Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Well-Timed Seat Change

Tuesday night's session at MGM featured a couple of nice hands and an extremely well-timed--and lucky--seat change. 
Now the night before I had made two crucial mistakes.  The first was not getting away from a terrible game and a terrible table.  The second involved promo chasing.  And I paid for both of those mistakes (although I was somewhat bailed out a bit by--of all hands--the dreaded pocket Kings).  But that's a tale for another day. (Edited to add: That tale has now been told, you can find it here).

So on Tuesday I was assigned another terrible table.  It was full of nits and no one was really putting chips in play.  It was similar to the one I had the night before.  The reason I didn't ask for a different table the night before was mostly due to comfort.  I mentioned before that MGM received new chairs at the beginning of the year.  The chairs are great, but they kind of shrunk the room.  Because the chairs are bigger than the older chairs they replaced, there is no longer as much room between the tables (the chairs really) than there used to be.  And my assumption is that the reason they can't spread out the tables a bit more is due to either Fire Dept restrictions or Gaming rules regarding the placement of the security cameras.  I know the Binion's tournament area has tables way too close together in some parts and they can't move them even an inch without running afoul of gaming.

So sometimes one gets stuck in seat where there isn't a lot of room behind you, and then people just love to bump into when they walk thru the room.  This is very annoying.  Some tables and seats are worse than others. If I get trapped in a seat where I'm getting bumped into a lot, I won't hesitate to try to change seats and/or tables to be more comfortable.  OTOH, if I'm in seat that has plenty of room, I almost never want to get ask for a new seat or a new table for fear of getting bumped into all night.

The seat I was in Monday was quite comfy and had plenty of room behind me.  So even though I was at a nitty table without any really big stacks in play, I just couldn't bring myself to get up and get into a different game, where I might be cramped.

Tuesday was also a comfy seat, at least from that aspect.  But again, the table was very tight and the stacks were medium to small.  But this time there were other issues with the table.  The guy on my immediate right was kind of crowding me. To be fair, that was mostly the fault of the guy on his right, a big, big guy (both tall and overweight) who, by necessity really, was talking more space than allowed for his area).  Worse,, he was extremely annoying.  He was at the table the night before I heard him talking with a very annoying, low voice--and I believe he was mostly talking to himself.  He was making other annoying noises (might have been grunts or words to himself).  But the worst thing was that he was sniffing every two seconds.  I dunno whether he had a cold or it was something else, but it was annoying as hell.  I'm not a germophobe, but this does really bug me.  I start thinking I'm gonna catch the plague.  But mostly it's just distracting.

I remembered the night before, regretting not moving, and after the 8PM cash drawing was held, I got up and asked for a different table.  I had earlier asked the gentleman behind the podium, my buddy Stan, if there was another $1K envelope for the cash drawing left.  They recently tweaked the drawings, there are now two 2 $1K envelopes a day, and four $200 envelopes a day.  The smaller prizes pick two $100 winners.  The bigger prize is either one $400 prize and six $100 prizes, or five $200 prizes. The drawing at 8PM (which I didn't have a entry for), was the $1K one with five $200 prizes.  So if there was $1K envelope left, they would be giving out $400 to the first person and $600 to six more winners.  Anyway, Stan told me the other $1K envelope was picked earlier in the day.  In other words, only two $200 envelopes were available.

With that knowledge, I knew I wasn't going to worry about the promo, like I did the night before where the midnite drawing had a 50/50 shot of being the $1K envelope with the $400 first prize.

I managed to drop down to $112 from my $200 at the first table.  I think I won a small pot from the blinds, and won another hand with pocket Queens, a preflop bet, and an uncalled c-bet.  The lost money came in small doses, nothing memorable.  When I got to the new table, I planned to observe for an orbit or two and then add on to my stack if I didn't pick up any chips early.

The new table had some interesting characters.  I was sitting between two Euros.  The guy on my right seemed to be the typical aggro Euro, and a big, big stack, over $500.  The Euro on my left had a very short stack. At the other end of the table was a young guy with really long hair and a baseball cap (worn properly) from Australia who had just stepped foot in Vegas for the first time earlier that day. He also had a huge stack, maybe $700 or more.  Another big stack belonged to a middle-aged Asian guy who looked familiar to me, I assumed I'd played with him before.  Clearly this was going to be a much more active table than the one I had left.

As I was settling in, I had to sit out a hand waiting for the button to pass.  I was busy stacking my chips and didn't really have a chance to observe much of anything.  So I was dealt my first hand from the cut-off position.  it was Ace-Jack of hearts.  A few people limped, and the Euro on my right made it $10.  I called.  Short-stacked Euro on my left went all in from the button for $37.  The Asian fellow, who was the big blind, called.  So did the Euro on my right.

OK, so this was definitely a different table than the one I had come from.  I don't think I saw a total pot of $37 at that table! With my stack size, I was certainly willing to gamble here with a pot that was now more than my remaining stack.  In fact, I probably should have just put all the chips in right then and there, but I didn't. I figured I'd be buying more chips after this hand, but why not keep a few extra if I totally whiffed on the flop?  My call would close the action, so I called.

