Monday, November 08, 2004

One ... and One ... and One

The streak of poor results in live play has ended. Then, the new streak of positive results in live-game play ended at one, as did the next streak of negative results. The upshot is a positive weekend of live play marred only by large swings.

We already knew that Gil wouldn't want to play on Saturday. At least, he wouldn't be able to; he had a gig. I suggested that we play on Friday, but it took a spur-of-the-moment decision on Gil's part before we actually did so. I'm glad we did.

I got a chance to play a few hands of Stud before my $6/$12 seat was called, although on second thought perhaps "play" is too strong a word. I was dealt maybe seven or ten hands and didn't see a single one past fourth street. Even some of the fourth streets I saw were iffy; I had a baby pair or a three-flush with two of my cards dead, but in both cases I was able to take off fourth street for the bring-in only. Fourth street didn't help, and I folded. Then, of course, they called my $6/$12 seat.

It had been a while since I'd played $6/$12 in Mt. Pleasant, or really played live at all above the casino's lowest limit. As regular readers know, I've been broke, and my play has been staked by Gil. Gil's own bankroll is such that he can only stake someone into the casino-of-the-day's lowest-stakes game, so that I've mainly been playing $3/$6 of late.

I've gotta say, $6/$12 is a whole lot different than $3/$6. At $3/$6, I most commonly search out the players with a clue, in search of whom to avoid. At $6/$12, my job is exactly the opposite: My opponents are mostly assumed to have a clue, and I'm searching out the weak players to find out whom to attack. Overall, this seems like a more successful strategy, plus, I'm catching cards. So, even though Gil starts playing $3/$6 and only joins me at the $6/$12 table later in the day, we still both end up posting wins, me around $250 and Gil around $50.

The conversation is also a bit more mature at the $6/$12 level; you don't hear as much "How could you stay in on six-four?" because the eight decent players at the table understand that what goes around, comes around, and when it does, it'll hit you hard.

I sound as if this is the first time I've played anything other than $3/$6. That's not the case, of course, but being broke for the last couple of months has made me appreciate the niceties that a higher-limit game provides. Interestingly, the $10/$20 game there doesn't seem that much more difficult; it's a lot of the same players, with the added advantage that the it's-all-gambling mindset is more likely to sit $10/$20 than $6/$12. (Actually, they're most likely to sit a no-limit game, but a true no-limit game is spread in Michigan only at Greektown in Detroit. I've talked about that game before; it attracts sports figures and celebrities who have what can only be termed Too Much Money. As in Rounders, "The stakes attract rich flounders, and that in turn attracts the sharks.")

... and One

I returned early Saturday morning, without Gil, to partake in the $6/$12 game again. Early on, there was a drunk on the table, who was a big contributor; I took a couple of pots off of him and got out to a quick $200 profit. But I bled that back over the next hours, even though the drunk's seat was filled by another (lesser-caliber) maniac. A couple of tough beats, coupled with poor play on my part, pissed away my profit and $165 besides, before I decided that it was entirely possible that I was the fish at that point, and cashed out my measly $35 in chips and went home.

The second day at the casino was interesting; there were several people there who I recognized from the night before, who hadn't changed clothes, and were probably on the tables all night. One of these was a fellow who was a donator while he was on my $6/$12 table, who had migrated to the $10/$20 game. I didn't have enough cash to sit the $10/$20 to take advantage of this, but I kept an eye on his stack. He never had a mountain of chips in front of him, but neither did I see him reload.

I also saw a former regular in Manistee, Boris, a young Russian who still loves to pull out Teddy KGB lines, because he's, well, Russian. (He says Malkovich's accent is horrible, but it is John Malkovich.) Although it didn't happen, I was looking forward to playing with him, because he's far too loose, especially in the defense of his blinds. I did see him reload at least once while I was there, on the other $6/$12 table.

... and One

I had planned to take Sunday off from live play, to play online and return to the casino on Monday, probably to play in Manistee's tournament. But Gil decided early Sunday morning that he did in fact want to play in a casino, and that his business wouldn't so much allow him to do that on Monday or Tuesday. Gil's original thought was to go down to the Trump to play, but that's probably the longest drive of any of our "usual" casinos, so I talked him out of it. We ended up playing in Manistee, their usual $4/$8 game. This was profitable for both of us.

They only got one game going all day, and when we got there it was still short-handed. Gil and I sat down, and a few minutes later the last empty seat was filled by James, the best player in that room. But nearly every other position at the table was filled by a new player, most of whom were horrible. Unfortunately, they all busted out pretty quickly, but on the plus side I made a few nice pots off of them to jump out to a $200+ profit. My luck turned when they left, though; tough beats got put on me again and again, sprinkled with a few tiny pots I grabbed when nobody else seemed interested in them. Fortunately, another new face sat down eventually and blew through $450 or so, to bring me back to a $50 profit on the day.

Gil never had the big downswing during the day, although he finished $100 or so off his peak. Even so, his day provided a good $200 profit, so we each had a profitable weekend.

Surprisingly, one of my opponents in Sunday's game, a loose-aggressive one who can either kill you or get you healthy in a hurry, showed up on one of my $2/$4 BBJ tables this morning. His luck seemed to be pretty similar to how he did on Sunday; he left down around $40 in the 20-30 minutes I sat with him. But then, it doesn't seem to be my day, either.


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