All poker players are bracing themselves for what is about to become the busiest period of the poker calendar. We began earlier this week with the Bellagio and what will be the climax of the WPT series. This $25K buy-in is fast becoming a more realistic hope for players looking for a life-changing win. With probably less than 10% of the expected 5,000 or so runners for the WSOP - who can argue with that view?
But before the main event, we have a feast of NL Holdem’s that range from $1,500 to $5,000. If that’s not enough, we also have the fourth of five in the PPT series. All ready we are seeing some of the top Europeans starting to arrive. As for myself, I have now taken an apartment here in Vegas in one of the many gated communities that are springing up all over the place. Having been traveling almost constantly over the last three years, I guess my wife and I are in desperate need of home cooking. But above all, WE NEED A DOG! So having spent the first few days shopping for furnishings - the finally found our way to the local Petsmart. Choosing a puppy has so far proven tougher than playing JJ in NL Holdem.
Anyway, back to poker. I played the first two events with not much to write home about. Except maybe the first hand in the $2,000 event. Having started with 4K in chips and blinds at 25-50 - I called a raise of 100 from a young lady in early position. Holding 7-8 spades, I loved the flop of 5s-6s-2d. I checked and called another bet of 100 from the raiser. It was obvious that the she did not have much of a hand, but I choose not to raise. When the turn brought an 8h, giving me top pair, I bet out, only to be raised. I obviously called with my big draw, but did I misread her hand? A harmless jack came on the river, and I checked. I was surprised that she bet 500 on the river. It was not enough to steal and yet, I could have sworn she was not enticing a call with a big hand. Anyway, I really needed to see her hand. J-7os from early position? I think TV has a lot to answer for!
It didn’t stop there either. She constantly raised or bet flops. However, some of the players obviously took note and re-raised her countless times. It didn’t deter her in the slightest. You can say what you like about obvious newcomers to the game, but they sure don’t lack courage. Poker has sure changed for ever!
As for the Bellagio, they are building a new poker room. However, it’s not yet ready. But what a substitute we have! The Fontana bar was always popular with visitors as it allowed a view of the spectacular water show that runs at regular intervals. Now poker players, especially smokers, are able to enjoy the sites. As Amir Vehide commented, “The view is spoilt on poker players“.
I will try and report on some of the events and on who’s running hot or not.
Until next time - play well, get lucky and get a dog!
Peter “The Poet” Costa