Saturday, April 04, 2009

Guess the casino, #102

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Circus Circus

Friday, April 03, 2009

McDonald's, Vegas-style

Because I'm so rarely awake before noon, and because McDonald's, unlike some of their competitors (e.g., Jack in the Box) refuses to serve their breakfast menu at the hours that we normal people would actually want to eat breakfast, it is not often that I get to indulge in one of my favorite delights: a Sausage McMuffin. But this morning, once I had decided to put in an early poker session at the Venetian, I knew that I could snag myself this treat.

I was about to head to my usual place (Sahara and Maryland Parkway), but then I realized that I could just head down the Strip, without too much fear of heavy traffic, and catch the McDonald's that is just south of Circus Circus. It had a big renovation and re-opening a few months ago. (See, e.g., VegasRex on it here.) I had never been in there before, either before or after the remodeling.

It's the only McDonald's that I know of that advertises on billboards and taxicabs the same way that casinos and shows and strip clubs do. It is, apparently, something of an institution. So I felt it my obligation to give it a try.

It's surprisingly nice, both inside and out--easily the spiffiest McDonald's I've ever set foot it. Of course, I realize that that's not exactly the highest praise one can give an eating establishment. Whatever.

Here's a shocker: The Sausage McMuffin tasted very, very much like every other Sausage McMuffin I've ever had, the hash browns tasted a whole lot like hash browns from other McDonald's, and the large Coke was, well, kind of big and kind of Cokish.

It is just as Rex has ranted about here:

You hop on an airplane, fly 3,000 miles to the entertainment and dining
capital of the world, hop off the plane after a 5 hour flight, and head to


Perhaps I am missing something, but what is the point of leaving the
trailer park in the first place?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no food snob. I eat Ramen noodles for dinner
all the time … but if my ass is going to plunk down airfare and I am going to
book a hotel room in a distant city, my ass is not eating at McDonald’s.

What, do you think they give us the “good” Big Macs?

It’s the same shit (literally) as it is in Des Moines … I assure you.

Of course, I get a pass, what with being local and all. This is my trailer park (no, not literally). I can't help it if my local McDonald's happens to be lit up with enough neon to raise the entire planet's core body temperature.

But I can share the experience with you vicariously. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Now, when you come here, you can just walk by this place and think, "Oh yeah, I read about that. Nothing special, past the surface," then keeping walking, and find somewhere more interesting and memorable to dine.

Unless, of course, you're just dying for a Sausage McMuffin, in which case this place will do just fine.

Morning poker

If you pay attention to the time stamps on these posts, you may knit your brow in puzzlement at why a short time ago I posted about coming home from the book store. As I type, it is 1:35 p.m., which is usually about the time I'm hitting the shower after having been awake for maybe 30 or 60 minutes. But for once, I'm not only out of bed, but have already been out into the world, played poker, and come home again!

I think this is only the third time in almost three years of playing now that I have tried a morning session. The idea is to catch those who have been playing (and, often, drinking) all night. They will often be desperately tired, stressed out, drunk, and/or losing badly and trying to get back to even. The down sides are that (1) it can be difficult to find a game, and (2) many of the local retiree nits come out of the woodwork at those hours, and they are not the target audience. One time I tried this at Caesars, with good success. Another time I tried it at MGM, and failed. There was a game going, but I stupidly failed to adjust my tactics to the opposition, and attempted a couple of big bluffs at people that I should have known were basically unbluffable because of exactly the factors (as listed above) that made me seek them out! D'oh!

I sat down at the Venetian poker room at 9:05 a.m. Yes, surprisingly, the world actually exists at that hour--who knew?! You can see from the photo above that it was pretty dead, even though this is one of the busiest poker rooms in the city and they are in the midst of the Deep Stack Extravaganza, which vastly increases the number of players on an average day. There were four tables in operation.

This was my first time playing since Saturday. I ran into a pretty bad spell the last couple of weeks of March. I was starting to feel the same horrible mental wooziness that I was trapped in last August, when I was in the midst of my worst-ever losing streak. I decided that I needed to take more than my usual one day off to reset, because I had already done that two or three times, without anything improving. So I took an actual vacation from poker (except for a little online, mostly for funsies). I did other stuff that had been neglected: taxes, reading, Netflix movies, watching TV shows I had videotaped but not viewed, cleaning, grocery shopping, catching up on other blogs, etc. It felt pretty good not to play for a while, but the last couple of days I have definitely been getting back my itch to play, so today was the day. I thought the change to a morning session might feel sufficiently different from my usual evening play that it would help the whole situation feel new again. It did.

