I've reflected on this situation a lot. I was wondering if I had just lost my interest in the game. I did not believe that was the case as I would still enjoy the mental stimulation of thinking through a poker hand. Thinking about actually going and playing would produce kind of an "ugh" reaction however. What I finally decided was that I was giving myself a break from most of the people that you tend to find sitting around the tables. Before I go any farther, I should clarify that I don't include poker bloggers or poker blog readers in that group. The fact is though, that is a relatively small subgroup out of the overall group of poker players. You know the kind I'm talking about - generally miserable people who seem to exist to complain about things and just throw a lot of negativity around. I think in general I was just tired of spending so much time around that group.
Last week though I ended my hiatus from play. I actually had a false start in my return to the tables. Last Tuesday I went to an after work reception that was supposed to last a couple of hours. Since I was going to find myself down in the area of the Strip in the evening, I decided to take a shot and sent Rob a twitter message asking if he was going to be playing at "BSC" later that evening. He responded quickly that he would and I said I would probably swing by. True to recent form though, other things came together to keep me away from the tables. The reception ran a little long and then some friends asked me to go grab a bite afterwards. I was wanting to catch up with them, so I sent my regrets to Rob.
Two nights later though I had made some plans to visit with an AVP member who was visiting from the Great White North. That would be user turdferguson. Turd grabbed my attention as soon as he started posting since his board handle comes from one of my all time favorite SNL sketches:
I have met him here a couple of times in the past along with his wife, the lovely "Mrs Turd" (who by the way is cool enough that she thinks it is hilarious to be called Mrs Turd) and he had sent a message on AVP letting me know they were visiting last week. We decided to meet Thursday evening at the Bellagio. They were going to be staying there a couple of nights on the poker room rate and needed to get their hours in. I wanted to check it out as, believe it or not, I had actually never played at the Bellagio before.
I got to experience for myself some of the things I had read about the room, most notably the fact that the table were really squeezed together. I did not experience what I have seen reported before, namely an attitude from the staff that low stakes players were not really worth their time. I found everyone who worked there to be helpful.
I arrived at the room about an hour ahead of time and grabbed a seat. Here I started noting another thing that singles out the game there. The B's buy in for $1-$2 game is $100 min $200 max. I like to buy in for $200 so that was not a problem but having a buy in range between 50 and 100 bbs really works to make the game play short. As Turd noted later when he arrived, so many poker problems at the B are stack size problems more than anything else. Still, the overall effect of that is to simplify decisions in the sense that you're deciding fairly early usually whether you are willing to play for stacks and once you make that adjustment the play is not overly complicated.
When I started out the table was very soft and also very passive. After about an hour, Turd showed up and was able to get sat at my table. Not to soon thereafter, Mrs Turd also arrived and likewise got seated at our table. I was in the 2 seat and Turd was in the 3 seat. Now the Turd likes to play a very aggressive style, so having him on my left was not the most favorable situation. I dealt with it though I thought I was going to get some relief when Mrs Turd arrived. You see, the seat that was open for her was the 1 seat and she remarked that she didn't want the two of us on her left. I observed to her that she was probably pretty likely to get the 3 seat and have him move to the 1 seat if she wanted, a move that I was sure I could not pull off. She elected to go ahead and take the 1 seat however, leaving me sandwiched between the Turds (yes I find that amusing, I'm embracing my inner 12 year old boy).
As the Turds were coming into the game, the table was in the midst of a metamorphosis. Still very soft players, but the aggression was increasing. We ended up with a bunch of Euros at the table including a group of 3 guys all together who I believe were Russian.
Turd and I observed that the table was great. People were plenty interested in splashing around and getting money in bad. Unfortunately, these Russian guys had perfected the art of getting money in bad and getting there. It probably started in a hand where one of the Russians and I both flopped top pair on an A high board. I was pretty sure I had him dominated and he was playing very short at that time, so we got it all in on the turn I believe. I do recall the river being a four and him quickly rolling over A4 for a rivered two pair. I sighed a bit and sent my cards (AT if I recall correctly) to the muck. I had met my Newman.
That was kind of how the night went. Everyone at that table was pretty easy to read. Unfortunately, they were also getting run over by the deck. Twice my flopped two pair out of the blinds got overtaken (once against a short stack who had flopped the straight and once by Newman turning a better two pair after the money all went in.
The night ended in fitting fashion. Newman limped under the gun. and it folded to me on the button with AT. I raised, the blinds folded and Newman three bet. Again, this was a stack size problem I was deep enough to have some fold equity that I thought could fold better Aces and, if he was doing this with a smaller pair then I wanted to get his money in the pot before the board scared him so I shoved. He gave a textbook snap call and rolled over his AA. *sigh* You know folks, every time someone open limps/three bets with AA a puppy dies. Don't be mean to puppies OK?
I actually turned a gutter draw and thought it would be sweet irony if someone sucked out on Newman for a change (he had amassed a huge stack by this point) but the river did not come in for me and that was all of my second buy in, so I decided to call it a night. I bid Turd and Mrs Turd adieu. We had plans to meet up Saturday night along with Mrs Flops for dinner ... but that's another post.