Sunday, September 11, 2005


Frustrating day at the poker tables today. First - some miscellaneous tidbits.

I found a nice little Excel spreadsheet online yesterday that is much nicer for recording my brick and mortar poker wins and losses than the scribbly notebook I was using. I plan to tweak the spreadsheet eventually to tailor it to my liking, but for now - it works. Using that spreadsheet, I can see in plain ink some stats for my B&M play:

In 40 hours of playing at Trump over the last 3 weeks, my win rate is currently 3.2BB/hour. This includes 9 sessions at $3/6 and one at $6/12. Interesting.

Question - what's the average number of hands per hour that you see during live play at a casino? I'm reading that it's anywhere from 25 to 60 hands per hour. Assuming mechanical card shufflers, can anyone give me a more accurate number? I'm putting 30 in my spreadsheet, but I'd love to hear if anyone has any solid info or at least a smaller range for me to guesstimate within.

OK... back to my day.

Today started out wonderfully. I was in a great mood, after stopping at Subway for a sandwich on my way in to Trump around lunchtime. I was bopping along the highway, thinking to myself that "Two Step" by Dave Matthews Band is literally a knee-slapping good song. Why I was slapping my knees, I don't know, but I was just full of glee and feeling lucky as I drove to the casino.

When I got there, I was seated immediately in the 10 seat, next to the dealer. Nice. I wasn't being crowded, and the table seemed to be in a good mood. I got myself a purple Gatorade from the cocktail waitress as she passed and was ready to play.

I soon discovered that the table was VERY loose, with an average of 7 players to every flop. It wasn't unusual for 8 or 9 players to see the flop (though I don't remember any true family pots with all ten of us). With the huge number of cards in play for each hand, you can imagine that the suckouts were plentiful - but the pots were gigantic.

What did I do? Loosened up a bit and started playing some hands. The problem? My cards weren't hitting. Within 2 hours, I was down to the felt. I realized, however, that part of the problem was my own doing. The table is loosy-goosy - I should be playing my tight game. I was limping into pots with things like K9 suited which - while not the worst hand in the world - is much too loose to be profitable, and I know that. I felt that this table was ripe for the picking, and having spotted my leak at that point, I decided to rebuy for another hundred bucks and tighten the screws a bit.

It was a good thing I rebought. Within a few hands of replenishing my chips, I won myself a monster pot that had me nearly back up to even. For the life of me, I can't remember what that hand was. There were so many bad hands to follow that they've claimed all of the real estate in my mind.

When I made it back up to even, I should have left. I think I have to find the rule of thumb for leaving. One regular told me that he buys in for a hundred bucks, and as soon as he doubles his buy-in, he leaves. While that sounds well and good, I've had 4 different sessions where I won more than a hundred bucks (one being $400!) so - I'm not sure that's the best strategy. Maybe my rule of thumb should be, "If the thought of leaving crosses your mind, you should leave."

I decided to take one more orbit before leaving. I was exactly at $200 - my total investment to that point. I'd been playing for a little over 3 hours. Then, I hit a big hand:

I'm in early position and limp with pocket 5's. There are 2 other callers. The flop comes 10-5-5. No, that is not a typo. I flopped quad 5's. With action first on me, I had to think quick. Do I slow play and hope someone bets? It's not likely that that flop hit anybody else, since I've got the other 2 fives, and the only other card that could have helped anyone is a ten. There are only 2 other players; what's the likelihood that either of them have a ten? Not very high. But, this is a classic table of no-fold-em hold'em, and people have been calling down with overcards all afternoon. If I bet, it's very likely that I'll get at least one caller. I'm still in debate as to what I should have done here. I can argue either side.

I ended up betting out. One guy folded, the other called. The turn came a blank. My opponent checked, and I bet. Then, he raised me! WTF??? I just got check raised, and I'm holding quads. What now? Do I reraise and try and take control, or let him keep betting into me? I decided to call and save the re-raising for the river. He bet into me on the river, and I raised, and he called. Ends up he had 2 pair, which could not beat my flopped quads.

I was up $45 or so at this point. After the drama of losing a hundred bucks, winning it all back, plus some - NOW I should have left. But I was in the middle of my last orbit, and there were only 4 hands left till I'd be leaving. I decided to play them. How bad can 4 hands possibly hurt me?

Pretty bad. I found myself in middle position with AQ of spades. I raise it up, and get 4 callers. The flop comes Q-x-x with one club (ie. a rainbow, but the clubs have future significance). I bet out, and two players call. The turn comes a 2nd club, putting the draw out there. I bet again. Call - call. The river comes a 3rd club. I bet, and the action goes raise - reraise. I go, fuck. These sons of bitches are chasing me with clubs. I fold. Guess what they showed?