There was only one drunk guy, not half a table, as I had kind of hoped. But he was drunk enough for the whole table, so that compensated. He annoyed everybody with constant, repeated, loud, profane, and looney diatribes about the Federal Reserve system, 9/11 conspiracies, and one-world government. I quickly put in the ear buds with Elvis as my respite. He was sitting right next to me and kept attempting to engage me in his madness. I just kept pretending I couldn't hear him, and he eventually gave up, and returned to trying to warn the rest of the table about the impending collapse of civilization as we know it.

I left WINNAH after less than two hours. In this kind of situation, it's pretty important to my psychological well-being to take the money and run, rather than give it all back and chalk up yet another L in the spreadsheet (I first wrote "ledger" there--but who am I kidding?) via a bad read or an unlucky turn of a card.

My entire profit came in basically two hands:

1. I was on the button and looked down at the nappy-headed hos. I had raised both of the previous two times I had had the button, and had won both hands with a continuation bet on the flop when it was checked to me. Once was with garbage that hit bottom pair, once with two Broadway cards that completely whiffed, but were apparently good enough. I knew, therefore, that any attentive players would be highly suspicious of a steal when I put in a button raise (to $13, I think) for yet the third time.

I got just one caller, the big blind, a guy I've played with once or twice before and I know to be smart, with no shortage of bluffing and trickery in his arsenal. Before calling, he asked how much I had behind--about $120, which he had covered. This made me think that he had some kind of speculative hand, and he was wondering about his implied odds. Unless his question were a deliberate attempt at deception (always a possibility), this suggested that he was not slow-playing kings or aces.

The flop was A-J-5, rainbow. He checked. I bet $25. I was not at all suprised when he check-raised me, because I knew that somebody would be wanting to challenge me on my third button raise/c-bet combination. Normally I would just give up at this point, but because I had been expecting an attentive player to draw a line in the sand with me pretty much no matter what he might be holding, and because this was definitely a smart, attentive player, I had substantially less reason to fear him having me beat than I usually would. Besides, he only min-raised me, which could be begging me to make a move, but could also be just sticking a toe in the water to see if I was full of it. Hard to say which.

This was a tricky spot, given the stack sizes, because if I shoved all-in, he would be getting better than 2.5:1 on a call--another $70 to win a pot of about $195 (about $25 pre-flop, plus my $120, plus his own $50). That's not enough if he has, say, a medium pair and he becomes convinced that I have an ace or a jack. But it obviously won't get him to fold any set or two-pair combination, and he might not even fold either an ace or a jack. It was really hard to gauge what my fold equity might be.

But I pushed it anyway. He called quickly. Lucky for me, the queen of hearts on the turn settled essentially all of my worries. He flashed a 5 before mucking his cards. It's hard to believe he would have called me pre-flop with J-5, and with either 5-5 or A-5 in the hole, I think he would have shown both cards rather than just the 5. So my guess is that I really was ahead the entire way, and didn't need the third queen, but I'll never know for sure.

2. Big blind with 5-5. A bunch of us all limped in. Flop was a very lovely 7-5-7. Yes, that's how talented and experienced I am at poker--I can flop a full house whenever the mood suits me. I am a skillbox.

I was first to act, and bet $6, about 2/3 of the pot. My goal was twofold: (1) Sniff out who might be sitting on a 7, and (2) convince such a person that I didn't have a big hand, on the guess that he or she would expect anything beating trips to slow-play it. Ding! A middle-aged woman new to the table called. Everybody else folded. The turn was a king. I bet again, this time $15. She min-raised me to $30. Oh yeah, baby--we've got ourselves a 7 out there!

Of course, with the lowest possible full house, there is always the possibility that she has 7-5 or 7-K or will hit on the river with whatever her kicker may be--or, God forbid, 7-7 in the hole. But the situation is so likely to be in my favor that I have to be willing to get it all in here, or not bother playing no-limit. I stalled a bit, trying to look as if I'm trying not to look worried (I wish I had videotape of myself in these moments, so that I could see whether I really pull off such acting), then called, with what I hope was just a shade of faux reluctance.