I guess it was a pretty good flop for me.  Only one heart, but the other two cards were an Ace & Jack.  They were both diamonds, however.  The Asian gentleman bet $75.  The Euro to my right folded.  I didn't even count my chips, I knew I was all-in and thus shoved all my chips forward.  In fact, I had exactly $75 left.  No one showed.  The turn looked harmless but I wasn't thrilled to see a diamond on the river.  No paired board though.  The Asian gent quickly flipped over Ace-King for TPTK.  I showed my hand and then the short-stacked Euro looked and looked and looked at the board, and his hand. You've heard of the slow roll?  This is the slow fold.  A guy stares at a board that missed him and takes forever to make sure he can't beat the best hand exposed so far.  Finally he folded face down and left the table.

Sure was nice to get almost a triple-up first hand at the new table.  If only all table-changes worked out so well.

I bit later I limped in with Jack-10 of hearts, UTG, expecting a raise and I wasn't disappointed.  Three of us called $10 and saw a flop of Queen-Ten-X, one heart.  I called $20.  Then I checked a 10 on the turn but no one bet behind me.  I bet $30 on a blank river and there was no call.

Now I've mentioned previously that  I'm doing my notes now on the phone, not by pen and paper.  This leads to issues with auto-correct.  Sometimes I don't catch the incorrect corrections and then the next morning, when I go over my notes, I can't figure out what the eff I meant.  So here's my next note:  "Raise to $8 SEc. 2 call, c-bet wins."

I really don't give a shit about the SEC, so I dunno what that really was.  Apparently I typed a suited hand (probably a suited connector) and damn auto correct thot I meant the letters "S" and "E".

I couldn't win any more big pots for a while, got some small ones and also lost chips lowering my calling standards to try to make hands the maniacs would pay off.  Lost some chips not recognizing a bluff from the Euro who made a big bet on the river when I had middle pair--he had a busted straight draw and showed it.  Oh well.

Finally, after the Asian and the Euro left, the table calmed down.  The Aussie was still there.  He liked to limp into pots or call small preflop raises, but he was pretty aggressive after the flop, betting draws, middle or low pairs, or even air.  He saw about 80% of the flops.

With around $300 in front of me ($100 profit) I had Queen-4 offsuit in the big blind.  Five of us saw a flop of 4-4-2.  I led out for $10 and the Aussie made it $30.  I called. We were heads up.   I checked a King turn and called $40.  The river card was low and I checked and watched the Aussie bet $75.  I didn't think he was bluffing.  I just wondered if he had boated up or had a better kicker than my Queen.  I called and he showed 10-4.  Nice.

Not long after, the Aussie left, the last aggro standing.  There were only smallish stacks at the table and no one really putting chips in play.  I thought about trying to get a table-change but I was tired, it was getting late (a bit after 11PM) and I decided it was a much better idea to just take my over $250 profit and call it a night.  I only had the one drawing ticket for the midnight drawing (I won a smallish pot with a rivered flush), and without a $1K envelope in play, it didn't seem worth it to hang around for a slim shot at a $100 cash prize. Besides, I had cost myself money the night before chasing the promo, as I mentioned earlier (story to come).  So I racked up.

Stan was the one cashing me out.  He said, "You're not waiting for the drawing?"  "Nah, I don't want to risk this chasing it, and since there's no $400 prize available..."  But Stan interrupted me. "Oh, I'm sorry, I was wrong.  I found out that the other $1K wasn't picked.  You still have a chance at the $400.  I meant to tell you but I got real busy."

Hmm....did I really want to go back to the table and keep playing for that long shot at the $400?  Stan held off calling a new player to my seat, giving me time to decide.

I thought a moment and shrugged and said no, I was mentally committed to calling it a night.  I didn't think it was worth risking that profit for such a long shot.  I cashed out as planned.

Stan said ok, but made sure it was clear he had given me a chance to change my mind with the correct information.  Still, he added, "But If your ticket is called, you can still blame me."  I said, "Are you kidding, that will be a helluva blog post!"  He laughed and said he would be sure to tweet out a picture of the ticket with my name on it if it was picked.

Well, the next morning I saw a tweet, no picture, telling me that I don't have to worry about missing the $400 but on the other hand, the $100....he drifted off without explaining.  So he was implying I missed out on a $100 prize.  However, before going to press here, I messaged him and he told me he was just kidding.  I missed out on a $200 drawing and neither ticket drawn was mine.

Actually, I'm kind of disappointed, I think this would have been a better post if I could give crap to Stan for costing me a hundred bucks (even though there's no way that would have been legitimate).   

So I guess I'll just settle for this being a post about a great table-change.


  1. Thanks for the post. Those sniffs and things you see are what us visitors get in your dry climate.

    1. Thanks for the dry climate? I get Vegas throat and such too....and I live in L.A. area.

  2. See how I handled 2 sniffers who got on my nerves. True story.

    1. Awesome story, Mr. S. I'm most impressed that you can belch on command like that

    2. I know, but still impressive.