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And Then Some - AC Trip Report Pt. 3

Read Parts 1 and 2, below, first. But if you couldn't figure that out, then I doubt this announcement will do much.

When I arrived at the poker room on Xmas night, the room was substantially more packed. I was in the hole for $355 due to -EV table games and slot machines, so I had a determination about me. Roose and Hole were already seated at a 1/2 NL game, and seemed to be doing well. Hole looked short, but he's an aggressive players, so I expected some swings. Over the course of the evening, they seemed to take turns being ahead and behind. Roose finally busted late in the evening. Hole ended ahead over $100.

I, meanwhile, placed my name on the 1/2 NL, 3/6 Limit, and 1-5 spread 7-card stud game. I wanted to play, and the NL list was long. Meanwhile, parents Roose came down and we talked about my mother. After dinner, she slipped on some grease on the floor, injuring herself. I heard about this earlier in the night and spoke to my Dad, but he insisted that she was okay, aside from a high blood pressure (odd for my low-blood pressured mom), an injured knee, and injuries up her entire left side. They had gone to the infirmary and were treated as though they were conmen looking for a quick buck. Fuck Harrah's for that. But as a lawyer, I knew the reason. Harrah's didn't want to look guilty. Well, fuck them anyway.

I went up to see my mom. She was okay, considering. My parents wished me luck and my dad put $200 in my hands. "This is for you AND Kim. Make sure she gets her $100." Shit, pops. I'm a degenerate but not THAT much of a degenerate.

When I returned to the poker room, my name had just been called for 1-5 Stud. I sat down with the old fogies and watched the hand play out. I knew that I'd need to play smart and use my young gun image. After all, Stud is an old-timers' game. But before I could get chips, they opened up a new 1/2 NL table and my name was called. I immediately got up.

The table was a mix of caucasian white males. One female sat down. It was her birthday and she was atrocious. To my left was an intelligent late 30 year old player. We chatted for a bit and immediately made friends. We had the rest of the table pegged as a bunch of amatuer college students or just-out-of-college kids. We were right too. Two players in the 1 and 2 seat were tight. The next guy had crappy hand selection and was loose post flop as well. I could just about say the same for the guy to his left too. 4s was eventually replaced by a guy who insisted on trying to raise me out of pots. I was playing tight, and I guess he knew it. 5s was a real mongoloid retard. Turns out he went to my High School too and was 2 yrs younger than me. I played against him the first night and he joked with me about how crappy he played. He added, "When I left, someone said, 'that is the worst player I ever saw.'" I quietly said to the guy on my left, "That was me. I said that." Mongo (that's what I'm calling him) said, "What?!" "Just joking." HAHAHA! We all laughed. I wasn't joking though. He sucked. To his left was a non-consequential guy, followed by the girl and an Internet player, and finally some prag to my right who I busted. He was followed by an Asian guy named Blue. We got along well. Clearly, he, I and the guy on my left were the only good players. On this, the three of us agreed.

Now, specific hands have sort of left me for the most part. I played tight. I limped when I could and folded whenever I could as well. I have learned that at these tables, you make most of your money on a handful of hands. Leave the other ones for the raising donkeys.

I had won a few smaller pots early and then folded for what seemed like an hour. I knew my image was tight. I looked down to see Qc4c. I decided, in LP, that it was time to make a play. I bet 12 total. The loose guy in the 3 seat, who I'll call Orange for his shirt, and the 4s Re-Raiser got in on the action. The flop was 426. I had made the low pair. I decided to continuation bet for $10. Orange folded. Re-Raiser, well, he reraised to $20. The turn was a 2. I checked and re-raiser bet $20 to 40. I don't exactly recall. I called. The river was a 4. I rivered a full house. I bet $50. He called. When I showed my full house he mucked his hand. Oh well oh well.

That got the ball rolling. I was chatting away when Hole came over to see what was happening. At that moment, I held AA. I bet big pre-flop and got two callers. The flop was K high with two low cards and I bet again. Orange pushed all-in. I called and took down the hand. He held 77 and had missed the board. Another one down. He rebought (probably 3 times at least while I was there).

Let me add here that I am probably mis-representing a lot of the action. As I write, I am losing the specifics. These hands look like I got lucky. But rest assured that I was playing the players AND the cards. I made good decisions and got good results.

