Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hand Of The Day #43

$1/$2 NLHE - MGM Detroit - 06.26.10

First orbit of the session, Mid player raises to $11. I'm the 2nd caller on the Button with 5h 3s. Four players see the Flop of Ad 9c 3d. Mid bets $25. I call with Bottom Pair (and the Button). UTG also calls.

Turn: [Ad 9c 3d] 2d. UTG checks. Mid checks. Nobody seems to like the Flush card, so I bet $50. UTG folds. Mid calls.

River [Ad 9c 3d 2d] Kh. Mid checks. I'm fairly sure that my Pair of 3's is not good. So I make a Value Bluff of $60, since that's what I would bet with the Flush. Mid really goes into deep thought, and then he starts talking. "Do you have the Flush? I have a really good hand."

I've been just sitting there shuffling some chips. I decided to join in the conversation. "You hit the K for Two Pair?"

"No. I have a Set."

"Wow, that is a good hand," I say with a little smile while still shuffling some chips.

He keeps thinking, and asks a few other things. But I drop out of the conversation. I just give a small smile, and keep shuffling some chips. Eventually he folds, but doesn't show if he had 99 or AA.

Naturally, I show my 53o. I don't do it to be a dick, or rub it in. I do it to advertise to the table that I am capable of doing this, since this is just my first orbit. Hopefully it will get me paid off later.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Looks Like I Picked The Wrong Week To Quit Sniffing Glue

Since my usual Saturday night game went on hiatus for the summer, the Home games have kinda dried up. One of our regular hosts, Julie, decided to have a Sunday afternoon $40 tournament. She has two tables in her basement, and we ended up with 16 players. Things went badly for me early on, and never really got better. I finished in 12th place.

I ended up hanging around because Host Julie was also out of the tournament, and she wanted to play some Heads-Up. After the Final Table was set, we sat down at the other table and threw together a simple $10 Sit-N-Go. I got off to a great start by getting all the cards, and it looked like I was cruising to a victory. But somebody flipped the Doomswitch, and the all the cards started going Julie's way. I eventually lost the first match.

We ended up playing two more $10 matches before the main tournament finished up. I lost all three games. I must admit that it's not easy to lose three straight Heads-Up matches. I could easily blame it on the Cards, but I'm not sure that's the reason. Heads-Up is all about making adjustments, and maybe I just wasn't making the proper adjustments.

Or maybe it was just one of those days.

After work, I headed down to Mountaineer for my usual overnight trip. As it turned out, they had a $2/$5 game going on a Monday night, which was quite a surprise. Unfortunately, I didn't bring enough money to play in that game.

So I got a seat at a $1/$2 table around 7:30pm. The table was rather soft with a lot of limpy play. There were no Action Guys, nor were there any "Players" at this table. I was really cards dead for the first couple of hours, but it didn't matter. I was able to steal various pots, and my stack was floating between +$75 and +$140.

For the last hour or so, I started to get a few hands. Some went very well, and some were very annoying. At 11:30pm, I cashed out +$121.

I played in the 12:15 $65 tournament which had 40 players. Mountaineer is having a "Double Stack" promotion for their tournament this month, so we started with 14k chips which included the Dealer AddOn.

I was really card dead in the beginning, and only won one pot that was Blind vs Blind. After a few levels, I got moved to another table right after somebody knocked out three players. This player was playing a lot of hands, and trying to bully the table. He was also very willing to give out some "Courtesy Double Ups". I shoved All-In from UTG+1 with ATh, and he called me from the SB with QTo. By the first break, I had 13k chips, just 1000 below my starting stack.

After the break, things went better for me. I picked up a few hands, and got some chips. Action Guy dusted off his big stack, and I got some of it. I had around an average stack of 31k when we got to the Final Table at the 2nd break.

In the 2k/4k/500 level, I went All-In for 35k with JJ in Mid position. An Old Guy on the Button called with AK. The King on the Flop knocked me out in 8th place four hours after the tournament started, and three spots away from the Money.

I headed over to the main casino to check out the new Buffet, but it was closed. So I decided to try my luck at some 3-Card Poker. I haven't been playing the game lately because I've been running ice cold in that game. Since I've been running so bad, I decided to try a minor change to my "system". It's too complicated to explain here, but was successful. In hands that this change affected, I was up $70. Unfortunately, this only meant that I got to play a couple of extra hand before going busto. The Dealer was having a very good day, which has been normal for me over the last few months.

Even though my regular Saturday night game is off for the summer, Host Dave does have an occasional weekday Cash game, starting at 7pm and ending around Midnight. I was only planning on staying until 10-10:30, so I just brought $150 and put all of it on the table.

I was really tired, and I shouldn't have even gone. I played horrible. I was very weak and passive. I really brought my C- game to the table. I made a horrible call with AQ on a Q76 5 8 board even though I couldn't beat anything. He end up with Two Pair.

