Sunday, May 17, 2009
I had a great time this weekend -- a read trip with some poker included, how bad can it be? I went on a riverboat trip Saturday afternoon, and took some photos. I'll post them later. I was scheduled to take a two-hour bus tour of the Big Easy today, but it was raining a ton, so I decided to skip it this time and head for home.
When I got there Friday evening, I checked in to my hotel and hustled over to the poker room around 5:30. I knew it would be packed, but that seemed like a good time to get a seat. W-R-O-N-G. There was a list, and I was #40-something and had to wait nearly one hour and a half.
You can take photos in Harrah's (New Orleans), but it specifically says no flash. This photo above, well, it is what it is.
Unfortunately, it was the poker session from hell. Example: There were limpers to me on the button and I held ♠J ♠9, so I limped, too. The flop was J-9-X rainbow. It checked to me and I bet $10 and got one caller. The turn was a queen and he checked and I did too. The river was a blank and he bet $15 and I called (sigh) and he showed 10-8 off suit for the straight. (I wish he'd had K-10 instead -- that would have been easier to stomach.)
Another hand I held J-J in late position. There were some limpers to me and I popped it to $15 and got two callers. The flop was 10-3-3 rainbow. It checked to me and I bet $25 -- one guy called. The turn was a blank and he checked and I did, too. If he's on a draw, then so be it, but as I watched him, he was looked pretty confident calling the flop bet. The river was a third spade, so he checked and I did also. He turned over 7-3 off! I mean, come on. Playing it to begin with is silly, and to call a pre-flop raise is ridiculous. Then, he got little value for it. I guess he hoped I'd bet the turn, and the third spade scared him on the river, so I lost the minimum. The whole evening was like that, but at least I didn't go for a number.
Saturday, again the wait was long. I was #60-something, but they had nine tables of $1/2 NLHE going, so I knew it would go faster than you might think. I went to get something to eat.
When I got seated, the poker was the exact opposite from Friday. I sat down and was between the blinds and the button, so had to wait one hand. Then on the first hand I played, four players limped to me (for $2) and I checked my hole cards to see ♠K ♣K. I had no read on the table and no clue what a normal raise was, so I bet $15 and got two callers. The flop was A-X-X, yuck. They checked to me and I gritted my teeth and bet $25 and both players folded! Yes!
This was pretty much how my whole evening went. I cracked A-A with this hand: I had 6-6 in late position. The UTG guy bet $12 and two players called, and so did I. He had A-A and doubled me up when I hit another 6.
On another hand, I cracked K-K. A guy raised to $15 from early position. I had ♠A ♠K and position on him, so I called. the flop was 10-X-X, with two spades. He bet and I called (I forget the amount). The turn was another spade, giving me my nut flush, and he checked and so did I. The river was a blank and he moved all in! Folks, I couldn't make this stuff up.
Then this hand: A guy raised to $15 from early position and there was one caller to me on the button. I had 2-2 and called. The flop was wonderful: A-6-2 rainbow. The guy did a strange thing now, he bet $20, but he was a little reluctant. I put him on K-K or Q-Q and the ace scared him. The guy in between was a short stack and he called, as did I. I'm not a fan of slow playing, but if he didn't have an ace, a raise by me would run him off, so to speak. The turn was another blank, and he bet $20 again. The in-between guy called for $15 of it and was all in. I called, as well. The river was a rag and the original bettor checked. I bet $45. If this isn't a value bet, I don't know what is. It looked like a value-bet duck, and quacked like a value-bet duck, and, in fact, I had ducks. The guy called and I scooped the pot. Poker looks so easy when it goes like this.
I should mention that this casino has what is called time rake. Instead of taking money out of each pot (10% up to $4 plus $1 for the badbeat jackpot), when each new dealer sits down, you give him $6 for the next 30 minutes. If you play for five hours, that's $60, for example. It's not hard to see why there are few winning players.
In my car, when I exited the parking garage to come home, I turned on Ms. Garmin. She couldn't acquire a satellite fix -- that's how hard it was raining. (It finally did, but took about five minutes.) I know how to get home, but Garmin is good for finding cheap gas and other more important things such as locating a Starbucks (heheh).
Can you see the sign for the WSOP in this photo: