A few things at the top:
Iggy and HDouble have put together the first ever Poker Tracker Guide. I haven't gotten around to purchasing my copy yet (mainly because my sun-addled brain still hasn't adjusted to being back in the Land of Snow) but hell, Iggy and Hank are no dummies, and the Guide has been endorsed by Poker Tracker Pat. Get out there and get yours.
The next live WPBT event, for those that haven't read it elsewhere, will be at the Aladdin in Las Vegas on June 4. It coincides with the start of the WSOP; good luck getting a reasonably priced flight and/or hotel room. But hey, it's Vegas. Who needs a hotel room?
Ok, ok. The PSAs are out of the way. Let's talk poker. Specifically, let's talk about hitting the Commerce Casino on Saturday afternoon with Bill, Phil, and Ryan.
Oddly enough, despite living in LA for about a year, I had never played at the Commerce before. My live play when I lived in Santa Monica was primarily at the Bike, with one trip to the Hustler. My initial impression was the Commerce was a little classier than the Bike, but maybe I just haven't been to the Bike in a while.
Bill was running late and would ccme down later. Once Phil, Ryan and I located each other, we decided we were all hungry and hit the bar for some food. Tasty food. Lots of tasty food. For about $5 each. God bless the Commerce Casino. Then we hit the tables for about three hours, each at a different $100 min/max NLHE table. $2/$3 blinds. Basically, a crazy action game.
I started out doing ok, up about $60, but then two beats spaced across 45 minutes wiped me out. The first, I flopped trips out of the big blind and a guy in late position called heads-up, pot-sized bets on both the flop and the turn looking for a club flush holding Jc 6c. He found it on the river.
The second beat, I made a move at a pot by raising a guy all-in for about $65 on a flop of 8d 6d 8c holding Ad 5d. He called with Qd 9d and had the audacity to pair his queen on the turn. No ace or diamond hit the river, and that was my first buy-in gone. At that point, about three or four hours in, I figured a drink was in order. I rounded up the troops, took stock of where we were at (up, down, down, down) and then headed off to the bar.
In honor of Al, I offered a round of SoCo shots. Bill was the only taker. Unfortunately, nobody had Al's phone number handy, so dial-a-shots were out of the question. Bill and I toasted Al's liver all the same.
After a few more drinks were consumed, it was back to the tables. I only got about an hour of play in before I was forced to take another break, down $40 after getting burned for $30 holding AQo on the button.
I should mention one of the more amusing hands I witnessed in those first two sessions. A somewhat solid player limped in from late position. The button and the small blind both called before the big blind, a typical loosey-goosey California player, made it $15 to go. The late position player reraised to $30, driving out the button and the small blind. The big blind raised it to $60, and the LP guy said "Let's see a flop" and called. They both had fairly decent-sized stacks.
The flop was Q-7-4, three suits. The big blind led out for $50. The LP guy went into the tank, and I was pretty sure I knew what he was thinking. He was wondering if his kings were about to go down in flames to aces. He thought some more, and asked the big blind "Do you have aces?" I don't know if he got a tell, but he then pushed all-in for $200. When the big blind didn't insta-call, he said "Well, I guess you don't have aces."
Now it was the big blind's turn in the tank. He was on my immediate right, furrowing his brow and trying to decide if the guy was bluffing or not. Finally, he said, "I have to see what he has" and called. When late position didn't immediately turn over his hand, the big blind said "I knew he didn't have anything." Once all the cards were out, however, late position turned over KK.
What did the big blind have that was worth a $150 all-in call? I'm glad you asked. He turned over 72o. The Hammer. Pauly and Grubby would have been proud.
For my own play, I didn't make as many mistakes as I made at the AC Tropicana last week, but one particular fold after the flop had me kicking myself for two days. I made the wrong play, and I knew it. What's worse, my hand would have made the nuts and dragged a net $150 pot.
My final stint at the table was 9:30 Sunday morning (long story, but I was still at the casino at that point), and let me tell you, that was the craziest table of all of them. Typically at these $100 tables, a "standard" raise is $12-15, and to get any respect at all you have to raise to $20-$25. At this table, just about every hand was getting raised to $20 and was getting called in multiple places, with multiple people then calling flop bets. Crazy! Unfortunately, I didn't really get a piece of it and left after 1.5 hours down $24.
So, in the end, another losing session for me. I don't even remember what winning is like anymore. I know NLHE cash play is not my strongest game - I tend to play a bit too tight-weak, I think - but I was hopeful that with the crazy action in the game, it wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way.
The rest of the trip was spent in the sun - on the beach, on the golf course, at the driving range, wherever. It had me questioning once again why in the hell I moved back to NYC.
Monday, February 28, 2005
A few things at the top: