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.  

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