Sunday, May 25, 2008

Poker Lessons At Bellagio - Day 12

I decided to head to the Strip yesterday in search of tourists looking to blow their money over the holiday weekend. I was not disappointed with the amount of volume I found. I first made my way over to Caesar's Palace since I read in a post on that the $4/$8 game there was very soft. The place was teeming with people with full wallets blowing their hard earned cash in the pits and on the one arm bandits. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the poker room at about 11 there was not even a list of interest for the game. I worked my way out of the cavernous casino resort (getting lost and turned about a couple of times) and worked my way across Flamingo to Bellagio where I knew there would be plenty of games going on. Not surprisingly, the poker room was jammed when I arrived. I waited about 15 minutes for the floor staff to organize a new $4/$8 game and soon I was taking flops in the hallowed room graced with photos of poker legends past and present. I was sitting one table over from where Rebecca and I had watched Gus Hansen play in the WPT $25,000 Championship event. I smiled inwardly about how very cool that was. That didn't last too long though as the game was brisker than any limit game I had ever played. I was running my starting stack down when I picked up AKs in diamonds under the gun and raised. the player to my left was a dealer at Bellagio and playing real fast like many dealers do (they like to think they can outplay you after the flop so they take the lead whenever they can.) a girl who had just sat down in the game made it three bets and a WPT brat made it four bets because he liked to gamble and jam up the pots. Five bets is the cap at Bellagio and I decided to go that route since I figured one of the two players behind me would do so anyway. The flop came down King high with two diamonds. I could vaguely here Vince Van Patton saying something about show tunes going off in my head. I bet out figuring to get raised but instead I got called in two spots (the dealer and the chick.) the turn was one of my money cards as another King hit the board. I lead again and this time only the girl called me. the river was meaningless and I bet again. she called me down and I showed her my trip Kings. she got steamy and turned over Aces. hey, for once I drew out on the rockets. I also drew out on them a bit later holding 77 in the big blind when it was folded around to the button who raised. I reraised thinking it was a steal raise plus any time I am playing against the button when he raises I want to play back at him and get the big blind to fold. long story short, a 7 falls on the flop and I get what little money I had left in by the river beat the rockets. but alas, I had my own Aces get cracked when WPT kid called my early position raise with Q4s in spades and flopping a flush. He outplayed me on the turn and the river but I figured he was just being an idiot like I had seen him play earlier hands. the tell tale sign should have been when he pounded the table to check and when I bet he would call. i truly thought he was trying to put on a reverse tell since this kid had a serious case of fancy play syndrome. the following odds are provided by Mike Caro at

The probability that a flush will flop if you hold suited cards...

Expressed in percent (%) is: 0.84
The odds against it are: 118 to 1

I can now say that I got ran down by a 118 to 1 long shot :-)

The lesson I got out of this session which I paid a tuition of $88 for was that in very loose aggressive games fluctations are much greater and you cannot let that affect your decision making. You just need to adjust your game by pushing your edges when you're ahead to earn the maximum since so many times you will have to call down bets on the river and payoff tricky players when you are holding a marginal hand. Also, choosing a seat is key. With only one tricky aggressive player at the table I would do my best to get on his left. this game had several so I wasn't sure where I should move to should the opportunity arise so I stayed put for the session. my bankroll is not quite ready for serious amusement park rides so I will go back to playing at the locals shops like GVR where they are not as fast with their money and I am actually considered an aggressive player in the games. I like having that image of being a tough aggressive solid player without really getting away from solid ABC fundamentals. the local players tend to be passive calling stations. I still need a lot of work on my game when it comes to playing against more than one very loose aggresive player. The Bellagio game I played in was dominated by young guns with way too much money to burn and with too many hours of watching televised poker tournies under their belts. they were looking to gamble and doing silly things like raising blind and straddling and then playing their hand blind after the flop. normally I'm all in favor of anything that gives an edge, but true be told I'm playing on a short bankroll so I am looking for the least amount of variance right now. Hey, at least I recognize my deficiencies and I have something to work towards.

the figures for yesterday:

Hours Played this session: 3.5
Gave: $88
$ Per Hour: -$25.14

Month to Date: $3
Year to Date: $3

Hourly Rate Year to Date: $0.07
Total Bankroll: $620

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