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my first ever live MTT in vegas

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my first ever live MTT in vegas

Old 08-17-06, 05:37 PM
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my first ever live MTT in vegas

i found a list of tourneys because i was dying to play an MTT for the first time ever. i finally chose the venetian noon tourney a couple days ago. i didnt know what to expect but it worked out time wise and although the buyin was higher than i wanted to ($100) i still thought it would be fun.

early on i played TIGHT. super tight. i was only playing pretty much premium hands in the first few rounds because thats what ive read you are suppose to do. never hit a flop, barely won anything. i dont know if i was playing too tight or the cards were just bad. (seriously, how do you know?)

we started with 4000 in chips and i finally got down to like 1200 and was getting blinded away, something i didnt want to do. finally decided to push with 34h to steal some blinds. didnt work as BB had AJ and made the easy call.

crap.

ace on flop. im done. but MIRACLE 5 on river gave me a straight and i survive! oh man i was so relieved and happy. just to say i could have a story to tell about "hitting the miracle river in a tourney!" plus i got to play some more. had enough chips to last a little longer but still not alot.

but it gets better.

again im still relatively short stacked and i finally get what looks to be an amazing hand (K10) but only because i was getting a ton of bad ones. again, i push.

very next guy calls. i was like damn. then the first guy who called in the previous hand calls. im like "now im dead for sure". they both have AK! which actually i was a little relieved since they took each others cards and i have a live one.

dealer flips over the flop...very top card - 10! i jump out of my seat in excitement til he reveals the rest of the flop...J, Q.

NOOOOO!! they make their straights. now im done.

turn...J

river...10

i just made a full house. HOLY CRAP i was psyched. that pushed me from low stack to near the table lead!!!! i couldnt believe it. again remember this is my first live tourney EVER.

it kept getting better and better. hit a Q to beat A7 with KQ. hit my A to beat a pocket pair of 9s. soon the 31 people who started became 10.

FINAL TABLE!! woohoo! and i was a middle stack.

(but where were the cameras and lights? where was the hole cams? dont all final tables have these? )

top 5 get paid. at that point i still wasnt expecting it but to be at the final table was awesome.

i went back to playing tight. just sat back and let them do their thing. 10 became 9...then 8. then 7. 6.

at this point i was thinking "could i cash?...nah...well maybe" i was praying for an all in from someone else and one guy actually had about 1000 in chips. very fortunately for him another guy pushed against the BIG STACK and lost.

i made the money. top 5! unbelievable.

there i probably made my biggest mistake...i raised to 5000 with AK, next guy goes all in. i folded because there was a really short stack at the table and i wanted 4th and i figured he would be gone soon. the guy who just pushed had QQ.

as for the shortstack, he tripled up twice by flopping trip Js and runner runner 4s to make a full house.

now i was the shortstack, had to go all in in the dark as the blinds were huge, and lost to someone who had AX (cant exactly remember). i had J7 and didnt hit.

5th place though. out of 31 - not bad. basically got my buyin back. but it was a fun 4 hours (where i know i got amazingly lucky). my first ever tourney. "finished in the money" and got some cool stories to tell.

i went on to play two more tourneys during my trip (where i was not so lucky ). neither went nearly as well. played a cheap mandalay bay one which i didnt like since you only get $300 in chips and its limit to start. did hit quad Qs to take basically my only pot of the day. finished 7th out of 18.

last tourney was the late ceasars palace one which i enjoyed ($70 buy in, 2000 chips, 52 people). nice room, cool people. early on i flopped quad Jacks but couldnt get paid since no one would bet or call me. that was like the 5th hand...after that, again nothing.

i cant tell if im playing too tight or sometimes the cards dont come. i was also playing position so i would lay down A6s in early position. i wouldnt call J10s if it was raised to me. stuff like that. i tried to only come into an unraised pot by raising myself...rarely limped. this is the stuff i have to learn.

my mistake came when i raised with A10 and got one caller. flop was all hearts. i made a continuation bet hoping he totally missed, or at the very least was on a draw. he called. oops. i checked the turn, another heart. he bet big, i folded. he FLOPPED a flush with JQh. ouch.

another thing i learned is in tourneys you basically get one chance to make a move. if you fail, you are in TROUBLE. i tried, and it cost me there. instantly i was hurting for chips.

fortunately i got KK and threw my last 1100 in and got one caller...the loosest guy on the table. i figured i should be ahead and i was. he had A4s. but guess what the turn was? ace. bummer. down to my last 75.

obviously i was all in for the last hand before the break. about 5 people were in so im done. or not. i had 34h and hit a flush on river. didnt know what i had til the hand was over since my cards were all face down and i went all in in the dark.

HOORAY!!! no wait, that sucks. now i have 500 in chips, have to wait 15 minutes to lose it since everyone else had at least 3000. i know im done but now i have to wait around to lose? argh that sucks.

finally break is over and lucky for me, despite everyone knowing i was done and was all in, i got to be heads up with SB (i was BB...hence all my chips were taken). he had AK and i at least had a nice drawing hand 89h.

