Assault on Las Vegas

The Main Event begins this Friday through Monday. I’m going to register to play my first day on day 1d, Monday 6th July. That gives me six nights in Vegas to prepare. No drinking, plenty of sleeping, eating well, a gym session and a blog entry every day. Lol does that sound optimistic? Well, I have the goal of being properly prepared for the biggest tournament of my life, I have plenty of reading material and I have four training tournaments to occupy me.

A number of Vegas casinos run deep-stack tournaments starting at 12noon each day, like the Main Event. One day the Bellagio, next day Caesars Palace, another day the Venetian and finally the $1090 tournament at the Golden Nugget. I can win that on the Saturday and have a day off before the Main Event starts. If I get through day 1d there is another day off before day 2b on Wednesday 8th July. Players then get one more day of rest before the big push starts from Friday through Wednesday.

Obviously paying $12,500 to enter five tournaments is a little bit of a departure from my normal bankroll management approach but f*ck it, If I’m going to play the Big One I can’t prepare by playing $100 tourneys or $1-2 cash games.

As for the shows, clubs and bars, they will have to wait until next time if I make a deep run in The Main Event.

During each of the preliminary tournaments I will be focussed on two goals. Firstly, re-establishing the Hellmuth/Navarro table posture that worked well for me during EPT San Remo. Its not much fun but effective at reducing the information I transmit. Its not really necessary against a lot of players but may be crucial in higher buy-in events where I will encounter some very observant pros. Resting my chin on my fists, body in a neutral position, baseball cap, relaxed and breathing normally, eyes focussed on my opponent or on the middle of the table. I don’t have to be in this position for the full twelve hours every day, just every time I’m in a hand, from the moment I look at my cards to the moment I fold them. At the same time, I need to re-read that Navarro book to clarify exactly what I’m looking for in my opponents’ body language. Although I haven’t got a great deal experience playing live poker, I have spent the last eighteen months getting paid for sitting at a poker table, so I should be OK.

Secondly, I want to transfer to Las Vegas the aggressive and active game that has generated success for me online. Playing a few more hands from a few more positions than most, especially during the Main Event when most players will be playing fewer hands less aggressively. Relying on my tried and trusted modes of thought to analyse each situation and find the best option, making a plan for the hand and having the courage to execute that plan, however difficult it might be and however far from the standard or safe answer. Its harder to bluff live, because you’ve got a guy staring you down and you can’t hide behind a computer screen. Thats why the Hellmuth/Navarro approach is so important.


Back at the tables at Dusk Till Dawn, loads of people wish me luck and congratulate me for winning the seat. ‘How much was the satellite?’ ‘Where are you staying?’ ‘Which day are you playing’. It makes a pleasant change from being constantly asked about and sympathised with re: The Mugging. That got a bit much after reliving it the first fifteen times.

Punter #1: ‘I’m sorry to hear about what happened Joe’

Punter #2: ‘Why? What happened to him?’

Punter #1: ‘Oh he got mugged when he was coming back from work on his bike, they broke his jaw I think. What was it Joe, three guys?’

Joe: (sigh) ‘Yes mate, there were three blokes…’

Punter #2: ‘F*cking bstrds. What did they take?’

Joe: (sigh)(reels off list of stuff)

Punter #2: ‘Bstrds… You know, I wish they would have tried to mug me… I wish it was me they mugged. You shouldn’t ride home on your own, you know.’

Joe: (sigh) ‘Yeh, you’re right, thanks.’


Walking up the street I overhear a fragment of conversation between a middle-aged lady and a young man. The guy is presumably a friend of the family or some other acquaintance. He has obviously just asked her how she is. She, with white hair, looking a bit frazzled from the sun, offers more than a cursory reply.

‘Listen, people have their ups and downs. I don’t really want to go into that… but this time for me now, this is my up time, do you understand?’ (smiles and nods)

Thats all I get as I continue up the road. I grin broadly as the sentiment resonates.


One Response to “Assault on Las Vegas”

  1. dean aston Says:

    watchin with intrest bro

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