Hey all. Just got back from Vegas for my first round of summer grinding and wanted to let you all know how it went. As most of you already know, I didn’t fare very well in the cash out department but I did have a great time seeing some friends I haven’t seen in a while and of course railing some friends that went deep in some events. Before I start I want to congratulate Nipun for crushing the Rio DS events and making a couple of nice scores and of course winning his first 3k shootout table. Looks like I will be having a couple of free meals on him (Don’t worry Rick we didn’t forget about the meal you are going to pay for). Nice runs bro we were all very proud of you.

As for my trip report, I won’t go into too many hands, but there are a few that stand out. They were interesting and got me thinking about different ways to play the hands (spots) when they come up again.

Here we go:

Wednesday night:

Played a 125 satellite at the Rio to get my feet wet. Won a nice hand early then with 5 left, jammed 12bb from the BB to a Btn raise with AK and he tank called A7 and river stared a 7. Good to at least get some poker in the first day.

Thursday Noon:

Played the Venetian 400. Really thought I played well the whole day but I could not get any traction. I fell under average about level 6 or 7 and could never get back to average. This day was a pretty big grind for me. I tried to find spots to take and them. Most of them worked but I really could never get paid with the monsters. I did a ton of shoving pre the last couple of hours and was at least staying around 20-25bb.

I had 23bb left when they announced we were going to play 6 more hands for the night. The first 5 I had crap and folded and the 6th hand was one of the most interesting of the trip.

UTG +1 opened almost min, and the next player doubled his bet. Both these two players were active and had been battling for a while. It folded to my BB and I look down at AKo. Hmmmm.

At the time, I felt like this maybe wasn’t the best hand, but then I started to think quickly about the spot. I hadn’t been at the table that long and being an older guy and on the exact Day 2 bubble, I thought I had enough fold equity to maybe ship here and get them both to fold unless they had monsters. Both guys did have me covered and had nice day 2 stacks, so I really believed I could ship and pick up around 8bb and take my stack to over 30 going into Day 2.

So I shipped and the first raiser folded pretty quick and the 2nd guy went into the tank. He had about 35/40BB to start the hand so once he started tanking, I put him on 99-JJ and AQ+. I guess it could have been QQ also, but I think he would have called faster.

About 3 mins in he said Ok I call but I don’t like it. He turned over TT and I lost the flip.

I played this spot out in my mind and looking back maybe I can fold pre and go to Day 2 with a 22bb stack, but after really thinking deeply about it and talking to a few friends, I think I did the right thing with all things considered. I did talk to a really good player that told me a different way to play the hand but I don’t want to post that way in public. I have to keep some tricks up my sleeve right?

Friday 3 PM:

Slept in and decided to play my first Rio Deep Stack at 3 PM. Had a great table but again could not win any big pots. Was pretty much abusing the table for a while but it was all in the early levels. Right after the break I lost a couple of small coolers and then got to the infamous 15bb stack. I shipped the 818 (T3ss) into 77 and KQ and couldn’t bink the ten ball. Out with about 1/4 of the field gone.

Saturday 11 AM:

The Milly Maker was here and I was pumped for it. Got up early, had a little breakfast, and was ready to mash souls.

The first table I thought was a really good table draw. I did have my friend’s sister on it but it was no biggie. I played good early and took advantage of a few recreational players but then lost a pretty big hand with top pair top kicker and was instantly short around 30bb. They broke my table and I moved to a different table that turned out to be even easier.

Again though I could never get that big double up I needed to get going. I won a few small pots then played a blind vs blind hand that the guy turned two pair and never raised. I had flopped a gutter and turned bottom pair and was trying to either rep what he had or hit the gutter. It didn’t work out for me and I was down to around 15bb.

I played a couple of orbits with a few shoves that got through and then jammed 15bb from the sb vs the bb with 66. He snapped AJhh and the board doubled paired on the river to make his Ace good. And busto.

After I busted, I went and got in line for the 5PM session. I had planned to fire two bullets and unfortunately I had too. The line was brutal and I ended up only getting about 1/2 hour off between sessions. At 45 years old, I would have liked to get a nap in but oh well, back to the grind.

Saturday 5 PM:

My table draw for this session was not as good as the previous one. I had Devo, Brent Hanks, and a young LA player known as RoboCop. As it turns out, it was one of the most fun tables I played at all trip.

Devo and Brent are good friends and were prop betting before we started. Also, there was a guy sitting next to Brent that was super cool and had a smoking hot girlfriend watching him from the rail.

I don’t remember how this all started, but the cool guy pulled out something to use as his card marker. Well as it turns out Brent and Devo started joking about what it was. Here is a picture of it so you can decide for yourself.







It was historical how Brent and Devo were enthralled with this thing. The funnier part was after the girl saw her bf put it on the table, she stormed off and he got up and left for about 30 minutes saying that he might not be back. We were all betting on if he would come back at all. He did and the table broke soon after.

As for the poker, I lost a couple of pots early, then won a really nice big one with middle set. I raised pre with 66 and got two calls. I was in the middle of the two players.

Flop A68hhx. Chk, I bet and both called. Turn 7c. Chk, I bet again, both called. River 2s. Chk, I bet again, guy behind folded and the BB called pretty quick. I am sure he had an Ace but my set held up and I went to about 7k in the third level.

