Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Foxwoods on bus

I had a fine, relaxed day of poker at Foxwoods yesterday, going up on the bus so that the entire experience was free.  There were some drawbacks, but overall it was a fine day.

On Tuesdays the bus leaves a half hour early to insure the bingo players will arrive on time, and that works well for me because I am always awake long before it is time to go and always wishing that I had more time.  Also it may have contributed to a bus with enough, seats so that I had two. However, the driver had left Latham and forgotten to pack a wheelchair so we were forced to go back to the parking lot at Latham.  There the chair was, sitting in the middle of the parking lot.  The error cost us forty minutes.
Then I had decided to eat breakfast at Foxwoods and join a later game that might avoid some of the regular rocks who make the limit game pots so small that it is hard to leave with profit.  However, there was a huge Megastack tournament which was attended by a huge unexpected crowd of players.  This took up space and dealers both for the tournament and for the NL games needed to accomodate the losers.  I waited almost an hour for a table and then considered myself lucky to be early enough. I won't go on days when there are huge tournaments.  4-8 and 2-4 tables were limited.
I caught a seat finally at a 2-4 which was exactly my sort of table.  I was relieved because I knew that if the players were all too tough, I would be stuck there anyway as there would be no seat changes possible.  It ended up being a table with three young, inexperienced players and a few loose folks as well as perhaps three local rocks.  There was some friendly banter, especially between a young fellow who worked on large equipment named Chris who sat next to me and talked and joked the game away.  I liked him and his buddy very much.  I get so little exposure to young folks.  He drank Jack and Coke and I had my favorite Myer's rum so it was poker, but is was also like going to a tavern, except the drinks were free.
The breakfast did set me up to have the rum and not feel the alcohol so much although I did make on mistake where I misremembered my hand.  It did not cost me money, but it was strange to think I had won with a straight but only had pocket nines.
Only one old guy got mad at me and then only once.  I bet so seldom that I thought I might take the pot down on the river by making a bet.  I had nothing, but held an inside straight draw, the nut club flush draw and an Ace.  He had bet after the flop but did not seem strong to me.  He was my only opponent.  I bet, he called and the river gave me the club.  I bet and called again and he showed his two pair and said, "Show me your straight."
"Will a flush do?" I asked.  He got mad because I had played on the chase and perhaps because he knew it meant that I was not as predictable as he thought I was.  It was a good bet too because when the club came, he did not suspect that I could have clubs and betting out against his early show of some strength. Had I waited and just come out on the river, he might have folded as my clubs would be obvious.

We came very close to the bad beat when one fellow held a straight flush and another jacks full of tens.  Had he held pocket jacks, we would have all been rich.  The Hold em bad beat is up to $380,000.

I was never down more than a few dollars, but my periodic profits dwindled away slowly.  I did get some fine hands, even had full house which my buddy Scott called.  My pocket tens caught on the river.  Early on I held A-K and raised and then bet each time.  The river gave me trip Aces.  I lost very few hands that I was in, the most notable was K-9 to K-10 with the other kings on board.  I suppose I should start tossing K-9 at that game.  At the beginning of the last round I was up $4 but I hit two hands in that one go around and left $34 to the good.  My bus freeplay had given me $29 so it was a very frugally profitable day and my fourth free trip.  My fifth free trip voucher is in my pocket.  Eventually I'll have to pay for a trip unless I find myself going up there by car one time.  They still give me ten free points just for showing up.

Disappointing were the dealers.  When they have these tournaments, they call in all their blackjack dealers who really don't know poker and don't like dealing it.  Perhaps they were to have a needed day off.  Most are Asians who speak little English and space out, doing little to call the game.  I pay the rake so that I can drink and not have to pay attention to every detail of the game as I do in homegames.  These games made our home games seem professional.  One woman did not know anything and needed to be told when to collect chips and who to pay.  Few could read the cards so someone had to read each hand.  We were kind to her, but I was disappointed.

I can avoid all of it by simply not going on huge tournament days.  None of the players at the 2-4 had played the big tournament nor would they play anything but NL afterwards.

I did see one fellow come with a roll of fifty cent pieces for tipping the dealer.  I have not seen that in many years.  It was quite common when I first started playing poker.  I skip a tip now and again if the pots are too small, but generally I don't begrudge these hard working dealers a fare tip even it it drains my potential profit. If I can play all day and break even, I am happy.
I don't think I will choose the breakfast option again.  The line was short and it was a quick meal.  It meant I did not have to leave the poker to eat.  However, it was not a dramatically wonderful breakfast and coming in later meant it was hard to get a seat.  What I should do is get a seat and then if I don't like it, use the food option to go and eat early and come back to a different mix of players or just put my name on the list again and move when possible.
Also, I might as well get my prime rib for the free buffet.
I noticed that the buffet coupon will also work as a $10 matchplay if I ever want to skip the buffet.  Probably that won't happen, but it is good to know so that if I get at a very good table and don't want to leave, I can just leave time for a roll of the dice before I go home.
There was a movie on the way home.  The Bounty Hunter.  It was fun and made the ride back very easy.