Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rants & Raves: How Much Tolerance Do You Give A Drunk?

I was at an interesting table earlier this week at the Eldorado. At first, it was a rather typical weeknight $1/$2 game. (You know... boring.) Then three college kids sat down at the table, and two of them were rather drunk. The Dealers knew one of the drunks by name, Casey.

The two drunks and their buddy bought in for around $100 each. The two drunks played like you would expect them to do. They played almost every hand. They called with nothing, and raised for no reason. As a player at the table, I think it was wonderful, because I can get paid when I have a big hand.

However, there were other things happening that were not so wonderful. They were openly talking about hands and their cards during a hand. They would tell each other, "Call him. He ain't got nothing." After every hand between them, the winner would toss a chip or two back the loser, and said, "Good Battle." One time, the non-drunk buddy got short on chips, and Casey tossed him five Red chips right across the table.

I was not thrilled with all the extra-curricular activities, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to "tap the fishtank". There was one player who was vocal about the circus, but he was just saying generic things to nobody in particular. Things like, "I can't believe what I'm seeing" and "I can't believe they have cameras in here."

There was one other person who didn't say anything, and that was the Dealer. Actually, of the three Dealers who sat down during while the drunks were here, and only one of the them said anything to Casey about what was happening.

Unfortunately, this was not uncommon. I've played in a lot of smaller poker rooms that cater to Locals, and the Dealers don't enforce the rules with the Locals for one simple reason. Dealers get paid with tips, and they don't want to upset the people who tip them, who are the Regulars that the Dealers are on a first name basis with. But "tourists" like me, the Dealers don't care about.

The worst Poker Room for this double standard was at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, NY. They were one of the first casinos in the area, and they had a decent amount of business from Cleveland, which was about a 2.5 hour drive. A few years ago, a large group of from the CPMG went up there on Good Friday. One of us, El Diabl0, was in a hand with two Locals. On the River, one of the Locals bet, and El Diabl0 called. The other Local was thinking, and the first Local said, "I got this one, Fred. Just lay it down." So he folded, and the first Local won the pot. El Diabl0 asked the Dealer, "You guys allow this in your Poker Room?" The Dealer didn't respond, but did collect the tip.

At a different table, I was sitting with two of our players, Canuck and Twitch. They got into a pot, and were the only two in the pot. So naturally, there was some table talk between them. After Twitch won the hand, the Dealer warned him that he was not allowed to lie about his hand. So I asked the Dealer, "What if he told the truth?" The Dealer said, "Well, we don't encourage that here."

A Dealer's job is to control the Deck, control the Pot, and control the Table. That doesn't mean they have to be a Bitch, and yell at everyone. Usually just a couple of words can solve a lot of problems, and it certainly would have helped with the drunks earlier this week.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hand Of The Day #60

$1/$2 NLHE - Grand Sierra - 11.19.10

It limps around to me in the SB. I call the extra $1 with 76d. BB raises to $15. He's a 30's gentleman who is very much a No0b. Only the Cutoff calls, who's a 20's kid wearing UB gear. This should be a Fold for me. I'm out of position, and I've got under $200 left. But I'm leaving very soon, and I'm losing. So I decide to gamble and make the call.

Flop Kc 5s 3c. I check. BB bets $10. Cutoff thinks for a bit, and folds. Now it's my turn. One of the things I've learn over the last few months is when a player raises preflop, and then bets the same amount or less, that usually means Weak. It's not 100%, as some players will try to trap, or some Super Nits just don't want to put any money in the pot. But overall, it's been a reliable bet-sizing tell against basic players. So I check-raise to $35. Hopefully, he'll fold. If not, I do have a Gutshot Straight Draw.  He thinks for a moment, and calls.