K and 8 hit flop but i hit nothing else. out around 26th out of 52. not too bad considering i went up against a guy who flops a flush and my kings were cracked (what else could i do?). i think i played ok in that one. ill wait to hear from you guys to see if i did.

all in all, fun time. came back around even as i killed blackjack, was about even at roulette and got killed in 3 card poker (why i played that, i have no idea...i never play 3 card poker!).

(also i saw eli elezra, sammy farha, jennifer harman, barry greenstein and a few other pros (cant remember their name) playing big stakes at the bellagio one night. very cool!!! that plus seeing O and phantom made for a very fun vegas trip!)
Old 08-17-06, 11:39 PM
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thanks for the post. live MTTs are fun. I seem to have the same problem as you though. I play too tight, not wanting to put a large portion of my stack at risk with a mediocre hand. Then eventually I have no chips left.
Old 08-18-06, 12:28 AM
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I know most say to play real tight at the start but I play quite a bit looser. I'll get out of the way a little more often but you can usually at least keep your stack on par until later rounds which is usually as good as or better than playing tight real early.
Old 08-18-06, 01:12 PM
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i need to learn when to play tight and when im playing too tight. what hands are worth calling with, what are worth raising in early position, what are worth slow playing, what are worth reraising with...all that stuff.

then i can work on my postflop play
Old 08-18-06, 01:21 PM
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How much did you win?
Old 08-18-06, 01:21 PM
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I like to play real loose early on if I can see flops for cheap and if the blinds are small compared to the stack sizes.
Old 08-18-06, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
i need to learn when to play tight and when im playing too tight. what hands are worth calling with, what are worth raising in early position, what are worth slow playing, what are worth reraising with...all that stuff.

then i can work on my postflop play
You need to read Dan Harrington's books......
Old 08-18-06, 03:43 PM
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Play loose if the table is tight and tight if the table is loose.
Old 08-18-06, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
How much did you win?
basically got my buyin back (actually a little more - buy in was 100, i won 120). but after being basically out early on, ill take it. i was very happy to place in the money in my first live tourney ever
Old 08-18-06, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by El Scorcho
I like to play real loose early on if I can see flops for cheap and if the blinds are small compared to the stack sizes.
also depends on how many chips they give.

venetian tourney gave me 4000 in chips, blinds started 25/50

mandalay bay gave me only 300 in chips, blinds started 10/20 (started limit as well)

caesars gave me 2000 in chips, blinds started i think at 25/50
Old 08-19-06, 03:29 PM
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oh and i forgot, oddly enough in all 3 i was placed at seat 10 at the table.
Old 08-19-06, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by moorehed
thanks for the post. live MTTs are fun. I seem to have the same problem as you though. I play too tight, not wanting to put a large portion of my stack at risk with a mediocre hand. Then eventually I have no chips left.
I've not mastered MTTs, but my approach (that I'm still trying to get to pay off) is to play a bit loose pre-flop early on when the blinds are smaller, and then be ready to cash in when you hit a flop.
Old 08-19-06, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bushdog
I've not mastered MTTs, but my approach (that I'm still trying to get to pay off) is to play a bit loose pre-flop early on when the blinds are smaller, and then be ready to cash in when you hit a flop.
assuming you do. sometimes it seems like when i call, i never hit anything.
Old 08-19-06, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
assuming you do. sometimes it seems like when i call, i never hit anything.
Well, that can happen (as all of us painfully know). Alternatively it might be a sign that you're too loose. Try to find a happy medium.
Old 08-19-06, 09:21 PM
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im definitely not too lose (if anything too tight - i feel i am folding hands i should be playing). im talking about calling/raising with A10-AK, 1010-JJ (all usually in middle to late position)...the worst ill call is a low pair or middle suited connector. stuff like that. they seem to rarely hit anything and often ill make a continuation bet if i was the pre flop raiser but when i do that, the other guy calls because he hit the flop.
Old 08-21-06, 01:11 AM
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Congrats on your money finish.

It is perfect that I found this thread b/c I was just about to start a thread asking about live tournaments in vegas that I can play in and it seems you checked out these things thoroughly while you were there.

I will be there in October and was looking for a fun (low stakes, 50-100 bucks) tournament that myself and my brother-in law can enter. We are both pretty wet behind the ears with regards to poker, especially live play poker. However, we both love it and would consider it well worth the experience win or lose.

We will probably be looking to play on a Friday afternoon/ evening time. What is the best way to go about exploring these things ahead of time? I really have no clue how it works, do I need to register in advance or just show up? How long do these typically last? Any other suggetsions or tips for me?

Thanks and congrats again, it sounds like you had a great time. (if you want me to move this out of here and start my own thread let me know, I don't want to derail yours...)
Old 08-21-06, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dave-o
Congrats on your money finish.