Of course, if I were genuinely concerned, I would follow that call with a check on the river, no matter what came. So when a 10 hit (no straights or flushes possible to scare her), that's what I did--think a bit, then check, trying to appear as if I would welcome her to check behind. She bit, putting out another $30. I had hoped for a little more, but decided that she was practically pot-committed (another $90 or so behind), and moved all-in. She insta-called and showed me 7-4.

I'll take those chips now, please. TYVM!

Not exactly rocket science, but very satisfying. I scored me a decent W for the session and felt pretty much back in the saddle again.



I forgot to mention something. When I saw the Q-Q and knew that I would now be raising the button for the third consecutive time, I had a flashback to this column by John Vorhaus about this exact thing: opponents anticipating a pattern of yours the third time you execute it, and how you can and must be prepared to exploit their attempt to exploit you.

Serves him right

In the newest (April 13, 2009) issue of Poker Player newspaper, a page 1 story covers the finale of the Wynn Poker Classic, won by Keith Ferrera. It contains this interesting anecdote along the way:

On the tournament's second day, Scott Seiver presumably learned a costly
object lesson about the importance of not releasing one's hand on a showdown
until the cards are turned face-up when he played a hand against Jimmy Fricke.
At hand's end, the board was K-10-8-K-4 and Seiver moved all-in. After a lengthy
deliberation, Fricke called.

Assuming he was beaten, Seiver pushed his cards towards the dealer, saying
"You win." Fricke flipped over A-Q for nothing more than ace-high. Seiver
screamed that he had pocket deuces, but the dealer had already raked in Seiver's
cards. The tournament director confirmed the dealer's decision and awarded the
pot--along with all of Seiver's chips--to Fricke.

Wow. It's hard to overstate the utter stupidity of this move. What on earth does Seiver have to lose here by the simple act of turning his cards face up on the table? He is an experienced tournament pro, not some noobie taking his first crack at live poker. Sure, most of the time he gets called there he will lose. But if so, he's out of the tournament, meaning that there isn't even the usual argument for keeping secret how one has played a particular hand. Suppose there is only a one in a thousand chance that he is being called by a worse hand--isn't it still worth turning over your cards the 999 times that you lose in order not to be knocked out of the tournament that one time? I just don't get it. How brainless can one get?

Even in ordinary cash games if I have a bluff called on the river I don't just muck, the way I see so many people do. I'm only very mildly embarrassed to get caught, so I might as well get the advertising value out of it by showing the table how out of line I might be, hoping they'll remember it the next time when I actually have the goods. As I expose my cards, I often even say something like, "You called, so I guess you must have the winner." (Note that I'm careful not to phrase this in a way that is actually conceding the pot. It shouldn't matter, because at the showdown the cards speak and verbal declarations of one's hand are not binding. But I still don't want to be unintentionally misleading. Being intentionally misleading is highly unethical and often grounds for various sanctions, and I don't want anybody to mistakenly think that I was doing it on purpose.) But maybe 5% of the time I'm stunned to then see the caller muck without showing, and it turns out that I was bluffing with the best hand (e.g., ace high, or bottom pair, or an underpair). On at least one occasion, the caller misread my hand and accidentally mucked the winner. I don't mind taking the pot that way, either, as long as I did nothing to induce his error.

Mr. Seiver, please explain: What the hell is so difficult or onerous about turning up your cards? What were you trying to accomplish that was worth blowing a $10,000-entry tournament for?

More about soup for books

This morning I posted a quick note about the Gambler's Book Store offering free poker books in exchange for a donation of a can of soup for local food banks. I stopped by there on my way home (it's only a few blocks from where I live) to see what was going on.

I didn't really think they would have it wide open to any poker book; they'd go out of business too fast if they tried that. (Heck, I'd rush to Albertson's, buy a case of soup, then clean out the bookstore's poker shelf!) They had arranged on the counter maybe eight different titles one could choose from, mostly about poker, but also one on keno and one on baseball handicapping. They all appeared to be older books.