Turn [Kc 5s 3c] Jd. Well, he didn't fold, and I didn't hit my Straight, so now what do I do? Another thing that I've learn is that when a player is Weak, it doesn't mean that he'll fold. We all know players that will go broke with QQ on a K-high Board. I decide to follow through, and bet $50. If he calls, and a lousy River card comes, I will probably have to give up. But he thinks for a moment, and folds. I show my 7-high, and scoop the pot. He didn't say what he had, but I'm assuming something around JJ.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Charity And Giving

6:10 $300 - I walk into the Grand Sierra Poker Room on Friday evening, and was immediately seated at the second $1/$2 table that was just opening. We start with six players. The biggest stack is $400, and he's one of the Dealers in this room. (In Nevada, Dealers can play in their own Poker Room, sometimes while on the clock. I don't like this rule, but that's another post for another day.)

6:30 $312 - The Dealer left the table to go do his job. We are now five chip stacks, although one of the players played one hand, and vanished. We've been playing 4-handed for a while now. The action is all small pots, as you would expect.

As it turns out, the Grand Sierra is hosting two different Charity tournaments tonight at 7pm in their tournament area right outside the Poker Room. Hopefully, a few of those players will venture in the Poker Room after they bust out of the Charity tournament to give another donation.

7:00 $341 - The nightly non-Charity tournament started at 6:30 with two tables. In a strange occurrence, the main $1/$2 game broke due to players going to the tournament, and the remaining few joined us. We are now full with nine chip stacks, but four of those players are wandering around, and have "Missed Blinds" buttons next to their chips. So much for the "3rd Man Walking" rule.

7:30 $250 - One of the Charity tournament has eight tables; the other has five. Another $1/$2 table just opened. My table is down to eight chip stack, but they all have players now. So far, the play has been rather tame, which is what I expected. I lost chips in a cooler hand. In a limped pot, I just called in the SB with AJ. The Flop was AA2. I bet $5 on the Flop, $10 on the Turn, and $15 on the River. The only caller was a 60's gentleman who looked a lot like Sidney Pollack. He raised on the River from $15 to $35, and I called. He had AQ.

8:00 $239 - We are finally full with nine chip stacks, and nine players. However, this table is dead, even on a Friday night. (This town is full of Super Nits.) We are getting one or two walks every orbit. Unfortunately, my cards are also dead. I think it's time to start the $5 Straddle to try to loosen up the table. It's had some success in the past. (I know my former Home game players are saying, "He's straddling?", but it's really that bad in Reno on some nights.)

The Charity tournaments are doing some raffles and auctions over the loudspeaker, with an emphasis on LOUD. It's really a major distraction for everyone in the Poker Room.

8:30 $202 - Here's a list of hands from the last 20 minutes: (Button) 84d, it was 3-Bet before it got to me, so I folded. (CO) 96d, limp; I flopped a Flush Draw on a Paired board. I called a $10 bet, but folded on the Turn. (Hyj) 92o, fold. (Mid) J2o, fold. (Mid) Q9o, fold. (UTG+1) Q3o, fold. (BB - the player on my Right took a walk, so I wasn't able to straddle.) 72o, checked my option and folded on Flop. (SB) A3o, flopped Top Pair and called $5 on the Flop & Turn from the Sydney Pollack guy. River was checked, and he had ATo. (Btn) 94o, fold. (CO) 33, limp and fold on Flop. (Hyj) 93o, fold. (Mid) J6o, fold. (Mid) JTo, folded to a $10 raise from a Super Nit. (UTG+1) Q3o, fold.

As you can see, it was a whole lot of nothing. At least the walks have stopped, as I don't think we had one in the last 30 minutes. However, the Charity tournaments are still doing their festivities. Our Dealer was just dealing in the tournament area, and said it's even louder out there.

9:00 $192 - A third $1/$2 table has opened up. I really only played one hand, and got stacked off. It was partially a cooler, and partially a small mistake by me as I didn't need to lose everything. It will be a future Hand Of The Day, so I can give it a full analysis. I reloaded for my last $200.

9:30 $181 - Since I'm leaving around 10:30, I started splashing around more. The results were mixed, but nothing noteworthy. The Charity tournaments have finally quieted down.

