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Limit poker trip report

Discussion in 'The Poker Room' started by dewey089, May 30, 2013.

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  1. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    My limit poker game was not too bad this trip. Playing in Vegas almost every day for 26 days always tightens and polishes my game. It reminds me of spending a month immersed in Spanish in Costa Rica. By the end of trip I am fluent in Spanish in a way I can’t quite manage to keep for the rest of the year at home. And by the time I left Vegas for home, I was much more fluent in low limit poker. But like the Spanish, over time, that will erode.




    At the top of my game, winning is then determined by table selection, a key element in limit poker. In NL players can adjust their play to match their opponents. In limit there is less wiggle room. I need to select opponents who are not whole levels better than I am and still avoid tables full of fish and especially avoid tables full of maniacs.



    I also need to know when to leave.




    I need to leave games more often. I need to leave when I know I’m outclassed, when there is not a fish or two at the table, when there are not passive callers playing third best.




    I generally play tight, so I also need to leave when I’ve doubled my chip stack and know that I will no longer get paid for good cards because my opponents are now shy of me. In NL this is the time to toss in a few bluffs, but bluffing in limit is rarely a good strategy.




    In the past I have preferred the Flamingo room for 2-4. It is so often full of passive calling tourists that the rake is overcome. However, since last year they have eliminated their long list of high hand awards, the cracked Aces, the freeroll offers and adopted one mega bad beat jackpot. And when I arrived in Vegas, the almost mythical bad beat could only be hit only if quad jacks were beaten.




    If it hits in any CET property, it is a good bit of money, and folks are always talking about it, but it doesn’t hit, and I could go a lifetime and never see a piece of it.



    Locals have the option of not coming when the hand that needs to be beaten is high but waiting for those times when it gets down so low that it is due to be hit.




    In contrast, I joined a 2-6 spread limit game at Sam’s Town one morning at 3 AM and in a half hour at a table of 5 players, three had Aces cracked for $100 each.



    Another day on the first hand dealt to a new table one fellow had his Aces cracked by a straight flush, so both got paid by the house.




    Cracked Aces gives a tight player insurance in a limit game. If you get pockets, you really can't lose money.



    It also makes playing against pocket Aces much less expensive. High hands also create more loose play. In places like the Golden Nugget 2-4 limit, folks are more likely to play small pairs and small suited cards and even suited one gap wonders.




    These differences then really amount to a deal breaker with Flamingo even if CET had not tightened room offers for poker players and added resort fees to make good deals, bad deals.



    So I moved around a bit in Vegas this trip, trying other venues.




    I also played poker rooms that I would not have chosen in the past, just to play against good players and sense the game and how I might do: Palms, Binions, Sam's Town,

    The details of my Vegas poker this trip can be found here:

    http://vegasbirthdaybash.blogspot.com/2013/05/tr-snippet-live-poker.html
     
  2. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    That's a great report, Dewey. Thanks for taking the time to share.
     
  3. gongoman

    gongoman MIA

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    Thanks dewey089:beer:
     
  4. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

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    Hey thanks for the fun read and heads up. I'm staying at the Orleans and everything I read about the room circles back to the same sentiment: The players all know each other. It never clicked that anyone would collude at 2/4 but one never knows. I might play their HORSE tournament but thats about it.

    I wish we had an Aces cracked promo at my local casino; I'd clean up! :rolleyes2:
     
  5. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    thanks Gongoman. I revised a bit since that first draft you read.

    I'm not saying I know there is collusion.
    But having a table of maniacs is almost as bad.

    I'm sure you could walk into a soft low limit game at the Orleans and I have on occasion, but to see that very early Sunday morning lineup and the piles and piles of chips in front of each and every player. Well.

    I love Aces cracked. I miss it at the Flamingo. Imperial Palace used to have Aces and Kings cracked. It was a fine game for a tight player.

    That is all gone now.

    Laughlin has a lot of Aces cracked but I don't get out there anymore and there you see the same players not only at one casino, but all over town. Still, I once played in a game where for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, cracked black Aces were worth $500. Whew! What a promotion. I hit for $200 once.
     
  6. Neemtree

    Neemtree Tourist

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    Nice Read

    I like to play limit as well but have never ventured outside of the Strip or Downtown with the exception of an ill fated Omaha trip to the Orleans. My presumption has always been that the low limit games on the strip are softer but the rake is larger. In your experience do you better on or off the Strip at lower limits?
     
  7. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    I'm not an expert, but I think you are right. Strip games are softer. That is why I liked the Flamingo game even with the large rake. It attracted folks who could not do the math of the rake and so could not do the math of the game either.

    Still, the biggest factor is who is at the table when you play.

    The Nugget seemed pretty soft. Even the good players helped with that because they want to catch those bonus hands, so they play straight flush draws and low pairs.
     
  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Basically. Collusion and 2 maniacs are basically the same thing almost. But I'd be surprised of collusion at 2/4 for profit. Maybe to try to lower their losses I guess...lol
     
  9. Bazzito52

    Bazzito52 Low-Roller

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    Well, it's not like collusion isn't possible in low limit games.