I had brought two cans of good ol' Campbell's (one tomato and one chicken noodle--can't go wrong with those), and exchanged them for the two volumes shown above. The former is a collection of essays, rants, stories, and observations about playing poker in Vegas--a lot like a blog turned into a book, though done back in 1992. Stated price was $16.95. The second is one of Mike Caro's oldest volumes, published in 1984. It's mostly about home-game variations of poker, about which very little solid strategy writing has been done, so I thought it would make an interesting addition to the library. Besides, pretty much anything written by Caro will be a worthwhile read, IMHO. Stated price was $5.95.

While I was there, I thought it would be nice to thank the propietor for running the food-bank promotion by actually purchasing something, so I bought one other book (all poker books are currently on sale at 15% off): Winning Omaha 8 Poker, by Mark Tenner and Lou Krieger (2003)--an autographed copy, even. I still feel somewhat lost during the Omaha section of my almost daily HORSE sit-and-go tournaments. Moreover, Krieger has several times ventured his opinion that O/8 is one of the most profitable, beatable games there is these days, because so many hold'em players have no idea how to adjust their play to it. (See, e.g., here.) A solid introduction/foundation seems called for. (A new edition is in the works, if you don't mind waiting a bit.)

TSA thugs even worse than casino security thugs

Because, of course, they operate with greater ability to deprive you of your liberty and property, whether you have done anything to deserve it or not.

A reader kindly sent me a note about this post on Terrence Chan's blog. A libertarian (his politics are probably not irrelevant here) was detained by the TSA thugs simply because he was carrying about $4700 in cash, with no other grounds for suspicion of illegal activity. Their treatment of him, which he cleverly recorded, was not exactly the courtesy and professionalism we would want from our law enforcement. Watch the YouTube segment, and be outraged.

Is this relevant to poker? Absolutely. Besides the general interest that all U.S. citizens should have about the erosion of freedom, poker players are at substantially greater risk than the general public for this kind of abuse. Both tournament players and the cash game specialists who go to where tournaments are to play in the juicy side games tend to carry (perfectly legally) larger sums of cash than the jack-booted thugs of the TSA will consider to be "normal." They also often book flights at the last minute (because of a late decision to play a tournament, or busting out earlier than anticipated, or lasting longer than anticipated and thus having to book a later flight, etc.). These factors wave red flags in front of the TSA and DEA bulls. There are already many, many stories on record of poker players getting harassed in just the manner that this young man was. For the most recent one that has made the news, see David "Viffer" Peat's account here. Read Daniel Negreanu's story from 2006 here.

By the way, if you are ever being questioned by law enforcement and it's not clear to you whether you are free to go, you can certainly ask exactly that question (as this guy did), but don't expect a direct or honest answer. The way to find out is to announce that it is your intention to leave, stand up, and walk for the door, being careful not to make any sudden moves (like reaching into a pocket) that could be interpreted as threatening. If they don't stop you, you are free to go. If they physically prevent you from leaving, you have your answer, and at that point they will not be free to claim in later legal proceedings that you had never been "seized" under the Fourth Amendment. As soon as it is clear that you are not free to go, you have, in fact, been "seized," whether or not you are under arrest (which is a related but narrower category of action).

Soup non-Nazi


According to this story, Howard Schwartz will soon be moving the famous Gambler's Book Shop (now at 630 S. 11th St.) to a yet-unidentified new space. In order to help reduce the mountain of inventory to be transported, he will give away a poker book in exchange for a can of soup (or, apparently, other canned food) to be donated to local food banks.

Not clear from the story is whether the donor gets to pick any poker book off the shelves, or if there is just one or perhaps a few titles for which the load of copies is too great to have any hopes of selling, so that one is stuck with, say, a five-year-old Playing Poker Like the Pros by Phil Hellmuth, or perhaps the wretched Act to Win in Texas Hold'em Poker by Chad Brown and Stephan Kalhamer. But I think I'll stop in and find out.

For much more about the Gambler's Book Shop, see the series of posts by Shamus here and here.

Thanks to my friend Lisa for the news tip.

Guess the casino, #101

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Texas Station

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Poker gems, #232

Mike Eikenberry, in Poker Player newspaper column, April 13, 2009 (Vol. 12, #21), p. 10. He is recounting his top ten poker moments.