At 9pm every night, the Poker Room wheels in a table with a few dishes from the Buffet. Tonight, they had spaghetti with meatballs and sausage, some sort of chicken dish, pork chops in a teriyaki sauce, and BBQ beef ribs. Why they would bring ribs into a Poker Room, I'll never know.

10:00 $195 - Here's a hand to describe how this session has gone: UTG+1 limps. Everyone else folded to me. I'm the SB with Ac 2h, and call. Three players see a Flop of 5c 4c 3h. I bet $5 with my Straight. Both players call. Turn [5c 4c 3h] 7h. That's a terrible card, as any 6 just hit a better Straight. I check, and so does everyone else. River [5c 4c 3h 7h] Jc. Great, now the Flush gets there. I check. BB bets $5. UTG+1 folds. I quietly say "FML", and call. BB shows J8c for the Flush.

10:40 $263 - I pulled off a sweet bluff against a No0b that will be future Hand Of The Day. One of the $1/$2 tables broke, so they're down to two tables. The Charity tournaments are down to their last few tables, but none of the players seem to be coming to the Poker Room. The Buffet sent over some desserts, some sort of cheesecake with a restaurant presentation (whipped cream, half a strawberry, and other decorations).

Since I have to work in the morning, I head home down $234 for the evening. Even though this was a lousy session, I am +$19 for this week with one more day to go (Sunday). For the last two weeks, I was +$81 and +$414. So I'm slowly pulling up out of the freefall I was in shortly after I arrived in Reno.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hand of The Day #59

$4/$8 Omaha Hi/Low - Peppermill - 11.07.10

I'm in the Cutoff. I scooped the last pot, so I post the Kill of $6 (This hand will be played as $6/$12). A bunch of players limp in. At the Peppermill, the Kill gets the last option after the BB. I look down at Ad 2s 3c 7c, and I decide to raise ($12). Normally, I wouldn't raise with just a Low hand, but since everyone is already in, they're not gonna fold. By raising, I can win a bigger Low pot.

Seven or Eight players see a Flop of 7d 2d 2c. It checks around to me. Since I have a Full House and the Nut Low Draw, I decide to bet. The SB check-raises ($12). Two players cold call. I 3-Bet ($18), and all three players call.

Turn [7d 2d 2c] Jd. The Flush gets there, excellent. SB goes All-In for $3. Mid players completes to $12. Another Mid player folds. I raise ($24). The Mid player is one of the "9-Card Bingo" players at this table, so his range is rather wide. He calls.

River [7d 2d 2c Jd] Ah. Well, that card sucks. My Hi hand slightly improved to 2 Full of A. But the Ace brings the Low, just not mine. Mid checks. I'm fairly sure that my Hi hand is the best, so I bet ($12). Mid calls. I show my Boat. Mid show just the 2 and no Low. The SB shows his Q-high Flush, but no Low. I scoop a monster pot.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Road Trip

On Sunday, I made my first Road Trip since moving to Reno. There is a WSOP Circut Event happening down at Harvey's Lake Tahoe, which is about an hour south of Reno.

There was an Omaha-8 tourney, but I didn't play in it. The buy-in ($345) was a little high for my bankroll. Also, the structure said it was a two day event, and I have to work on Monday. They had 110 players, and first place was just over $9k.

The Poker Room is not normally that busy, but it was hopping when I got there. They had numerous $2/$3 NL games, a few $3/$6 Limit games, and two $3/$5 games. There was a Seniors tournament at 4pm, so the cash games thinned out when that started.

As for me, I played $2/$3 for about five hours. I had some good hands, and some bad. There was a few suckouts, and a some minor donk-offs by me. In the end, I was left up $208. Here is the most noteworthy hand.

