Another good trip to Foxwoods. No companions this trip except Jean Scott on tape talking about gambling comps. I bought the tape for $1 when I heard her speak in Vegas and had not yet listened.
The bus was fairly full again, and most of the people had boarded in Latham. I picked a skinny woman who sat a bit sideways thinking that I would not be too crowded. Well, it seemed that she and her companion across the isle had planned on having two seats to themselves unless a fellow like me came along. The companion moved over and I caught the two seats for myself. Lucky already.
I was not lucky in movies. The comedy was so silly I can’t remember it. Still it made the time go. I did not sleep. I wanted to. I had not slept well the night before. I was awake at 3:30 and restless until 4:45 when I got up and made breakfast.
It had been cold in the car and cold waiting for old folks to board the bus. It was an easy enough ride, but I would have preferred a good companion.
In the poker room I did not start in a brand new a new game as I had in times before. I joined players who had been playing all morning; some had been there since the night before. It was a nice mix. A young couple and a friendly fellow about their age bantered at my end of the table. All three were fairly good players, but they gave total information on how they played, kidding about others playing trash, showing cards most of the time. In between, they teased and flirted and joked. Jill was perky and bold; her easy going husband let her be herself. Her long black hair and low cut sweater made her easy on the eyes. She teased with other players, including Ray at the the other end who was in his seventies. “If only I was ten years older” she said. She made us smile.
A heavy Irish kid named Tom sat next to me. He liked having a seat near Jill. They had all played there before together and were easy with each other. They bantered with some of it mildly sexual. Jill was quick and sharp and cute. She knew what she held and where the game was. Tom was the guy you want to drink beers with in the bar.
I started with a straight on the flop, but when I raised to preclude flush draws, all five other bets folded. It was odd to me, but I liked winning my first hand. The second hand I also caught a straight and lost to a straight flush. Now I wondered if I was actually there and awake or had overslept my alarm and missed the trip only to dream hands.
My second best status continued. I lost on straight after straight to flushes or higher straight. I did not overbet any of them, but lost just the same. In one that particularly hurt, I bet the best straight possible, a ten-jack, hoping that others had a straight just to the ten. And then a third diamond came on the river. I would have made good money on that hand as any smaller straights would have called my final bet or perhaps raised. I was down all morning and by noon had lost my $200 buy in and added another $100 to keep playing.
Still I liked the table. There were few preflop raises and reraises. Players were pretty predictable. Jill did like to raise too often to have her on my left, but not enough that anyone waited for her and reraised. She was very lucky and accumulated a huge stack of chips. She was good, but she put too much value on low pairs.
There was one heavily accented Slavic fellow who was fairly new tot he game and played trash. He won quite a bit and took quite a bit of kidding, especially when the win was 7-2. But he lost too and accumulated just enough chips to stay in the game. He was not aggressive enough to steal hands. I never saw him actually caught stealing. But he was in most hands and he stopped players from overbetting small hands because they did not know what he might have. The rest were solid conservative players. But I was one of three tight players there.
I started to get hands. I had to let other people bet in to me because I had tightened up for so long after my losses that were I to come out firing both guns I’d have scared them off. Most would bet if they detected weakness. Against one of the best players at the table I bet my pocket aces. I was raised on the turn. My third ace came on the river. My opponent checked his three eight's and called my bet. He had read me well. I’d have done well to take more time betting that river and look as weak as possible.
In an hour I was about even. Tom, the young fellow next to me was drinking Johnny Walker Black and so I joined him and relaxed into the banter. I had been relatively quiet for me. I could tell the young folks were not sure of me. There had been little lull in the banter, and I was an old guy after all. But I found an opening and started a successful tease which went very well. Our end of the table was definitely having too much fun.
Players were easy to read. The scotch relaxed me. I seemed to know when to fold my pocket queens and when to take them to the river for a win.
More than any other time my habit of never showing cards worked very well for me. I was a mystery. They never saw what I had. Old Ray complained to the fellow next to him that he wanted to see but did not want to pay. One hand he did pay. I had the goods. I never bluffed once. I raised once n the button, hoping for a free turn card if my straight draw did not come, but the Slavic guy did not remember to wait for me, and bet on the next time into me. As I won more and more hands I could feel my opponents begin to wonder if I was stealing. And that was good. In this game it was not unusual for a raise on the river to force a fold. Not knowing whether I was bluffing would encourage a call. And I think I did get a few that way.
The scotch took over; I relaxed. Time mellowed, and I had a good time. And the cards came. Lots of junk to fold for free and good flops with the good cards. No more second best hands. Randomness smiled on me.
People started to drop out. Old Ray was down to his last chips. I raised my pocket nines. “No one can beat you,” he said as he called my raise. I suspected he had some good cards. The flop was 9-10-10, a full house. Ray bet and I called. His last chips came on the river. I raised. The other opponent folded. Old Ray had two eight's.
Johnny Walker Tom ran out of chips. His drinking had not helped his game. He had gone a little on a quiet defeatist tilt. He was openly disgusted as he called weak hands.
I was ready to eat and would have left, but I got caught and posted my big blind just as the table changed players. So I stayed to play a final round. A yahoo guy joined the table raising and talking loud about loosening the table up and also came three other new players. That meant I needed to be off. I held A-5 and Yahoo raised. It flopped A-5. I checked to let Yahoo bet on my left, let everyone call, and then raised. Some stayed until until the river and then I was head to head with a smaller two pair. Thanks Yahoo for building that pot. Two hands later Yahoo raised and another new fellow reraised and I was gone.
I was up $382. I checked my keno results. Another $15 in winnings. At the Rewards center I picked up my voucher for a free ride next week. Maybe Robin will go along. I had a fine free meal at the buffet and walked down to see the sample displays advertising the Pequot museum and listen to the story of the Pequot massacre.
I stopped at the bar to see what the price of Johnny Walker on the rocks would have been had I paid for it. $10.
So almost $400 in winnings, $40 in free scotch, $16 free buffet and a totally free bus ride. Not bad even if the movies were dumb.
There is no jockeying for seats on the way home so I sat comfortably and watched Robin Williams in an RV travel the West with his family in slapstick style.
I was home by 9. No free offers for rooms in the mail, but my free American Casino Guide came. Money and coupons in the same day. A good day gambling.