Thursday, February 19, 2004


Being impressed with my performance Friday and Saturday at the Trump Casino in Gary, Indiana, Dave and I went back there again Monday evening. Dave sat $3/$6 (I gave him Kanish's deal from the beginning of Rounders), while I sat $5/$10, and $10/$20 once they opened it an hour or so later.

It went badly. Tossing off a rack of red is bad enough, but putting more money on the table didn't help. Adding insult to injury, I played $5/$10 the next day (even after they opened the $10/$20), and lost more money. I believe, total, I ended up losing about $1200.

I didn't have as much luck as I did Friday and Saturday. Mostly, that's the right word, luck, because at least 70-80% of the problem I attribute to poor cards. 5-10% of the problem was probably my own mistakes. (I know of a couple of small ones, but I'm accounting for mistakes I don't know about.) And whatever is left is, I think, due to times I was outplayed. I don't know about any times I was outplayed, but of course, I wouldn't.

I don't normally complain about a bad run of cards, but they were bad. I didn't have AA a single time. I had KK once, but had to muck it (which turned out to be correct). I had QQ twice, and won with it once. This is in two days. The second day (at $5/$10) I won exactly four pots. I know, because I counted how many half-dollars I had used for dealer tokes.

Fortunately, I can do an accounting trick so that it doesn't look like I've done as badly over the last week as I have, because my "fiscal weeks" start Tuesday and end Monday. Still, it's not pretty; I've lost pretty much everything I made last week.

When I got home, though, the cards finally turned. Unfortunately it was a tournament rather than a cash game, but I finished 35th for a net profit of $50. I was in good shape up until there were about 50 left, when I took a big hit because a ragged flop hit my opponent harder than me. Finally I made my stand with my leftover chips with AJ, but my opponent had AQ, and I was out.

Home Games

Wednesday night was the inaugural Home Poker Tournament that I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Dave, Gil, and I all went downtown early, 6:30ish, to have things ready for however many arrived. We got there, put the chips (and our beverages) in the room, and had the doorman call Hal and let him know we'd arrived.

Despite inviting people from three--no, four--sources, the only people there turned out to be the four of us. Eventually, we decided to have the tournament four-way, winner take all. I had prepared chip stacks for 30 people, and we didn't exactly press the limit with how many chips we'd use.

Hal, probably the least experienced of us (but not by much, compared to Dave), went out when he failed to raise a holding of QQ with rags on the board. I was jamming the ragged flop with AKo, and if he had raised at any time, I would have been gone. I hit my A on the river, and Hal was out.

I was next, but I don't actually remember the hand. I think Gil was the one who put me out, though, so maybe he remembers and will enighten us.

Then came the epic headsup battle between Gil and Dave. Gil looked to be the prohibitive favorite, based on experience and chip stack, but the lead switched several times (and Dave sucked out several times) until finally it was Dave with the huge stack of 24 black chips, and the victory. He profited $60 with his victory, and now he doesn't not have money.

We hadn't had our poker itch fully scratched by the first tournament, so we had a second one, only this time Hal was out (he only had the $20 for the first buy-in). Again, I was first out (don't remember the hand this time either), and again, Dave took on Gil for the championship and won. His $100 profit from two games was actually a pretty good night.

We're doing it again March 24 (hint hint, BG et al), but hope to do a better job of getting people to come. It really is a nice room.


Given all the losses I've suffered lately, I've taken it a bit easier since I got home. I entered a $9+$1 MTT qualifier, and went out (disappointingly) in the middle of the pack. I was trying to be too clever, betting out when I hit second pair because I had just a limper or two for opponents. It's a bit confusing when you bet (or raise) to find out if someone has you beat, and they don't raise, they just call. And so I was beat a couple of times by top pair, weak kicker, and ran out of chips.

I'm currently sitting two $3/$6 rings. I don't know if it's the caliber of opponents at $3/$6, or the caliber of opponents at 2AM (EST), but I'm cleaning up here. I'm up about $15 at one table, and $170 at the other, playing pretty ABC poker. Oh, I've hit a couple of monster flops (flopped quad sixes once), and slowplayed those for mostly good effect, but I don't think my run of cards has been much better than average.

So that's probably my new plan, then, is to continue to play a couple of $3/$6 tables, rather than the single $5/$10 table. The $5/$10 players, especially during the day, are damnedly clever, especially during the day, and I've lost a few too many big pots over the last week.

That is, of course, when I'm not at the casino. That room at the Trump really is nice.