Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Grand Old Time

MGM Grand:
Played a typical day time type session at MGM. I like when I get lucky and get seated at a brand new table. Usually I'll find one or two "producers" in a brand new game as opposed to a game that has been going for a while. Reason being, the "producers" have all gone bust by the time a game is an hour or two old. This is not to say such a player may not stumble into a game when an open seat arises. The likelihood, however, of having more than one really soft spot in the game goes way down when a game has been going for a while. As luck would have it, I got to the card room just before 3 pm and got seated in a game just opening up. After a couple of orbits I could tell there were several really soft spots that I was going to look to capitalize on. Alas, I only grinded out about a $60 profit by the time they either went broke or racked up. I did later get a bunch of chips from a lady who appeared to be a tight-passive player. I picked up AK in the big blind and was the only one to call her UTG raise. If she understands her hand values, raising UTG should require a big hand. The flop came down king high and I checked it to her to see her response. She bet out $10 and I called. The turn brought and ace. I actually didn't much like this card because while it gave me top two, it could kill the action as well if the card scared her. I was really hoping she had a hand like AQ but I am not sure she would have continuation bet. She didn't seem like the type and why for so little. In any event, I checked it again because I wanted to see if she would bet the ace and for how much. Again she bet $10. I took a moment and check-raised her $20 more on top. She called me after a small bit of hesitation. The river brought a rag and I bet out $50. I figured if she flatted me we had the same hand and if she raised me then she had one of two sets. If she had decided to push over the top of my bet I think I might have laid my hand down. At best I'd be drawing at half the pot. Goes to show the power of position and what table image can do for you. She mucked immediately and I am still not sure what she called my check-raise with. Pocket queens maybe. Lots of bad tight players will hold onto pocket pairs they know are beat until the bitter end. They wait around so long for the premiums that they just don't know how to release them when the situation dictates it. Anyway, that was the most memorable hand of the day other than the guy earlier in the session who sat down and after three hands started pushing in preflop blind. He pretty much got stacked when someone picked up rockets. This left him with $24 in front and he once again moved in on the next hand. It was folded around to me in the big blind and I looked down at KTs in spades and decided to take a flyer since my hand figured to be better than a random hand. When we turned the cards over I indeed did have the best of it has he tabled a Q8o. Of course the door card is the queen but justice was served as I went runner-runner to a ten high straight. I didn't mind gambling with the guy in that spot as I will most times have the best of it. Plus it's good for table image and the like. Long Island Mike came by the card room and was seated at my table. We played together for about 90 minutes before the last of the donators went and found a rack. That was my queue to rack up as well. Mike told me about a promotion going on at Monte Carlo where you need to accumulate 15 hours of play by next Friday and in return the house is having a 15k free roll that Saturday. So, we headed on over...

Monte Carlo
...and there was only one game going. Mike joined me in the food court where I got the advertised $5 foot long meatball sub from Subway for $10 (gotta love casinos.) After scarfing that down we went back to the card room and put our names on the list. After about ten minutes the floor informs us they are starting a new game. Great! You just read about my love for new games. Well, this one sucked. Right from the jump the we were short handed and people were chopping. We finally got to a full ring but even so the pots were small and the only way to get any value out of hand was to play small ball and hope to not get drawn out on as you make what amount to value bets on each street when you think you're ahead. I ended up giving back an inconsequential amount before we both grew tired of the nittiness. I won the last post with KQ high after all streets were checked. I knew it was time to check out. We headed back to the MGM where Mike sat in a new game and I headed for the exit. I did pick up this cool chip while at Monte Carlo. However, I do not recommend Diablo's Cantina next time you are in town. It
is an overpriced tourist trap in my humble opinion. Wifey and I have gone before to see the local hard rock band Otherwise play there. Good little bar venue as you are right on top of the stage, but paying $7 for a bottle of beer that I could get a six pack of at the local liquor store is just dumb. Anyway, here's a pic of the chip:

MGM Grand
Hours Played: 4.33 hours
Take: $174

Monte Carlo
Hours Played: 1.75
Gave: -$16

Month to Date: $397
Year to Date: $1,643
Hourly Rate Year to Date: $11.77
Total Hours Played Year to Date: 139.56
Sessions Played Year to Date: 36
Win/Loss Record by Session: 21/12 63.64% win rate

I'm Finally Finshed....So Let's Get Started

Well, barring any unforeseen hangups with the submission of my capstone project for my master's degree, I should have the diploma dated with a December graduation date. I spoke with my advisor and she is currently reviewing and grading my work. I've already received, completed, and mailed back my application for graduation. So, keep your fingers crossed that I don't take a bad beat on this one and have to revise my project which will push my graduation date to this coming May. I plan on walking in the ceremony come May as I think my parents deserve the photo op. This has been a long time coming for me and I am sure they are very proud. When we attended Rebecca's graduation ceremony where she received her doctorate, my parents attended and I know they were proud of her. I want them to have the same sort of experience with me, and also have Rebecca's parents down for the event. I should also be graduating with honors which is something I never really dreamed I would ever do. It will be an achievement nobody can take away from me and it is a source of deep pride as I know all the hard work and long hours it took to achieve it. As Stephen Covey states in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, personal victories before public victories. Each course was a personal victory for me as I achieved high marks and the commencement ceremony will be my public victory. I think these small personal victories are also relevant to life on the felt. Each correct read, each proper value bet, each tough fold add to your personal victories. At the end of the month or the year when you add up your sessions and show a significant win for your time, that is the public victory you can share with others should you choose to.

So, I've been working on getting back into the flow of things and the hours required to be successful at this racket. I've also begun to stretch out my sessions and play later into the evening as a way of getting Rebecca used to what is surely to come; 8 - 12 hour days of sessions that run into the wee hours. I didn't think it was right for me to jump right into that lifestyle, for Rebecca's sake as well as the sake of my bankroll. Concentration at the table is just like any other acquired skill, it takes practice to get good at it. One of my biggest edges I have right now is the fact that I don't tilt as often or as hard as most of my opponents. I feel like I start to lose that edge once the session starts to go over six hours or so. I'm thinking of working 4 - 6 hours at a time and then taking a break of an hour or so. The day games at MGM are beatable from what I've experienced thus far so I may work on a schedule where I play there until mid evening, come home and spend some time with Rebecca, then head back out to South Point which is almost within walking distance of our condo complex. I don't know how the games are there, but even if I can grind out another $10 an hour it will be worth my time as I am getting hours and experience in. OK, well tomorrow I will start back with my daily reports from the felt.

As Worm said in an overly quoted movie on this blog, "Hey, at least you're rounding again. You're gonna thank me for that some day."

11/17 - 12/7
Hours Played: 37.92 hours
Take: $813
$ Per Hour: $21.44

November: $574
December Month to Date: $239
Year to Date: $1,485
Hourly Rate Year to Date: $11.13
Total Hours Played Year to Date: 133.48
Sessions Played Year to Date: 34
Win/Loss Record by Session: 20/12 62.50% win rate