I'm in the BB, and check my option with JTd. Five players see a Flop of Tc 9d 5d. I lead out for $11 with Top Pair and Flush Draw. Three players call.
Turn [Tc 9d 5d] Qs. I'm not happy with an overcard, but that does add the Open-Ender to my draws. I bet $40, hoping to take down the pot right now. Only the Button calls. He's a 70's gentleman who has trouble seeing the Board, and he just moved over to the #5 Seat, which is right across from the Dealer.
River [Tc 9d 5d Qs] 9s. Well, I missed everything. I decide to bet $60. (This bet might have been a mistake, but that's not relevant for this post.) The old man called, and I turned over my hand. The old man looks over the Board, and asks the Dealer what I have. The Dealer shows and tells him, and the old man just keeps looking over the Board. After what seemed like a full minute, he finally turned his hand over. 92c for Trip 9. Nice Slowroll, Sir.

On a side note, I had to drive through Carson City, the state capital, to get to Tahoe. On the way down around 11:30-12:00, I stopped at two casinos in Carson City to check them out. I had no intention of playing anything; this was just a quick recon. The first one had a Poker Room with two tables. There was two gentleman sitting at one of the tables waiting for some more players for a $3/$6 game. The other casino's Poker Room had three tables. They were all in use for what looked like a tournament. Sadly, those were two of the best options for Poker in Carson City.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hand Of The Day #58

$1/$2 NLHE - Grand Sierra - 11.05.10

This hand is an example of how things have been going the last few weeks.

I'm on the Button with AKh, and raise to $7. Six players see a Flop of Kc 2c 2s. The Cutoff bets $20. He's a 60's gentleman, and a Super Nit. He has played very few hands so far. I think about raising because of the Flush Draw, but with six players seeing the Flop, there's a decent chance that someone has a 2. So I just call, and will see what happens on the Turn. Everyone else folds.

Turn [Kc 2c 2s] Ad. The Cutoff grabs some chips, bets $45, goes back to his stack for more chips, but the Dealer said No. To me, everything about this screams that he has a 2 in his hand. But, if he's a Super Nit, then why would he have a 2? Well, there's one important detail that I haven't mentioned yet. He missed his Blinds, and posted when the Button passed, which would put him in the Cutoff.

But what other hand could he have? AA or KK is unlikely because I doubt he would have checked his option before I raised. AK is a small possibility, but I doubt it. He may or may not have raised preflop. But if he does have AK, then we're chopping. He's got about $150 behind, and that's a lot for me to risk just to get my money back.

After thinking for about a minute, I decide that a 2 is the only thing that makes sense. So I fold my AK face up. He doesn't show, but said I made a great laydown.

Nice hand, Sir.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finally, Some Tournament Action

"Shuffle Up & Deal" 8000 - I walked into Peppermill tournament area for the $120 Limit Crazy Pineapple Hi/Lo tournament. I get there ten minutes before Shuffle Up & Deal, and they don't have anything ready. There was one dealer who just started building chip stacks.

About five minutes later, I find out there's only seven players signed up for the tournament (last week's tourney had 28). The TD gave us the option to cancel, but everyone voted to play. So we started with two dead stacks. The levels are 20 minutes long.

End of Level 1 (50/100 Limit) 7575 - We are up to 13 players on two tables. The player on my direct Right who took one of the dead stacks is one of the Action Guys from last night's O-8 games. He's asking all kind of questions about the rules and how the game plays.

This table is full of Super Nits. I had someone who just Check / Called with QQ on a J-high board, and I had KJ. In another hand. I was dealt AJhTc on the Button, and raised (100). Four players saw a Flop of Ad Kc Td. I bet (50) with my Two Pair. and got two callers. The Turn was [Ad Kc Td] Kh. The two players check. I just got counterfeited, so I check. The River was also checked around, and I showed my AT, hoping that my hand was good. But the SB shows KK for Quads that he checked twice. You can't be too careful, I guess.

Level 2 (100/200 Limit) 7775 - I finally won a pot with QQ. I hit a Set on the Turn, and beat Two Pair that never raised.

Even more Super Nit action. I end up with T3c on a Ad 7c 4c Flop. I bet (100) my Flush Draw with 3-Low Draw. and two players called. Turn was [Ad 7c 4c] Kc. They check, and I bet (200). They both call. River [Ad 7c 4c Kc] Ah. They both check. I'm tempted to bet, but I think it's best to conserve chips in a Limit Tournament, so I just turn over my Flush. One of the other players shows AK, which was the Nuts.

