If you’re bored you can read about my crappy Macau trip here.

Poker in Macau is pretty lame. Compared to Vegas, the games are sparse, full of regs and tight nits, with long wait lists. Oh yeh, and rake is a bitch.

I stayed at the Wynn, and they had a 25/50 and 50/100 NL holdem game running the first night I was in Macau. The waitlist was around 15 people on Saturday night. I signed up, but took my name off the list after an hour of waiting and only moving up 1 spot.

I checked out the poker tables at the Venetian and the City of Dreams. The Venetian feels like there could be some juicy games, cause it’s full of tourists and I’m sure the random fish walks into the poker room to try his luck. However, I saw 1 25/50 game running, 3-4 50/100 games, and maybe 1 larger game. The 25/50 had like a 30+ person waitlist, while 50/100 had around 10 or so.

City of Dreams wasn’t much better, but it was probably cause I was there during a Red Dragon tournament. There was 1 25/50 table, with a 50 person waitlist… WTF. There were a few other cash games, but I think most of the people there were just waiting for the tournaments.

My Experience Playing in Macau (Session 1)

I played 2 sessions while I was in Macau, both on a Sunday.

I played 25/50 at the Wynn in the afternoon, starting around 3, and ending around 6:30 or 7. When I went, there was 1 full table but no one waiting, so I was first on the waitlist. I waited close to an hour before enough people came and they opened a second table. I bought in for 5K, and only sat at my table for about half an hour before I got moved to the main table (must move).

There is only 1 word to describe all the players, and it’s tight and straightforward.

I think if I brought more to play with, I would’ve played a little bit more loose aggressive. There’s definitely situations you can take advantage of, but I didn’t want to try too many moves and risk my whole stack.

Most hands went uncontested if there was a raise. There were very few re-raises preflop that I remember.

One memorable hand, I had 68 single suited on the button. Early position Russian dude raises to 150, and there is one other caller before me. I had played a hand with the Russian dude earlier. I had 55, and he had raised, and fired on the flop of 478 with two clubs. Turn was a blank, and river was a K of clubs. He fired on all 3 streets, and on the river, I was seriously contemplating a shove, but I worried about running into KK. He seemed like a pretty straightforward player, and I highly doubt he leads out on the river with a hand that doesn’t call my shove there, so I folded.

Anyway, back to the hand in question, the flop comes 792 with 2 spades. Russian guy c-bets 300, middle position folds, and I call on the button with my open ended straight draw.

Turn is a J of spade. Russian guy checks. There’s about 1.1K in the middle, and I bet 850. Russian guy calls really quickly, and I’m like shit he has a real hand.

River is a Q of spades.

Russian guy instant checks, which has me worried for a second. But there was something off about how the hand played out, and based on the way he played previous hands (he also had a hand where he had aces, and he led and ultimately shoved to put the other guy all in), it seemed like he would’ve led out if he had an Ace of spades or a King of spades.

At this point, I had around 2.5 or 2.8K left, and I shoved.

I just sat there as still as I could. It was a typically standard play, but I still get a little bit nervous when I play live. He thinks about it for awhile (which was a good sign for me), and eventually mucks.

I honestly had no idea if I even had a spade. I was afraid that if I looked at my hand, that would be a tell or a sign of weakness in his eyes, and then this play wouldn’t work.

Once he mucked, I looked at my hand, and I ended up having a 6 of spades. So who knows, maybe I could’ve value bet the river if I had remembered I had a spade, haha.

Anyway, aside from luck-balling that hand, most other hands weren’t really that memorable. I didn’t have any big pocket pairs to stack off with, and I didn’t hit any sets. I played mostly small ball and position, trying to steal the occasional pot here and there.

I tried to pick off other people’s bluffs or weak bet attempts, and raised when I sensed weakness.

Overall, I wouldn’t say that the players I played were bad, but they were mostly just one dimensional tight players, and just waited for good hands. I saw a few hands where a guy shoved AK and got called with AA, and another AA vs KK hand. It was mostly these types of hands, and if I didn’t actually know how to play poker, I probably would’ve just blinded away my chips since I had gotten no cards all day.

I ended up the first session up 2 or 2.5K, I don’t remember the exact amount, but it was a total grind and super tedious. I should’ve just played more loose and attacked more pots. Can’t exactly say it was fun, since I really didn’t have much to work with.

Session 2

The second session ended much more quickly. After I grabbed dinner with Celine, I went back to the tables and bought in for 5K. I only played for about an hour or so. This time, there were 2 memorable hands, both of which had me on the losing end.

I had JJ in the SB, and an early position limped, and the button raises to 300. I re-raise to 850, the limped player folds, and the button calls.

The flop comes AQ3 all diamonds. I check and he checks.

Turn is an 8 or something. Goes check check again.

River is a 5 of diamonds, and I’m like this is so gay. I check and the button bets 200. Haha. I’m curious even though I know I’m beat, but I just have to see what this guy called a reraise with and didn’t bet the whole way.

Of course he has Q5 of clubs. LOLOL. I didn’t have a diamond so that one kinda sucked.

He actually had a pretty big stack, and was raising quite a bit, so it seems like a LAG style might actually work well in this game.

Then, I had another hand where I had 89 on the button. Early position raises and another guy calls, and I call on the button.

Flop comes A 7 J with two hearts.

Early position bets about half pot, the guy behind him folds, and I call since I sensed some weakness.

The turn is a 3 of hearts and the guy checks. I bet about 2/3 to 3/4 of the pot, and he thinks about it and calls.

Turn is a 10, filling up my straight. However, the guy bets into me around 1100 or so.

I don’t know what got into me, but I didn’t think this hand through clearly enough. That’s a super strong bet, and I should’ve picked up on it, but I instead did something stupid (I shoved), and he insta-called with the nut flush. He had QK, so even if there were no hearts, he would’ve stacked me with the nut straight anyway.

Since I had only sat down for a bit, I should’ve given a random person credit for a strong hand, especially when they lead out on the river. It’s such an obvious play, but I was just being stubborn since I was still probably a little annoyed about the Q5 hand.

Anyway, definitely a bad play on my part, but the games are definitely beatable if you play a little bit outside the box. Most players played ABC poker, and were super tight, and it wouldn’t be hard to bet aggressively whenever you sense weakness and pick up some pots.

However, overall, the atmosphere and vibe definitely wasn’t for me. Everyone was super serious, and it was just boring and tiring. It was OK for me to go and fuck around for a weekend trip, but I can’t imagine living there and grinding like that every day. Oh well, to each his own.


Playing Poker in Macau (September 2017)
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