Reporting from high over Las Vegas -
Here it is, Monday afternoon and we’re headed home…what a weekend!
It all started on the flight in. There was a group of ‘gentlemen’ sitting across the aisle from me; one was reading a poker ‘how to’ and several of the others were reading over the blind schedule for the Senior Tournament, #30, which happened to be my tournament too.
You know me; I started chatting, which on a 5 hr flight, not much else to do. Yes there was drinking too. After talking to them, I was hyped-I was looking forward to playing cards. I guess Jer & I were both ready to play poker.
We had our carry on luggage so when we landed in LV and Jer wanted to go to baggage claim, I thought that rather odd. I thought for sure that he shipped his golf clubs. Well, to my surprise, there was a limo waiting for us and not his clubs. I really felt like this was a dream, and I thought winning the RMH Tournament was exciting!
We got to our hotel, checked in and headed over to the RIO to register for the tournament. The tournament has some restrictions as far as registration: to register online, you need to do so 2 weeks before the event, they do not accept credit card only certified checks and/or cash. With that said I had the $1000 cash with me and proceeded with the process. (That’s another story in itself and pretty funny too but not here-we’ll talk later)
At the RIO, registration was open 24/7. It was Thursday, about 8:30 pm LV time. Their was about 60 or so in line-at that time they had 2,805 registered for my event. I turned over my $1000 and got my table/seat assignment, some coupons and an explanation of how it works. I was in the Amazon Room, purple section at table #370. By the next morning, the total number of registrants was 3,747.
We walked around after registration and it was like a convention. They had vendors selling card protectors (maybe a craft item I will pursue for Christmas Craft Show), sunglasses, books, massage therapy stations, they had an oxygen bar set up (yes, to buy oxygen!) and this is in addition to the WSOP Store that sold everything else!
I was thinking ahead and brought a sharpie and some playing cards for autographs, just in case I got lucky. And I did; that evening I got to chat and get an autograph from Mike Sexton; he was very cordial. Barry Greenstein was walking thru the lobby and he had his sharpie in his hand already when I approached him. On Friday morning, day of the tournament, Doyle Brunson was conducting a seminar on “The Poker Life”. Jerry & I attended and while they were getting the mics set up on stage, I wandered up and got a photo of him. Afterwards, Jer got his autograph for me. On the l…..o…n…g walk down the hall (when you’re out) I got John Jawanda’s autograph. The walk really wasn’t that bad, but then I had Jerry to walk with me and listen to my bad beat story! I will give credit here that Jerry was the first to point out all the celebs.
That night I slept like a baby, surprisingly. I was very excited and glad that the day was finally here. I woke up and was very calm inside. I was looking forward to playing cards, hoping that it would be one of my better days for cards/luck and all of that!
When we got to the RIO that morning, it was like grand central station! There were over 4000 people in this hotel on the 1 floor-OMG. So much for being calm; I had butterflies in my stomach and I couldn’t stop smiling.
It was easy to find my seat; we located it the night before while we were wondering after registration. My table was 2 in from the rail and I was 8 seat so I faced the railing and I could Jerry and vice versa. It felt very odd that I was playing and Jerry wasn’t-on previous trips to LV, I’m the one who plays blackjack and he plays poker.
The dealers name was Eric-from Oklahoma. He told us he came to LV after graduation and never went back. And three years ago, he got his Mom to move out to LV. He made a joke that we were all seated BEFORE the official start time-then he said he remembered that it was a seniors tournament!
We heard the ‘shuffle up and deal’ and it started. The group was very friendly, everyone had their story. They were from everywhere; England, Germany, Idaho, Montana and Wisconsin. Before we got too far into it, I asked if everyone would sign one of my cards I brought for my scrapbook; they all agreed, even the dealer.
In the beginning, I was getting great cards; I started off with pocket 6’s. I raised and took the pot. Second hand I had pocket Q’s-raised but this time I had a caller. A K showed up on the flop, so I bet out and he went away. I had pocket pairs as we continued; some I raised other got folded.
There was one other female at my table, she was from England. She was very strong in her play but very quiet. By that I mean she didn’t chase and most of the time, she had it already in her hand or she got it on the flop. Well, we were in a hand together. I had pocket 9’s-I raised. She called and the flop came 9-Q-7. I raised to see where I was and she called. Now I took a few minutes to try and figure out what she had in her hand. I figured she had a Q and maybe a small kicker-I thought she had 2 pair. The turn came and it was a Q. Now I have a full house, so I check to see if I can get a few more chips from her. The river came and it was another Q- That means I have a full boat and feeling very confident. I bet and she goes all in…WOW. This took me back and all I could think of was…does she really have quad Q’s? It took all of 3-4 min of it going over in my head what she could have…like I said earlier, she didn’t chase. Well, I ended up folding the hand and it left me very short stacked. Before she mucked her hand, she looked at me and showed her quads, I flipped over my pocket 9’s. The rest of the table just stared at me and gave their approval-one even said he didn’t know how I folded that and to tell you the truth, I don’t know either. I just knew she had it. Right after this hand, they split up our table.
I went to table 310 and remember I’m short stacked. Of course, I was the big blind. I look down and see 4-7 suited clubs. The chip leader is the only other person in the hand. The flop comes and its 4-7-8 so I shove all in. The chip leader calls, we flip over he has an 8-3 so I have 2 pr and he has 8’s-the turn comes and it’s a 3 and the river is another 3. So much for my 2 pr against his full house.
Now, this all took about 5 minutes so I didn’t get time to text Jer where I was. He went back to the first table and when I wasn’t there, he just started looking around. The next message he got from me was ‘done’. I was a little sad, but I felt like I did the best I knew how. I took the advice from Jon about looking at my cards when it’s my turn, from Brian to take a walk when I went card dead and from Jerry to just have fun. I did it all, and when it comes right down to it, it’s still a gamble, no matter how you play your cards!
…….next year in Las Vegas?