Friday, May 27, 2011

Working on the hours I need

The Horseshoe Casino is open again and their poker room is active.

I went to the Shoe Thursday afternoon to start earning the 40 hours I need to play in the freeroll for a WSOP Main Event seat. There were $2/5 NL tables, $4/8 Limit games, $1/5 seven-card stud, $15/30 Limit and (mostly) $1/3 NL Holdem tables. I started out at the latter.

My biggest pot was a gift from heaven. There was a young guy who was trying to push everybody else around. If he sensed weakness, he pounced. He had about $700 in front of him, so he was the guy I targeted. There was a staddle on the button for $6 and a couple of callers. I raised to $30 and only the aggressive guy called. The flop was 6-4-4. The aggressive guy led out for $18. I could see that he was thinking that I probably had high cards and this flop couldn't have hit me so he was testing the waters. Even though an $18 bet into a $70 pot is ridiculous, I just called. The turn was another low card and he now bet $65 and again I just called. The river was a blank and he bet $117 (where do they get these amounts?) and again I called. He turned over A Q! I was happy to show K K. Notice that if I had reraised him on the flop, he would have folded or at least shut down. Why bet when he would do it for me? Of course, if an ace had come it would have been a different story.

I see this scenario all the time: A guy was shortstacked and thinking about leaving. It folded to the button who bet $7. The guy moved all in from the big blind for about $20. The button called and turned over A K. The short-stacker showed 5 4. A 4 came on the turn and (unnecessarily) a 5 on the river. Someone at the table announced "I guess you can't leave quite yet," and the other guy just laughed. The next hand he went all in again and this time showed 6 9 -- "My favorite number," he said good naturedly, and he din't mean 96.

This time he lost and left. Why do you have to go broke, then leave? What's wrong with leaving with $40 in your pocket? That's a fancy meal somewhere or why not keep it in your bankroll for the next time? I don't understand that mentality, but, then, I'm a conservative old man so what do I know?

When I first arrived, I signed up for NL, limit and stud. They called my name for seven-card stud after I was up $400. I decided to protect my winnings by moving to the stud table -- big difference! A big pot at no limit could be just about anything, but a big pot at the stud table was $15. Still, I was able to put in more hours (very relaxed game and no risk - I played about six hours total) towards the 40 I need for the freeroll.

In most stud pots, whoever had the best hand bet $1 or $2 and the chaser called. Two younger guys joined the table and started betting (gasp) $5. The old lady next to me leaned over and whispered, "They going to break up the game if they keep betting like that -- five, five, five." What she meant was that the regulars don't like "wild" betting and would quit. I just nodded.

Above: This shot (click to enlarge) was taken in the middle of the parking lot. They are using pumps to empty underground drains (because of the flooding).

Images by MOJO and taken with my point-and-shoot.


  1. I always find your commentary so interesting...and I get the feeling that someone should be making a movie of the action you describe.

    Sounds like you had a good time and made a little money. Hard to beat that! Especially for an old guy (which I know all about!) :-)

  2. You are spot on about leaving before you go broke. That seems to be my biggest leak. I have gotten a lot better at it. $20 is $20.