Friday, July 30, 2010

Wednesday poker

Here is Gregg's summary:

First to my gardening guru, Charley -- I forgot to mention the stuffed eggplant yesterday and the pork/pasta today with fresh tomatoes, parsley, basil and hot peppers -- YUMMMM!
And a couple great hands that I forgot to mention from yesterday's game:
1) Bruce dealt himself an ace and then flopped three aces. He slow played his quads and made a pretty good profit. Later in the day ace, ace, ace hit the flop again but nobody had the 4th one.  I forget who took that hand.
2) Biggest transfer of money during the day. Ron held a King/little spades; Dewey held a Queen/little spades. Three spades hit on the folp (or maybe the turn) -- including the Ace. It was bet raise, raise, raise, all-in -- call! Ron, sitting in Dewey's regular chair, made the haul.
3) I held an Ace and an Ace on the Board -- Dewey took me down, but I can't reveal anymore without possibly having the CIA on my butt.
Good Luck to all and Happy Eating, Gregg
PS: Dewey got four pocket Aces 
yesterday to tie Ed's record from the previous week -- or was it Bill or maybe Jim (who wasn't even there)?.


I did do very well with my pocket Aces, playing them very aggressive so not losing, although none that were called developed beyond the Aces.  Pocket Aces also beat me once.  Bruce had phenomenal cards and for the most part, seemed to play better poker this week, folding when he was not likely to win.
I played better, folding those huge hands which I have a bad habit of calling from behind.  I did call one and caught it to beat Gregg.  I played a rare three handed with Peter and Gregg at the end and still did well.  I came out $34 ahead.  I would have been much farther along had Ron not had the nut flush.......and it was hearts, Gregg, not spades.
Hey, that wasn't the time I bluffed you off with J-Q was it, Gregg?  Probably not.  I did beat Gregg too with a good river draw.  I forgot the details, but it was fun ragging on him.

Good day at the game, but four people left at 4:30.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Montreal no limit poker

Elizabeth and I stayed with a friend who was cat sitting for one of her friends North of Montreal and spent two days playing no limit poker at the Montreal Casino.  It was great fun; however, I did not think about how not understanding French would affect how much poker information I would not get from the other players.  I could hear them explaining how they had bet and why, but none of it was useful for me.

They do not spread limit games, so anyone playing poker must play no limit and that meant the mix of players was really amazing.  At my table on the second day was the worst poker player I have ever seen and I would not expect to see such in Vegas.  

The wait was at least fifteen minutes for a seat.  They should have had more tables open.  There were no comps although I did swipe my card for some reason.  Free drinks were water and some of the best coffee I have had anywhere served in a ceramic cup.  No alcohol.

I lost my $200 the first day in just a couple hours, generally on hands I would play the same way again.  I was ahead until the river.  On the second day I lost another $128 over about ten hours of play.  I was even a few times but never ahead.  I had pocket kings busted three times once by J-6 offsuit.  I layed down pocket aces once because I was sure my opponent had a straight, and I showed them as I folded.  
It had been a mistake to show those, and it sent the table into an uproar.  That really  bad player lectured me and then five hands later lost a over a hundred dollars holding on to his pocket Aces against four to a flush in another suit.

The fellow had really made a very bad bet against me, but it looked like he had hit a straight and he had been very hesitant about betting before the five came that would have given the straight.  

My hughest mistake was to forget that there was a side pot in one hand when I held a Queen high flush to short chipped quads, and that cost me $40 when I folded my cards as the other fellow had a ten high.  I really felt stupid.

I played against an owner of the White Sox who had a World Series ring.  I also played against a blind buy who had a woman behind him telling him the cards.  

I liked the soft nature of the games.  Action was limited the second day and that is an easier game for me because it is more like limit poker.  I don’t play much no limit poker in casinos.  Betting hundreds of dollars preflop is hard for me.  I like it better when I can play from the flop and I like seeing my blinds flop for free.

A fellow who loved to go all in on second best hands bet a bit when there were three diamonds on the turn.  I called with an Ace and a pair, and I made the nut on the river.  I checked, hoping for his dramatic all in bet, but he must not have had much.  When I showed my nut, he grumbled loud and long and I knew that had he held the flush, he would have bet it all-in and that would have made me rich.  It stopped him too from doing that dramatic all-in every few hands on second best.

All in all I thought I did well and was comfortable.

The casino is very confusing with many little nooks and small rooms held together in crazy ways by stairs and escalators and elevators and winding paths.  

The people were really quite nice.  One fellow was rude to me.  There is always one who just does not like folks who only speak English.  The rest were very friendly and nice.

Around the time when I was ready to go there was quite a bit of preflop betting.  I was on the button with A-6 of clubs and I knew that it was certainly not a powerful hand, but I decided to call.  Two clubs came on the flop and I called a woman’s all-in bet as did one other.  My club came on the river and I went all-in, but the other fellow folded.  She had trip tens.  That was my best pot of the day.