    I remember many (more than I care to remember) years ago, I was playing low stakes 7 stud at the Mint, pre Binion's. This was before Hold 'Em really caught on and stud and razz games were commonplace all over town.

    I was at a table where two players got into a raising battle and squeezed a third player out. When one of the players folded on the sixth street, the floorman came to the table, stopped the action and asked that the folded hand be shown. At this point all of the cards were collected and both of the players were escorted from the table, not to be seen again. I can't exactly recall what happened to the pot, but I assune it was sequestered as well.

    The dealer explained that they had been on the lookout for these colluders and that it was an occasional occurance, even in small games.

    Of course, $60 or $80 bucks split between two cheaters at the end of a night's play went a lot furter in 1980 than it does now.....
     
    NFL Divisional Playoffs!!
  10. Sinatraatthesands

    Sinatraatthesands Low-Roller

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    Aces cracked is a dying promo. The reason is it's a room killer. The only rooms that will offer it now are low volume and need business. It attracts two types of players, colluders and rocks who only play aces. What's left for people who want to play are $11 ish pots on the high end and they leave in 10 minutes.
     
  11. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    I understand what you mean about the effect it can have on games dominated by regular locals in some cases and places.
    In past trips I saw that pattern at Bill's and to some extent at the IP, but not at the Flamingo game that even during cracked Aces times usually had enough tourists to splash the pots.

    The 2-6$ spread game at Sam's Town did not seem to work that way either last month. Pots were fine the days I played and not dominated by old regulars who just waited for the cracked opportunities. In fact, among the regular locals I was more apt to encounter bets and raises of the full $6 than when tourists were playing.

    Of course, there were different promotions at different times there, something a bit new every day.
    It makes a huge difference when a casino takes just $3 in rake and then takes $2 that is recycled as promo bonus awards not just limited to that dramatic and seldom experienced bad beat.
    I hate sitting at a table with so many just praying the dealer will deal the "bad beat' and hoping and talking that almost mythical experience up as if going to the bathroom is an issue. It makes me want to barf.

    CET moving from free rolls, bonus awards, and Aces cracked (used last year to get the game going in the morning) and adopting this all inclusive and elusive bad beat kills the room for tourists who do the math because there are times when the odds of it hitting are very slim, and we can't predict those months in advance of our trip. So, I'm thinking I'd rather be staying near Sam's Town or the Golden Nugget where I can predict the promotions than on the strip near the Flamingo game where it might be four jacks beat the week I arrive as it was this past trip.

    High hand awards build pots. I see that at the Nugget. They could toss in Aces Cracked there and not find it a room killer.

    As a tight low limit, small budgeted player, I like both the insurance Aces Cracked gives me when I have the Aces as well as the lessening of what it costs me to be in a hand when someone else has them. Kings or queens cracked by Aces is much cheaper when there is an Aces cracked promo and A-K is easier to identify by preflop raise patterns.

    Also, I prefer a limit table with some rocks and a few fish rather than one dominated with so many fish it is hard to win holding premium starting cards because one of the river rats is sure to swim to victory.
     
  12. Sinatraatthesands

    Sinatraatthesands Low-Roller

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    The high hand promos at Flamingo were great and the room was always busy for it. Also the splash the pot for football games, and the freerolls made sure the locals started the game early each day. The problem was the other CET rooms. Ceasers palace room was never busy for the size of room and hotel. Neither was harrahs or bally's. Planet Hollywood did ok usually getting four or five tables. These are all NL only rooms except for Bally's.

    When you own half the strip and your crown jewel of poker is a 2-4 room which the Flamingo mostly is I guess they saw that as a problem. I think they're intention with the jackpot was to drive business to the other rooms. When it's high that has worked. When it get's hit nobody play's there. They did just bring back a freeroll 20 hrs. over 2 weeks top 40 get $500 trying to bring back the locals. I think that will work but I don't see those other promos at Flamingo coming back soon.
     
  13. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    What you say reflects perfectly what I heard from a dealer at the Flamingo. He seemed annoyed that they all had been working hard and doing a good job and then got punished for being successful.
    I stopped playing at Caesar's when they stopped serving anything but sh**t alcohol. In those days if I could not get Myer's Rum comped, I did not play. Until then I liked the 3-6 game there. Now in my new diet, I suppose the drink does not matter but I'll bet I can't get the big bottles of Perrier there as I can at Flamingo.

    I'm a limit player so Harrah's is a useless room for me.
    Bally's has a nice 3-6 but only certain hours and then there is often waiting for a game to begin or waiting for a single table to open a seat.
    What I liked about Flamingo is that I could always find a table and I could easily switch to another if I did not like the table selection factor. The dealers and floor there are very cooperative and most remember me.
    How can a dealer like Dave at the Flamingo not only remember me after a year but also that we talked about kindles and ask me if I still like reading in mine? Amazing!
    They must be annoyed that the high hand bonuses went away as it certainly boosted their tips.

