It was a long weekend, and there was much poker playing! Thursday, I came home to streamers and balloons and a home-baked cake. Got some new video-games which I'll never have time to play (NFL Fever
for XBox and Mega Man Collection
for GameCube), and a few other novelty gifts from the kids. Watched the premier of Survivor
, and then headed out to the Muckleshoot. I'm sure many of you have heard the Sarge
reference that Indian casino out here in the Seattle area.
Anyways, my wife (Shawni) and I hit the 'Shoot just before midnight and got our names in for 2/4 (none of that 30/60 Sarge plays... yet!). In the meantime, I hit the Craps table - played straight Pass Line, Come, Free Odds and was up about $80 after just two shooters. I hadn't even touched the dice. Always seems to work that way too - I make plenty of $$$
off others, but as soon as I decide to shoot, game over.
At midnight, two seats open up at the same table and we both buy in at $140 (had to split my Craps winning with the lady). Now, I wasn't thinking about blogging at the time, and didn't have a handy-dandy notebook with me to keep track of things, and so the only hand I really vividly recall didn't even involve me... Shawni was in it though so I did have a monetary stake in the hand. :)
Board shows Q A A, K, Q. Only three players left after the flop, but lots of buzz about a possible Bad Beat Jackpot. My wife keeps betting and raising, shaking her head, saying she's gonna get sucked out hard. Showdown: 1 guy shows QK (Queens full of Aces); 2nd guy mucks; dealer is explaining Bad Beat Jackpot to someone as he moves 1st guy's cards above the board. Shawni looks disappointed and turns over her KK, saying how she hates losing with Cowboys. The dealer, still talking to someone else, almost mucks her cards until someone says she's got the winning hand - Kings full! That was a hell of a pot to have misread the board. In retrospect, I think I may have seen the 2nd guy flash an Ace, which would have given him the win with Aces full... or maybe that's just my mind trying to create the perfect drama moment. Whatever the case, in tight situations like that, I'll be sure to always show my hand and let the dealer (and the rest of the table) give a 2nd opinion. :)
The night went pretty well, and by 3am I was up to $250. I had considered getting up and leaving, but the wife still had some chips and hell, it was my birthday night and we decided to stick around till 5:30 and close down the Casino. And wouldn't you know it, just about that time, they broke down some other tables and brought us 4 new players. Okay, no problem. Play slow, play tight, figure these guys out, and be up another $100 by sunrise.
Famous last words.
Within an hour, I was back down under $100. I really don't know what happened. All I know is I should have gotten up and left an hour ago. With half an hour left to go, the table was down to me, Shawni, and 2 others. It wouldn't do either of us any good to beat each other, and neither of us could catch anything to beat the other 2. By closing time, we had both busted out. Ah well... $200 for a full night of play on my birthday. It was worth it. Just hope the losing trend wouldn't continue.
ACES ACES EVERYWHERE
Saturday night we go and hit up the Midway Casino, our little "dive" - a cardroom whose parking lot feeds right into a trailer park; and with the construction going on, you have to enter the backside of the park and drive through it to get to the Casino. And the inside is just as you would expect it: smoky, dirty (wife warns never to use the 3rd stall in the women's restroom lest you want a close-up view of regurgitated bar food); and full of colorful characters. The colorfulness is brightened by the fact that it allows 18 yr-olds to gamble, so there's always a bunch of "young punks" running around blowing their allowance. Never sit at a Blackjack table with a group of them... YIKES! Hit a 15 against a dealer 6 showing? Sure, they're here to gamble, and it's daddy's money anyways.
We both buy in for $80 at 3/6 game they got going, and I tell myself I have got to play better than I did at the Muckleshoot; which I feel I did. My wife busted out pretty quick, then bought in for another $80. Once again, at about 3am, I topped off at $250 even after giving a few stacks to Shawni to keep her playing. But for the next two hours, my chips just continued to dwindle away. It was really late, everyone was tired, and there'd be no action for 3, 4, 5 hands in a row. Riduculously low flops, $15 pots, everyone checking through the river, someone winning with Jack high. I finally get something worth raising, Big Slick, bet it aggressively all the way through with nothing on the board, only to get beat by a "Okay, I've got to see it" call. He had A2 and there was a deuce on the flop. *sigh*
Needless to say, we left there with empty pockets - a total buy-in of $240 to help pay for some kids' lunch money. Again, not bitter... it was a fun night, and there were a lot more Pocket Rockets than I've ever seen in one night, sometimes cracked, sometimes holding up.
My A4 beat AA when I got a 4 on the flop and made trips on the river. :)
I got AhAd... had to double check to make sure I wasn't looking at the same card twice. Practically everyone limped in, including myself, and there was nothing on the flop... 10 high, no straight or flush draw. I bet, got raised twice, so I capped it. Same on the Turn - 3 players, capped. Blank on the river, I bet... 2nd player hesitates, then folds his pocket Kings - Laydown of the Century
, he proclaimed. 3rd player just calls. We both show... all 4 aces
. No wonder we couldn't catch anything on the board! We had a good laugh that all 3 of us tried to slowplay our hands.
