Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Boil My Head

Hello, all. Just got home from Trump. It was quite a poker weekend over here in Chi-town. Friday was a great day for me (as posted previously), and Sunday and Monday weren't bad, either. Poker is my labor of love right now, so in honor of Labor Day, I spent 20 hours or so in the poker room at Trump Indiana.

The thing with playing all this poker is that it all starts to run together... let's see how much of the weekend I can reconstruct.

I spent all day Saturday on the computer working on a PHP application (web programming) for work. Then, Scott (of the Diamond Games) was having his fantasy football draft, with poker to follow. Randy headed over there for the draft, and I lagged behind a bit, showing up later to play some cards. The game was NLHE - ring game - and I bought in for a hundred. Things were going OK for me, until my pocket Kings ran into Derek's trip ten's and I lost all but $25. I managed to win back a bit of it and cashed out down $35 on the night.

Sunday, Randy had to work, and there was word in the air that Baz might be headed up to Trump. I have yet to meet my fellow blogger, so I decided to have a daytime romp in the sack over at Trump. It was no afternoon delight, unfortunately. I initially thought I was going to have a kick ass day. When I arrived, a new 3/6 game started, and I was dealt the button for the first hand. Nice. I look down to see Q-T clubs, and wouldn't ya know - I flopped trip ten's and turned a full house on a hand whereby my opponent had hit his straight. I took down a beast of a pot on that first hand and thought it to be a sign from the poker gods. Unfortunately, that rush of luck didn't hold up for long.

I ran into a difficult situation on Sunday. There were 3 separate players at my table that were completely passive. They weren't tight - more like "any ace or face" types of players, but they would limp into every pot they played - even with top 5 hands. There was never any way to tell if they had a hand, because all they ever did was check-call. NEVER a raise, NEVER a bet. On one hand, I had AQ and raised it up preflop and one of the passives called (amongst others). When I flopped a queen I thought I was golden, with no other draws onboard. I was in early position, so I led out betting on each street. When we got to the river and the passive called me down, he turned over pocket aces. What?! OK... noted. The same thing happened to me 3 other times with those guys - once when I held pocket Jacks, once with Queens, and once with A9s when I flopped top pair nines on a raggedy board.

How do you play against those types? I mean - they were SO weak that there was never a peep out of any of them! Check, call, check, call. Never a raise, never a bet, and NEVER a check raise. I guess you just have to keep betting into them and hope your hand holds up. If they were tight-passives, at least I'd know not to take any non-nut-like hands down to the river with them, but they showed down plenty of wacky losing hands too. They definitely weren't selective in their starting hands. Tough to play against. There's just no information there to aid in deciding how to play a hand.

Considering the pots that I lost, and the bad timing of my monster hands to run into bigger monsters, I was very glad to leave the casino up $38. Hey - profit is profit. At least it made up for my losses at Scott's house the night before. (With gas up around $3.50/gallon, though, it sure didn't cover my gas money for the trip!)

I hadn't planned on going to the casino today, since Tuesday nights are going to be my night. This afternoon, I went out to lunch with my brother and his newly-pregnant wife (yay! I'm going to be an auntie!), her mom, my mom, and my gram. (Olive Garden - yum!!!!) While I was on my way to lunch, Randy called to let me know he was heading over to a friend's house after work. Hmmm.... sounds like the perfect time to hit the poker room to me! (I feel guilty going without Randy, but he's taking a bit of a break from poker and doing some reading. But still - I feel better going when I know he's doing something else or working, rather than sitting at home while I'm out gallivanting). The thing that made up my mind was that we ended up going to lunch at a restaurant that was coincidentally halfway between home and Trump. No brainer. Off to Trump I headed after lunch.

It was a late lunch... so I arrived at the casino around 6pm. I was immediately seated at a new game, and again I thought it was gonna be my day. I won the first THREE hands of the new table - one with a flush, one with AK suited when I hit a king on the flop, and one with the nut straight. The third was a kill pot. I was up a chunk of change immediately.

My end of the table had a bunch of older guys who were Trump regulars. One recognized me and became chatty, which surprised me because I had thought he was a bit grumpy from sitting with him once before - but again, it seems like there's a certain clique that you have to penetrate with these regulars before they open up to you. He turned out to be a nice guy. Chuck I think was his name. He seems like he could be a tough guy though, so I definitely won't be messing with him.

A little later another regular guy sat to my right - he knew Chuck and the lawyer guy that was to my left. I missed his name, but he was a friendly guy - chatting with me and comparing my playstyle to some other regular guy that I hadn't heard of.

As 9pm rolled around, the freaks started to come out of the woodwork. We got one guy at the table who looked like he'd been at the Cubs game that day - a bleacher bum, I'd guess, wearing his Cubs bucket hat, and a Hawaiian lei around his neck. He had a Wrigley Field t-shirt on, carpenter khaki shorts and flip flops, and nursed what looked like his hundredth Corona with lime. He was a character - loud, obnoxious, and just a bit drunk. At first I was amused by him, but when he started to get belligerent, berating players at the table for making "bad" calls, I was done with him. He would bluff at scary boards, and then show down 5 high and repeatedly and disgustedly ask his opponent (who called with a weaker hand than the scare hand, but a winning hand nonetheless), "How in the WORLD do you make that call? Tell me. Please. How do you make that call? Seriously. I want to know so I can learn to make calls like that." It's like... asshole - this is 3/6 hold'em, not the World Poker Tour. He made that call because he didn't believe you when you said you had the flush every time you bet out! You're a drunken buffoon - NOBODY here believes you! He eventually lost all of his money in a giant kill pot when his Kings ran into Aces (though a majority of his money vanished to various people at the table as a result of bad bluffs).

