Monday, January 30, 2012

"THAT GUY HITS EVERYTHING!!!" Outstanding Session at Mirage followed by disaster at Red Rock

I arrived at Mirage in time to open a brand new game...I bought in for $300, and proceeded to play nearly every hand. The table was playing VERY PASSIVE!!! Very little pre-flop raising, followed by extremely weak post-flop play. If they didn't hit anything, they were folding on the flop. If they did hit anything, they would be betting wrong, so there were an abundance of spots where I could literally take the pot away with a raise. It was a dream scenario.  I decided early in my session, if it was cheap, I was going to play as many pots as possible and hope you take advantage of the weak post flop play. The result was one of my better session...

I can't tell you how many times my opponents would make small flop bet, and I would call with a gut-shot, bottom pair, overcards, and sometimes with nothing, then if they check the turn..I would bet 100%, and they fold like a cheap

The best hand I played was actually a hand I lost:

Two limpers in front and I limped with Q10 offsuit. Blinds come along and we see the flop 5-handed...The dealer flops Q-7-7 rainbow. Everyone checks to me (As they did alot)...I fire $12...Everyone folds except this tight-old man who to my right, who hadn't played a hand since Bill Clinton was president, calls. I noticed he was holding his cards with two hands as if he wanted to make sure no one touched them...I looked at him quizzically as the dealer put up the turn card which was a Jack...He checks..I quickly check behind. The river card was another Jack, bring the final board to Q-7-7-J-J. The old man hesitates, peeks at his cards, and fires out $25 bucks...I let out slight giggle and tossed my cards into the muck...The old man quickly turns over pocket Q's for a full house, and angrily says, "How come you didn't call? This is the first hand I've had all day!!" I said "Nice hand" but in my mind I wanted to say, "Sir, you might as well been playing your hand face up."  

After 3 hours, and up a couple hundred bucks, scooped yet another pot, one of my players (Who I took advantage of many times) says, "This guy hits EVERYTHING!!" I smirked, and said, "I'm getting lucky"

That night, I made a regrettable decision because I was bored...I decided to play the 4-8 Omaha 8/Better game at Red Rock..

My initial plan was to play NL, but there was a seat open in the Omaha game and decided, what the hell, I'll try something different. I've actually played the Red Rock Omaha Game a couple of times before and I've never lost. HA HA HA HA Not tonight!!

I proceeded to drop nearly $200 bucks in less than two hours. I wasn't playing bad, but Omaha is one of the most frustrated forms of poker. You're always drawing to something whether its the high or low, so everyone is staying to the river! On this night, whenever I had the best hand...I would get destroyed on the river...If I was drawing to the nuts, I WOULD NEVER GET THERE!!

Then to make matters worse, I was playing with players like this...

Omaha Players are a different breed, because they're never happy..This lady in particular was complaining whether she won or lost a hand...and she would never muck her hand quietly...She would fling her cards at the dealer and bark smart-ass remarsk about how badly everyone was playing. And she wasn't friendly at all. She was sitting next to chatty guy and whenever he would talk to her, she would blatantly ignore him (As she was reading a romance novel, something she did when not involved in a hand.). She came across as just a crabby-old bitch who probably had a few broomsticks shoved up her ass!!

I had a slight run-in with her...I got involved in a huge pot with her and 3 other players where I had the nut-nut draw on the flop so I was pumping the pot...of course I didn't get there..This old bag ended up winning the pot, then proceeds to criticize about how I should be raising with A-2. I scoffed, "I had the nut-nut draw...If I hit my hand, I'm going to win a huge pot...I'll do it every time" The old bitch ignored, stacked her chips, then went back to her romance novel... After that hand, I left...I was pissed and felt a tilt coming along so it was best to get out of there...before I say something I would regret... 

So it was the best of was the worst of times (to quote the great Charles Dickens). I wish I didn't go to Red Rock, but I did, got stacked, but I live to tell the story...

P90x -- DAY 1 and 2

Started P90x On Sunday with Chest and Back..woke up at 6AM and despite the layoff and feeling a little rusty, I was able to get through the workout without any problems...I think the adjustment is getting up so early. It's about 10-15 minutes to get my body moving, but once it does..the workouts fly-by..

