Saturday, February 13, 2010
If it's a race, run faster
The Atrium Cafe above is one of the many places you can eat at the Gold Strike Casino. If a casino doesn't offer a variety of good food, players will go elsewhere. Casinos love to take your money. In return, you get free/comped food -- good deal for them.
I went to play in the Friday night tournament at the Gold Strike. I was surprised to see it was a $70 buyin and you only got 5000 in chips. If I'd known that, I would have tried one of the other tournaments, probably the Horseshoe. With "only" 5000 to start with, you have to take chances to build your stack.
We started with 42 players, so there were 210,000 chips in play. At the final table, the average stack would be 21K. The tournament was playing five places. First was around ~$850 (I don't remember exactly) and fifth was ~$85.
One of the things I look for when I play live is this: Which players make an automatic continuation bet. That was important when I picked up ♦8 ♦7 in the big blind. A player whom I had identified as a CB type guy raised three times the big blind. It folded to me and I called. The flop was ♣Q ♥7 ♠3. I checked and the villain made a pot-sized bet. I check-raised him (I don't remember how much, but a sizable bet) and he folded. I actually had middle pair, but the check-raise would have worked no matter what I had. Players who always make a CB should check occasionally (whether the flop hits them or not) to mix up their play.
My crucial deal came when the blinds were 300/600/50. I was in the big blind with 6400 in chips and checked my cards: ♥J ♦J. The UTG guy raised to 1400. It folded to the button who thought a long time and called. What would you do?
If we had deeper stacks, I would call and decide what to do after the flop. If there were only one player, I might try a stop and go, but with two villains, that is less likely to work. I decided to shove. If they both folded, that would be sweet. If one called, maybe the other would give up and I would be heads-up.
Sure enough, the UTG called and the other guy folded. UTG showed ♥A ♦K. We were off to the races: The odds calculator says I am a 56.2% to 43.31% favorite (it doesn't add to 100% because there can be a split pot in some cases). This is excellent because not only am I a slight favorite to double up, there is dead money in the pot: the antes (450), the small blind (300), and the money from the guy who folded (1400).
Unfortunately the flop was ♠A ♣A ♠10! Not to worry -- tomorrow is another day and another tournament.
As I was leaving, I saw two Elvis impersonators at the bar. I asked to take their photo, and they were more than happy. People dress up like that either as a paid gig, or because they like the attention. These guys probably weren't paid, but they were having fun, for sure.
Then another impersonator ran up and wagged his finger in my face. "Your photo is no good," he said, "because it doesn't have ME in it." Sure why not? I took another shot and this time one of their lady friends jumped in. Some people will do anything to be on my blog, lol.
Images by MOJO and taken with my P&S.