Thursday, March 15, 2007

Losing Trip with Robin

Robin and I went up on the bus on Thursday. It was a good day, but not a lucrative one for either of us. It was more crowded and the crowd was less than interesting. New arthritis meds precluded my drinking any more Johnny Walker scotch and I found their capuchino and virgin bloody marys to be less than exciting.

Seating was tight on the 4-8 so we we played some 2-4 while we waited. Unlike the Vegas 2-4 games, this one did not seem to attract people who just liked to bet. It was a real game and not Not Fold Em Hold Em, but the pots were small and the pace too slow for me. I am getting used to playing now at tables where no one needs to be reminded that it is their turn. I took the first pot with an A-J of hearts that developed into the nut hand flush. Only Robin stayed with me after the turn. I checked him on the river as we are not going to try to kill each other if we come out head to head. It just increases the rake.

When a seat opened up on a 4-8 table, I went first and Robin followed later after many requests to the floor boss. It is not a bad system there of seating people, but they are so rushed you can get dropped easily off a list.

I made money immediately and built up a profit of $160 and then it ground out over the next few hours. I left down $7 for the day, and for the first time I got zero on my keno bets so I could not break even.

No perky young girls this time. Next to me was one old grump of a woman who complained bitterly if I played less than the best hands. It let me establish a table image that I was loose, especially when I won on an A-4. And I could afford to be loose because there were so few raises before the flop and so few semibluffs afterward, that often it paid to see it. I drew great attention to my playing of a suited 5-9 of clubs when after checking to the river, my pair of nines lost to a pair of tens. I never showed when I won to others who folded or when I folded on the river.
When I A-4 flopped to give me two pair, I just bet and was called by aces with higher kickers. Of course, to a certain kind of poker player I am never supposed to do that. If they have ace-king they expect to win on kicker alone. So the old bitchy bitty complained. She was one of the most uptight, bitchy, unhappy people I have played with lately. and she had her set of rules. People always bet her because, they didn’t, “even know how to play.”

“Any two hands can win.” I told her.

Next to her was her husband and he was gentle enough. She bitched to him and not directly to any of us. Decades ago, when he was a young man of my age, he may have been a good poker player. He played well sometimes. And sometimes he played really stupidly. He had trouble folding. He knew he could not call, but rather than fold good cards that went to nothing, he would hold them up in front of him and stare at them for a while waiting for the spots to change or for the haze in his mind to get in focus and see a winning hand.

The old bitch was never critical of his play, but it was never as good as hers or up to her standards. Both of them shared the expectation of being blessed. They were good people who played a sensible game, so when randomness did not reward their perceived odds, they took it personally, and they became sadly annoyed. Poker, like life, was at base unfair. And when the poker was fair, the poker players were not.

Watching the old guys cards gave me a good bit of information over time about the way he played. His wife would watch and comment. Toward the end she started commenting before he folded and I was just going to incur her wrath by asking the dealer to limit the play of his hand to just one mind when they packed up and left.

I was glad. I better like playing with joking young people like the perky Jill from last week. I would much rather celebrate where I once have been than be faced with a picture of where I am going.

And I was glad because their leaving let Robin and I sit together and so we could chatter.

Or I could chatter and he could listen.

That is the way it works with me often to the frustration of my playing mates. On the prednizone, well, the effect of the drug was to demand of Robin more listening.

The rest were just quiet people. A couple more women came who could not play well at all. The rest of the table were men who played pretty well but were quiet and not engaging and just complained that they were not getting cards. Few characters. Just average dull folks.

One yahoo came and sat to my right for a few hands. He always raised before the flop, whatever he had. I had ace, queen of spades, called, he raised. His raise went all around the table because he always raised and I reraised. He then capped the bet, a stupid play from his position unless he held a large pair and hoped to force out draws. I did not like that bet because I wanted draws to stay, especially someone with kJ of spades. but they all called the recap too because they knew he was a mindless raiser so there were actually just calling one raiser, me, with twice as much money.

The pot was huge, but nothing connected, and I folded rather than call a nonyahoo bet and raise on the turn. In the end there were four clubs. The yahoo had nothing. He did not win. I was sorry to have been unlucky in that opportunity. The yahoo wandered off.

Still it was fun. There were some interesting hands. It wasn’t a bad day, just a dull day with a draining bankroll.

I am not sure if the new meds, especially Prednizone, helped or hindered my play. I usually play on a few scotches, but this was like playing on two pots of expresso. I was a bit too loose, could not seem to get a sense of the table until it was time to leave and never got enough decent cards to sustain my early image of a loose, “any two cards can win” kind of a guy. I don’t play that image well much anyway. It is only good for a little while after I establish so it only works if I get good cards all in a row. It keeps the callers. I had pocket kings a couple times and pocket aces at least once. I won. I raised my pocket queens, caught trip on the flop. Then the flopped jack paired on the turn. I was hoping someone had three of them, but only Robin called my full house. The rest folded on the river.

No other memorable pots.

I over bet a couple times. One the table took me to ask for. I raised a guy on the turn who had a straight because my pair or 5’s had just caught trips. but it was a straight where he held 4-6. It was the nut hand, but he did not know it so he did not reraise. He did bet on the river. I thought he had two pair. I really think I played that well, but the rest did not and I talked up the fact that I had just missed seeing the straight ( which was true) because I got so excited when my fives caught.

But I stayed a bit too long on other hands and for no good reason.

The buffet was fine. Nice beer battered cod again and corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day so that was a treat because I decided not to cook one this year. Elizabeth is eating less beef. I don’t need too much cured meat in my diet. Robin and I had a good visit there and most of the day.

The bus was fine. No movie on the way out, but we voted batman on the way back. It was a mistake. The bus driver was annoying in a way I can’t express. His jokes were dumb. He was wimpish. He talked too much. Or was that me?

So I ended down $7 and zero in free keno. Also, compared to last week, I lost $40 in free Johnny Walker Black. I think that there should be some compensation for that. Perhaps when Hilary comes up with a new universal health care we can get her to include rebates for missed free alcohol when health forces us to go dry. She could get with Al D’Matto who has taken up the task of making poker legal again.(click for details)
What a joint bill that would be?

Okay, time to have breakfast and get outside in this new spring weather.
Be well. Stay lucky. Have patience and deal the cards.

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