On Monday, it was Plyometrics...I love how this workout gets you're heart pumping...It's one of the harder workouts, but it makes me feels awesome after I'm done.

Ate Egg-white Mushroom-Green Onions-cheese Omelets and cottage cheese my first two days...Had a protein shake on Monday....For Lunch, I had a large salad, and for dinner it's mussels pasta..On Monday, it's Tiliapia...During the day, I snacked on Almonds -- very high source of protein. Also had a vitamin with fills in the nutritional gaps

I don't think I have a problem with working out...the problem is sticking to the diet...My first round of P90x, I stuck to the diet to the letter and lose 40 it give me motivation to get complete the diet part so I can lose more weight...

Tomorrow is Day 3 (Shoulders and Arms)...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I hate when I play bad!
I hate when I play scared.
But most of all, I hate making MISTAKES!!

Not all winning sessions are created equal. I'm going to be completely honest, I didn't play my best, even though I got the desired results. As a poker players, you're always looking to make the best decisions looking for the long-term result. Short term anyone can win, but if you don't make the right decisions, you'll be leaking money! In this blog, I'm gonna give you 2 examples of bad play from my poker session last Saturday at Venetian:

1) Big Stack of around $600 (Rather weak passive old man) at the table raises from early position to $10, it's folded to me and I hold 32 suited. My stack is over $300 and I fold. You may thinking, what's wrong with this play? Sounds standard to me? Let's look at this closely. I have $300 and the big stack, who is weak passive, raises..This is the perfect scenario to try and find a "double up" flop...Since the big stack raises in Early position, you have to put him on a big pair. If I call and I flop two pair, trips or maybe a straight, I could win a lot of money...You see, when the flop comes with a bunch of low cards, a typical weak passive player will never think you connected with a low-card flop. He probably would have bet, I'd raise, and most of time, he'll put a re-raise, and I have my chance to double up...On the other hand, if I completely miss the flop, I can quietly fold to any bet and no one will know I was sitting there with 3-high.

2) I open limped in middle position with pocket 2's...folded to the short-stacked big blind who raised to $12. The short stacked has 40 bucks after the raise...I'm the only caller...Flop comes J 9 2....Short stacked goes all in. Of course, I instant call with my set of dueces..My opponent has AA and doesn't catch up and I win...Again, where was my mistake...I don't think it's my open limp -- with my small pair I'm looking to see a flop as cheaply as possible. The mistake here was calling the raise from a short-stack. With only 40 bucks, it's not mathematically correct to call. The odds of flopping a set is 7.5 to 1...and my implied odds was only 3.6-1 with my opponents smallish stack of only 40...even if I flop a set (Which I did)....I wouldn't have won enough money to make it worth it in the long run.

No matter how good of a poker player you are, you ARE GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES!!! The key is not to make too many of them so they compound into something bigger.

I'll probably hit the poker rooms again this weekend, and I'm hoping I learn from my Venetian session to think through each hand and make the right decisions...

Monday, January 23, 2012


Let me introduce my friends, acquaintances, and family to my latest addiction....

Anyone who has a smartphone, android, iPhone, iPad, or any other type of communication device knows about this fun, highly-addicted game. Words with Friends is basically SCRABBLE (One of my favorite board games) with a chat bubble. What makes this game so addicting is you can play as much as 21 games at once, and it seems like it's always YOUR TURN. You can be sleeping, watching TV, driving around, chatting with your buddies, having dinner, sitting in your shitter and you'll always know it's YOUR TURN, when your notified. When you're notified, you can't wait to play your turn. 

I'm gonna tell you the truth about my time with WORD WITH FRIENDS...I SUCK AT IT!!! I think I've played 30 games, and I believe I've only won 8 matches!! Yeah!! That's right, 8 matches!!! The funny thing is I really don't care less if I win or lose..I just have to be playing! It feels like a drug at times..whenever I exhausting all my turns in all my games, I stare at my iPhone hoping one of my friends play their turn so it could be my turn again!! DAMN, am I crazy!! LOL!! I love it though! 

Another great aspect of this game is I'm finding words that I didn't know existed. Sometimes you throw words on the board and hope you hit the jackpot.Here are a few


What is a QI?? This is QI:

According to Chinese culture, Qi is a lifeforce, an energy, or energy flow. It also can get you 31 points if you can put in on a "Triple World Score" in Word for Friends! I think I've seen this symbol as a tattoo. 