Level 3 (150/300 Limit) 10025 - I finally scooped two pots. First was with AK in the BB. I hit the A on the Flop, and nobody has a Low. Second, I ended up with T5c on the Turn and had a Flush and 5-Low. It held up.

Action Guy isn't playing too crazy, but he is playing every hand. I've also noticed that players are rarely going for the Low. Hopefully, I can use this later.

Level 4 (200/400 Limit) 11725 - I get A5cKd in Mid position, and raise (400). The Cutoff 3-Bet (600). Action Guy cold called, and I just call. Flop was Ad Jc 7d. Action Guy checked. I bet (200) with Top Pair. Cutoff called, and Action Guy folded. I discard the 5c. Turn [Ad Jc 7d] 3h. I bet (400), and Cutoff called. River [Ad Jc 7d 5c] Qc. We both check, and I show my hand. He showed QTo, and I scoop. What hand did he 3-Bet that had QTo in it?

Level 5 (300/600 Limit) 10700 - I tried to tighten up my starting hand requirements towards more Low cards. The Limits are starting to get high, and we are still seeing 3 - 5 players to the Flop.

Although, I did raise (600) UTG with QcQ2s. Four players saw a Flop of Jc 9h 2h. I bet (300), and two players called. I discarded 2s. Turn [Jc 9h 2h] 5h. They check, and so do I because of the possible Flush (like anyone at this table would bet their own hand). River [Jc 9h 2h 5h] 3h. I check. The Super Nit next to me bet (600). The other player thought for a bit, and made a reluctant call. I had no problem pitching my QQ. The Super Nit has As 6h, and scoops the pot with 6-Flush and 6-Low. The other player had 75 for a worse Low.

BREAK: All 13 players are still in, but some are quite short stacked (under 2k).

Level 6 (400/800 Limit) 12700 - We have 11 players left, and six at our table. I didn't play many pots. I did win a 4-way pot from the SB. It got checked down, and I won it with a Pair. I also played 73h5d in the Cutoff. Four players saw a Flop of 9c 5c 5s. I bet the whole way. The Super Nit next to me just called each time with 65, and we ended up chopping.

Level 7 (600/1200 Limit) 12500 - I limp (600) with 765 in Mid position. Only the Blinds call. Flop Js Ts 7h. They check. I bet (600) with Bottom Pair, hoping they fold. Only the SB called. I discard the 5. Turn [Js Ts 7h] 6c. Sweet! SB checked. I bet (1200), and he called. River [Js Ts 7h 6c] As. SB checked. That was a horrible card, as it brought the Flush, Broadway, and a Low. I check, and show my Two Pair. He has J2, and I scoop.

Final Table 5500 - We get to the Final Table (9 players) with six minutes left in the 800/1600 Level. Unfortunately, I developed a case of Fancy Tournament Play Syndrome, and it failed miserably. I tried to steal the Blinds when it folded to me on the Button with 763o, and that didn't go well.

Later, Action Guy raised (1600), and he was short-stacked. I had A52o, and decided to 3-Bet (2400) to isolate. He called, and everyone else folded. The Flop was horrible for me, so I checked because he only had 1300 left. He finally went All-In on the River. I really didn't want to call with just A-high. But the pot was over 7000, so I made the crying call. He had JJ. This hand was pure moronic by me. There's no reason to ever isolate with just Low cards. I want more players in the pot, so I can win more with the Low half of the pot.

Level 8 (800/1600 Limit) 0 - Very first hand of the Final Table, I get KcKs2d, and raise (1600) from UTG+2. One old geezer called from Mid position. He's from the other table, so I haven't played any hands with him yet. Flop 9s 9h 5h. I bet (800), and he called. Turn [9s 9h 5h] Jh. Naturally, the Flush gets there, so I check. Old geezer bets (1600). I only have 3100 left, so I take the plunge and raise All-In (3100). Even if he has a Flush, but I have outs with Two Pair. Old Geezer calls with Qh Qs. River [9s 9h 5h Jh] Th, and he hits his 4-card Flush. I'm out in 9th place.