5. Bad Beat/Not. In a super satellite for the 1995 WSOP, I found myself down to the final seven players. Only six of us would win a seat and it appeared that I would finish seventh. I went card-dead and almost out of chips. I found myself with half my chips on the big blind. Everyone folded around to former world champion Hamid Dastmalchi on the small blind. He hardly looked at his hand before putting me all-in. Going to the river, the board was a rainbow 9-9-9-A and I was in bad shape with 5-4 suited. I was crushed when a deuce fell on the river and stood up to leave, throwing my hand face up. Amazingly, Hamid reluctantly turned over the only hand that I could beat--a three and a four. A few hands later another player was eliminated and I had my ticket to the show.

Gordie Brown

Late yesterday afternoon I scored a free ticket to see Gordie Brown last night at his new home at the Golden Nugget (after finishing his run at the Venetian, then spending a while at Planet Hollywood). This impressionist show is one I've been wanting to see the entire time I've lived here.

I liked it. I was in the fourth row, so a nice, close-up view. The obvious comparison is to Danny Gans, since their acts are very similar. I think that Gans is a better mimic, with more impressively spot-on vocal imitations of various singers and celebrities. But Brown, I thought, was overall funnier and more entertaining. If I had an out-of-town visitor who wanted to take me to see one or the other of these guys, I'd lean toward Brown.

It's really difficult to explain with text what bits were funny and why--sort of the essential "ya had to be there" sort of thing. But I thought the best moments were (1) a duet between Cher and Joe Cocker (Brown doing both parts, of course), (2) switching between Billy Ray Cyrus's "Achey Breaky Heart" and Barney the Dinosaur doing his "I love you" song to show how amusingly similar the melodies are, (3) Aaron Neville's rendition of the national anthem at a baseball game (complete with stadium reverb) that is so slow it lasts through an entire double-header (Brown rapidly moving back and forth between the never-ending song and the announcer's play-by-play).

Well worth seeing, if you get a chance.

Marking the day

Today is April 2, the American shorthand for which is 4/2. That makes this the second-holiest day (after 2/4, obviously) in the liturgical calendar of the Holy Order of the Deuce-Four. Those of us who have sworn allegiance have a sacred obligation to play the hand at least once today, full of faith that the poker gods will reward our devotions.

Do your proper obeiscances and propitiations (religious thought is full of such wonderful words!) on this holy day. Blessed be the Deuce-Four. Amen.

Guess the casino, #100

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Luxor

Poker gems, #231

Mike Caro, in Poker Player newspaper column, April 13, 2009 (vol. 12, #21).

Poker played properly isn't about pride or entertainment. It's about money. And if you're playing it for other reasons, you've probably chosen the wrong game.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Zero-level thinking

I swear, this is not an April Fool's Day post. Well, it is that day, but this post is in earnest.

I just finished a HORSE SNG. The following was the most amusing hand from the session. (Well, Cardgrrl thinks another hand was more amusing, and she is writing that up as I do this one. Edit: It is here.)

A couple of months ago, Shamus wrote a post about zero-level thinking, in which it is not possible to attribute even the most rudimentary poker reasoning to a player's action. This falls into that category.

Usually when I post hand replays, I have all the cards exposed from the outset. This is an occasion where I think you will enjoy it more if you see them at the same point in the hand that I did.

I folded a full house on the river. Not everybody thinks the same way.

Guess the casino, #99

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Caesars Palace

Poker lessons from non-poker movies: "Cool Hand Luke"

Next up in my Paul Newman film festival is "Cool Hand Luke." It arrived in the mail today. Haven't watched it yet, but I've seen it before, so I know what's coming. And what's coming is an exceptionally fine poker scene. Its lessons--about reading opponents, about pot odds, about how to bluff by telling a consistent story from the outset of the hand, about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of friends' advice, about the power of raising rather than calling ("Kick a buck!")--are too obvious to need elaboration from me. So just sit back and enjoy the next three minutes:

"Sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand." One of the best movie lines (and best bits of poker advice) EVAR!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You can fool some of the people all the time

I'm looking at the March, 2009, Bluff magazine, in which are announced the "2008 Readers' Choice Awards." Most of them are pretty unremarkable (well, except that I failed to win anything in the "Best Poker Blog" category, which is completely inexplicable).

I was struck, though by the "Best Online Poker Software" award. They gave the gold to Full Tilt Poker and the Silver to PokerStars. OK, I would have reversed those, but that's a highly subjective call, so no big deal.

But the bronze went to UltimateBet.