Lastly, late late late into the night (or early morning), when things were going real slow, a couple of us took turns 'checking in the dark' on our big blind. One guy got lucky as everyone checked through to the River. Someone bet out, and he decided to call it without looking... it was only $6 *shrug*. Ace high, a pair of Jacks... and big blind flips over AA. He almost fell out of his chair! A whopping $20 pot!
THIRD TIMES A CHARM
Sunday night, my wife has a Freeroll tournament at the Midway. I'm in it next Sunday, so more details then. I play some 3/6 while I wait for her. Buy-in for $60 and play real tight. Really pissed me off though, as I watch FOUR HANDS IN A ROW
that I folded the winning hand. BB is 72o. Get a 2 on the flop, and ended up folding (what would have been) the winning two pair as a 7 falls on the River. J3o in the SB gets raised twice before me, I fold. Would have had trip J's by the Turn. On the button I get 7d2d and decide to limp in for $3 since no one raised. Two diamonds on the flop, and it gets raised by someone who's been chasing straights and flushes. I figure he's probably got a higher-than-7 diamond so I fold. Diamond flush completes on the River, and everyone still in the hand had BLACK cards. Raiser had A9 or something silly like that. Finally, K5o gets raised before me. I figure there's NO WAY
this is going to be the winner so I toss it. K55 on the flop. So much for this being a game of Independent Trials.
I'm down to about $20 now, and I finally start getting decent hands and actually catching something on the flop to make it worthwhile to play through. A2 gets a 34x flop and a 5 makes the Wheel Straight on the Turn. Big Slick pairs up the Kings on the flop and another K on the River. Pretty soon, I'm up to about $150. Somewhere in the back of my mind, a little voice tells me, "You've doubled up, get the hell out of here!!!
Ah, don't worry about it... Shawni's still in the tournament, so our luck must be running good tonight! Another orbit, I get A8s. Having a nice stack at that point, I decide to bully the table and it gets capped pre-flop. Flop comes KQ9, someone bet, I raise, and get called by one other guy who I'd thought I had a pretty good read on. Turn comes J. He bets, I raise, he double checks his cards, looks worried, but still calls. River is 9. He bets, I raise, and quickly he re-raises. Ah, must have caught something on the River. Or is he trying to push me off the pot? Yea, that must be it. Call. He had cold-called 4 bets pre-flop with J9 and filled up on the Turn and River. Geez. I give people too much credit. I end up out-thinking myself and it costs me. I muck my hand and Bunny, the dealer, gives me an exasperated look of disappointment. Bunny
? Yea, more on him next time. :)
At this point, Shawni's out of the tournament, I'm back down to my $60, and the voice is telling me, "Leave now! You've got your buy-in, you played for free! Take it and run and come back another day!!!
" Oh come on now, I made $60 into $150 in 1.5 hours, I can do it again.
Famous last words.
It was all downhill from there. Those 9's killed me again, when I got AA, and BB with 79o rivers trip 9's. Just could not catch anything else after that. Where's the little voice in your head when you need it most? Oh yeah, he's still stuck on the bottom of my shoe...
AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS...
So what did I get out of this weekend binge of Poker?
I've made a promise that once I double-up, I'm done for the day. If I feel like playing big some day, then I'll buy-in for more. And when I am up, it shouldn't give me the right to play any looser or more aggressively. Don't try to be the bully just because I have a couple extra stacks. It's just not worth it.
Also, wifey and I have agreed to avoid playing together as much as possible. We've both used the excuse, "Well, since you were down, I had to keep playing to try and cover your loss!" I would have walked away with $250 at 3am on both of those first two trips (or at least, the voice would have urged me to); but Shawni was down and I was trying to recoup her losses. Probably didn't help that a good chunk of my stack was hers to begin with anyways.
As far as actual playing lessons learned? I think I did okay with my starting hand choices. And to be completely opposite of everyone else trying to better their game, I think I'll loosen up and play by instinct a little bit more. My 83o blind is capped? If I'm feeling it, screw my odds, let's see the flop (does that make me a bad person???). But on that same note, I need to be quick on the release as well. Not everyone is as smart as I would hope the human race should be, so don't think every guy is trying to outbluff me. He raises, let him have it. They're only chips, anyway.
The only other thing itching at me is: Did I really play well, or was I just getting lucky? In both of the late-night excursions, I did okay until it was pretty late and we were down to 4-6 players only. That's when my chips would start to get sucked away. Obviously, my short-handed game isn't as good, so I'll definitely try and avoid those for now.
Also in thinking back, my fall from grace coincided with a major change in the players at the table (due to other tables breaking or the tournament shuffling people in and out). So could it be that when I sat down I happened to be one of the better players; and when the new people came in, they were better than me and I just didn't get away fast enough? I'll have to force myself to really tighten up when there's a major change of players at the table, until I can figure out what the new personality composition is.
This has been a hell of a write, and now I'm going to be behind on my reading of others' weekend adventures! Like I mentioned earlier, I'm in a NL tournament next Sunday, and if anything comes up before then, I'll try to post right away to keep it in digestable bite-size chunks. But after everything we spent this last weekend, neither of us are probably going to be playing any live cash games until next payday.
Famous last words.