I could say it was bad luck that knocked me out of the tournament. Certainly, if either of my plays worked, or my KK hold up, then I'm in good shape for the rest of the tournament. But there was no good reason to bring out the Fancy Tournament Plays to this tournament. I'm definitely one of the top players in this small field, and I had a decent chip stack. I just needed to stay patient and disciplined. I needed to play smarter then they were playing, and that doesn't necessarily mean that I needed to be playing more aggressively.

Hopefully I will remember this lesson in future tournaments. I do want to play more non-TV Poker tournament in the future. The next one might be on Sunday, December 5, a $170 HORSE tournament during Grand Sierra's Winter Pot Of Gold series.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Might Quit No Limit Hold'em

Peppermill is having one of their tournament series this week. One of the tournaments today is a $120 Limit Crazy Pineapple Hi/Low at 4pm. I enjoy tournaments other than TV Poker, so I'm gonna play my first tournament since arriving in Reno.

In order to get some practice before the tournament, I went to the Peppermill last night to play some $4/$8 Omaha Hi/Low. It's not exactly the same as Limit Crazy Pineapple Hi/Low, but it's certainly closer than NLHE. I haven't played Omaha Hi/Low in a few weeks because I've been checking out other rooms in Reno.

Without a doubt, this was the best Omaha Hi/Lo table that I've ever played at. If this table ran everyday, I might quit No Limit Hold'em.

It had the usual assortment of "9-Card Bingo" players. But the difference at this table was two players who were not only playing every hand, but usually raising. One guy was there when I sat down, and he raised preflop around 80% of the hands. He had around $250 in Blue chips when I sat down. I think he rebought for $100 five or six times before I left. We had pots over $200 that were scooped by one player or another. I think the largest was about $250.

This was a Kill game, up to $6/$12. You get the Kill Button after you scoop a pot over $60. It was common at this table to have five or six Kill pots in a row. I only had the Kill Button one time, and I was already up $200 before I won that pot. Most of the pots I won were Lows. Of course, one of the Lows was over $100, and another was $80, and those were just half of the Pot. The $80 Low was capped on the River (5 Bets). I was the third player on the River. The Board was AJJ 7 5. I was just calling with my Nut Low, hoping that I would get my money back. The other two players had AJ and A7, and were raising each other.

I only won $231 in 4.5 hours, mostly because my starting hands were terrible. When the table is this crazy loose, I really stick to playing quality starting hands, and playing Position on the Action Guys. I went through a stretch of 45 minutes of not playing a single hand. I never had AAxx the entire night, I did get dealt Trips three times, and 4-Card Flushes twice.

The best starting hand I had was AQ32 rainbow, and it was my most annoying hand. I raised UTG, and of course got 3-Bet by one of the Action Guys. Six or seven players saw Flop of Qh 7c 6c. I lead out with Top Pair and the Nut Low Wrap. Five players saw the Turn [Qh 7c 6c] 7d. I check, and the Action Guy who 3-Bet preflop bet. I call with my Nut Low Wrap, along with others. Four players saw the River [Qh 7c 6c 7d] 6h. Agghhh! I check. Action Guy bets. All fold around to me. I really don't want to call with just AQ, but I'm get like 20-1. So I make the crying call, and he shows 77 for Quads. Sometimes this game can be very frustrating, but that was my only bad hand of the night.

As long as the game is half as juicy as this table was, I'm gonna play the $4/$8 Omaha Hi/Low every Saturday night, and any other night I see it running. On Wednesday, it was going, but I decided to play $1/$2 instead. I lost $420 in a very frustrating session.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rants & Raves: The November Nine

On Saturday, November 6, the World Series of Poker resumes after it's four month hiatus.

