Jun
17
2007

Day Two MGM Grand Poker

I started out the day by going for a bit of a walk and having a look around inside the Flamingo Casino. They had an open air wetland enclosure, which of course included Flamingos as well as ducks, swans and turtles. Upon returning I sat out by the pool for and hour and a bit. The main pool was crowded so I hung out around a small wading pool which is essentially a fountain you can stand and sit in.

My original plan was to play online this afternoon and then go to the MGM Grand Casino tonight, but when I returned my room housekeeping hadn’t been through yet. It is a little bit of a walk up to MGM and in the hot midday sun it was parching. When I arrived I took in the Lions den exhibit and took some photos. It is actually a very small enclosure for them. The poker room was about 20 metres away and their roar was clearly audible throughout my session.

Before I played though I went and acquired a player’s club card (MGM isn’t part of the Harrah’s chain so I needed another one). I then put my name on the waiting list for $1/$2 NL, it was a bit of a wait, but eventually they opened up a fresh table for us to play on. MGM’s poker room is a little more up-market than the Flamingo and was impressive in the way that it is run. The initial table make-up was good, there was one Asian guy about my age who seemed to know what he was doing, or at least knew how to be aggressive. Other than him there really wasn’t much to fear.

For the first couple of hours I steadily built up chips, hitting a few flops and winning smallish pots. Then, in the small blind I re-raised with AKs and got heads up to the flop, I missed, but fired and took down and decent sized pot. I’d built myself up to about $290 (from $200) when the situation that you have dreams over came up. I was in late positions with 55 and it was raised to $7 and called in front of me, I called also. It was then called behind me, and then the big blind re-raised to $22. The original raiser folded, the guy next to me called, I called (the re-raiser had about $200 in front of him so I had implied odds, not to mention the juicy pot already out there). The $22 was called behind me as well so it was 4 to the flop. The flop came J52 rainbow, the small blind fired out $50 and the guy next to me who’d been playing fairly loose took a minute or to convince himself to fold. I took my time, counted out my chips, thought about it some more and then pushed them across the line to call. I often raise with a set on the flop, but this was definitely not a situation where it was necessary. There was next to no chance anyone had a straight draw and of course no flush draw, so there was no rush to get the chips in. The guy who re-raised and bet right out had played QQ the same way a few rounds earlier, in fact he’d pushed right in on the flop. Adding to these reasons to slow play was the fact that there was still someone to act behind me; maybe they would be interested too. She folded after some thought and we were heads-up to the turn. The turn was a 9 completing the rainbow, he moved all-in and I called straight away. The dealer quickly flipped out the river, another jack and he mucked his aces face up. After the hand I had over $500 in chips, so it was about a $450 pot.

After the hand I went pretty card dead, saw a few flops, but nothing happened for me. After playing for three and a bit hours I decided to call it quits there, cashing out exactly $500, for a $300 win which puts me back in black for the trip in live cash game play. My confidence is growing, I feel less nervous and more clear at the table now. I still feel like I am playing a little too tightly, but so far it is working for me I guess.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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