As the night went on, I was just going through the motions, and slowly bleeding chips. Finally at 9:30, my stack was down to $60. I cashed out, and went home to crash in my bed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hand Of The Day #42

$1/$2 NLHE – Hammond Horseshoe - 12.18.08

Here is an oldie that I posted on a Message Board in the "How Would You Play It?" format. I decided to leave it that way, so feel free to play along.

In the Hyjack, I raised to $7 with Jc Tc. Button, BB and UTG+1 called.

Flop: Js Ts 9c - Top Two Pair with backdoor Straight Flush draw. Nice!

It checks to me and I bet my standard C-Bet of $15. Button raises to $50. He's seems to be a solid, no-nonsense player. BB folds. UTG+1, an Old Guy, check-raises All-In for $58.

Button has $171 left in his stack, and you have him covered.

Pot size is $152

Your Turn...

To me, there were two different pots to consider. The easiest is the Old Guy's.

I play a lot of Casino poker. There are certain stereotypes of players, like Old Guy or Young Hotshot, or Loud Drunk Guy, or Woman. The reason for the stereotype is because most people who fall into these play the same way. I'm 75% sure that Old Guy flopped one of three possible Straights. So yes, I'm behind, but I only need to call $43 to win $152, or roughly 3.5/1 pot odds.

The problem is that there is no way I can just call. Since the Button raised what looked like a standard C-Bet from me, his range of hands is rather large. It could be just AJ for Top-Top, T9 for bottom Two Pair, 99 for bottom Set, a Straight, or some combination of Pair with draw, either Straight or Flush. If I just call the $43, and he calls the $8, then I will be out of Position, and have to guess on the Turn & River.

This is either an All-In or Fold. If I shove All-In, then I'm getting the pot odds of $171 to win ($171+$152) or almost 2/1 with Top Two Pair and a backdoor draw. The Backdoor Draw is a small factor, because there are various cards that could add more outs on the Turn.

I decide to take the plunge. "All-In"

Button doesn't insta-call. Sweet! He thinks for a moment and folds J 8, Top Pair with Open-Ender. Old Guy turns over Q 8 for the Straight.

Turn: (Js Ts 9c) 8d - A possible chopped pot. 7 outs
River (Js Ts 9c 8d) Th - Yahtzee!

I posted this hand because I wanted some feedback from "The Greatest Poker Minds in the CPMG." I wasn't sure if I made the proper move, or was just a donk who got lucky.

In hindsight, I think there isn't always a "Correct" play for every situation. Sometimes you just have to make your decision with the information you have at that moment, and be content with the results.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hand Of The Day #41

$2/$5 NHLE - Seneca Niagara Casino - 06.05.10

Mid player raises to $15. It folds to me in the BB. I've only got 74o, but decide to call. Flop 9c 9d 4d. I check. Mid bets $15. To me, if a player C-Bets the same amount or just slightly higher than the preflop raise ($15-$20), that usually means, "I missed; please fold." I probably could raise, and take it down right now. But I want to see if I can read this situation properly. I call.

Turn [9c 9d 4d] 8s. I check. He bets $25. That card doesn't change anything, so I call.

River [9c 9d 4d 8s] Jh. An overcard. Crap. I check. He grabs two Green chips, and throws them in towards the middle of the table. I snap call. If he actually hit the J, I think he would've just checked. He would now have showdown value with Top Pair, and it's possible that I'm slowplaying the 9. He shakes his head, and show KTo. I show my hand, and scoop the pot.

He was not amused.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rants & Raves: The Cleveland Casino

In November '09, the voters of Ohio approved the construction of four casino in four cities: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. The casinos are expected to be built and open by 2012, except for Cleveland in 2013.

A couple of weeks ago, the State of Ohio finally came out with some basic rules and regulations for the casinos. The ones that have caused a bit of controversy are the ones involving alcohol and smoking.

There will be no free drinks in the casinos. People who've been to Vegas once or twice, but nowhere else, are upset by this. But Vegas, and maybe Atlantic City, are the only places that just give away alcohol. All of the casinos in this part of the country charge for alcohol. Some of them do offer free booze in their High Roller areas. The Ohio casinos are also cutting off alcohol at 2:30am, which follows state law. This is also standard in this part of the country. I know that the Detroit casinos have "Last Call" at 2am.

Also following state law is the smoking policy, which is No Smoking anywhere in the casinos. This is not normal. In fact, I'm not aware of any casino in the country where you can't smoke in certain areas of the casino, like the Pit. I'm actually expecting this to change before Opening Day for one simple reason. It's bad for the casino operators.

