Monday, April 26, 2010

A new world

I went to the Horseshoe Saturday to play in their tournament. I busted out after two hours, so went to the podium to sign up for Omaha-8. There were four players in front of me, so I knew it would be a while.

"Do you have any seats in $1/3 no limit or $4/8 limit?" I asked. The answer was no, but we have immediate seating in seven-card stud. I said okay, and that's when I entered a brand new world. (Cue the theme music to the Twilight Zone.)

I'm no spring chicken, but I was at least 10 years younger than any of the other players. They say as people get older, they get more conservative, and that's certainly true in seven-card stud.

A typical deal played like this. The low card would "bring in" for $1 and four of five players would call. Raise? Are you kidding? I would say that only about 10% of the hands were played for a raise. Once I raised and they looked at me funny. Then everybody folded! "You have a good hand? We'll show you," they seemed to be saying.

One hand I bet $3 on the river. An old-timer thought and thought and folded. I showed my full house and thought to myself: I wonder if he would have called a $2 bet.

A typical pot was $15 or $20, and $30 was a big one. I think many of them were there for the beat jackpot. I asked about it (always a good idea in a new game or setting). It took four 10s or better getting beat to win it, but they had a mini-bad beat where any four of a kind getting beat would get 10% of the regular jackpot.

There was the usual mix. Some players had a clue, some weren't very good, and one or two were truly awful. A poor old guy two seats from me had only $5 left in chips. I heard him say to no one in particular: "I told myself I wouldn't do this," as he reached for his wallet and pulled out another $20 bill. Obviously, he was just there for fun and had a budget. I was secretly rooting for him, but, sadly, he lost that, too, and left the game.

How did I do? I had bought in for $100. When they called me for the Omaha-haha game, I had $96 in chips. See? I can play with the old farts.

Below: The Horseshoe has this old-time limo in front as a curiosity.

Below is the obligatory bar band.

Images by MOJO and taken with my P&S.


  1. That used to be my game. 7 card Stud. I played it in Reno in 1976 on my honeymoon. The only time I have ever hit a Royal Flush was there playing 7 card Stud. I used to love it. It's been a few years but your post made me laugh as I remember in Reno being only 21 everyone at the table I played at then was as old as can be. I see it hasn't changed

  2. Well, it looks like a nice place and I love that old Cadillac!

    Nice to know you can play with the old farts. You know, of course, that you're talking about me! ;-)

    And yes, Starbucks seems to be ubiquitous - I really don't know why - their coffee is too strong and their prices too high. So what's the attraction?

  3. 56 Cad. to start with.
    I don't know why old guys like stud. Unlike hold'em, you have to keep track of the playable cards remaining. Harder for an old brain like mine. Maybe that is just what they grew up with along with 5-card draw.

  4. RE: I'm no spring chicken,

    Ah, You're a spring chicken to me!

  5. "I'm no spring chicken, but I was at least 10 years younger than any of the other players.'

    You had me chuckling with that one ...

  6. Haven't seen stud in a Strip casino in years - maybe they have it in the outlying casinos that cater to (old) locals.

    Poker sure does change.

  7. I think you'll find that available STUD games can be a cash cow. Yes there will always be 'rocks' at the table, but you can take advantage of that too. You'll eventually find that without actual collusion involved, they will work with you on the weak.

    Oh and Crash it may sound weird, but us old farts actually seem to track lost outs and available outs FAR better than the new kids on the block.

    Good read double M !