For the record, I've always hated the concept of the November Nine. I think it's a "Wag the Dog" stunt so ESPN can get better ratings. I know it's supposed to help promote Poker, and it gives the nine player more opportunities for sponsorships. But, to me, it affects the outcome of the tournament. Momentum and game flow are big factors in a tournament. Do you think Jerry Yang or Jamie Gold would have won if they had to come back four months later? Do you think Phil Ivey would have won last year if he could have played the next day?

Since were almost done with the third November Nine, I want to see if it has delivered on what was expected. First is the sponsorship opportunities for the nine players. Jeffery Pollack, former Commissioner for the WSOP, said that he hoped "the nine players would come to the Final Table looking like NASCAR drivers, covered with patches and logos." There was some of that the first year. But none of those patches were from Pepsi, Budweiser, Ford, Burger King, or any other "mainstream" companies. All of them were from companies in the Poker industry, like CardRunners or Card Player. And the second year had noticeably less patches and logos. What will happen this year remains to be seen.

And has the November Nine been a boom for Poker? Well, the number of players at the Main Event has grown in each of the last three years, but it was growing before that. The only drop off was due to the passage of the UIGEA in 2006, but they're almost back to the 8000 range.

The most important numbers to look at are the ratings for ESPN, since this is their baby. The ratings for the first year, 2008, were awesome for a Poker show. In 2009, when Phil Ivey was one of the November Nine, it was expected to have even bigger ratings. Instead, they were actually down 7% from the previous year. This year, the rating are already down 16% over last year.

Because of the declining ratings, I'm going to make a bold prediction: Either next year, 2011, or the following year, 2012, will be the last year for the November Nine. Now it's possible that there will continue to be some sort of delay, and that it might not exactly go back to how it was in 2007, when they played the Final Table then next day. But the current concept of the November Nine will change. If ESPN isn't getting the ratings, then they will not be going along with it.

As for some bold prediction for this year, like who's gonna win... To be honest, I haven't been watching the coverage. Partially because I was a little busy moving across the country, and now I'm a little busy actually playing Poker. Another factor is that I'm bored with Poker on TV. It's gotten stale for me.

Although, I listen to a lot poker podcasts while delivering the mail, so I do know who is in the November Nine. I have no clue who's gonna win. I think it's wide open this year.

But I will make one prediction for 2010. I think this will be the fastest Final Table in many years. First, since the November Nine Bubble lasted six hours, the blinds are a little high right now.

Second, all but one of the Nine are Pros, either Live or Online. I really doubt any of them will be interested in "Folding their way to 4th Place". I also don't think they will be as scared of The Grinder as last year's table was scared of Ivey. I expect the Play of the table to be similar to last year after Ivey busted out; a lot of 4-Betting and flipping coins because they now have the Pot Odds.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Two Inch Wad Of $100 Bills

6:25 $200 - The Peppermill is opening up a third $1/$2 table on Friday night (10/29). But there's a tournament starting at 7pm, so they will end up breaking one of these tables because a bunch of players will probably be heading to the tournament.

We are starting with 9 players. Most have bought in for $200.

7:00 $365 - I won two good pots. First, I called a raise in BB with QJh. The Flop was Js Jc Ts. Second hand was me raising in the Cutoff with JTo. Only the Hyjack called. The Flop was 9h 8c 7d. He had 96d. A Ten on the River ensured I got a good Value Bet paid off.

7:30 $456 - Looks like I was wrong about the tables breaking. Although, we are six handed, and the other table are about the same.

I won a nice pot from the SB that will be a future Hand Of The Day. It could have been more, but I couldn't slow play it due to how the hand played out. The very next hand, UTG+1 raised to $5. One player called. I'm the Button with Jh Js, and raise to $20. They both call. Flop was 6c 6h 5d. They both checked, and I bet $40. UTG+1 counted his chips (around $125), stared me down for a bit, and finally folded. The other dude also folded.

8:00 $431 - We got down to five players, and there was talk of breaking the table. But some new players have started coming into the Room, and we now have eight players.

