Friday, August 22, 2008

Playing on the way to chicago

I played poker twice on this trip. ONce at the Seneca Alleghany near Jametown and then last night here in the new poker room at the Horseshoe in Hammond.
I won only $4 playing a limit 3-6 with a $2 small blind and a kill. It was a hard game especially since the rake is that Harrah's $6 with one going into a pot for a promotional which they have yet to announce.
I would have lost much more because I went on tilt after a flopped two pair of K-7 was beat on the river by a K-9 who bet into me the entire time and caught a gut shot straight. This was a kill pot, stakes of $6-$12.
I got pissed and raised my next hand K-Q. A good player took over the betting after the flop but I had an open ended straight draw and caught the A for the nuts on the river. So that was no a kill,b ut it brought me back even and I decided to get out as the poore players had clearly been replaced by better players, and preflop raisers when the stakes are 6-12 is too rich a game for me.
I miss Laughlin.
I lost at SenecA Alleghany playing a no limit game. My last hand I had trip tens with a queen, my opponent TRIP TENS with a king.
So I am down $143 for the trip.
I am comfortable now with no limit, but I sure am spoiled by Laughlin. Thinking about it, I realize that I play best in games with one single blind. Players are easier to put on cards and I can play a tight wait and see game and throw hands away for free.
And compared to what the River Palms does with rakes, who wants to play at Harrah's. For only a $5 cut from winning pots at River Palms, the casino gives back every kind of high hand bad beat bonus you can imagine and free rooms for 6 hours of play. It will certainly be my new home.
The horseshoe also has games with dealerless machines that take a bit smaller rake, but they put them out in the smoking area and they were full of smokers so happy to be playing poker and smoking. It was a good idea by the casino, but there was no place for me in that scene.
I am hoping to play some no limit at Four Winds in New Buffalo Michigan when we get up to Lakeside. I am happy that Slink finally made me start with the 1-2 100 max no limit games as it gives me some flexibility. I don't think I am quite good enough yet, but I am getting it.
Greg's games helped me make that shift. Much of what we do there works in the casino. And there are always times when I consciously become Greg. That betting into weakness is a great technique. One old player at the El Cortez once told me that in limit poker if two people check, you bet. He gave away too much of his strategy, so when he did that, I raised him, but it was interesting advice.
My best hand last night was J-Q clubs on the button with everyone having seen one raise to my right. So I was the only reraise preflop of the day. All called and it was a nice pot when the jack hit the flop with rag-rag. They all checked and I bet and was not called. Another jack hit the turn. I just bet out and one guy folded and another jack stayed with me with a 10 kicker. It was a decent pot.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Turning Stone with Slink on Yankee Trails

Slink and I took the Yankee Trails bus up to Turning Stone for a day of poker. The ride was fine, the bus not so crowded that we did not get a seat together and we had plenty to talk about as always. It was much too hot and even a word to the driver did not get much relief back to us. Perhaps they leave the AC off to save gas. No one else complained so maybe it was just us. the driver was friendly and easy and not long winded in his instructions. He did not treat us old ones like a classroom of babies when telling the times to board and the time the bus would pull out. He did not worry us. He just drover the bus.

There was no movie. We did not need one, but had Slink not been talkative, I'd have been bored on the way home.

On the way out Slink talked me into trying the 1-2 100 max no limit game and I found it playable. I was up a bit in the morning, then down again. At early after noon when we went to the buffet, I was down $8..

After lunch I got down $40 and decided to buy back up to $100 so as not to be short paid on good cards. A few hands later I was dealt K-K under the gun. I raised the typical $6 and two seats away a fellow raised to $12 so that sifted out some late acting players.

Well, I thought as I called, if an ace comes on the flop, I'm done.
Flop was K-Q-X. Two hearts
I was thrilled.
I checked and bettor guy did a healthy bet that left the guy to his left and me calling.
The turn was a rag and no heart so that killed my runner runner king of heart high flush.
I checked and better guy tossed in three $25 chips.
He was a talker.
Here he turned to the guy next to him and said,
"That will make your flush draw very expensive."

So then I knew I had bettor guy beat.
I put him on Q-Q-Q
The guy next to him went all in and so did I.

I turned my K-K
Bettor guy turned A-A
and the other guy turned A-K
No hearts. Only one out could beat me.
River rag and I am sitting with almost $300 in front of me.

Well, I did not like playing that much in one hand nor did I like better guy betting behind me and pushing so after a few hands of listening to that and his endless drivel talk about his cat, I decided to go even if I was sitting next to a young cutie.

Bettter guy was not happy to see his money leaving.
I went to 2-4. The first game was short and bad.
I walked down and played my keno matchplays, $6 got me $12 bet across six games and so I watched the balls bounce into the shaft and at the end picked up my only win, just $2. Even with matchplays it is very hard to hit Keno.

Back at the poker table I was at a fine game full of calling stations. Everyone was in on every flop. So I began to raise my draw button hands. Once I raised on 6-8 just for fun. The guy to the left had K-K. On the flop I got an inside draw and a free card while K-K planned his check raise that was not going to happen. The turn gave me trip sixes so I raised K-K who finally was relieved to be betting his monster hand.
"You must have caught your straight he said as he called. I have a straight but it is smaller so I won't raise."
The river gave me my gut shot straight but K-K had to call me to see it.
He was pretty mad, but then he was mad the entire trip.

Later I hold A-J which Slink has been losing with all day on no limit even after he flops two pair. I flop J-J-9. I am last to act, but I don't bet.
The turn comes yet another Jack.
Well, I figure I win but I don't get paid on this. Even a guy with a nine full might not call my bet, but I figure wrong as a guy with a queen-nine bets and another guy calls and then I call. On the river the Queen makes the first better really happy. He bets. The second guy is very unsure so I take the chip stack off my chips and put them in my hands as if I am going to fold them when he has finally acted. He calles.
I raise. First better calls and the other guys swears a lot and throws his cards away.
So it was a decent pot afterall. No free room, however, like in River Palms.
No free drinks either. All day I've been adding my own Myer's rum from the flask that nephew Chris gave me for my birthday to the "free cokes."
With the bus bonus the buffet cost over $8,.

The freeplay goes like water threw a sieve. I play max bets on a Lion Fish machine where Slink once hit big. There is no reason to try any grinding bets because Turning Stone actually takes back the $25 they put on your card if you turn in a winning card. I was ahead $7 once. Guess I should have taken the seven and booked.

So the bus is not such a good deal as at Foxwoods. But it is much, much shorter. It is $5 cheaper too. So that almost covers the buffet.

Slink lost all day. He left ready for a poker holiday or maybe a 2-4 game switch.
I liked the no limit, but I think the 2-4 pays just as much with less need to concentrate at all on who plays what but just dance the limit dance in patterns and no need to throw everything away either. There 8-9 of clubs is a much better bet than K-10 offsuit. In late position especially. If I was a bit more ready to gamble big bucks, I would have had a fine opportunity with $250 in front of me to win some real money. But I hate risking that much on one bad beat.

And sitting next to a very sexy Asian dealer at the 2-4 was not too bad, especially when she told me that my gentle humming relaxed her. Almost put her to bed. For some unknown reason I was humming the theme from some old TV show (probably rum inspired) and at first I thought she was telling me in a nice way that it was annoying, but that was not it at all. So not having to watch my opponents, I watched her deal. Ah, the delights of 2-4 poker.

Came away just $136 ahead. It seemed I ought to have more than that, but I did not.
Stiill, that is a fine hedge against my losses lately.