If a smoker is having a bad day at the Slots, they would normally just stay in the Pit and chase their losses hoping for that one Big Hit. But in Ohio, they would have to leave the Pit, and go outside for a smoke. While outside for five or ten minutes, they can think about their losses, and realize they are better off just going home, and try again next time.

And from the logistical perspective, will the casinos allow a huge crowd to hang around right outside the entrance? Or are they gonna build some designated Smoking Areas that are outdoors? For those who live in Northeast Ohio, how many people are going to hang around outside in the middle of January, instead of just stopping by for a quick visit before heading home?

The age for gambling in the Ohio casinos is 21, which is standard for most of the country. I understand this is because of alcohol, but I disagree with it. In Ohio, you only need to be 18 to play the State Lottery. So why not allow them to also play Blackjack or Poker?

There is one issue that hasn't been discussed yet, and that's Parking. Currently, there is no such thing as Free Parking in Downtown Cleveland. They're planning on opening up a temporary casino right on Public Square. Since it's temporary, that means we will have to use whatever parking we can find. Currently, every place that charges for parking has flexible rates, depending on what is happening Downtown. It's is usually up to $20 or more for special events like a ball game. So how much will they gouge us on a Saturday night? How many people are willing to pay $10-$25 for parking to go play poker on a Saturday night.

In Atlantic City, you have to pay $5 to park in any of the casino parking garages. This is somewhat balanced by the poker rooms only charging $4 max rake. Do you really think that the Ohio casinos will only have $4 max rake? The national "standard" is $5 max rake, and Detroit has $6 max rake. For those that take poker seriously, these extra expenses really add up over time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday At Greektown

I arrived at Greektown at 10:30am to sign-up for their 11am tournament. But they decided to have a promotional Free Roll tournament for their players who've played a lot of hours. They ended up with 9 tables and about 85 players. And like most things that Greektown does, it was rather chaotic.

So instead of signing up for the tournament, I put my name on both the $1/$2 NL and the $3/$6 Limit lists. I really didn't care which one I got. It took about 15 minutes to get a seat, and it ended up being the $1/$2 game.

As I was getting my chips, Greektown started assigning the seats for the Free Roll. I worked my way through the crowd to my table. It was full of chips, but no players. All nine players were all getting seats for the tournament. So I knew that this will be a quick session, as this table was gonna break soon.

It ended up being an hour before they finally asked the players to take their seats. As it turns out, it was a very active hour for my table. There was a preflop raise almost every hand, up to $17. There were a few players who did a $5 Straddle. (Greektown has the No Limit Straddle. It's for any amount, but UTG only). I was rather card dead during this hour. The only hand I managed to win was with AJ in one of the last hands for a decent pot. I was up $39 when the table broke.

As they were starting to seat players for the Free Roll, they also called my name for the $3/$6 game. I'm not sure why my name was still on the List, but this was rather good timing.

Since all the Cash players were cashing out for the Free Roll, the line for the only Poker Room Cashier was rather long. I managed to find one of the players who had a bunch of White $1 chips, and buy some off of him. I then worked my way back through the Mob Scene, and sat at the $3/$6 table.

Here is a Running Log of my session for all you Limit fans.

11:55 $160 - When I finally got to my seat, there were only three other players and an empty stack at the table. The Dealer was waiting patiently for a 5th player, because we need five players to qualify for the Bad Beat Jackpot. I said that I wasn't concerned about a one in a million chance of winning a piece of the $15000 BBJ, but nobody agreed with me. Fortunately, it only took a few minutes for a 5th player to arrive.

12:30 $136 - The table is now full, except for the empty stack. I'm assuming that he's in the Free Roll, but who knows. So far, this table has been a little tight, with only two players playing 7-Card Bingo. There is one Kid at the table. He's in his 20's, and seems to be a "Player". I've been rather card dead.

1:00 $169 - The Empty Stack finally busted out of the tournament, and came back to play with us.

The Cutoff raised ($6). I call in the BB with JTo. Six players saw the Flop of J 6 6. I decided to lead out ($3), and see what happens. Surprisingly, only the Button called. He's a 75 yr old man in a motorized wheelchair, and he's a Super Nit. He was commenting on the Kid who already busted a few hands before this one. "Of course he went broke. Did you see that crap he was playing? He's got a lot to learn."

The Turn was [J 6 6] A. I bet ($6), and he called. The River was [J 6 6 A] 5. I bet ($6), and he called. I say that I've got a J, and I assume that were chopping. But after I show my hand, he shows QQ, and scoops a nice pot. I can't believe what a horrible play that was to just Call preflop with QQ right after a Raise. Naturally, it holds up in a 6-way pot against me.

Two hands later, I get AK on the Button, and pop it ($6). Seven player see a J-high Flop. I call one bet ($3) from the Cutoff. The Turn brings my K. It checks to me, and I bet it ($6). Five players call. The River was a Brick. I bet, get one caller, and scoop a sweet pot.