I raised on the Button with AA. Four players saw me flop a Set. I bet $15, and UTG called. I bet $25 on the Turn, and he called. He thought about my $40 River bet, but eventually folded.

I also lost a few pots. The biggest one was me limping with QJc and hitting Top Pair (J). I bet $7 on the Flop, and got three callers. I bet $25 on the Turn, but an older Asian gentleman checkraised to $50. He hasn't been playing many hands to this point. I don't know what he had, but I'm sure my Top Pair was no good, so I made a quick fold.

8:30 $234 - It's hard to believe that I could go from Hot to Cold so fast. The worst hand was me limping on the Button with J6h. Six players saw a Flop of Qh Th 6c. A 60's guy bet $15. He's relatively new to the Table. I decide to isolate with my Pair + Flush Draw, and raise to $40. It folds around to him, and he quickly goes All-In for $72 more. I'm not thrill with it, but I have good Pot Odds ($72 to win approx $160). So I make the call, and he shows 6d 6s for a Set. I miss my Flush Draw, and lose most of my profit for the night. As I've said before, "Flopping a 1-outer is way more profitable than Rivering it."

Shortly after that hand, a 60's Japanese gentleman sits down on my direct Right. He leaves his chips in the Rack ($300), and starts throwing money around. He called a Pot sized bet of around $65 on the Turn with just a naked Gutshot, and missed of course. Later, he raised to $25 in the SB. I'm the BB with 65d. I really wanted to call. But he only had about $150 behind, and I just wasn't getting the right Implied Odds to call. There was one customer. The Flop was 7d 6s 5h. He goes All-In by tossing the Rack into the middle of the table. The other player folded. Once again, I make the Right Play at the Wrong Time.

On a side note, the $20/$40 game broke, and a $3/$5 NL game took it's place. It's starting out six handed, and most of the players are from the $20/$40 game. This is the first $3/$5 game that I've seen since I moved to Reno. I have no interest in playing in the game since I'm planning on leaving at 10:30.

9:00 $226 - I didn't really play a hand. The Old Japanese Guy (OJG) went for a walk, and came back with $300 more. He's not playing crazy. His VPIP is relatively normal for a $1/$2 game. But when he raises, it's to $20 or more. He's not raising with trash, either. He's getting to Showdown with hands like AK, JJ, and KQ. But when he's in the Pot, he's betting Big, and not folding. I saw him go to Showdown in a 3-way pot with just KQ-high (Missed Broadway draw), which included him calling a River bet with just KQ-high.

When his stack got down to about $100, he pulled an envelope out of his pocket. It contained a two inch wad of $100 bills. He wanted to put the whole wad on the table, and some of the players were encouraging him because they wanted to win the "Lottery" of being in a pot with him. The Dealer said that $400 more is fine.

That $3/$5 game didn't last 15 minutes, as they couldn't get any more players. The Poker Room converted it to the 4th $1/$2 table.

9:30 $237 - I seem to have gone into Super Nit mode. Partially because of OJG's wild play who's on my Right. Partially because other players at the table are limping in, and trying to trap him. I've seen a few players get pissed because he folded.

Another reason for my lack of play was my lack of cards. The only hand I played was in the Cutoff with 52o. OJG had folded, and only one player had limped in, so I raised to $7. Four players saw a Flop of A J 3. It checked to me, and I bet my standard $15. Everyone folded, and I showed my Wheel Draw.

10:00 $212 - Nothing interesting happened to me. OJG is gone. He was leaving, and essentially gave $500 to a player (the Older Asian gentleman from earlier) that had AA. OJG had 55. The table has gone back to normal play.

The Floor is trying to restart the $3/$5 game, but it's not going well.

10:30 $113 - I splashed around a bit trying to catch something since I'm heading home, but I couldn't hit the side of a mountain with an airplane right now. The biggest loss with me betting all three Streets with a Flush Draw (Q8s on a Flop of Ks Js 5d). I hit the 8 on the Turn, but I airballed the River. I got called down by a player who had a weak K.