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AC Trip Report Pt. 4 (AC Trip Report Pt. 4)

I had been sitting at the 1/2 NLHE table for about 6 hours when I hit my peak of over $1000 profit. It took one hand to dip me below that watermark, and I decided to regroup and work my way back up. My goal was to play smart. I still had the big stack, but a new player across the table in the 2s was catching up. He was a good looking guy with a sly smile, and he had an aire similar to the one I try to cultivate at the table. Part of him appeared to be aggro jerkwad, but another part of him seemed like an affable guy having fun at the table.

After 6 hours, the table complexion had changed slightly. The Crazian in the 1 seat had moved to a new table and his girlfriend took over his seat. Her seat went to the guy I just mentioned, who I will refer to as Grey Hood, based on his outfit. To his right was a skinny man, approximately 45 years of age, wearing a Bellagio brown jacket. He had dark brown hair, peppered with gray, and sported a mustache as only men his age could. Grey Hood and Bellagio Jacket were chatting away, and I noticed a kinship forming between them. I was unsure if they were related, but they were so chummy, I began to get the impression that they were.

I saw Bellagio raise to $4 blind from UTG and asked the dealer if it was a straddle. The dealer confirmed that no straddles are allowed, and Bellagio announced that it was a blind raise. The girl on my left asked why anyone would do that; she had seen it done more than once. I explained, "He may be trying to loosen up the table or build an image. Sometimes it's just to fuck around for fun."

A little while later, I saw Bellagio considering a blind raise UTG again. His decision was made easier when I saw Grey Hood and his big stack hand Bellagio $2, essentially paying for half of his "opponent's" blind raise. That is clearly against the rules. Players are not supposed to fund other players' bets. In fact, in some casinos, they don't even like players giving each other change, since it can be a backdoor way to redistribute chips with some conveniently incorrect math. I watched this all go down, but I decided to bite my tongue. It wasn't a lot of money, and it was a tad annoying, but I didn't want to be a pain in the ass, particularly when there was no benefit to me.

A little while later, I saw Bellagio place a red bird ($5 chip) for his SB ($1). As the action progressed from UTG to UTG+1, I saw Grey Hood, who was on the button, plop a $1 chip next to Bellagio's red bird and then pushed the red bird back to Bellagio. Now, Grey was willing to pay Bellagio's SB too!? Fine. I accepted that they knew each other and decided to use that information to my benefit.

Before that could happen, though, I saw the final straw. The Squirelly Kid two seats to my right ended up all-in against Grey Hood, who called. Bellagio was also still in the hand and actually bet before Squirrel pushed, so he considered whether to call. While he considered it, Grey lifted his cards up as though he were playing 5-card draw in a Norman Rockwell painting, cards lifted high and splayed out to give Bellagio a clear view. I yelled across the table, "You can't expose your cards to another player! Dealer!" I directed the dealer to the bullshit. Bellagio folded as the dealer warned Grey. At showdown, Grey showed his flopped Broadway straight for the win. He, Bellagio and the dealer continued to argue about whose hand should had have been considered dead. I don't think the dealer fully got it, as he was claiming that Bellagio's hand was dead. It wasn't my battle to fight at this point, other than to say to my neighbor, "I had to call that out, because if he tried that in a hand against me, I don't want him to have any excuses when I call the floor." Regardless of his intent, that mofo was cheating and ironically may've cost himself a lot of dough from Bellagio. At the end of the session, Grey would felt Bellagio, and only then did it become clear that they did not know each other from outside of the game. As Grey said, "I don't know why he called me. It's not like I've been bluffing him at all tonight." Dousches.

I had another odd situation regarding the guy on my immediate right. He played for a while, maybe an hour, reading a newspaper between hands, and then got up around two, leaving his chips behind. It was 5pm or later when the floor finally picked up his stack. He left no identifying information, so they asked me for a description. I was way off, somehow mixing him up with Bellagio in description. When he came by around 7, I had to tell him his chip count so he could claim his chips...the floor said he didn't match the description. Whoops.

