I arrived at the Aria hotel in Las Vegas last night at around 6 PM Vegas time. If this were purely a poker trip, I would have sought out cheaper accommodations, but I am lucky enough to be here with my family. Honestly, as much as I'd love to grind 12 hours a day, I think I'll probably end up playing my A game more frequently as a result of having a nice balanced trip where I don't feel the pressure of having good financial results the way I might on a trip for purely poker purposes.
Still, I plan to play as much as possible each day, and I thought I would post a hand each day and talk a little bit about my experience.
And so it begins...
Session 1: Planet Hollywood 9:30 PM-12:30 AM
I started off at PH for a few reasons... I saw that 8 1/2 tables were running on Bravo, which to me suggested a good game considering the size of the room (12 tables approx). Because of the size, I have historically seen a very small density of competent players, and fortunately this trend continued. It was also only about a 10 minute walk from my room, and the weather here is not too pleasant (30 degrees at night).
This turned out to be an extremely straightforward session. Not too many close decisions really. Made most of my value flopping a set of 6's on the button in a 5-way raised pot. Walked away up $514... Nice way to start!
So here is the one hand I'm still thinking about...
Hero (600) CO with TT, no diamond. Has not played a lot of hands. Only showed two hands, a flopped set with 66, and a squeeze with A7 where my flop c-bet was called by Villain, I turned a 7 and checked the rest of the way, Villain flopped top pair (10) and won.
Villain (600) UTG. Villain plays about 40% of hands, about half limped and half opened. I have seen him call down with fairly weak hands. He likes to talk during the hand and often claims peoples line doesn't make sense before a thin river call.
Preflop: Villain limps, one other limper. Hero opens to 10, Button calls, BB calls, Villain calls, limper calls.
Flop: (46) 9d 7d 6c
Checks to hero who bets 35. Folds to villain who calls, folds around.
I'm pretty much at peace with this bet. I think I could have made it slightly larger, but I think it is fairly marginal. When villain calls, I think he has a lot of draws and pairs. I think he may have more pairs than he should because of his propensity to pick off bluffs.
Turn (116) Js
Checks to hero who bets 75. Villain thinks for 10-15 seconds and calls.
I think this J is a lot better for Villains range than mine. I think he has plenty of drawing hands that contain a J, and some J9. Still, I think I can get called by other 9s, and I'd like to charge his draws. When villain calls, I am ruling out most of the J9 in his range as well as other weird slow play hands like a set or a straight. I don't think this villain is raising many draws out of position deep.
River (266) Jc
This is the street I'm not satisfied with my play. I think I could definitely get some value from a small bet, maybe 90, from a 9. With the second J, his range is definitely weighted combinatorically to the 9 such that if he only calls with 9 and J hands, the bet is profitable.
Villain shows 65. Hero scoops.
I'm not sure I would have gotten a call from villain in this river spot, but later in the session, Villain continued to make very thin river calls when draws missed. I also think I overestimated villain's UTG limp range, although that didn't play to heavily into the hand.
I'll be back tomorrow morning with more hands and hopefully some epic stack shots! Please share any comments, and tune in to the next episode coming out very shortly.
You can find part 2 here.