At the house the towel bar came away from the wall, so I had the task of finding a way to fix that.  I did not know even where a hardware store was and the first folks I asked did not know that English word.  Finally, a man gave me good directions.  In the store a helpful fellow with very little English showed me what to use to fix the problem  It reminded me of going around in Spain to get wall tile and cement for my friend Frank’s place in the North, only there I only had to listen to the Spanish as Frank is a Madrid native, and I know some Spanish.

The roads were very confusing even with a GPS.  There were many winding paths and many closed ramps and detours.  On the other hand, crossing the border was not the three hour wait I had been warned of, but a three minute wait and not difficulty.

I went to the Four Aces card room, but they were only open nights and weekends and once I had my seat and a good table at the casino, I did not want to take the trouble to head back.

I came home just in time to lost $50 in my weekly home no limit game at Gregg's.  

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Well, I had a delightful time at Gregg's this week and then it extended into Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
At Gregg's game I collected some money and Gregg collected some money and then I took all the money that Gregg had collected and a couple extra buy-is besides in head to head play that for some inexplicable reason favored me.

At first Gregg took enough so that he almost had two trays and I was almost down a tray from the head to head session.  Then the luck changed.

I have 7-2 and the flop comes 7-2-4 so Gregg figures his pocket kings are good and goes all it.  I call.  Gregg says that he can still win, he just needs two pair, but I remind him that he needs a four or a runner-runner pair or a king.  On the river comes another 2 and Gregg has two pair, but I have a full house.
Greg rebuys and goes all in soon after that with two pair, only I have two bigger pair when my 10 and 3 connect on the turn.

I can't remember too many of the earlier hands.  I remember cracking Robin's Aces with a full house.  I remember that Bruce held on and called Greg's push out bet with a king high and won.  Bruce is persistent and eternally hopeful.  If he has some chance at something, he stays.

Scott drove me out to Mohegan Sun where we met up with Bill who was on his way to Atlantic City.  The three of us stayed at a Micro-hotel that is one mile from the casino.  We took the free shuttle over so we could drink.  The shuttle service lasts until one AM (two on weekends)  After that a cab is $7-$10.  We played poker until 4 AM but Bill had his car, so he gave us a lift back.  With the RoomSaver coupon, rooms were $77 (taxes and everything) and included microwave, refrigerator and a fine island separating the two beds.  Sleeping was easy except for some fan noise.  Next time I'll check that before taking the room.  The clerk was very nice and accommodating and told us if there was anything wrong with the room she would move us. A light breakfast (cereal, muffins and doughnuts, juice, coffee, waffle machine waffles) was included.
The 2-4 was a good game, and I had a fine time as did Scott.  Scott played much better poker than I did.  We took a walk around and I played $20 in a slot, winning and then stopping when the win was gone, and rolled craps for a while, winning about fifty dollars and then stopping when one seven took out three of my numbers.  I ended up $3.
At the end of the night I was $30. Scott was up $28 and Bill was up $4.  So we were all winners.  
I also had downed a few Myer's rum.
Bill was pretty sleepy.  He kept falling asleep between hands and then waking up to check his cards.  
Alcohol ended at one.  I drank some coffee to stay awake.
After the light breakfast in the morning, we all went over to Foxwoods for a couple hours of poker,  but the early tables were dominated by locals and tight nits.  I was going to move, but we had so little time there, I stayed.  I decided that the only way to play these guys was to play tight, but to always raise preflop on nondraw hands played in latter position. My rule was I raised or folded.  No limping.
This told the tight nits to either put some money in the pot or fold. 
It also made the pot worth playing for those who stayed, and gave my high cards with more chance of winning some money if they won.  Consistent raising also meant that the old nits knew every raise was not pocket aces, stayed in, and my loss of respect meant I got good pay for my pocket kings, the last hand I played.  I lost $3 taking my score for the trip down to $27. 
We left Bill at the casino as he was traveling on to Atlantic City while Scott and I stopped on the way home for some Mexican and had a great meal.  Once we were beyond Hartford, we felt that we could not get held up easily in traffic, so there was time to eat.
It was great to have a long visit with my old colleague.  I was sorry Bill was not in the car with us.  It was fun to play three at the same table, but I think Scott would like to play at a separate table, and that does make sense if we are all going to have a chance to win since we were winning each other's money.
My most memorable hand was when I played no limit for a while at Mohegan.  Most of the ten tables did not look inviting to me, but one looked very good and I managed a seat.  The brush was very accommodating all night in getting us together, in giving us seats.  Often they don't want to deal with seat changes, but this fellow was easy going and helpful.
I had lost about $20 and played few hands winning only one small pot on an Ace-King after the flop showed an Ace.
I was dealt Q-10 of diamonds and the fellow to my right made it $12.  All others folded.  I suppose I should have folded too but I called.  The flop was 10-10-Q.  I checked my full house. He bet $10.  I called.  The turn was a 10 giving me quads.  I checked.  He bet $10 and called.  The river was nothing of value, and I had to decide what to do.  The dealer asked me if I checked and I said no.  I was a bit rattled.  Finally, I just picked up my largest stack of reds and dropped them as a bet, leaving a bit over $10, so that it would look like I did not want to risk everything.  Holding a queen, the fellow called and I had a very nice win.  After that the table dwindled in numbers and I left.  When I did, the table broke.  I went back to play 2-4.  So really on the 2-4 I lost money over the course of my play.
Scott ended just under $200 profit and very pleased with himself for his discipline and attention to the game.  He had come a bit worried.  He left knowing he could easily play this game.
My confidence after so many losing sessions was higher.
One thing I learned was to scout out the tables and then ask for the one I wanted.  I could not do that in many casinos.  Table selection is clearly important. Looking at accumulated chip stacks, faces, and just the patterns of betting helps eliminate places that are harder.
Gregg almost came with us.  He thought about it.  Perhaps he will next time.  Perhaps others will as well.
While at Foxwoods, I got my 10 comp points for showing up at the Player's club and that brought me up to 33 points, so I have my third free trip voucher now for the bus and enough points to get my fourth free trip voucher on my next visit.  Just I am ahead over a hundred dollars in free rides, free bus, food, and freeplay just over the last few trips.  This is one advantage Foxwoods has over Turning Stone.  Lately Foxwoods gives me $10 for just showing up while Turning Stone charges me $2 to play poker.
Total score for these two days is $256 plus $28 or $284.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Foxwoods bus trip July 8

