Monday, November 12, 2007



Majestic Casino in Indiana is a decent place to play poker. There is no free alcohol, but the game I played this week was good.
I played with regulars, but they were still a bit loose. Also there were a few bad players and novices in the mix.
One Asian fellow that eveyone called Bubba (probably because he called everyone Bubba) started the night loose but reasonable and gradually got very drunk and very loose aggessive, betting and raising every hand.
Two other players hardly knew the rules.
The better players slowed down then and waited for Bubba the Raiser before acting. Once that happens, I usually like the game.
However, I was in a 3-6 game with a Kill.
I don't like the Kills!!
Usually they redistribute the wealth if I manage to hit a couple pots. And they make my blinds expensive. The beauty of a 3-6 game is the easily folded dollar small blind. With a kill, large binds see fewer free flops.

Son Keith and I had arrived at 3 PM.
The day before I had seen son Frank sworn in as an Illinois lawyer in a huge ceremony and met many of his lawyer friends at a fine lunch at Manny's deli, where thirty of us were treated by one of the other father's.

That morning I slept as late as I could, watched "Rounders" for inspiration on son Keith's wide screen, ate left over Chinese food for breakfast, and then took a until Keith got out of work midday. I was to appreciate the nap ; taking just a half hour break for a little chili and seafood salad on my comps, we left the casino at 4:30AM for the near two hour ride back.
14 and a half hours of straight poker.

The long overnight session was disappointing. At the depth of my defeat, I had bought in for $600 and $450 was gone. Still I knew it was not my playing. I had experienced a run of incredibly low cards. 2-3 offsuit came and came again. That is a good pattern in a lover, but deadly in low cards. Had I caught A-K as often instead of that promiscuous 2-3 SOB, I would have taken all the chips on the table.

I stayed disciplined.
Good cards let me down on the river.

I was losing in spite of there being a few people who would pay me were I ever to catch a hand.

I did hit one string of hands. Two in a row and on the kill (where I must post $6 and the game will now be 6-12), I was dealt pocket queens. My kill was in place of my small blind. I raised it. It unsettled some of the players who needed to call my raise or fold their $6. The loose ones who had called without very strong hands even went so far as to question the dealer as to my right to raise the kill pot $6. The flop came all disconnected rags, and by the river, everyone had folded.

I also remember two missed pots. One was a 6-12 pot and huge. I had K-9 of hearts, a pair of kings, a straight possibility, and after the turn a flush draw. After the turn one opponent bet his top two pair, aces and jacks, so that made that round $24 and half the table was calling. I needed one heart for the nut. I missed. Two pair took it.

In another Bubba the Raiser was doing his betting thing and I was calling. I caught a nice straight 9-K on the river and raised his initial bets. Often his bets were on nothing and just a hopeful bet into our weakness. If bubba had not been Asian and drunk, he could have names himself Gregg.

This time they were based on a flopped 10 to the A straight where he held K-J.
I raised my smaller straight.
He reraised.
I called and lost a nice one.

Otherwise the night was one of discipline. I sat and watched the game. I waited. I stayed calm. I knew that I could win with good cards. Even my rock status did not mean I was not called if I raised.
I could push a few players out with my pairs, but a bluff was impossible. Once I successfully bluffed one other rock when I had just a pair of deuces on the river. Only once.
Players were often pissed when I raised, but they did not all fold. When we left, I was down $320.


The next night we went to Mark's for a home game in downtown Chicago.

Mark is an old friend of Keith, and I had extended my stay in Chicago to play in this game. I was a bit nervous because my gambling bankroll has looked low for going into Vegas next month and after the Majestic debacle, it was now lower.

We started a 3 person cash game similar to what we played a Greg's. I lost $16.

More guys arrived and the tournament was set up. It was a $20 tournament with one rebuy. Before a tenth guy arrived, I had already lost most of my buy in and had bought in again for what was my one rebuy chance. A good bit of it had gone when I went all in on an Ace-Queen after both came on the flop. I was beat on the river to a guy who called me with K-J inside straight draw.

In order to let the new fellow in the game late, Mark decided that everyone would have the option of another rebuy, and although I was up chips again, I bought. So I was now in for $60.

And then things started to go my way. All these players were in their 30's, so I was the old guy. I had played tight. I hit a few pots and started to dominate the table. They started to tease that the "old guy has it on."

After not playing anything for a long while, I played a 5-7 of hearts in later position just for the hell of it. The flop came 5-5-7. There was some checking and I checked. Then there was a bet and I went all in. My one opponent hesitated, but he called with me and the river did not help him.

Later that trash play was to help me again. I had pocket kings and the flop was 3-4-6. A guy bet half his chips. I raised to put him all in. While he hesitated, he talked.

It was common in this game to talk the game a bit and hopefully get some information.

In his talk he mentioned that I had played that trash and I said, "yep, it was the 5-7 then too. Ya gotta raise those two cards up." And he folded what was most likely a straight draw.

Still I was not too optimistic. I have never beaten son Keith in a tournament. He generally wins. He had played no limit all night the night before and caught some poor beats. He had still only lost a little over a hundred in a game where people lost a thousand easily over the course of the play. Luckily, he was seated to my right.

I was strong in chips when he made a huge bet. I held A-J offsuit and I called. Rags dropped. Keith put in the rest of his chips. I called. He had tried to force out folks with K-Q, not expecting me to call with so few chips. Neither of us developed and my ace-high gave me a huge stack.

After that I just had to wait for players to eliminate themselves. I checked a pocket pair of kings when two 9's fell on the turn until it became kings full, and almost trapped a player with a healthy bet that would have moved him to go all in.

He suspected I had a higher pair than he had.

In the end I was left with the fellow who lost when I had the trip 5's on 5-7 and he was intimidated and low chipped. He also was the easiest at the table to read. When two aces flopped and nothing came on the turn, I went all in with my pocket tens and he called with very little, mostly to get it over with.

So I won my first tournament in a good long while. Had it been a straight $20 tournament I would not have won, but the rebuys gave me power.

A cash game afterward with Omaha High and Pineapple thrown in (the game now also included the newly sworn in lawyer son Frank) won me enough so that my losses for the entire trip were reduced to $116. Whew! I can live with that. Especially since I beat son Keith. He did not respect some of my play, but then as I say when raking in such pots in Vegas,
"When I can't play smart, I always try to play lucky."

Perhaps I can get my losses back tomorrow when I go to Foxwoods on the bus with son Peter or on Wednesday when we have a game at Greg's. At any rate I won't now get into the place where I lose $1000 in a week of poker just a few weeks before going to Vegas for a trip in which I am already feeling short on bankroll even if the trip itself will be basically free.
Free flight. Average room fee of $5.50. Lots of free food and free play.

For a long, long while the poker games were just not happening, and then in one week, I manage to play four times and all in different venues.
Life is just like the run of the cards.
Streaks happen.

1 comment:

(innit)chuckmonk said...

Hi Dewey,
Good Luck at FW tomorrow. At least there you have Keno backup. Another great poker summary. You ought to be ready for the vegas tables with that amt of play. I am flopping around in pokerro0m and kinda holding my own after being down $2500 in micro 5-10. My worst hand i folded J7 preflop and 77X 7J came up the pot was only $57 at the turn(i wonder why) and a full house won at the end. Ouch! Since then i've lost mostly close hands(low two pair lower straight etc) and a few bad beats. The remainder is my preflop, tight as ever. Eventually i'll work up to NL. I'll get in on that VP action. I'll send in the US mail.