Raise or Fold:  Learning (From) Poker

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bellagio Visit

Well, I went and played at the Bellagio for the first time yesterday. Once again, my experience was contrary to that of many people whose reports I have followed with interest.

To my surprise, the staff was welcoming, friendly, polite, and seemed eager to get me seated and comfortable. I started out at 2/5, where things did not go well. It was one of those days where I zigged when I should have zagged, the cards utterly failed to cooperate, and I missed out on a couple of big pots just from lack of timely aggression. I then stepped down to 1/2, and things didn't go particularly well there either. I didn't play as well as I should have, but even if I had, I doubt I would have done much better. It was a no-traction kind of session.

My 1/2 table backed up to Bobby's Room, which held in its crystalline embrace Phil Ivey, David Benyamine, and Bobby Baldwin (and his lithesome young blonde companion). The three of them were apparently taking turns munching on a fourth player, a fellow in a black t-shirt whom one of the dealers said was a Frenchman with more money than he knew what to do with. Supposedly the night before he'd thrown a giant hissy-fit tantrum at one point in the evening, chucking things across the room and cursing. This was apparently insufficiently bad behavior to get him eighty-sixed. One wonders how deep a person's pockets have to be to make such behavior tolerable. (I did hear a fellow guarding the door tell an inquirer that the minimum buy-in for the room was $100K). When Mr. T-Shirt left, Ivey and Benyamine sat around playing Chinese poker, no doubt for house-sized sums of money. Benyamine looked better than I've ever seen him: he's lost a lot of weight and he was well-groomed and rested-seeming.

All in all, despite the poker results, my visit to the Bellagio room was pleasant enough, and I would certainly not object to playing there again.

It's now time to return to my regularly scheduled agenda of actually making money playing poker. This latest series of losing cash sessions is not enjoyable and must cease prontissimo.

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