A Trip to Paris

This morning I ventured to Bally’s Casino for a buffet breakfast, with my $5 off coupon it was less than $10 for a massive buffet. After that I played some tournaments online, had some disgusting suck outs and lost interest, so I quit after a short session. From there, I went to Paris Casino to try a find a live cash game, something I was more in the mood for. The casino has a large Eiffel Tower replica that you can actually take a ride up, and inside is complete with French theme. The roof is painted and lit to be like a sky, the floor path is painted to look like cobblestone; even the street signs looked real. I will go back to get photos when I get a chance.

I had to wait a while to get into the game, but eventually I did, at an all male table, the first of the trip. Early on I turned a nut flush and busted a guy holding a set so my session got off to a very good start. I got talking to the guy next to me; he was middle aged and a Las Vegas resident. It turns out he is the floor supervisor for the table games at the casino, when he left he gave me his business card and told me to come and visit him while I’m in town.

I’d not been getting a lot of cards for an extended period of time, when this particular hand came up. Let me set this up for you, the player I had my eye on in this hand had been raising a lot of pots when people were just limping in and showing weakness and then he was firing on the flop seemingly always. There were two main things I took into consideration in the way I played this hand, firstly he had commented about 10 minutes earlier that our end of the table had been quiet. Secondly, in an earlier hand he faced a tough call with pocket jacks for all his chips, at the time he commented that this was all the money he had on him.

All that being considered here is how the hand played out, I don’t generally run bluffs like this, but this just seemed like the ideal situation, and makes for a good Vegas poker story. People who only know poker from a distance put a lot more emphasis on bluffing than what the game is about in reality. It started out innocent enough, a few players limped in pre-flop and I limped in behind them with QJ of clubs. The aforementioned player made a raise to $15 as he had done many times, a couple of limpers folded, one called and I called. So we were three to a flop with about $50 in the pot. The flop came A72, two diamonds, no clubs. The other guy checked, I checked, and the pre-flop raiser bet out $30. I figured this to be a good flop to check-raise; I thought I could get him to fold everything but AK/AQ in this situation. So, when the other guy folded I deliberately counted out my chips and then pushed $90 across the line. I took my usual gazing at the felt pose and he thought for a long time, even out loud at times. Eventually, he folded A9 face up. I slammed down my cards face up and the table went crazy. Interesting note, the hand directly after this I picked up pocket aces! You couldn’t get a more perfect situation (the table thinking I’m a complete nutball), except that I had to fold them on the turn because the board was paired with several players in the pot and crazy betting going on, turns out two people had trips. I managed to lose the minimum, so I was running high on confidence.

There was only one other real hand of note where I split a big pot with a straight. I ended up winning $269 for the three hour session. The hardest thing in poker is to keep yourself in check when you are losing; I think the second hardest thing is probably keeping yourself in check when you are winning. As soon as you get over confident and let ego creep in, the game will bite you in the keister. Hopefully, my good run of late will continue, but I have to accept the reality that I am going to face tough times at some point on this trip and it will be my ability to grind out of them that determines my success. Feet on the ground and sticking to my game plan through thick and thin should bode well for success.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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