Live and tourney excursion---Jan. 21-24


I ended up playing in 7 tourneys at Binion's, Golden Nugget, Bally's and Paris and did nothing memorable (except bite the dust on the first hand with a flop of K-Q-9; I had K-Q, he had 9-9). The blinds increase so fast relative to your starting chip stack that after about 3 or 4 levels (45 minutes-one hour)by treading water you're down to 5 times the BB, so if you haven't been catching cards, you're pretty much obligated to pick a decent hand, shove your chips in and cross your fingers, then, when you lose a race, walk away. Anyhow, the Bally/Paris parlay is worth considering since the Paris event starts at 9:30 and the Bally (which is attached; a three minute walk from one poker room to the other)starts at 11:00, so if you're knocked out of the first one early, you can then play the other. For live games, I primarily played 1-2 blind NL at Binion's and the Golden Nugget. The rooms were slow until the afternoon. At both places the composition was about 4 locals (experienced regulars, probably semi-pros), 3 tourists (like me) who were pretty experienced playing regularly at a home town casino, and 3 tourists with less experience, but basically competent. I checked out Caesar's Palace which opened 1 month ago. The room was very spacious and comfortable, but there was no play at about 10:00 a.m and only two tables (3-6 limit and 1-2 NL)at about noon. By 2:00 there were about 15 tables in play. I played the 1-2NL, which seemed a notch or 2 tougher than the other games. The buy-in was 100-500 (I got in for 200) and most players had stacks of about 500. Shortly after we began, the players voted to increase the blinds to 2-5 (which creates a much tighter and aggressive game). I was down to about 140 and agreed, then caught some good hands and walked away with about 900. Along the way I got this monster flop. Playing KS-10S in late position to a modest pre-flop raise I saw AS-QH-JS (nuts straight with nuts flush draw).

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