1:30 $142 - I raised ($6) with A8o in Mid position. The Button 3-Bet ($9), and only had $3 behind. I capped it ($12). He had QJ, and won the Race.

I am seeing some horrible Limit play at this table. In addition to the few players who are playing 7-Card Bingo, most of the older players are not raising, either to get value from their hands or to protect their hands like the QQ earlier.

For example: I call on the Button with Q3h. Around five players see the Flop of Q T T. SB checks. BB bets ($3). Mid player calls. I just call. BB calls.
Turn [Q T T] 4. SB checks. BB bets ($6). Mid raises ($12), and he's been one of the 7-Card Bingo players at the table. I finally got the info I expected, and fold. SB also ejects. BB calls.
River [Q T T 4] 7. BB checks. Mid bets ($6). BB calls, and holds his cards like he's about to muck them. Mid hesitates, hoping to see the BB cards, but finally shows his hand. KT for Trip T with K kicker. BB sees this, and says, "Oh!" He then shows his hand, AT for Trip T with A kicker.   W T F ???

2:00 $151 - I decided to "Step on the Gas", and it had mixed results. I got the Kill by winning two small pots. The second was with AA against a short stack ($10) with J9s.

For those who don't know about a Kill, it's a way to spice up the game. The player who wins two pots in row has to post $6, and the hand is played out as a $6/$12 hand. If you keep winning, then you keep the Kill. If you can get on a rush during a Kill, you can pile up a lot of money.

When I have the Kill, I try to play it aggressively, because the old geezers don't like to put money in the pot. This time, I raised ($12) in Mid with Q5o. The only caller was UTG, who limped in. The Flop came out K-high. He bet out ($6), and I decided to give up, and tell him that I had TT. He showed KJo.

Later, I raised ($6) from the Cutoff with ATo. The Flop was total Air for me, so I checked after everyone else did. The Turn was also Air. This time I bet ($6) when it checked to me, since nobody seemed interested in this pot. I got two callers (Button and Mid). The River was no help to me, and we all checked. As it turned out, both players called me with baby Aces, and my AT-high was good.

2:30 $185 - Hyjack raised ($6). Button called. I'm the SB with AKc, and 3-bet ($9). BB caps it ($12). He's one of the 7-Card Bingo players. Every time I raise, he calls. This was the first time that he raised after me. Hyjack, Button, and I call. Flop Ks 9s 4d. I bet ($3) my Top Pair. BB just called, which surprised me. Hyjack folded, and Button called.
Turn [Ks 9s 4d] 7d. I bet ($12). BB and Button called. River [Ks 9s 4d 7d] 2h. I bet ($6). BB folded (He said later that he was hoping for the 3rd Diamond). Button called, and I scooped a big pot.

3:00 $157 - I tried to tighten up a bit to lock up some profit. Although I did 3-bet from the Cutoff with KJo after a Mid player raised. I was hoping to isolate against just one player, and it worked. The Flop was A-high. He bet, and I gave up.

3:20 $200 - I won two pots with KJo. First was with a 4-Flush on the River, although I hit the K on the Turn. The second was a raise preflop, followed by a bet on the K-high Flop that took down the pot.

We lost a couple of players, and the Geezers didn't want to play with just seven players. There were two other $3/$6 tables with open seats, so they broke our table. I decided to lock up a small win, go to the Buffet for some grub, and head on home.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Easy Like Sunday Morning

2:10 $300 - I walk into the MGM Detroit Poker Room just before they open up the 4th $1/$2 table. We start out seven handed. I'm the only player to buy in for the Max. Two players bought in for $200, and the rest were around $100.

2:30 $281 - We are now 9 handed, with one of the new players buying in for the Max. So far, this table is very passive. Only one player who seems like he might be a "Player", and he's two seats to my Left. I called a few small bets, but nothing worth noting.

3:00 $327 - I semi-bluffed with Flush Draw on Flop, and picked up the Open Ender on Turn. River was brick, but won it with the 3rd Bullet.
If you're into action and big pots, then this table is not for you. Since so few people are raising preflop, I started doing it. I raised to my standard $7 with QJo and JJ, but lost both.

3:30 $393 - We are 8 handed now. I raised a Straddle to $15 with 74o, and won it on the Flop. I also won pots with J9d and 87o

4:00 $450 - Straddle pot. I'm the SB with T9o. Six player go to the Flop. As the Dealer is gathering up the $4, and starts dealing the Flop, I say "C'mon Red 32". I get a few laughs from the players who got the Roulette reference. The Flop is Js 8d 7h. Since there are so many people in the pot, I check the Nut Straight and assume that someone will bet at it. Nobody does. Turn [Js 8d 7h] 7d. I lead out for $15. Just the BB called. River [Js 8d 7h 7d] 6s. I bet $25. BB calls with a 7. I show my hand, and say, "Hello Red 32."