Time for some more fun hands. I only have three to go, so bare with me.

It was about 15 to 30 minutes after my big loss with a rivered straight to a rivered full house. I was dealt a premium pair, QQ in the BB, and a player in MP raised to $5. The player was an old guy in a flannel, button-down shirt. He was a mix between a calling station and a tight player. If he bet, he had a strong hand, but just as often, he'd just call. I saw him limp at least once with JJ. By the same token, at times, he'd call with top pair, weak kicker or middle pair, top kicker even though it looked like he was behind (usually the bets were manageably small though in those situations.

From MP, the old guy bets $5. There was a few callers before it got to me, so I raised to $15. Old guy called, as did Squirrelly Kid. There may've been one other caller.

The flop came down A-high. That wasn't pretty for my QQ, so I checked, as did the rest of the table. The turn was a blank undercard to my QQ. I checked, and it checked around to Squirrelly in position, who bet $25. I called, knowing that he was the type of player willing to take a shot at a pot. Old man called too, causing a bit more concern. The river was a blank. I checked, old man checked, and Squirrel bets $50. I folded and prayed that the old man would call. He did, and showed KK. Squirrel had A9s for top pair. Losing the hand sucked, but I was just glad that I saved myself chips thanks to the old man's tightwad ways. If he raises me back preflop or if the flop came out all unders, this hand couldn't spelled disaster for my stack. As it were, it merely set me further behind my goal of $1000 profit.

But the hits kept coming. A little while later, I was down to about $1000 total in chips, or $700 profit, when I couldn't catch my outs with 9Td. I played preflop, perhaps to a small raise called in multiple locations. The flop was KQ4 with two diamonds, giving me an inside straight draw and the third-nut flush draw. I called a $20 bet as did one other player. The turn was a blank, and the bettor bet $50. I wanted the juicy pot and I had a lot of outs, so I opted to call once again. The river was crap, though, so I folded to the bettor's river bet.

On one hand, the 9Td hand got away from me. On the other hand, I didn't want to overly tighten up merely because I wanted to preserve a profit. Part of me feared that I was turning into the Gotti kid from the first post in this series. He, too, was sitting on a big stack, feeling confident and seeking more chips when I saw his downfall (and, in fact, caused it). I didn't want to just give my money back to the table. Another part of me felt I was still getting the best of it at the table. I had reads on all of the players, so it was only a matter of playing long enough to continue my generally upward trend. The dips were just a blip on my course, or so I hoped.

This one is the last hand I recorded on my cell phone's notes function. It kinda shows how frazzled one's play can be when you are internally arguing between that feeling that you need to tighten up and that feeling that you have to remain loose to continue success. I held Q6o in the BB, and after a player in MP raised to $5 and got one caller, I considered folding. Still, $3 was a discount, so I tossed in my chip. The Crazian's girlfriend, now in the 1 seat in EP/MP, called as well.

The flop came down 664. With three 6s, I decided to check. The girlfriend bet out $20 and got one caller. When the action got to me, I decided to get the money in early. I raised to $80. She called, but the other caller folded. The turn brought a card that created a flush draw. I didn't like the situation, and the pot was swollen at more than $200 at this point. I eyed my opponent's stack. She had probably $450 or so. Truth be told, I couldn't believe that she was ahead of me. I had been playing with her for hours. If she had flopped the full house (44), she would've re-raised me. She was not one to set traps or slowplay...and frankly, after my sizeable raise on the flop, only a fool wouldn't re-re-raise with a flopped full house in that situation. I doubted she had K6 or A6 for similar reasons. Frankly, all three hand combos, 44, K6 and A6, were unlikely because they either required the two exact remaining 4s or the one exact remaining 6. That said, it was possible that she was on some sort of draw, since the flop had a flush draw as well (creating two flush draws by the turn). I didn't want to fuck around, so I decided to take the pot right there. "I'm all-in." She grumbled, looked at her cards and complained to her neighbor about having to fold. She did, and then I asked her if she would like to see one of my cards. I held them both out and told her she could choose. "I don't wanna see," she answered. Grey Hood jumped on it and said, "The right one! The right one!" I shut him down. "Sorry, but the lady doesn't want to see it and the offer was to her." I mucked my cards and took my pot.

