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Out of the Blue (AC Trip Report Pt. 1)

So much to say. Plan A was to rent a car, head into Connecticut and play some poker at Foxwoods with Woffle. When that didn't look likely, I got a timely text from bro-in-law Marc. "Are you throwing a game this weekend?" I wasn't, but I had an idea. "Wanna go to AC?"

God bless the Internet. I mean, really. In five minutes you can compare about a half dozen ways to get to AC. In the end, we went with the ole rental. We found a good price and set a mental plan. We'd head out 8:30 get to AC at 10:30, play till our eyes bleed, and leave whenever we felt like it.

And it started well, too. Well, actually, that's not quite true. Marc had picked up the car and came to get me in downtown NYC. When I called him to find out where he was, this is what I heard. "Some guy hit my car!" What the fuck. That cannot be good luck. No way. When I got to him, the car was merely scraped. Still, with a rental, we had no idea what to expect. I got into the car and announced, "You know car accidents are good luck." "Really?" he asked, seeing a glimmer of hope for our less than exemplary start. "Nope. I just made it up. But let's assume that its true."

The drive to AC was not particularly eventful. We didn't stop once, even though I had yet to eat for the day. One thing about poker, when I'm playing or going to play, I don't seem to need food or sleep. I can say with upmost confidence that this is the only activity where this occurs. I like eating, and while I hate sleeping, I do acknowledge it as a necessity. But not the case with poker. So we were on our way, with little in my stomach and little sleep to boot.

On the way, I called the Showboat to figure out when their tournaments would start. There was a $50+10 at 2pm, but Marc and I felt like shopping around. The next call was to the Hilton, a casino hotel at the North-most part of the boardwalk (or is it South-most? Directions have no meaning in AC). I had seen the poker room before and even spoken with their staff when I was researching the plausibility of setting up a new AC-centric website. It seemed like a nice room, separated enough from the main casino floor but close enough that you didn't need a shirpa and GPS to locate it. The room has probably over 25 tables, but when we walked in at 11:30, there were about 3 going. At the time, we had just heard the announcement (made throughout the entire casino...nice move, Hilton), that a new 1/2 table was openning. We had missed it, but Marc and I mulled about, trying to see if there was interest for another table. Two other players were interested, a young, clean looking asian, and a shlubby looking ex-frat guy. Two geriatric gentlemen were also milling about, but when they heard we were playing 1/2 NL instead of 2/4 Limit (also known as the third ring of hell) they got grumpy and opted to wait.

We were off to the races, but there was only one problem...we were 4-handed. In truth, I love such situations. Four to six players is optimal for me, since it allows me to play more hands and concentrate on reading less opponents. We stalled to see if we could get a few more players, but eventually kicked it off super short handed. In the first hand, I bet preflop to $6 and took down the blinds. In the second, I limped UTG, as did the frat guy button, and the young Asian completed. Marc raised it to $7, and since it was only another $5, we all called.

I had 93d, which is far from a great hand. But what it lacked in quality, it made up for in the sheer fact that we were 4-handed. The flop was T92, with one diamond. It checked to me and I fired off $16. Fold, fold, and then it got to Marc. He called, and I was surprised. I never expect or want for my buddies to soft play me at a table, but I also won't be starting something unless I'm ready to finish it, so his call got me processing just what was happening. I placed him on a decent preflop hand, but that board could not have done much for him, unless he had AT. That said, I also doubted that Marc would slowplay or check-raise, since we were so shorthanded, the game had just started, and frankly, Marc doesn't slowplay much.

The turn was a blank diamond, giving me the flush draw, along with my middle pair. Marc bet out $32. What's a man to do? If I call, I can still hit my flush and beat him if he was ahead. So, I called.

The river was another blank. Marc checked to me, and I checked as well. I showed down my 9, and he showed his AQd. Thank god we didn't hit our flushes.

From there, I was just on fire. Part of it was sheer will. Part of it was the comfortable cushion of being ahead. A thin, worn-out looking player came to our table after bitching and moaning about how someone had busted him at the other table. He looked cagey and desperate. In a few hands, he busted his first shortstack buy-in when he hit top pair with his T9s. Sadly, when he push-re-raised the young Asian, the Asian had KK, and the thin guy was broke. He got up and walked away as I lamented the fact that I wasn't able to win any chips off of him. In the interim, other players joined the table. Fortunately, skinny Tilterson came back with a sad solitary $100 bill. He sat down, looking as cagey as ever.

In a few hands, I had T8d, and decided to play it for a limp. It was a limping table, which is my favorite condition. It allows me to play a slew of cards with high potential to tilt or bust others when they hit. I can also fold said cards easily and cheaply when I miss. Some guy who was super proud of his folds (he kept bragging he folded KK when the Ace hit, or two pair, because I was so aggressive...which makes him either a liar, or a chump), was in the hand as well, along with Tilterson.

