Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A discussion of Tampa poker again?

Hmmmm. Tired of Tampa poker reports yet?

Yesterday was a tough one. I continued my pattern of playing no limit for the first half of my day and then relaxing in a bit of 2-4 limit when I tire.

Yesterday was a tough one. I continued my pattern of playing no limit for the first half of my day and then relaxing in a bit of 2-4 limit when I tire

Neighbor Ron was going home, so we stopped at the Tampa Bay Downs where he bet horses that could not run and for a long while I bet cards that I might better have let lie. I can't really figure exactly all my bad plays. I did play queen-nine which flopped two pair and then got beaten with queen-ten, so I know I was a bit loose at times. This is exactly why one does not play queen nine.

I kept my pattern of buying in so that my chips were always at $100 in case I had good cards. My idea then was to only play good cards. Well, that is the idea all the time, but sometimes ideas get lost in the moment, and with tiny chip stacks it is less damaging to be a loser. And you can get as they say "lucky"

Take Whitey. He is a gentle old fellow with white hair that includes a pony tail. He said that he has been thinking of cutting the pony, but his barber keeps talking him out of it.

"Some days I like it; some days I hate it," he explains with a shrug.

Whitey plays very well. He says he can win at a table of good players, but he loses at a table of poor players. Well, he lost a huge hand and was getting up to go when the dealer said, "Stick around Whitey, ya got four chips left here."

So Whitey went all in with them.
And won.

He did that four times in a row until he had parlayed his four chips into about sixty. The table, even the guy twice beat with Ace-jack, was laughing so hard that some of us had trouble staying seated.

Whitey played real poker then and I left before I saw whether he recouped his original buy-in or not.

Hey, "A chip and a chair."

Another interesting turn of events was the high hand award. Every hour they were to give $200 to the high hand. Four hands in to the game a guy at our table got a royal flush in spades so he was unbeatable as they count suits too and spades is the best. So there went the promotion. No fantasy anticipation was left to the rst of us for that hour. The next hour they changed the rules and decided to let every jacks full or better player join a table for a shoot off of one hand dealt without bets. This kept our fantansies alive. Nice.

The guys win did make it a bit harder at the table. He was to play the money so he was top chipped guy and he was a bit loose so he easily dominated. I mangaged a seat to his left and that helped. I only had a bit of time there, waiting for Ron to lose on bad horses and the time to come to go to the airport. Otherwise I might have left. As it was, once I accumulated over $200 chips I got nervous if the loose guy was in the hand.

My first play was good. I won two good hands which I played very well. I had jacks in early position, raised, was not reraised by pocket kings to my left until after the flop when I had trip jacks and made just a modest bet and he doubled it. I called rather than go over the top hoping to trap him and it almost worked, but on the river the rainbow board had come runner runner in clubs and he was shy about coming over the top of me which he was clearly tempted to do. Aggressive young kid.

I guess after that I got cocky and my play went South. I lost until I was down $160. Playing the jacks well did nothing for my table image except announce I could be deceptive and trap so I might have gotten respect for second best hands, but I never had enough to semi bluff.

I went to the bathroom and had a stern talk with myself, so when it was time to go to the airport, I left I had not done any more stupid plays, and I was down just $44 and the $7 I had risked on long shot horses to show.

I thought betting a horse would be entertaining, but found that I could not follow the race in any way that let me participate in the excitement. Usually I was straining to see who came in third, trying to read those ity bitty numbers in thei little colored circles on the TV and losing my poker concentration.

I won't do that again.

If I do that again, I am only betting horses to win. That information is given in many ways over and over,but trying to find the third horse takes too much eye time.

So I left down $51, took Ron to the airport, went over to the Hardrock where I relaxed with their fine buffet. Plenty of rightly cooked veggies, a nice piece of salmon and a plate of hot snow crab topped off with tastes of many other goodies. Then I dropped into a lusciously loose 2-4 game where folks were just paying off with any sort of half a hand.

And talking about promotions, it is the Hard Rock drawing promotion that attracts me on Tuesdays. It is a very rare promo because it is a casino wide promotion that is made available to poker players as well. To enter you swipe your player's card once and every hour they pull one name that has three minutes to get to the identity booth for usually about $1000. It makes a nice diversion at the table when the drawing comes. Also, poker players get the best of the drawing because they can stay and play for longer periods than any other players (no full pay VP) and not be ground down by house rake.

I was up and down playing there. My worst miss was a nut flush draw/straight draw chase with capped bets after the flop from seven players. Just one more heart! The winner held just a pair.

I left up $58 so my grand total for the day was $7 to the good.

My frugal bring my own cup habit payed off too. The iced tea left at the end of my buffet actually was plenty of liquid for me for the rest of the evening. So I save a $1 tip there as I had at the horse track by getting two coffees in one cup. Linda can help me with the math, but I think that carrying a cup added 29% to my daily winnings. Not quite as good as a comped Myer's rum might be, but hey, I'll take it and God bless Jean Scott.

Now recently a friend in a helpful attempt to continue my education, sent me Scoblete's attempts to present yet again another set of Gambling Myths (or some such over generalized repetitive swill that these gambling writers seem to be able to sell over and over. Are all reading gamblers newbies or what?)
I responded with my own takes on the generalized issues, arguing finer points against his generalizations and half truths.

And here again in yesterday's experience is a counter argument for the one that suggest comps are more myth than part of gambling strategy.

Yesterday, I had done well in the frugal department by bringing my own cup so I could double the free coffee at the track and pour out the rest of my iced tea and lemon after the buffet. But had I been playing the same poker in Vegas, I would have had some fine, wonderful drinks while I played and my seven hours of play might have earned me enough to almost pay for my $15 buffet. So instead of the day's play being valued at $7, it would have been valued at more like $50.
"There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em" - Yogi Berra-

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