Presumably, we have the idiotic readers of the magazine to blame for this rather than the idiotic editors (though in past years there has been some evidence of funny business in how the votes are translated into awards). If so, is the average Bluff reader just so oblivious, so stoned, so tuned out of poker news that he does not know what has been happening at UltimateBet over the past year or so?

Of course, it doesn't help that Bluff itself has remained basically silent on the whole scandal. Hmm. I wonder if that journalistic oversight could have something to do with the multi-page ads that the magazine carries every issue for UltimateBlecch and its sister site, Absolute Puker?

For the gold winner in each category, the editors have put together a short paragraph extolling the virtues of the entity selected. They don't say anything about the runners-up. I'd like to make a small offering to remedy that deficiency in the online software category:

"Though smaller than either Full Tilt or PokerStars, UltimateBet has thoroughly beaten its competition in one key area: Cheating. No other online poker company has so skillfully merged software loopholes and criminally-minded site owners and operators eager and willing to exploit those back doors. This combination resulted in an unprecedented level of scamming and skimming, ripping off their highest-stakes players for yet-uncounted millions of dollars over several years without being detected. (We here at Bluff do not have a separate award for online sites' security departments, but we must give a tip o' the virtual cap to UB's for letting the thieves open multiple accounts, freely change screen names, and engage in unlimited and unscrutinized withdrawals and transfers between accounts in order to make the stealing harder for victims to detect. Nice work on the assist, guys!) And though it's not strictly a software feature, you've just got to love the balls of a company that steals tons of money from its customers, then handles the whole mess by portraying itself as the victim! Ha ha! Beautiful touch! We'd love to have given you the gold, UB, but our readers have spoken, and it's only the bronze this year. Suggestion: Get Russ Hamilton back in charge, and we think you'll be a strong contender for first next year."

Guess the casino, #98

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Binion's

Monday, March 30, 2009

Confidential to B.W.O.P.


Despite your three recent posts with yet more evidence for the theory (here and here and here), both Daniel Negreanu and I learned from last night's "High Stakes Poker" that crubs do not, in fact, always get there, even when you run it twice!

Shocking, I know, but poker is full of astronomically unlikely events.

Be careful out there with the crubs.

All the best,



Have you ever wondered what would happen if you took the crubs up against the mighty 2-4? Kind of like the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. Superman battling Supergirl. Matter colliding with antimatter. It might open a rift in the fabric of space-time, or something like that.

Guess the casino, #97

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Sante Fe Station

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Poker gems, #230

Justin Bonomo, in Bluff magazine column, March, 2009, p. 68.

I first played it [the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure] five years ago when I was nineteen. It was my second WPT ever and I managed to cash in it (30th). On the bubble I had a table full of internet phenoms. We all told each other our online names and had some good chats. There was one eighteen-year-old kid at the table who wouldn't give his online name. He claimed we would all know how he played if he told us. He ended up making a terrible call for all his chips against a super-nit that obviously had the nuts. He bubbled finishing two or three off the money. Afterwards, when he said his online name was "HoldemNL", we all laughed because none of us had a clue who this egotistical nobody was. Some of you reading this might be familiar with him. He goes by the name "Durrrr" these days.

I might be a moron

OK, so I was playing a HORSE sit-and-go before heading to bed, as I often do. A certain other poker blogger, who shall remain nameless here, had already been eliminated, but was chatting with me via IM on the side. This certain other nameless blogger had sent me a link to a web page about supertasters, speculating that I was one because of my slight propensity toward consuming mass quantities of chocolate. So I was dealing with that, when this hand came up. I saw that I had aces in the hole, and was very pleased. I raised. Two other players were quickly all in, but I kept betting because I thought I had a better hand than the other guy who was still in with chips. Because I had ACES! And then it got even better, because I paired again and ended up with two pairs, aces and sixes. Yea verily, I was indeed happy with the situation.

At a glance, though, I couldn't see why one of the short stacks was getting pushed the main pot and I got only the side pot. It was only after the hand was over and I went back and looked at the screenshot above that I noticed that WE HAD BEEN PLAYING RAZZ, NOT STUD!!!!!

