Trapped in the poker world

Yep, I admit it. I’ve gotten sucked into the whole poker craze. I think it was Brad Wilson’s fault, originally.

Only two small problems:

1. I tend to prefer tournaments more than cash games, even though cash games are generally much more profitable.

2. When I get into a new hobby, I really get into it. Not in a gamblaholic sense, but in a “I need to keep doing this so I can get as good as I can possibly be at this thing” sense.

So I of course flew to Vegas last weekend to play in a few tournaments.  Not the WSOP events (although I’m thinking about going back to play in one of the preliminary NLHE tournaments), but just some of the regular tournaments. Here’s a quick story from one of them:

First tourney I played in after arriving, at Binion’s, $150 buy-in (2000 chips) + $50 add-on (1500 chips).  108 players.
After about 5 hours of playing, I make it to the final table of 10.  I put out two players in the first 3 hands, who were short stacked enough to have to go all in on marginal hands, and I’m now on the big stack.  2:1 chip advantage over the next biggest stack, over 100K in chips.
We whittle down to four folks.  I’m still on the big stack, but not by much – one other guy is pretty close.  Blinds are 6,000/12,000, antes 1,000.
Guy to my right raises to 25,000 under the gun, with about 50,000 more chips in his stack.  Based on past behavior, this is a pretty weak raise from this guy, and it looks like he’s trying to steal the blinds.  I look down and see A-J suited.  Pretty strong hand for 4-handed, I’m thinking.  So I lay an 80,000 raise on the guy, which would put him all-in to call.
Blinds both fold…and this guy sits there thinking about it for a while.  The longer he thinks, the more I want him to call. :-)  He finally calls, and turns over K-6 unsuited.  I’m thinking a) wow, can’t believe you called with that, and b) woo-hoo.
Darned if he didn’t suck out on me with a 6.
So anyway, I was crippled after that, given the size of the blinds, and ended up going out 4th.  Well into the money, but not nearly as much as 1st place.  Sigh…

6 thoughts on “Trapped in the poker world

  1. Jason Looney

    Man, that’s rough. Can’t imagine calling there — did he think he was up against fives or something? Crazy.

    We’re going to Vegas for some tourneys in a couple of weeks — I’d be interested to hear what other tourneys you played in, which ones you liked, etc. Also, how much did 4th pay out? Enough to cover your trip?

    (Nicely done, btw.)

  2. Greg Reinacker

    Jason – 4th paid about $1350. If I remember right, 3rd was about $1850, 2nd was around $3500, and 1st was like $5800. Or so.

    I like playing at Binion’s. They run 3 tourneys a day – 2pm, 8pm, and 2am. The 2pm and 8pm ones typically seem to have around 100-150 people in them, which is enough for a pretty good pot. Buy-in is between $100-$200, depending on rebuys and which day you play.

    Played one at the Luxor around Christmas time – definitely not recommended. It was designed to be completed in about 2 hours, so the blinds went up crazy-fast, and it was just an all-in fest. You couldn’t pay me to play in that again.

    I’ve heard good things about the Bellagio tourneys – although I think most of them have a pretty hefty buy-in. Not sure though – haven’t played in them.

  3. Shawn Rogers


    I’ve played the Binion’s tournaments. The entry fees are reasonable and I liked the mix of tourists and Vegas regulars. I played against the same size group and didn’t do as well went out around 30 left (out of the money). I’ve played at the Orleans as well less tourists more Vegas. Buy in was low and competition was strong.

  4. Books: Poker, Baseball, and Personal Fabricators

    My traveling – which was pretty intense the past few months – has slowed down.  Correspondingly, my reading has picked up again.  Not surprisingly I’ve got a huge pile of books stacked up (and now in boxes about to be shipped to Alaska).  I’ve read three great books in a row – all covering different things – that I thought I’d share with you. First up is The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King.  This is the incredible story of Andy Beal – a Texas billionaire (owner of Beal Bank) – who is obsessed with beating the best poker players…[more]

  5. Steve

    Nice job BTW… if I didn’t say that Fridat night.

    How did you do Friday? I was th e first one out at the final table.


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