Friday, June 17, 2005

G-man's Vegas Hold'em Tournament

While Jawbitch was in conferences, I spent most of my Vegas time playing Texas Hold'em. Yes, I've ditched twenty years of blackjack experience for this new game, primarily for three reasons. First, it is so damn addictive, and way more social. Plus, the house merely acts as a passive observer, and is funded by the hands rather than the action. Finally, unlike playing third base, nobody gets pissed at you for taking cards.

The tournament had a line for sign-up by 10 a.m. There was a $60 buy in for the standard $8000 in tournament chips. Plus, for an extra $5, you can get $400 more tournament chips. There was only a couple of silly people who didn't exercise this option. I bullshat with Dustin, a 2L from Florida State, while waiting in the line.

Finally after the casino got their collective asses together, I sat down to play. On the first hand I drew big slick, limped in, and then busted a straight to the ace on the flop. I remembered what Bluto taught me about tournament play -- that you should never go all-in until after a few people got knocked out, because it is so hard to win, even if you start with a good hand. But I had to go all-in on the turn, and ended up drawing first blood against a guy across the table. Later, as the blinds went up and my pile started to dwindle, I picked up a pair of pocket kings. The guy in front of me though, bet heavily ($300), so I wondered if he had the bullets, or at least one ace. A total of five players stayed in. On the flop, a king and two aces appeared. He continued to bet heavily, so I called him. On the turn, he bet even more, I got really scared, and folded. Turns out he had a K-9 suited, and I was just being a puss. My mistake was that I should have raised him on the flop, just to test whether he really had an ace or not. That was a valuable lesson, one which I'll never forget.

I had no other cards until just before the break, when I drew another big slick. Another guy with a small stake in front bet big, I raised, and the chip leader across the table called. Then, before the flop, small guy went all-in. I was down below the $800 mark, and decided to make a move, so I went over the top of little guy, all-in too. I figured I'd at least pull in the side pot. Chip leader called. Little guy turned over pocket 8s, and chip leader had shit suited clubs. Things were looking great. I flopped another ace (of clubs), but then the turn and river were both puppy toes, so G-man was out at the end of the first round.