So I touched down in Vancouver yesterday and it was freezing! It was about 50 degrees, not raining or windy, but just cold. Other people seemed used to it... Even a few people were wearing shorts around outside, while I am in bundles of clothes. I suppose I am just used to the hot Tucson climate. In general, the people of Vancouver are wonderful, everyone is really friendly and helpful. There are so many different kinds of people here: asians, latins, white, black, european, etc... It seems like everyone is treated equal, unlike in America. I was pretty muched wiped out from travelling all day, so when I checked into my hotel room, I just crashed.
The next day (today) I decided to check out the casino and try to pre-register for some tournaments. River Rock Casino is beautiful, it looks like a huge, quiet log cabin, but inside they have lots of table games, a theatre, bar, restaurant, and more. I walked upstairs to check out the poker room... My first impression was that it was pretty small, but I got there around 2pm, and realize that most people don't play on weekdays till after 5pm, so I am sure there will be a lot of action next time later in the night. I did play though! I decided to play 5/10nl (which was their biggest game) with a $20 straddle. The max buyin was $1k so that's what I bought in for. So we start playing and there is an empty seat that they are holding for "Brad". Brad shows up about 5 minutes later and its Brad "Yukon" Booth (LFISGD) online. He is known to be one of the upcoming cash game players and lots of pros consider him to be one of the best. I am kind of shy, so I didn't say anything to him, but everyone else was treating him as a God, lol. A pretty large crowd started to gather around to watch. Brad was playing great, and running hot. People were handing him money, and then talking/joking around with him right after. This one tourist got stacked by him TWICE, then proceeded to join the rail and even offered Brad a bottle of Evian water!! I mean, how nice must it be to have that kind of status in the poker world? lol. It kind of reminded me of when someone wins the lottery, and all of a sudden they hear from their 3rd cousins and long lost friends. It seemed like everyone just wanted to be his friend, and do stuff for him. I just realized that he is from Canada, so maybe that's why he has such a big celebrity status here in Vancouver. Yukon was playing a lot of hands, making a lot of underbets and overbets, he was mixing it up and it was working. I was kind of just observing him at the table, and trying to learn something from him. He was very friendly and smart at the table, and it was nice to be able to play with him. Brad introduced himself to me later, which I thought was cool.
Back to the 5/10 game... I played two big pots during those 3 hours:
1. I get AA in early position and make it $60 (5/10 blinds with a $20 straddle). I get one caller in LP, and the BB reraises to $220. Let me describe him: He is about 65, and has been brown-nosing Brad Booth the whole time. I have noticed him saying "Give me a face card dealer!" multiple times. He has been playing tight and is very easy to push around. From the information I have gathered, I can put him on about 4 hands.... JJ, QQ, KK, AKs. I think he is calling a shove by me with KK and QQ, he might fold AKs and JJ. I decided just to go all in, for about $1k (I had him covered by $150), and he thinks for a couple mins, then calls with QQ. The flop is nice: K63, turn 4, river Q. The crowd kinda blew up when the 2-outter hit, but I see that often because I play a lot of hands online, so I am not tilted, or upset.
2. Unfortunate hand here. The same guy in the previous hand was UTG and he limped (at this point, I am thinking 22-77, KQ maybe... I am not sure. I look down at KK and decided to limp behind him. The reason I did this because everyone at the table was starting to get looser, more talkative and I just had a feeling someone would get out of line and raise. A couple more limpers behind me, then the SB says "$300 more". Let me describe the SB: One hand, he limped-reraised all in UTG with AKo. I haven't seen him showdown any hands, but he has only been playing about an hour. Brad Booth folds the BB, then the old guy UTG who limped in goes into the tank. At that point, I was confused, isn't it clear the BB has a huge hand here? Why are you going into the tank? Do you have AA and are trying to hollywood? He thinks about 5 minutes then CALLS! I am pretty confused at this point, but one thing I am sure of, is that I have the old guy UTG beat. I don't think he is good enough to just smooth call that raise with AA, he would just go all in. So now there is about $750 in the pot and its on me. I decided to go all in here and take my chances that the SB has a worse hand. The SB says "I call" pretty quickly, at that point I was pretty sure he had AA. Then the old guy in the BB tanks AGAIN!! I think you can only call in his spot with KK or AA, based on his opponents and how the game is going. He folds and says he had QQ. Anyways, the guy did have AA, and I couldn't improve, so he wins the nice pot... I didn't get into any other pots worthy of discussion, and I ended up down about $2k. Not a good start in Vancouver :( But! I did play online for two hours tonight and made some money, and saw 4598330398475x as many hands as I would if I played live.
Tomorrow I might go back to the casino because Johnny Chan is there and he is doing poker lessons on stage of a huge theatre. Phil Hellmuth is also here, and I think he is going to be giving lessons too. This may be the only chance I get to receieve lessons from THE Phil Hellmuth so I might as well go see the show. I also plan on doing some more sightseeing around the City.
Check back for more updates!