In one hand, I held the nut flush draw with AQs. I believe I raised pre-flop to 12. After the flop, I bet out 20. Orange pushed for 25 more. I called, and then hit the flush on the turn. Unfortunately, he had a set (pocket pair hit the flop) and the river paired the board. I was just happy that he had won it instead of another player. I knew I could get it back.

There was one hand that I was particularly proud of. I held AKo. It was getting late (3am) and some new players just joined the table, including the Nerdy girl from the morning session. I didn't want my crappy image from the morning hurting me here. She had about $800 to 1000 and had to actually take chips off of the table. The table max was $200, but since she was moved from a breaking table she could only hold as much as the chipleader, me. I held $450.

I was thinking that it was time to move on and I was UTG+1, so this would be my second-to-last hand. I looked down at AKo. I bet $20. I get two callers, Orange and Mongo. Joy of joys.

The flop was KQ3 with two spades. I looked across the table at Orange and said, "I bet what you have." He counted it out. $54. Orange looked sheepish and folded. Mongo called. The turn was a 2d. I looked at Mongo and said, "It's your turn now. I bet what you have." He had about $50 more. He folded. I guess I could've gotten more, but I just felt so damn good about beating down the players. I got up and left. Rob joined me. I was up $322 in that session alone. The result was that I was down only $33 or so for the whole trip. I couldn't wait to get upstairs and wake up wifey Kim with the news. But first...

Robbie and I walked the casino trying to calm down. He played some Wheel of Fortune and I sat back. We decided to go upstairs and relax, but first we wanted to check the table game limits. They were all $15 minimums and it was 3am in the morning! And then we passed Pai Gow.

I shouldn't play, I thought to myself. I am almost back to even and I don't want to lose it now. But I figured that I could play one hand for $20, the minimum, just so I can break my Pai Gow cherry. I felt sheepish and I apologized to the three Asian players when I sat down with one $20 bill.

Now, let me go over pai gow for a minute. You are dealt 7 cards. You bet once, and only once, unlike most other poker table games. Once you get the 7 cards, you arrange them into a 5-card hand and a 2-card hand. The 5-card hand MUST BE higher than the 2 card. 2 card flushes/straights don't count. The dealer then arranges his 7 cards. If you beat both of his hands with both of yours, you get paid, minus a commission to the casino. So, basically, 20 pays 19. I guess this is because, for the most part, you push. So, if you are dealt AAKKQJ4, you can arrange as AAQJ4/KK or AAKK4/QJ. The first makes more sense, since you will definitely win the KK, absent a dealer getting something like a straight plus AA.

In total, I won $95. Hole joined in and won $83 or so. In the whole time I played, I only lost twice. It was a real pleasure. When we were done, Hole and I retired for the night. I crawled into bed next to wifey Kim. In her half-asleep haze she asked, "how did you do?" "I won it all back...and then some. We are up $62 overall." I then enjoyed some sweet dreams.

The rest, as they say, is history. Roose and Hole stayed a bit later than me the next day. I decided to actually not gamble in the morning. The $200 88 v. AA taught me an expensive lesson. The ride back was fine. I couldn't help rehashing the last night in my head, over and over and over. By sheer will I was able to win back all that the Casino took and then some. Even better, I felt like a great player. I played well and I know I can do it consistently. In poker alone I won $394. If I didn't make that 88 v. AA misread, it would be $594. If I had avoided all table games (aside from pai gow) it would've been a nice score. But the games were entertaining for wifey Kim and I and this wasn't a trip about poker. It was a trip about her.

Best of all, I did it. In January, I set a goal to win $1200 in poker this year. It was a modest goal, but at that point, I was a micro-limit player with a $50 online bankroll and my home games were for $40 profit if I was lucky. I rarely played/play in casinos and I never had entered an underground card room. In the early summer I was more or less wiped out. In half a year, I was able to climb back to a profit AND meet my goal. For this, I am proud.

Thanks for reading.

posted by Jordan @ 10:50 AM,


At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"intelligent, late 30 year old player"

I like that description way better than the last old geezer description you gave. I will be thinking of myself as a ULTRA-late 30 year old player for at least another week now.

Great write-ups J, makes me even more envious.


At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn good reads.

I have to ask, how white does a man have to be to be considered a caucasian white male?

Glad to hear your Mom is o.k. That sux.

Catch you Wednesday. I want those Copags...

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al and a few others have been pimping the tourney. That's a good thing. I hope when I get home I see a few more signed up...

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... should at least 3x what you want to win this year.


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