:::Note: I wrote this post last night at an indeterminate time, somewhere over the Rockies...
OK, here I am, opening up another Word file at 36000 feet, blogging about nothing in particular, except maybe 4.5 hours of excruciating poker play at Trump Casino on Tuesday, followed by about three hours of sleep, and eight hours of delivering training…
“Even monkeys learn from their mistakes” – Unknown, but probably a poker blogger
First the poker. Thanks to the Donkeypuncher
for picking me up at Union Station after an abortive trip via Chicago’s shittiest taxi driver and the Metra rail line. I had originally planned to meet DP at Union Station at 730pm after riding Chicago’s suburban rail line (Metra) from Schaumburg to downtown Chicago, but my taxi driver decided to follow all of the speed limits and stop lights, and got me to the train station five minutes too late for the 630pm train, so I ended up hiding from the freezing cold in a dingy trailer masquerading as a train station for almost an hour waiting for the next train. Once I hooked up with Jeff, we set off for Trump Casino, which Jeff said was “fifteen minutes away”. Apparently, Chicago time is much like dog time, and we ended up pulling into the casino parking lot at around 915pm.
Some quick background. I had woken up on Tuesday at 400am to catch a 600am Oakland to Chicago flight, set up computers for half of a region, installing multiple softwares and debugging some of the most gawdawful spam blockers and browser strait jackets I’ve ever seen until 600pm central time, so I’m already pretty much exhausted when we troop into the card room. Jeff had the foresight to call ahead, so when we arrived, we were names #2 and #3 on the $3/6 list. All they had was full kill tables, which kinda worried me since I hadn’t ever played a kill game. With three tables running, we figured we wouldn’t have long to wait. Sure enough, Jeff got seated after about fifteen minutes, and I was seated at a different table about five minutes after.
My table was filled with the usual mix of young hotshots, overweight slobs, and Asians as I settled into the 4s with my rack of whites. I waited until I was BB before posting to get a feel for the table. I soon figured out that the 6-9 seats were playing just about every hand, with the 9s winning most of the pots through aggression and hitting draws. Most of my side of the table was tight, and spent most of their time complaining about the suckouts administered by the other side. I sit and fold through almost three full orbits without playing a hand when I pick up suited Slick in MP on a kill hand. I raise the $6 kill to $12 and get FOUR callers. Flop is AJ6 with two hearts. The hearts bother me, but I bet anyway when it’s checked to me. Two callers see the bricked turn with me. No straight possibilities, but now the board is two-suited, so I bet out $12. The big stack in 9s calls me down through the non-suited river and I take down a pretty healthy pot to break my cherry in Indiana. Next hand, I pick up KT and call the BB. Flop is a nifty KTx. I bet after two checks and again pull along four callers. I can’t remember the turn, but it didn’t worry me. When the big stack bet, I put him on a draw and raised him up. Again, he called me down through the river and mucked when I showed my top two pair.
Now, I’m on the kill UTG and pick up A7. I check with SIX callers. The flop is AKx and I bet after two checks (remember, my side of the table was very tight-passive). Two callers from the other side, as the players to my right fold meekly. As the dealer flips the turn, I bet $12 almost before it hits the table. Again, I get called down passively to a guy who flips up Kx (!) as I pull my third pot in a row.
OK, now I’m thinking that I’m Gus fucking Hansen, and I’m gonna steamroll this table. I pick up A3 sooted and almost get a full community kill pot. Flop is the delirious A43. I check quickly and one of the big stacks bets. I put him on an Ace and immediately check-raise, pushing out all but the two big stacks on the other side. The turn is a Q and I’m liking my hand… a lot. I bet the $12 and only get one caller. The river is a five and I immediately get a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. I bet out anyway and he raises me quickly. I KNOW he has a deuce, and it pisses me off no end that he had no mathematical reason to call the turn bet. Sure enough, I call and he flips Q2. I’m flabbergasted that he would 1. Cold call a kill pot with Q2, 2. Call a check-raise after the flop with an ace on board and a butt-shot draw at best, and 3. Call the turn with basically a 6-outer (Q for trips or the 5 for the straight) – ok, this one isn’t so bad since he may have had close to 7-1 pot odds for the call. But it still pissed me off.
And it started a spiraling downward course for me. I hesitate to call it “tilting” since I really didn’t change my play, but every decent hand after that became an exercise in suckouts and bad luck. As I mentioned on Donkeypuncher’s site, I had the Hilton sisters the same time that AA, KK, and JJ were also dealt. The river J ended up taking the bulk of a $200+ pot that was ultimately split three ways due to multiple all-ins. My flopped straight later lost to a four-club board. My trip tens with an ace kicker were counterfeited when the board made a second pair on the river, splitting a pot when I had AT vs T8. I had multiple opportunities to leave the table and join Jeff, but I stubbornly stayed at the fishy table, eager to catch them with my bare hands, forgetting that schools of fish are tough to beat. Another painful hand was when I folded AK on a QT8x board after THREE raises on the turn only to see the J fall on the river. This of course set off a betting war with two guys showing down KK and KQ for the K-high straight while my broadway snoozed at the bottom of the muck. I figure these three or four hands cost me a combined $300 in pots with the AK being the only one when I might have played differently had I used implied odds rather than pot odds.
Just like at Lucky Chances [see here
], I dropped my entire buy-in. Just like at Lucky Chances, I kept playing even when I should’ve left due to the table dynamic. Just like at Lucky Chances, I didn’t adjust my play when the fish began schooling.
That’s it. I’m through with limit ring games at B&M. My strength is NL tournament play, specifically $10-30 buy-ins, specifically hold’em, specifically online with decent players, specifically with a short stack. Pretty narrow specialty.