Monday, September 26, 2005

I didn't make it back out to the 80 game last night. A combination of going running and then having an exasperating (although winning) session online left me a little too warn out to go play such a big game.

But, like I said, I played in it Saturday night. Wow. Poker was fun again. Everything about that night was exciting on some level.

First, before even getting into the game, I had to of course put myself on the list. Now, for people who've never been to the Bellagio poker room before, it's laid out thusly: there are a number of podiums where one can put themselves on waiting lists. The first podium is immediately inside the entrance, practically blocking the entrance. That is where people sign up for 4/8, 8/16 or 2/5 NL. One could call it the low-limit podium. Set back a little ways and to the right, amidst all the action, is the next podium, where one signs up for the middle limits, 15/30 and 30/60 hold 'em, plus 20/40 and 40/80 omaha and seven-card stud, and a 40/80 mix game. That is the podium I've been visiting for oh about a year and a half now.

Now behind even that podium is yet another one, placed like a sentry in front of the area that appears, at least to this envious middle-limit schlub, like poker nirvana: the high-limit room. Set apart a bit and elevated, this room is for players only; no gawkers please. What is there to be envious about? What's not to be envious about: it's private, exclusive, well decorated, less busy, more TVs and more cocktail waitresses (per table that is), it's full of games that use exotically-colored chips, heck even the lighting is better, which serves to make it appear even more heavenly to those of us jealously watching from afar.

After so many hundreds of hours watching that area at first with apprehension (it is a bit intimidating) and eventually with yearning, I finally was at the Bellagio with the intent of playing specifically there. Nirvana. Heaven. The high-limit room.

I had butterflies. Almost like a middle-school kid approaching a girl at the school dance for the first time, I walked up. The lump in my throat had me worried that I might not even be able to talk intelligibly to the floor person. Seriously, that's how hard up I was.

But I managed. They actually ended up having three games going. I wanted to check them out first, so much like that same kid with that girl after the dance, I was meekly asking permission for anything and everything, expecting to get shot down, "Is it okay if I go up there to check out the games for a bit?"

"Of course."

So up the handful of steps I went, to enter the high-limit area for the first time.

As it turns out, they had three (!!) 80/160 games going. One was running very short, though, at three-handed. The other two were full. Well, I wasn't about to have my first experience at 80/160 be playing four-handed--I might get scarred for life--so I put my name on the list to be called when a seat opened at a full table.

And back down the steps I went, leaving the exotic foreign land for the drab elegance that is the poker room as I've always known it, returning, temporarily, to my proletarian poker.

I didn't stay long, as twenty minutes later I got called back to the promised land. Time to play 80/160. Would I lose $5000? Win $5000? Get completely run over, and have to scurry away with my tail between my legs?

I sat down just in time to post between the button and the blinds. I threw out my four yellow chips and just like that I was simply playing poker. The lighting was better, there were fewer people bumping into me from behind, the walls were filled with pictures and paintings, and the chips were a really cool color, but this was a poker table, and I know what I'm doing at a poker table.

Three limpers and I look down to find AKo. What an introductory hand. I raise from my worst position, both blinds fold and everyone else calls.


And I was off.

To be continued...


Blogger eric said...

A couple things:

1) I'll continue with, you know, actual hands and how the game went tomorrow. The post was long enough and I found myself losing focus anyways, so I figured I'd make it a two-parter.

2) I hope no one takes umbrage to my using the term "proletarian poker" to describe poker below the 80/160 level. It's meant tongue-in-cheek. I'm a long-time veteran of proletarian poker.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Evan said...

La pastie de la bourgousie.

So what was your line on the first hand? Bet the flop and checkraise the turn? Or can you wring more bets out at the higher limits?

12:50 AM  
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