This poker room doesn't have a drop for their rake. They keep it in the Dealer tray, on the Seat 10 side. After almost two hours. it's up to $191. That's between $90-$100 per hour, and we've had many pots that didn't even come close to the $6 max rake. Plus, that doesn't include the $1 per pot for the Bad Beat Jackpot. This is why people say it's very hard to beat $1/$2 over the long term.

4:30 $454 - For the first time today, our table is full. In a future Hand Of The Day (H.O.T.D.), I win the minimum with a Monster hand. I have this unique ability to not get paid off my Monster hands. Either nobody has anything, or the board gets scary to slow down the action, or I chose the wrong betting line for the cards they have.

5:00 $484 - I limped in Hyjack with K2h. Six players see the Flop Ah Qh 5h. It checks to me. I checked the last two Flops that I hit hard, and didn't win big pots. So this time, I lead out for $7 with the Nut Flush. I only get one caller, an Old Man in Mid position. Turn [Ah Qh 5h] 7c. He checks. I bet $15, and he called. River [Ah Qh 5h 7c] As. He checks. I bet $20, and he folds. Six players to the Flop, and nobody has an A or a smaller Flush.


5:30 $580 - I won over $100 in a future H.O.T.D.

6:00 $612 - We are back to 8 handed. No big hands for me. I stole a few small pots that nobody wanted. The Rake is up to $369.

6:30 $691 - I've become Action Guy at this table. For example: I limp in Hyjack with Q8d. Five players see the Flop As 8c 6h. I lead out for $7. The Cutoff min raises to $14. He's has only been here about an hour, but has been extremely tight, even whining about how bad his cards have been. It folds to me, and I call. Turn [As 8c 6h] 8s. I check my Trips. He quickly checks. This means that he just has Top Pair, probably something like AJ. River [As 8c 6h 8s] 3s. I bet $25, and hope it's small enough for this Nit to pay off. He thinks for a while, and finally makes the crying call. He doesn't show his Ace.

We are now 6 handed, and there are open seats at other tables. I was planning on playing until 8pm. If they break this table, I will end early, and book the win. I don't want to sit at a new table for just an hour.

7:00 $686 - I kinda took this half hour off. I got caught up in the table talk about Detroit Poker. We are now 8 handed.

7:30 $592 - We are now 7 handed. Very ugly half hour. I didn't lose any big pots, but the $15 and $20 bets or calls add up quickly. I got down to around $550, but made a small comeback.

The worst one was me raising UTG with KQd. Five players see the Flop Jc Td 4h. I lead out for $20 with Open Ender + Overcards, and three players call (both Blinds, and Cutoff). Turn [Jc Td 4h] 6h. It checks to me. There are too many players to just keep firing, so I check. The Cutoff also checks. River [Jc Td 4h 6h] Ah. I hit my Straight, but the backdoor Flush got there. That could be a factor with four players still in the pot. BB leads out for $25. He hasn't been here that long, but has seemed tight. I was gonna bet $25, so I just call. Cutoff thinks, and calls. SB folds. BB show KQh for Nut Flush and the same Straight as me. Yuck!

7:40 $586 - They broke the table. The Rake got emptied without me noticing it, but it was well over $500.

Monday, June 7, 2010

So This Is What's It Like To Be A Card Rack

Yes, it finally happened. At my final $1/$2 session at the Seneca Niagara Casino before heading home on Sunday, I was a Card Rack.

It started on my very first hand at a newly opened table. Someone raised in Mid position to $8. The SB called. I'm the BB with Qs Qc, and I pop it to $25. Both player call. Flop came A-high with two Diamonds. We all check. Turn was the Qd, putting the Flush on the Board, but giving me a Set. SB bets $40. I call with my Boat Draw, and Mid player folds. River was a brick. SB bets $40, and I call. He's got AK, no Diamond.

Over the next five hours, I had five Big Pairs (JJ+) that hit Sets; AA once, JJ once, and QQ three times, including the first hand. I also had other Big Pairs that didn't hit their Two Outer, and other pairs that did become Sets. Plus, I had a good assortment of Flushes, Straights, and Two Pairs.

And for all of these glorious cards, I ended the session +$362. Does that seem small to you? Yeah. Me, too.

So what happened? Did I screw up a hand, or have some nasty cooler that cost me $500? Nope. I did have a few pots that didn't go well. I lost around $100 in a 3-way pot with AK that I might have misplayed a bit. I also ran into a Set over Set hand (66 vs AA), but the Old Guy only had $41 in his stack.

The reason for the relatively small cashout was because nobody at my table wanted to put a @#$% chip into the pot.