7-5 of clubs, for the flush, and Queen 6 of clubs, for the higher flush.

7-5 and Q-6 for a preflop raise.


I'm back to even. I should have left.

Very next hand is a kill pot. The holder of the higher flush in that last hand was referred to as "Dorothy Hamill" in my mind. He looked like that male figure skater, Scott Hamilton or something like that? But he was such a damn moronic nancy that I decided to call him Dorothy in my head. Well, Dorothy's queen high flush won him the kill button.

I look down at my hand and see the Hilton Sisters. Pocket Queens. They were red. Rule of thumb: Always throw away premium hands preflop in kill pots. They never hold up and you lose a fortune.

I raise like a good little girl, and wouldn't ya know - Dorothy came along for the ride, as did the 7-5 suckout artist (who'd actually sucked out on me twice earlier with a crappy two pair on the river). A couple other people called as well. The flop came random undercards with two clubs. (Here we go with the clubs again). I thought to myself, let the suckout commence! At any rate, I bet it. One guy folded, the rest called. The turn came a blank, and this time Dorothy bet out. I called. Two more people folded. The river came a 3rd club, the King. Dorothy of course bets out, and I reluctantly called and said, "show me your clubs... " since he'd been catching flushes all day. He said, "I missed my draw," (the most popular phrase out of his mouth after calling junk all the way to the river). "All I have is a king."

All you have is a king. Well good for you. That beats my Queens.

Then I saw what he had: K5 offsuit.

OK. Let me think here. He was already in six bucks for the kill, and then called a raise with his K5. Maybe that's forgivable in the name of kill-blind defense. But he missed the flop completely! No pair, no draw, and someone was betting into him (namely, ME!)

I said - "Wow - King five??" He replied, "I had the flush draw!"

Insert Scooby noise here: "Huuuuhhhhhhhrr?"

"The flush draw?" I asked. "You've only got one club in your hand."

He said, "I flopped a club - it was a backdoor draw."

Scooby noise, accompanied by the desire to stick pencils in my eye.

"You called my flop bet with a backdoor draw to a FIVE HIGH flush??"

He replied, "Sure, I'll go fishing for one small bet. Plus I had a king!"

Commence beating my head against the wall.

"Nice hand," I said.

Oh, Dorothy. How you pissed me off with the fact that you weren't making dumb plays out of ignorance. You were making them out of calculated stupidity.

I was now down $30 or so. I should have left. Unfortunately, I had only 3 hands left till the blinds hit me, and I was now determined to win my money back from Dorothy.

Note to self: If you have to TRY to win, you aren't playing your A game. Go home immediately.

The next pot was a kill (Dorothy was on a rush, he was). I limped, he raised, I called (amongst others). Flop missed me, and I folded.

Repeat cycle.

Dorothy wins, kill pot resumes, I limp, he raises, I call (amongst others), flop misses me, and I fold.

There goes another $24. There was one more hand till my blind. I began stacking my chips to leave, and looked at my last hand. Jack seven of diamonds. I threw it away and got up from the table. I wished everyone a sincere sounding "good luck" (and didn't mean a single syllable of it) and left.

I cashed out down $60 for 3 3/4 hours of play.

I tried to look at the bright side: If I hadn't rebought after 2 hours, I'd be down a whole hundred. At least I was only down $60. That really didn't make me feel any better when I could have left UP forty bucks. Bad decision on my part.

I won't be heading to Trump on Sunday. I've got a bunch of work to do, and also have an early dinner to attend with family. My next trip will probably be Monday or Tuesday night after work.

I hope you all had a less frustrating weekend on the felt!


  1. Heather said...
    At 3/6, even with autoshufflers, you're probably getting 20-22 hands an hour if you have a good dealer, because the players take SO LONG to make up their minds and you've got so many of them in.

    At the NL table they try and get 30 or so hands an hour in, and we know what we're doing :) However, it's NL so that's prone to having long 'thinking' moments by the players.

    Sorry I missed you Friday! :) I got there at about 8 pm.
    Kipper said...
    OK they have Gatorade were you play!! I have to remember to ask for that next time.

    If you dont mind me asking what spreadsheet are you using and were did you get it from I would not mind getting a good spreadsheet.
    Shelly said...
    Thanks for the hand count, Maigrey!

    Kipper - here's the spreadsheet I'm using for now:

    Unknown said...
    Check out Chris H.'s spreadsheet, very nifty.

    As for Mr. Backdoor Flush draw... I laughed :)

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