Yesterday was a fine day.  Bill and I went up on the bus to Foxwoods, had a fine visit on the way up in part planning Vegas in November when we overlap visits.  This morning I called Harrah's again and before we were done, they had comped me two more nights so I have five straight nights in Vegas at Harrah's casino (where I have never played  or stayed by the way)  This is the weirdest system for making and approving offers I have ever seen.  I got lucky twice with good operators, and they added extra free days each time, so it beings my hotel bill down to an average of $15 a night for the last nine nights and I have a good long time to work on the first seven nights and all the Coast casino offers hopefully still to come.

But I did not get as lucky at Bill.  With the bus to Foxwoods we get ten dollars of freeplay and somehow that became fifteen this trip.  Playing his freeplay Bill hit for two grand.  And when he was signing the paperwork and getting the hand pay, the attendant said he had to play one more hand to clear the jackpot from the machine.  On that hand he won another hundred dollars.

On my free play I won three dollars.

I did beat Bill's score in casino poker, however, ending up $37 ahead to his $30.  We played for most of the day at the same table.  I drank way too much, working my way through about $60 in free amaretto and free rum and one free Courvoisier.  Oh well, we are only young once.
I was playing pretty drunk just before going to the buffet for dinner, and I tried a trick I learned at the El Cortez.  Holding Queen-jack I had flopped 8-9-10 for the nut straight, but there were two spades as well, so most likely someone would be holding a flush draw.  So I pretended to want a spade, hoping that at least I could save one bet if the spade came and beat my straight or keep in folks with other sorts of hands if no space came or if straight cards came and might make my bet too obvious.  No spade on the turn, so I look defeated and say, "Well, I gotta bet it."and I do and they pay me.  
No spade on the river, and again I am down in the mouth and I say, " Well, I still better bet it," and I do and get two callers.  
They just figured the drunk, old guy had lost his filters and was revealing his missed flush. Even Bill thought I had missed my flush draw and maybe had a pair at best, when actually I had the nut hand and was just building the pot.  Of course, the win would have been more satisfying had someone at the table raised me, but it was a good pot.
Another good earlier play was a button raise with 8-9 offsuit to get a cheap free card on any straight draw.  They all were in and they all check to me on the turn and I checked for the free card and catch the straight on the river.  They paid me in that hand too because the raise suggested that I had a high pair.  One fellow thought queens but could not understand why I raised him on the river.
It was a great table and I had a fine time.
When I left for dinner, I was up $124, but a short and sober session after dinner before we left gave me second best cards and took me down quite a bit.  In and hour I won only one hand and was underpaid in that one.
I got another free bus voucher, so that will be my third free trip in a row, and I expect I will get another, especially if a few of us go up to Foxwoods/Mohegan Sun  next week for an overnight.  The points add up and then are sweetened by the 10 points they give me just for showing up.
It was good to be in the cool casino on such a hot day.  If I did not gamble, I'd be tempted to take the bus ride, read a book, play the freeplay and eat the buffet.  All worth $27 just to stay cool+