Low Limit Poker for Dummies


In town for my wife's convention, so she gets to work while I play. Life is good.

Arrive in Vegas Thursday night and we check into the Flamingo. Tried the 20 dollar trick but no upgrades available and the nice clerk gives me my money back.

Ease into things with the $1-$5 spread limit game at O'Sheas. I love this room, (2 tables off the strip sidewalk). The strip is buzzing and the bar is hopping and the time flies, (even when you're card dead. Nothing exciting to report and I leave down $20 or so.

Head to Bill's because I've never been there. One table going and I sit down and buy chips before I realize this is a no-limit table. I'm a low limit player as I find that my degenerate habits are not a good fit for no-limit. Anyway, I play way too lose and chase too much and blow my $100. But that's okay. I'll make it up on the craps table.


End of day 1: -$200

10 am: I escort my wife to her show at the Four Seasons Hotel at Mandalay Bay. I mooch off the convetion food with the best pancakes I've ever had. If you can sneak into a meeting room at the Four Season and eat, I highly recommend it.

No limit games going on at Mandalay Bay, so I tram it to Excalibur for $2/$4 limit. I've played this game before and it's always tighter than your junior high girl friend. One semi-funny incident regarding an old-timer who can't remember anything. I feel bad for the guy, especially when, (after going to the bathroom), he comes back to the table and points at me:

OLD TIMER: "You're in my seat."

ME: "Um, I've been sitting here the whole time. I think you're over there." (I point).

OLD TIMER: (pointing at me): "No. I was sitting THERE."

DEALER: (pointing) "Sir, you're sitting right over there in the 5 seat."

OLD TIMER: "Why did you move them?"

The only excitment at the Excalibur 2/4 game is that they do have the aces cracked promotion, where you get to spin a wheel for money if your rockets get beaten. (This is called foreshadowing).

Eventually my wife joins me and we play for a couple of hours. Enter the 1pm tournament, ($35 I think), and the super fast structure has me pushing in soon. Out, but the wife is still in so I go back to $2/$4.

This table is loose, and soon I'm up $40 bucks. Then I get aces and raise. There are 7 callers. Harmless flop and I bet and get raised. After my re-raise there are still 5 callers. Long story short, the woman on my right cracks my aces with (why not?) K/9 off.

The way the wheel spinning works is like this: There are maybe 100 slots on the wheel. Most are $20 slots, meaning if you land on them, you get $20. A couple are "Double Your Next Spin" slots and I see only one $100 slot. (More foreshadowing).

I spin. It spins forever. It stops near $20 and ticks over to the $100. Score!

Wife and I leave to tourist it up at NY/NY, MGM, etc. See Rita Rudner that night and she was really good. Wife eventually goes to bed, I promise myself to play tight and stick to poker only. I try the Bellagio but there are 5 names ahead of me for $4/$8, so I long walk it to the Wynn, where I have to wait an hour to get seated at $4/$8.

I play bad here too. The people aren't real nice either. An off duty dealer is playing in the 7 seat and he's your 22 year old typical Johnny Chan wannabe. He wears sun glasses, (this is limit remember), and knows all the dealers, and tosses his chips in real authoritative like and everyone pretty much hates him. I'd like to say I busted him but I leave down $160 and fight off the hookers and go to bed.

Day 2: -$20

Wake up at 11 am. Go to Flamingo pool. Consider going to the topless "Go" Pool, but it costs $10 to get in. Play $2/$4 at Flamingo for a few hours and lose $30. Go to O'Sheas for $1-$5 limit and win $50. Rest of the day and night is reserved for dinner and wife time.

Day 3: Get up early at join the local rocks at the Imperial Palace $2/4 game. This is where if you get pocket Kings cracked, you get $50 bucks. Pocket Aces cracked gets you a C-note. I noticed other regulars from past Vegas trips. The same guys drinking the same coffee and still not tipping the dealer or cocktail waitresses. And they are still eating the same free cookies. One old-timer in a black fedora gets Kings cracked twice within about 1/2 hour. Like everyone else, he leaves at 11am, (the promotion ends at 11 am every day), and I hear him telling another regular, "Now I'm up $400 for the month." It's July 30th, so I guess he'll finish ahead for the month. Funny thing is, if I lived in Vegas, I would probably be that guy in 30 years.