It is perfect that I found this thread b/c I was just about to start a thread asking about live tournaments in vegas that I can play in and it seems you checked out these things thoroughly while you were there.

I will be there in October and was looking for a fun (low stakes, 50-100 bucks) tournament that myself and my brother-in law can enter. We are both pretty wet behind the ears with regards to poker, especially live play poker. However, we both love it and would consider it well worth the experience win or lose.

We will probably be looking to play on a Friday afternoon/ evening time. What is the best way to go about exploring these things ahead of time? I really have no clue how it works, do I need to register in advance or just show up? How long do these typically last? Any other suggetsions or tips for me?

Thanks and congrats again, it sounds like you had a great time. (if you want me to move this out of here and start my own thread let me know, I don't want to derail yours...)
you can keep it here...i dont mind at all

and yes i did have a great time. it was a blast. the people were nice, dealers were nice and the rooms are nice (especially at the really great casinos like caesars and venetian).

i was basically in the same boat you were when i went last week (never played before, didnt know how it worked, wanted to just try it out win or lose) so let me at least share a little more info that helped me out.

first, since you want to play tourneys (which i think ive realized i like 1000 times more than cash games) start here: http://www.allvegaspoker.com/tournaments.php

i printed that out and took it to vegas. it was VERY valuable.

i went through and started crossing out the ones i didnt want. i crossed out all the casinos i didnt want to play at. then the ones that were too expensive. then the ones on the wrong days. then the wrong times. i was left with maybe 10-15 possible tourneys. from there, just pick the one that is the best.

*note: the one negative i found was that obviously i couldnt read the details parts (right hand most column in that link) after printing, which gives out good details, like chips, blinds, # of people, etc - if you write down the details of the tourneys you are interested ahead of time, it would be beneficial. im gonna do that next time for sure.

then all you basically have to do is show up before the tourney starts (im not sure when it starts registering but i usually showed up 15 minutes before). hell, in some you can show up AFTER it starts and they will still let you in (they kept adding people in my caesar tourney well past the start...lots of alternates). i wouldnt recommend getting there at the last second as they MAY fill up.

then you go up to the desk, pay the fee and you get a card that has all your info on it and tells you what table you are to sit at and specifically what seat.

*the seats go 1 through 10, 1 is the first seat to the left of the dealer...10 would be the last one exactly to the right of the dealer. like i mentioned above, in all 3 i got seat 10. very strange but means nothing in a tourney.

when you sit down they will already have the chips there or will give them when teh tourney starts. dont worry about that. now what i didnt realize was that if you want the rebuy or add on you do that at the table. basically have you cash ready and you give it to the dealer who will give you more chips.

as for how long they last, again the details part of the link i gave gives some of that out but you can never know exactly. i was told by many they usually last 2-3 hours but my venetian one i lasted well past 4 hours because i got in the final 5. im sure those guys went another hour or so. you could be done in one hand. you could go 5 hours. never know. just be sure to allot enough time in case you get far because nothing would suck more than being at the final table and realizing you have a show to catch or something. you cant just get up and leave (i guess you COULD but you would get blinded out quick!)

one thing i wanted to play was a sit n go because i play those a ton online and i like the style. those of course usually just start when they get enough people to fill a table (some casinos have them, some dont). ill have to try them next time.

other tips i could think of:

a) dont assume people in these tourneys are experts...im still very new to poker and i could tell a lot of people didnt know what was going on. i think in vegas people have money to burn and see poker on tv and just want to play. doesnt mean they are great at it (i was correcting people many times regarding the play...like how much to bet, when to bet, minimum raises, etc). of course there are many who are, so try and figure out which are and which arent

b) highly recommend the poker rooms at venetian, caesars, bellagio and mirage. havent checked out all of the vegas poker rooms but so far those are really nice.

c) use your casino card if you can...easy points right there

d) be sure to check if the tourney has a rebuy or add ons...if they do, often its only available til the first break (in the ones i was at, this was true) and often (someone can correct me if im wrong) its a good idea to do so. i mean, at the caesars tourney, it cost like $60 for 1000 chips but only $10 more for another 1000? got to do it or else you will have half the chips of everyone else.

and then just have fun. i really tried to just enjoy the experience, especially since i never did it before. i know for many, poker tourneys are no big deal and they do them every day. but i dont get to so im glad i had fun while playing. but im dying to play another

post your results when you get back...and good luck!
Old 08-21-06, 01:37 PM
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Wow, thanks! That information you gave me is great, it is exactly what I was loooking for. Now I feel a little more comfortable about going there and playing. That link is extremely helpful, I will give it a good look later on.


One quick question, do you get free drinks duirng the tournament? That way, at least if I bust out too early I can hopefully have a couple a free ones first.
Old 08-21-06, 03:32 PM
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you get free drinks anywhere you play in vegas (key word is you have to be playing something ) and the waitresses do come along throught the tourneys as well. of course you should always tip.

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