Monday, August 09, 2004

Playing in Vegas for my 30th

Like I discussed earlier, my 30th birthday fell on the 31st of July. I invited about 40 of my closest and we tore the city up. It was a great time. Unfortunately, I was babysitting everyone most of the time, but I did have some time to sneak away and play some poker. I caught wind of the WPT tournament over at the Mirage, so a friend of mine and I snuck over there to catch a few glimpses of the bigwigs of poker and see if we could get in a game for a few hours. The place was packed. I snuck my head in a few cracks and saw a few players: Dan Harrington, Scotty Nguyen, Antonio Esfandiari, John Juanda, and Annie Duke. I tried to follow some of the action, but people were seriously cramming in to watch and it just wasn't worth getting shoved around. My friend and I floated into the poker room and signed up for NL. It took about 30 minutes but my name was finally called. I bought in for $200 and sat down. Immediately, some guy at the table started bitching and yelling (at me? I couldn't tell) and pointing at me. I was already a little nervous, so I asked the guys next to me what was going on. They said that the guy was some kind of movie star or something and that he had been trying to get that seat for his woman for some time. I sat there and watched this guy bitch to every single Mirage person who would listen, but they kept telling him no. Then his woman walks up to him and whispers something to him. I see him whisper back and when she turns her head to listen to him, I see her face. Jennifer friggin Harman. Great. So, I took Jennifer's seat. I turn to the guy and say, "you know, that's Jennifer friggin Harman". He goes "yeah, she was playing earlier and took everyone's money." I don't think he knew who Jennifer friggin Harman was by his reaction. Guess I sat down at the right time - when she got up. I never did figure out what the big problem was.

Anyway, her guy (she's married right? I don't know that much about her) turned out to be a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge jackass. I mean, seriously, this guy was a total jackass. He had a lot of money, so obviously he was winning, but he was yelling (okay, probably too sharp of a word, because he wasn't yelling, but strongly talking?) at the other players, the dealer, the floor guy. It was ridiculous. Then, when it got to the point that I wanted to get up and put my fist in his ear, his buddy sits down at the table. He turned out to be even a BIGGER jackass. He was a "raise everything" type of player, which is fine, I know how to play people like that - he was good in the fact that if you reraised, he would fold, etc. But he was really mouthy - talking the whole time. One hand in particular, he was in raise, reraise, reraise pot with another guy with a big stack. I remember the board had a King and a Jack on it and Jackass raises like $200 on the river Jack. The other guy takes a long time and calls the bet - with pocket 7's. Jackass had A low, maybe a 3 - no pair, nothing. Good call. Tough call. Anyway, Jackass goes OFF on this guy about how stupid he was, what a terrible call, how he was going to take all of this guy's money, etc. Not mumbling either - I mean a full fledged dress down in front of everyone. Enough so, that the guy stacked his chips and walked. Now, normally, I will keep my mouth shut at all times. I will never get into any kind of debate about my play, play at a table, anything, but I was just about to say something to Jackass, when the guy next to me speaks up and says something to the tune of "You're surprised someone called your bullshit, when you have been playing crap all day. You're easy to read". Jackass goes off on him shouting (and I am paraphrasing) "Yeah, well I have won over $2 million dollars playing this game - be happy with your $100 wins." I just shook my head - what an idiot. I refused to get involved. I wish I had caught this guys name - he couldn't have been 100 pounds soaking wet (aren't all big mouths?), so it really cracked me up watching him talk shit.

After that, everyone got raise/all in happy. I have never been that type of player, but I know how to play people like that. The blinds were 2/5, but normally you didn't get to see flops for less than 20 bucks. Big blind came to me and hell if I didn't get a free look with a K10 off - 5 people in pot - flop comes A,Q,J rainbow. jackpot, nut straight. Small checks, I check (just for strategy reference, normally I bet this out with the nuts, but the way this table was running, I really felt someone would make a play at it and with the rainbow flop, I felt pretty comfortable), and someone makes it $25 to go, small blind raises to $50, I raise to $150 (I have about $100 (after the $150 bet) in front of me at this point) initial bet folds, small blind does the "How much do you have left?" I say a $100, he puts me all in, I say thank you and turn over the nuts, he says shit and turns over A7 off (WHAT?!? It was that kind of table). No runner outs, I pull a nice pot. I say thank you again to the guy just to be a smartass. Again, I am not like that normally, but Jackass across from me got everyone's temp up.

And then, it came to a head. This was a wild hand. 4 big stacks at the table, Jackass being one of them, probably around $400/$500 a piece, pretty even. Jackass raises from UTG, small blind reraises, big blind reraises, Jackass reraises, small blind reraises, big blind reraises, Jackass all-in, small all in, big all in - probably about $1300 in the pot. They flip, Jackass has pocket 6's (WHAT?!?) small has Kings, big has Aces. Nice, at least Jackass will get it handed to him, right? Wrong. Of course, as poker always has to hit for the a*holes - flop comes 5,5,6 - no help, no help, Jackass stacks the chips and walks from the table. That hurt me hard to think this guy won any money off of a terrible play (in my opinion) especially after all of that crap he gave everyone else.

Anyway, I stay for another orbit, pocket about $150 for my time and go back to the hotel and party balls with everyone.