- the number of big bets I lose in this post It's Thursday afternoon. Soon there's going to be a swarm of bloggers descending on Vegas. But for the moment I don't know a soul here (or, at least, how to reach any of the souls with whom I have a marginal acquaintance). Reasoning that I came here to play poker, that's what I set out to do, wandering over to the Bellagio. I've never been to Vegas in the winter. Distances that are oppressive in summer (i.e. anything over a hundred yards) become a brisk, invigorating stroll. On the walk from the IP I feel better than I have in weeks - certainly better than I'm going to feel on the walk back. I could play in the 8/16 game but I don't want to start out the trip with a $500 loss if I have a bad run. So I settle for 4/8, getting a seat in the back corner of the room. I could knock on one of the walls of Bobby's Room from where I'm sitting but I think this is unlikely to endear me to the players within. Nobody likes my rendition of "Shave And A Haircut" anyway. The cards I get for the next five hours are an unmemorable blur. Overpairs are no good, two pair will always lose to a gutshot, there's always a bigger flush, etc, etc. The faces at my table are unremarkable as well, until a woman in her 60s with long dyed-blond hair and a lot of gaudy bling sits down two to my left. She's cooling off from the 20/40 stud game, and it shows. "Call and see what happens" is her mantra; if she's in a hand she's going to see all five cards no matter what, which allows her to lay a string of three-to-six-outers on everyone at the table. I make one good hand all night long, completing with A5s from the small blind in a four-way pot. On a 559 flop I get a lot of action from an incredibly cantankerous old duffer who'd limped with aces - a mistake on his part, because he was far too old to be slowplaying anything. An orbit later he racks up his chips, refuses to pay his blinds, then curses out the dealer for not dealing him in anyway. This sours the table pretty quick and I decide I've taken enough of a beating, racking up the remainder of my second buy-in and heading out into the early evening - fuck me, it's midnight. By the time I get back to the IP there is no salve for my ego but an unnervingly juicy hot dog and the welcome sight of some accomplices from Murderer's Row, who I hope for once will change my luck for the better.


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