March 7th [edited]
By 11AM I'm up and downstairs having crepes and hot chocolate for breakfast. It's not the real France but I do my best to pretend.
Then I head back to the Planet Hollywood poker room to see if I can get some momentum going. I found out soon enough it would be of the negative type, sadly.
I sat down with Karl and Jane and a host of strangers and began the session on the wrong foot as in the very first orbit I find JJ in middle position. Karl had open-raised UTG to $7 so I decided to play it fast and re-raised to $25. He called and I saw a horrible AKQ flop. I make a standard flop bet of $25 as a semibluff since I no longer figured to have the best hand, took a free card on the turn after Karl checked, and folded to his river value bet when I didn't spike my inside straight or trips.
I flop the stone cold nuts after raising with AKs (to $8 from EP) and get four callers on an AKK flop. It's checked around on the flop and I bet out half-pot when a ten hits on the turn, hoping someone will go to war with a Broadway straight or tens full; I get one caller who meekly folds to my full-sized pot bet on the river when a blank falls.
I fold 66 to a limp re-raiser when I see a KT3 flop and he led out for one-third of the pot. The donkey flashes AQ and I curse myself for not trusting my read and re-raising in position on the flop to put him to the test since he made such a weak c-bet.
I lose a big pot with Ks9h when I open on the button. The flop was QsQhTh and I bet out and get called by the small blind headsup. The turn is the Jh which gives me the nut straight and a straightflush redraw so I re-raise when my opponent leads out. She tanks for a while and calls. The river blanks and I fire a pot-sized bet again and she tanks again and ultimately calls with a baby flush (4h5h) to win a big pot. Sad, considering any heart on the river would have shipped me the pot, plus she nearly folded in fear of a full house.
I flop tens full of queens and win a modest pot from Jane (she correctly folded JJ when I re-raised her flop c-bet).
I drop a $100 pot to an extremely annoying dealer playing on her off-day when she defended her BB with Q7s and flopped trips vs. my ovepair on a 776 flop.
I reluctantly rebuy for another $100. Almost immediately I get kicked in the junk, when I get 3-outed for a $100+ pot when my flopped two pair (Q2 on a QT2TK board) loses to the mighty AJ. This table is full of calling stations who can't fold but they get there just the same.
Supposedly this guy had his inaugural casino session of poker yesterday. Plus he was from Toronto, so I'm allowed to hate him.
I end up down $300 and frustrated when I CRAI a TT3 flop with 77 and a drunk guy holding AJ felt like calling my shove. He hits a jack immediately on the turn.
Fortunately, the evening was much more enjoyable than beating my head against the wall at poker. All fourteen of us gathered at the outdoor patio seating of the Mon Ami Gabi restaurant at the Paris, directly opposite the stunning Bellagio fountain display. Much good food and drink and good conversation was had by all; I started with a fantastic mussel soup w/saffron, had a superbly cooked rare steak (w/dijon mustard) and washed it all down with some Stella and a sip of Matt's 100 year-old Grand Marnier.
Then it was back for a midnight session (again at the PH with everyone) and I was able to reverse my fortunes from the afternoon. I sat at a table with Mike (and later on we were joined by Johnny) and I had my "A" game. We had some prime targets at our table, with a stumbling drunk LAG and "Mr. 17" who would open-raise to $17 (at a 1/2 NL table!) at every opportunity and straddled every chance he got (which hit my blinds, since he was sitting two to my left).
So I patiently adjusted to the game, buckled up and waited to get paid off when I connected to some flops. And connect I eventually did. I rapidly recouped $100 in losses, then outplayed the only other solid player at my table (who was thankfully sitting directly to my right) when I flat-called his PF raise with AQ. The flop came down A97 rainbow, and I min-raised his flop bet. He insta-called. I checked behind when a Q hit on the turn, and then bet the pot when the 9 paired on the river. As soon as he said "I think we have the same hand and this is going to be a chop" I was praying for a call, and he obliged, flipping over A8s.
Then I hit a big hand as "Mr. 17" open-raised his standard amount and I was able to call closing the action with JTs with four players seeing the flop with $70 or so in the pot. I hit a jackpot flop with a JT7 board and check-raised the field to $120 to go after it was checked around to the button, who had opted to take a $40 stab at buying the pot with AQ (gutterball) to take down all kinds of dead money without a showdown. My $17 investment earned me $110 profit just like that.
I then played my first real pot against Mike and my 87s (which I'd open-raised with in EP) hit the flop hard on an A83 4-flush board for me. Mike re-raised me and I had a rather easy call and hit my flush on the turn. I check-called his bet, but the action froze when a fourth heart came on the river. Mike showed A3 for flopped two pair and my flush was good.
I cashed out at 3:15 AM +$313, which meant I was a whopping $13 in the black for the day.
As I was at the cashier, I saw Matt take a really sick beat for a huge pot and had to commiserate with him. He made a tough call of a drunken donkey's open-shove for $350 into a re-raised pot where Matt had flopped TPTK on a K42 board. Donkey flipped over 66. The turn card was the Kh, giving Matt top two. Incredibly, the board four-flushed hearts, giving the pot to the donkey's 6-high flush.
After consoling Matt for a minute or two -- he was understandably stunned at the outcome of that hand), I went to bed tired and happy after a full day of cards, good food, and yet more gawking at the sights and sounds of Vegas.