What is a MOORY?? This is a MOORY:

A MOORY is a blue cloth made in India. So if you're ever in Mumbai, India and want a blue dress, make sure you ask for the MOORY

Last but not least...


What is an OUZO?? This is an OUZO:

An OUZO is an alcoholic drink usually consumed with meals. It's more prominent in Greece and Cyprus! I've never heard of this drink, I'll be sure to buy a bottle if I ever see it...I wonder if they serve in the casinos? Maybe I'll have it on the rocks while I'm sitting in a poker room...

There you have it, my rant on the greatest game ever invented for the Smartphones/Android/iPhone/iPad/. Currently I only have 9 games going so I have room for 12 more opponents. IF you're looking for an opponent, I'm your guy...just look for me...I'm waiting....

Gotta's my turn....What the heck am I gonna to with these letters:


Any suggestions??? 

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Although it's not as prominent as when the explosion of online poker was at it's zenith, there still are "Internet" poker kids who "talk" a big game, but don't have the game to back it up. These internet kids want to be the brash, young-difference makers emulating their favorite "poker celebrities" that most don't work on their game and just want to cultivate their image. These internet kids definitely love to dress the part: sunglasses, headphones, hooded sweatshirt and red bull in hand. They believe in their heart of hearts, they are:

If you're aware of this image, it's one of the easiest players to exploit....

Playing at the Mirage, we had one of these players...He bought in for $200, and began talking a big game...raising almost every pot, being extremely talkative during the hands (his logic about hands didn't make any sense, but heh, it sounded good), bluffing and showing, and ordering his red bulls...gotta love this guy...Seemed like a nice-enough kid, but his cockiness was going to get him trouble if he ran his act against the wrong player...and that player ended up being me...Here's two hand examples of how I did it:

I raise two-early position limpers with JJ, and called my Young gun and another guy..the blinds fold.the other limpers we see the flop 3-headed...the flop comes 8 7 6 rainbow. I bet 25....Only the Young Gun calls...The Young Gun played a lot of hands, but his post-flop skills were below average...He would try to trap with strong hands, and bet with average/below hands. He also tried to get cute when drawing hands, raising with bottom pair, then checking down when he was called. I was pretty sure he had a 8...The turn was a 6....I believed I still had the best hand, but this is one of the spots were checking is the best play. Because I had an aggressive player in the hand....I was positive he would bet the turn if checked....So I checked, he bets 40...I call....River is an ugly 9, putting a straight on the board. I checked again...with the intention of calling....The young gun grabs a stack of chips, stares at me as he if was going to fire, but ultimately, he checked behind...I turned over my JJ, and he quietly mucks his hand....Not sure what he had in that spot, but my feeling was he floating (Calling the flop with nothing, with the intention of trying to take the pot away from me on the turn), and couldn't pull the trigger on the river...

 Few hands later, I open-raise to 8 with AQ, Young Gun, and one of the blinds call....3 handed-flop...Flop comes Q J 8....I bet 20...Young Gun is the only caller...I put his on a Jack with maybe a straight draw....The turn is a 4....Even though I believed I had the best hand I decided to go a different route....Young Guns don't like to be bluffed out of hands...they also don't like to lose to the same player twice in a row...Young Guns always believed they're the best player at the table and will do everything to continue that image, including what is called "Hero Calls" A hero call is someone who calls with a sub-standard hand hoping to catch a bluff. I think this is a spot for the Young Gun looked to be a "hero"....I bet 25, Young Gun instant-calls....The river is a 2...The cut out 40 chips and fire at the pot...The Young Gun stands up, mumbles something about that I can't have anything. Finally, he grabs $40 and as he slides them to the middle, says, "If you have a Q, you're good" I show my AQ and rake another pot. The Young Gun order another red bull, and reloaded for another $200.

Internet Young Guns are a valuable source of income and if you know how to exploit their tendencies. I'd rather have a bunch of young guns at my table than a table full of rocks...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


One of the best things about being a poker dealer is the opportunity to meet all kinds of people from all over the world. As a poker dealer, you make and shatter hand at a time (as I like to tell people) Subtlety, you impact people's lives without ever realizing...Here's is one such story.