The rest of the play was fairly quiet. Grey Hood finally got up the nerves to talk some direct shit, complaining that he was just waiting for me to get into a pot so he could get all-in against me on a draw. "I like your plan," I told him. "Let's see what we can do about that." He had about as many chips as me at the time.

I had the hammer twice in the late goings. On both instances, Grey was in one of the blinds. In both instances, I raised to $12 and the table folded to me. In both instances, I showed my cards and asked what Grey Hood was so scared of. When he'd raise, I'd usually fold my 46o or 23o. It was coincidental that I always had such crap cards when he raised, but silently I was happy. I didn't need to get tangled up with the only other big stack, especially since he was a good aggro player.

At some point, Squirrelly Kid busted and left the table. Not five minutes later, he was back with a look of panic on his face. Apparently, he lost his cell phone. I offered him mine and he called and, when that failed, texted himself to no avail. I helped him search the area. I felt for him. It wasn't that long ago that I had lost my wedding ring while playing poker, a story I'll save for another day.

A little while later, he came back with his phone. It was given in to the lost and found. He returned to poker, down several $100 buy-ins. He busted in short order again (twice) and as he left, I reminded him, "At least you broke even in cell phones."

Around 6pm, I was sorta anxious to go and lock in my profit. It was around the time that I was bleeding chips, down to $750 profit or so. Alceste, however, was still playing 1/2 NL a table away from me and KJ was still in the tournament. At around 8pm, though, KJ was busted, in the money (as was Mary; congrats to them both). Alceste and I cashed out and the three of us headed back to the car.

The ride back was, well, the ride back. Alceste was kind enough to drop me off at my apartment even though he lives in NJ and had to drive into (and out of) NYC for me. He's a real class act.

The poker was great. I refound that guy who went into a room with a taste for action and a mind for poker. I felt more in control than I have in a long while.

Last night, on a whim, I signed up for the Skillz game and ended up taking 2nd and a few bounties, eventually losing to Maigrey aka the Poker Princess, an old skool blogger who I had played with in person a bunch of times. It was Stud H/L, and much like the live cash game, I felt somehow more in control even as I chased the action. It was my first online poker game in a week or so, which is a refreshing change for me.

Live poker is where it's at. Online poker is great for those games less commonly available live, like Razz or O8. It can be fun as a recreational activity too. But overall, it just doesn't have the complex human elements that make live poker so exciting. There is something about making a call aided by a person's breathing pattern, or seeing the look on your opponent's face when you raise their bluff that cannot be replicated online. But it's still the methadone of my heroine-like poker addiction, so I'm glad its available.

Thanks for reading 4 posts about 9 hours at a poker table in Atlantic City. Over those 9 hours, I won $825 and probably tipped a good $50 or more between drinks, dealers, and whatever else. I even tipped a floor guy when I asked to change seats. He said, "Looks like your current seat is doing fine by you." I thought it over and agreed. After winning two of the next three hands, I felt he earned a little sumthin sumthin.

I'm back to AC in December for X-mas, and in Vegas in December as well. I may be back in AC a lot sooner though. Wifey Kim is working on some weekend plans in late October, so poker is always an option.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 1:39 PM,


At 8:02 AM, Blogger Riverrun said...

Nice trip and a great haul...I knew you were going to win a bunch after reading your first sentence in part one though. you have a writing tell :P

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Booby Stealz said...

great posts as always...great job!

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Nice writeup. I like how you describe the people and the setting.


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