Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seneca Niagara

As part of a week trip to Buffalo and surroundings to see old school chums, other relatives and friends (20 in total) I played some poker at Seneca Niagara. It was a slow period and I found the casino much different than I had found it on my last trip a few years ago. Then there were times when they spread two 3/6 limit games. Now we were lucky to see one. In fact, I could only expect that action on the weekend, and actually only encountered it on Friday night. I love that game because it has a 5/10 kill if a pot reaches $60. Unlike the kills in Vegas where I might win two small hands in a row and redistribute my entire profit on the kill button, here I am protected by the kill being tripped by $60 in the pot (rake included) Playing a bit higher than 2/4 means that the terrible way NY rakes the pots is offset. Here the house takes most of the rake after the flop, so that small pots with tight players might see the house take in 33% of the pot on a 2/4 table. The rake is the same on 3/6 or 5/10 so the action overcomes the bad practice and brings the rake down closer to a consistent 10%. I was on an ideal table, one with a maniac raising on nothing. However, I did not get the cards that would make me rich. The maniac caught over and over on the river, usually against other players, but a couple times against me. Eventually, he could not sustain what was just bold luck and he lost it all but again it did not go in my direction. Still, I loved the game. Players on both 3/6 and 2/4 were mixed with some newbies overplaying nothing and perhaps half a table of good, solid players. No one was over aggressive except the one maniac. It was an ideal game. 2/4 was good but I could not keep my money. My nephew Chris came with me on Saturday night and we played for a long while at the same table. I was up over a hundred when the table went to 5. I lost it all back. Interestingly the dealer stopped raking small pots, so it kept me there playing. But when I was down to $6 profit, I called it a night.

We went next to play video poker.  There is one full pay 8/5 bonus in the casino, but I did not find that one.  We played 7/5 Bonus that offers 98.01% payback.  Not great, but certainly better than any of the slots and better than the 8/5 JOB.  I usually refuse to play those low tables, but now that I am down to one Vegas trip this year, I am bending a bit just for the fun, and I always bend if my nephew plays with me.
We did not have any luck.

I was down $510 when I left.  On the way home I stopped at Turning Stone and picked up $82 on the 2/4 table.  I arrived about noon and was seated at the first table;  by midafternoon there were three tables and each contained some players who knew very little about the game and called less than second best hands.

I did not have any great cards.  Once at the second table I had A-Q unsuited and on the turn was faced with one opponent who bet.  He was not a great player, so I raised.  He called and called the river.  He held 10-10.  Other players on the table groaned a bit and looked at me.  I had raised with not much. 
"I just had a feeling," I said.  But I hope they knew I had played the person rather than the cards, so they would respect some push out bet in the future.

I left up $82 and pretty tired as I had less than 4 hours sleep and a quick nap in the parking lot along the Thruway.

So, it was not a winning trip.

I stayed again at the Swiss Cottage Inn along Niagara Falls blvd.  These are tiny motel rooms, but perfect for me: pool, TCM on the tele, free wifi, refrigerator, microwave.  All for $70 a night on average and over a weekend at the height of Niagara Fall tourist season.  Off season the room runs about $40 and is a real bargain.  I'd like to go again just to play poker. 

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