After a tour of the Appleton Art museum, including a photo by the Lucky Lion, Peter and I went up to play poker at the 1-1 game in Ocala's Jai-Alai.
At first Peter got slammed pretty hard. $60 is the maximum rebuy and generally both of us replenished from our pocket to keep that $60 in front of us. At the lowest point of his game, Peter had just $60 of $200 left and was feeling like perhaps he should quit.
I encouraged him to stay. I had hit a high hand award of $200 on Aces full of Queens that held up (They award one every 30 minutes) and so I thought we had plenty to play with.
And then his game turned around. I could feel it.
Peter does not play casino poker, but only the game at Gregg's. Even his trips to Vegas years ago were before we played poker. He played blackjack then.
However, this game is not much different than the game we play at Gregg's, especially in the early afternoon except the stakes are higher. By evening the game evolves into a softer game, much like what Gregg's game used to be years back when we could count on a few bad players showing up and we were not as experienced ourselves.
And, of course, Peter knows none of the players at Ocala.
He continued to grind back his lost dollars.
Then he had J-6 in the blind ( we play more blind hands here because there are two one dollar blinds and often no preflop raising) and the flop was 6=6=5.
The turn was the case 6, so Peter would get on the board for the high hand award if the river was not higher than his Jack. Here he made a mistake. He played to maximize the pot by checking to check raise when he should have pushed all his chips in and force all other players out so as not to see a river card.
He does not need pockets to win, but both his cards have to play as part of the best five cards.
But he was lucky. The river card was 5. He made a value bet and was not called. He was on the board. He had to sweat out the ten minutes left, but in the end he won the $200 high hand award for the 30 minute period.
I lost my high hand money back, quitting with just $12 to the good. I played poorly.
Peter played well and left with $138 profit for the seven hours.
It was delightful to see him win. After a year of struggle and much more yet to face, here was a tough challenge met and conquered.
We hope to go back Saturday. That might be a different story. That day the high hand awards are $500, but the odds are less of winning because there are more players.
My timing was off or I might have done better. I hit quad 3's with pockets, and over half the time those quads would have won, but someone had hit a royal earlier in the half hour, so all I got was the pot.