Tuesday, March 21, 2006
I like Empress.
Well, let me be more specific. I like my results so far at Empress. There are some things I don't like, and the most annoying thing might be the fact that a small number of dealers in the poker room really suck. I've encountered 2 so far. And they aren't new. They're just bad.
Tonight's example (from a dealer I'd seen before): Two players go to showdown with the following hands: 10-6 and 10-2, on a board of 10-10-9-8-3. Both players flipped their cards, and the player with the deuce kicker says to his opponent, "Oh, man, you outkicked me!" The dealer wiped the board and pushed the pot to the guy with 10-6. As she started pushing the pot, me and the player to my left simultaneously said, "That should be a split pot." The dealer said, "No." Meanwhile, 6-kicker-guy was stacking the pot into his chipstack. We explained that the 9 and 8 on the board played with the 3 tens, and then two guys from the other end of the table piped up and concurred. The guy with the 2 kicker, who rightfully owned half of the pot, didn't understand why it should be a split pot, so he wasn't fighting for his money. The dealer started shuffling the cards, and another player said to the 2-kicker guy, "You can have the dealer call the floor - that should have been a split pot." 2-kicker was flustered and didn't know what to do. Then, the dealer starts dealing the next hand!!!!
Everyone at our table was in the conversation now, and the floor heard the commotion and came by. The ruling was that they can't do anything about it because the next hand had already been dealt. Then, the floor person (who was quite rude, IMHO) said to 2-kicker guy that it is HIS (the player's) responsibility to know if his hand is a winning hand or not. I was astonished, because in most cardrooms, the cards speak for themselves. I could understand if the floor person had told the guy that it's his responsibility to protect his hand and prevent it from being mucked until a proper winner was determined, but he explicitly said that players have to read their hands correctly. That seemed odd to me, so I went to the front of the room to get a rule guide, and sure enough - CARDS SPEAK. I clarified that for the players at the table who had heard the floor man say otherwise. 6-kicker guy then gave $30 to 2-kicker guy as a peace offering.
So, that was pretty nuts...
I endured my first Empress Suckout tonight. I limp into a 6-way pot with KJo on the button. The flop comes K-4-x, one spade. The cutoff bets, and I raise. UTG calls, cutoff calls. Turn comes Js. Check-check-bet-call-fold. River comes 2s. Check-bet-raise. Mother fucker. Call. Weak ass called UTG with 9-3 of spades. WTF?? Runner runner for the flush, but wtf was he calling the flop bet for?? Arg.
Now- in the paragraph above, I called this guy "weak ass," and it is for a reason. I have never in my life seen as weak of a player as this guy. By "weak," I don't mean that he sucked (though I can't explain what his reasoning might have been for playing the 9-3). Generally, his starting hand selection was decently tight: Face cards with kickers 10 or higher, mid to high pocket pairs. He folded a lot. But, when he did play hands, he never, EVER bet. EVER. I mean, **ever**. I can't stress the "ever" enough.
Example: I limp into an unraised multiway pot with AJh, late-ish middle position. WeakAss was UTG+1. The flop comes J-x-x. It checks to me. I bet. Everyone folds but WeakAss, who calls. Turn is an undercard. No flush or straight draws out there. He checks. I bet. He calls. River is a blank. Same thing - check, bet, call. I turn up my AJ for TPTK, and he turns up Pocket Queens and immediately says, "I'm sorry." I said, "Wow, nice preflop raise... noted..." and resumed my quiet look of contemplation.
Reason #1 why WeakAss is a pussy: come on. Even morons raise preflop with QQ.
Reason #2: Apologizing at showdown for being a WeakAss definitely qualifies a person for the Giant Vagina award.
What's with my mouth today?
For as cranky as I sound, you must think I was a big loser tonight :) On the contrary - I had very good results. I played for 3 hours ($5/10 LHE), and here's what they looked like:
Speaking of counting hands - I counted 2 different half-hour time spans, and in one, we got 14 hands, and in the other, 16. So - my estimation of 30 hands per hour (for purposes of keeping my results spreadsheet) seems to be about right. I thought of a way to count hands so that I wouldn't have to think so hard, and wouldn't risk frustrating myself by forgetting what number hand we're on: at the start of each hand, I put one chip into my "hand counting" stack. At the end of the half hour, I counted that stack. :) Yeah, I'm pretty lame.
I can't express to you how amazed I am at the LACK of quality of play at this $5/10 game. Granted, it is the lowest limit they spread, so at any lowest-limit in a casino, my guess is that you'd get the most fish, but this game at Empress is seriously more fishy than ANYTHING I've ever played, anywhere. I thought on a Monday night it might be a little tighter, figuring that only hardcore players and drunks come out during the weeknights, but not so.
Example (so that you don't think I just make this stuff up): I've got AA in the big blind. 5 people limp ahead of me. I raise. Everybody comes to the flop. My stomach turns as the dealer says, "Six players...." and lays the flop out. All cards lower than 10. Middle position bets. Call - call - I raise - fold - call - call. 5 players to the turn. It's a blank. No coordination on the board at all. It checks to me. I bet. Fold - call - call - call. 4 to the river. I want to puke. Another blank. I'm expecting to get sucked out on by some dumb 2 pair. It checks to me. I bet.
EVERYBODY FOLDS! For ONE bet into a pot of $135!
There were at least 5 or 6 such hands, in the 3 hours I played, where 4 or more people saw all of the community cards out to the river, and then would fold to one bet on the river. WTF are these people calling down with??? Absolutely astonishing.
Tonight also had the token "play 2nd pair like aces" guy, which is always nice. TPTK = teh goot against him. Always.
Another nice pot tonight was my Broadway straight with KJ with 4 people calling me to the river.
You honestly, truly do NOT have to play many hands to be profitable in this game. I didn't win all that many pots - didn't play all that many hands - but if you can save the bet or two here and there when the fish broadcast to you that you're beat, and reel them in when you hit a hand, the game is profitable.
I leaked on one hand tonight. It seems like I have one of these per night, and I could go home with another $25 bucks or so if I could just stop this. Same scenario as last session's leaky hand: I had top pair and couldn't let it go. In this case it was even worse than my AJ vs AQ hand. I had J2s in the SB and completed to see a flop of J-x-x. I check-called with 2 other people in the pot, knowing my kicker sucked mightily. Turn was a blank, and I check-called again. River was a King, and I check-called some more. The river call here was HORRIBLE, but I should have gotten rid of the hand on the flop, because I knew I was beat. Turns out I was 3rd best the whole way. I was up against AJ and KJ. The worst part is, I know while I'm doing it that not only am I playing like a WeakAss, but I know I'm beat. I'm consciously thinking that I'm beat, and I check-call anyway. One hand per night. It's like a virus. Or attack of the body snatchers, where I turn into a guppy for 3 minutes. I could have broken the double-up mark tonight if it weren't for that hand. Bah. Must. Stop. Leaking.
Strangely, that hand is always very early in the session. Could it be that I subconsciously like to put myself slightly behind, so that I hunker down and focus on recouping that loss? If so... THAT IS PRETTY DAMN STUPID!!! My Lord. I have GOT to stop that.
So, here is my running tally for my Spring Break Rush for 1K:
828 to go...
Ambitious, yes. I'm gonna try, though... I'm off on the right fin... errr, foot.