Poker in Las Vegas – Day 2.

Day 2 didn’t start so well. I took the shuttle bus from Sam’s Town RV Park to The Strip, and walked to The Rio in good time for the start of the noon tournament, but was dismayed to find that the tournament now started at 11am, and I was too late to enter. The next one was not scheduled until 7pm.

I wondered what to do, and eventually decided to head back to Sam’s Town for an afternoon of lounging around by the pool, and then drive in again for the 7pm tournament, as I am really keen to play at The Rio, home of the World Series Of Poker.

The shuttle wasn’t an option for the evening game, as the last one back would be too early for me unless I managed to get knocked out of the 7pm tournament very early, which wasn’t part of the plan!

I returned to The Rio at around 6.30pm and couldn’t find a space big enough for the RV in the parking lot there, but managed to park easily in the huge Gold Beach casino parking lot just across the road. I registered for the $70 tournament, and drew seat number 6 on the only table to be used, and sat down to play at 7pm. With a couple of early bust outs and a couple of later arrivals there were about twelve people in the tournament, the smallest competition I have ever played in.

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I think I played quite a bit better than yesterday, and won a couple of good hands, remaining competitive for a good while. I won a great “All In” hand against three others, with my pair of queens, and had a pretty good stack for a while. Unfortunately I lost about half of my chips in an unlucky hand just before the ten minute break, but did survive to return to the table.

Shortly after the break I had two possibilities for a straight, eight cards in all, and called what I thought was an “All In” bluff, but neither of my cards came up, and I was beaten by a pair of queens, ironically, leaving the table with only four players remaining.

My wallet is $70 lighter, but I had a brilliant evening. I loved playing in the home of the World Series Of Poker. Poker really is an exciting game, and in terms of thrill for your dollar, I reckon it beats many of the adventure activities I have spent similar sums of money on. It is a different sort of thrill though – a longer, lower level, but constant tension and awareness of nerves and concentration.

I am excited and nervous too about tomorrow. It will only be the second time I have sat down to play in a cash game, the first time being in Deadwood last year, where I blew $60 pretty quickly. I know a bit more about the game now, and am hoping that my conservative style of play will serve me well at a cash table.

As Kenny Rogers train-travelling gambling buddy told him:-

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money, when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’, when the dealin’s done.

I hope I do know when to hold ’em, and when to fold ’em tomorrow night!!

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