The next table I went to was another great table draw. After a couple of orbits I started to raise a lot and didn’t really get any resistance. I had built my stack to a healthy 15k at 100/200 and was really doing well.

We got back from a break and the blinds went to 150/300/25 and suddenly I lost all my momentum when they finally started to play back at me. I don’t know if they all got a little sick of me or  just started to pick up hands, but I seemed to lose every pot I played for the next 2 hours or so. I did tighten up to kind of stop the bleeding, but it really hurt that I didn’t pick up a real hand in that time frame to at least stay above 40bb.

The table broke with an hour left in Day 1 and the new table was a little crazy so I only played a couple of hands and ended day 1 with about 12k with average being around 18k. Not great but not that bad. I still had a little time to play.

Sunday 2PM: Day 2 of the Milly

Got the to table and didn’t recognize anyone. Good sign. I had looked briefly at the table draw that morning and I liked the fact that the CL was on my right and there were a lot of stacks about the same size as mine.

Once play started I realized this was actually the best day 2 table I had ever been at. Most players were playing ABC and folding alot pre to 3 bets and shoves. Weeeeee. Here we go.

Since I was still short I couldn’t raise fold but I did end up chipping up by just abusing the CL on my right. He decided that limping into my BB from the SB was a good idea. Well it wasn’t. I stole 2/3 orbits from him and then got him to fold an A on the btn after he raised and I jammed 18bb from the SB with TJss. I was back to about 22bb as we broke.

The last table I played at was a little tougher. LA Reg Jamie Shavel was on it and with a lot of chips. He is an extremely good player and a very nice guy to boot. He was pretty much having his way with the table.

I got to around 13bb and shipped AK no calls. Next orbit had AA, min clicked UTG and again no calls. OY!!!

Last hand Jamie opended UTG, the btn flatted, and I looked at AJo in the BB. Give em the pile kid. I did. Jamie snap re-shipped (Uh oh) and btn folded. He had QQ and I did not bink the Ace ball and I was out about 100 off the cash.

Even though I didn’t cash I felt like I played good and took a lot of spots I probably would not have taken last year so at least I feel my game is improving.

Monday 11 AM:

The last event I played was the 365 Carnivale of Poker. This used to be a series that ran at the WSOP a long time ago and they brought it back this year. Basically it is the same buys in and structures as the WSOPC, but instead of a ring they are giving a medallion. Pretty cool.

I didn’t play too much early until a super aggro kid sat down around level 3 or 4. He was raising a ton but he looked like he knew what he was doing. Very competent in my eyes but maybe a little spewy.

I didn’t play too much with him at first but I was paying close attention to his sizing to see if I could pick up a couple of pots by 3 betting him light.

The first spot I ended up taking was this…he raised UTG +2, got two callers, and I had A5o on the button. I made a pretty big 3 bet and to my surprise he shoved. Uh oh. Both the guys folded and thinking through the spot I know he would shove on me pretty light, but of course he could have a real hand also.

I had started the hand with around 30bb and thought, well lets gamble it up. I think he could have crap some of the time so why not? I call. He had 44. Obviously I was pretty happy to see that. Flop came AQ7 and the board bricked out and I finally won my first big race of the trip. Wooo Hooo.

A few orbits later, he raised UTG, got one call and I looked at KK on the button. Sweet. I 3 bet, he took him time and 4 bet, guy folded, and I almost dead min 5 bet him (BGJ loves that sexy bet). He tanked and finally shipped Jakes. I held and won another nice pot and also busted him which was really good since I thought was the best player on the table by far.

We had a few seats open and they filled the one on my direct right with some Italian guy that barley spoke English. Pretty funny that I am Italian and couldn’t understand him at all. He seemed nice but did start raising late a lot. Wasn’t sure if he was competent or not.

He had raised both my blinds a couple of times so I was waiting for some hand with equity to 3 bet him. It folded to his button and he raised and before I looked I thought I would 3 bet him with almost any two cards that looked like they played nice together. I look down and I have AA. Well I guess that will be nice enough.

Blinds were 300/600/50 and he made it 1900. I said raise and made it 4100. BB folded and he called pretty quick.

Flop was 568r. I led 4100 again (Another BGJ bet although he likes even a little smaller to induce) and he thought about it for a little bit and piled in 30k. Sweet. I snapped obviously and he turned over 95hh. Huh? Really? Bottom pair and a gutter. Wow.

He stood up, started yelling for a 5, 7, or 9 ball. Turn 6 and river stars 7 for his straight. Ugh. Nice hand sir. If that hand holds, I would have been a top 5 stack with 1/2 the field gone. Oh well that’s poker right?

I did end up making the dinner break. Got back and the first hand after dinner I 3 bet shoved Phucking Jakes from the SB and the raiser folded. Next hand, I shoved about 16bb from the button with A9o and the SB woke up with QQ and I was busto.


That’s it fro trip #1. The whole trip was a grind but I did play well but I just didn’t seem to get a big double up late into the events. Hopefully that will change in trip #2. I leave Wednesday the 19th to start another journey toward winning a bracelet.

Take care and have a great weekend.



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