Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Well, I got beat today.  about 5 hours of poker cost me $84.
My worst hand was holding Q-4 of diamonds with A of diamonds Q of something and  -J of diamonds  on the flop and a 4 coming on the turn.
My opponent went all in with a straight.  I called with a nice flush draw and a nice full house draw.  Lots of outs.
Lots of outs.
In the end, nothing but the two pair.

I missed one high hand draw when I needed a Q or 7 of hearts for the straight flush.  I did win the pot, but not the high hand bonus.

Two players at our table were paid on high hands, one was quad queens and one was quad jacks.  One was Dale.  I played next to him for the first time this winter and we had some time to talk.  Funny guy.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016


I drove up to play poker again at the Jai Alai.   Had a fine time.  Folks from the Villages were there.  They recognized me now and so I'm part of their community.  I had a great talk about Vegas with Larry.

The poker went very badly in the beginning.  I just seemed off my game.  I kept losing.  I made a fifteen dollar bluff bet after the river came in a way that shouted I had a straight;  however, my single opponent called me for her last twelve dollars with just a pair of Queens.

And that did not help me in later hands as it should.  I still would not be called if I caught the goods.  I played my better cards worse than I played my junk.  I had bought in for $140 and was down $50 when my luck changed.

I held 3-4 of hearts in the small blind and the flop came with the 5-6 of hearts.  On the river came the Deuce, giving me a nice straight flush.  I got called for $11 from the woman I failed to bluff earlier.  And my had went up on the board as the high hand with just 22 minutes to go.  I kicked out quad Aces.  Most sessions on Wednesday are half hour high hand sessions, but this one had been going since noon and would end at two thirty.  So my little straight flush was the highest hand in the room for two and a half hours.
I was pretty nervous, but it did hold up and I got $250 ($225 once the tip was paid)
An ex dealer Wes had caught a higher straight flush while sitting in my exact chair last week.  In the final seconds of the session someone caught a royal.  It was a tense 22 minutes.

Now, often I might get a bit loose and nutty and go through my winnings, but the rest of the afternoon I played pretty good cards.  I had on ten minutes when I made too many mistakes, so I took a good break, had some coffee, stretched, and came back.

At 5:30 when the Village's bus left,  I was ahead by $377, so I took my profit and went to the Iron Skillet buffet for some pulled pork and other tasty treats.

Now this is a odd bit.  I tossed 5-7 of hearts in a later hand only to see that I had tossed away another heart flush, this on to the 9 and a winner for that session.  Runner, runner straight flush. 

It is a friendly group, but one good natured fellow named Bruce who I've seen other years stopped giving me the good sportsman compliment, "Nice Hand" after I beat him again and again.  All luck really.  But I do love this game.

And the advantage of the 1-1 table can be seen here in my high hand win.  To play those cards to the flop all I had to do was check my option.  There is very little raising preflop and then it is usually just a dollar.  Very unusual for a no limit game.  I feel that one poker skill I do have is putting people on hands after the flop and that one works in this game.  Also, no one bluffs.  I was the only one at this table today.

There was more talk about the new game to open and this time it was from a fellow who will deal there.  He said it would open soft at the end of February and even that was optimistic as lots of construction needed to be done.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ocala once again

I went up to the poker room at the Jai Alai again today, but I can see this is not the day I want to go.  All have said that Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are the well attended days.
I had to play 1-2 NL and even that was a wait.  When I arrived there was only 2-5, way out of my bankroll.

However, the game was fine until it wasn't, and then I left.
I was up and down, mostly up, and in the end I quit $159 ahead.

And the players were nice enough.  However, it was all poker.  There were no good stories, not jokes, nothing that left the details of the game itself.  After a while, it is just boring.

A guy started the 5 person game with us who had never played before.  He came to play the 3 card poker table game, and when it was not yet being spread, he tried our game.  He was not a good player, but he was lucky.  He bet almost every hand, so it was a rather expensive game to play.  I did not beat him once, but I did not lose much to him either.

Two good hands for me were my A-Q of spades that went into a runner runner flush that beat out a youngster's three 5's.  It was poorly played.  I was just lucky.  And in the end he overbet by going all in on just trips with a flush and a full house possible.