The short stack won the main pot and one small side pot, but my second side pot was even bigger than those combined. My lone remaining opponent folded on the river. He might well have had a hand better than my K-9 low, but I was betting and raising so convincingly that he folded maybe a K-8 or a J-8, sure that it couldn't be good there. To him it must have looked like I had a 9-8 low at worst. Took a small profit (566 chips) on the hand.

I'm blaming a certain other blogger who shall not be named here for the distraction.

Or, of course, I might just be a moron.

Full hand history below, in case anybody wants to watch the near train wreck in slow motion.

PokerStars Game #26486026408: Tournament #151643535, $5.00+$0.50 HORSE (Razz Limit) - Level VIII (200/400) - 2009/03/29 4:56:41 ET
Table '151643535 1' 8-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: Grozamolnia (2866 in chips)
Seat 2: DwnAndDrty (637 in chips)
Seat 4: Rakewell1 (2510 in chips)
Seat 5: DeJaBlue2u (360 in chips)
Seat 7: KTFUMA (5627 in chips)
DeJaBlue2u: posts the ante 40
KTFUMA: posts the ante 40
Grozamolnia: posts the ante 40
DwnAndDrty: posts the ante 40
Rakewell1: posts the ante 40
*** 3rd STREET ***
Dealt to Grozamolnia [9s]
Dealt to DwnAndDrty [6h]
Dealt to Rakewell1 [Ac Ad 6s]
Dealt to DeJaBlue2u [Th]
Dealt to KTFUMA [3h]
DeJaBlue2u: brings in for 60
KTFUMA: raises 140 to 200
Grozamolnia: folds
DwnAndDrty: calls 200
Rakewell1: raises 200 to 400
DeJaBlue2u: calls 260 and is all-in
KTFUMA: raises 200 to 600
DwnAndDrty: calls 397 and is all-in
Rakewell1: raises 200 to 800
Betting is capped
KTFUMA: calls 200
*** 4th STREET ***
Dealt to DwnAndDrty [6h] [2h]
Dealt to Rakewell1 [Ac Ad 6s] [9d]
Dealt to DeJaBlue2u [Th] [Qh]
Dealt to KTFUMA [3h] [Jc]
Rakewell1: bets 200
KTFUMA: calls 200
*** 5th STREET ***
Dealt to DwnAndDrty [6h 2h] [5s]
Dealt to Rakewell1 [Ac Ad 6s 9d] [8s]
Dealt to DeJaBlue2u [Th Qh] [Js]
Dealt to KTFUMA [3h Jc] [Kc]
Rakewell1: bets 400
KTFUMA: calls 400
*** 6th STREET ***
Dealt to DwnAndDrty [6h 2h 5s] [Qd]
Dealt to Rakewell1 [Ac Ad 6s 9d 8s] [Kd]
Dealt to DeJaBlue2u [Th Qh Js] [Qs]
Dealt to KTFUMA [3h Jc Kc] [8h]
Rakewell1: bets 400
KTFUMA: calls 400
*** RIVER ***
Dealt to Rakewell1 [Ac Ad 6s 9d 8s Kd] [6c]
Rakewell1: bets 400
KTFUMA: folds
Uncalled bet (400) returned to Rakewell1
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Rakewell1: shows [Ac Ad 6s 9d 8s Kd 6c] (Lo: K,9,8,6,A)
Rakewell1 collected 2406 from side pot-2
DwnAndDrty: shows [7s 8c 6h 2h 5s Qd 2c] (Lo: 8,7,6,5,2)
DwnAndDrty collected 831 from side pot-1
DeJaBlue2u: shows [6d 7d Th Qh Js Qs 9h] (Lo: J,T,9,7,6)
DwnAndDrty collected 1480 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 4717 Main pot 1480. Side pot-1 831. Side pot-2 2406. Rake 0
Seat 1: Grozamolnia folded on the 3rd Street (didn't bet)
Seat 2: DwnAndDrty showed [7s 8c 6h 2h 5s Qd 2c] and won (2311) with Lo: 8,7,6,5,2
Seat 4: Rakewell1 (button) showed [Ac Ad 6s 9d 8s Kd 6c] and won (2406) with Lo: K,9,8,6,A
Seat 5: DeJaBlue2u showed [6d 7d Th Qh Js Qs 9h] and lost with Lo: J,T,9,7,6
Seat 7: KTFUMA folded on the River

Guess the casino, #96

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Answer: Bellagio