It was so frustrating scooping small pot after small pot. I think the biggest pot I won all day was the first one. I mentioned to the dealer a few times, "I'm at the wrong table today." 

Here is one of the worst examples. A rather tight, 60 yr old gentleman raised to $6 in Mid position. One player called before it got back to me in the SB. I look down at JJ. I decide to just call. If I 3-Bet, everyone will probably fold. The BB also calls. Flop Ah Jh 6c. Sweet! I hit middle Set with an Ace and a Flush Draw out there for someone to chase. It's a great Flop for a Set to win a big pot. I check with the intention of making a small check-raise, but the other three players also check. Turn is [Ah Jh 6c] 8s. Ok, I need to build this pot, so I bet $15 into the $20 pot. Everyone quickly folded.

Was everyone folding due to my tight table image? At most table, I'm one of the tighter players, and I let other players drive the action. But at this table, I was Action Guy. I was raising to my standard $7 at least 1-2 times per orbit. I would raise in Late Position (Button, Cutoff, Hyjack) with a wide range of hands. I would also raise in other positions, including the Blinds, with quality hands, which I had plenty of today. I even 3-Bet squeezed in Late Position twice. Once with K9o, and the other was ATo, I won both pots, and showed both times to try to entice some sort of action. But it didn't do any good.

So why did I stay at this table, instead of moving to another one? Because I was winning, and you never want to leave a table when you're winning. Just because I move to an Action table, it doesn't mean that the Cards will follow me to that table. It could have just ended up as a repeat of the $2/$5 game from the night before. If I had these cards at that table, I could have easily won over $2000. Instead, I end up +$126 between both sessions.

Other notes from my trip:

- I ended up playing four session of $1/$2, and won all of them. On Friday night, I played $5/$10 Omaha-8 at Turning Stone, and won. The only games where I lost money were the tournament and the $2/$5.

- As for the Pit (Table Games), I completely stayed away from it. I'm really proud of this. This has been a major leak for my bankroll for awhile now, and I'm working on fixing it.

- I discovered that Seneca Niagara will be having a tournament series in July, the Summer Slam. The Main Event is a $540, two day tournament. It will be held on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18. That happens to be my next Weekend Off. Right now, it's 60% that I'll be heading back up there for this.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dealer, I Need A King

4:40 $500 - After arriving at Seneca Niagara Casino on Saturday, and having Dinner in the Buffet, I go to the Poker Room, and sign up on the $2/$5 List. I only had to wait about 10 minutes before getting a seat.

This is a Must Move table. It's hard to tell just how many chips everyone has. The table is full of Red $5 chips and $100 Bills. I hate having Cash on the table. If the Poker Room has enough chips, then why have Cash?

5:00 $500 - Won a small straddle pot in the Big Blind. This table is rather calm preflop. 4-6 players limping is common. What's uncommon is that this table has no Table Talk whatsoever.

Big Trainwreck: UTG flopped Quad 2. The Board ended up with a 4-Flush on it. Quad guy got paid off on the River for around $450 by saying, "Call."

5:30 $545 - In the BB, I flopped Top Pair with AT against a guy who was chasing a Flush. This table is playing 7-handed. There has been an open seat or two at the Main Game, but they don't want to risk breaking up this Must Move table.

6:00 $930 - Hand #1: Limp pot. I called a $20 bet in the SB with T4o on a Kd Td 6s Flop. Turn is Th. I check-raise from $30 to $85, and take down the pot.

Hand #2: I limp in Mid with 77. Four players see a Flop of 5 3 2. BB bets $15. Only the SB and I call. Turn [5 3 2] 2. BB bets $25. Only the SB and I call. River [5 3 2 2] 8. BB bets $35. Only the SB and I call. Both Blinds have A5.

Hand #3: A future "Hand Of The Day"

6:30 $883 - Table has filled up now. New players are throwing around $100 bills. Much more raising preflop, and the pots are larger. I was able to limp with 99 in the Cutoff. I called a $20 bet on the Flop, but folded to a check-raise. I would have won the pot. Both players ended up with Flush Draws and smaller pairs.

7:00 $870 - I got moved to the Main Game. I played with half of the players over at the Must Move table. I'm a little card dead now.

Big Trainwreck: Straight vs Set on the Flop. Money got in on the Turn for around $600 each. Naturally, the Set hit his Full House Draw on the River.

7:30 $635 - In a rare limp pot, I have J6h in the SB. Five players see a Flop of 8h 4s 2h. Hyjack bets $20, and I'm the only caller with my Flush Draw. Turn: [8h 4s 2h] Jc. We both check. River [8h 4s 2h Jc] Ad. I quickly fire out three Green chips ($75) to look like I missed my Flush Draw. Hyjack quickly call with 53o for a Straight.

