Practicing in Paris

The Paris casino, which is adjacent and attached to Bally’s, are both owned by Harrah’s.  In fact the software that runs the poker rooms is linked so that if you’re in Bally’s, you can sign up and see what games are running in Paris and vice versa.

The Paris therefore has become a poker tournament mecca, with small buyin no limit hold’em tournaments starting every two hours from 3:30am to 7:30pm daily.  9am is the "How To Play Texas Hold’em" lesson, so Chris and I are planning on hitting the 9:30am tournament right after that.

We spent yesterday at the casino playing the 11:30am, 1:30pm, and 5:30pm tournaments for $40, $50, and $50 respectively.  I got put out of the first tournament in short order.  I got put out of the 1:30pm after being way too aggressive and pissing off the entire table.  The dealer was cleaning up the table after it had broken and said, "Mister, you’ve got a lot of guts."  I took that as a compliment.  Chris was still in that tournament and in fact bubbled out of it 7th place.   

In the last few minutes the blinds were getting high and I decide to "go big or go home".  I started stealing like mad and finally they were calling me down.  I sucked out on people with the worst hand which absolutely guaranteed I was going to get called, but I kept it up, it was so profitable.  After one particularly obnoxious steal where I got called and then sucked out to win, another player looked over at Chris, not realizing he knew me, and said, "Don’t worry, guys like him never last."

On my final hand I played 94s and picked up a flush draw on an Ace high flop.  My opponent pushed all his chips in and I realized he had me covered and that I could have a massive chip lead if I took this hand.  I called with my flush draw and he showed me the expected Ace in his hand.  My flush draw missed and I was out.  I traipsed over to Bally’s and played $3/$6 LHE with a full kill.  Apparently after I left the table bitched about me for an hour, with several people saying "That guy (me) had no idea how to play poker."  I took that as quite a compliment.

When I came back from the nicely profitable 3/6 game I put myself into the 5:30pm tournament for $50.  70 or so people entered and I took a commanding chip lead in the first hour when four of us went into a pot and all-in.  I was holding AA, my neighbor QQ, another guy Queen Ten, and junk for the third.  The board came Ace-Queen-Ten, then Ten (for a full boat) and the river Ace to make me quad aces.  I put three other people out of the tournament and now had 8,000.

I spent the rest of the tournament working very hard at changing gears, but almost always had a decent chip stack.  When it got down to 4 people, the best player at the table suggested a deal.  "I don’t chop, and I don’t deal."  The money meant nothing to me, at 1st place was $540 and third was $340.  I wanted to win.  Finally I got put out in third place.  I tipped the dealers $40 and went off to blow my winnings on a nice French meal with Chris and celebrate my first live tournament cash.

Katie comes today, and Chris and I are planning on repeating our practice sessions at Paris until she gets here.


  1. BilldaCat on August 2, 2006 at 7:27 am

    It seems like you are calling way too much (i.e. going all-in) on draws.. which is a guaranteed way to get sent to the rail in NL.

    of course, that’s just what I read on the internet.

  2. BrianReich on August 2, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    What’s the likelyhood that you will end up facing off against some of these other players when you hit the big game? Probably low, but still, people talk. Are you playing your big game strategy or posturing to try and build a reputation?