There's a very nice, older lady that visits Las Vegas 3 or 4 times a year, and along with her daughter are two of the nicest people I've ever met. Whenever they visit, you usually play 3-6 Limit and are a delight to deal too. About 6 months ago, I dealt the nice-older lady the club royal flush (She even check-raised her daughter in the When she turned over the hand, she was genuinely happy for the high-hand bonus, over $1500, and the players at the table were clapping (Because they got $100 for being at the table). When she received her bonus money, you can see the happiness on her face as she stacked all those green chips ($25) in front of her...she clapped, her daughter was their moment, and I played a small role in it...or so I believed...

The next day, her daughter came by too seek me out...We exchanged salutations...I made the obligatory comment about "I hope you paid for dinner"...She laughed, then said something I'll never forget...

"Ron, I want to thank you for dealing that royal flush to my mother...She was so happy. Words can't describe how happy my mom was. We're celebrating her birthday, and you gave the greatest birthday present..." 

I was stunned, "Thanks." Is all I said...I had a warm feeling in my heart...I deal cards for a job, and you never think you would make that type of impact. Ever since that day, every time she visits, whenever I get ready to deal her table, she always makes it a point to tell the other players, "This is my favorite dealer. He dealt my royal Flush!!" I love when she says..."My royal flush"

She was in Las Vegas this week for another visit, and she continues to smile every time she sees makes you realize you do impact the people you meet....even if you don't realize it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ranking the Vegas Shows!! (My Personal Opinion Only)

The glitz and glamour sparkle throughout the Las Vegas Strip, and nothing shines brighter than the Las Vegas shows. Living in Las Vegas affords me the opportunity to see all these shows whenever I please without being pressured like the typical tourist to see all the shows within 3 days. Also, as a local, they run plenty of deals such as 2 for 1...Now it's time to rank every Vegas show I've seen..some are spectacular, some are average, and some are just plain awful...

So here's how I rank every Las Vegas Show I've seen.....(Drum Roll Please)....

1) MICHAEL JACKSON'S IMMORTAL (Mandalay Bay) -- By far, the best show on the strip. Absolutely flawless interpretation of the King of Pop

2) DAVID COPPERFIELD (MGM Grand) -- The greatest illusionist of all time. I watched all his CBS Specials back in the 90's. Seeing it live and having front row seats was a memorable experience

3) BEATLES LOVE (MIRAGE) -- Love the music! Love that there wasn't a bad seat in the house...

4) BLUE MAN GROUP (VENETIAN) -- They never said a word...lots of drum beating, but spectacular! Very Innovative

5) LANCE BURTON (MONTE CARLO - Show Closed) -- The first Vegas Show I've seen...It was the Vegas Show without the glamour...Just heart-pounding, eye popping magic. Its the only Vegas show I've seen twice!

6) PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (VENETIAN) -- The ultimate Theater experience. Love how visual the show is!!  

7) LION KING (MANDALAY BAY) -- Probably the most elaborate set design. Stuck very close to the movie...The scene where King Mustafa dies, is the probably the single greatest scene I've ever seen.. Absolutely awesome how they pulled it off.

8) BETTE MILDER (CEASARS -- Show closed) Pleasantly surprising show...Bette Milder had a lot of energy.

9) KA (MGM Grand) Typical Cirque Du Soleil show...I'm the not the biggest fan of their type of entertainment, but it had it's good parts.

10) MOMMA MIA (MANDALAY BAY -- Show closed) -- Cute Show, more for the women...

11) PENN AND TELLER (RIO) Probably the most disappointing show. The show was a little boring, and seemed to drag on too much! Only silver lining, the magic was pretty good and they took pictures after the show.

12) MYSTERE (TREASURE ISLAND) Another Cirque Du Soliel show...It was okay...Bad part was I had bad seats...didnt get a good view of alot of the acts...

13) WE WILL ROCK YOU (PARIS -- Show closed) Set to the Music of Queen....Music was awesome, but the acting was very bland..didn't seem like the actors weren't into it...crowd didn't respond as a result.

14) PRICE IS RIGHT ( BALLYS) This was not a bad show, just not what I expected...Probably the fact that I didn't get called contributed to my disappointment. 

