Saturday, May 27, 2006

Good Times at the Sahara Vegas - Part 1

I joined my social group buddies for a couple tournaments at the Sahara Vegas. I would give these 42 w/20 rebuys a strong recommendation, because they're very social, and the players all seem to take their poker seriously, and most of them love to kibbitz between hands, which makes the time go faster. I played two of them and bubbled at the final table both times, once on a bad beat, the other on a stupid decision on my part. But let's talk about the good stuff first.

One good read follows another

During the first two levels, I watched one player limp many consecutive pots, possibly as many as six, and he was buying orphan pots, and occasionally he would even show an unlikely winning hand, but he clearly could not have decent starting cards every time, and he clearly could not have matched the board nearly as often as he was limping and betting. While I found it annoying, I was powerless to do anything but watch him accumulate chips from all of us without ever getting into trouble.

Then he limps into my BB from early position, and by this time everyone else seemed to feat him, so it was folded all the way to me. I look at my cards, Q3s, and confidently push my chips to the middle and wait. (I had been very tight till this point.) He folds after pretending to make an agonizing decision, but it was clear to me that he possibly couldn't have called in this situation. I would possibly have made the same move heads up pre-flop with even worse cards.

Exactly one trip around the table later, he limps on my BB, and another player also limps. I am suspicious, and check my reasonable cards. I flop second pair, he bets, and the third player calls. I fold. As I suspected, when the hand was over, he turned over pocket aces to win a big pot, which he had clearly limped in the hopes that I would pull the exact same move twice.