The other was my A-10 that saw three more Aces on the board by the river.  My opponent had a full house, and he went all-in, so I made a good bit on that hand.  Neither he nor I qualified for the high hand board.  He had to have won the hand.  I had to have had a larger kicker so both cards played.   
The promotion on Sunday looks good when they print that they give away a thousand dollars, but it is a disingenuous promotion advertisement.  It is a very complex deal and ultimately if you get $100, you are lucky.  One fellow did that when he caught a royal flush on the river.  But they used to give $500 for every royal.  No more.
They rake $2 for promotions, but the deals do not approach the kind of deals Laughlin offers, who also rakes the $2 just for promotions. Then the house rake here caps at $5 while in Laughlin it caps at $3. 
I'll probably start going as often as I can on Wednesdays because that seems the most lucrative.

I expected the Iron Skillet buffet to be the same as I had on Wednesday, but it featured roast turkey today, and it was a real roasted turkey.  I could crunch on a crispy wing.  Great lima beans.  I had quite a treat.  No conversation, however, that amounted to much. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ocala Jai Alai poker

I drove up to Ocala for a few hours of poker.  Wednesday is the day the Villages sends a bus, so the competition is just a bit softer.  I was especially lucky to be rather late and have to wait for the table that opened for those eliminated from the tournament set up just for the Villages. 
I was patient and I caught a few good cards, so I ended up $107 ahead when I quit and went to supper at the Iron Skillet.

The folks playing were friendly and talkative.  Wes, who once was  a dealer at Ocala and reminds me of my son Keith, came to play and told us all about his poker room up near Jacksonville.  It is much bigger, but a long way for me to go.
He was on the high hand board twice and each time he lost.  Once he had an 8 high straight flush that lost to a Royal in the last hand of that half hour session. They give high hand $250 every half hour.  I was never close to a high hand.  Earlier the prize went mostly to straight flushes, but later it went to Aces full three times.
I also heard that a new poker room is opening near the Villages and every one is very excited about it.

I hope it won't be too much competition for the Ocala Jai Alai room.  I'd hate to see that one close.  On the other hand it may draw more players out from the Villages and some may be a bit soft.  Also, there was speculation they might spread a 3-6 game.  That would be nice.  However, Wes told us that in Jacksonville the only limit is 2-4 in spite of their being plenty of tables.  So, I won't hold my breath.

While I waited for a table I met and talked to a fellow in a little mobile scooter and he turned out to own the place.  Fred was his name.  Very friendly.  We talked a bit about new casinos coming to my area up North.  He wished me well. 

A pretty young Asian woman sat next to me for a while. She was very quiet, but opened up a bit and then told a rather disturbing tale of being verbally abused because she is a woman and Asian by this old confederate guy, unwashed with a flag on his shirt.  It was upsetting.  She held a high hand and asked for the pot to be spread.  She needed just one caller to make enough in the pot to collect a thousand dollars.  The fellow knew that.  He purposely did not call her and killed her chances.  Terrible story.

Dale played with us for a while.  I rivered him with a king of spades against his turned flush. I had a few lucky river cards.  The best pot, however, I did not catch my flush or straight in spite of plenty of outs.  I'd have doubled my profit had I caught on that hand. 

Phyllis who arranges the bus from the Villages sat next to me and she was funny as usual, punching me in my arm when I check raised her and took a good pot.  She had a plastic reindeer that shat out brown jelly beans.  Pretty funny card protector.

Many of the dealers I knew and remembered.  Howie, the big guy, had just buried his mom last week in South Carolina.  Melissa was cute and funny as always.  Most do a great job. This is one who gets easily distracted and makes mistakes.  But overall the dealing is perfect.  A new dealer Chris had worked his way up from chip runner last month.  They said they were hiring new folks.  I imagine that the poker room soon to open will take some of their regulars.

I played with my piece of decorative rock from Oatman, Arizona.  I wish I knew what the stone was called.  The woman who sold me the scrap for a dollar did not know the name of it.  I liked it and it generated some discussion.

When the Villages bus left, the game was down to rather tight and good players waiting for the evening tournament.  Only five or six of us.  I played for a while, but realized I could not make money and left.

I went to see the renovated Iron Skillet.  I have to say it looked the same  $15 got me the buffet and I bought a little sugar free chocolate as well to take home.  I sat at the counter and around me sat truck drivers telling stories.  They were quite entertaining.  I felt a bit like Steinbeck in Travels with Charlie except I just listened.  They have showers there for the truckers so it is a popular spot.  These guys were driving from all over.

The chicken was good as was the roast beef.  I had a good salad.  The corn bread and taste of mac and cheese was off diet but tasty. 

I'm happy the place is open again.