Sunday, April 13, 2008

Game at Burden Lake April 12

Greg suggested we play one more time before I head off to Vegas. So I set up a last minute game here at the house. We used the new table and it worked so great. In its small and round stage, the card playing was so much easier.

Most could not come, but Charlie from
Troy showed up with presents, a fine large rain jacket that was an Orleans tournament prize and a POV book that has not been used. I can put both to good use and circulate the POV back to Mudgriff Dan and Lucky Pete for their trip in June.

Greg and I played head to head for a while. I was fresh from a nap and it seemed that I had a fine sense of the game, was reading Greg well, and playing at my best. I got great cards too, but beyond just luck I felt like I had the game figured out. This was very satisfying because this head to head game with Greg has been one of the toughest games to learn to beat. I gave up once in order to keep my bankroll safe for Vegas. It seemed Greg won no matter what I did. Things are different now. In the first session I cleaned him of $89.

Then Charlie came and the game changed for me. I had great trouble switching up. By then I had gotten pretty tired too. So I lost back all my winnings and was just about even with Greg holding most of the chips. Then two hands before the end of the game, the board flopped A-A-K when I had a good king, the turn came A and Greg called my all in with his pocket queens. My Aces over kings took back all the money in one hand. Greg lost his few leftover chips to Charley in the next hand, and that was that.

So I ended $90 ahead with both Greg and Charley down.

Charley however had an amazing streak of wins. He did not bring much money to play with and was down to just 4 chips. then it seemed he could not be beat and he built his chip stack up very high before losing a bit of it back. So rarely does someone who is so short stacked manage to climb back, but as they say, "a chip and a chair."

Here are the things I learned:

I need to watch playing poker when I am tired. Whatever subconscious dance is going on in my brain slows way down when I get tired. I can play the 2-4 no thinking game and perhaps being tired gives me a bit of extra patience, but I can't play an games where there is bluffing or reading opponents. The other week this happened at Greg's and I lost.

I may be ready to play a little no limit. I know that these games are not anything like a Vegas table with 9-10 players, but still I seem to get some of the plays. I am not up to where I saw Slink was playing here at home last time, but I might be at entry level. At least I hope I am. Perhaps I'll try to apply some of the sense of the game here to the game in Vegas and find that I am outclassed in every game.

I like small games here and at Greg's better than the 8 person games. This game did not require the preparation or cleanup as when we take over the entire house. Nothing needed to be moved. I enjoyed not having to drive home tired too.

Banking takes away my concentration on the game. I am slow to bank and there is pressure from players to speed up the game rather than help in watching my counting and money management. In Vegas I will enjoy not having to think much about that in Vegas. I also will enjoy not having to constantly monitor the game for mistakes in dealing, reading, betting. Nice to just sit and sip rum and think only about the poker.

I have learned a good bit more that I won't post here. Greg tries hard to avoid reading my posts and e-mails, but I am not going to reveal the few things I have learned to do against him just the same. It is enough to have a few of his larger bills to buy into my first poker game, probably at Sam's town.

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