Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekend at the beach

I spent last night playing poker at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi MS. The Beau is a beautiful property, and the poker room was terrific, too. It had handsome wood paneling, and a nice feel to it. I believe there were 16 tables and they were packed. On the TV monitor that showed the waiting list, there were often as many as 50 players waiting. They spread $1/2 NL, $2/5 NL, $4/8 Limit and $10/20 Omaha-8 with a 1/2 kill. The latter was tempting, but I decided to swim in the familiar waters of $1/2 NL.

The dealers were good, there were auto-shufflers, they swiped you in at the table. There were several TVs and the usual assortment of football games were on (Alabama beat Va. Tech and LSU beat somebody, maybe Washington). The drink service was excellent.

The game I sat in on was juicy, although, unfortunately, I wasn't able to grab my share of the juiciness. I saw a guy turn over Q 9 and win a $60 pot when there were overcards on the board, but also a 9. I saw a guy call a $75 bet (pot-sized) with Q-10 where the board had K-J-x-x. With only eight outs, this is not a call unless you think you can get the rest of the other guy's stack if you hit. In fact, he did hit (an ace came), then he checked to the other guy who was wise enough to check behind. When you call a big bet like that and hit, make 'em pay. I'm just sayin'.

One of the things I didn't like was that they use a time-rake process (Harrah's in New Orleans did, too) and it's $6 every 30 minutes (when the new dealer pushes). I played for five hours, so that was $60 down the black hole. The reason this is bad for me is that I only won four or five pots (three were big, one medium, and one small). With standard rake, I would have paid maybe $16ish or so.

I had A-A twice. Once I raised to $15 ($12 to 15 was standard at this table) and everyone folded. The other time I got two customers. The flop was interesting: A K 10. Yes, that gave me top set, but Q-J would have a straight and there could be a flush draw. I led out for $25 and an older guy called. The turn was 10 giving me the boat and an almost unbeatable hand. Now what? I decided to bet again, hoping he had a 10 or a flush draw, but how much? I bet smallish (compared to the pot size): $30, but unfortunately the other guy folded.

The only other premium hand I had was A-K and I won a medium pot when an ace came. The usual scenario was I would have a small pair, and call a raise after others called, then whiff the flop. That and fold, fold, fold. I made some calls on the button with junk, but was never able to do anything with them.

One other cute hand. I had 8 8. There was a raise and two calls to me, so I called from the blinds. The flop was Q-4-4 which is great for me, but being the nit that I am out of position, I checked. It checked around, and so I knew then that I should have bet, oh well. The turn was the 8 giving me the boat. What would you do? I led for half the pot and got a caller! I forget the river, but I bet again, and my customer folded.

It pays to pay attention. Two seats to my left, a guy always raised to $12 when it came to him and the pot was unraised. The big blind always called (he had a big stack and was splashing around in lots of pots) and others would fold. Finally, I limped when he was on the button, he raised to $12 and only the BB called. Now, I made a big re-raise, both folded, and I picked up a $30 pot for free. My hand? I had that powerhouse of 4 4.

The best hand of the night happened at the table next to us in a $2/5 NL game. It was a loud game, so I had been keeping my eye on it. Everyone had tons of money in front of them with lots of laughing and drinking. At one point, the floor came over and told them either to stop cursing or to lower the volume. She knew they were having fun (and didn't want to squelch that), but if someone else in the room complained, it would be her ass.

All of a sudden, I heard a louder than usual commotion, so I stood and turned around to watch. Two guys were all in and there was more than $5,000 in the middle. I don't know what the loser had, but the winner had an open-ended straight draw and a back-door flush draw. Sklansky would say he had 9 outs (for some reason he counts the back-door thing as one out, even though you only hit it one time out of 22, and zero times out of 22 if you're MOJO). The turn completed his straight.

After he was pushed this huge pot, someone asked him why he called the all in. He said "I felt like gambling." Doncha love it? I mean really. The poor bastard guy, who was the 2:1 favorite, came over and shook his hand, and left the game. Give him props, he took it well.

I'll be back to the tables today. Also, I'll check in on the tournament. In the meantime, here are some photos. I had my camera and an itchy trigger finger, lol.

The Beau Rivage sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico.

The grounds are beautiful.

I'm here with my laptop and the only image editing program is a freebie a friend recommended called FastStone. I've only used it once, so didn't do much tweaking as I didn't feel like climbing up the learning curve right now.

I was hoping for a great sunset, but clouds rolled in and hid the sun, making this more pink than orange. I'm glad this sailboat came along as it added to the shot, obviously.

Remember I said the Beau sits right on the Gulf? This shot was taken from the parking garage, maybe 20 feet from my car and without a zoom lens.


  1. Nice photos, Mojo. Sorry you didn't win big - yet!

    When we lived in Ft. Lauderdale, buses filled with us old folks went almost every day to Biloxi. I think most came home quite tired and quite broke.

    We didn't go.

    Hope you having a good weekend!

  2. They have a time rake at the Beau Rivage instead of the usual one? That's bad.
    Why do you need to process your photos? Why not go directly from camera to computer?
    That Beau Rivage looks pretty - nice photos.

  3. 1. I suppose they think the table and dealer cost them the same per unit of time in a little game or a big game, so they charge that way.

    2. Such enjoyable photos. You must be using TenMile's composition techniques!

  4. @Jacob, TM, Bastin & Wolynski: thanks

    @Crash: #1 I think he rake thing works out about the same for the casino and is easier for the dealers, but it's worse for me because of how I play. #2: I look in the viewfinder or the LCD and shoot. I take a lot of shots. Like a dart-board, if you pitch enough darts, a few will stick.

    @Wolynski: the software is probably a crutch.

  5. Great recap - and LOVE that sunset pic.

  6. Sounds awesome. So jealous. The Beau is a beautiful place.

    In the Q-4-4 hand it's tough to lead out with two people behind you. If it gets raised, then what can you do?

  7. Some really beautiful shots !! I loved it..Great..Unseen Rajasthan

  8. The timed rake sounds horrible. I have never liked that idea.

    Dang, but you are one traveling man! Thanks for giving us insights into these poker rooms out of our area. And the photos are always great, of course ...

  9. Thanks to all who left comments.

    @lightning: Catch me if you can.

    Yes, I've been on a traveling thing lately. There are a couple more in store, then things will settle down.

    One advantage of being divorced with no kids -- you can take off whenever you like.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.