Sunday, July 15, 2007

Life at the house

Life in the "Poker-WG" is very interesting to say the least. It's a group that consists of around 15 of Germany's arguably best online poker players that all came to Vegas for the WSOP. The funniest thing is that although nearly everyone is a professional poker player, hardly anyone here is playing any poker at all. That doesn't mean that there isn't plenty of betting and gambling, though. Matter of fact, nearly everything around here is bet on.

The other night 12 of us went to the bowling alley at the Gold Coast casino, which turned out to be a good deal for me. 9 of us threw in $100 each to the prize pool, which was to be distributed among the two bowlers with the best scores in the first game. For some reason I went on a really nice run and bowled a 168, good enough for the win and my all-time best score. In the game after that, I topped myself and bowled a 193! Finally, in the 3rd game I outdid myself once again and bowled a 195! The others felt hustled, but I insured them that my scores were nowhere near normal for me. All in all, sidebets included, I made just under $1k for my efforts.

We then proceeded to play a couple table games at the Gold Coast casino, starting off with Three Card Poker. A couple guys hit some nice payouts ($5k and $4k) and then after an hour or so we moved to Craps. We played for about another hour before calling it a night. I ended up around $500.

It was nice to win some money that night, because before we went out I lost another $6k playing my last chinese poker session ever! I've never seen so many 3-pair card combinations, it was really sick. In theory it's just a neutral EV game, the money is passed from player to player and at the end of a decent sample size (100,000 hands) everyone should have the same amount that they started with, but the swings of $100/point just get too extreme sometimes.

We've also been playing a ton of pool, which I have been doing quite well at. Skillwise I am definitely one of, if not the best player in the house. That results in me having to lay people odds to play me, usually ranging from 1.25 all the way up to 3 : 1. I've been doing really well, though, I'm probably up between $3-4k in total. It's definitely my go-to game when things aren't looking bright :)

Last night we rounded up 12 guys to go to the Tao in the Venetian. Flo had reserved us a table with a 4 bottle minimum and unfortunately we got duped into getting a table right at the entrance of the club. We still had a great time though because the club itself is pretty amazing. They closed the whole place down at 4am which is kind of strange if you're used to the European clubs that stay open til 8 or 9am.

It's such a crazy lifestyle here at the house, I don't think I could do this for more than a few weeks at a time. Right now I am just really looking forward to being back home and grinding it out online, as lame as that may sound. I have three more days left here before flying back to Berlin. There have been talks to driving to Lake Mead to do some jetskiing, that would be pretty cool if it all works out. Also, we've been looking into doing skydiving over Las Vegas. I am scared of heights but a freefall is something I've always wanted to try out. We'll see if someone can get the trip out there organized.

I took a ton of pictures but have no way to upload them to my laptop right now. Expect a thorough picture blog in the near future!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Arrival in Las Vegas

After a very nice week in Kansas, we arrived in Vegas on Friday morning bright and early at 7am. Getting our rental car turned out to be more of a hassle than we expected, but we finally got on the road at around 9am and headed over to the "Luckbox Villa" to get settled in. For those who don't know them, it's basically a group of the most successful German online poker pros, most of them under 24 years old.

I wanted to play the $540 Venetian Deepstack tournament as a warmup on Friday afternoon but I made it to the casino a couple minutes too late so I would have only been an alternate. I really didn't feel like doing that so we all went over to Mandalay Bay where I picked up just under $500 playing $2/4NL for an hour.

We then came back to the house to relax a little, but relaxing quickly became gambling instead. First game was a $200 HU SNG vs. Christoph Niesert, who I know from playing in an underground game in Berlin. He lived solely from HU SNGs for a long time, but I managed to pick off a couple bluffs and win the tourney after about an hour.

After that came chinese poker. The guys around here have almost no regard for money, so the game is for $50 a point. Sebastian aka Luckbox is known for never losing at this game, but Friday night was different. We probably played for around 4 hours and I won a total of $3k.

Then came "Seri" - Poker. It's a game where each player gets 7 hole cards. With those hole cards, each player needs to create 3 different hold'em hands and place them face down. Once each player has laid down his hands, a community flop/turn/river are dealt and each player compares each hand to his opponent's hands to see who wins. Playing for $100 per point can get very expensive very fast. It's a game of total adrenaline and involves <.10% skill, but it's fun regardless. -$1.2k for me after 2 hours.

Finally we played $10/10NL hold'em, 5 handed with myself, Alexander Jung, Weyoun, Sebastian and Nico Behling. The game is more aggressive than anything I've ever seen. Rarely is a pot NOT 3bet preflop, many times even 4bet or 5bet. Toss in the factor that a few players were playing very deep ($5k+) and it becomes a very interesting game. I bought in for the standard $1k and made a couple hundred dollars after a couple hours of play. I was dog tired after all this and finally made it to bed around 5am.

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