Sunday, January 29, 2012

Second trip to Tampa Hard Rock

I did not find the loose and crazy players in such abundance this time in Tampa.  I played about 12 hours with time off for the buffet, and Until the last hours I played with players who were fairly reasonable 
I started at 2-4, moved tables to see if I could get easier opponents, and finally decided to give the Omaha game a try.  This is very hard poker for me.  I manage to get the high fairly well defined, but the lows still confuse me.  This was a 3-6 game with a kill that kicked in for the next hand on any pot that was of a certain size, $40 if I remember right.  That is fairly high stakes for me, but I enjoyed it.
The players at this table knew one another and the game was reasonable.  There was another table that was crazy aggressive with pots being capped before the flop.  Many of those players had come from and Omaha pot limit game, and players came to our table complaining that the game was too loose/aggessive.
For me the game is fine because it reduces all thoughts of deciding how people play.  Luck overcomes all style here.  Those who play single dimensioned hands will lose int he long run.  What is needed are 4 cards with lots of possibilities, and then it is just seeing how the game goes.  Rarely does anyone fold who has any chance of a win.
I did see that I overvalued two pair.  So I had A-J when the flop gave me A-J and I bet it.  That is probably a mistake. It certainly would be for smaller two pair hands.  Trip is probably the minimum for betting.  High two pair make calling a good idea, but it is a better idea if there are other possibilities.
The players were patient with me as I got confused by the betting.  One dealer was especially confusing and gumbling all the time that he was confused.  I rely on the the dealer to call these hands and divide the pot.  I can't think through much of that as I do in Hold em"  Other dealers were wonderfully confident and accurate, but I almost got up and just waited for a new dealer.
One fine thing is that the bathrooms are right there in the poker room.  No long hike.  I hope Imperial Palace in Vegas arranges that when they remodel this year.
This is important because I drink a lot.  The orange juice is good and service is good.  The V8 is good as well. So I make many trips.
Overall the room is very nice. I have not waited long for a table.  I would like to see more limit games, but generally there are at least 2 in the 2-4 variety.
A bunch came in from the first night of the local pirate celebration, all in costume and party mode.  Many of those were at that difficult Omaha table.
I think this may become my next favorite game.  The pots are huge, but since they are often split in half or in thirds, they look bigger than they are.
At any rate I had a fine day gambling even if I left with a loss of $45.

The buffet was better than my first trip too.  All the food was fresh and hot and not dried out.  I ate at 2:30 while the price was still $15 and this was a good choice.  I was surprised the price was still so low on Saturday.  The Sunday brunch runs all day at $30.  That day I'll eat somewhere else.
I particulary liked the New England clam chowder and do did many others since after my first bowl it was gone and waiting for another batch.  There is a raw bar where clams and oysters can be had raw or steamed for a few extra bucks. This may well be the reason that the chowder is so good. Clams that were not eaten in a night may be tossed in the chowder for the next day.  I'll get a few bowls the next time I go early in my appetite.  There was also some bacon pieces to add to it.

Service was good.  I got the right drinks.  Perhaps they did have orange juice the other time, and I had not heard that right.  It was good.  I tried lots of food and it was all good except the waldorf salad.  They had few nuts in it and made it with grapes as well as apples.  Perhaps Florida is not a place to come for apples as these were lackluster.  The fried chicken was excellent.  I added Cholula hot sauce.  One fine thing about this buffet is every table has a rack that includes assorted hot sauce:  Tabasco red and green, Cholula, Texas Pete's, Tapa Tio.  I love it.
My comps did not show up when I swiped my card.  It may be that I have to get them right there in the poker room.  Sometimes it is like that.  However, the same player's club card is used.  I can see how yesterday's comps would not be posted, but I don't understand how those from last Thursday would not post by Saturday.  Well, eventually I'll go and have a cheap buffet.

Again the ride up and back was simple.  About an hour and a half door to door.  The key is having good radio.  I listened to cartalk on the way out, and to my own CDs on the way back, expecially some live Billie Holiday.  The ride goes quickly then   There is no traffic on these roads the GPS picks for me on the way home.  Most are well lighted with these road reflectors.  Amazing really!

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