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Who Needs Profit? (AC Trip Report Pt 2)

On Christmas morning, while the gentiles were waking up to gifts, I was waking up with a hangover. Wifey Kim and I were up fairly early, so we decided to order in room service for breakfast. For room service, the food was pretty good and fairly fast. The price, $30 total, wasn’t that bad either.

After breakfast, wifey Kim still had a lot of showering and such to do, so I decided to hit up the casino floor for some Pai Gow. I spent a while at a $25 minimum table filled with mostly Asians. Wifey Kim finally found me when I was down about $100, a common theme of the trip. We decided to leave the game and move on to another.

That’s how our day went. We roamed around, gambling here or there. At around noon or later, we met up with wifey Kim’s grandpa and his girlfriend. they had bussed in for the day, so we had lunch with them at RiRa, an Irish pub/restaurant in the Trop. I had the cheddar burger with sweet potato fries. The meal was delicious and fairly cheap, thanks to a 20% off coupon from my Mom.

After lunch, we did some more gambling. Eventually, we had enough and went upstairs to relax. I headed over to Roose’s room, where Roose, Robbie Hole and Marc were hanging out. I taught Marc Israeli Poker, a game I’ll probably explain here some time soon. We futzed around before heading downstairs and saying goodbye to wifey Kim’s grandpa.

After that, wifey Kim and I hit up the craps table, where we lost some more. We were gambling with my poker money. It’s like a little gift each year, since wifey Kim let’s me play poker a shit ton. So, even though we were losing, we were having fun. My parents stopped by, fresh from Avatar, which they saw at the Trop’s IMAX theater. My mother proclaimed it amazing, which was enough to convince me that I need to see it soon.

Tired of gambling, the crew met up at the Rumba Bar, a newer bar near Trop’s table games floor. We each had a drink or two and enjoyed a cigar. When we were done, we headed to Cuba Libre, another Trop restaurant, fro dinner. We had previously arranged for a table near a TV, since there was an NFL game on, but when we got there, we learned they didn’t have the channel. Lemon!

We still sat near the bar, and ordered a ton of food. Mostly, we just got a bunch of samplers. While we waited for the food, we played 31, another great time-killer of a game that I may describe here shortly. I won for a $4 profit. BOOM!

Dinner was great. Once done, though, the guys were off to poker. I decided to hang with Kim, but when she started to fade, we went upstairs, where I eventually left her for some more poker.

I waited for a good 20 minutes for a seat to open up at 1/2 and when it finally did, I took my seat. The table looked like it was full of rounders. I sat down in the SB and had to sit out a hand. I followed the play as I heard an announcement that a new table was opened. I only heard about 8 names read off, so I returned to the cage and asked if I could be moved, seeing as I hadn’t played a single hand. The cage okayed my move and I joined my most fun table of the trip.

The benefits of a new table versus an established one is pretty obvious. At a new table, everyone starts with at the same level. There are big stacks beyond the max buy-in. There is no history or established reads. Hell, the players are even still on the same plane as it relates to getting into the flow of a game.

The negatives are a lot less, but still worth noting. The biggest negative, in fact the only one I can think of, is the tendency for players to be tighter when their session first starts. Consider most homegames that run multiple tournaments in a night. I can almost guarantee that in the first tournament of the night, the players are tighter and it takes a longer time for the first bust-out. By the last tourney, though, the players are already loosened up from the higher blinds (in later stages of the earlier tournaments) and emboldened by either their previous wins or losses.

So, my new table was tight. I mean, $6 raise preflop and everyone folds tight. But it was fun. It was basically a bunch of Jews and a couple of Asians, including a hot Asian chick sitting to my immediate left. My side of the table also included a young Asian kid on my right and his buddy, a Caucasian kid, on his right. The four of us (including the hot Asian chick) conspiratorially chatted and conspired when some obviously clueless players on the other side of the table made some truly absurd moves. We were all licking our chops.

I actually played fairly well, but the entire session can be boiled down to two hands. The first gave up most of my $80 or so profit. Even though my table crew were licking our chops, the Asian chick busted (after buyin in short twice) and the Asian kid couldn’t get much traction and left down about $100. The nitty table had a lot of small stacks, $100 or less, but I was looking to have fun and it was a relaxed table, so I didn’t mind.

