Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Winning Day at Turning Stone

The ride to Turning Stone is just enough shorter than the one to Foxwoods to keep the comfort level high. I board at Albany (to board at Renns adds 45 minutes to the trip at each end) They had a movie each way that took up the entire time.

The bus was $21 (since I called at the last minute.) For that I got $25 "free play", but it can only be used now as slot play and it is really the casino staking the player and then taking the stake back from any winners. I played around and won nothing, but in the future I can see that it is only good to play games that would give a large enough win so that after winning I'd be willing to give the casino back the initial stake. Playing cheap grind out nickel games is a sure loser.

I played the keno and the pull tabs that had coupon promotionals. $8 bet. I won $6 on the keno.

With the promotion, the buffet cost $7 and was worth it. I enjoyed a Mexican blackbean and corn dish with nacho cheese on top and some fine large green beans. I also loved the lamb stew which was all lamb and no potatoes. The prime rib was great.

I drank whiskey mixed drinks all day using my flask and cheap whiskey. I asked for ginger ale with a lemon and a cherry and made a fine high ball, then used the left over ice for my on the rocks second drink. That works very well for me.

At the poker table, many of the players were chasing hands. I was one of a very few people who folded much preflop and no one seemed to remember that when I bet either. There was one good regular, and he roped some betters in with slow playing a full house. Luckily, I was too far behind to stay and folded on the turn bet. Other than that people just paid me when I had cards. I did not try to push anyone out nor did I worry about building pots with raises. Everyone stayed. So to win there I just needed to avoid losing. Every win paid me.

I won $79 in the morning and was never behind. I hit on my second hand and then went up or down. I quit when the game seemed to have attracted good players.

In the afternoon I was up and down. I had a very good streak of cards just before leaving and so I quit up $200. with my $2 loss at keno/pulltabs I was ahead $278 for the day, a well above average win.

Here are a few memorable hands:

I did very little bluffing, but after a long time folding hands I decided to play my K-Q as overcards on a J-x-x flop. A fellow in early position bet $2 and was called by two. I was acting last. I raised. My hand did not develop, but did not cost me any more money, and I won with K high.

I played 8-9 of spades by raising on the button. No spades came, but on the turn I hit two pair. People called me I suppose because they thought I must have one high pair. The two pair won. Putting me on high cards since I raised preflop meant my 8-9 was a real surprise.

My favorite hand was A-Q of hearts. I flopped the heart flush, slow played. On the turn I called a bet before me and the guy to my right with X-X small hearts raised. The guy to his right had K-9 of hearts and called as did others, one with trips. When It got to me, I reraised. The heart guys called me as did two other players. On the river it was just me and the other hearts calling. I had the nut hand. this was a very profitable hand my favorite of the day. It is the kind you dream about having.

For about thirty minutes at one point I got bored or tired or off focus and played looser than I should have played. I never got lucky in that loose play, so that cost me maybe $40. The rest of the day my game seemed to be one that won. The other players noticed my chips piling up, but they did not do much folding. It did not seem to stop them from hoping that they might catch. Once again I raised pocket pairs on the button. This confused guys. None of those pocket pair hit, so no one could see that pattern.

When I would raise and then check and then fold, they would get very confused, perhaps frustrated because they could not understand what I was doing. I simply wanted to get the other $18 for my two dollar bet so that if trips came, I'd have a good pot to play for. And I liked having my trips disquised. There is not much power in an after flop bet if it is just follwing a preflop raise as it is expected. The raiser is expected to keep face.

The players are a bit dull and very quiet. It is not Vegas. There is not instant party. A couple guys talked a bit and all were friendly enough, but mostly I just sipped my whiskey and played cards.

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