Sunday, July 27, 2008

Still Looking...

I’m subject to human frailties, indecision. Imagine that. I went to the casino yesterday and, after 8 hours, came home with $100 extra in my pocket.

Still, I’m torn. I had discussed the casino problem that I wrote about last week with my dear wife, and she more or less agreed that online might be a better way to go. I went yesterday with the half-baked idea that I would give it one more shot. If I did well, meaning that I worked toward building my bankroll, then I might consider keeping the casino as part of my poker repertoire. If I lost another buy-in, then I’d back off to only online.

I was halfway to online (down $100 at $1/$2) when good things started to happen: my suited connectors hit, my BB checks hit boats, an 11 outer with the flush and gut draw turned into pairing the turn and hitting the flush on the river, and I pulled off a spectacular river bluff. I was in good form late in the day, and I think I played a game that kept my opponents guessing.

Not that it was the easiest table I’ve ever played at, There were some monster stacks and some pretty aggressive players that I had to work around; yet there was enough dead money coming to the table to work with. There was a good cast of characters, and if I were to quit going to the casino, this is what I would miss the most.

I initially say in the #9 seat, next to the dealer. (I don’t particularly care for this seat, yet it’s not as bad as #1. I like to see the whole table and much prefer seats 3, 4, 7 and 8.) In the #5 seat was a guy that I’ve played on a number of occasions. He’s a quiet, studied player. I’ve seen him get clobbered in the past, but today was his day. As I sat, the table was talking about whether or not his high hand for the hour ($250 every hour), quad sixes, would hold for five more minutes. They did. Then he hit quad aces on the river against an all-in baby flush. Another $250 on top of a big pot. Later in the day he hit quad 8s and another $250. In the midst of all of this, he was getting hit with the deck, and by the time I left he had about $1100 in front of him, plus $750 cash in his pocket.

If I ever had a day like his, I’d be on cloud nine and have a hard time hiding that good feeling. However, this guy was pretty much monotone. He would occasionally talk about a hand, talk a little with the other players, but not much. I kinda figured him for some computer guy, maybe working for Intel, Hewlett Packard or some such company. You could see his brain working out the numbers on a hand, replaying the action. He was a joy to watch. And I watched him a lot, looking for tells. Nothing. I asked him toward the end of the day if he was going to wait until he got home to let out a “woo hoo.” He gave me this look that said he thought the whole idea of celebrating his wins was crass.

One of the players that donated a fair amount of chip to Mr. Rush was Mr. Know-it-all. Mr. College. The guy never shut up, sharing his poker theory with a buddy of his who was visiting from New York. He nearly always raised 5 x BB when on the button and in the cutoff. His cutoff was my big blind. I never had an opportunity to successfully defend my blind for that size of raise…but I wanted to. At one point he raised 3 x BB from the SB after several limpers. Indeed, he had several callers, and after he folds his hand he says, “I had 79s. I had to raise to get the pot to a size that would be worth playing those cards. I knew I’d get callers.” OK.

As the day wore on, a few young guns started showing up. One kid sat to my left, sunglasses, ball cap, stern poker face, a $200 stack of whites and a nervous cough after every hand he won. I was in the BB and the kid coughs preflop and bets 3 X BB. Wow! He must have a monster. Mr. Money bags calls, I look down at K5 off and fold. Board is K525K. His Aces held after quite a bit of betting. Oh well.

When it comes right down to it, I don’t know if I can give up the live play. With that said, I know that to continue means that I have to build a roll to match. Look for some online experiences here in the future. If I can get something started online, I can then better afford live.

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