I took a day completely off from poker today in Las Vegas. There weren’t really any good tournaments starting today and I’m already registered for the $2,500 6-Max tomorrow (more on that later) so I decided to try to get out and “do something” versus gravitating towards a cash game table.
In Vegas during the WSOP, finding people to “do something” with can be quite a challenge. It’s the only time of the year you’re in the same city as a lot of friends of yours, but you actually have less time for each other than you do the rest of the year while chatting on IM. That can be very frustrating. It’s probably partially because of laziness on the part of poker players and partially because of the hectic schedules people have during the WSOP. There are literally so many tournaments to play and live games running that it’s rare for a group of players to be able to get together and do something that has nothing to do with poker.
Every year I’ve been out here, I’ve tried to make an effort to have a few days on my schedule that have nothing to do with poker. A lot of poker players are smart and entertaining people to be around. There are certain niceties of hanging out with other poker players that you don’t really get with non-poker players. Poker players have their own language and way of looking at the world and it’s nice to sometimes have the chance to interact with your own kind in a non-poker setting.
One poker friend of mine whose enthusiasm for socializing at the WSOP I have always appreciated is one of our poker forums members, Oliver ‘SwoopAE’ Gill. Oliver has a lot of energy he directs towards being a champion of scheduling plans with poker players. It’s nice to have someone asking you if you want to do something, especially when you’re usually the one doing the asking (and dealing with the lack of interest which is typical).
So today, I scooped up Oliver and few other Australians from their condo rental just east of the Strip. We made the long trip to a mini golf place during rush hour. Of course, we did some gambling on the mini golf course. With six of us playing, we decided that everyone would give the winner a certain amount except for the second place finisher, he doesn’t pay and the last-place finisher gives double. We also added a hole-in-one prop where you got a certain amount from everyone if you made one and got double that amount if no one else made at least a 2 on the hole.
Only one hole-in-one was made and it wasn’t by me. I basically played middle-of-the-road and didn’t have to worry about being the guy to pay double near the end, but also didn’t really have much of a chance of being the guy collecting the cash. Overall, it was a fun outting and a great chance to do something outdoors away from a soul-sucking poker setting.
It’s back to that setting tomorrow for the $2,500 6-Max event which is probably the hardest event on my WSOP schedule this year. I’ve played it each of the past 3 years (got 18th in 2008). It’s definitely a pretty tough event but if I’m focused and hungry for chips, I feel okay about my chances. An upside of the 6-Max events is that you have so much more room to spread out at the table. I really enjoy the chance to stretch out and get comfortable when you’re normally forced to sit as if you’re in the middle of the back seat of a car between two people.
In 6-Max, your table draw is very important. How much your expected ROI is affected between the difference of a good table draw and a bad table draw is a great deal more than in a full-ring tournament. Hopefully I’ll draw a table full of donkeys, but admittedly, there probably won’t be very many of those in this event.