I lost another pot when someone slowplayed their Top Pair (K) on the Flop. I hit my Q on the Turn.

8:00 $535 - I'm starting to bleed chips, but I haven't lost any big pots. In fact, I haven't made or called a bet of $100 or more during this session. But at $2/$5, the stacks can grow and shrink a lot faster than at $1/$2.

One of my problems is a Loud Action Guy on the other side of the table. He's got a giant pile of Red Chips and $100 bills. He loves playing big pots, and raising between $15 - $25 almost every hand. If there was a $5/$10 game running, he would be at it. He's also catching ridiculous cards. He won about $500 with Sets of J and Q in consecutive hands.

In one hand with me, he raised to $20. I was the Button with 74o. Not exactly premium holdings, but I can't just sit here and fold. Just the two of us saw the Flop of 8c 7h 6h. He bets $25, and I call with Middle Pair + Gutshot. I don't remember the exact Turn or River cards, but they weren't important to the story. He bet $50 on the Turn, and I called. The River went Check Check. He had A8h for Top Pair + Nut Flush Draw on the Flop.

8:30 $327 - More chip movers came to the table. It's getting rare to see a Flop for under $30. I've tried to see a few Flops, but it's been all Airballs lately.

I'm a little uncomfortable with all this money being thrown around, but I do have position on the Chip Movers. If I want to start playing more $2/$5, I need to get used to the larger stack and bigger pots that are in play.

9:00 $413 - Finally stopped the bleeding, and won a decent pot with AK. This table has calmed down a bit. Loud Action Guy busted one of the other Chip Movers. He now has ten stacks of Red chips, and I would guess around 10-15 $100 bills behind those chips. He says that he's been here since 11am, and that he's leaving soon. Of course, he's been saying that for the last hour.

9:30 $387 - Here's an example of how things have been going for the past few hours: Loud Action Guy raised to $15. I called in the Cutoff with 54c. The Flop came Ad Qh Td.

10:05 $264 - Once again, I call a few $15-$25 raises, and whiffed everything. My last hand was me limping, and then calling a raise with 99. The Flop came AKQ.

I've wasted enough time at this table. It's just not gonna happen tonight. So I cash out with a loss, and go back to my room for the evening.

Meanwhile, Loud Action Guy is still saying that he's leaving soon. But he can't seem to leave, because he can't seem to miss. In my last orbit. He raised it up, and a couple of players call. Loud Action Guy says, "Dealer, I need a King." The Flop came out K-high. He bet, everyone folded, and he showed the K in his hand. The very next hand, same thing preflop. Loud Action Guy said, "Give me some Diamonds." Two Diamonds came on the Flop. However, the third one never came, and someone else actually won a pot.

It is so frustrating to see players who go on the ridiculous runs of cards, mostly because it's never happened to me. Sure I've had some sick coolers go my way, (Set over Set, for example) Or I've had a nice orbit or two in a Tourney. But I've never sat at a table for hours, and just keep hitting.

Someday, it will happen (in theory). And if it ever does, I will happily post all of my glory on this Blog.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What I Hate About Tournaments

"Shuffle Up & Deal" 5000 - I'm at the Turning Stone $60 12pm tournament. Right now, we have 36 players on five tables. They allow late buy-ins for the first level. My table has seven players.

End of Level 1 (25/50) 7775 - Table has been playing a little loose, and I have been active. I won a decent pot with AK. Later, I raised to 300 with 9s 9c in the Hyjack after a few players limped in. Five players saw a Flop of Kc Jd Td. It checks around to me, and I bet 1100. A few players hesitate, but everyone folded. I happily show my hand.

Why did I show my hand? Because of all the table talk. Up to this point, the main topic has been all the suckouts that everyone has been enduring lately. "How do people play those crappy cards, and always hit." Don't players realize they are giving away a lot of free information about how they play when they bitch and moan like this?

I showed my 9s 9c because on a Kc Jd Td Flop, my bet was a bluff. And it was taken that way by the table. One dude said, "I thought you might be bluffing. If I came over the top for 3000, you would have folded." Well, yes, I would have folded. But you would never do that. You already told me that with all your bitching and whining.

Anyways, this was just priming the pump for later. I like this table.

Level 2 (50/100) 7050 - 41 total players for this tournament. I check my option in the BB with 64h. Five players see the Flop of Ac 4c 4s. I lead out for 325. I get one caller, a older lady in Mid position. Turn [Ac 4c 4s] 8c. Now that the Flush hit, I check, and so does she. River [Ac 4c 4s 8c] 6c. This give me the Full House, and puts the 4th Club out there. I bet 700, hoping she has a big Club. But she folded.

As I'm stacking the chips from this pot, they break our table. At the new table, I lose a pot with KJ (J on Flop) against a Rivered 2 Pair.

