Having gotten my stack up to about $1900 from $640, I headed over to Cafe Bellagio with my $15 comp. I didn't know what to expect there, but supposedly it's the only place open, and I was starving. I ordered a $12 club sandwhich and an orange juice which turned out to be $7, and called a friend in Philadelphia whom I used to play poker with a lot in college. He suggested I try to tag along with Bijou and Nikki when they leave, but I didn't see how I could get this to work. Besides, I wouldn't want to have to be around their friend in any sort of social setting beyond a poker table, and I'm not really much for tagging along anyway. If I were that desperate to know what their lives are like I would buy tabloid magazines.
When I got back to the poker room and walk up the steps to the high limit area, Nikki and Bijou are just leaving. I tried to quickly come up with something to say to get them to stick around, but all I could come up with was "leaving already?" which sounded stupid in my head, so I just said "bye, have a good night." "Good night," said one of them and they left. I was surprised to see that their obnoxious European friend was still playing. It occured to me that this eliminated one of my reasons for not hanging out with them, and I thought momentarily of pursuing them. Because I'm not retarded, I immediately realized that this was a ridiculous idea and sat down in my seat. While the blinds approached, I tried to decide whether to keep playing. I did not feel overmatched at this table by any means, but the stakes were really too high for me to justify continuing to play any longer without the huge advnatage I had over my opponents when Nikki and Bijou were playing. I was still having fun though, so I decided to play one more round and then leave. "Tonight is going to make for a great blog entry" I thought to myself. "Don't fuck it up by losing all your money before you go." I resolved to play very tightly and probably just fold all the rest of my hands.
My first hand, in the big blind, was QQ. There were two limpers, the SB called, and I abandoned my tight-passive vow and raised to $120. Everyone folded and I won $60. Two hands later, on the button, I played 97o after several players limp in. This was another flagrant violation of my vow of tightness. The flop came 994 and it was checked around. The turn was a 7, giving me a full house. It was checked to me, I bet $60, and everyone folded. The guy to my right, a Venezuelan man who I had difficulty understanding and who sometimes resorted to speaking to me in Spanish (which I do not understand), told me "good bluff!" and tried to get me to admit that it was a bluff. I just nodded and thanked him when he persisted in saying things like "that was a good bluff...right??" A few hands later something possessed me to limp in with 7d5d and the flop came 6s 8s Tc, giving me an open-ended straight draw but also putting a flush draw on the board and a possible higher straight. A 9 came on the turn, and a K on the river. I bet both times and split the pot with someone with 78s. Eurofriend was compelled at this point to announce several times how obvious it was that we both had 7's.
My stack now stood at a bit over $2000. I folded a hand and got ready to go because I was due to put in the next big blind. Before I got a chance to leave, though, someone came back from a break and bought the button, meaning he put in both blinds and I got to play one more hand for free. So I was halfway out the door when I looked down at my hand and saw KsKh. So much for not playing many hands. The Venezuelan limped in and I raised to $100. A player to my left called, Eurofriend called, and either the blind or the Venezuelan called (I can't remember which). All of them had my $2000 covered, and at this point I was just hoping I didn't have to commit too many chips to this pot. I was hoping for no ace on the flop, in which case I would bet and hopefully take it down right there. Well, the flop came 2s 7c Kc, giving me top set. I bet $200 into the $400+ pot, making myself look possibly weak, inviting others into the pot and possibly to raise me. The man to my left folded and, to my delight, the European friend of NIkki and Bijou raised to $700. The next player folded, and the action was back on me. I had about $1700 left, enough to call the $500 and raise another $1200. I figured Euro-friend for KQ or something, but since there was only one king left in the deck and he was a weak but aggressive player, a smaller pair or a flush draw was probably equally likely. None of this really mattered, though, since there was really only one thing for me to do here.
"I'm going to go all-in," I announced without touching my chips.
Euro-friend looked at me with dismay. "Are you serious?" he asked, and I just raised my eyebrows and nodded. The Venezuelan guy left at this point for a smaking break.
"Well, I know we both have flush draws," Eurofriend said, "the only quesiton is, do you have the ace? The only thing that beats me is the ace high flush draw." Clearly, he was implying that he had the queen high draw. I said nothing and just sat there and waited for him to make his decision. I was almost indifferent to whether he called or folded here. His calling has a slight positive expectation for me if he does indeed have the flush draw, but obviously I wouldn't mind if he folded and didn't make me sweat it out for the pot, which was already almost $2000. If he didn't really have the flush draw I would prefer he called, but he had no real reason to lie about this here. He asked me how much I had left, and, after a couple of minutes, he finally called.
Not willing to look anywhere but at the table lest I not be the first to know what cards have come out, I watched and hoped that no clubs would come or that the board would pair. It was all I could do.
Turn was black: 8 of spades.
River was black: 3 of spades.
I showed my three kings, Euro-friend mucked his cards, and I raked in what was certainly now the biggest pot I'd ever won, or even seen for that matter.
The Venezuelan guy came back from smoking right after I showed my kings. He pointed at the cards on the table in shock and said "somebody had two kings??"
"Yeah, those were mine," I responded. He put out his fist for me to punch and then asked me for $100.
"How about just 30?"
"No! Why would I give you my money?!"
The guy to my left laughed and put out his fist. "You can punch MY fist for only $20!"
A few hands later (I was now sitting out), I had finally finished racking my chips. It was $4358. Assuming he really did have the flush draw, I had had about a 75% chance at that pot. I'm not quite sure how I'd be feeling right now if the cards had fallen the wrong way. I gave the dealer $5 and got up to go to the cashier. On my way down the steps some guy who I think may have been friends with the Venezuelan guy said "wow, good job!" and scratched my belly, which I only mention because it was so bizarre and creepy.
As I was leaving the poker room after cashing out, I crossed paths with Brian from the "Tilting" post. Although I don't like him, I was in a good mood and said "hey, how ya doin?"
"Good night?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said, and smiled to myself. Yes. Yes, it was.