15) JUBILEE (BALLYS) Didn't really like it...Yeah it was topless women walking dancing in sequence outfits, but it was bland

16) SPLASH (RIVIERA) ABSOLUTELY THE WORST SHOW IN VEGAS!!!! The choreography and music was horrible!! Felt like a third-rate show that belonged in some carnival some Midwest Fair next to the Funnel Cake Stand...

David Copperfield - Tickets

See Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo!

The Beatles "Love" by Cirque du Soleil - Save Over $35 & Free Upgrade!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Best Decision I Made Today

You can't win every time....if we could we'd all be grinding out a living....

The most important aspect of those losing days is to limit them, especially when you're not in control of your emotions...

I arrived at the Mirage around noon, where a new No Limit game was starting. Normally, I'm very comfortable  playing, but today...there was a negative vibe growing with easy passing second. As a result, I was never comfortable, and ultimately, put me on tilt:

1) A Older Gentleman, who came from a 3-6 Limit game, refused to sell his $1 Chips, because he felt it would slow down the game!! THE GAME HADN'T STARTED YET!!!!!! When the dealer asked why (very friendly, of course), the guy became very combative towards the dealer. I said, "So, if you bet 50 in $1 Chips, you don't think you'll be slowing the game down?" He didn't respond

2) A regular sitting next to me was complaining, almost everyone on the table was stradding every hand. Of course, since I was sitting next to me, he made it a point to tell me how upset he was.  I'm thinking, "I don't want to hear his shit!!!"

3) Most importantly, I was sitting in a great, juicy game, but I couldn't GET ANYTHING GOING!! Every hand there was a straddle, then a raise, then a bunch of call. SO when I had a decent hand like a pair, I was in there. The frustrating part is I could never I was leaking chips like a madman!!

4) One dealer, who is normally friendly, was getting increasing frustrated when the two older gentleman (The two I was sitting next too) were constantly being table captains, telling the dealer what to do. The dealer wasn't making any mistakes, but these two old farts would not shut up about how the dealer was running the game. I think they were sitting in a wild NL limit game, these old farts couldn't keep up so they had to blame someone...why not the dealer...As a dealer myself, I hate when dealers are getting abused especially when they've done nothing wrong....I can deal with a bad run of cards, but I can't deal with fucking nits who won't shut up!!!

After losing yet another pot, dropping my lost to about $150, I was at a boiling point...I was angry, frustrated, and just plain pissed off at what was going on. I decided to take a break...I stormed over to the sportsbook, taking deep breaths. When I return I told my wife (Who was waiting for a 3-6 Limit seat), we have to get out of her, cause if I stay here I'm gonna lose all my money...

We ended up at the Venetian, where I won some of my money back. My wife won a lot of it back playing 4-8 Limit. More importantly, I was able to get my emotions in control and was able to make good poker decisions (Like folding 88 to a 7-High board)

The best decision I was made didn't involve a poker hand, it involved my emotions. When you're emotionally unstable in a No Limit Poker was can cost you a lot of money if you don't control in time. You make bad decisions. Always be aware of how emotions especially in poker. Don't tilt your money away....

I'm so glad I didn't...Despite the small loss, I lived to play another day.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CES POKER -- Day 2 (Aria)

Didn't even clock in today. We had no game and no tournament.

After a quick change and headed across the street to play poker at Aria! Aria is a spectacular resort...the sheer size of everything and how "chic" everything seems to be. It does create the illusion of escaping reality.

After a 10 minute wait, we opened at a new 1-3 game. I normally buy in for $200, but I noticed 80 percent of the players were buying for $300, so I did the same. The lineup was a mix of locals and young guns. Couple of young guns were playing a ton of pots, calling raises with suited and offsuit connectors. Since we were in a deep-stacked cash game, I thought this is the right way to play. You can't wait for Aces and Kings. If you want to win big pots, you have to be in there with suited and offsuit connectors, hoping to flop the right hand, against the player who only plays "premium hands". The key to playing deep-stacked cash games is having a strong post-flop game. I think my post flop game is pretty good, so I don't mind playing "junk" hands against other deep stack players -- in position. I think position is the most critical (and least understood) concept in deep-stack poker. Here's an example of what I mean....

