October 11, 2003

Warm-up at the Bellagio

Pocket Aces

Shortstack and I had her folks down for a little Seattle-Vegas holiday so I decided to play the regular $500+40 (really $485+55) Bellagio Friday tourney as a warm-up for the World Poker Tour event next week in Aruba. The tourney started with 93 players including a few who entered as alternates, taking the seats of the players who busted out early. I didn’t get very good cards so there weren’t many notable hands for me other than one I wasn’t involved in. A young guy named Tony had made a small raise under the gun and while he was waiting for the other players a friend of his came over and wanted something. He emptied his pockets onto the table and searched for whatever it was, finally taking everything out of his wallet before handing a slip of paper to his friend. By the time he had reassembled his wallet everyone else had folded.  The dealer pushed the pot to him and he did a double-take. “Where did my cards go?” he asked. He looked all around, then turned beet-red as he pulled his wallet back out of his pocket and opened it to reveal—-true pocket Aces. The dealer asked, “Anyone want a new deck?” “Nah,” everyone said, laughing.


My bad run of cards continued and the blinds kept increasing. Soon I found myself down to 575 chips with the blinds 100 and 200. Fortunately I caught a few hands and doubled up several times, finding myself with the short stack at the final table. I didn’t recognize anyone other than Chip Jett, famous for losing a huge hand to Howard Lederer on the World Poker Tour by Howard catching running Fours for his only out. Chip was much funnier in person than he appeared on that show. I mused that playing hours of limit Hold ‘Em against Howard Lederer with several hundred thousand dollars at stake might sober anyone.


I fought valiantly with my meager treasure but ended up finishing eighth when a Las Vegas local to my left paired his King on the river to beat my Ace high. I congratulated him and wished everyone good luck.  Jack McClelland paid me $1127 in casino chips and told me I was moving on up from my current position as 131st on Bellagio’s list of leading money-winners. I told him I’d see him in Aruba.


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