Wife joins me at 2pm or so and we take the duece to downtown. Talk about freaks. I felt like I was in the bar scene in Star Wars. With wait time for the bus and all the stops, it was 1 hour from the Flamingo to Freemont Street. Never again.

Downtown, we checkout the Nugget poker room, but there is a wait for limit. We get healthy 99 cent friend twinkies at Mermaids casino and head over to Binion's.

First table in Binion's is fulled with rowdy guys and I look over and see Gavin Smith. I look down and see blues and a few red chips. WTF? He's playing $1/$2 nl? Busto? It turns out it was the BARGE convention, and he was just donking around. While in my $2/$4 game I see Richard Brodie, the quiet Lion from Microsoft fame.

Anyway, our $2/$4 game was great, featuring 2 players who had never played live before. Fun people too. Wife and I leave up a little and we taxi it back to the strip for the 9pm O'Shea's tourney. $45 entry fee. No re-buys.

28 entrants. Pays 3 spots. Fast structure, and unfortunately I go card dead. Final table and I have 8bbs but I can't get an ace or anything to push in. With 6 players left, including my wife, I push with A/10 and get called by 6/8 and after he gets his straight, I root on my wife. Few more killed and we're down to the bubble. I tell my wife to offer a chop. There is $800 in the prize pool, (yes, O'Sheas takes a nice chunk of the fee), and a chop would net everyone $200. Anyway, you know how this turns out. She doesn't say anything, busts out in 4th 2 hands later. I ask her about the chop and she said that she didn't think the "big stacks" would want to chop. Keep in mind that the "big stacks" had 6 bb. Oh well.

She goes to bed and I stroll to Bellagio, where I'm immediately seated at the $4/$8. I buy in for $140, (that's all I had), and I go on a tear. I'm hitting my draws and my big hands hold up. This, combined with bad players who call down with everything. Funny table full of odd people. We were 8 handed most of the time, and this one player switched seats 6 times. No exaggeration. Then there was the this Japanese player who played bad and cussed under his breath in Japanese after my nut flush hit the river. At one point the seat changer and the cussing Japanese man were seated next to each other. Apparently, the Japanese man's arm touched the seat changer guy's arm. This was a major problem. Floor had to be called and everything. Sheesh.

Played tight and hit everything. The only questionable play I made was in late position with pocket Jacks. 5 players check to me. I raise. 1 seat re-raises. He's solid and pretty tight, but I think he could have AK here. (I'd raise it here if I had big slick). 10/9/4 rainbow flop. He bets, 2 callers, I re-raise, he 3 bets, everyone calls, and now I know I'm up against Aces or Kings. I call. Turn is a beautiful Jack. Nobody makes a straight, and by the time we're done I'm scooping a big pot as he shows me his Aces.

Like I said, I ran well at the Bellagio and by the time I left at 3 am, my $140 had turned into $620. Never had 30 stacks of $1's like that before and it was nice. I carry my six racks past Bobby's Room, where David Bennayimine and Sammy Farah and 2 people I've never seen are battling away. I Head back to go to bed, avoiding the hookers, one of whom grabbed my hand. Guess they're getting more agressive. Either that, or I fit their customer profile perfectly.

Leave the next day and look forward to my next trip. Thanks for reading.

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  1. Fun report---with a great finish!

  2. @idrinkcoors

    If he had a bigger stack than yours, you could've just traded him seats right there! Great report, sounds like a fun trip. I feel badly I have never been hit on by a Bellagio hooker ...

  3. I aspire to one day be a hooker magnet like yourself. Must be a don't have the appearance of wealth.

  4. Great report, thanks!


    I, like you, with all my trips to Vegas have never been "prop'd." Either I don't have the look or something :grin:

  5. Good report.

    So am I on the solicitation short list??? I have never had one hold my hand before, but have had several start a conversation and a few ask about my room. However with my luck they were probably LVPD.

  6. @minton

    On location for the television show COPS..... wouldn't ya love that! That would exactly be my luck!

  7. @StrayBullet

    I, like you, with all my trips to Vegas have never been "prop'd." Either I don't have the look or something :grin:[/quote]

    I'm your typical middle aged innocent looking white boy who dresses conservatively, so I think they think I'm harmless and rich.

    Boy are they fooled.