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Monday, July 5, 2010

Vegas Trip Report

Sorry about the lack of updates recently. I had every intention on blogging from Las Vegas but couldn't log in to blogspot from my friends computer. Every time I attempted to log in it said that the security settings needed to be changed, and I wasn't about to start messing with his security settings.

Anyway, I am back in Alabama after an 8 day trip to Las Vegas, and then a long weekend visiting my parents for the 4th of July.

Overall my trip to Las Vegas was very successful. I did absolutely nothing in the tourneys, but played well and won in every cash game session except for one (which was a PLO session). I played one event at the Venetian and busted pretty early, a HORSE tourney at the Golden Nugget in which I lasted nearly 8 hours but still didn't sniff the money, a WSOP event which I will describe in a bit, and an OFC (Online Forum Challenge) event at the Golden Nugget that was sponsored by This event was fun because as a FeltStars pro I had a bounty on my head and was placed at the feature table which was streamed live over the internet at I came close to the money in this one but ultimately busted with AQ vs AK about 10 spots short of the money. All the players at my table seemed to have a great time and I think FeltStars received some good buzz from this event.

The one World Series of Poker event that I played was a 1k event that drew like 3500 players or so. We started at noon with 3k chips playing 25-25 blinds and 1 hour levels. I chipped up slowly, very slowly in fact, but took 8200 chips or so to the dinner break. I was never all in for my tourney life before dinner and mostly won a lot of small pots with preflop raising and continuation betting. Eventually my table broke and I got moved to a much tougher table with 3 good players who had lots of chips to my immediate left. I was card dead at this table for an hour or so before we broke for dinner break. I had a nice dinner with my friend JK (read his blog at and we talked a little tourney strategy while enjoying Vietnamese food at a restaurant on Spring Mountain Blvd. Promptly after dinner break ended, his table broke and he was moved to my table. Really, 50+ tables still going and he gets moved to my table?!?!?! Anyway, my streak of bad cards kept up for the next 3 hours. I preflop raised twice, got 3bet, and had to fold both times. Eventually I was in the cut off with 2 paint cards (I didn't know which 2 as I just side-sweated them) with about 3500k chips left at 200-400(50) when the hi jack open limped. I decided that based on his decent chip stack that he most likely didn't have a strong hand here and would hopefully fold to my shove. I went ahead and shoved in. When the button snap shoved I knew I was in trouble. The blinds and the limper folded and I revealed the paltry QJo. The button rolled over about what I expected..KK. Oops. Well, you know the rest, I flopped two Jacks and doubled up. Yeah, I know I run well, don't bother telling me. I blinded down a few rounds then limped in from the small blind with KK after it folded to me. The big blind who had me covered then put me all in for my last 14 or so big blinds with the legit 77. I faded his outs and doubled up to 12k at 200-400(50). I open raised 1 more hand this level and folded to a 3bet from the small blind and took 11k chips to the 300-600(75) level. During the break between levels I was telling JK how I haven't bagged chips for the night since the WSOP Main Event in 2006 and how I'd really like to make day 2. We knew that we were about 30 minutes from the night ending, as we were playing down to 270 players and currently were about 295 left. This left me in a dilemma. I could play really tight and try to make it to day 2 with about 10 big blinds, or I could try to put my chips in the pot in what I thought to be a good spot and risk going broke in an effort to accumulate chips to make a real run at the tourney, not just a min cash. Ultimately I chose route number 2. About 20 minutes before days end, I shoved with AQo from the small blind verse an early position raiser. He had JJ and called, and I lost this crucial race. After 11 hours of playing I was headed home with no money to show for my efforts. I was less than an hour away from cashing in this WSOP event, but I do not regret my play. Yes, I could have folded this hand to an early position raise, but I felt that my tight image, coupled with the fact that winning without a showdown was worth a 35% increase in my chip stack made the risk worth the reward. I stand by my decision, and after speaking to a few players whos opinions I really respect they confirmed my thinking that my play was totally justified. I can say that this is only the 5th WSOP event that I have ever played but I felt so much more confident this time than ever before, and had very minimal butterflies which all disappeared about 1 minute after the first hand was dealt. I think this confidence stemmed from the fact that I am very confident in my cash game play lately, and feel that I am playing the best poker of my life. Hopefully this isn't coming off as overconfidence, but instead I just am very proud of the work that I have put in since the last WSOP and the results it has produced. Most of this is due to a great circle of poker friends who have spent countless hours helping me with my thought process, and then countless hours of me putting these thoughts into action.

