I’m trying to get back to blogging on a more or less regular basis, and for now I’m obviously leaning towards the “less regular” side of things. Back from Pensacola/Biloxi, and managed to recoup some of the losses I saw on my trip there earlier this year, picking up about a $400 profit on the trip. My bankroll is still pretty anemic, but that’s just the status quo for right now.
If you’re in Charlotte this weekend, and have any interest in seeing me read my poetry, come out to Festival in the Park. I’m reading Friday evening and Saturday morning on the Theatre Stage, and I’ll have copies of my book to sell as well. I’m reading at 6:30 Friday and at 11:15 Saturday, so I hope I’ll see you there. I also will be doing a special evening at Story Slam! later this fall when I read poetry with a couple of friends, so I hope you can make that as well.
As trip reports go, this one will be pretty boring, not many hands of interest, but a couple. I played the noon tournament at the IP in Biloxi (a significant upgrade over the property of the same name in Vegas) and busted shortly after the first break when it turned into a shove-fest. I moved over to 4/8 limit to get my feet wet for a little while and treaded water for a couple hours before I decided to go look for greener pastures. I think I cashed out up about $5 on the limit game, which means I was down about $100 for the day with tournament fees, some ill-advised time at a slot machine and a minor Pai Gow loss. But I did have a free buffet coupon, so at least I ate for free.
I headed over to the Isle of Capri, which again was a decent enough place, if small. Most of the casinos around Biloxi felt small, and the thing that continued to screw me up was the fact that they were multi-level casinos. Not huge hotels with casinos, but two and three stories of gaming. So you took escalators to different sections of the gaming floor. I think it hearkens back to when they had to be built on boats or at least piers, so they needed to have a smaller footprint. I think the Belterra in Indiana was also two stories. But it was odd to me to have the machines and tables split up by escalators.
So I played 1/2 at the Isle and ended up with a good session, although it didn’t start well.I picked up a few small pots here and there and finally called a raise in early position with QJo against a loose player who was catching everything he went after. I know, even for me that’s a loose call, but the two other callers helped. The flop helped more, coming down Q-J-x rainbow. Gin! Even better gin when the guy in front of me, who was steaming a little after stacking off to the laggy chaser open-shoved for 80+ into a $45 pot. I put my $88 into the pot, and the laggy chaser called both our all-ins. He was getting about 2.5-1 on his money, so I could see where chasing the gutshot with unimproved AK seemed like a good idea. The guy who open-shoved tabled Q-8 for just top pair, and I tabled my top two.
You know the story, right? Not just a 10 on the turn, but the river as well, in case I missed the straight the first time. So there went my first buy-in. On the one hand, I bought in short so it didn’t hurt as much. On the other hand, if I’d had $188 in my stack instead of $88, I probably could have pushed him off the draw. Meh. Poorly played on all streets. Again.
So I reloaded for another hundred and went back to work. Now I only had a day, so I only took $500 with me to Biloxi, and it had all the makings of an early night, but I started to run a little better, read little better, and generally play a little better. I had developed a tight table image (not sure how that happened), so when I raised UTG to $11 with pocket eights, I was surprised to see a guy two seats down (we’ll call him Steamy) re-raise me to $40. He gets one guy to flat-call, and I look at my stack of about $120. I can’t call here, because I’m out of moves at that point, and I think he might be looking to exploit my tight image by pushing me around with Ace-paint. So I shove. Steamy folds, the flat-caller flat calls, and the board runs out J-J-5-x-x. I show my eights, the caller mucks, and Steamy goes apeshit about how he gave me too much credit and it wouldn’t happen again. I couldn’t resist trying to stick the needle in a little further, so I looked down and said “Tens?” He replied with “I folded the winner, that’s all YOU need to know.” As I was stacking the pot, I gave in to temptation again and said “Obviously you didn’t, because I’m stacking chips.” Dickish, I know, but it felt good. I also knew that if I got the chance I could double through him because there was no way I’d ever push him off another hand.
And I didn’t. I picked up two kings in early position, made the same raise to $11, and he three-bet me to $40. I shoved for a little over $220, and he quickly called. No ace hit the board, and even though I was a bit concerned that he may have flopped a set of queens, he quickly mucked and left as I tabled my kings. That hand put me at the high-water mark for the table, and I began to seriously think about leaving. I’ve gotten a little gun-shy about being the prohibitive big stack at the table, because of horribly mis-playing a big stack in Charleston and not racking up when I realized I had the entire table covered. So I paid a little more attention to what was going on and took care not to loosen up too much before I made the decision to leave. Not long before I headed out, a guy sat down who was obviously a regular, and obviously a player. He looked around the table, checked out the stacks, and made sure he had enough to stack anyone sitting there. Apparently there’s no max buy-in to most of the no-limit tables in Biloxi, because that wasn’t the last time I saw somebody sit down and buy in huge to a 1/2 game. I played a few pots, picked up a few chips, and then racked up when the blinds came around again. He confirmed my suspicions when he said “You can’t take all that money, it’s the only reason I put this much on the table!” I left him disappointed and took my profits off into the night.
Crashed at the Grand because I could use Total Reward points toward my room, and if I didn’t use them before November they’d vanish. The Grand doesn’t have a poker room, but the room was only $99, and I had enough points to cut it to $50 by the time it was all said and done. I spent a little time at the tables playing a game called Flop Poker, which I’d never seen before.
It’s kinda like real poker, and kinda like Let it Ride. You put $5 into the pot, as do all the other players at the table. Then you put a $5-$25 ante down. You get 3 cards, which you look at and decide if you want to stay in the hand. If you do, you match your ante with a flop bet. I gave up on trying to evaluate starting hands and just played blind, which means you put your $5 ante and flop bets out before you ever get cards. The dealer then turns over a 3-card flop, and you must use two cards from the dealer’s hand to go with your three cards to make a poker hand. You have to make Jacks or better to win the ante and flop bets, but the best 5-card hand wins the pot regardless, because that’s where you compete against the other players.
So I played that for about an hour, and hit a couple of big hands. A straight at that game pays out 11-1, so that was worth $55 on one hand, and then I made a full house, worth 30-1 or $150. After that I decided to toss the dealer a redbird and go on to bed.