Level 3 (75/150) 11975 - Mid player raised to 500. I played with him yesterday in the Cash game, and he was tight. The Cutoff calls. I'm the Button, and look down at Jc Js. I pause for a moment, and decide to just call. Flop is 9d 4d 4h. Mid bets 800, and Cutoff folds. To me, this bets seems a little weak. It doesn't scream, "I have AA. Go away!" I just call. Turn [9d 4d 4h] 6h. Mid bets 1200. I call. River [9d 4d 4h 6h] 3c. Mid bets 2000. I really go into deep thought. Is he really "Emptying the Clip" with AK? If not, then I'm only beating TT. If I call, and lose, then I've only got around 2200 left. But the pot is over 7500, so I make the cryin' call. He says, "Good call," and shows AK. I show my JJ, and scoop a 10k pot.

Even though I won the maximum, I really played this hand badly. Sometimes, I can play way too passive, and that's what I did this time. I should have raise at some point in the hand. Making it 2000 on the Flop, instead of just calling the 800 probably would have ended the hand, and I wouldn't have had to risk more chips later in the hand.

Level 4 (100/200/25) 6650 - I limp UTG with 99. Button raises to 800. Only me and the Cutoff call. Flop Qd 7d 2c. I check, and so does the Cutoff. Button bets 1000. Once again, that seems really weak. I think for a bit, and decide to not make the same mistake I made in the JJ hand. I raise to 3125, which is all of his chips. The Cutoff folds. Button hesitates for a bit, and calls. I show my 99. He show his hand. I was right; he didn't like the Q on the Flop. He has TT, and I miss my two outer.

I'm sure I made a mistake in this hand, but I'm not sure what it was. Maybe it was just playing 99 UTG. Maybe it was trying to make a move and risking chips after I've gotten a big stack. Maybe it was not realizing there wasn't much Fold Equity after the Button put 1000 in the pot. Either way... Yuck!

Level 5 (200/400/50) 6975 - We are down to three tables. It folds to me on the Button, and I raise to 1100 with K3o. SB folds. BB, an older lady who just sat down after her table broke, says "This is the best hand I've seen in a while." She goes All-In for 2400 total. I hate it, but I gotta call the 1300 more, and hope my K is live. As it turns out, she has JTo, but a J on the River ships her the pot.

This left me short stack. I shipped it All-In twice, and won the Blinds and Antes.

Level 6 (300/600/75) 5900 - Basically blinded off. I did steal the Blinds and Antes once.

Break Time. We are down to two tables.

Level 7 (400/800/100) 7700 - I shoved once with AK, and nobody called. I also got a Walk in the BB with 84o. With the Blinds & Antes being this high, a Walk is awesome.

Most player are in "Push - N - Pray" mode, and I'm seeing some horrible play. Some players are still trying to limp in Early Position, and folding to a raise. Other are just Min raising when they are shortstacked. Others are giving me a walk with so much dead money in the pot.

Level 8 (600/1200/200) 0 - It folded to me on the Button, and I ship it All-In without looking at my hand. The SB folds. The BB, who just limped last hand with AA and got them cracked, says "I don't care," and shoves his chips All-In on Tilt. I asked him if he even looked. He said that he saw one, and turns over KTo. My blind shove ends up being with 54d, which ain't bad. But a K on the Flop seals the deal. He counts his stack, and he's got 300 more chips than I do.

I'm out in 14th place.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Turning Stone

Since I've got a few days off work, and my Saturday night game is taking the Summer off, I decided to take a Road Trip. This time, I'm heading to upstate New York, and Turning Stone Casino & Resort.

Turning Stone is a full blow resort with multiple hotels, a night club, a comedy club, a concert arena, and a golf course that hosts both PGA and LPGA event. The casino is large with the usual selection of table games. There is one weird thing about the casino; the slot machines do not take cash. You have to load the money on to your Player's Card.

As for the poker room, they have about 30 tables. They have the usual spread of $1/$2 & $2/$5 NLHE, and $2/$4 Limit. They also have daily tournaments. The room wasn't very busy on Thursday. They had 3-4 $1/$2 tables, 2-3 $2/$4, and a $2/$5 table. I'm sure it will be busier on Friday night.

Turning Stone is the best known poker room in the country that allows 18+, rather than 21+. The reason is because it was a dry casino, but that just changed last month. They are now serving alcohol throughout out the casino and poker room. They are still 18+, but they check ID for alcohol.

I ended up playing two short $1/$2 sessions yesterday, one before dinner and one after. Both sessions were profitable for a total of $333 for 6.25 hours. Nothing sexy, but it is a good start to this trip.

Today, I'm gonna play in the $60 noon tournament, and a little $1/$2. If things keep going well, I'll take a shot at some $2/$5 tonight. I'll probably have a Running Log to share with you tomorrow.