I did manage to scare him though - at one point, I overheard him saying to the guy next to him that I must only play the nuts, because I hadn't played a hand since he sat down at the table (all of twenty minutes had gone by). He then said, "Watch, I bet she'll fold her small blind, too." I had K6 of clubs, and would have folded - but I decided to see a flop with the hand, if only to prove him wrong. He'd been "putting people on hands" out loud since he sat down, and I thought it could be valuable to me later to show down a junk hand while he was watching. I ended up making a king high flush when 4 clubs came onboard, but thank goodness the guy who had the ace of clubs was totally passive and didn't raise my river bet. I had to show the hand, since I was the aggressor, but I caught a glance out of the corner of my eye of surfer Cubs dude, and indeed he was surprised to see my lackluster hand. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to use that little planted seed against him, and I wasn't in any more pots against him.

In a later hand, I held KT on the button and limped with it. I flopped a King, and not liking my kicker so much, I just called down the bets made by the player under the gun - a semi-loose aggressive player who had no problem betting 2nd pair down to the river. When he bet, he always had SOMETHING, but since he played so many hands (any ace, any face, any connectors with less than 2 gaps - suited or not, and suited cards), it was hard to put him on anything. At showdown, he produced K7 for top pair, but my ten kicker was good and I took the pot. Surfer Cubs dude then said to the guy next to him, "Man, just stay outta pots when that girl is in them - she wins no matter what!" All I could think was, damn it! Stop killing my action! Soon after he went broke and the table had some peace and quiet.

I probably should have left while things were good. I was up $180 or so at one point, and kept doing the "last orbit/stop loss" routine: I'll play this last orbit, and if I lose $40, I'm gone, or if I finish the orbit without winning another pot, I'm gone. Well, on orbit number 1 of that routine, I won another $20. On orbit #2, I hadn't won but hand't lost anything - shoulda left right there. I stayed on for one more orbit, and on my very last hand, I got pocket Aces in a kill pot. The betting was 6/12 for that round, and it ended up capped at $24 preflop with 4 players in the pot. Holy crap. This had "suckout" written all over it... The guy to my right who was in the big blind (the friendly regular who I'd been chatting with all night) had just endured a brutal beat when his aces got cracked, and he was steaming. He re-raised the action preflop, so I honestly had him on tilt and not on a monster hand. (Can't be any better than my aces, anyway).

The flop came a rainbow K-Q-4. Nice guy bet out, I raised, and one guy called. The other folded. The turn came a blank, but Nice guy was already cocked and loaded with chips. Hmm. He could have been raising with kings or queens and now has a set. I decided to proceed with caution and just called his turn bet. The other guy in the hand dropped out, and said something about not wanting to see aces on the board. Nice guy goes, "No aces? Why not?" and then I thought... I bet he's got Ace-King. The river brought another blank, and the potential straight was null and void. Nice guy bets, I call - and he turns over pocket 4's for the set. Fuck. I'm glad I was able to sense that I was beat, and didn't go raising the guy. I suppose I lost as little as I could in that hand - fifty bucks or so - but it was heartbreaking to lose that pot.

Then, the guy - who'd been so nice for the last four hours - turned into mega-jerk, celebrating his win and telling everybody at the table how he owned that pot and how it was someone else's turn to get cracked with aces. He probably didn't mean it personally, but holy hell - you don't have to be a total dick about it. He kept elbowing me as he flailed around pumping his fist and scooping his chips, and when he kicked me trying to move his chair back, it was all I could do not to flip out and sock him in the skull right there. Nope! Time for Shellmuth to get outta dodge before she loses all of her money back to these clowns!

I immediately put on my most pleasant of fake "that's poker" smiles, wished everybody goodnight and good luck, and filled up my racks of chips. Time to boil my head in a sense of humor. I got away from that table as quickly as I could and headed to the cashier's cage, angry as hell about how that guy behaved. Yeah, I was not happy to drop fifty bucks on my last hand, and yeah, that was a very sweet pot that I really would have liked to win, but jeez. That guy really was an asshole about beating me.

I tried to look at the bright side - I was cashing out with $100 profit, so for 5 hours of play, I made $20/hour or a little over 3 big bets per hour. That's good. I just can't get out of my head - even now! - man, ya didn't have to be such a dick about it.

I left around 11:30pm, and began the hour long trek back home. I cranked up some Nine Inch Nails on the iPod and screamed my head off for a good 30 miles or so before I finally exorcised enough of Shellmuth from my soul that I could regain some semblance of calm. Thanks to Trent Reznor, I was able to once again find my happy place, and drove the rest of the way home in peace and without incident.

And here I am... I have to work tomorrow (boooooo!) and will probably head up to Trump after work to take advantage of some of the drunk fishes. The daytime fishes aren't nearly as intoxicated, on average, and the evening fishes. Hopefully I can go suck out on some of them while they play all footloose and carefree under the influence of Sweet Mother Alcohol.

I hope everybody had a great weekend! :) Back to the grind...

1 Comment:

  1. Joanada said...
    Nice run :) There is nothing better than playing poker all weekend

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