I limp one off the button (Cutoff) with five limpers in front with K5suited.  The flop comes 2 10 K (two spades). A very weak player leads out for 10 bucks from the Small blind...every folds to another another weak player who calls. Maybe my King behind at this point, but both players had $200 chips, so raising is a bad play as I risk getting re-raised with an average flop. I call and re-evaute the turn. The turn is a Jack...The small blind bets 15...second player calls... AT this point, I think the second player has some sort of draw (Flush draw) and the initially bettor has a weak king. I could raise, but I wanted to keep the pot small to see what they would do on the river. When you have a hand like top pair weak kicker its optimal to keep the pot as small as possible. So I call..The river is a 5 diamonds. The small blind bets $15....second player folds...I'm pretty sure I'm ahead, but is raising the right play?? Absolutely!! Since he has showed much aggression with his small bets, I'm sure he has a naked king. If I raised, would he call...Weak players rarely can get away from top pair so I believe if I raised a little above minimum, he'd call me with any kings...I decided to raise $35 more...After some thought, he calls with K6, and I rake a nice pot.

Sometimes you win a big pot, but feel you didn't play the hand correctly and left a lot of money on the table. You go over what should have been instead of what's an example of  this:

A very aggressive young kid with about $450 behind raises to $13...A weak Asian lady calls from the button, and I call with 88! I have around $320. Flop comes Q 8 6. I check..young gun bets $25...Weak Asian lay goes all in for $54. I check-raise $40 more...The young gun gets a little annoyed cause he asked the dealer a couple times what the raise is...After tanking for a couple of minutes, he re-raises $100 more! I have around $240 left. I put him on a big hand...AQ or above..A set of queens was the only hand I was afraid of, but I didn't have a thought of folding...I announce ALL IN!!! The young gun asks for a count and tanks for what seems like forever. As time passed, the more I wanted a call. In fact, I believe he was going to call. Unfortunately, after 3 minutes, he mucks....and I take down a nice pot.

I think I made a mistake here....Because the Young Gun put in 4th raise...I think he would have made a massive bet on the turn and I could have shoved all-in and won an even bigger pot. If I just called his 4th raise, it may of appeared weak and I'm sure he would have attacked it!! Another reason I should have waited to shove the turn was the board was so dry that there wasn't a card that could have pushed me off my hand -- even it was an Ace or King.

Anybody would have played the hand differently??

You're always learning and picking up new information to improve your game...sometimes you learn the most from the bigger pots you win even if you think you played it wrong...

CES Poker (MGM Grand)

I worked longer than expected, probably more than I will the rest of the week (For as long as CES is in town).

Played a short session at the MGM Grand. MGM Grand was one of the favorite poker rooms a couple of years. I haven't played there in a long time, not because they did anything to drive me away, it's more circumstance. The room is a far walk from the parking lot, and it's extremely loud at night. Chips are flying from all directions, which makes for great game.

Nothing eventful happened. I made a small score, but the game was extremely tight so it was hard to extract chips. The biggest pot where I 3-bet with KK and won a continuation bet on a 877 board...Other than that, I won a lot of small pots. Overall, I have to admit it was an uneventful and boring session. When you're playing No limit hold em, you're usually winning a lot of small pots waiting for your "Double up" hand. The object is to stay patient and play optimally until the big pot comes along. Minimize your mistakes and maximize your edge, and you can win steady money playing poker...

A note of interest from this session was one of the MGM Dealers named Brandon, who dealt some of my winners.  Why do I mention him? When I dealt at Paris, Brandon used to play in our room all the time, and he was an extremely generous tipper and a good guy. I always make it a point to tip him more than usually whenever he pushes me a pot, so he did rather well whenever he pushed me a pot.

Morning Poker (Mirage and Venetian)

Got up this morning looking for a poker game....

After taking my stepson to school, I ventured to my favorite poker room, The Mirage. I got there around 7:30AM, looking to play 3-6, but could only find a 7-handed 1-2 No Limit game. Nothing much happened for an hour, as I lost 9 bucks then preceded to the newly opened 3-6 Limit Game...

