.

By the way, that was pretty irrelevant.  There had been a fair number of hands since the time I had left that spot.  If I had stayed there, I would have played the cards dealt there differently, as would have the guy who would have taken the seat I moved to.  Heck, we would have folded differently.  Point being that there’s no way you could say that if I had stayed in that seat that hand would have had the same distribution of cards and I would have gotten the Aces and he would have gotten the Queens.  Not a chance in hell of that happening.

Later, in a comment on Tony’s blog, I pointed out that if I wanted to, I could blame him for the loss.  After all, I only moved away from my lucky seat to get the latest update on him.

But that would be ridiculous.  I made my own decisions—first to move seats, and then to horribly misplay that hand.  So of course I have no one to blame but myself.

It also occurred to me that this was the second time this session that I had the exact same big pocket pair as someone else—remember I had KK vs KK earlier.  There’s no bonus for that, however.

That hand cost me $153.  And put me in the red for the night (but still up for the day).  I left very soon after.  It was a fun day, a lot of great talk, a lot of great (and lucky poker), but a rotten finish due to my own poor play (and let’s not forget the suckout that Alysia laid on me).


  1. I disagree with your definition (since you asked). :) If a pair of deuces catch up and beat a pair of aces, it's a suckout... You're also showing people up, posting your novels on consecutive days - STOP... ;)

    1. It wasn't consecutive days...Tuesday/Thursday. I gave everyone TWO days to read my last post. :)

      Disagree about "suckout.' obv. In fact, in the post below I talked about a hand where I had AA, other guy had KK, he flopped a King, and I sucked out on him by rivering Ace. In the post I admitted that I sucked out on him. BUT...I did not say that he sucked out on my on the flop, tho obviously I was 80/20 favorite before any cards were put on the board.

    2. When I read this, it said Bally's was one day ago. It now says two. You can stop lobbying - I'll never agree with you... lol Underpair has 5 chances in 48 to catch 2-outer (while avoiding overpair's set). You get added odds with 4-card straight, possible flush win, but it's a suckout... ;)

  2. Truth be told i actually asked for lightning to come to wynn alone. Not the whole group

    1. OK, it's possible I knew that and misremembered. Sorry.

  3. KK v. KK and QQ v. QQ in one session. Crazy.

    1. Yeah....and even crazier, the time with QQ vs QQ it was also vs AA!

    2. Reminds me of one of the craziest hands I ever saw - at Borgata about 4 years ago . . . 4 players to the flop . . . AJQ . . . Bet, Raise, fold, re-raise, shove, call, call . . . Hands were JJ, 99, QQ and AA.... If I recall correctly, a four-card flush took the pot down!

    3. Yeah that's crazy. I remember a 3/6 limit pot where it was JJ vs QQ vs KK vs AA vs AA. Yeah, two people had Aces. Every round was capped (remember, this was limit). A King spiked and the dreaded hand took it down.

  4. I was a happy camper last night at Red Rock when my AA held up against KK and JJ on a Q10X flop and Blank Blank.

    1. Get an account - don't be anonymous... #beginnersluck :)

    2. Nice escape, Anony. Between all of you had Broadway, huh?

      Don't be a hater, Coach! :)

    3. Coach can hate, he might be my older brother but he can't WIN like me. :)

    4. You really coach's brother? Interesting.

    5. Pete didn't even tell me he had commented here, but he had told me about the hand. First time out since returning to Vegas, and he crushed Red Rock... :)

  5. Replies
    1. And apparently a much better poker player than he is! :)