Friday, June 28, 2013

Trying to make colour blindness work in Vegas

So I've been in Vegas a couple of days and played a couple of tournaments, neither of which went well.

I eased my way in yesterday with the Rio Derpstack, a daily $235 touristfest that people keep saying plays like a live version of the Sunday Million (actually the standard is more Sunday Storm if you ask me). My own tournament was so dull it would be hard to construct an interesting sentence about it let alone an entire blog. One particular feature of this tournament which attracts people who want to say they played the WSOP but don't want to pony up a grand for the privilege is that these guys talk talk and talk, feeling the need to explain every aspect of their thought process in every hand. This can be quite tilting if you don't enjoy being lectured and hectored by someone who knows little or nothing about poker, but can be quite amusing if you enter into the spirit of things, which is basically a bunch of wannabe but never gonnabes living out their poker dream. My personal favourite was a young guy with an accent straight out of Deliverance who got moved to the table with just half his stack left. After the first hand he saw took a good 90 seconds (it involved a river allin decision) he immediately started berating the table for slow play. A few hands later he trebled up having gotten the lot on pre with 22 v aces and tens accompanied by an appreciative "yeah that's poker baby" whoop when the 2 flopped. When you stick to a strategy of playing every hand at a ten handed table you tend to have a lot of ups and more downs, and he had stumbled back to short in no time. I was similarly stacked and decided to shove my 9 bigs over a raise with kjs having seen the same guy show up with 52o in similar spots before. Our impatient friend who had spent the last ten minutes berating the table for not knocking out more players ("No chips on this table. We're at a huge disadvantage to every other table. Huge!") woke up and triumphantly called my shove. The original raiser had aq and flopped an ace to send me and my impatient friend (who had nines) to the rail. As we departed he complained to me "So sick. I play patiently for hours and then when I finally get a hand two motherfuckers shove on me". I don't think I'd like to see this Southern gentleman on one of his less patient days.

My first bracelet event was short and not sweet. When I sat down the table looked like it might be tough purely on the basis of age profiling. However, while it is generally true that you're much better off sitting down at a table of old guys than young online beasts over here, there is another category that tends to be even softer: young guys who have never played online. There's a whole generation of under 25s in the States now whose total lack of online experience not only means they can't match online players, but in terms of skill they also lag behind older live players who at least have a lifetime of live experience.  I had cruised up to 6k from 4500 on one of the softest tables I've ever played on mid way through level 2 when I get in with 88 v a8 on a86 flop. A third player in the hand folded ak to the heavy flop action so the ace that popped out on the turn was the case one. Very annoying as if I avoid the one outer I have 13k at a soft table where nobody else has more than 6k and in a great position to kick on. No point in complaining though: my job is to try to get it in good as often as possible and I will happily get the lot in as a 95.5% favourite any time. My running coach Norrie Williamson used to always say you should focus only on the things you can control as there's no point in worrying about the things that are outside your control. Annoying as it is to be on the wrong side of a 20 to 1 suckout, all I can do is focus on the positives and how I played, rather than how the cards ran out after the money went in. I would be a lot more upset if I went out after a bad mistake.

Next up is Saturday's 1500, where hopefully I can run a bit better. There's a very good atmosphere generally among the Irish contingent here with now successes already to celebrate than in recent years. Well done to all those flying the flag so far, especially Dan Wilson (whose win makes me look like a genius in this blog) and Tom Kitt, both of whom took down Venetian Deepstacks.

Even though my Vegas campaign this year is shorter, I'm making a greater effort than in previous years to pace myself. In previous years I've probably been guilty of playing too much and being burnt out at the end. With the main event coming right at the end, that's not such a good idea, so I'm taking it easy today to be mentally fresh for the weekend events.

I had warned people in advance that my wardrobe (or rather suitcase) for Vegas this year featured some rather gaudy shirts courtesy of Mrs. Doke. Fair play to dude Danny Maxwell who managed to snap me in one for PokerNews. I have long wondered how I could turn my colour blindness to my advantage at the poker table. My search may be over.



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More