    The dealers attract me to that Flamingo game. Steve in particular is such a comical character. But all are welcoming and friendly.
    I also loved it when we were getting some decent room offers with poker play from CET. Maybe some of you still are.
    I'm not.
    Mine have for the most part dried up and the new resort fee makes the lower rates not competitive with what I can get at places that have both live poker and full pay VP driving my room offers.
    So that CET bean counter decision did push me out of the Flamingo room as planned, but into venuesnot CET. In fact they pushed me out of wanting to play or stay on the strip at all. I was surprised to be pushed out to Sam's Town because frankly there was often a sort of unfriendly local cliquish attitude there and I was totally turned off by a 3-6 game a few year back. So, I had not played more than the morning tournaments. CET changed my mind about Sam' Town.
    I don't much like staying at CET anyway. The check in lines are long and if you go early, they want an extra $20 to let you occupy a room that is ready and waiting. Heck, I stayed last trip for 25 nights in Vegas and my hotel room average was just $15 a night, taxes and everything. I sure don't want to rent a room for $5 an hour extra.
    Once this past trip I got all twisted up and checked into the D at 9AM thinking it was noon. No one blinked. They just gave me a room. And no early check in fee either. This was my first stay there since they go rid of the thin military mattresses. I was very comfortable. Instead of the early check in fee, they gave me matchplays and food coupons equal to half what it cost to rent the room. Think I'll go back?
    That easy early check in means the check in check out day is not wasted waiting to get access to a shower or a nap. It also means that in many cases instead of careful packing to move, I can make three quick trips before I have to check out of the prior hotel. If that is 4 Queens the quick trips are short too. Finding any short trip from or to a room in a CET property is a miracle.
    I jump around and patch deals together, playing where I stay to keep the deals coming. I can usually check out as late as 1PM, but I'm often more comfortable going about 11 AM and getting settled in a new spot about noon or so.
    A quiet room at Rio, Quad, Harrah's is a dice roll as well. So much loud late night music around those places. I can easily get quiet anywhere else. When I ask for it at Sam's Town they put me in a room at the end of the hall that is not only quiet but where I can play my television late night if I can't sleep and I won't bother my neighbor because it is on a wall where there are no neighbors.
    I was booked with a before March 1 (no resort fee) booking at the Quad for this last trip, but I switched to the D and saved money. I was motivated by reports that the housekeeping had deteriorated backed with photos on this board and by reports on trip advisor that folks had suffered breakins and lost valuables, once while they were sleeping.

    Because I go to Vegas primarily for low limit and advantage gambling, the strip is probably not matched to my needs much anyway.

    And now hourly comps have been watered down by the huge boost in CET buffet prices. It takes a long while to earn a buffet in a CET poker room. If two rooms both give $1 an hour that I plan to use for the day's food, and one place has a $10 buffet, and another a $30 buffet, well... that really means the CET room has an effective hourly comp of 33 cents an hour, huh?

    Fine to see the freeroll coming back.
    Thanks for the perspective. It helps me make booking decisions for my next trip. I like staying in or near where I want to play so when I wake up at 3AM (as I seem to in this old guy life) I can stumble into the last remnants of a game. Sam's town worked great for that and the cracked Aces were alive and well at that hour of the early morning, adding frosting to the cake. In fact, of the five at the table, 3 hit cracked Aces in the span of a half hour. Unfortunately not me.
    Thanks for your post.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  14. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Dewey - Good observations regarding the reported demise of the Flamingo room.

    The only reason to stay at a CET property is free comps from plays at non Vegas casinos with playable VP or live poker. During my "Race for Rewards" and the online game, I was able to earn $750 in comp dollars, won a free trip to AC (well, except for the tax due on the FMV), $195 additional comp dollars and a $25 Macy's card. I earned Platinum in a day, playing a decent 9/5 JOB $1 3 line at Bally's AC, and my current offers are based on play from last year (also had decent numbers during my one trip to Tahoe and my local casino in Hammond for the "Race"). This year there is no race so my sole trip to CET is to burn Vegas room comps. Since CET Vegas properties offer limited playable VP, I generally stick with Limit and Tournament poker and little else (occasional BJ) during my comp stays. Their non Vegas properties offer little beyond gambling, so they must remain competitive to maintain their market share.

    I always qualified for the weekly freerolls at Flamingo in the past, and will if I can qualify for the 20 hour freeroll you mentioned if possible during my August/September 12 night trip. CET is too greedy in Vegas with the poor BJ and VP offerings. The resort fee made things worse for most visitors.

    The bottom line is CET and MILFe Strip Properties earn about 2/3 of their revenue from hotel room rates, food/beverage, clubs, shows, pool clubs and other amenities and 1/3 from gambling. The gambling portion continues to decrease, and the casinos are actively seeking out non gambling but free spending guests to replace the gamblers which made up the bread and butter of Vegas revenue in the previous century.

    Unless the club scene / non gambling revenue dries up, I expect the trend to continue. Thankfully Vegas still offers other alternatives, with dozens of casinos committed to serving gamblers with quality game and comp offerings.
     
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