The flop came down 67T rainbow, so I had top pair with an inside straight draw. I bet out $10 and Foldy called. Tilterson grabbed his silly looking miniscule stack and fired $30 into the pot. Fired is the right word, cause he damn near shot the chips out of his hand. The aggressive move immediately set off the tell-o-meter. He was tilting and actually pushed in the same manner in the hand against the young Asian. Even though I was mildly concerned he had me outkicked, I decided to call. I knew if I hit my 9, I'd be in great shape to bust the rest of his stack (another $50 or so, I believe). Otherwise, I may still be ahead. To my surprise, Foldy called as well.

The turn was a 9, and suddenly, I was golden with my straight. I checked, knowing full well that Tilty would do the betting for me. Foldy checked as well. Tilty took his shot and bet out $30 again. As soon as he did it, I announced, "I raise", throwing $60 into the pot. Foldy hemmed and hawed and folded, while Tilty said, "Ah damn, he did it to me again! SONUVABITCH!" He then called, like the dumb fuck he was. The river was dealt and I flipped my cards. He mucked and started to rant. As he walked away, he stopped across the table from me and said in the most sarcastic way possible, "Nice hand, buddy!" I smiled, "Thanks." What else could I say. I had his money. Oh, and Foldy, he claimed he had T9. "Nice fold," I told him. It wasn't the first time I encouraged his masterful folding. What a tool.

Once Tilty left, I had a flashback. Not too long ago, I was in AC with the usual crew, and sat at a table where a wirey, tilting guy got into a physical fight with a big fat guy with a bong for a card cap. That wirey guy was none other than Tilty. Oh lordy, I'm starting to recognize people.

The table had filled up, and I made some bucks playing ATo against a tight Gcoxian player on my right. He had the accent and everything. The hand prior, I pretty much had him read as a high pocket pair, but by showdown, someone had sucked out on him. When he called my preflop raise out of position (he was on my immediate right) when I had ATo, I was slightly worried. The flop had an Ace on it, which was enough for me. He checked and I bet out $25 or so. When he reraised me for the rest of his stack, $23, I thought I was in trouble for sure. But the pot was big enough to call, and he showed down QJ for an inside straight draw. I guess he was tilting from the prior hand.

In another hand, I limped with J4 and hit JJ on the flop. I held K2d once in the BB and flopped KK2. I checked the flop, as did the smart SB player and a fat guy who saw himself as a hotshot pro. On the turn, the SB bet $5, and I called. Fatty did too. On the river, SB checked, so I bet $15. Surprisingly, both players called. I showed my hand and fatty said, "I knew you had it." I replied, "If you knew I had it, you should probably fold." To his credit he did say that $15 was the absolute most he'd call and told me it was a good bet. Hey, I'll take compliments wherever I can get them.

As I sat, I felt my pocket vibrate. The call was coming from the phone of Dawn from I Had Outs, but when I picked up, it was actually Karol who spoke. "We are going to the Trop." I informed them of my whereabouts, and knew they'd likely come by. I do believe that it is one of Karol's favorite poker spots, and I was quickly learning why. They stopped by a little while later and we briefly said hello. But we were all there for poker, so they went to their table and I went back to business.

By about 1:15, I could tell that my stomach was digesting itself. I decided that, poker or not, it would be best to grab a bite. My decision was aided by the upcoming 2pm tournament, a $60+15 buy-in. Plus, the table had gotten colder, and I could use a break between cash and tournament play.

I hit the cage and cashed bought in to the tournament with $75 worth of chips. I then cashed out the rest, a full $196 profit, not including the $75 I spent on the tournament. I hit the boardwalk, leaving Marc behind to play more cash games, and found a random place for a burger. It was a beautiful day out, so I sat back and enjoyed the activity around me. AC seems to be revitalizing itself. It used to be casinos and crackhouses, with little in between, but things have gotten much more Vegas-y since the Borgata opened a few years back. More recently, an outdoor outlet mall/area/thingee has openned up, with a slew of stores and restaurants. It's a refreshing thing to see. The Sands is also closing, to be replaced with a new casino. Times change. I'm just glad to see that in AC, they are changing for the better.

When I returned to the poker room, the tournament was still getting organized. I took my seat, and waited.

That's enough for now. When we return, we'll discuss the tourney recap and the rest of our time in AC.

Until then, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 1:59 AM,


At 5:38 PM, Blogger DuggleBogey said...

Great report. I love your descriptions of the players, because I know exactly who you are talking about, except that they are people I've played with.

I think there's a glitch in the matrix that has the same people at every cardroom.

At 7:25 PM, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

The Hilton poker room is a gold. A big fat golden goose!

At 9:03 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Ah, loves me some Jordan AC trip reports.

And we have a new word...



At 7:40 AM, Blogger Littleacornman said...

Good stuff Jordan.Looking forward to the tourney recap.

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when you had the T8, you thought Tilty was on a complete bluff or you knew you were going to catch your gutshot? Lol.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always nice to have luck on your side. Not really a fan of the way you played some of these hands but it worked.

An important skill is being able to identify the degenerates and tilters, and exploit the shit out of them.


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