Outside of the few tournaments I played, most of my time at the tables was dedicated to cash games. There isn't much to discuss from the NL cash games. I mostly got it in good and held, and made a few hero calls that were right. The few interesting things that happened were 1) I didn't have any losing cash sessions at No Limit, 2) I played for a few hours with Amarillo Slim in the 5-10 NL game at the Bellagio, and 3) I was NEVER dealt pocket Aces the entire trip while playing NL Hold Em. This is pretty interesting as I played about 55 hours of No Limit Hold Em, saw an estimated 1800 or so hands, meaning I should have gotten exactly AA about 8 times, but was never dealt AA. Pretty interesting I think. As far as playing cash games with Amarillo Slim, he actually was very quiet at the table, preflop raised very few if any hands, and overall was very very passive. I would have to gather that his age has caught up to him and the game has long passed him by, but he is still a legend at the table. He took his small $200 or so loss and quietly walked away from the table.

I did play one Pot Limit Omaha cash session at the Rio and it was my only losing cash session of the trip. The game was $5-$5 blinds with a mandatory $10 button straddle. I was dealt AQT9 with the AT of spades and Q9 of hearts. We saw the flop 3 ways for $40 a person. The flop came down J-8-4 with the J and 4 of spades, and the 8 of hearts. Long story short is that one player potted, I re-potted with my semi-wrap and nut flush draw, and we eventually got it all in heads up. We decided to run the turn and river twice for half the pot each time. He held JJxx in his hand for top set making me about 50/50. I whiffed both boards! I decided that I'd rather play No Limit Hold Em after this hand, so I took my leave from the table, sweated a friend for an hour to cool off, then hopped in a NL game and crushed it for more than double my PLO loss. I played online one night and won a few buy ins while a friend watched. I also watched him play several online sessions and I think he's improving and I have no doubt that he will soon be turning a decent profit in the $1-$2 9 handed NL games online.

The house is coming along nicely and we're looking forward to moving in hopefully the first week of August. I can't wait to get my office set up and really start grinding again. I have no doubt that I can put in 75k hands or so a month on I will also be making trips to the poker room in Pensacola and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi to play some live cash games as well. It's so nice to be close to casinos again!

Lastly, click on any of the banners on my page and create an account at Come join in the fun with bounty tourneys and other great promos. Hope to see you on the tables soon.

Til Next Time....


  1. Benton,

    Congrats on the Feltstars deal and the blog. So glad to see all the years of your hard work are paying off.

    Your QJ flop trip JJ against KK? Yeah, I guess you do run good! Glad to hear not one losing NL sessions during the entire trip. Very nice!

    Tough break for the WSOP, but in my discussions with you over the years, thats not what your summer trips to Vegas are about anyway. Glad to hear it was a successful trip. And you still got to have fun. Imagine that. Amazing how playing well and running good can carry over and have an positive effect on a players personal life. Duh, right! haha.

    Also glad to hear the house is coming along and happy your becoming a "Southern Boy" again. Looking forward to having you down for the games down here at the Hard Rock. I can tell you, I have had 3 sessions of 2/5 NL with the new buy-ins and bought in for 400 once and 500 the other two. Although I got beat down pretty good in session 2 (I won in the other two with my last session being a great night-for now, I seem to be adjusting). Goes without saying, but it is soooo much better than the old days. Not even close to resembling the same game that was played down here Florida just 10 short nights ago. Once you settle in in Bama, we'll get you down here.

    Glad all is going well with the married life and Kim, as well as Your Folks. Tell them I said Hello (That goes for T-noon too! haha).

    p.s.-Haven't been able to get on FeltStars to try to take you down (kidding), because I am still running with MAC, which keeps me regulated to Stars and FT. But maybe someday I will resurrect my PC.

    Laters Brother, Congrats on a god summer.

  2. Thanks for the comment Greg. I really appreciate the support. Hope you keep crushing them at the Hard Rock! Play well bud and hope you keep enjoying the blog!