Rough Night At Wynn

Rough Night At Wynn

My latest poker adventure was to the Wynn Poker Room (which is actually in Encore) for a session of $1-3NL. The goal was simple: turn $220 into $1,000. The execution was awful.

The litany of reasons:

Not aggressive enough with A-K against a pre flop raiser on a K-Q-10 flop. Raiser bet into me on the flop and the turn, and I called both times. River was an Ace, which sucked for my hand. Raiser bet into me $100. I was hoping for him to have A-Q. Unfortunately, he had J-10 offsuit and rivered a straight.

Played too many hands, and a few suited hands out of position.

Got A-A twice in the small blind. Raised to $15 and only won $4 each time.

Missed set mining about five times with small pairs in raised pots.

I lost the original $220 in about two hours and rebought for $300 more. I dusted that off in about two more hours and went into my pocket for another $280. I am never in a game for $800 but I knew there were two or three poor players in the game and I had a shot to get my money back. In addition, I had started getting my money in good (A-Q vs 10-9 and J-J vs Q-10) and still lost. I knew if I kept getting my money in good I could get my money back.

The upswing started almost immediately after the third buy-in.

J-J vs. ??. I called a preflop raise of $12 with J-J in the small blind. Flop was 8-7-3 rainbow. I bet $20 into raiser. He called. Turn was 9. I bet $30. He called. River was 10. I bet $30. He called. When I showed J-J he said I was dominated all the way to the river. I shrugged and dragged the pot.

Q-Q vs. ??. I called a raise of $12 with Q-Q from the small blind against the tightest, slowest player at the table. Flop was 10-7-10. I bet $20 into raiser. He raised to $70. I called. Turn was a Q (full house!). I checked. He bet $92 of his remaining $200 into me. I Hollywooded for about 45 seconds and acted like I was just going to call the $92. I raised to $192 and he disgustedly mucked his hand.

8-9 spades vs. ??. Flop was A-J-2 with one spade. Check-Check. Turn was a 7 of spades. Bet of $25 into me. I called with a flush and straight draw. River was a rainbow 10. Unless the player was betting with K-Q into me (unlikely) I was in great shape. Player checked. I bet $55. No call. Another pot.

I ran my stack up to $733. It was not quite the $800 I was in the game for but I had to go. I had been playing for 8 1/2 hours and it was after 4AM. I had to pick up my son at 10AM for a full day of activities and I needed to get a little sleep.

It was a $67 loss — and losses always suck — but I was happy with my read of the table and my perseverance in the game.

 

 

Making The Move

Making The Move

As a hinted to last week, I am making a move in the poker world.

Thursday was my final day at the Mandalay Bay poker room. After almost 3 1/2 years I needed a change.

Frankly, I grew tired of wearing a suit and tie four days per week and managing people. I have been a manager of people every year of my life since I was 24 years old. Most of that time I have worn suits to jobs in college athletics, professional hockey, television and the casino industry. My plan when I moved to Las Vegas seven years ago was to never wear a suit to work again. Yet, due to circumstances — typically better pay or better insurance for my young son — I took the suit and tie job and sucked it up. No more.

I am going to be a worker bee for a little while as I follow a plan to build and empire for Jace and myself. 

Jace wearing a Krispy Kreme hat as we drop off donuts to the Mandalay Bay poker staff Thursday.

I went out with some style. Jace and I stopped by a Krispy Kreme and picked up three dozen donuts for the staff. Since I was the only person on the staff to work all three shifts (day, swing and into graveyard) every week I thought it was important to thank the entire staff there. We dropped off the donuts around 10:30AM and then had the day to ourselves before I had to work at 6PM as a dealer.

The 3+years at Mandalay Bay were great. The room is rarely super busy so you have time to monitors the players and the dealers. It is a lot of standing (usually 7 1/2 hours out of each 8 hour shift), but I also cherished the interaction with the regular guests. There was a lot of time to talk about poker, sports gambling, horse racing or just what was going on around Las Vegas.

I won’t miss the paperwork. Nevada gaming and each individual casino requires a certain amount of paperwork and signatures each day. Mandalay Bay poker takes it to the extreme nth level. You have to be meticulous every single day, and there was no such thing as a day where you did it all correctly. That is what I grew tired of dealing with. I take quite a bit of pride in how hard I work and how much pride I have in doing my job correctly. Unfortunately, I loved Mandalay Bay a whole lot more than Mandalay Bay loved me. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and I am glad I spent time there.

Now its on to Caesar’s Palace, where I got a job as a temporary dealer during the busy summer months. Caesar’s has a new room they built three years ago. A good number of the locals I used to deal to have migrated there over the past three years. I am looking forward to the new challenge of dealing center Strip and seeing if I can prove myself worthy of a permanent position. The new job starts Sunday and I am ready to go.

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