Monday, February 25, 2013

Finally a win/ And a loss Ocala

Perhaps Sunday is a better day to go to Ocala than Saturday because the high hand promotion is not as high and so the visitors are there just because they want to play a little Sunday poker.  Or perhaps I just got lucky on tables.

I arrived at about 1.  I need to bring a book because at that time there is one full table and it will be a while before a table opens. 
On the other hand the full table has captured all the regulars.  I watched a good while and it was a table full of good players.
I had my name on the 1-1 list and the 1-2 list.  The first table to open was the 1-2.  This was good luck.  It filled with some good players, but half the table was there to play the lower stakes 1-1 and many of them were terrible players.  I was lucky and won a few pots. 
I kept my name on the 1-1 list (they took me off and I put me back on) and when that table opened, half our table joined it. 
This was lucky.
Basically, the folks who had arrived and put their names on both lists and who were the better players joined the 1-2 seats that we vacated when the 1-1 opened up, and we were on a lower stakes table with all new money and half of the players were terrible.  The feel of this game is more like the feel of a limit game.
I have found that the best poker is at a newly opened table.
Also, if there is a higher stakes game in the same room, it will draw off the better players.
I cashed in and put $175 in my wallet.  The 1-2 had done well for me. 
I could only buy in for $60 in the new 1-1 game.  I liked that.  I better like playing with a smaller bankroll and grinding out some money than I do sitting on a large stack that might be pushed in on one hand.
I replenished a bit from a few chips in my pocket, and then I hit some good hands and did not need to add any more.
I was high hand for a while with queens full, but got kicked out by some quads.
They started a tournament, only $35 and I was tempted to play but there were not seats left and the alternative list was very long.  I was happy I did not play because this tournament drew the better players and the looser players off the cash table so the poker was a good bit easier.

After a while I felt like I had been there long enough, so I asked to be moved to another new table just starting up.  They let me go.  They also did not monitor that I bring my whole stack to the new 1-1 table, but let me start with $60 again, the rest in my pocket.  I am supposed to bring the whole stack if my move is on the same level, but again I want the low bankroll bets so I just counted out $60 and they let me play with that.

This table got harder to beat as folks who could not play ran out of money and went home.
The hardest was Christine.  I'll watch for her.  Great poker face.  Sunglasses that seemed to work to disguise her intention and a Gregg style.  Most folks are tight at these games, but Christine like to bet.  And she took down some pots, often on the river with draw hands that she bet and must have taken down some pots with draw hands where everyone folded.  She build a nice chip stack, lost half and built it again before she went home. 
There are times when I would not have enjoyed playing with her, but she became interesting and my person to beat.  She was the only one taking me down, mostly by making me fold.  I tightened up and waited for her to bet before I showed any strength.  She made me thing that Gregg would make good money at these Ocala games.  Loose aggressive was a decent style to play.  People were not confident.  Still, I can't do it because I the thing I do least well is put people on hands.

I did not manage to trap her into anything.  I had a great hand where my 7-10 blind caught 7-7-10 on the flop.  I slow played and did catch another good player but only for $13.  And it was a decent pot.  But Christine was too smart.  She thought about it.  I thought I might have her for my last bet of $35, but she went away.  Too bad.

I stopped playing when there were but 4 players left and I missed the draw that would send me to a combined table.  It was after 7, but I could see that only the better players were left.   Before the table broke I had won a hand with Aces full and it was on the board as the high hand, so I waited around and hope it would hold up.  I was watching a game where a fellow folded pocket 5's only to see the quad flop.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  With one minute and 18 seconds left before I'd get paid $300, Wally on table 20 hit Aces full of TENS.

What a way to lose, just one card up from mine.

So I drove home with my $272 profit.
The game reinforces that I stay too long playing.  I do best at new games until people get a feel of how I play and then it is time for me to go.  In Ocala that is hard as there are no other games to join.  I may try to just play the other no limit game when I have a stack larger than I am comfortable risking in one hand.  With $60 I have top buy in at the 1-1 and bottom buy in at the 1-2.

I should look for new games.

All this is good strategy for Vegas where I hope this trip to play some no limit with a short stack.  There are some places where I can play for $50.  Then if I hit and have $100 in front of me, I can cash out and move to another casino.  Short stacked cuts out the parts of the game I can't do well:  Putting people on hands, calling large bluffs.  It gets the money in early and lets it just be a game of betting on the best cards.  However, even calling with second best is not a terrible move because the most I can win is capped at the small stack.

This would also get me unstuck from a game and get me walking the strip for a break and for variety.  I will earn less CET comps and perhaps my room rates will go up, but I really thing that deal is over anyway with all the renovation, the changes in comp policy and now this infernal resort fee that will add too much to the rate to make it a good deal over the downtown and off strip casinos.

Well, it is nice after all these losing sessions to win a nice bit.  It means my Ocala statistics for the season are plus $18.  My poker play for this season with all games computed is still a minus.  I've lost $141 playing poker in Florida.

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