In the first of my two hands, the Asian kid was already gone, replaced by a young, fit kid in his early 20s. The Kid was friendly, and sat down while saying, “Let’s give this a whirl.” I was under the impression at first that he was just trying out poker, based on his statement and small buy-in, but he seemed to understand the game fairly well. He had pushed all-in on one occasion and showed an unlikely 2 pair (rivered his second pair) for the win, so I had some thoughts on how he played.

The hand was a doozy. I held 48s and I was either in the blinds, or more likely I made a loose $2 call, since there wasn’t much preflop raising and I could outplay most of the table post-flop. I think there may’ve been a raise from one of the particularly weaker players, so when there were several callers, I joined the fray.

The flop was 6s7sX. It checked around. There was a small bet from the original raiser and I called, along with two other players.

When I hit my flush on the turn, I bet out a decent amount. My only caller was on my right, the Kid. The river was a blank. I was mildly concerned that my 8-high flush was no good, but when the open pushed for over $100, I had to think it out. I remembered that hte last time he pushed, he had rivered two-pair. I considered that he may’ve had two pair again, but I didn’t want to rush my decision. I turned to him and asked, “Do you have the flush?” “I do. It’s a high one too.” He waited a second and said, “The Queen.”

Now, I’ve said this here before, but not in a long while: Often times, people tell the truth when you ask them their hand. This is especially so if they do not hesitate. It is the usual reaction for human beings to tell the truth, and in poker, oftentimes they think, “I’ll tell him the truth, and he won’t believe me.” It’s like reverse psychology.

So, when he admitted to a Queen-high flush, I had to seriously consider that he was telling the truth. It would explain his play 100%. Calls the flop on a draw. Calls the turn when he was slowplaying. Pushes the river because now he knows he’s good. It may’ve even been an overbet for value. I considered that he had a major hand the last time he pushed. He then offered, “I’ll show you no matter what.”

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Everything told me he had me beat. He seemed confident, we were friendly at the table before the hand, he said what hand he allegedly had, it made sense with the play, it fit his past play, and after all of that he offered to show no matter what. I figured he was being friendly. So, I folded. And he showed his bluff. Maybe he had top pair or something, but not a flush. Oh, and he did have the Queen flush card, but not two of the suit.

So, I made a mistake. I misread the situation and maybe talked myself into folding. Lemon! To make it worse, he then said, “I figured, why not, it’s my last hand.” He then packed up and left. FUCKER! I still laughed it off.

Before we get to my last hand, I figured I’d take a moment to discuss one of the more odd exchanges. I was playing a hand with a guy who looked like Pat, the androgynous character from 1980s or 90s SNL, except he was clearly a dude. He played like he thought he knew what he was doing, but it was all very ABC.

So, we are in a hand together and he is staring me down. So, I turn to him and stare him down, eye to eye. We held our pose for at least 30 seconds, which is a long time for a silent stare down. He then mucked and I laughed, “I think we just shared a moment there!” The table loved it and we went off on jokes about our “moment” for another 15 minutes. My favorite line was, “Was it just me, or was Endless Love playing in the background during our hand?”

I love those moments. All at once, all the tension is gone from the table and we are all just friends playing a game.

My final hand was in my last orbit. I held AQd and raised preflop to $12, getting a couple of callers. By now, the table had loosened up somewhat, but it still wasn’t an action table.

The flop came down A22 and it checked around. There were so many players, I didn’t want to mess around just yet. Anyone with a 2 was betting out, given the table, and I was out of position.

The turn was a King. LEMON! If anyone else had an Ace, my kicker would no longer play on the A22Kx board. But I bet out anyway and got one caller.

The river was a harmless 8 (thanks for the editing help, Woffles). My one sole competitor had about $50 in front of him. I figured we were lock for a chop, so I decided to push all-in. I figured I could pretend that I was slowplaying the deuce and maybe puck up the entire pot instead of half. It was a play with no downside in my head.

Now, if he had $300 behind, things would’ve been different. But he didn’t. He had $52, to be exact. So when he called, I was bummed to see his A8. If not for that rivered 8, it would’ve been a chop. Go fucking figure. He had no right to be in that pot with my prefop raise, but I wanted him there, so I wasn’t going to complain.

I was about even before that hand, but after it, I was down $97. It was late and I had enough. It was a fun session, but not entirely profitable. But sometimes, that’s just how poker is.

The boys all went upstairs for a late night hang out, before returning to our rooms for rest. The next morning, we all met up with the large group, as we said our farewells. Before leaving the city, though, we stopped by White House Sub Shop for some of their famous subs. Good stuff!

That’s it for this years X-mas in AC. Thanks for reading.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:15 AM,


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