Sunday, June 19, 2005

AC Redux Recap

Second trip in two weekends went not quite as well as first trip. I took Friday off to get a head start and booked a room at the Trop. FTrain was coordinating with several bloggers to come down there on Saturday but for various reasons outlined in my previous post plus others, I ended up getting a call left on my voicemail late Friday letting me know the bloggers couldn't make it down, so I cut my trip short and returned Saturday afternoon, managing to have a blast with the crew in the city (see post immediately to follow).

While I was there:

Session 1, 100+20 tourney with 100 add-on at first break. Ran below average into the break after once again deciding to bluff into a straight. Add on brought me to 75% of average, and I rode a nice streak to 150% of average with a bit of bullying once I was moved to a tighter table. Got into serious trouble when one old man decided to take his stand with Mrs. Slick against my fishhooks and the board supplied an ace. Crippled, I hung on for two more orbits but rolled the dice and crapped out as the blinds and antes left me no other choice. Session 1: -220, 2.5 hours.

Session 2, 1-2 NL, 300 max, bought in for 300. This was a hospital ward table with 6-7 limpers in nearly every pot. Quick aside for best exchange of the trip: river comes 3rd spade and fills out player 1's Broadway. Player 2 bets 50. Player 1 pauses, asks "Did you hit your flush?" Player 2 says "no". Player 1, without pause but with 250 behind, says "all-in". Player 2, with Player 1 covered, calls and shows 2nd nut.

Hand of note #1: Dicking around for several hours, I'd managed to inch up to 340 when I flopped two 9s to go with my J9s. I figured out with some back and forth with the big blind (about 240 behind when the hand started) and another player whom we lost along the way that the big blind had another 9. His hesitance, including a very nervous string raise all in on the turn that the dealer made him retract, the fact that he was in the big blind in an unraised pot, and a king on the turn making a boat less likely led me to believe that pushing on the river was plus EV. I was right as he called and showed an 8 kicker.

Hand of note #2: I felt pretty good with about 600 in front when the first unfortunate event occurred. Much to my surprise, my 20 bet got called by a calling station with 280 behind in the BB when I bet Mrs. Slick from the SB. The rest of the table folded out. I hit the flop with a sledge hammer as AQ6 rainbow came out. I checked and he bet 20. Although he called everything pre-flop, he had been pretty aggressive post-flop, with crazy all in overbets from time to time. Hoping to induce another one of these, I just called. The turn was a king, and I checked again. He bet 50. I was pretty sure he had an ace, and decided to play it differently than my first plan. After thinking it through, I am sure I made a mistake here, although I am equally sure the result would have been the same as the train had already left the station and there was no getting off. He already had 90 in the pot, and I figured I had a reasonable chance of getting the rest in so I pushed. Strangely enough, this almost worked in way I didn't realize I was looking for when he thought long and hard before calling. He had Slick and there was no miracle on 5th Street.

Hand of note #3: Pissed away a bit longer to just under 300. Limped in on the button with ducks with 5 others, flopped 3 uncoordinated overs and watched the table check around for a free turn, which was my deuce. SB, with 175 behind, led out with 30. One caller in, it came around to me and I made it 90 to go. SB pushed and, with a sinking feeling, I called. SB turned over the trip 5s he'd flopped. 3 a.m., tired and demoralized, I decided to hit the sack.

Session 2: -180, 5.75 hours.

I got back to the room and received the cell phone message from FTrain. Note: T-Mobile seems to be the only freaking service that does not work in the Trop poker room. I decided that I would probably leave on Saturday rather than stay the extra night, so, 7 hours of sleep later, I checked out in the morning. I also decided that the only thing to do when stuck for $400 is to keep on letting it ride. It can only get better, right? So I left my bag at the bell hop, had breakfast and hopped into a newly formed 2-5. When attempting to get back to zero, it always helps to raise the stakes.

All kidding aside, with two weekends' vast experience, I think I've pretty much decided at casinos to always play 2-5 rather than 1-2 if I have a choice. I am sure that theremust be a way to kill the 1-2 easier than the 2-5 since on the whole, there is much more terrible play in the 1-2, but I think that as long as there are at least 2 or 3 poor players or 1 terrible player at the table, it is actually easier to win steadily with 4 or 5 reasonably solid people sitting with you. Decent players generally are able to identify each other and as long as there is easier money to be had and, at least at the margin, will avoid unnecessary confrontations. It's simply easier to steer the action.

In a 4.5 hour session, I really only had 1 hand of note, and stunningly simple though it was, it achieved my purpose. No more than 20 minutes into the session and 2nd UTG, I faced a raise of the blinds to 15 from UTG. Peeping down, I saw cowboys. With 8 to act after me, this was no time to get cute so I raised it up to 60. It folded around to the small blind, who even in this short period had marked himself off as a calling station, shrinking his stack already from 500 to about 350. What could be a better time to call 58 than facing a 45 2nd UTG raise over a 15 UTG bet? Bingo. UTG folded leaving me heads up with a homer.

Flop was a very nice 10 high rainbow unconnected board, and I led out with another 50. SB called. Turn comes another low blank and I led out 100. SB called, leaving himself with 140. River was yet another blank. Looking deeply troubled, he apparently decided his hand was good and went all in. I cannot say I was happy, but I could not figure out what hand he could be holding that the river could have helped. If he had landed trips after that sorry call, so be it, but I'm not laying down that hand with a 580 pot for another 140 unless I'm playing Phil Ivey. I am not shitting you, the man turned over JT off suit. I mean, in almost 13 hours of hard play, I win the lion's share of my weekend on that ridiculous hand. No complaints, but it is a strange game we play.

I played for several mores, building up to a high water mark of 1080 before slipping back down to 980 and decided to head out when two players that knew the dealer on a first name basis and seemed to know how to bet sat down on transfer, one of them putting $500 in greens in his pocket to slip under the table limit. I did think about it anyway since I had them both on my immediate right and the whale who paid me off had stuck around for 3 buy-ins, but if I hadn't left, I'd have missed the blogger night out in New York.

Session 3: +480, 4.5 hours. Weekend, +80 (less 170 hotel room + 15 comp crappy caesar salad).

Ironic observation: the Tropicana has the worst orange juice of any casino I have ever been to.

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