As I mentioned last post, here, it was Super Bowl Saturday (if such a thing exists) and I had had a very good, albeit quick, session at Planet Hollywood. Time to spend the rest of the evening at the MGM.
Have I mentioned that the MGM has had some renovations recently? During my December trip they were actually shut down for four days to do some of the remodel. I have a couple of posts to write about poker sessions I had in other venues when they were closed.
The remodel is not dramatic. One of the things they did was put a podium in the middle of the room (if you seen Caesars Palace new room, it’s somewhat like that). That actually cost them a table (now down to 13) which is kind of unfortunate. They apparently laid some new carpet, not that I would notice something like that (I tend to notice carpet only when it does or doesn’t match the drapes). They also did something that would no doubt get the approval of TBC….they added USB phone chargers to all the poker tables.
I’d seen those changes in December after they reopened. While I was gone, they finally got the new chairs they’ve been needing for a long, long time. Their old chairs were a mistake from day one….I always found them too low to be comfortable, and they sure didn’t age well. The new chairs are terrific. Probably the most comfortable chairs I’ve seen in any poker room. Great back support, adjustable height, wheels, the whole nine yards. A fantastic improvement.
Also while I was gone, they added a bunch of TV’s. Initially there were only TV’s on one wall, if you had your back to that wall, you were out of luck. Now you can see several TV’s from any seat in the house. This is important because you know that in any Vegas poker room, at least 95% of all the players have money on at least one of the games that is taking place at any given moment. I am in that 5% that doesn’t have money on the games.
Nick, aka Cokeboy had returned to town for the big game, and he and Chris were planning on joining me for some pokerz at the MGM that nite. But I was first to arrive, and as it turned out, all the memorable action occurred before the two of them showed up. In fact, pretty much all the memorable action happened in a span of less than 10 minutes.
I had been in a game for awhile, slowly bleeding chips. I was down to about $140 and was starting to think about buying some more chips when I was dealt the dreaded pocket Kings on the button. Someone had straddled, someone had called the straddle, so I made it $15. Three players called. Ugh. Surely one of them had an Ace. Surely an Ace would hit the flop.
And in fact, there was indeed an Ace on the flop. But there was also a King. Along with a 10. It was a rainbow but not exactly a dry board. An early position player made a donk bet of $25 into the $60 pot. I knew I was likely getting my whole stack in this hand, the bigger question was, would I win the pot or would I have another “dreaded pocket Kings” story to tell? It folded to me.
I took my remaining chips, split them into two almost-equal stacks, and put out the smaller of the two stacks (by $5) out. I believe it was $60. He thought for a few seconds and went all-in. He had me covered. Of course, I wasted no time in calling. If he had Queen-Jack, that’s poker.
But when the turn card was an Ace, I no longer had to worry about the straight. Of course, the thought that he might have had Ace-King crossed my mind. The river was a blank. He showed Ace-7. Wow. He shoved with top pair, crappy kicker. Good for me. I had a nice double up.
I lost some chips on the very next hand and the details are a little murky. I didn’t have a chance to write them down right away because of what happened on the hand right after. But I raised and then called a raise with a medium suited-connector, called a bet on either the flop or the turn with a pair and a flush draw, and then called a smallish (compared to the pot) bet on the river thinking my pair might have been good. It wasn’t.
During that hand I was still stacking my chips and I was just finishing up stacking when I got King-Jack of hearts. One player had limped so I made it $10. Four of us saw the flop, which was pretty good for me. King-high, and the other two cards were both hearts. Top pair and a flush draw. It checked to me and I bet $25. Two players called.
The turn was a lowish heart, giving me the second nuts. It was checked to me and I bet $80. The next player to act was the guy who I had beaten with my Kings full hand just two hands ago. He shoved. He was short-stacked (thanks to me), but it was more than my bet. No matter, the next guy announced all-in as well. His stack was close enough to mine that I didn’t bother to ask for a count.
It was easy to believe that one of them had the Ace of hearts. And possibly another heart to go with it. But with what I’d already put in the pot, there was no way I could fold even if I wanted to. Can you fold the second nuts there? But as I announced my call, I was starting to think that, instead of having a dreaded pocket Kings post to write about, I was going to have a dreaded King-Jack (suited) hand to post instead.
None of us showed and of course I was very much wanting to see the Ace of hearts hit the river. And that was the only heart I wanted to see. In fact, a red Ace did hit the river, but it was the Ace of diamonds. Was I toast?
I think we all more-or-less showed our hands at once. The short stack had a baby flush—something like 5-2 of hearts (I don’t think it was deuce-4 but it might have been). The bigger stack had a suited connector, 9-8 or 8-7 hearts. Phew, my second nut flush was always good.
It was a big pot, over $400. It turned out the suited connector guy had less chips than me and he just took off. The other guy rebought. I stacked chips.
I had a nice story to tell, three all-ins, three flushes, and I win with only the second nuts? I really thought I was in trouble there.
So I was up over $300, all from what happened in the span of less than 10 minutes. By the time Nick and Chris showed up, I had no interest in leaving that seat to join them. They were each at a different table and eventually they both migrated over to my table.
The trouble was, after that quick run, I went card dead. I managed to win a few pots with preflop raises and c-bets, but I never caught anything the rest of the night. So my stack kept shrinking as I would call or raise with speculative hands and then whiff. In hindsight, I should have been willing to move out of that lucky seat, because it wasn’t that lucky except those two hands from that one dealer. Maybe I should have followed that dealer around from table to table?
The three of us had a fun time bullshitting at the table, but I couldn’t remember anything especially earth-shattering the next day that we covered. I do remember laughing a lot and having a good time, even as my chips were slowly disappearing from my stack.
One thing Nick and I discussed was Planet Hollywood. It turns out he and his wife were eating at the Earl of Sandwich right by the poker room at the same time I was playing poker there. Obviously, we never saw each other. I was actually sitting about as far away from the restaurant as I could.
As for Chris, there will be another post from this trip where he plays a starring role. But on this particular night, we didn’t really get into any hands against each other.
At least I didn’t catch any second best hands. When I finally cashed out, I was up $210. So over $500 for the day. I guess it worked out just fine that I missed the Aria tournament that afternoon.