As much as I love the Mirage Poker room, I'm beginning to really despise the "Aces Cracked" aspect of the room. You get 75 bucks if you lose with pockets aces, $150 if the Aces are the same color. It's too the point where it's not even worth playing...all the players know each other, and there's blatant soft-playing of hands that I totally despise. The game are much tighter (notice I said tighter, not tougher -- there is a difference), because they fold everything but Aces. From here on out, I'm going to be leery of playing in poker room that offer jackpots (i.e. High Hands, Bad Beats, Aces Cracked, etc) because although in theory it's great for the room, it does encourage collusion and soft-playing, which are two of my pet peeves.

After being card-dead for an hour, I decided to take my $34 lost and cash out. I just didn't feel a good vibe at the Mirage. If I stayed, I know I would have lost more.

I decided to go across the street the Venetian, and into one of the busiest poker rooms in Vegas. I get a seat immediately in the 1-2 No Limit Game. Won a couple of nice pots right away mainly with AJ offsuit. Once I raised 3 limpers from the Big Blind (BB) and got called by everyone and bet into a K J 4 Flop..everyone folded..The second time I 3-bet Preflop an aggressive gentleman with AJ...and won the pot with a continuation bet on a K 4 3 board...

Then the hand of the day comes up...

Up about 85 bucks at this point, I get a text from my wife reminding me of my sushi date, so I'm getting ready to rack my chips, I get dealt in. Now, at this point, I'm hoping for a complete garbage hand. I peek down and see AK hearts! DAMN, guess I have to play...I raise an early position limper to 12...Get called by the button (A very aggressive older gentleman), and the limper. Both players have me covered. THe flop comes 9 K Q (two clubs). Limper checks...AT this point, I though about putting in a standard continuation bet, but I decided to go a different direction. The button was a VERY aggressive older gentleman, who always bet when checked to and was proud to show bluffs! I decided to try and exploit this tendency, so I checked. The button obliged and bet $30, the early limper folds. Now it's on me...Since he just called preflop, I quickly eliminated QQ and above from his calling range. The range I put him on was AJ, KQ, a medium pair, or something like J9 suited. So the only hand I couldn't beat was KQ, I decided to call and reevaulate on the turn...The turn brings an offsuit 8. I check again. The button quickly bets $75. The thing that stuck me about this bet was not how much he bet, but HOW he bet it!! Normally, he takes his time to put his money out there. I found this rather odd. I still believe I had the best hand, but I now had to be leary of a hand like 98. I called the $75...The river brings the 8 of clubs, completing the flush and pairing the board...I check..Without hesitation, he tosses in $200! Well if he was betting the flush draw, he got there, and the range of hands I put him on was out there...I definately was in a bind!! For a moment, I thought about folding cause what other hands could he possibly be betting in that spot (KQ, 98, J10, 99). Then the old man did something out of character...he spoke...

"I'll show if you fold" The old man barks at me. 

WOW!! I've been dealing for 6 years, and in my experience of dealing in all sorts of pots (BIG AND SMALL), whenever someone says usually means a weak hand....In THAT INSTANT, I knew my AK was the MONSTER..

"I call" I quitely say.

The old man shockingly looks down at his cards then tosses them into the muck!!!

And I rake a nearly $500 pot!!!! WOOHOO!!!!

It's funny how the small bit of information especially in a game like poker can help you make the right decision...

Lots of Poker Playing the next two weeks!

The weeks following the Christmas/New Years Holiday is usually slow around Las Vegas. With CES coming to town next week, the gambling aspect of Vegas will be non-exsistant because many of these computer geeks don't gamble and they're usually pretty cheap. It affects everyone who works for tips, because quite frankly, these computer geeks don't tip....

So I'll be playing a lot of poker the next few weeks because there just isn't enough work...I'm trying to make a conscious effort to play more poker in 2012, and I think the dead time around Vegas is a great time to get my poker hours in.

I played a small session at Flamingo Hotel Casino today, and booked a small win. I don't think I played my best as I relied on common sense to win pots...that, and the fact that I didn't get any cards. I'm not a big fan of the Flamingo, but I wanted to try a different poker room besides The Mirage. It's not a bad poker room, just not the best....

I'll be mixing my play between No Limit and Limit Hold Em. I think the majority of my play will be no limit. I don't think I play enough no limit, but I feel I need to play more because that's the majority of games in Vegas...