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Scraping By (AC Trip Report Pt 2)

The alarm clock went off at 7AM. Unfortunately, it was the neighbors alarm clock and the neighbors either didn't exist or were not answering the call. The sound through the wall was unbearable. Not only was I suffering from a rum and coke and Corona hangover (the official alcoholic beverages of High on Poker casino play), but I was also suffering a $330 loss hangover. I tried to force myself back to sleep, but by 7:07, I had enough. I called the front desk and complained. In five minutes the alarm stopped. But I was still awake. Roose was sleeping away, god bless him, so there was only one thing to do. I got dressed and headed to the poker room.

The Showboat poker room is great. It's away from the main floor, but not hard to get to. The tables and room are nice. But, unfortunately, the action was a little light at 7AM on a Thursday. There were 2 games spread: 2/4 limit and 1/2 NL, and neither table had more than 3 people! I decided to play 2/4 limit, given my depleted bankroll ($170 left out of $500). My goal was to grind out a $50 profit, enough to pay my way into the 11AM tournament.

When I sat, the two players were middle-aged patrons taking the game semi-seriously. One gent went to the bathroom, so I found myself playing 2/4 limit heads up. It felt like I was online. Unfortunately, variance and his selective aggression got the best of me. When the third guy came back, he too was catching cards, although playing very passively. With 22 I raised and he called. The flop was K44. I bet, he called. The turn was a 6. I bet he called. The river was a blank. I bet, he called. He had KQ! I don't know why he didn't reraise. I don't know why I didn't check.

Other players joined the table. Two black dudes sat down. They were of the friendly variety. They played to win, but they weren't exactly sharp shooters. An old guy to my right was fun to hang with. At one point I was down to about $40 of my original $100 buy-in. That's when I started to play better poker, working my way up with a few large pots, including one where I rivered a straight because of pot odds. I love dem pot odds! Suddenly I was up $15 or so. That's when I started announcing: this is going to be my $35 hand (remember the goal). Well, it didn't work out that way. At 9:30 I had to leave to meet Roose. I was up $14. I don't remember the last hand, but it was playable. Unfortunately, my neighbor also had a playable hand, and at showdown, I had lost. My net profit for 2 hours of poker: $0.

With $170 left in my wallet, I met Roose upstairs. We threw on some clothes, me opting for the Superman shirt that had done me so well. We skipped the -EV showers and signed up for the tourney. A breakfast later and we were ready to play. We got into a small conversation with two other players, young guys who looked barely 21. I joked that we'd see them at the final table.

At the tournament, I was seated with a fun group. There were two ladies, one who looked liked my grandma (I felt a tad guilty when I made huge pots off of her). The other was a friendly lady on my left. Besides them, there was a mix of older players. One guy was in his late 20s or early 30s. He was an aggressive guy, but he showed down some crappy starting hands. I tried to be cautious of him. Hell, I tried to be cautious of everyone.

I have to admit, I played the perfect balance of hand selection, considering my opponent's personalities and actions, and aggression. In one orbit, I'd fold A9s. In the next, I'd raise. I coasted by most of the tourney, amassing chips and staying in the top 3 chipstacks at the table. I don't even thing I reached many showdowns. I wasn't chasing. I wasn't taking coin tosses. I was on my game. Roose held strong too, but eventually went out when he was in the Rule of 10 and pushed with TT. Someone called with J8o preflop and hit a straight. Meanwhile, I did my best to keep it moving. I sat at my table, alternatively playing my mp3 player and leaving it paused while I pretended to bob my head.

I'll cut to the chase, since I don't remember a lot of hands. There were 58 or 59 players. I wasn't getting any good cards. About 3 hours into the tourney I got my first premium hand, AA. It was folded to me on the button. Even without premium cards, I was playing premium poker, so that was all that mattered. The two young kids got moved to my table. We had fun bantering. I had especial fun raising the timid one off of hands. Each time he'd say, "you've been playing tight, so I'll believe you" I had been playing tight...but not against him.

I was in heaven when the three of us actually did make the final table. With 10 people left and 8 spots paid, I decided to focus on making the money. The blinds were 2000/4000, and because of cold cards, I was down to less than 15K. One player went out. Only one more to go. I raised all-in with 99 in EP and all players folded. With 500 antes and 15,500 in front of me, I knew I'd have to make a move. There were two other small stacks, but I was playing for 1st, not 8th. I was dealt AcQc on the button and decided to make my move when it folded to me. I pushed for 15K. The SB folded. The BB thought for a while. I was going to talk some smack, but didn't have the heart. I didn't want to give anything away, especially since I got the BB to fold with 99 by saying stuff like, "You don't want a piece of this!" He eventually called...with KQ!!!! And then he turned the K. AQ v. KQ preflop. I still couldn't help but feel like I fucked up. Roose was right there. I got up and grabbed my stuff. I said goodbye to the several players who I had spent the day with. They all had a lot of respect for me and my game. I don't mean to hype myself up. But that was how they reacted, and I was flattered. I didn't say a word. One guy asked if I was okay. I nodded. I flipped up my hood and walked away as techno music played on my mp3 player. Roose joined me. He was starving. It was 3pm. I told him we should eat when we got to the Resorts. I was starving too, but I had to get out of the Showboat as soon as I could. My heart was broken and I was ready to explode. We grabbed a sandwich on the way out. I could hardly eat.

Sounds like fun, right? Down $350 or so (after winning $30 somewhere doing something...I swear I can't remember what), my prospects didn't look good. I placed 9th out of 58, but I was wiped from the bubble finish. So close, yet so far. Resorts, here I come...

posted by Jordan @ 11:49 AM,


At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can feel the pain, that bubble hurts and it is easy to second guess yourself now that you know the results. I guess you have to tell yourself to trust yourself. Had that hand stood up, you would have been setup very nicely for the run to the finish. Sucks. Looking forward to the rest of the trip.

BTW - feel free to bet on those Steelers again!

At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Josh. I put my dough on the Seahawks receiving 4, and then another 10 on Seahawks receiving 4.5, and a little on the under 47.

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I despise the AQ. I feel your pain. Hope Resorts went well.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need an Offical Alcoholic Beverage. Can I use Yuengling, or does Mean Gene have that wrapped up? Maybe I can get away with saying "Yuengling and Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck". The odds are long that someone else chooses those.


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