Poker in Vegas and Chicago at the Hilton
April 7, 2022
Friday afternoon I found myself playing a $300+50 Venetian event as part of their second Deep Stack Extravaganza this year.  I had zero desire to be around the Bellagio and their cluster fuck of a Five Diamond schedule.  18 $1k rebuys was just the worst idea ever.  21 people showed up for the first one.  31 total rebuys.  It lasted two days, three guys making the money then coming back the next day to play it out.  

So they realized their mistake, abruptly changed their schedule, and added a few levels to their structures.  If they had listened to us in December, or perhaps responded to the petition in January in some way other than saying no and releasing a July schedule identical to the one we're complaining about, then we wouldn't have this problem.  Now they want us back.  It's too damn late.  The Venetian has been running these things for a few years now, listened to their customers, and things are pretty damn close to perfect now.  Hot coffee that's self serve.  Almost every level and 40 min levels for a $300.  They eliminated an early level because they realized that really deep stacks aren't good actually and make for really short stacks when things are important.  They run satellites effectively.  They'll bend over backwards to help you start any cash game you want.  They care about their customers, will shake your hand and smile, and will put your name on the list if you call ahead instead of moving you up for a $20 bill.  

At the Bellagio we tried to start a $20-40 twelve game once and it was like pulling teeth, and we couldn't play every game we wanted to.  The Bellagio has been in this business longer than anybody else in Vegas and effectively sabotaged what was once the best tournament series of the spring in the world.  I've never been a fan of the Bellagio and it's $8 hot dogs and 10 handed tables and general attitude they've carried, but have always had to play there because you don't cut off your nose to spite your face.  I don't have to anymore.  I feel like my equity in a $300+50 with 330 runners and a $1k rebuy with 52k in the prize pool are getting pretty close to the same.  So kiss my ass Bellagio, see ya for the Cup main event in July since it's not a $10k cubed anymore, and if your shit is together by October I'll see ya then.  

So I'm crushing this $300 event.  The skill gap between these things and the players in a 100 rebuy online is insanely wide.  I was close to the chip lead, and then these things happened.  Folds to the small blind who limps, I look at his stack it's 15bb's, I intend on jamming anything, find AQs, jam, and he beats me to the pot with T9ss.  Heh, I just learned something.  T9ss is 54% v any two, I thought it was a dog.  So anyways, I got trapped but actually had something, and I lost that hand.  Then I get a text message from Gavin:  "I have 2 extra tics to Chicago at the hilton tonight, old scool rock! :)"  I like that he'll go out of his way capitalize the C but not the H.  I still have a ton of chips so don't intend on punting, and then this hand happens.  

Cutoff opens.  I'm on the button with KQo and just flat due to awkward stack sizes all around, and then the big blind shoves for 22 bbs and I reaaaaaalllly don't think he's got it.  People don't screw around in these spots as often live though so I usually let it go in this spot for half my stack when I have a pile in a soft tournament.  But after the cutoff folds I snap call with this speech, "I've got tickets to Chicago, I call," because going with a read is much easier when you have an excuse.  He rolls over the QJdd, makes a flush, and I'm left with 15bbs.  Get it in a bit later as a flip, and thank God I lose, because grinding a 20bb stack to like 9:30 and not cashing would have put me on the suicide watch.  

Jessica Wellman who's gonna be my date contest, narrowly beating out Scott Seiver and Pam Brunson.  We all met at the Hilton around 7:45, watched the show, laughed at the Tromboner, and kinda just took in the crowd dominated by a generation our elder.  Things are definitely done differently.  But we're next in line and our kids are going to do things differently too, and they'll probably make fun of my button snaps or something.  

We headed up to Half Shell afterwards for a might as well celebrate in Vegas with my brother celebration, I bought a lot of rounds for the bar, and caught a cab home around 4am.  

Peace and good luck,



4 months ago
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