Monday, August 02, 2004

Lossed, Victories, and a 32" Color TV

No, I don't know why there's a 32" color TV in that headline. Why do you ask? Well, then, screw you too!

Now that I've worked off tonight's quota of random statements and a borderline challenge, I can continue by talking about the last few days' play.

Tuesday's $3/$6 play left me down almost $300, mostly through my own stupid play. I paid off when other people made their hands, and rarely made any of my own. Something about my play on Wednesday made me constitutionally unable to press the "fold" button when I was clearly beat. So, I stopped my play early to avoid tilting away any more money, having played only about three hours, and in fact took Wednesday night off as well.

Sometime during that down time I determined that to get back in the game I'd have to drop limits, as my bankroll was again at dangerous levels, and so when I sat down for Thursday night's play I opened up $2/$4 tables rather than my usual $3/$6.

Once again, I found the $2/$4 tables to be a vast difference from the $3/$6 tables, in that the $2/$4 players are so uncreative and undeceptive that they might as well be playing with their cards face-up. I just opened my ring-game stats in PokerTracker, so in three or four minutes I should be able to tell exactly how good the night was, but I was up over 113 big bets, more than $450, in less than four hours. —It looks like the result is that I was up 13.41 big bets per 100 hands, which was unsustainably high, but fun.

I do remember that early on I was getting a lot of big cards, but I don't feel like my cards were spectacular after that. And even in the early going, most of those big hands didn't drag huge pots. I did feel very much that I was on my best game, and that I was making great reads, knowing when my second and third pairs were good and when they weren't. But overall, if even half Thursday's total were sustainable, the $2/$4 game would actually be more profitable than the $3/$6. I have reasons for thinking that even that level isn't sustainable, though. Mostly, it's all of my previous $2/$4 play. So, while I like $2/$4 at the moment, and I'm having a nice little run so far in today's play, I won't go so far as to claim that $2/$4 is my game now. I've made too many similar pronouncements over the last couple of months for my own comfort; going back and reading them I sound wishy-washy at best. I'll more flatteringly look at it as attempting to play the best game rather than the biggest.

In any case, with the week now on a good note, I departed Friday afternoon for Little River casino, intending to play some $1/$2 no-limit against the irregulars in the weekend crowd. The small room makes poker less intimidating to new players, I think, and the floorman can occasionally walk over to the rail and troll for players. While this is true on weeknights as well, on summer weekends there are a lot of railbirds, and the only thing that can prevent many of them from getting into a game is the possibility that they may be stuck on a long list. (The room has had a dealer shortage of late.) As the night goes on, the patrons get drunker and more willing to risk a new game, and the folks who spent most of the day playing cards begin to drift off to their hotel rooms, so there are usually seats for the railbirds, and I hoped they'd give no-limit a try.

Of course, nobody knew how the game would go, since this was the first weekend that Little River's license allowed them to deal no-limit. As it happened, there were usually six or seven names on the list, all weekend, but they were all on other games, so if they called the no-limit game, they'd have to break a $4/$8 game, and then when the no-limit game broke after just a couple of hours, there's be a long list for the $4/$8 game. When they called the third table of $4/$8 on Saturday, that killed any chance of seeing a no-limit game go that night.

Since I was short-stacked, my plan was to go home after Friday night if I finished the night even or down. When they closed the room at 3:30AM, I was down $16 after my AK failed to turn into anything on pretty much the last hand of the night. So, I went and had some eggs before going home, for some reason not having it comped but paying the $8 or so for the breakfast. On the way out, I dropped $20 into a slot machine, since one of their progressive-jackpot machines is at a historically high level and it's always the same machine in the bank that hits it. (And I do mean always: the machines are right outside the poker room, so the poker room staff is intimately familiar with those machines—especially since they make an obscenely loud racket for half an hour after the car is won.) I didn't win the car, but I did win $75, and the $55 profit put me into the black for the day, so I could do the thing I really wanted to do anyway, get a room and play again on Saturday.

I slept 'til almost noon on Saturday, despite some difficulty in sleeping, and showered and was back in the poker room at 12:30 or so. Their first game was going, full of rockish regulars so that I was glad to miss that game. But the second game didn't get going until about 2:00, so I had plenty of time to drink coffee and read the newspaper. (The poker room is small enough and I am enough of a regular that I can spread out at an empty table, even though it's probably against the rules.)

Probably the time when there was the greatest number of new or weak players on the table was when the table was first opened, including George, a man who regularly plays three hands of blackjack at a time for $100 to $500 a hand, and so (predictably) he sees $4/$8 holdem as an opportunity to socialize and gamble it up. When he hits, he wins monster pots, but he'll raise on any two cards, so alert players are willing to three-bet some questionable hands from his immediate left. I three-bet a KQ against him, and actually got to five-bet him after the river with a board of 89TJx. I might have been a little too forceful when I said that we could keep raising "until one of us runs out of money," because he only called my fifth bet, and we didn't get into one of those rare limit situations where someone does end up all-in for dozens of bets in a contested pot. (I've never been in that situation, but Gil has.) He turned over the Queen, of course, and my King-high straight beat his Queen-high straight.

After George left, the table wasn't as good. It still wasn't horrible, but there was a greater percentage of good players. In a Vegas or California room, I'd be looking for a better table or a better casino, but the casinos here are spending a lot of money in their attempts to shut out further casinos and further competition. (How this didn't happen in Las Vegas is a mystery to me.)

It was probably a bad idea, but I mentioned that I wanted to move "west" in October, and answered truthfully when asked where and why. Surprisingly, I didn't get the derision I would have expected, although maybe people were keeping it to themselves. I did hear a comment that it "takes bank" to move out there, and I answered that I knew that, that I didn't have the "bank" yet, but I half-expected and half-hoped that I would by then. And, indeed, if I can amass between five and ten thousand dollars by then, I will make the move. But I'm not there yet, and in fact it's not even very likely that I will get there as things stand now. I need a plan, and I need to stick to it, to make this happen.

Reminder: August 7, Trump Casino, Gary, Indiana

𝅘𝅥𝅮𝅘𝅥𝅮  Indiana wants me, but I can't go back there. Indiana wants me, but I can't go back there. I wish I had you to talk to ... 𝅘𝅥𝅮𝅘𝅥𝅮  

Some people requested that I plug away again about the Midwest Blogger Challenge (or whatever I called it before) at the Trump Casino in Gary (outside Chicago) this weekend. At the moment I expect to head down there Friday night, assuming there's a room available, and play until my fingers bleed, or at least until I don't feel like it anymore, and be up to play again on Saturday. I expect to meet the attendees in the poker room; you'll know me by my Detroit Tigers jersey with the number 13. (If, by some amazing coincidence, there are two people there with current-design Detroit Tigers visitors' jerseys with the number 13, mine will be the one which doesn't have Lance Parrish's name on it.) We have two bloggers confirmed, one semi-confirmed, one not-at-all-confirmed, and one would-be-confirmed-but-doesn't-have-a-fake-ID. All are welcome, bloggers and readers alike.


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