Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rumblings and grumblings

Above: An American flag reflects off the side of the Gold Strike Hotel & Casino.

I haven't played much poker lately, so was in the mood -- I played in the evening tournament at the Gold Strike Saturday at 7 p.m. The buy-in was $60 plus a $10 toke for the dealers. Paying $70 got 54 runners 10,000 in chips. Each level was 20 minutes.

I lasted until 10:30, Level 10, when there were 15 players left. I shoved with a suited ace and ran into two bigger aces -- both had A-Q. I bricked and was out, no biggie. The blinds were 1000/2000/300 (and about to go up), so you have to pick up pots to survive, standard tournament stuff.

Three times I had A-J and made three different bets, all during the first hour of play: 1. I raised, 2. I folded and 3. I went all in! The first time it folded to me in the cutoff seat. I raised and everybody folded. The second time I was UTG+1, and folded. The third time, I was in the SB. One guy limped and another guy meant to call, but accidentally raised. The dealer told him his chips would have to stay in the pot. I moved in to win the bloated pot uncontested, ha ha.

The Gold Strike dealers are usually superb, but tonight they made several errors. The Tournament Director made several standard announcements before play - they always do this. One announcment: no cell phones. If you use your phone, your hand is dead and you may incur a penalty. The VERY FIRST hand, the dealer dealt the cards. The guy in the five seat was on his phone. The dealer told him to get off the phone, but let him play the hand. W-R-O-N-G.

They also made an announcement that there is no soft play. If you are last to act on the river, and have the nuts, you must bet, or raise if it's bet into you. Around Level 3, two guys were betting. On the turn, the board was A-K-J-x. There was a bet and a call. The river was a 10, making the board A-K-J-10-x, rainbow. The first guy bet $1200, was raised to $2400, he called. The raiser turned over A-10 for two pair. The first guy turned over A-Q for the nut Broadway straight. According to the rules, he should be penalized, but the dealer said nothing. W-R-O-N-G.

When we were in Level 10, a guy wandered away from to table to talk to his buddy at another table. The dealer dealt all the cards. He wasn't there, so she reached over to take his cards and kill his hand. "Hey," he yells. "I'm right here." She lets him come back and play the deal. W-R-O-N-G. In tournaments, if you aren't in your seat when the second card is dealt to the button, your hand is dead.

Also, I took a look at the payouts. There was $2160 in prize money, seven places would get paid. I did some quick math - that's $40 per players. So we put in $70, and only $40 goes into the prize pool. That just seems like too much. And they call it a deep stack event because you start with $10K in chips. But they shoot the blinds up pretty fast. Deep stack implies you get more play, but it's probably only one more level.

I'm not much of a ca$h game player, but I love tournaments. Even so, I may have to rethink these cheapo ones.

When I left at 10:40 p.m., the temperature outside was still hot - 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When I took out my camera to shoot the photo below, my lens fogged up. Besides 90 degrees, it was muggy. If my lens was foggy, I wonder if the stuff inside the camera also had condensation? Not good.

Gold Strike: The automatic doors open, inviting gamers in.

Images by MOJO and taken with my P&S.


  1. Interesting hands with A-J. Really good write up.

  2. I miss the Gold Strike and the Horse.

  3. I just sometimes get tired of playing tourneys since the investmentof time shows little or no return.

  4. Lightning, for the same reasons, for me, it might be a good thing. Slow down my losses!

  5. I know what you mean about the 10k stack and jacked up blinds. I am hoping that it is not that way in Indiana this weekend. Wish you could have come.